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Dev Biol. 1999 Oct 1;214(1):215-26.

Microtubules are required for completion of cytokinesis in sea urchin eggs.

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Department of Biological Structure and Function, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, Oregon 97201, USA.


Completion of cytokinesis, abscission, has been studied little despite the intensive studies of the onset and contractile mechanism of the earlier phases of division. It has been well documented that microtubule (MT) disruption before furrow stimulation prevents furrowing, while MT disruption after furrow stimulation allows division to proceed. We have confirmed those findings using the MT inhibitors, nocodazole and demecolcine. In addition, we have found that MT disruption after furrow stimulation but before completion of division prevents abscission as evidenced by the observation that prospective daughter cells in MT-disrupted eggs maintain electrical continuity. Continued observation of eggs revealed that the furrow in MT-disrupted eggs did not result in abscission, but rather held steady until the time when controls underwent second cleavage, at which point the furrows regressed. These findings extend the recent reports that MTs are required for completion of division in mammalian tissue culture cells and frog eggs, to invertebrates, suggesting a common mechanism of abscission for animal cells.

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