Concurrent Cues for Cytokinetic Furrow Induction in Animal Cells

Trends Cell Biol. 2009 Apr;19(4):165-73. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2009.01.008. Epub 2009 Mar 13.


Animal cells are deformable, yet live together bound into tissues. Consequently, physical perturbations imposed by neighbors threaten to disrupt the spatial coordination of cell cleavage with chromosome segregation during mitosis. Emerging evidence demonstrates that animal cells integrate multiple positional cues during cleavage-furrow induction, perhaps to facilitate error correction. Classical work indicated that the asters provide the stimulus for furrow induction, but recent results implicate the central spindle at least as much. Similarly, although classical work concluded that the stimulus occurs at the cell equator, new evidence shows that asters modulate cortical contractility outside the equator as well. Meanwhile, a newly revealed distinction between stable and dynamic astral microtubules suggests that these subsets might have complementary effects on furrow induction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Physiological Phenomena / physiology*
  • Cytokinesis / physiology*
  • Cytoskeleton / physiology
  • Microtubules / physiology*
  • Mitosis / physiology*
  • Myosins / metabolism
  • Spindle Apparatus / physiology*
  • rho GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism


  • Myosins
  • rho GTP-Binding Proteins