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Cell Div. 2009 Aug 26;4:18. doi: 10.1186/1747-1028-4-18.

Septins: molecular partitioning and the generation of cellular asymmetry.

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  • 1Division of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, Room 16, Barker Hall, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720-3202 USA.


During division, certain cellular contents can be distributed unequally; daughter cells with different fates have different needs. Septins are proteins that participate in the establishment and maintenance of asymmetry during cell morphogenesis, thereby contributing to the unequal partitioning of cellular contents during division. The septins themselves provide a paradigm for studying how elaborate multi-component structures are assembled, dynamically modified, and segregated through each cell division cycle and during development. Here we review our current understanding of the supramolecular organization of septins, the function of septins in cellular compartmentalization, and the mechanisms that control assembly, dynamics, and inheritance of higher-order septin structures, with particular emphasis on recent findings made in budding yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae).

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