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Trends Cell Biol. 2005 Aug;15(8):404-13.

Midbodies and phragmoplasts: analogous structures involved in cytokinesis.

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Department of Botany, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 430 Lincoln Drive, Madison, WI 53706, USA.

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  • Trends Cell Biol. 2005 Oct;15(10):517.


Cytokinesis is an event common to all organisms that involves the precise coordination of independent pathways involved in cell-cycle regulation and microtubule, membrane, actin and organelle dynamics. In animal cells, the spindle midzone/midbody with associated endo-membrane system are required for late cytokinesis events, including furrow ingression and scission. In plants, cytokinesis is mediated by the phragmoplast, an array of microtubules, actin filaments and associated molecules that act as a framework for the future cell wall. In this article (which is part of the Cytokinesis series), we discuss recent studies that highlight the increasing number of similarities in the components and function of the spindle midzone/midbody in animals and the phragmoplast in plants, suggesting that they might be analogous structures.

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