Cleavage furrows formed between centrosomes lacking an intervening spindle and chromosomes contain microtubule bundles, INCENP, and CHO1 but not CENP-E. Academic Article uri icon


  • PtK1 cells containing two independent mitotic spindles can cleave between neighboring centrosomes, in the absence of an intervening spindle, as well as at the spindle equators. We used same-cell video, immunofluorescence, and electron microscopy to compare the structure and composition of normal equatorial furrows with that of ectopic furrows formed between spindles. As in controls, ectopic furrows contained midbodies composed of microtubule bundles and an electron-opaque matrix. Despite the absence of an intervening spindle and chromosomes, the midbodies associated with ectopic furrows also contained the microtubule-bundling protein CHO1 and the chromosomal passenger protein INCENP. However, CENP-E, another passenger protein, was not found in ectopic furrows but was always present in controls. We also examined cells in which the ectopic furrow initiated but relaxed. Although relaxing furrows contained overlapping microtubules from opposing centrosomes, they lacked microtubule bundles as well as INCENP and CHO1. Together these data suggest that the mechanism defining the site of furrow formation during mitosis in vertebrates does not depend on the presence of underlying microtubule bundles and chromosomes or on the stable association of INCENP or CHO1. The data also suggest that the completion of cytokinesis requires the presence of microtubule bundles and specific proteins (e.g., INCENP, CHO1, etc.) that do not include CENP-E.

publication date

  • February 1999