In vivo analysis of cell division during vertebrate development
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In this work, we identified and characterized developmentally regulated aspects to cell division in the Xenopus laevis. We found that cells in the early neural plate divide in an oriented manner. This orientation is established by Cdc42 controlled maintenance of stable interactions between the spindle and the cell cortex. This role of Cdc42 is developmentally regulated and cells dividing later in a related tissue, the tail epidermis, are not under this control. Moreover, we find that the cell divisions in the early neural plate are further specialized in their mechanisms of cell division. Cells in the early neural plate exhibit exaggerated anaphase-B movements, a delayed onset of cytokinesis, low density of midzone microtubules and a rapid cytokinetic furrow ingression as compared to the late tail epidermis, another ectodermally derived tissue. These modifications to the mechanism of cell division appear to be because of a reduced level of PRC1, a microtubule bundling protein, and thus modifications to the central spindle structure. Finally, we find that cytokinetic mechanisms may be functionally related to the process of ciliogenesis. We find proteins known to localize to the central spindle localized to the rootlet of the basal body of cilia in multiciliated cells of the mucociliary epidermis. This localization may be related to vesicle transport during both these processes. This work reveals unexpected plasticity to fundamental mechanisms of cell division.