Intermediate filaments (IFs), which form the structural framework of cytoskeleton, have been found to be dramatically reorganized during mitosis. Some protein kinases activated in mitosis are thought to control spatial and temporal IF reorganization through phosphorylation of IF proteins. Rho-associated kinase (Rho-kinase), one of the putative targets of the small GTPase Rho, does phosphorylate IF proteins, specifically at the cleavage furrow during cytokinesis. This cleavage furrow-specific phosphorylation plays an important role in the local IF breakdown and efficient separation of IF networks. Recent studies on Rho signaling pathways have introduced new models about the molecular mechanism of rearrangements of cytoskeletons including IFs during cytokinesis.
Copyright 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.