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J Cell Sci. 2001 Sep;114(Pt 18):3273-84.

Rho-dependent transfer of Citron-kinase to the cleavage furrow of dividing cells.

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Department of Pharmacology, Kyoto University Faculty of Medicine, Sakyo, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan.


Citron-kinase (Citron-K) is a Rho effector working in cytokinesis. It is enriched in cleavage furrow, but how Rho mobilizes Citron-K remains unknown. Using anti-Citron antibody and a Citron-K Green Fluorescence Protein (GFP)-fusion, we monitored its localization in cell cycle. We have found: (1) Citron-K is present as aggregates in interphase cells, disperses throughout the cytoplasm in prometaphase, translocates to cell cortex in anaphase and accumulates in cleavage furrow in telophase; (2) Rho colocalizes with Citron-K in the cortex of ana- to telophase cells and the two proteins are concentrated in the cleavage furrow and to the midbody; (3) inactivation of Rho by C3 exoenzyme does not affect the dispersion of Citron-K in prometaphase, but prevented its transfer to the cell cortex, and Citron-K stays in association with the midzone spindles of C3 exoenzyme-treated cells. To clarify further the mechanism of the Rho-mediated transfer and concentration of Citron-K in cleavage furrow, we expressed active Val14RhoA in interphase cells expressing GFP-Citron-K. Val14RhoA expression transferred Citron-K to the ventral cortex of interphase cells, where it formed band-like structures in a complex with Rho. This structure was localized at the same plane as actin stress fibers, and they exclude each other. Disruption of F-actin abolished the band and dispersed the Citron-K-Rho-containing patches throughout the cell cortex. Similarly, in dividing cells, a structure composed of Rho and Citron-K in cleavage furrow excludes cortical actin cytoskeleton, and disruption of F-actin disperses Citron-K throughout the cell cortex. These results suggest that Citron-K is a novel type of a passenger protein, which is dispersed to the cytoplasm in prometaphase and associated with midzone spindles by a Rho-independent signal. Rho is then activated, binds to Citron-K and translocates it to cell cortex, where the complex is then concentrated in the cleavage furrow by the action of actin cytoskeleton beneath the equator of dividing cells.

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