Animal cells, amoebas and yeast divide using a force-generating, actin- and myosin-based contractile ring or 'cytokinetic ring' (CR). Despite intensive research, questions remain about the spatial organization of CR components, the mechanism by which the CR generates force, and how other cellular processes are coordinated with the CR for successful membrane ingression and ultimate cell separation. This Review highlights new findings about the spatial relationship of the CR to the plasma membrane and the arrangement of molecules within the CR from studies using advanced microscopy techniques, as well as mechanistic information obtained from approaches. We also consider advances in understanding coordinated cellular processes that impact the architecture and function of the CR.
© 2019. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.