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Microbiol Rev. 1995 September; 59(3): 345–386.
PMCID: PMC239365

Molecular basis of cell integrity and morphogenesis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.


In fungi and many other organisms, a thick outer cell wall is responsible for determining the shape of the cell and for maintaining its integrity. The budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been a useful model organism for the study of cell wall synthesis, and over the past few decades, many aspects of the composition, structure, and enzymology of the cell wall have been elucidated. The cell wall of budding yeasts is a complex and dynamic structure; its arrangement alters as the cell grows, and its composition changes in response to different environmental conditions and at different times during the yeast life cycle. In the past few years, we have witnessed a profilic genetic and molecular characterization of some key aspects of cell wall polymer synthesis and hydrolysis in the budding yeast. Furthermore, this organism has been the target of numerous recent studies on the topic of morphogenesis, which have had an enormous impact on our understanding of the intracellular events that participate in directed cell wall synthesis. A number of components that direct polarized secretion, including those involved in assembly and organization of the actin cytoskeleton, secretory pathways, and a series of novel signal transduction systems and regulatory components have been identified. Analysis of these different components has suggested pathways by which polarized secretion is directed and controlled. Our aim is to offer an overall view of the current understanding of cell wall dynamics and of the complex network that controls polarized growth at particular stages of the budding yeast cell cycle and life cycle.

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