Cell Biology

The Means to the Ends

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Science  21 Jun 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5576, pp. 2103
DOI: 10.1126/science.296.5576.2103b

The fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe adopts a cylindrical shape due to linear polarized growth from the ends of the cells and has served as a model system for the study of the generation and maintenance of polarized growth. Behrens and Nurse used immunofluorescence microscopy and in vivo imaging to clarify the role of the protein tea1p in regulating growth in S. pombe. In the middle of the cell, near the nucleus, tea1p is loaded onto the growing “plus” ends of microtubules and is carried out to the ends of the cell as the microtubules elongate (via the addition of tubulin monomers). This translocation, unlike many other microtubule-based movements, was not dependent on a molecular motor (the kinesin-like protein tea2p), and the presence of tea1p appeared to signal microtubules to stop growing after they reached the cell ends. Once delivered to and deposited at the ends, tea1p is instrumental in maintaining the distribution of other polarity factors that contribute to linear cell growth. — SMH

J. Cell Biol. 157, 783 (2002).

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