Research Highlights

A novel machinery to accelerate cytokinesis

Takema Sasaki, Motosuke Tsutsumi, Kohei Otomo, Takashi Murata, Noriyoshi Yagi, Masayoshi Nakamura, Tomomi Nemoto, Mitsuyasu Hasebe, Yoshihisa Oda

“A novel katanin-tethering machinery accelerates cytokinesis”

Current Biology, November 14, 2019



Cytokinesis is fundamental for cell proliferation. In plants, a bipolar short-microtubule array forms the phragmoplast, which mediates vesicle transport to the midzone and guides the formation of cell walls that separate the mother cell into two daughter cells. The phragmoplast centrifugally expands toward the cell cortex to guide cell-plate formation at the cortical division site. Several proteins in the phragmoplast midzone facilitate the anti-parallel bundling of microtubules and vesicle accumulation. However, the mechanisms by which short microtubules are maintained during phragmoplast development, in particular, the behavior of microtubules at the distal zone of phragmoplasts, are poorly understood. Oda Group has revealed that a plant-specific protein, CORTICAL MICROTUBULE DISORDERING 4 (CORD4), tethers the conserved microtubule-severing protein katanin to facilitate formation of the short-microtubule array in phragmoplasts. CORD4 was specifically expressed during mitosis and localized to preprophase bands and phragmoplast microtubules. Custom-made two-photon spinning disk confocal microscopy revealed that CORD4 rapidly localized to microtubules in the distal phragmoplast zone during phragmoplast assembly at late anaphase and persisted throughout phragmoplast expansion. Loss of CORD4 caused abnormally long and oblique phragmoplast microtubules and slow expansion of phragmoplasts. The p60 katanin subunit, KTN1, localized to the distal phragmoplast zone in a CORD4-dependent manner. These results suggest that CORD4 tethers KTN1 at phragmoplasts to modulate microtubule length, thereby accelerating phragmoplast growth. This reveals the presence of a distinct machinery to accelerate cytokinesis by regulating the action of katanin.


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