Chromosomal behavior in starfish (Asterina pectinifera) zygotes under the effect of aphidicolin, an inhibitor of DNA polymerase

Exp Cell Res. 1991 Feb;192(2):380-8. doi: 10.1016/0014-4827(91)90055-y.


When calf thymus histones were labeled fluorescently and microinjected into oocytes of the starfish, Asterina pectinifera, the labeled histones visualized chromosomes during maturation division and cleavage. In doing so, we confirmed the previously reported phenomenon that chromosomes became incompetent at the first cleavage in the aphidicolin-treated egg, although cleavage itself took place. Moreover, we found that chromosomes were aligned at the equator of the metaphase spindle of the first cleavage and that they did not separate into two groups at all, but made a lump in the middle of the spindle. Chromosomes finally entered one blastomere, although they did not participate in the following karyokinesis. DNA and microtubules were examined by cytochemistry and immunofluorescence in order to investigate the relation between chromosome movement and the microtubular cytoskeleton. The mitotic apparatus developed and grew in the aphidicolin-treated cells in the same manner as those in normal cells without normal chromatin condensation or chromosome movement during the first cleavage. However, the mitotic apparatus consisted of two asters without the spindle formed at subsequent cleavages. Electron microscopic study revealed that chromosomes did not condense normally and kinetochores were not detected during the first cleavage. These results indicate that the dynamic changes in microtubular structures during mitosis have poor relation with the chromosome behavior such as prophase chromosome condensation and anaphase chromosome movement.

MeSH terms

  • Anaphase / genetics
  • Animals
  • Aphidicolin
  • Chromosomes / drug effects*
  • Chromosomes / ultrastructure
  • DNA Polymerase II / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Diterpenes / pharmacology*
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Histones
  • Meiosis / genetics
  • Microinjections
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Microtubules / ultrastructure
  • Mitosis / genetics
  • Starfish / genetics*
  • Telophase / genetics
  • Zygote / drug effects


  • Diterpenes
  • Histones
  • Aphidicolin
  • DNA Polymerase II