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Volume 8 (2008), Pages 611-620

Septins: New Microtubule Interacting Partners

1University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine andToronto General Hospital, Division of Cellular and Molecular Biology, Max Bell Research Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
2University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Physiology, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Received 4 February 2008; Revised 25 May 2008; Accepted 27 May 2008

Academic Editor: Martin Goette

Copyright © 2008 Rosalind Silverman-Gavrila and Lorelei Silverman-Gavrila.


Originally characterized as regulators of cytokinesis, septins were later implicated in other cellular processes. Recent studies show that septins have a broader role in microtubule-dependent processes, such as karyokinesis, exocytosis, and maintenance of cell shape. Many members of the septin family have been shown to colocalize or interact with the microtubule cytoskeleton, suggesting that these might be general properties of septins. Septins could play an important role in regulating microtubule dynamics by interacting with microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs) that modulate microtubule stability. Being able to associate with both microtubules and actin, septins can play an important role as adaptors between the two cytoskeletons and as regulators of processes in which both actin and microtubules are involved. As septins are associated with various neurodegenerative diseases and cancer, a better understanding of the biology of septins and their interactions with microtubules is important in order to develop possible therapeutic strategies for these diseases.