The fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe undergoes cell division through a medially placed actomyosin-based contractile ring. One of the key components of this ring is the F-actin based motor protein myosin II. The myosin II heavy chain Myo2p has two light-chain-binding domains, IQ1 and IQ2, which bind the essential light chain, Cdc4p, and the regulatory light chain, Rlc1p. Previously, we have reported the characterization of cells expressing Myo2p lacking the IQ2 domain that facilitates Myo2p interaction with Rlc1p. In this study, we have created and characterized S. pombe strains carrying precise deletions of IQ1 and the entire neck region encompassing the IQ1 and IQ2 domains. Surprisingly, we found that the entire neck region of Myo2p is dispensable for Myo2p function. Cells deleted for IQ1, IQ2 and the entire neck region of Myo2p do not display any obvious cytoskeletal abnormalities. Immunofluorescence studies indicated that Cdc4p localizes at the ring in early and late mitotic cells in a strain in which interactions of Cdc4p with both the myosin II heavy chains (Myo2p and Myp2p) are abolished. Unlike mutations in Rlc1p that are suppressed by a simultaneous deletion of its binding site on Myo2p, mutations in the essential light chain Cdc4p are not suppressed by deletion of its binding sites on Myo2p, suggesting that Cdc4p may have additional partners essential for cytokinesis. Consistent with this, we provide evidence that two other IQ-domain containing actomyosin ring proteins, Rng2p (an IQGAP-related protein) and Myo51p (a type V myosin heavy chain), physically interact with Cdc4p. We concluded that Cdc4p, a novel myosin light chain, interacts with multiple actomyosin ring components to effect cytokinesis.
2001 by Japan Society for Cell Biology