Regulation of Intermediate Filament Organization During Cytokinesis: Possible Roles of Rho-associated Kinase

Microsc Res Tech. 2000 Apr 15;49(2):173-82. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1097-0029(20000415)49:2<173::AID-JEMT10>3.0.CO;2-A.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Division / physiology*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Humans
  • Intermediate Filament Proteins / metabolism*
  • Intermediate Filaments / metabolism*
  • Intermediate Filaments / ultrastructure
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction
  • rho GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • rho-Associated Kinases


  • Intermediate Filament Proteins
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • rho-Associated Kinases
  • rho GTP-Binding Proteins