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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Regulation of cell polarity by microtubules in fission yeast.

To investigate the role of microtubules in regulating cell polarity in Schizosaccharomyces pombe, we have developed a system in which normally cylindrical fission yeast synchronously form branched cells at high frequency upon treatment with the microtubule-depolymerizing drug thiabendazole (TBZ). Branching depends on both elevated temperature and cell cycle state and occurs at high frequency only when TBZ is added to cells that have not yet passed through New-End Take-Off (NETO), the normal transition from monopolar to bipolar growth. This suggests that microtubules may be of greatest physiological importance for the maintenance of cell shape at specific points in the cell cycle. The localization of three different proteins normally found at cell ends-cortical F-actin, tea1, and an ral3 (scd2)-green fluorescent protein (GFP) fusion-is disrupted by TBZ treatment. However, these proteins can eventually return to cell ends in the absence of microtubules, indicating that although their localization to ends normally depends on microtubules, they may recover by alternative mechanisms. In addition, TBZ induces a shift in ral3-GFP distribution from cell ends to the cell middle, suggesting that a protein complex containing ral3 may be part of the cue that specifies the position of branch formation.[1]


  1. Regulation of cell polarity by microtubules in fission yeast. Sawin, K.E., Nurse, P. J. Cell Biol. (1998) [Pubmed]
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