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Mol Biol Cell. 2019 Jan 1;30(1):96-107. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E18-07-0471. Epub 2018 Nov 7.

The ARP2/3 complex prevents excessive formin activity during cytokinesis.

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Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde (i3S), Universidade do Porto, 4200-135 Porto, Portugal.
Instituto de Biologia Molecular e Celular, Universidade do Porto, 4200-135 Porto, Portugal.
Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093.


Cytokinesis completes cell division by constriction of an actomyosin contractile ring that separates the two daughter cells. Here we use the early Caenorhabditis elegans embryo to explore how the actin filament network in the ring and the surrounding cortex is regulated by the single cytokinesis formin CYK-1 and the ARP2/3 complex, which nucleate nonbranched and branched filaments, respectively. We show that CYK-1 and the ARP2/3 complex are the predominant F-actin nucleators responsible for generating distinct cortical F-actin architectures and that depletion of either nucleator affects the kinetics of cytokinesis. CYK-1 is critical for normal F-actin levels in the contractile ring, and acute inhibition of CYK-1 after furrow ingression slows ring constriction rate, suggesting that CYK-1 activity is required throughout ring constriction. Surprisingly, although the ARP2/3 complex does not localize in the contractile ring, depletion of the ARP2 subunit or treatment with ARP2/3 complex inhibitor delays contractile ring formation and constriction. We present evidence that the delays are due to an excess in formin-nucleated cortical F-actin, suggesting that the ARP2/3 complex negatively regulates CYK-1 activity. We conclude that the kinetics of cytokinesis are modulated by interplay between the two major actin filament nucleators.

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