Essential genes which are required for normal nuclear migration and play a role in developmental processes have been isolated from model genetic organisms. One such gene is nudC (nuclear distribution C), which is required for positioning nuclei in the cytoplasm of the filamentous fungus Aspergillus nidulans and for normal colony growth. This gene is highly conserved, structurally and functionally, throughout evolution and the human homolog, HnudC, has been cloned. To study the function of nudC in higher eukaryotic cells, HnudC was downregulated by developing triple ribozyme constructs, consisting of two cis-acting ribozymes which liberate an internal transacting ribozyme targeted to HnudC. Efficient cleavage sites in HnudC mRNA were identified using a library selection technique and HnudC-targeted internal ribozymes were cloned into a triple ribozyme cassette. Triple ribozyme constructs were subcloned into an ecdysone-inducible expression vector and stably transfected into human embryonic 293 cells. Muristerone A induced expression of the HnudC ribozyme and produced specific reduction of HnudC mRNA. Downregulation of HnudC mRNA resulted in significant inhibition of cell proliferation in clones expressing the HnudC-targeted triple ribozyme, which was not observed in uninduced cells or cells transfected with vector alone. In induced cultures, many mitotic cells demonstrated defects in spindle architecture during mitosis. The most common defect observed was multiple mitotic spindle poles rather than the expected bipolar structure. These data demonstrate the fundamental importance of HnudC in eukaryotic cell proliferation and a functional role for HnudC in spindle formation at mitosis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cell Biology