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Curr Opin Microbiol. 2006 Dec;9(6):540-6. Epub 2006 Oct 19.

Eavesdropping on the cytoskeleton: progress and controversy in the yeast morphogenesis checkpoint.

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Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology, Box 3813, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA.


The morphogenesis checkpoint provides a link between bud formation and mitosis in yeast. In this pathway, insults affecting the actin or septin cytoskeleton trigger a cell cycle arrest, mediated by the Wee1 homolog Swe1p, which catalyzes the inhibitory phosphorylation of the mitosis-promoting cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) on a conserved tyrosine residue. Analyses of Swe1p phosphorylation have mapped 61 sites targeted by CDKs and Polo-related kinases, which control both Swe1p activity and Swe1p degradation. Although the sites themselves are not evolutionarily conserved, the control of Swe1p degradation exhibits many conserved features, and is linked to DNA-responsive checkpoints in vertebrate cells. At the 'sensing' end of the checkpoint, recent work has begun to shed light on how septins are organized and how they impact Swe1p regulators. However, the means by which Swe1p responds to actin perturbations once a bud has formed remains controversial.

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