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Plant J. 2005 Nov;44(4):595-605.

Appearance of actin microfilament 'twin peaks' in mitosis and their function in cell plate formation, as visualized in tobacco BY-2 cells expressing GFP-fimbrin.

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Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Kashiwa, Chiba 277-8562, Japan.


The actin cytoskeleton of higher plants plays an essential role in plant morphogenesis and in maintaining various cellular activities. In this study we established a tobacco BY-2 cell line, stably transformed with a GFP-fimbrin actin-binding domain (ABD) 2 construct, that allows visualization of actin microfilaments (MFs) in living cells. Using this cell line, designated BY-GF11, we performed time-sequential observations of MF dynamics during cell-cycle progression. Detailed analyses revealed the appearance of a broad MF band in the late G2 phase that separated to form a structure corresponding to the so-called actin-depleted zone (ADZ) in mitosis. In BY-GF11, the MF structure at the cell cortex in mitosis appeared to form two bands rather than the ADZ. Measurements of fluorescent intensities of the cell cortex indicated an MF distribution that resembled two peaks, and we therefore named the structure MF 'twin peaks' (MFTP). The cell plate formed exactly within the valley between the MFTP at cytokinesis, and this cell-plate guidance was distorted by disruption of the MFTP by an inhibitor of actin polymerization. These results suggest that the MFTP originates from the broad MF band in the G2 phase and functions as a marker of cytokinesis.

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