Cytokinesis is a sequential process that occurs in three phases: assembly of the cytokinetic apparatus, furrow progression and fission (abscission) of the newly formed daughter cells. The ingression of the cleavage furrow is dependent on the constriction of an equatorial actomyosin ring in many cell types. Recent studies have demonstrated that this structure is highly dynamic and undergoes active polymerization and depolymerization throughout the furrowing process. Despite much progress in the identification of contractile ring components, little is known regarding the mechanism of its assembly and structural rearrangements. PIP2 (phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate) is a critical regulator of actin dynamics and plays an essential role in cell motility and adhesion. Recent studies have indicated that an elevation of PIP2 at the cleavage furrow is a critical event for furrow stability. In this review we discuss the role of PIP2-mediated signalling in the structural maintenance of the contractile ring and furrow progression. In addition, we address the role of other phosphoinositides, PI(4)P (phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate) and PIP3 (phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-triphosphate) in these processes.