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EMBO J. 1994 May 1;13(9):2066-74.

Genetic analysis of cell morphogenesis in fission yeast--a role for casein kinase II in the establishment of polarized growth.

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ICRF Cell Cycle Laboratory, Imperial Cancer Research Fund, London, UK.


We have initiated a study to identify genes regulating cell morphogenesis in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Five genes have been identified, orb1-orb5, whose mutation gives rise to spherical cells, indicative of an inability to polarize growth. Two further genes have been identified, tea1 and ban1, whose mutant alleles have disturbed patterns of tip growth, leading to T-shaped and curved cells. In fission yeast, sites of cell wall deposition are defined by actin localization, with actin distributions and therefore growth patterns undergoing cell cycle stage-specific reorganization. Studies of double mutants constructed between orb5-19 and various cdc mutants blocked before and after cell division show that orb5 is required for the re-establishment of polar growth following cytokinesis. This indicates that the mutant allele orb5-19 is defective in the reinitiation of polarized growth, even though actin reorganization to the cell tips occurs normally. orb5 encodes a fission yeast homologue of casein kinase II alpha. We propose that this kinase plays a role in the translation of cell polarity into polarized growth, but not in the establishment of polarity itself.

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