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Int Rev Cytol. 2002;214:161-91.

Dynamic changes and the role of the cytoskeleton during the cell cycle in higher plant cells.

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  • 1Department of Integrated Biosciences, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, University of Tokyo, Kashiwa, Chiba, Japan.


In higher plant cells microtubules (MTs) show dynamic structural changes during cell cycle progression and play significant roles in cell morphogenesis. The cortical MT (CMT), preprophase band (PPB), and phragmoplast, all of which are plant-specific MT structures, can be observed during interphase, from the late G2 phase to prophase, and from anaphase to telophase, respectively. The CMT controls cell shape, either irreversibly or reversibly, by orientating cellulose microfibril (CMF) deposition in the cell wall; the PPB is involved in determining the site of division; and the phragmoplast forms the cell plate at cytokinesis. The appearance and disappearance of these MT structures during the cell cycle have been extensively studied by immunofluorescence microscopy using highly synchronized tobacco BY-2 cells. Indeed, these studies, together with visualization of MT dynamics in living plant cells using the green fluorescent protein, have revealed much about the modes of MT structural organization, for example, of CMTs at the M/G1 interphase. The microfilaments which also show dynamic changes during the cell cycle, being similar to MTs at particular stages and different at other stages, appear to play roles in supporting MTs. In this article, we summarize our ongoing research and that of related studies of the structure and function of the plant cytoskeleton during cell cycle progression.

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