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Orchestrating nonmuscle myosin II filament assembly at the onset of cytokinesis.

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Leaver,  Mark
Max Planck Institute for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Max Planck Society;

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Grill,  Stephan W.
Max Planck Institute for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Najafabadi, F. R., Leaver, M., & Grill, S. W. (2022). Orchestrating nonmuscle myosin II filament assembly at the onset of cytokinesis. Molecular biology of the cell, 33(8): ar74. doi:10.1091/mbc.E21-12-0599.


Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000B-036D-8
Abstract
Contractile forces in the actomyosin cortex are required for cellular morphogenesis. This includes the invagination of the cell membrane during division, where filaments of nonmuscle myosin II (NMII) are responsible for generating contractile forces in the cortex. However, how NMII heterohexamers form filaments in vivo is not well understood. To quantify NMII filament assembly dynamics, we imaged the cortex of Caenorhabditis elegans embryos at high spatial resolution around the time of the first division. We show that during the assembly of the cytokinetic ring, the number of NMII filaments in the cortex increases and more NMII motors are assembled into each filament. These dynamics are influenced by two proteins in the RhoA GTPase pathway, the RhoA-dependent kinase LET-502 and the myosin phosphatase MEL-11. We find that these two proteins differentially regulate NMII activity at the anterior and at the division site. We show that the coordinated action of these regulators generates a gradient of free NMII in the cytoplasm driving a net diffusive flux of NMII motors toward the cytokinetic ring. Our work highlights how NMII filament assembly and disassembly dynamics are orchestrated over space and time to facilitate the up-regulation of cortical contractility during cytokinesis.