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Biol Chem. 2013 Feb;394(2):189-202. doi: 10.1515/hsz-2012-0241.

Microcompartments within the yeast plasma membrane.

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Department of Biology/Chemistry, University of Osnabrück, Animal Physiology, Barbarastr. 11, 49076 Osnabrück, Germany.


Recent research in cell biology makes it increasingly clear that the classical concept of compartmentation of eukaryotic cells into different organelles performing distinct functions has to be extended by microcompartmentation, i.e., the dynamic interaction of proteins, sugars, and lipids at a suborganellar level, which contributes significantly to a proper physiology. As different membrane compartments (MCs) have been described in the yeast plasma membrane, such as those defined by Can1 and Pma1 (MCCs and MCPs), Saccharomyces cerevisiae can serve as a model organism, which is amenable to genetic, biochemical, and microscopic studies. In this review, we compare the specialized microcompartment of the yeast bud neck with other plasma membrane substructures, focusing on eisosomes, cell wall integrity-sensing units, and chitin-synthesizing complexes. Together, they ensure a proper cell division at the end of mitosis, an intricately regulated process, which is essential for the survival and proliferation not only of fungal, but of all eukaryotic cells.

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