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Biol Chem. 2011 Aug;392(8-9):763-7. doi: 10.1515/BC.2011.079. Epub 2011 Aug 2.

Septin genomics: a road less travelled.

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  • 1Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology, Queens University Belfast, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK.


The human septins are part of a gene family, that is a group of genes with similar sequences and usually but not invariably share similar functions that are descended from a common ancestor. Here we review our current knowledge of the human septin gene family and highlight areas of uncertainty. Currently 13 human septin genes are known (SEPT1 to SEPT12 and SEPT14). What was known as SEPT13 is now defined as one of many SEPT7 related pseudogenes. The family is characterized by complex genomics and extensive (but not universal) splicing, giving rise to a plethora of septin isoforms. For only a few members of the family do we have a comprehensive insight into these transcripts and isoforms. Given the formation of countless septin homotypic and heterotypic interactions our understanding of the biology and pathobiology of the septin family will require a detailed understanding of the genomics, transcriptomics and regulation of all members of this diverse and complex family.

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