For decades after the discovery that a contractile ring made of actin filaments and myosin II produces the force to constrict the cleavage furrow of animal cells, the complexity of cytokinesis has slowed progress in understanding the mechanism. Mechanistic insights, however, have been obtained by genetic, biochemical, microscopic and mathematical modelling approaches in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Many features that have been identified in fission yeast are probably shared with animal cells, as both inherited many cytokinesis genes from their common ancestor about one billion years ago.
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The work in the T.D.P. laboratory is supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) research grant GM-026338 and the work in the J.-Q.W. laboratory is supported by an American Cancer Society Ohio Pilot research grant, American Heart Association Great Rivers Affiliate, Ohio Cancer Research Associates, Basil O'Connor Starter Scholar research award from the March of Dimes Foundation and the NIH research grant GM-086546. The authors thank Z. Cande, F. Chang, Q. Chen, J. Moseley and S. Saha for comments on the manuscript.
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
Supplementary information S2 (movie) | The contractile ring forms from a broad band of nodes around the equator of the cell. (MOV 607 kb)
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Pollard, T., Wu, JQ. Understanding cytokinesis: lessons from fission yeast. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol 11, 149–155 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1038/nrm2834
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