Spindle checkpoint deficiency is tolerated by murine epidermal cells but not hair follicle stem cells

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Feb 19;110(8):2928-33. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1217388110. Epub 2013 Feb 4.


The spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC) ensures correct chromosome segregation during mitosis by preventing aneuploidy, an event that is detrimental to the fitness and survival of normal cells but oncogenic in tumor cells. Deletion of SAC genes is incompatible with early mouse development, and RNAi-mediated depletion of SAC components in cultured cells results in rapid death. Here we describe the use of a conditional KO of mouse Mad2, an essential component of the SAC signaling cascade, as a means to selectively induce chromosome instability and aneuploidy in the epidermis of the skin. We observe that SAC inactivation is tolerated by interfollicular epidermal cells but results in depletion of hair follicle bulge stem cells. Eventually, a histologically normal epidermis develops within ∼1 mo after birth, albeit without any hair. Mad2-deficient cells in this epidermis exhibited abnormal transcription of metabolic genes, consistent with aneuploid cell state. Hair follicle bulge stem cells were completely absent, despite the continued presence of rudimentary hair follicles. These data demonstrate that different cell lineages within a single tissue respond differently to chromosome instability: some proliferating cell lineages can survive, but stem cells are highly sensitive.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / genetics
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Epidermal Cells*
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Hair / cytology*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Mad2 Proteins
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • RNA Interference
  • Spindle Apparatus*
  • Stem Cells / cytology*


  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Mad2 Proteins
  • Mad2l1 protein, mouse

Associated data

  • GEO/GSE42698