Use of abnormal preprophase bands to decipher division plane determination

Cheryl L. Granger, Richard Cyr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Many premitotic plant cells possess a cortical preprophase band of microtubules and actin filaments that encircles the nucleus. In vacuolated cells, the preprophase band is visibly connected to the nucleus by a cytoplasmic raft of actin filaments and microtubules termed the phragmosome. Typically, the location of the preprophase band and phragmosome corresponds to, and thus is thought to influence, the location of the cell division plane. To better understand the function of the preprophase band and phragmosome in orienting division, we used a green fluorescent protein-based microtubule reporter protein to observe mitosis in living tobacco bright yellow 2 cells possessing unusual preprophase bands. Observations of mitosis in these unusual cells support the involvement of the preprophase band/phragmosome in properly positioning the preprophase nucleus, influencing spindle orientation such that the cytokinetic phragmoplast initially grows in an appropriated direction, and delineating a region in the cell cortex that attracts microtubules and directs later stages of phragmoplast growth. Thus, the preprophase band/phragmosome appears to perform several interrelated functions to orient the division plane. However, functional information associated with the preprophase band is not always used or needed and there appears to be an age or distance-dependent character to the information. Cells treated with the anti-actin drug, latrunculin B, are still able to position the preprophase nucleus suggesting that microtubules may play a dominant role in premitotic positioning. Furthermore, in treated cells, spindle location and phragmoplast insertion are frequently abnormal suggesting that actin plays a significant role in nuclear anchoring and phragmoplast guidance. Thus, the microtubule and actin components of the preprophase band/phragmosome execute complementary activities to ensure proper orientation of the division plane.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)599-607
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cell Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 14 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cell Biology


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