Cell Biology

Lipid-Cytoskeleton Coordination

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Science  23 Jun 2000:
Vol. 288, Issue 5474, pp. 2097
DOI: 10.1126/science.288.5474.2097a

In the final stage of cell division, cytokinesis constricts and then seals the plasma membrane between the two daughter cells. The constriction is powered by a contractile ring of actin, and scission involves a fusion or rearrangement of the lipid bilayer of the cell membrane. Previously, Emoto and Umeda observed that the lipid phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), which normally resides in the internal leaflet of the bilayer, can be found in the external leaflet in the cleavage furrow.

Now they find that a PE-binding peptide blocks scission, leaving daughter cells connected by an actin-containing cytoplasmic bridge, and that then adding PE liposomes caused the contractile ring to disassemble, although without subsequent scission, yielding binucleate cells. Mutant cells defective in PE synthesis could not grow in the absence of exogenous PE, and they exhibited a defect in cytokinesis leading to the presence of cells still connected by cytoplasmic bridges. Thus, it appears that surface-exposed PE is needed to coordinate the reorganization of the cytoskeleton and the plasma membrane during cytokinesis.—SMH

J. Cell Biol.149, 1215 (2000).

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