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Regulation of the Scaffolding Protein Mid1 in Fission Yeast Cell Division


Cell Biology | Microbiology

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Cell division is an integral process in all biological organisms for growth and reproduction. Yet this process is shrouded in mystery because of its complex and poorly understood mechanisms. Discovering the secrets of these processes will lead to a greater understanding of the unregulated cell division characteristic of cancer and even possible treatments for this disease. Many of the genes that are involved in human cell division are conserved in many other organisms and offer a simpler way to observe and learn about the cell division process. The fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe provides an excellent model organism for such research. The conserved anillin homolog, Mid1, is shown to be a key regulator in cell division and mutants of Mid1 show many cytokinesis defects. For example, in mid1D cells, the septa that forms the new cell wall between dividing cells is often malformed or angled, which causes unequal division of the daughter cells. Both of these phenotypes are caused by misplacement of the contractile ring because Mid1 acts as a scaffold to anchor the structure at the center of the cell. Previous research also shows that Mid1 regulation depends on several enzymatic proteins. The goal of the current research is to examine the interaction between Mid1 and an essential mitotic enzyme, polo kinase, and examine the cytokinesis phenotypes associated with this interaction.