Polarization of cell growth in yeast

J Cell Sci. 2000 Feb;113 ( Pt 4):571-85. doi: 10.1242/jcs.113.4.571.


The actin cytoskeleton provides the structural basis for cell polarity in Saccharomyces cerevisiae as well as most other eukaryotes. In Part I of this two-part commentary, presented in the previous issue of Journal of Cell Science, we discussed the basis by which yeast establishes and maintains different states of polarity through &Rgr; GTPases and cyclin-dependent protein kinase signaling. Here we discuss how, in response to those signals, the actin cytoskeleton guides growth of the yeast cell. A polarized array of actin cables at the cell cortex is the primary structural determinant of polarity. Motors such as class V myosins use this array to transport secretory vesicles, mRNA and organelles towards growth sites, where they are anchored by a cap of cytoskeletal and regulatory proteins. Cortical actin patches enhance and maintain this polarity, probably through endocytic recycling, which allows reuse of materials and prevents continued growth at old sites. The dynamic arrangement of targeting and recycling provides flexibility for the precise control of morphogenesis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Actins / physiology*
  • Cell Polarity / physiology*
  • Cytoskeleton / physiology*
  • Endocytosis / physiology
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / cytology*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / physiology


  • Actins