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J Cell Sci. 1996 Jan;109 ( Pt 1):131-42.

Isolation and characterization of fission yeast mutants defective in the assembly and placement of the contractile actin ring.

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Imperial Cancer Research Fund, London, UK.


Fission yeast cells divide by medial cleavage using an actin-based contractile ring. We have conducted a genetic screen for temperature-sensitive mutants defective in the assembly and placement of this actin ring. Six genes necessary for actin ring formation and one gene necessary for placement of the actin ring have now been identified. The genes can be further organized into different phenotypic groups, suggesting that the gene products may have different functions in actin ring formation. Mutants of cdc3 and cdc8, which encode profilin and tropomyosin respectively, display disorganized actin patches in all cells. cdc12 and cdc15 mutants display disorganized actin patches during mitosis, but normal interphase actin patterns. cdc4 and rng2 mutants display disorganized actin cables during mitosis, but normal interphase actin patterns. In mid1 mutants, the actin ring and septum are positioned at random locations and angles on the cell surface, although the nucleus is positioned normally, indicating that the mid1 gene product is required to couple the division site to the position of the nucleus. mid1 mutant cells may reveal a new cell cycle checkpoint in telophase that coordinates cell division and the proper distribution of nuclei. The actin ring forms medially in a beta-tubulin mutant, showing that actin ring formation and placement are not dependent on the mitotic spindle.

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