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Regulation and Assembly of Actomyosin Contractile Rings in Cytokinesis and Cell Repair

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Cytokinesis and single‐cell wound repair both involve contractile assemblies of filamentous actin (F‐actin) and myosin II organized into characteristic ring‐like arrays. The assembly of these actomyosin contractile rings (CRs) is specified spatially and temporally by small Rho GTPases, which trigger local actin polymerization and myosin II contractility via a variety of downstream effectors. We now have a much clearer view of the Rho GTPase signaling cascade that leads to the formation of CRs, but some factors involved in CR positioning, assembly, and function remain poorly understood. Recent studies show that this regulation is multifactorial and goes beyond the long‐established Ca2+‐dependent processes. There is substantial evidence that the Ca2+‐independent changes in cell shape, tension, and plasma membrane composition that characterize cytokinesis and single‐cell wound repair also regulate CR formation. Elucidating the regulation and mechanistic properties of CRs is important to our understanding of basic cell biology and holds potential for therapeutic applications in human disease. In this review, we present a primer on the factors influencing and regulating CR positioning, assembly, and contraction as they occur in a variety of cytokinetic and single‐cell wound repair models. Anat Rec, 301:2051–2066, 2018. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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Keywords: actomyosin; cell repair; contractile ring; cytokinesis; cytoskeleton

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2018

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