Dynamics of Cdc42 network embodies a Turing-type mechanism of yeast cell polarity

Andrew B. Goryachev, Alexandra V. Pokhilko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

239 Citations (Scopus)


Complex biochemical networks can be understood by identifying their principal regulatory motifs and mode of action. We model the early phase of budding yeast cellular polarization and show that the biochemical processes in the presumptive bud site comprise a Turing-type mechanism. The roles of the prototypical activator and substrate are played by GTPase Cdc42 in its active and inactive states, respectively. We demonstrate that the nucleotide cycling of Cdc42 converts cellular energy into a stable cluster of activated Cdc42. This energy drives a continuous membrane-cytoplasmic exchange of the cluster components to counteract diffusive spread of the cluster. This exchange explains why only one bud forms per cell cycle, because the winner-takes-all competition of candidate sites inevitably selects a single site. (C) 2008 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B. V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1437-1443
Number of pages7
JournalFEBS Letters
Issue number10
Early online date31 Mar 2008
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2008


  • cell polarity
  • small GTPases
  • self-organization
  • network motifs
  • Turing model
  • budding yeast
  • guanine-nucleotide exchange
  • factor CDC24P
  • polarization
  • roles
  • model
  • phosphorylation
  • inhibition
  • hydrolysis
  • proteins


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