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DNA damage induces a kinetochore-based ATM/ATR-independent SAC arrest unique to the first meiotic division in mouse oocytes

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posted on 06.11.2020, 12:39 by Simon IR Lane, Stephanie L Morgan, Tianyu Wu, Josie K Collins, Julie A Merriman, Elias Elinati, James M Turner, Keith T Jones
Mouse oocytes carrying DNA damage arrest in meiosis I, thereby preventing creation of embryos with deleterious mutations. The arrest is dependent on activation of the spindle assembly checkpoint, which results in anaphase-promoting complex (APC) inhibition. However, little is understood about how this checkpoint is engaged following DNA damage. Here, we find that within minutes of DNA damage checkpoint proteins are assembled at the kinetochore, not at damage sites along chromosome arms, such that the APC is fully inhibited within 30 min. Despite this robust response, there is no measurable loss in k-fibres, or tension across the bivalent. Through pharmacological inhibition we observed that the response is dependent on Mps1 kinase, aurora kinase and Haspin. Using oocyte-specific knockouts we find the response does not require the DNA damage response kinases ATM or ATR. Furthermore, checkpoint activation does not occur in response to DNA damage in fully mature eggs during meiosis II, despite the divisions being separated by just a few hours. Therefore, mouse oocytes have a unique ability to sense DNA damage rapidly by activating the checkpoint at their kinetochores.

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