Chromothripsis pp 319-335 | Cite as

Correlative Live Imaging and Immunofluorescence for Analysis of Chromosome Segregation in Mouse Preimplantation Embryos

Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1769)


Chromothripsis is a phenomenon observed in cancer cells, wherein a single or few chromosome(s) exhibit vast genomic rearrangements. Recent studies elucidated a striking series of events in which defective segregation of chromosomes causes their incorporation into micronuclei, where they are subject to extensive DNA damage prior to re-joining the main mass of chromosomes in a subsequent cell cycle, which provide an appealing mechanism for the etiology of chromothripsis. Micronuclei are well known to be common in human preimplantation embryos. We recently showed that, unlike in cancer cells, in mouse preimplantation embryos the micronuclei are maintained during multiple cell generations and apparently fail to re-join the main set of chromosomes. This unexpected finding could safeguard the early embryonic genome from chromothripsis. Here, we describe an approach that combines live and immunofluorescence imaging methods that was pivotal in that study to reveal the lack of a functional kinetochore in chromosomes from mouse embryo micronuclei.

Key words

Mitosis Live cell imaging Chromosome segregation Preimplantation development Immunofluorescence Micronuclei 



Work in GF’s lab is supported by Fondation JL Lévesque, NSERC, and CIHR.

We thank Gaudeline Rémillard-Labrosse and Angus Macaulay for critical reading and discussion of this manuscript.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre de Recherche du Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de MontréalMontréalCanada
  2. 2.Département d’Obstétrique-Gynécologie, Faculté de MédecineUniversité de MontréalMontréalCanada

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