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Curr Biol. 2005 Dec 6;15(23):2107-11.

A divergent cellular role for the FUSED kinase family in the plant-specific cytokinetic phragmoplast.

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Department of Biology, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester LE1 7RH, United Kingdom.


The FUSED (FU) Ser/Thr protein kinase family has a key role in the hedgehog signaling pathway known to control cell proliferation and patterning in fruit flies and humans . The genomes of Arabidopsis thaliana and rice each encode a single Fu ortholog, but their role is unknown. Here, we show that cytokinesis-defective mutants, which we named two-in-one (tio), result from mutations in Arabidopsis Fu. Phenotypic analysis of tio mutants reveals an essential role for TIO in conventional modes of cytokinesis in plant meristems and during male gametogenesis. TIO also has a key role in nonconventional modes of cytokinesis (cellularization) during female gametogenesis. We demonstrate that TIO is tightly localized to the midline of the nascent phragmoplast and remains associated with the expanding phragmoplast ring. These data reveal the evolution of a divergent role for the Fu kinase family as an essential phragmoplast-associated protein that functions in different cell type-specific modes of cytokinesis in plants.

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