Fourth cleavage of sea urchin blastomeres: microtubule patterns and myosin localization in equal and unequal cell divisions

Dev Biol. 1987 Nov;124(1):9-22. doi: 10.1016/0012-1606(87)90454-4.


This study traces the morphological appearance, organization, and disappearance of the cytoskeletal machinery for cell division during the fourth cell cycle of isolated sea urchin blastomeres by immunolocalization of tubulin and myosin. Mesomere-mesomeres (which divide equally) and macromere-micromeres (which divide unequally) are compared in terms of their asters (both mitotic and so-called interphase asters), spindle apparatus, and contractile ring. The results suggest that the distinctive nuclear positioning of these blastomeres is established in late interphase, that centrosomal alignment occurs in prophase, that all of the dominant astral configurations in the cell cycle belong to a single cycle of assembly-disassembly, that a second interphase-specific cycle of assembly-disassembly is confined to a diffuse cytoplasmic reticulum, and that contractile ring myosin concentrates and disperses in precise coincidence with the beginning and end of cleavage furrowing.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blastomeres / analysis
  • Blastomeres / ultrastructure*
  • Cell Division
  • Cell Nucleus / ultrastructure
  • Cleavage Stage, Ovum
  • Culture Techniques
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Interphase
  • Microtubules / ultrastructure*
  • Mitosis
  • Myosins / analysis*
  • Sea Urchins / embryology*
  • Spindle Apparatus / ultrastructure
  • Tubulin / analysis


  • Tubulin
  • Myosins