Cytokinesis

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Cytokinesis is the process by which the  parent cell divides its cytoplasm to produce two daughter cells [1]. It is the second part of the M phase (a stage of the eukaryotic cell cycle) and starts late anaphase or early telophase when the chromosomes have seperated. It is then typically followed by mitosis again to continue the cell cycle.

In animal cells, a cleavage furrow visibly develops on the cell surface. This is caused by actin filaments forming a contractile ring beneath the plasma membrane during anaphase [2]. The furrow continues to deepen as the ring contracts, in a plane that is perpendicular to the spindle equator, by interacting with myosin motor proteins [3]. Meanwhile intracellular vesicles fuse with the plasma membrane to seperate the cell into two, this is known as membrane insertion [4].

References

  1. Biochemistry, 6th Edition, Jeremy M. Berg, John L. Tymoczko, Lubert Stryer, W. H. Freeman and Company, New York, 2008
  2. The World of the Cell, 7th Edition, (2009)Becker et al., Pearson: San Fransisco
  3. http://www.biologyreference.com/Co-Dn/Cytokinesis.html
  4. Biochemistry, 6th Edition, Jeremy M. Berg, John L. Tymoczko, Lubert Stryer, W. H. Freeman and Company, New York, 2008
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