Defective chromosome segregation, microtubule bundling and nuclear bridging in inner centromere protein gene (Incenp)-disrupted mice

Hum Mol Genet. 1999 Jul;8(7):1145-55. doi: 10.1093/hmg/8.7.1145.


INCENP is a chromosomal passenger protein which relocates from the centromere to thel spindle midzone during the metaphase-anaphase transition, ultimately being discarded in the cell midbody at the completion of cytokinesis. Using homologous recombination, we have generated Incenp gene-targeted heterozygous mice that are phenotypically indistinguishable from their wild-type littermates. Intercrossing the hetero-zygotes results in no live-born homozygous Incenp -disrupted progeny, indicating an early lethality. Day 3.5 affected pre-implantation embryos contain large, morphologically abnormal cells that fail to fully develop a blastocoel cavity or thrive in utero and in culture. Chromatin and tubulin immunocytochemical stainings of these and day 2.5 affected embryos reveal a high mitotic index, no discernible metaphase or anaphase stages, complete absence of midbodies, micronuclei formation, morphologically irregular macronuclei with large chromosome complements, multipolar mitotic configurations, binucleated cells, internuclear bridges and abnormal spindle bundling. The phenotype is consistent with a defect in the modulation of microtubule dynamics, severely affecting chromosome segregation and resulting in poorly resolved chromatin masses, aberrant karyokinesis and internuclear bridge formation. These latter occurrences could pose a physical barrier blocking cytokinesis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Nucleus
  • Chickens
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone / genetics*
  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone / physiology
  • Chromosome Segregation*
  • Chromosomes
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development / genetics
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development / physiology
  • Gene Targeting
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Microtubules / physiology*
  • Mutation
  • Phenotype
  • Tubulin / analysis


  • Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone
  • Incenp protein, mouse
  • Tubulin