A direct interaction between survivin and myosin II is required for cytokinesis.J Cell Sci 2019; 132(14)JC
An acto-myosin contractile ring, which forms after anaphase onset and is highly regulated in time and space, mediates cytokinesis, the final step of mitosis. The chromosomal passenger complex (CPC), composed of Aurora-B kinase, INCENP, borealin and survivin (also known as BIRC5), regulates various processes during mitosis, including cytokinesis. It is not understood, however, how CPC regulates cytokinesis. We show that survivin binds to non-muscle myosin II (NMII), regulating its filament assembly. Survivin and NMII interact mainly in telophase, and Cdk1 regulates their interaction in a mitotic-phase-specific manner, revealing the mechanism for the specific timing of survivin-NMII interaction during mitosis. The survivin-NMII interaction is indispensable for cytokinesis, and its disruption leads to multiple mitotic defects. We further show that only the survivin homodimer binds to NMII, attesting to the biological importance for survivin homodimerization. We suggest a novel function for survivin in regulating the spatio-temporal formation of the acto-NMII contractile ring during cytokinesis and we elucidate the role of Cdk1 in regulating this process.This article has an associated First Person interview with the first author of the paper.