Cytokinesis

Lord of the incomplete rings

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Science  27 Jan 2017:
Vol. 355, Issue 6323, pp. 364
DOI: 10.1126/science.355.6323.364-a

Final stages of cell division in the worm rely on actomyosin contractile rings.

PHOTO: STEVE GSCHMEISSNER/SCIENCE SOURCE

Cytokinesis, the final stage of cell division, requires the assembly and constriction of an actomyosin contractile ring. Silva et al. combined laser microsurgery with live imaging in the Caenorhabditis elegans early embryo. They used the laser to introduce gaps into the constricting contractile ring of the worm's cells very precisely. The contractile rings were able to repair gaps in their structure so that cytokinesis always completed successfully. Once gaps were repaired, the rings transiently constricted more rapidly, allowing the cell to complete cytokinesis within the normal schedule. Unexpectedly, a continuous actomyosin ring structure was not required for constriction; an open ring was able to constrict and could recover from successive cuts. —

J. Cell Biol. 215, 789 (2016).

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