June 3, 2010

Cytokinesis is the division of a cell’s cytoplasmic contents after mitosis. This complex process depends on many proteins that regulate the contractile ring, which constricts until the two new daughter cells are completely separate. A recent paper has looked into the mechanisms of the contractile ring in spermatocytes in the fruit fly Drosophila. The authors found that cytokinesis can be completed by two different complexes of proteins that stabilize actin and myosin at the contractile ring—an anillin-septin complex and a cadherin-catenin complex. Image of spermatocytes above shows colocalization of actin(red) and anillin(green) at sites of cytokinesis (arrows).

Reference: Philip Goldbach, Raymond Wong, Nolan Beise, Ritu Sarpal, William S. Trimble, and Julie A. Brill. Authors’ Molecular Biology of the Cell paper can be found here.

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