Cytokinesis in mammalian cells requires actin assembly at the equatorial region. Although functions of RhoA in this process have been well established, additional mechanisms are likely involved. We have examined if Cdc42 is involved in actin assembly during cytokinesis. Depletion of Cdc42 had no apparent effects on the duration of cytokinesis, while overexpression of constitutively active Cdc42 (CACdc42) caused cytokinesis failure in normal rat kidney epithelial cells. Cells depleted of Cdc42 displayed abnormal cell morphology and caused a failure of tight accumulation of actin and RhoA at the equator. In contrast, in cells overexpressing CACdc42, actin formed abnormal bundles and RhoA was largely eliminated from the equator. Our results suggest that accurate regulation of Cdc42 activity is crucial for proper equatorial actin assembly and RhoA localization during cytokinesis. Notably, our observations also suggest that tight actin concentration is not essential for cytokinesis in adherent mammalian cells.
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