The role of anillin/Mid1p during medial division and cytokinesis: from fission yeast to cancer cells

Imane M. Rezig, Wandiahyel G. Yaduma, Gwyn W. Gould, Christopher J. McInerny

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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Cytokinesis is the final stage of cell division cycle when cellular constituents are separated to produce two daughter cells. This process is driven by the formation and constriction of a contractile ring. Progression of these events is controlled by mechanisms and proteins that are evolutionary conserved in eukaryotes from fungi to humans. Genetic and molecular studies in different model organisms identified essential cytokinesis genes, with several conserved proteins, including the anillin/Mid1p proteins, constituting the core cytokinetic machinery. The fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe represents a well-established model organism to study eukaryotic cell cycle regulation. Cytokinesis in fission yeast and mammalian cells depends on the placement, assembly, maturation, and constriction of a medially located actin-myosin contractile ring (ACR). Here, we review aspects of the ACR assembly and cytokinesis process in fission yeast and consider the regulation of such events in mammalian cells. First, we briefly describe the role of anillin during mammalian ACR assembly and cytokinesis. Second, we describe different aspects of the anillin-like protein Mid1p regulation during the S. pombe cell cycle, including its structure, function, and phospho-regulation. Third, we briefly discuss Mid1pindependent ACR assembly in S. pombe. Fourth, we highlight emerging studies demonstrating the roles of anillin in human tumourigenesis introducing anillin as a potential drug target for cancer treatment. Collectively, we provide an overview of the current understanding of medial division and cytokinesis in S. pombe and suggest the implications of these observations in other eukaryotic organisms, including humans.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)633-644
Number of pages12
JournalCell Cycle
Issue number6
Early online date25 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - 19 Mar 2023


  • cell biology
  • developmental biology
  • molecular biology


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