Cell Biology

AnTIPodean Guide

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Science  15 Sep 2000:
Vol. 289, Issue 5486, pp. 1841
DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5486.1841b

The fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe is a cylindrical cell that splits along its equator during cell division. In order to retain a rod-like shape, the daughter cells must grow only at the old end and at the freshly-created end, in a process that requires intact microtubules.

Brunner and Nurse have examined the microtubule guidance system required for growth. They identify a protein that needs to be located at the ends of the microtubules in order for the yeast to grow normally and find that this protein, tip1p, is related to the mammalian protein CLIP170, which plays a role in generating polarity in epithelial cells. Cells lacking tip1p displayed a bent morphology, which correlated with a disorganized microtubule network that had failed to reach to the end of the cell and with the improper localization of tea1p, a protein known to be required for polarized cell growth. How tip1p at one end of the cell “knows” when it is exactly opposite its counterpart remains a mystery, but identifying further mechanisms in controlling polarized cell growth may offer insights into positional development in complex organisms. — SMH

Cell102, 695 (2000).

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