During eukaryotic cell division, a series of complex events must be closely controlled to ensure that the daughter cells have the correct complement of chromosomes and organelles, and separate efficiently. In fission yeast, the completion of cell division involves the formation and subsequent disassembly of a multilayered septum. On p. 5731, Kathleen Gould and colleagues describe how a cascade of transcription factors coordinately controls septum formation and other aspects of cell separation in this organism. By examining yeast mutants, the authors show that production of Mid2p, which promotes the organization of septins into the stable ring structures that are needed for septum formation, is controlled by the Zn-finger transcription factor Ace2p. This, in turn, functions downstream of Sep1p, a forkhead-family transcription factor. Importantly, the authors report that, in addition to controlling the formation of septin rings, Ace2p controls the expression of genes needed for other aspects of cell separation, which ensures that cells divide efficiently.
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