Dynamics of endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT) machinery during cytokinesis and its role in abscission

Natalie Elia, Rachid Sougrat, Tighe A. Spurlin, James H. Hurley, Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

266 Scopus citations


The final stage of cytokinesis is abscission, the cutting of the narrow membrane bridge connecting two daughter cells. The endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT) machinery is required for cytokinesis, and ESCRT-III has membrane scission activity in vitro, but the role of ESCRTs in abscission has been undefined. Here, we use structured illumination microscopy and timelapse imaging to dissect the behavior of ESCRTs during abscission. Our data reveal that the ESCRT-I subunit tumor-susceptibility gene 101 (TSG101) and the ESCRT-III subunit charged multivesicular body protein 4b (CHMP4B) are sequentially recruited to the center of the intercellular bridge, forming a series of cortical rings. Late in cytokinesis, however, CHMP4B is acutely recruited to the narrow constriction site where abscission occurs. The ESCRT disassembly factor vacuolar protein sorting 4 (VPS4) follows CHMP4B to this site, and cell separation occurs immediately. That arrival of ESCRT-III and VPS4 correlates both spatially and temporally with the abscission event suggests a direct role for these proteins in cytokinetic membrane abscission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4846-4851
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number12
StatePublished - Mar 22 2011


  • Cell division
  • Centrosomal protein of 55 kDa
  • Madin-Darby canine kidney cells
  • Mitotic kinesin-like protein 1
  • Superresolution imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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