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Searching for gold beyond mitosis. Mining intracellular membrane traffic in Aspergillus nidulans

Cellular Logistics 01/2012;

ABSTRACT The genetically tractable filamentous ascomycete fungus
Aspergillus nidulans has been successfully exploited to gain
major insight into the eukaryotic cell cycle. More recently, its
amenability to in vivo multidimensional microscopy has fueled
a potentially gilded second age of A. nidulans cell biology
studies. This review specifically deals with studies on intracellular
membrane traffic in A. nidulans. The cellular logistics
are subordinated to the needs imposed by the polarized mode
of growth of the multinucleated hyphal tip cells, whereas
membrane traffic is adapted to the large intracellular distances.
Recent work illustrates the usefulness of this fungus for
morphological and biochemical studies on endosome and
Golgi maturation, and on the role of microtubule-dependent
motors in the long-distance movement of endosomes. The
fungus is ideally suited for genetic studies on the secretory
pathway, as mutations impairing secretion reduce apical
extension rates, resulting in phenotypes detectable by visual
inspection of colonies.

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