Deconvolution of the cellular force-generating subsystems that govern cytokinesis furrow ingression

Christopher C. Poirier, Win Pin Ng, Douglas N. Robinson, Pablo A. Iglesias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Cytokinesis occurs through the coordinated action of several biochemically-mediated stresses acting on the cytoskeleton. Here, we develop a computational model of cellular mechanics, and using a large number of experimentally measured biophysical parameters, we simulate cell division under a number of different scenarios. We demonstrate that traction-mediated protrusive forces or contractile forces due to myosin II are sufficient to initiate furrow ingression. Furthermore, we show that passive forces due to the cell's cortical tension and surface curvature allow the furrow to complete ingression. We compare quantitatively the furrow thinning trajectories obtained from simulation with those observed experimentally in both wild-type and myosin II null Dictyostelium cells. Our simulations highlight the relative contributions of different biomechanical subsystems to cell shape progression during cell division.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1002467
JournalPLoS computational biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Ecology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


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