Fungal pathogens are platforms for discovering novel and conserved septin properties. Academic Article uri icon


  • Septins are filament-forming GTP-binding proteins that act as scaffolds in diverse cell functions including division, polarity and membrane remodeling. In a variety of fungal pathogens, it has been observed that septins are required for virulence because cells are unable to survive or are misshapen when septins are mutated. Cell morphology is interconnected with pathogenesis and thus septin mutants displaying aberrant cell morphologies are commonly deficient in host tissue invasion. The degree to which septins orchestrate versus maintain changes in fungal cell morphology during pathogenesis remains to be determined. Aside from the importance of septins in the process of pathogenesis, animal and plant fungal pathogens display complexity in septin form, dynamics, and function not seen in Saccharomyces cerevisiae making these organisms important models for uncovering diversity in septin behavior. Additionally, host septins have recently been implicated in the process of Candida albicans invasion, motivating the need to examine host septins in fungal pathogenesis. Understanding the role of septins in the host-pathogen interaction not only illuminates pathogenesis mechanisms but importantly also expands our understanding of septin biology in general.

publication date

  • August 2014