CaM kinase II initiates meiotic spindle depolymerization independently of APC/C activation.
Authors: Reber S, Over S, Kronja I, Gruss OJ.
CellNetworks People: Gruss Oliver
Journal: J Cell Biol. 2008 Dec 15;183(6):1007-17.

Altered spindle microtubule dynamics at anaphase onset are the basis for chromosome segregation. In Xenopus laevis egg extracts, increasing free calcium levels and subsequently rising calcium-calmodulin-dependent kinase II (CaMKII) activity promote a release from meiosis II arrest and reentry into anaphase. CaMKII induces the activation of the anaphase-promoting complex/cyclosome (APC/C), which destines securin and cyclin B for degradation to allow chromosome separation and mitotic exit. In this study, we investigated the calcium-dependent signal responsible for microtubule depolymerization at anaphase onset after release from meiotic arrest in Xenopus egg extracts. Using Ran-guanosine triphosphate-mediated microtubule assemblies and quantitative analysis of complete spindles, we demonstrate that CaMKII triggers anaphase microtubule depolymerization. A CaMKII-induced twofold increase in microtubule catastrophe rates can explain reduced microtubule stability. However, calcium or constitutively active CaMKII promotes microtubule destabilization even upon APC/C inhibition and in the presence of high cyclin-dependent kinase 1 activity. Therefore, our data demonstrate that CaMKII turns on parallel pathways to activate the APC/C and to induce microtubule depolymerization at meiotic anaphase onset.