Mammalian cytokinesis proceeds by constriction of an actomyosin ring and furrow ingression, resulting in the formation of the midbody bridge connecting two daughter cells. At the centre of the midbody resides the Flemming body, a dense proteinaceous ring surrounding the interlocking ends of anti-parallel microtubule arrays. Abscission, the terminal step of cytokinesis, occurs near the Flemming body. A series of broad processes govern abscission: the initiation and stabilisation of the abscission zone, followed by microtubule severing and membrane scission—The latter mediated by the endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT) proteins. A key goal of cell and developmental biologists is to develop a clear understanding of the mechanisms that underpin abscission, and how the spatiotemporal coordination of these events with previous stages in cell division is accomplished. This article will focus on the function and dynamics of the ESCRT proteins in abscission and will review recent work, which has begun to explore how these complex protein assemblies are regulated by the cell cycle machinery.
- polo kinase
- endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT) protein