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Curr Opin Microbiol. 2006 Dec;9(6):559-65. Epub 2006 Oct 25.

Septin localization across kingdoms: three themes with variations.

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  • 1Department of Plant Biology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA.


Septins are GTPases that form filaments in fungi and animals. In addition to their original role in cell division, septins have been shown to have roles in coordinating nuclear division, membrane trafficking and organizing the cytoskeleton. Many recent studies have examined subcellular localization of septins in a wide range of fungi and animals. Septin localization shows three patterns, which generally correspond to function across kingdoms. Septins that localize to projections shape and compartmentalize emerging growth. Septins that localize to partitions compartmentalize pre-existing cellular material. Septins that localize to the whole cell are involved in membrane trafficking and organizing the cytoskeleton and are most often in animals. The difference in localization pattern frequency between kingdoms will probably disappear as more septins are examined in diverse organisms and tissues.

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