2023 journal article
Actin-Microtubule Crosstalk Imparts Stiffness to the Contractile Ring in Fission Yeast
Actin-microtubule interactions are critical for cell division, yet how these networks of polymers mutually influence their mechanical properties and functions in live cells remains unknown. In fission yeast, the post-anaphase array (PAA) of microtubules assembles in the plane of the contractile ring, and its assembly relies on the Myp2p-dependent recruitment of Mto1p, a component of equatorial microtubule organizing centers (eMTOCs). The general organization of this array of microtubules and the impact on their physical attachment to the contractile ring remain unclear. We found that Myp2p facilitates the recruitment of Mto1p to the inner face of the contractile ring, where the eMTOCs polymerize microtubules without their direct interaction. The PAA microtubules form a dynamic polygon of Ase1p crosslinked microtubules inside the contractile ring. The specific loss of PAA microtubules affects the mechanical properties of the contractile ring of actin by lowering its stiffness. This change in the mechanical properties of the ring has no measurable impact on cytokinesis or on the anchoring of the ring. Our work proposes that the PAA microtubules exploit the contractile ring for their assembly and function during cell division, while the contractile ring may receive no benefit from these interactions.