Polarized growth in yeast

Actin cytoskeleton in budding yeast.
Actin cytoskeleton
in budding yeast.

Cdc24 localization in budding yeast.
Cdc24 localization
in budding yeast.
Yeast zygotes with bud scar in blue
Yeast zygotes with
bud scar in blue

Our primary interest is how cells spatially and temporally regulate their growth. Polarized growth is essential for both internal organization of cells and generation of complex multi-cellular structures. Oriented cell growth requires the specification of a site for polarized growth, orientation of the cytoskeleton towards this site, and subsequent directed growth.

Our goal is to understand the mechanisms of polarized growth, cell morphogenesis, and development in yeast. The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae reproduces during its haploid mitotic life cycle by a form of cell division termed budding. When haploid cells of the opposite mating type come in contact they direct their growth towards their mating partner forming pear shaped polarized cells called shmoos. These two polarized cells grow towards one another and following contact fuse to form diploid zygotes. Upon nitrogen starvation diploid yeast cells switch growth from unicellular budding to filamentous form comprised of chains of elongated cells called pseudohyphae. The human pathogenic yeast Candida albicans switches from an oval yeast form to a hyphal form and these hyphal filaments can invade into solid surfaces. This dimorphic switch is critical for pathogenicity of this commensal.

In these three growth processes asymmetric cell growth is accomplished by polarization of the actin cytoskeleton and subsequent localized growth by directed membrane traffic. During budding, polarized growth is initiated by internal signals whereas during mating and hyphae formation, polarized growth is dictated by external signals. We are interested in how internal and external signals are linked to directional growth. We are examining the roles of small G-proteins and phosphoinositide lipids in S. cerevisiae and C. albicans polarized growth. Furthermore we are investigating the role of all protein kinases and phosphatases in C. albicans filamentous growth and biofilm formation.


Yeast shmoos with
new growth in red
C. albicans budding and filamentous colonies
C. albicans budding and
filamentous colonies
C. albicans hyphae with Cdc24 in green
C. albicans hyphae
with Cdc24 in green

C. albicans
embedded colony

C. albicans biofilm

Last publications

Role of Arf GTPases in fungal morphogenesis and virulence. - 2017 - PLoS pathogens - 13 Pe1006205 - Labbaoui H, Bogliolo S, Ghugtyal V, Solis NV, Filler SG, Arkowitz RA, and Bassilana,M

Overexpression of YPT6 restores invasive filamentous growth and secretory vesicle clustering in a Candida albicans arl1 mutant. - 2017 - Small GTPases P0 - Wakade R, Labbaoui H, Stalder D, Arkowitz RA, and Bassilana,M

In Situ Assays of Chemotropism During Yeast Mating. - 2016 - Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) - 1407 P1-12 - Stone DE, and Arkowitz,RA

Gβ promotes pheromone receptor polarization and yeast chemotropism by inhibiting receptor phosphorylation. - 2016 - Science signaling - 9 Pra38 - Ismael A, Tian W, Waszczak N, Wang X, Cao Y, Suchkov D, Bar E, Metodiev MV, Liang J, Arkowitz RA, and Stone,DE

MOZART1 and ?-tubulin complex receptors are both required to turn ?-TuSC into an active microtubule nucleation template. - 2016 - The Journal of cell biology - 215 P823-840 - Lin TC, Neuner A, Flemming D, Liu P, Chinen T, Jkle U, Arkowitz R, and Schiebel,E

Rgulation of hyphal morphogenesisby Ras and Rho small GTPases - 2015 - Fungal Biology Reviews - 29 P7-19 - Arkowitz RA, and Bassilana,M

Phosphatidylinositol-4-phosphate-dependent membrane traffic is critical for fungal filamentous growth. - 2015 - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America - Ghugtyal V, Garcia-Rodas R, Seminara A, Schaub S, Bassilana M, and Arkowitz,RA

Rho GTPase-phosphatidylinositol phosphate interplay in fungal cell polarity. - 2014 - Biochem Soc Trans - 42 P206-11 - Arkowitz RA, and Bassilana,M

Cell polarization in budding and fission yeasts. - 2013 - FEMS Microbiol Rev - Martin SG, and Arkowitz,RA

Activation of the Cph1-dependent MAP kinase signaling pathway induces white-opaque switching in Candida albicans. - 2013 - PLoS Pathog - 9 Pe1003696 - Ram B, rez-Zavala M, Weyler T, Gildor C, Schmauch D, Kornitzer R, Arkowitz J, and Morschhuser,

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Arkowitz Robert
Group Leader

2001 FRM-BNP Award

2001 Embo YIP


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    October 2013 - Robert Arkowitz Team
   1 Post-Doc position   Closed



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