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Fungal Genet Biol. 2003 Dec;40(3):187-96.

Septation and cytokinesis in fungi.

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Department of Microbiology, Hans-Knöll Institute, Friedrich-Schiller University Jena, Winzerlaer, Germany.


Cytokinesis is the ultimate step of a cell cycle resulting in the generation of two progeny. Failure of correct cell division may be lethal for both, mother and daughter cells, and thus such a process must be tightly regulated with other events of the cell cycle. Differing solutions to the same problem have been developed in bacteria and plants while cytokinesis in animal and fungal cells is highly similar and requires a contractile ring containing actomyosin. Cytokinesis in fungi can be viewed as a three-stage process: (i) selection of a division site, (ii) orderly assembly of protein complexes, and finally (iii) dynamic events that lead to a constriction of the contractile ring and septum construction. Elaborate mechanisms known as the Mitotic Exit Network (MEN) and the Septation Initiation Network (SIN) have evolved to link these events, particularly the final steps of cytokinesis, with nuclear division. The purpose of this review was to discuss the latest developments in the fungal field and to describe the central known players required for key steps on the road to cell division. Differences in the cytokinesis of yeast-like fungi that result in complete cell separation in contrast to septation which leads to the compartmentalization of fungal hyphae are highlighted.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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