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Curr Biol. 2011 Mar 22;21(6):485-91. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2011.02.002. Epub 2011 Mar 3.

Interkinetic nuclear migration is a broadly conserved feature of cell division in pseudostratified epithelia.

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Stowers Institute for Medical Research, 1000 East 50th Street, Kansas City, MO 64110, USA.


Animal development requires tight integration between the processes of proliferative growth and epithelial morphogenesis, both of which play out at the level of individual cells. In this respect, not only must polarized epithelial cells assume complex morphologies, these distinct forms must be radically and repeatedly transformed to permit mitosis. A dramatic illustration of this integration between epithelial morphogenesis and cell proliferation is interkinetic nuclear migration (IKNM), wherein the nuclei of pseudostratified epithelial cells translocate to the apical epithelial surface to execute cell division. IKNM is widely considered a hallmark of pseudostratified vertebrate neuroepithelia, and prior investigations have proposed both actomyosin- and microtubule-dependent mechanisms for apical localization of the mitotic nucleus. Here, using comparative functional analysis in arthropod and cnidarian systems (Drosophila melanogaster and Nematostella vectensis), we show that actomyosin-dependent IKNM is likely to be a general feature of mitosis in pseudostratified epithelia throughout Eumetazoa. Furthermore, our studies suggest a mechanistic link between IKNM and the fundamental process of mitotic cell rounding.

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