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J Cell Sci. 1998 May;111 ( Pt 9):1227-40.

Microtubule-mediated centrosome motility and the positioning of cleavage furrows in multinucleate myosin II-null cells.

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Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie, Martinsried, Germany.


To study centrosome motility and the interaction of microtubules with the cell cortex in mitotic, post-mitotic and interphase cells, (alpha)-tubulin was tagged in Dictyostelium discoideum with green fluorescent protein. Multinucleate cells formed by myosin II-null mutants proved to be especially suited for the analysis of the control of cleavage furrow formation by the microtubule system. After docking of the mitotic apparatus onto the cell cortex during anaphase, the cell surface is activated to form ruffles on top of the asters of microtubules that emanate from the centrosomes. Cleavage furrows are initiated at spaces between the asters independently of the positions of spindles. Once initiated, the furrows expand as deep folds without a continued connection to the microtubule system. Occurrence of unilateral furrows indicates that a closed contractile ring is dispensable for cytokinesis in Dictyostelium. The progression of cytokinesis in the multinucleate cells underlines the importance of proteins other than myosin II in specifying a cleavage furrow. The analysis of centrosome motility suggests a major role for a minus-end directed motor protein, probably cytoplasmic dynein, in applying traction forces on guiding microtubules that connect the centrosome with the cell cortex.

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