The anaphase-promoting complex (APC) is a ubiquitin ligase that controls progression through mitosis by targeting specific proteins for degradation. It is unclear whether the APC also contributes to the control of cytokinesis, the process that divides the cell after mitosis. We addressed this question in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae by studying the effects of APC mutations on the actomyosin ring, a structure containing actin, myosin, and several other proteins that forms at the division site and is important for cytokinesis. In wild-type cells, actomyosin-ring constituents are removed progressively from the ring during contraction and disassembled completely thereafter. In cells lacking the APC activator Cdh1, the actomyosin ring contracts at a normal rate, but ring constituents are not disassembled normally during or after contraction. After cytokinesis in mutant cells, aggregates of ring proteins remain at the division site and at additional foci in other parts of the cell. A key target of APC(Cdh1) is the ring component Iqg1, the destruction of which contributes to actomyosin-ring disassembly. Deletion of CDH1 also exacerbates actomyosin-ring disassembly defects in cells with mutations in the myosin light-chain Mlc2, suggesting that Mlc2 and the APC employ independent mechanisms to promote ring disassembly during cytokinesis.
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