Life and Medical Sciences
Cell & Developmental Biology
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
Actin and the light chains of myosin were labeled with fluorescent dyes and injected into interphase PtK2 cells in order to study the changes in distribution of actin and myosin that occurred when the injected cells subsequently entered mitosis and divided. The first changes occurred when stress fibers in prophase cells began to disassemble. During this process, which began in the center of the cell, individual fibers shortened, and in a few fibers, adjacent bands of fluorescent myosin could be seen to move closer together. In most cells, stress fiber disassembly was complete by metaphase, resulting in a diffuse distribution of the fluorescent proteins throughout the cytoplasm with the greatest concentration present in the mitotic spindle. The first evidence of actin and myosin concentration in a cleavage ring occurred at late anaphase, just before furrowing could be detected. Initially, the intensity of fluorescence and the width of the fluorescent ring increased as the ring constricted. In cells with asymmetrically positioned mitotic spindles, both protein concentration and furrowing were first evident in the cortical regions closest to the equator of the mitotic spindle. As cytokinesis progressed in such asymmetrically dividing cells, fluorescent actin and myosin appeared at the opposite side of the cell just before furrowing activity could be seen there. At the end of cytokinesis, myosin and actin were concentrated beneath the membrane of the midbody and subsequently became organized in two rings at either end of the midbody.
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