Editors' ChoiceCell Division

Reconstituting the Right Stuff for Division

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Sci. Signal.  14 Oct 2014:
Vol. 7, Issue 347, pp. ec287
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aaa0462

Cytokinesis, when two daughter cells are physically separated from one another, is the final stage of cell division. How dividing cells assemble a cleavage furrow ready for cytokinesis has long interested cell biologists. A major stumbling block to probing the underlying mechanisms has been the lack of a cell-free and fully controllable experimental system. Now, Nguyen et al. have reconstituted cytokinesis organization outside living cells, using a system derived from frog eggs. In the cell-free system, the cell cycle state is “frozen,” and the spatial scale is unusually large. The authors examined the biophysics involved in signaling during cytokinesis over many minutes and many micrometers using powerful imaging techniques.

P. A. Nguyen, A. C. Groen, M. Loose, K. Ishihara, M. Wühr, C. M. Field, T. J. Mitchison, Spatial organization of cytokinesis signaling reconstituted in a cell-free system. Science 346, 244–247 (2014). [Abstract] [Full Text]