Architecture and dynamic remodelling of the septin cytoskeleton during the cell cycle

Nat Commun. 2014 Dec 5;5:5698. doi: 10.1038/ncomms6698.


Septins perform diverse functions through the formation of filaments and higher-order structures. However, the exact architecture of septin structures remains unclear. In the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, septins form an 'hourglass' at the mother-bud neck before cytokinesis, which is converted into a 'double ring' during cytokinesis. Here, using platinum-replica electron microscopy, we find that the early hourglass consists of septin double filaments oriented along the mother-bud axis. In the late hourglass, these double filaments are connected by periodic circumferential single filaments on the membrane-proximal side and are associated with centrally located, circumferential, myosin-II thick filaments on the membrane-distal side. The double ring consists of exclusively circumferential septin filaments. Live-cell imaging studies indicate that the hourglass-to-double ring transition is accompanied by loss of septin subunits from the hourglass and reorganization of the remaining subunits into the double ring. This work provides an unparalleled view of septin structures within cells and defines their remodelling dynamics during the cell cycle.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Cycle*
  • Cell Division
  • Cytoskeleton / chemistry
  • Cytoskeleton / genetics
  • Cytoskeleton / metabolism*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / chemistry
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / cytology*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / enzymology*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / metabolism*
  • Septins / genetics
  • Septins / metabolism*


  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Septins