Direct evidence for roles of phosphorylated regulatory light chain of myosin II in furrow ingression during cytokinesis in HeLa cells

Genes Cells. 2009 May;14(5):555-68. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2443.2009.01288.x. Epub 2009 Apr 15.


Phosphorylation of myosin II is thought to play an important role in cytokinesis. Although it is well known that phosphorylated regulatory light chain of myosin II (P-MRLC) localizes along the contractile ring, it is not clear how P-MRLC controls myosin II and F-actin in furrow ingression during cytokinesis. To elucidate roles of P-MRLC in furrow ingression, HeLa cells transfected with EGFP-tagged wild-type or each MRLC mutant were observed using a live-imaging microscope. Time-lapse observation revealed that a delay of furrow ingression was observed in the nonphosphorylatable form of MRLC (AA-MRLC)-expressing cell but not in the wild-type or phospho-mimic MRLC-expressing cell. Among each form of MRLC-expressing cell, the total amount of P-MRLC including phospho-mimic MRLCs was smallest in the cell expressing AA-MRLC. However, the amount of F-actin and myosin II at the contractile ring in the AA-MRLC-expressing cell was the same as that in the normal cell. Interestingly, delay of furrow ingression by a Rho-kinase inhibitor, Y27632, was rescued by phospho-mimic MRLCs. These results suggest that the P-MRLC is essential for the progress of furrow ingression but not the retainment of F-actin and myosin II in the contractile ring of dividing HeLa cells.

MeSH terms

  • Actins / drug effects
  • Actins / metabolism
  • Amides / pharmacology
  • Cytokinesis / drug effects
  • Cytokinesis / physiology*
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Myosin Light Chains / drug effects
  • Myosin Light Chains / metabolism*
  • Myosin Type II / drug effects
  • Myosin Type II / metabolism*
  • Phosphorylation
  • Pyridines / pharmacology


  • Actins
  • Amides
  • Myosin Light Chains
  • Pyridines
  • Y 27632
  • Myosin Type II