Cell Biology

Pole to Pole

Science Signaling  17 Jul 2012:
Vol. 5, Issue 233, pp. ec193
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2003395

How do fission yeast cells decide when to grow at a single end (or pole) of the cell or whether to grow in a multipolar manner? Das et al. found that accumulation of the active form of the small guanine nucleotide–binding protein Cdc42 at the growing tip of the cell oscillated with a period of a few minutes. In cells growing at one pole, the oscillations were primarily present at that pole, and during bipolar growth symmetrical anticorrelated oscillations were observed. Dynamic competition for Cdc42 between multiple growth zones could represent a flexible mechanism to modulate cell growth asymmetry.

M. Das, T. Drake, D. J. Wiley, P. Buchwald, D. Vavylonis, F. Verde, Oscillatory dynamics of Cdc42 GTPase in the control of polarized growth. Science 337, 239–243 (2012). [Abstract] [Full Text]