Sherman, S.; Kirchenbuechler, D.; Nachmias, D.; Tamir, A.; Werner, S.; Elbaum, M.; Elia, N.: Resolving new ultrastructural features of cytokinetic abscission with soft-X-ray cryo-tomography. Scientific Reports 6 (2016), p. 2762971-11
Open Access Version
Mammalian cytokinetic abscission is mediated by the ESCRT membrane fission machinery. While much has been clarified on the topology and kinetics of abscission through high-resolution microscopy, key questions regarding the mechanism of abscission remain open. Here we apply cryogenic soft-X-ray tomography to elucidate new ultrastructural details in the intercellular membrane bridge connecting cells undergoing abscission. In particular, we resolve defined ring-like structures inside the midbody dark zone that have been inaccessible to EM, and identify membrane extrusions at the abscission sites. In cells at late stages of abscission we resolve a complex array of helical spirals, extending the structural information obtained by EM. Our results highlight the advantages of soft-X-ray tomography and emphasize the importance of using complementary approaches for characterizing cellular structures. Notably, by providing new structural data from intact cells we present a realistic view on the topology of abscission and suggest new mechanistic models for ESCRT mediated abscission.