Cytokinesis: placing and making the final cut

Cell. 2007 Nov 30;131(5):847-60. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2007.11.011.


Cytokinesis is the process by which cells physically separate after the duplication and spatial segregation of the genetic material. A number of general principles apply to this process. First the microtubule cytoskeleton plays an important role in the choice and positioning of the division site. Once the site is chosen, the local assembly of the actomyosin contractile ring remodels the plasma membrane. Finally, membrane trafficking to and membrane fusion at the division site cause the physical separation of the daughter cells, a process termed abscission. Here we will discuss recent advances in our understanding of the mechanisms of cytokinesis in animals, yeast, and plants.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Actins / physiology
  • Animals
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / metabolism
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Cell Membrane / physiology
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Cytokinesis / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Membrane Fusion / physiology
  • Microtubules / physiology
  • Models, Biological
  • Phosphotransferases / physiology
  • Plant Physiological Phenomena
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational / physiology
  • Protein Transport / physiology
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / metabolism
  • Time Factors
  • Vesicular Transport Proteins / physiology


  • Actins
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Vesicular Transport Proteins
  • Phosphotransferases
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • polo-like kinase 1