Cytokinesis generates a midbody remnant (MBR) that is retained by a daughter cell or captured by distant cells, and can then influence cell fate or promote cell proliferation.
Recently, we achieved the purification of intact MBRs from HeLa cells and reported the quantitative proteome of this organelle that we termed Flemmingsome. Looking back on the results, we were intrigued to identify BST2/CD317/tetherin, a restriction factor for numerous enveloped viruses, as an enriched protein in MBRs.
In this new study, we report that BST2/tetherin is indeed enriched at the surface of cytokinetic midbodies in a variety of cells. We show that the restriction factor promotes MBR retention at the cell surface via a mechanism that relies on its GPI anchor. This work reveals a tethering role for BST2 in uninfected cells and a novel and unexpected parallel between cytokinesis and viral biology.
The viral restriction factor tetherin/BST2 tethers cytokinetic midbody remnants to the cell surface, Current Biology, 11 Mar. 2021.
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To read the press release: here