Genetic approaches to dissect the mechanisms of two distinct pathways of cell cycle-coupled cytokinesis in Dictyostelium

Akira Nagasaki, Makoto Hibi, Yukako Asano, Taro Q.P. Uyeda*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Dictyostelium discoideum is a unique experimental organism which allows genetic analysis of the mechanism of cytokinesis of the animal type, and a number of mutations which affect cytokinesis in one way or other have been identified. Myosin II filaments accumulate in the equatorial region, and myosin II-null cells cannot divide in suspension, indicating that active, myosin II-dependent constriction of the cleavage furrow contributes to bisection of the cell. We refer to this method of cytokinesis as cytokinesis A. On substrates, however, myosin II-null cells divide efficiently in a cell cycle-coupled manner. This adhesion-dependent but myosin II-independent division method, which we termed cytokinesis B, is carried out by a pathway that is genetically distinct from that of cytokinesis A. Morphological analyses suggested that cytokinesis B is driven by radial traction forces generated along polar peripheries, which indirectly cause furrow ingression. Identification of two redundant pathways have allowed us to search genes involved in either pathway by mutagenizing cells which are already defective in one of the pathways. This approach enabled us to identify a number of novel cytokinesis-related genes, as well as to reclassify known genes as cytokinesis-related.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)585-591
Number of pages7
JournalCell Structure and Function
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • AmiA
  • Cellular slime mold
  • Coronin
  • Myosin II

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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