Yeast cells are surrounded by the cell wall, a rigid but dynamic structure that is essential for their viability. The complexity and functionality of this structure suggest that a high number of proteins must be involved in the biogenesis of the cell wall architecture and, as a consequence, in the maintenance of cell integrity. Among them, a high percentage is assumed to be located at the cell surface, mostly as structural or enzymatic components of the cell wall. Therefore, the presence of a protein in the cell wall is suggestive of its cell wall-related function. Different techniques can be used to specifically detect the cell wall localisation of a given protein or to identify cell wall proteins in large-scale analyses. These include the detection of proteins in whole cells or specific cell wall fractions by immunological, biochemical, microscopic, or genetic approaches, as well as the emerging proteomic technology. The advantages, limitations, and usefulness of these techniques are discussed and illustrated with some examples.
Copyright 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.