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Traffic. 2006 Feb;7(2):205-15.

Dynamics of membrane clathrin-coated structures during cytokinesis.

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Department of Physiology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, 377 Plantation Street, Worcester, MA 01605, USA.


Remodeling of cell membranes takes place during motile processes such as cell migration and cell division. Defects of proteins involved in membrane dynamics, including clathrin and dynamin, disrupt cytokinesis. To understand the function of clathrin-containing structures (CCS) in cytokinesis, we have expressed a green fluorescent protein (GFP) fusion protein of clathrin light chain a (GFP-clathrin) in NRK epithelial cells and recorded images of dividing cells near the ventral surface with a spinning disk confocal microscope. Punctate GFP-CCS underwent dynamic appearance and disappearance throughout the ventral surface. Following anaphase onset, GFP-CCS between separated chromosomes migrated toward the equator and subsequently disappeared in the equatorial region. Movements outside separating chromosomes were mostly random, similar to what was observed in interphase cells. Directional movements toward the furrow were dependent on both actin filaments and microtubules, while the appearance/disappearance of CCS was dependent on actin filaments but not on microtubules. These results suggest that CCS are involved in remodeling the plasma membrane along the equator during cytokinesis. Clathrin-containing structures may also play a role in transporting signaling or structural components into the cleavage furrow.

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