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Microcystin-LR, a protein phosphatase inhibitor, induces alterations in mitotic chromatin and microtubule organization leading to the formation of micronuclei in Vicia faba

Beyer, Dániel, Tándor, Ildikó, Kónya, Zoltán, Bátori, Róbert, Roszik, Janos, Vereb, György, Erdődi, Ferenc, Vasas, Gábor, M-Hamvas, Márta, Jambrovics, Károly, Máthé, Csaba
Annals of botany 2012 v.110 no.4 pp. 797-808
Vicia faba, anaphase, aquatic ecosystems, chromatids, chromatin, fluorescence microscopy, histones, immunohistochemistry, microcystin-LR, mitosis, phosphorylation, root meristems, root tips, seedlings, tubulin
Background and Aims Microcystin-LR (MCY-LR) is a cyanobacterial toxin, a specific inhibitor of type 1 and 2A protein phosphatases (PP1 and PP2A) with significant impact on aquatic ecosystems. It has the potential to alter regulation of the plant cell cycle. The aim of this study was improved understanding of the mitotic alterations induced by cyanotoxin in Vicia faba , a model organism for plant cell biology studies. Methods Vicia faba seedlings were treated over the long and short term with MCY-LR purified in our laboratory. Short-term treatments were performed on root meristems synchronized with hydroxylurea. Sections of lateral root tips were labelled for chromatin, phosphorylated histone H3 and β-tubulin via histochemical and immunohistochemical methods. Mitotic activity and the occurrence of mitotic alterations were detected and analysed by fluorescence microscopy. The phosphorylation state of histone H3 was studied by Western blotting. Key Results Long-term MCY-LR exposure of lateral root tip meristems increased the percentage of either early or late mitosis in a concentration-dependent manner. We observed hypercondensed chromosomes and altered sister chromatid segregation (lagging chromosomes) leading to the formation of micronuclei, accompanied by the formation of disrupted, multipolar and monopolar spindles, disrupted phragmoplasts and the hyperphosphorylation of histone H3 at Ser10. Short-term MCY-LR treatment of synchronized cells showed that PP1 and PP2A inhibition delayed the onset of anaphase at 1 µg mL ⁻¹ MCY-LR, accelerated cell cycle at 10 µg mL ⁻¹ MCY-LR and induced the formation of lagging chromosomes. In this case mitotic microtubule alterations were not detected, but histone H3 was hyperphosphorylated. Conclusions MCY-LR delayed metaphase–anaphase transition. Consequently, it induced aberrant chromatid segregation and micronucleus formation that could be associated with both H3 hyperphosphorylation and altered microtubule organization. However, these two phenomena seemed to be independent. The toxin may be a useful tool in the study of plant cell cycle regulation.