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Open Access Open Badges Research article

Inhibition of cytokinesis by wiskostatin does not rely on N-WASP/Arp2/3 complex pathway

Guillaume Bompard*, Gabriel Rabeharivelo and Nathalie Morin

Author Affiliations

CRBM, CNRS UMR 5237, Université Montpellier I et II, 1919 route de Mende, 34293 Montpellier Cedex 5, France

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BMC Cell Biology 2008, 9:42  doi:10.1186/1471-2121-9-42

Published: 30 July 2008



Cytokinesis is the final step of cell division taking place at the end of mitosis during which the cytoplasmic content and replicated chromosomes of a cell are equally partitioned between the two daughter cells. This process is achieved by the formation and the ingression of an actomyosin contractile ring under the control of equatorial microtubules. The mechanisms of contractile ring formation are not fully understood but involve recruitment of preexisting actin filaments and de novo actin polymerisation.


In this study, we evaluated the role of the actin nucleation factor, Arp2/3 complex, during cytokinesis. We found that the Arp2/3 complex is recruited late to the cleavage furrow suggesting a potential involvement of Arp2/3 complex during this process. Furthermore, wiskostatin a potent inhibitor of N-WASP activity towards the Arp2/3 complex blocked cytokinesis without affecting mitosis. Nonetheless, this inhibition could not be reproduced using alternative approaches targeting the N-WASP/Arp2/3 complex pathway.


We conclude that the wiskostatin induced defective cytokinesis does not occur through the inhibition of the N-WASP/Arp2/3 pathway. Wiskostatin is likely to either directly target other proteins required for cytokinesis progression or alternately wiskostatin bound to N-WASP could affect the activity of other factors involved in cytokinesis.