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Regulation of polarised growth in fungi

By P. Sudbery

Abstract

Polarised growth in fungi occurs through the delivery of secretory vesicles along tracks formed by cytoskeletal elements to specific sites on the cell surface where they dock with a multiprotein structure called the exocyst before fusing with the plasmamembrane. The budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae has provided a useful model to investigate the mechanisms involved and their control. Cortical markers, provided by bud site selection pathways during budding, the septin ring during cytokinesis or the stimulation of the pheromone response receptors during mating, act through upstream signalling pathways to localise Cdc24, the GEF for the rho family GTPase, Cdc42. Cdc42 in its GTP-bound activates a multiprotein protein complex called the polarisome which nucleates actin cables along which the secretory vesicles are transported to the cell surface. Hyphae can elongate at a rate orders of magnitude faster than the extension of a yeast bud, so understanding hyphal growth will require substantial modification of the yeast paradigm. The rapid rate of hyphal growth is driven by a structure called the Spitzenkörper, located just behind the growing tip and which is rich in secretory vesicles. It is thought that secretory vesicles are delivered to the apical region where they accumulate in the Spitzenkörper. The Spitzenkörper then acts as vesicle supply centre in which vesicles exit the Spitzenkörper in all directions, but because of its proximity, the tip receives a greater concentration of vesicles per unit area than subapical regions. There are no obvious equivalents to the bud site selection pathway to provide a spatial landmark for polarised growth in hyphae. However, an emerging model is the way that the site of polarised growth in the fission yeast, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, is marked by delivery of the kelch repeat protein, Tea1, along microtubules. The relationship of the Spitzenkörper to the polarisome and the mechanisms that promote its formation are key questions that form the focus of current research

Publisher: Elsevier
Year: 2008
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.whiterose.ac.uk:4971

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