PtdIns(4,5)P2 functions at the cleavage furrow during cytokinesis
Phosphoinositides play important roles in regulating the cytoskeleton and vesicle trafficking, potentially important processes at the cleavage furrow. However, it remains unclear which, if any, of the phosphoinositides play a role during cytokinesis. A systematic analysis to determine if any of the phosphoinositides might be present or of functional importance at the cleavage furrow has not been published. Several studies hint at a possible role for one or more phosphoinositides at the cleavage furrow. The best of these are genetic data identifying mutations in phosphoinositide-modifying enzymes (a PtdIns(4)P-5-kinase in S. pombe and a PI-4-kinase in D. melanogaster) that interfere with cytokinesis. The genetic nature of these experiments leaves questions as to how direct may be their contribution to cytokinesis. Here we show that a single phosphoinositide, PtdIns(4,5)P2, specifically accumulates at the furrow. Interference with PtdIns(4,5)P2 interferes with adhesion of the plasma membrane to the contractile ring at the furrow. Finally, four distinct interventions to specifically interfere with PtdIns(4,5)P2 each impair cytokinesis. We conclude that PtdIns(4,5)P2 is present at the cleavage furrow and is required for normal cytokinesis at least in part because of a role in adhesion between the contractile ring and the plasma membrane.