Tea2p is a kinesin-like protein required to generate polarized growth in fission yeast

09 Aug 2017

Cytoplasmic microtubules are critical for establishing and maintaining cell shape and polarity. Our investigations of kinesin-like proteins (klps) and morphological mutants in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe have identified a kinesin-like gene, tea2(+), that is required for cells to generate proper polarized growth. Cells deleted for this gene are often bent during exponential growth and initiate growth from improper sites as they exit stationary phase. They have a reduced cytoplasmic microtubule network and display severe morphological defects in genetic backgrounds that produce long cells. The tip-specific marker, Tea1p, is mislocalized in both tea2-1 and tea2Delta cells, indicating that Tea2p function is necessary for proper localization of Tea1p. Tea2p is localized to the tips of the cell and in a punctate pattern within the cell, often coincident with the ends of cytoplasmic microtubules. These results suggest that this kinesin promotes microtubule growth, possibly through interactions with the microtubule end, and that it is important for establishing and maintaining polarized growth along the long axis of the cell.