Parallels Between Cytokinesis and Retroviral Budding: A Role for the ESCRT Machinery

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Science  29 Jun 2007:
Vol. 316, Issue 5833, pp. 1908-1912
DOI: 10.1126/science.1143422

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During cytokinesis, as dividing animal cells pull apart into two daughter cells, the final stage, termed abscission, requires breakage of the midbody, a thin membranous stalk connecting the daughter cells. This membrane fission event topologically resembles the budding of viruses, such as HIV-1, from infected cells. We found that two proteins involved in HIV-1 budding—tumor susceptibility gene 101 (Tsg101), a subunit of the endosomal sorting complex required for transport I (ESCRT-I), and Alix, an ESCRT-associated protein—were recruited to the midbody during cytokinesis by interaction with centrosome protein 55 (Cep55), a centrosome and midbody protein essential for abscission. Tsg101, Alix, and possibly other components of ESCRT-I were required for the completion of cytokinesis. Thus, HIV-1 budding and cytokinesis use a similar subset of cellular components to carry out topologically similar membrane fission events.

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