UMMS Affiliation

Department of Physiology

Publication Date


Document Type



Myosin Type II; Actins; Cytokinesis; Signal Transduction


Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


Equatorial organization of myosin II and actin has been recognized as a universal event in cytokinesis of animal cells. Current models for the formation of equatorial cortex favor either directional cortical transport toward the equator or localized de novo assembly. However, this process has never been analyzed directly in dividing mammalian cells at a high resolution. Here we applied total internal reflection fluorescence microscope (TIRF-M), coupled with spatial temporal image correlation spectroscopy (STICS) and a new analytical approach termed temporal differential microscopy (TDM), to image the dynamics of myosin II and actin during the assembly of equatorial cortex. Our results indicated distinct and at least partially independent mechanisms for the early equatorial recruitment of myosin and actin filaments. Cortical myosin showed no detectable directional flow during early cytokinesis. In addition to equatorial assembly, we showed that localized inhibition of disassembly contributed to the formation of the equatorial myosin band. In contrast to myosin, actin filaments underwent a striking flux toward the equator. Myosin motor activity was required for the actin flux, but not for actin concentration in the furrow, suggesting that there was a flux-independent, de novo mechanism for actin recruitment along the equator. Our results indicate that cytokinesis involves signals that regulate both assembly and disassembly activities and argue against mechanisms that are coupled to global cortical movements.

DOI of Published Version



Mol Biol Cell. 2008 Jan;19(1):318-26. Epub 2007 Oct 24. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Molecular biology of the cell

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID




To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.