Cdc42 Oscillations in Yeasts

Science Signaling  27 Nov 2012:

DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2003630


A fundamental problem in cell biology is how cells define one or several discrete sites of polarity. Through mechanisms involving positive and negative feedback, the small Rho-family guanosine triphosphatase Cdc42 breaks symmetry in round budding yeast cells to define a single site of polarized cell growth. However, it is not clear how cells can define multiple sites of polarization concurrently. We discuss a study in which rod-shaped fission yeast cells, which naturally polarize growth at their two cell ends, exhibited oscillations of Cdc42 activity between these sites. We compare these findings with similar oscillatory behavior of Cdc42 detected in budding yeast cells and discuss the possible mechanism and functional outputs of these oscillations.

Full text available 4 December 2012, Vol. 5, Issue 253, pe53