Cep55 promotes cytokinesis of neural progenitors but is dispensable for most mammalian cell divisions

Nat Commun. 2020 Apr 8;11(1):1746. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-15359-w.


In mammalian cell lines, the endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT)-III mediates abscission, the process that physically separates daughter cells and completes cell division. Cep55 protein is regarded as the master regulator of abscission, because it recruits ESCRT-III to the midbody (MB), the site of abscission. However, the importance of this mechanism in a mammalian organism has never been tested. Here we show that Cep55 is dispensable for mouse embryonic development and adult tissue homeostasis. Cep55-knockout offspring show microcephaly and primary neural progenitors require Cep55 and ESCRT for survival and abscission. However, Cep55 is dispensable for cell division in embryonic or adult tissues. In vitro, division of primary fibroblasts occurs without Cep55 and ESCRT-III at the midbody and is not affected by ESCRT depletion. Our work defines Cep55 as an abscission regulator only in specific tissue contexts and necessitates the re-evaluation of an alternative ESCRT-independent cell division mechanism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Apoptosis
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / deficiency
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / genetics
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cerebral Cortex / abnormalities
  • Cytokinesis*
  • Endosomal Sorting Complexes Required for Transport / metabolism
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • Gene Deletion
  • Genotype
  • Kidney / abnormalities
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Microcephaly / pathology
  • Mitosis
  • Neural Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Neural Stem Cells / metabolism*


  • CHMP4B protein, mouse
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Cep55 protein, mouse
  • Endosomal Sorting Complexes Required for Transport