TitleRedundant mechanisms recruit actin into the contractile ring in silkworm spermatocytes
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsChen, W, Foss, M, Tseng, KF, Zhang, DH
JournalPlos Biology
Type of ArticleJournal Article

Cytokinesis is powered by the contraction of actomyosin filaments within the newly assembled contractile ring. Microtubules are a spindle component that is essential for the induction of cytokinesis. This induction could use central spindle and/or astral microtubules to stimulate cortical contraction around the spindle equator ( equatorial stimulation). Alternatively, or in addition, induction could rely on astral microtubules to relax the polar cortex ( polar relaxation). To investigate the relationship between microtubules, cortical stiffness, and contractile ring assembly, we used different configurations of microtubules to manipulate the distribution of actin in living silkworm spermatocytes. Mechanically repositioned, noninterdigitating microtubules can induce redistribution of actin at any region of the cortex by locally excluding cortical actin filaments. This cortical flow of actin promotes regional relaxation while increasing tension elsewhere ( normally at the equatorial cortex). In contrast, repositioned interdigitating microtubule bundles use a novel mechanism to induce local stimulation of contractility anywhere within the cortex; at the antiparallel plus ends of central spindle microtubules, actin aggregates are rapidly assembled de novo and transported laterally to the equatorial cortex. Relaxation depends on microtubule dynamics but not on RhoA activity, whereas stimulation depends on RhoA activity but is largely independent of microtubule dynamics. We conclude that polar relaxation and equatorial stimulation mechanisms redundantly supply actin for contractile ring assembly, thus increasing the fidelity of cleavage.

URL<Go to ISI>://WOS:000259783600016