The septin family of GTPases: architecture and dynamics

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2008 Jun;9(6):478-89. doi: 10.1038/nrm2407. Epub 2008 May 14.


Septins comprise a conserved family of proteins that are found primarily in fungi and animals. These GTP-binding proteins have several roles during cell division, cytoskeletal organization and membrane-remodelling events. One factor that is crucial for their functions is the ordered assembly of individual septins into oligomeric core complexes that, in turn, form higher-order structures such as filaments, rings and gauzes. The molecular details of these interactions and the mechanism by which septin-complex assembly is regulated have remained elusive. Recently, the first detailed structural views of the septin core have emerged, and these, along with studies of septin dynamics in vivo, have provided new insight into septin-complex assembly and septin function in vivo.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / chemistry*
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / genetics
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / physiology*
  • GTP Phosphohydrolases / chemistry*
  • GTP Phosphohydrolases / genetics
  • GTP Phosphohydrolases / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Nucleocytoplasmic Transport Proteins / chemistry*
  • Nucleocytoplasmic Transport Proteins / genetics
  • Nucleocytoplasmic Transport Proteins / physiology*
  • Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases / chemistry*
  • Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases / genetics
  • Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases / metabolism
  • Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases / physiology*
  • Protein Transport / genetics
  • Protein Transport / physiology
  • Thermodynamics


  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Nucleocytoplasmic Transport Proteins
  • Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases
  • GTP Phosphohydrolases