Forging the ring: from fungal septins' divergent roles in morphology, septation and virulence to factors contributing to their assembly into higher order structures.
Septins are a conserved family of GTP-binding proteins that are distributed across different lineages of the eukaryotes, with the exception of plants. Septins perform a myriad of functions in fungal cells, ranging from controlling morphogenetic events to contributing to host tissue invasion and virulence. One key attribute of the septins is their ability to assemble into heterooligomeric complexes that organizse into higher order structures. In addition to the established role of septins in the model budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, their importance in other fungi recently emerges. While newer roles for septins are being uncovered in these fungi, the mechanism of how septins assemble into a complex and their regulation is only beginning to be comprehended. In this review, we summarize recent findings on the role of septins in different fungi and focus on how the septin complexes of different fungi are organized in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, we discuss on how phosphorylation/dephosphorylation can serve as an important mechanism of septin complex assembly and regulation.
Vargas-Muñiz, JM; Juvvadi, PR; Steinbach, WJ
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