Knowing when to cut and run: mechanisms that control cytokinetic abscission

Trends Cell Biol. 2013 Sep;23(9):433-41. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2013.04.006. Epub 2013 May 22.


Abscission, the final step of cytokinesis, mediates the severing of the membrane tether, or midbody, that connects two daughter cells. It is now recognized that abscission is a complex process requiring tight spatiotemporal regulation of its machinery to ensure equal chromosome segregation and cytoplasm content distribution between daughter cells. Failure to coordinate these events results in genetic damage. Here, we review recent evidence suggesting that proper abscission timing is coordinated by cytoskeletal rearrangements and recruitment of regulators of the Endosomal Sorting Complex Required for Transport (ESCRT) machinery such as CEP55 and MIT-domain-containing protein 1 (MITD1) to the abscission site. Additionally, we discuss the surveillance mechanism known as the Aurora B-mediated abscission checkpoint (NoCut), which prevents genetic damage by ensuring proper abscission delay when chromatin is trapped at the midbody.

Keywords: Aurora B; ESCRT; MITD1; abscission; cytokinesis; midbody.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aurora Kinase B / genetics
  • Cell Cycle Checkpoints / genetics
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / genetics
  • Chromosome Segregation / genetics*
  • Cytokinesis / genetics*
  • Cytoplasm / genetics*
  • Cytoskeleton / genetics
  • Endosomal Sorting Complexes Required for Transport / genetics*
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / genetics
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics


  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Cep55 protein, human
  • Endosomal Sorting Complexes Required for Transport
  • MITD1 protein, human
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • AURKB protein, human
  • Aurora Kinase B