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Title: Molecular mechanisms of cell polarity in fission yeast
Author: Behrens, Ralf
ISNI:       0000 0001 3454 0484
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2002
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The fission yeast, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, is a cylindrical cell formed as a consequence of highly polarised growth at precisely opposed cell ends. The aim of this thesis has been to understand the mechanisms by which fission yeast maintains growth sites at precisely opposed positions in the cell. I have characterised a transposable element Tfl for its application in tagged mutagenesis, to try and develop a useful method to identify new genes required for linear cell growth. Tfl integration was found to be significantly biased towards non-coding regions. It has a preference for the 5' ends of open reading frames but appears not to interfere with transcription of adjacent genes. These findings demonstrated that Tfl is not a useful tool for insertional mutagenesis. The cell end marker tea1p is important in fission yeast for growth in a straight line and I have investigated its role in linear cell growth as well as its delivery and localisation to the cell ends. Tea1p is loaded on microtubules in the vicinity of the nucleus and is transported to the cell ends on the plus ends of microtubules. Transport depends on mal3p but not tea2p and tip1p, all three of these proteins are associated with the plus ends of microtubules. A structure-function analysis of tea1p has identified a domain required for maintaining tea1p at the cell ends, and this domain has been used as the bait in a two-hybrid screen to identify tea1p interacting partners. The analysis has also revealed that tea1p has two distinct functions in the cell. On the tips of microtubules tealp organises the microtubular cytoskeleton, and at the cell ends it functions as a scaffold for other morphogenetic factors, which position the growth machinery properly so that growth is in a straight line.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Microbiology