Septins are a family of filament-forming GTP-binding proteins that regulate fundamental cellular activities, such as cytokinesis and cell polarity. In general, septin filaments function as barriers and scaffolds on the cell cortex. However, little is known about the mechanism that governs the recruitment and localization of the septin complex to the cell cortex. Here, we identified the Cdc42 GTPase-activating protein Rga6 as a key protein involved in promoting the localization of the septin complex to the cell cortex in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Rga6 interacts with the septin complex and partially colocalizes with the septin complex on the cell cortex. Live-cell microscopy analysis further showed septin enrichment at the cortical regions adjacent to the growing cell tip. The septin enrichment likely plays a crucial role in confining active Cdc42 to the growing cell tip. Hence, our findings support a model whereby Rga6 regulates polarized cell growth partly through promoting targeted localization of the septin complex on the cell cortex.

This article has an associated First Person interview with the first author of the paper.

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