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Trends Cell Biol. 2013 Mar;23(3):118-28. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2012.10.012. Epub 2012 Dec 11.

Resurrecting remnants: the lives of post-mitotic midbodies.

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Program in Molecular Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA 01605, USA.


Around a century ago, the midbody (MB) was described as a structural assembly within the intercellular bridge during cytokinesis that served to connect the two future daughter cells. The MB has become the focus of intense investigation through the identification of a growing number of diverse cellular and molecular pathways that localize to the MB and contribute to its cytokinetic functions, ranging from selective vesicle trafficking and regulated microtubule (MT), actin, and endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT) filament assembly and disassembly to post-translational modification, such as ubiquitination. More recent studies have revealed new and unexpected functions of MBs in post-mitotic cells. In this review, we provide a historical perspective, discuss exciting new roles for MBs beyond their cytokinetic function, and speculate on their potential contributions to pluripotency.

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