Microtubule and actin-dependent movement of the formin cdc12p in fission yeast. Academic Article uri icon


  • Although a number of gene products involved in cytokinesis have been identified, still little is known about how these proteins are localized to the proper site and assembled into a ring structure. How is the plane of cell division is positioned in the cell? Schizosaccharomyces pombe are simple rod-shaped eukaryotic cells that divide by medial fission using a medial contractile ring. S. pombe cdc12p encodes a member of the formin gene family, proteins with conserved roles in cytokinesis and actin organization. cdc12p is required specifically for the formation of the medial ring and is located in this ring during mitosis. Time-lapse microscopy of cells expressing GFP-cdc12p protein fusions reveals that during interphase, S. pombe cdc12p is present in a discrete, motile cytoplasmic particle that moves using both actin and microtubules. At the onset of mitosis, the spot moves to the future site of cell division and spreads out into a ring. These studies demonstrate that a cytokinesis factor may travel on both microtubule and actin networks to the site of contractile ring assembly. These findings suggest a potential mechanism for how the mitotic spindle positions the cell division plane in animal cells.

publication date

  • April 15, 2000