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Join Dr Kenji Sugioka from University of British Columbia for a Force Talk entitled "Mechanical regulation of cytokinesis during embryogenesis".


Cytokinesis is a mechanism that separates dividing cells via the constriction of the contractile ring. Its failure is a hallmark of solid tumours and induces tumorigenesis in model organisms. Although cytokinesis has been intensely studied in cell culture systems, yeast, and animal zygotes, multicellular-specific regulation of cytokinesis is inadequately investigated. The unique aspect of cytokinesis in multicellular tissues is the mechanical influence from and to the surrounding cells. For example, asymmetric stiffness in neighboring cells is sensed by the contractile ring, resulting in asymmetric contractile ring closure (mechanosensation), and influencing cellular patterning through deforming neighboring cells (mechanotransduction). Conversely, excessively stiff neighboring cells cause cytokinesis failure, posing mechanical insults. Thus, cytokinesis should be sensitive to mechanical stress during morphogenesis, yet improper mechanosensitivity would increase the risk of tumorigenesis due to cytokinesis failure. Despite its significance, mechanisms of contractile ring mechanosensation and the role of mechanotransduction during embryogenesis remain elusive. By using Caenorhabditis elegans embryos as a model system, our studies show that cortical flow, a concerted movement of the cell cortex, plays important roles in both mechanosensation and mechanotransduction of the contractile ring1,2. Unpublished data also suggest that mechanical regulation of cytokinesis influences asymmetric cell division and the establishment of body left-right asymmetry during C. elegans development.


1) Sugioka and Bowerman (2018) Developmental Cell 46(3), 257-270.e5

2) Hsu, Sangha, Fan, Zheng, and Sugioka., (2023) Nature Communications 14(1), 8138.


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At this event

Sergi  Garcia-Manyes

Professor of Biophysics