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Drosophila melanogaster cellularization is a special form of cleavage that converts syncytial embryos into cellular blastoderms by partitioning the peripherally localized nuclei into individual cells. An early event in cellularization is the recruitment of nonmuscle myosin II ("myosin") to the leading edge of cleavage furrows, where myosin forms an interconnected basal array before reorganizing into individual cytokinetic rings. The initial recruitment and organization of basal myosin are regulated by a cellularization-specific gene, dunk, but the underlying mechanism is unclear. Through a genome-wide yeast two-hybrid screen, we identified anillin (Scraps in Drosophila), a conserved scaffolding protein in cytokinesis, as the primary binding partner of Dunk. Dunk colocalizes with anillin and regulates its cortical localization during the formation of cleavage furrows, while the localization of Dunk is independent of anillin. Furthermore, Dunk genetically interacts with anillin to regulate the basal myosin array during cellularization. Similar to Dunk, anillin colocalizes with myosin since the very early stage of cellularization and is required for myosin retention at the basal array, before the well-documented function of anillin in regulating cytokinetic ring assembly. Based on these results, we propose that Dunk regulates myosin recruitment and spatial organization during early cellularization by interacting with and regulating anillin.


Jiayang Chen, Andreia F Verissimo, Angela R Kull, Bing He. Early zygotic gene product Dunk interacts with anillin to regulate Myosin II during Drosophila cleavage. Molecular biology of the cell. 2023 Sep 01;34(10):ar102

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PMID: 37494082

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