Regulation of Cytokinesis

Cell Mol Life Sci. 1999 Jan;55(1):108-20. doi: 10.1007/s000180050274.


At the end of mitosis, daughter cells are separated from each other by cytokinesis. This process involves equal partitioning and segregation of cytoplasm between the two cells. Despite years of study, the mechanism driving cytokinesis in animal cells is not fully understood. Actin and myosin are major components of the contractile ring, the structure at the equator between the dividing cells that provides the force necessary to constrict the cytoplasm. Despite this, there are also tantalizing results suggesting that cytokinesis can occur in the absence of myosin. It is unclear what the roles are of the few other contractile ring components identified to date. While it has been difficult to identify important proteins involved in cytokinesis, it has been even more challenging to pinpoint the regulatory mechanisms that govern this vital process. Cytokinesis must be precisely controlled both spatially and temporally; potential regulators of these parameters are just beginning to be identified. This review discusses the recent progress in our understanding of cytokinesis in animal cells and the mechanisms that may regulate it.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Cell Division / physiology*
  • Dictyostelium / metabolism
  • GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Myosins / metabolism
  • Phosphorylation


  • Actins
  • GTP-Binding Proteins
  • Myosins