Shortening of microtubule overlap regions defines membrane delivery sites during plant cytokinesis
de Keijzer, Jeroen
Janson, Marcel E.
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Different from animal cells that divide by constriction of the cortex inwards, cells of land plants divide by initiating a new cell wall segment from their centre. For this, a disk-shaped, membrane-enclosed precursor termed the cell plate is formed that radially expands towards the parental cell wall. The synthesis of the plate starts with the fusion of vesicles into a tubulo-vesicular network. Vesicles are putatively delivered to the division plane by transport along microtubules of the bipolar phragmoplast network that guides plate assembly. How vesicle immobilisation and fusion are then locally triggered is unclear. In general, a framework for how the cytoskeleton spatially defines cell plate formation is lacking. Here we show that membranous material for cell plate formation initially accumulates along regions of microtubule overlap in the phragmoplast of the moss Physcomitrella patens. Kinesin-4 mediated shortening of these overlaps at the onset of cytokinesis proved to be required to spatially confine membrane accumulation. Without shortening, the wider cell plate membrane depositions evolved into cell walls that were thick and irregularly shaped. Phragmoplast assembly thus provides a regular lattice of short overlaps on which a new cell wall segment can be scaffolded. Since similar patterns of overlaps form in central spindles of animal cells, involving the activity of orthologous proteins, we anticipate that our results will help uncover universal features underlying membrane-cytoskeleton coordination during cytokinesis.
© The Author(s), 2016. This is the author's version of the work and is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Current Biology 27 (2017): 514-520, doi:10.1016/j.cub.2016.12.043.
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