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Mol Cell. 2000 May;5(5):841-51.

Compartmentalization of the cell cortex by septins is required for maintenance of cell polarity in yeast.

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Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 06520, USA.


Formation and maintenance of specialized plasma membrane domains are crucial for many biological processes, such as cell polarization and signaling. During isotropic bud growth, the yeast cell periphery is divided into two domains: the bud surface, an active site of exocytosis and growth, and the relatively quiescent surface of the mother cell. We found that cells lacking septins at the bud neck failed to maintain the exocytosis and morphogenesis factors Spa2, Sec3, Sec5, and Myo2 in the bud during isotropic growth. Furthermore, we found that septins were required for proper regulation of actin patch stability; septin-defective cells permitted to enter isotropic growth lost actin and growth polarity. We propose that septins maintain cell polarity by specifying a boundary between cortical domains.

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