Direct evidence for a critical role of myosin II in budding yeast cytokinesis and the evolvability of new cytokinetic mechanisms in the absence of myosin II

Nicola Tolliday, Maria Pitcher, Rong Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, an actomyosin-based contractile ring is present during cytokinesis, as occurs in animal cells. However, the precise requirement for this structure during budding yeast cytokinesis has been controversial. Here we show that deletion of MYO1, the single myosin II gene, is lethal in a commonly used strain background. The terminal pheno-type of myo1Δ is interconnected chains of cells, suggestive of a cytokinesis defect. To further investigate the role of Myo1p in cytokinesis, we conditionally disrupted Myo1 function by using either a dominant negative Myo1p construct or a strain where expression of Myo1p can be shut-off. Both ways of disruption of Myo1 function result in a failure in cytokinesis. Additionally, we show that a myo1Δ strain previously reported to grow nearly as well as the wild type contains a single genetic suppressor that alleviates the severe cytokinesis defects of myo1Δ. Using fluorescence time-lapse imaging and electron microscopy techniques, we show that cytokinesis in this strain is achieved through formation of multiple aberrant septa. Taken together, these results strongly suggest that the actomyosin ring is crucial for successful cytokinesis in budding yeast, but new cytokinetic mechanisms can evolve through genetic changes when myosin II function is impaired.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)798-809
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular biology of the cell
Volume14
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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