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Cytoskeleton (Hoboken). 2012 Nov;69(11):869-81. doi: 10.1002/cm.21063. Epub 2012 Sep 21.

What Drosophila spermatocytes tell us about the mechanisms underlying cytokinesis.

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  • 1Istituto di Biologia e Patologia Molecolari del CNR, Dipartimento di Biologia e Biotecnologie Universit√† Sapienza di Roma, Piazzale A. Moro 5, Roma, Italy. Mariagrazia.Giansanti@uniroma1.it

Abstract

Cytokinesis separates the genomic material and organelles of a dividing cell equitably into two physically distinct daughter cells at the end of cell division. This highly choreographed process involves coordinated reorganization and regulated action of the actin and microtubule cytoskeletal systems, an assortment of motor proteins, and membrane trafficking components. Due to their large size, the ease with which exquisite cytological analysis may be performed on them, and the availability of numerous mutants and other genetic tools, Drosophila spermatocytes have provided an excellent system for exploring the mechanistic basis for the temporally programmed and precise spatially localized events of cytokinesis. Mutants defective in male meiotic cytokinesis can be easily identified in forward genetic screens by the production of multinucleate spermatids. In addition, the weak spindle assembly checkpoint in spermatocytes, which causes only a small delay of anaphase onset in the presence of unattached chromosomes, allows investigation of whether gene products required for spindle assembly and chromosome segregation are also involved in cytokinesis. Perhaps due to the large size of spermatocytes and the requirement for two rapid-fire rounds of division without intervening S or growth phases during meiosis, male meiotic mutants have also revealed much about molecular mechanisms underlying new membrane addition during cytokinesis. Finally, cell type-specific differences in the events that set up and complete cytokinesis are emerging from comparison of spermatocytes with cells undergoing mitosis either elsewhere in the organism or in tissue culture.

Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

PMID:
22927345
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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