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Dev Cell. 2003 May;4(5):753-9.

Syntaxin 2 and endobrevin are required for the terminal step of cytokinesis in mammalian cells.

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Department of Cell Biology, Lerner Research Institute, The Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA.


The terminal step of cytokinesis in animal cells is the abscission of the midbody, a cytoplasmic bridge that connects the two prospective daughter cells. Here we show that two members of the SNARE membrane fusion machinery, syntaxin 2 and endobrevin/VAMP-8, specifically localize to the midbody during cytokinesis in mammalian cells. Inhibition of their function by overexpression of nonmembrane-anchored mutants causes failure of cytokinesis leading to the formation of binucleated cells. Time-lapse microscopy shows that only midbody abscission but not further upstream events, such as furrowing, are affected. These results indicate that successful completion of cytokinesis requires a SNARE-mediated membrane fusion event and that this requirement is distinct from exocytic events that may be involved in prior ingression of the plasma membrane.

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