Septin proteins bind guanine nucleotides and form rod-shaped hetero-oligomers. Cells choose from a variety of available septins to assemble distinct hetero-oligomers, but the underlying mechanism was unknown. Using a new in vivo assay, we find that a stepwise assembly pathway produces the two species of budding yeast septin hetero-octamers: Cdc11/Shs1–Cdc12–Cdc3–Cdc10–Cdc10–Cdc3–Cdc12–Cdc11/Shs1. Rapid GTP hydrolysis by monomeric Cdc10 drives assembly of the core Cdc10 homodimer. The extended Cdc3 N terminus autoinhibits Cdc3 association with Cdc10 homodimers until prior Cdc3–Cdc12 interaction. Slow hydrolysis by monomeric Cdc12 and specific affinity of Cdc11 for transient Cdc12•GTP drive assembly of distinct trimers, Cdc11–Cdc12–Cdc3 or Shs1–Cdc12–Cdc3. Decreasing the cytosolic GTP:GDP ratio increases the incorporation of Shs1 vs Cdc11, which alters the curvature of filamentous septin rings. Our findings explain how GTP hydrolysis controls septin assembly, and uncover mechanisms by which cells construct defined septin complexes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)