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Dev Biol. 2007 May 15;305(2):389-96. Epub 2007 Feb 24.

Conversion of midbodies into germ cell intercellular bridges.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


Whereas somatic cell cytokinesis resolves with abscission of the midbody, resulting in independent daughter cells, germ cell cytokinesis concludes with the formation of a stable intercellular bridge interconnecting daughter cells in a syncytium. While many proteins essential for abscission have been discovered, until recently, no proteins essential for mammalian germ cell intercellular bridge formation have been identified. Using TEX14 as a marker for the germ cell intercellular bridge, we show that TEX14 co-localizes with the centralspindlin complex, mitotic kinesin-like protein 1 (MKLP1) and male germ cell Rac GTPase-activating protein (MgcRacGAP) and converts these midbody matrix proteins into stable intercellular bridge components. In contrast, septins (SEPT) 2, 7 and 9 are transitional proteins in the newly forming bridge. In cultured somatic cells, TEX14 can localize to the midbody in the absence of other germ cell-specific factors, suggesting that TEX14 serves to bridge the somatic cytokinesis machinery to other germ cell proteins to form a stable intercellular bridge essential for male reproduction.

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