An image analysis method to survey the dynamics of polar protein abundance in the regulation of tip growth

Nom de la revue
Journal of Cell Science
Sarah Taheraly, Dmitry Ershov, Serge Dmitrieff, Nicolas Minc

Tip growth is critical for the lifestyle of many walled cells. In yeast and fungi, this process is typically associated with the polarized deposition of conserved tip factors, including landmarks, Rho GTPases, cytoskeleton regulators, and membrane and cell wall remodelers. Because tip growth speeds may vary extensively between life cycles or species, we asked whether the local amount of specific polar elements could determine or limit tip growth speeds. Using the model fission yeast, we developed a quantitative image analysis pipeline to dynamically correlate single tip elongation speeds and polar protein abundance in large data sets. We found that polarity landmarks are typically diluted by growth. In contrast, tip growth speed is positively correlated with the local amount of factors related to actin, secretion or cell wall remodeling, but, surprisingly, exhibits long saturation plateaus above certain concentrations of those factors. Similar saturation observed for Spitzenkörper components in much faster growing fungal hyphae suggests that elements independent of canonical surface remodelers may limit single tip growth. This work provides standardized methods and resources to decipher the complex mechanisms that control cell growth.
This article has an associated First Person interview with Sarah Taheraly, joint first author of the paper.