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PLoS Biol. 2013;11(2):e1001495. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1001495. Epub 2013 Feb 26.

A safeguard mechanism regulates Rho GTPases to coordinate cytokinesis with the establishment of cell polarity.

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Molecular Biology of Centrosomes and Cilia Unit, DKFZ-ZMBH Alliance, German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, Germany.


The spatiotemporal control of cell polarity is crucial for the development of multicellular organisms and for reliable polarity switches during cell cycle progression in unicellular systems. A tight control of cell polarity is especially important in haploid budding yeast, where the new polarity site (bud site) is established next to the cell division site after cell separation. How cells coordinate the temporal establishment of two adjacent polarity sites remains elusive. Here, we report that the bud neck associated protein Gps1 (GTPase-mediated polarity switch 1) establishes a novel polarity cue that concomitantly sustains Rho1-dependent polarization and inhibits premature Cdc42 activation at the site of cytokinesis. Failure of Gps1 regulation leads to daughter cell death due to rebudding inside the old bud site. Our findings provide unexpected insights into the temporal control of cytokinesis and describe the importance of a Gps1-dependent mechanism for highly accurate polarity switching between two closely connected locations.

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