Endosomal assembly and transport of heteromeric septin complexes promote septin cytoskeleton formation

J Cell Sci. 2016 Jul 15;129(14):2778-92. doi: 10.1242/jcs.182824. Epub 2016 Jun 1.


Septins are conserved cytoskeletal structures functioning in a variety of biological processes including cytokinesis and cell polarity. A wealth of information exists on the heterooligomeric architecture of septins and their subcellular localization at distinct sites. However, the precise mechanisms of their subcellular assembly and their intracellular transport are unknown. Here, we demonstrate that endosomal transport of septins along microtubules is crucial for formation of higher-order structures in the fungus Ustilago maydis Importantly, endosomal septin transport is dependent on each individual septin providing strong evidence that septin heteromeric complexes are assembled on endosomes. Furthermore, endosomal trafficking of all four septin mRNAs is required for endosomal localization of their translation products. Based on these results, we propose that local translation promotes the assembly of newly synthesized septins in heteromeric structures on the surface of endosomes. This is important for the long-distance transport of septins and the efficient formation of the septin cytoskeleton.

Keywords: Early endosomes; RNA recognition motif; Septin; mRNA transport.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cytoskeleton / metabolism*
  • Endosomes / metabolism*
  • Fungal Proteins / metabolism*
  • Microtubules / metabolism
  • Models, Biological
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Multimerization*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Septins / metabolism*
  • Subcellular Fractions / metabolism
  • Ustilago / metabolism*


  • Fungal Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Septins