A cytokinesis furrow is positioned by two consecutive signals. Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • The position of the cytokinesis furrow in a cell determines the relative sizes of its two daughter cells as well as the distribution of their contents. In animal cells, the position of the cytokinesis furrow is specified by the position of the mitotic spindle. The cytokinesis furrow bisects the spindle midway between the microtubule asters, at the site of the microtubule-based midzone, producing two daughter cells. Experiments in some cell types have suggested that the midzone positions the furrow, but experiments in other cells have suggested that the asters position the furrow. One possibility is that different organisms and cell types use different mechanisms to position the cytokinesis furrow. An alternative possibility is that both asters and the midzone contribute to furrow positioning. Recent work in C. elegans has suggested that centrosome separation and the midzone are implicated in cytokinesis. Here we examine the relative contributions of different parts of the mitotic spindle to positioning of the cytokinesis furrow in the C. elegans zygote. By spatially separating the spindle midzone from one of the asters using an ultraviolet laser, we show that the cytokinesis furrow is first positioned by a signal determined by microtubule asters, and then by a second signal that is derived from the spindle midzone. Thus, the position of the cytokinesis furrow is specified by two consecutive furrowing activities.

publication date

  • August 4, 2005