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Cytokinesis in plant and animal cells: endosomes 'shut the door'.

For many years, cytokinesis in eukaryotic cells was considered to be a process that took a variety of forms. This is rather surprising in the face of an apparently conservative mitosis. Animal cytokinesis was described as a process based on an actomyosin-based contractile ring, assembling, and acting at the cell periphery. In contrast, cytokinesis of plant cells was viewed as the centrifugal generation of a new cell wall by fusion of Golgi apparatus-derived vesicles. However, recent advances in animal and plant cell biology have revealed that many features formerly considered as plant-specific are, in fact, valid also for cytokinetic animal cells. For example, vesicular trafficking has turned out to be important not only for plant but also for animal cytokinesis. Moreover, the terminal phase of animal cytokinesis based on midbody microtubule activity resembles plant cytokinesis in that interdigitating microtubules play a decisive role in the recruitment of cytokinetic vesicles and directing them towards the cytokinetic spaces which need to be plugged by fusing endosomes. Presently, we are approaching another turning point which brings cytokinesis in plant and animal cells even closer. As an unexpected twist, new studies reveal that both plant and animal cytokinesis is driven not so much by Golgi-derived vesicles but rather by homotypically and heterotypically fusing endosomes. These are generated from cytokinetic cortical sites defined by preprophase microtubules and contractile actomyosin ring, which induce local endocytosis of both the plasma membrane and cell wall material. Finally, plant and animal cytokinesis meet together at the physical separation of daughter cells despite obvious differences in their preparatory events.[1]

References

  1. Cytokinesis in plant and animal cells: endosomes 'shut the door'. Baluska, F., Menzel, D., Barlow, P.W. Dev. Biol. (2006) [Pubmed]
 
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