Cytokinesis is the process by which a cell physically divides in two at the conclusion of a cell cycle. In animal and fungal cells, this process is mediated by a conserved set of proteins including actin, type II myosin, IQGAP proteins, F-BAR proteins, and the septins. To facilitate biochemical and ultrastructural analysis of cytokinesis, we have isolated and partially purified the Saccharomyces cerevisiae cytokinetic apparatus. The isolated apparatus contains all components of the actomyosin ring for which we tested-actin, myosin heavy and light chain, and IQGAP-as well as septins and the cytokinetic F-BAR protein, Hof1p. We also present evidence indicating that the actomyosin rings associated with isolated cytokinetic apparati may be contractile in vitro, and show preliminary electron microscopic imaging of the cytokinetic apparatus. This first successful isolation of the cytokinetic apparatus from a genetically tractable organism promises to make possible a deeper understanding of cytokinesis. Cell Motil. Cytoskeleton 2009. (c) 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
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