Cytokinesis is the final stage in cell division. Although integrins can regulate cytokinesis, the mechanisms involved are not fully understood. In this study, we demonstrate that integrin-regulated ERK (extracellular signal-related kinase) and RSK (p90 ribosomal S6 kinase) signaling promotes successful cytokinesis. Inhibiting the activation of ERK and RSK in CHO cells by a mutation in the integrin β1 cytoplasmic tail or with pharmacological inhibitors results in the accumulation of cells with midbodies and the formation of binucleated cells. Activation of ERK and RSK signaling by the expression of constitutively active RAF1 suppresses the mutant phenotype in a RSK-dependent manner. Constitutively active RSK2 also restores cytokinesis inhibited by the mutant integrin. Importantly, the regulatory role of the RSK pathway is not specific to CHO cells. MCF-10A human mammary epithelial cells and HPNE human pancreatic ductal epithelial cells exhibit a similar dependence on RSK for successful cytokinesis. In addition, depriving mitotic MCF10A cells of integrin-mediated adhesion by incubating them in suspension suppressed ERK and RSK activation and resulted in a failure of cytokinesis. Furthermore, inhibition of RSK or integrins within the 3D context of a developing salivary gland organ explant also leads to an accumulation of epithelial cells with midbodies, suggesting a similar defect in cytokinesis. Interestingly, neither ERK nor RSK regulates cytokinesis in human fibroblasts, suggesting cell-type specificity. Taken together, our results identify the integrin-RSK signaling axis as an important regulator of cytokinesis in epithelial cells. We propose that the proper interaction of cells with their microenvironment through integrins contributes to the maintenance of genomic stability by promoting the successful completion of cytokinesis.
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