Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences

, Volume 64, Issue 23, pp 3044–3058 | Cite as

Cytokinesis in development and disease: variations on a common theme



Cytokinesis is a crucial step in cell proliferation, and remarkably, it is also an important mechanism for developmental regulation in the generation of diverse cell types in eukaryotic organisms. Successful cytokinesis relies on the assembly and activation of an actomyosin-based contractile ring and membrane deposition/fusion in a spatially and temporally precise manner. As such, the molecular pathways governing cytokinesis are highly complex, involving a large number of components forming intricate interactive networks. The complexity of this system, however, may have also provided a rich platform for evolutionary ‘tinkering’ to achieve specific morphogenetic and developmental outcomes. Furthermore, failed or altered cytokinesis appears to contribute to the development of cancer in unexpected ways.


Cytokinesis asymmetric cell division polar body extrusion enucleation polyploidization 


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Copyright information

© Birkhaueser 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Stowers Institute for Medical ResearchKansas CityUSA

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