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    Cells live in a chemical environment and are able to orient towards chemical cues. Unicellular haploid fungal cells communicate by secreting pheromones to reproduce sexually. In the yeast models Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Schizosaccharomyces pombe, pheromonal communication activates similar pathways composed of cognate G-protein-coupled receptors and downstream small GTPase Cdc42 and MAP kinase cascades. Local pheromone release and sensing, at a mobile surface polarity patch, underlie spatial gradient interpretation to form pairs between two cells of distinct mating types. Concentration of secretion at the point of cell-cell contact then leads to local cell wall digestion for cell fusion, forming a diploid zygote that prevents further fusion attempts. A number of asymmetries between mating types may promote efficiency of the system. In this review, we present our current knowledge of pheromone signaling in the two model yeasts, with an emphasis on how cells decode the pheromone signal spatially and ultimately fuse together. Though overall pathway architectures are similar in the two species, their large evolutionary distance allows to explore how conceptually similar solutions to a general biological problem can arise from divergent molecular components. Copyright © 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.


    Boris Sieber, Julia María Coronas-Serna, Sophie G Martin. A focus on yeast mating: From pheromone signaling to cell-cell fusion. Seminars in cell & developmental biology. 2023 Jan 15;133:83-95

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    PMID: 35148940

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