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Dissecting Temporal and Spatial Control of Cytokinesis with a Myosin II Inhibitor

Science  14 Mar 2003:
Vol. 299, Issue 5613, pp. 1743-1747
DOI: 10.1126/science.1081412

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Abstract

Completion of cell division during cytokinesis requires temporally and spatially regulated communication from the microtubule cytoskeleton to the actin cytoskeleton and the cell membrane. We identified a specific inhibitor of nonmuscle myosin II, blebbistatin, that inhibited contraction of the cleavage furrow without disrupting mitosis or contractile ring assembly. Using blebbistatin and other drugs, we showed that exit from the cytokinetic phase of the cell cycle depends on ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis. Continuous signals from microtubules are required to maintain the position of the cleavage furrow, and these signals control the localization of myosin II independently of other furrow components.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: aaron_straight{at}hms.harvard.edu

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