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Septin filament formation is essential in budding yeast.

Septins are GTP-binding proteins that form ordered, rod-like multimeric complexes and polymerize into filaments, but how such supramolecular structure is related to septin function was unclear. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, four septins form an apolar hetero-octamer (Cdc11-Cdc12-Cdc3-Cdc10-Cdc10-Cdc3-Cdc12-Cdc11) that associates end-to-end to form filaments. We show that septin filament assembly displays previously unanticipated plasticity. Cells lacking Cdc10 or Cdc11 are able to divide because the now-exposed subunits (Cdc3 or Cdc12, respectively) retain an ability to homodimerize via their so-called G interface, thereby allowing for filament assembly. In such cdc10Δ and cdc11Δ cells, the remaining septins, like wild-type complexes, localize to the cortex at the bud neck and compartmentalize nonseptin factors, consistent with a diffusion barrier composed of continuous filaments in intimate contact with the plasma membrane. Conversely, Cdc10 or Cdc11 mutants that cannot self-associate, but "cap" Cdc3 or Cdc12, respectively, prevent filament formation, block cortical localization, and kill cells.

Pubmed ID: 21497764


  • McMurray MA
  • Bertin A
  • Garcia G
  • Lam L
  • Nogales E
  • Thorner J


Developmental cell

Publication Data

April 19, 2011

Associated Grants

  • Agency: NIGMS NIH HHS, Id: K99 GM086603
  • Agency: NIGMS NIH HHS, Id: K99 GM086603-01
  • Agency: NIGMS NIH HHS, Id: K99 GM086603-02
  • Agency: NIGMS NIH HHS, Id: K99 GM86603
  • Agency: NIGMS NIH HHS, Id: R00 GM086603
  • Agency: NIGMS NIH HHS, Id: R01 GM021841
  • Agency: NIGMS NIH HHS, Id: R01 GM021841-37
  • Agency: NIGMS NIH HHS, Id: R01 GM021841-38
  • Agency: NIGMS NIH HHS, Id: R01 GM21841
  • Agency: Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Id:

Mesh Terms

  • Genes, Essential
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Septins