In order to identify additional components important for cell division in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe we have screened a bank of conditional cold-sensitive mutants for cytokinesis defects. One of these mutants showed a delay in cell cleavage, and strong genetic interactions with other genes implicated in medial ring formation. Cloning of the corresponding gene indicates that it encodes a protein with significant homology to the regulatory light chain of non-muscle myosins. We have named the gene rlc1 (regulatory light chain 1). The gene is not essential for division, but null mutants display a cell cleavage defect and form an aberrant F-actin ring. Two myosin-II heavy chains have been identified in fission yeast: Co-immunoprecipitation experiments indicate that rlc1p associates more strongly with myo3p than myo2p.
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