Roles of septins in the mammalian cytokinesis machinery

Cell Struct Funct. 2001 Dec;26(6):667-70. doi: 10.1247/csf.26.667.


Septins comprise a eukaryotic guanine nucleotide binding protein subfamily which form filamentous heteropolymer complexes. Although mechanism of cytokinesis is diverged by species and tissues, loss of septin function results in the multinuclear phenotype in many organisms. Hence septin filaments beneath the cleavage furrow are hypothesized as a structural basis to ensure completion of cytokinesis. However, molecular mechanisms of septin assembly, disassembly and function have been elusive despite the potential importance of this ubiquitous cytoskeletal system. Meanwhile, growing evidence suggests that mammalian septins functionally or physically interact with diverse molecules such as actin, actin-binding proteins, proteins of membrane fusion machinery, Cdc42 adapter proteins, a ubiquitin-protein ligase, and phosphoinositides. Careful integration of these data may provide insights into the mechanism of mammalian septin organization and functions in cytokinesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Division / physiology*
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / metabolism
  • GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism*


  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • GTP-Binding Proteins