Role of turgor pressure in endocytosis in fission yeast. Academic Article uri icon


  • Yeast and other walled cells possess high internal turgor pressure that allows them to grow and survive in the environment. This turgor pressure, however, may oppose the invagination of the plasma membrane needed for endocytosis. Here we study the effects of turgor pressure on endocytosis in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe by time-lapse imaging of individual endocytic sites. Decreasing effective turgor pressure by addition of sorbitol to the media significantly accelerates early steps in the endocytic process before actin assembly and membrane ingression but does not affect the velocity or depth of ingression of the endocytic pit in wild-type cells. Sorbitol also rescues endocytic ingression defects of certain endocytic mutants and of cells treated with a low dose of the actin inhibitor latrunculin A. Endocytosis proceeds after removal of the cell wall, suggesting that the cell wall does not contribute mechanically to this process. These studies suggest that endocytosis is governed by a mechanical balance between local actin-dependent inward forces and opposing forces from high internal turgor pressure on the plasma membrane.

publication date

  • March 2014