Cellular Subcompartments through Cytoplasmic Streaming

Dev Cell. 2015 Aug 24;34(4):410-20. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2015.07.017.


Cytoplasmic streaming occurs in diverse cell types, where it generally serves a transport function. Here, we examine streaming in multicellular fungal hyphae and identify an additional function wherein regimented streaming forms distinct cytoplasmic subcompartments. In the hypha, cytoplasm flows directionally from cell to cell through septal pores. Using live-cell imaging and computer simulations, we identify a flow pattern that produces vortices (eddies) on the upstream side of the septum. Nuclei can be immobilized in these microfluidic eddies, where they form multinucleate aggregates and accumulate foci of the HDA-2 histone deacetylase-associated factor, SPA-19. Pores experiencing flow degenerate in the absence of SPA-19, suggesting that eddy-trapped nuclei function to reinforce the septum. Together, our data show that eddies comprise a subcellular niche favoring nuclear differentiation and that subcompartments can be self-organized as a consequence of regimented cytoplasmic streaming.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Cell Compartmentation*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Cell Wall / metabolism
  • Cytoplasmic Streaming*
  • Genes, Fungal
  • Hyphae / cytology
  • Hyphae / growth & development
  • Microtubules / metabolism
  • Mutation
  • Neurospora / cytology
  • Neurospora / genetics
  • Neurospora / physiology
  • Rheology
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • Subcellular Fractions / metabolism