Editors' ChoiceCell Biology

Making the Final Cut

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Science Signaling  02 Apr 2013:
Vol. 6, Issue 269, pp. ec80
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2004191

Abscission, the final separation of two daughter cells, was long thought to be an unimportant step in cytokinesis, triggered merely by the cells pulling strongly enough on the bridge to rupture it. Research over the past 10 years, however, has challenged this notion. Defects in cutting the cytokinetic bridge can lead to the formation of large networks of connected cells or to binucleate cells. Lafaurie-Janvore et al. now show that the forces postmitotic cells exert on the cytokinetic bridge play an important role in abscission: Surprisingly, increasing the tension in the bridge inhibits abscission, whereas reducing tension induces abscission. This could provide a sensing mechanism to ensure that daughter cells establish sound connections with their surrounding cells and matrix before detaching from one another.

J. Lafaurie-Janvore, P. Maiuri, I. Wang, M. Pinot, J.-B. Manneville, T. Betz, M. Balland, M. Piel, ESCRT-III assembly and cytokinetic abscission are induced by tension release in the intercellular bridge. Science 339, 1625–1629 (2013). [Abstract] [Full Text]