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Investigation of the mechanism of retraction of the cell margin and rearward flow of nodules during mitotic cell rounding.

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PMC
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  • Research Article

Abstract

We have studied two types of cell motility directed toward the cell center: retraction of the cell margin and rearward flow of small cytoplasmic nodules during mitotic cell rounding in Potoroo tridactylis kidney (PtK2) cells by time-lapse video microscopy, drug treatments, and photoactivation of fluorescence. Nodules flow rearward on thin, actin-rich fibers (retraction fibers) exposed as the cell margin retracts. Retraction of the cell margin and rearward flow of nodules require intact actin filaments, but are insensitive to an inhibitor of myosin function (butanedione monoxime). Using photoactivation of fluorescence marking, we have determined that actin filaments in the majority of retraction fibers remain stationary while the cell margin retracts and nodules flow rearward. The pointed ends of retraction fiber actin filaments face the cell center. We argue that nodule motility is driven by a novel actin-based force that perhaps also partially contributes to retraction of the cell margin during cell rounding at mitosis.

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