Cell reports

Resolving ESCRT-III Spirals at the Intercellular Bridge of Dividing Cells Using 3D STORM.

PMID 30110633


The ESCRT machinery mediates membrane fission in a variety of processes in cells. According to current models, ESCRT-III proteins drive membrane fission by assembling into helical filaments on membranes. Here, we used 3D STORM imaging of endogenous ESCRT-III component IST1 to reveal the evolution of the structural organization of ESCRT-III in mammalian cytokinetic abscission. Using this approach, ESCRT-III ring and spiral assemblies were resolved and characterized at different stages of abscission. Visualization of IST1 structures in cells lacking the microtubule-severing enzyme spastin and in cells depleted of specific ESCRT-III components or the ATPase VPS4 demonstrated the contribution of these components to the organization and function of ESCRTs in cells. This work provides direct evidence that ESCRT-III proteins form helical filaments to mediate their function in cells and raises new mechanistic scenarios for ESCRT-driven cytokinetic abscission.