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Cortical PAR polarity proteins promote robust cytokinesis during asymmetric cell division

Jordan, Shawn N.; Davies, Tim; Zhuravlev, Yelena; Dumont, Julien; Shirasu-Hiza, Mimi; Canman, Julie C.


Shawn N. Jordan

Yelena Zhuravlev

Julien Dumont

Mimi Shirasu-Hiza

Julie C. Canman


Cytokinesis, the physical division of one cell into two, is thought to be fundamentally similar in most animal cell divisions and driven by the constriction of a contractile ring positioned and controlled solely by the mitotic spindle. During asymmetric cell divisions, the core polarity machinery (partitioning defective [PAR] proteins) controls the unequal inheritance of key cell fate determinants. Here, we show that in asymmetrically dividing Caenorhabditis elegans embryos, the cortical PAR proteins (including the small guanosine triphosphatase CDC-42) have an active role in regulating recruitment of a critical component of the contractile ring, filamentous actin (F-actin). We found that the cortical PAR proteins are required for the retention of anillin and septin in the anterior pole, which are cytokinesis proteins that our genetic data suggest act as inhibitors of F-actin at the contractile ring. Collectively, our results suggest that the cortical PAR proteins coordinate the establishment of cell polarity with the physical process of cytokinesis during asymmetric cell division to ensure the fidelity of daughter cell formation.


Jordan, S. N., Davies, T., Zhuravlev, Y., Dumont, J., Shirasu-Hiza, M., & Canman, J. C. (2016). Cortical PAR polarity proteins promote robust cytokinesis during asymmetric cell division. Journal of Cell Biology, 212(1), 39-49.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 4, 2015
Online Publication Date Jan 4, 2016
Publication Date 2016
Deposit Date Jan 14, 2020
Journal Journal of Cell Biology
Print ISSN 0021-9525
Electronic ISSN 1540-8140
Publisher Rockefeller University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 212
Issue 1
Pages 39-49
Public URL