Cytokinesis: Robust cell shape regulation

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Cytokinesis, the final step of cell division, is a great example of robust cell shape regulation. A wide variety of cells ranging from the unicellular Dictyostelium to human cells in tissues proceed through highly similar, stereotypical cell shape changes during cell division. Typically, cells first round up forming a cleavage furrow in the middle, which constricts resulting in the formation of two daughter cells. Tight control of cytokinesis is essential for proper segregation of genetic and cellular materials, and its failure is deleterious to cell viability. Thus, biological systems have developed elaborate mechanisms to ensure high fidelity of cytokinesis, including the existence of multiple biochemical and mechanical pathways regulated through feedback. In this review, we focus on the built-in redundancy of the cytoskeletal machinery that allows cells to divide successfully in a variety of biological and mechanical contexts. Using Dictyostelium cytokinesis as an example, we demonstrate that the crosstalk between biochemical and mechanical signaling through feedback ensures correct assembly and function of the cell division machinery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-44
Number of pages6
JournalSeminars in Cell and Developmental Biology
StatePublished - May 1 2016


  • Actomyosin contractility
  • Cell mechanics
  • Control system
  • Cytokinesis
  • Feedback

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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