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The regulation of abscission by multi-protein complexes
Hélia Neto, Gwyn W. Gould


The terminal stage of cytokinesis – a process termed abscission – is the severing of the thin intercellular bridge that connects the two daughter cells. Recent work provides new insight into the mechanism by which this microtubule-dense membrane bridge is resolved, and highlights important roles for multi-protein assemblies in different facets of abscission. These include the endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT), which appears to have a decisive role in the final scission event, and vesicle tethering complexes, which potentially act at an earlier stage, and might serve to prepare the abscission site. Here, we review recent studies of the structure, function and regulation of these complexes as related to abscission. We focus largely on studies of cytokinesis in mammalian cells. However, cell division in other systems, such as plants and Archae, is also considered, reflecting the mechanistic conservation of membrane-scission processes during cell division.

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