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Cell Cycle. 2007 Jan 1;6(1):30-5. Epub 2007 Jan 6.

A mechanosensory system controls cell shape changes during mitosis.

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Department of Cell Biology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA.


Essential life processes are heavily controlled by a variety of positive and negative feedback systems. Cytokinesis failure, ultimately leading to aneuploidy, is appreciated as an early step in tumor formation in mammals and is deleterious for all cells. Further, the growing list of cancer predisposition mutations includes a number of genes whose proteins control mitosis and/or cytokinesis. Cytokinesis shape control is also an important part of pattern formation and cell-type specialization during multi-cellular development. Inherently mechanical, we hypothesized that mechanosensing and mechanical feedback are fundamental for cytokinesis shape regulation. Using mechanical perturbation, we identified a mechanosensory control system that monitors shape progression during cytokinesis. In this review, we summarize these findings and their implications for cytokinesis regulation and for understanding the cytoskeletal system architecture that governs shape control.

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