Cell division in many eukaryotes is driven by a ring containing actin and myosin. While much is known about the main proteins involved, the precise arrangement of actin filaments within the contractile machinery, and how force is transmitted to the membrane, remains unclear. Here we use cryosectioning and cryofocused ion beam milling to gain access to cryopreserved actomyosin rings in Schizosaccharomyces pombe for direct 3D imaging by electron cryotomography. Our results show that straight, overlapping actin filaments, running nearly parallel to each other and to the membrane, form a loose bundle of ~150 nm in diameter that “saddles” the inward-bending membrane at the leading edge of the division septum. The filaments do not make direct contact with the membrane. Our analysis of the actin filaments reveals the variability in filament number, nearest-neighbor distances between filaments within the bundle, their distance from the membrane, and angular distribution with respect to the membrane.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Feb 13 2018|
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