Septins are filament-forming proteins that function in cytokinesis in a wide variety of organisms. In budding yeast, the small GTPase Cdc42p triggers the recruitment of septins to the incipient budding site and the assembly of septins into a ring. We herein report that Bni1p and Cla4p, effectors of Cdc42p, are required for the assembly of the septin ring during the initiation of budding but not for its maintenance after the ring converts to a septin collar. In bni1Delta cla4-75-td mutant, septins were recruited to the incipient budding site. However, the septin ring was not assembled, and septins remained at the polarized growing sites. Bni1p, a formin family protein, is a member of the polarisome complex with Spa2p, Bud6p, and Pea2p. All spa2Delta cla4-75-td, bud6Delta cla4-75-td, and pea2Delta cla4-75-td mutants showed defects in septin ring assembly. Bni1p stimulates actin polymerization for the formation of actin cables. Point mutants of BNI1 that are specifically defective in actin cable formation also exhibited septin ring assembly defects in the absence of Cla4p. Consistently, treatment of cla4Delta mutant with the actin inhibitor latrunculin A inhibited septin ring assembly. Our results suggest that polarisome components and Cla4p are required for the initial assembly of the septin ring and that the actin cytoskeleton is involved in this process.
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