Asymmetric cell division, which includes cell polarization and cytokinesis, is essential for generating cell diversity during development. The budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae reproduces by asymmetric cell division, and has thus served as an attractive model for unraveling the general principles of eukaryotic cell polarization and cytokinesis. Polarity development requires G-protein signaling, cytoskeletal polarization, and exocytosis, whereas cytokinesis requires concerted actions of a contractile actomyosin ring and targeted membrane deposition. In this chapter, we discuss the mechanics and spatial control of polarity development and cytokinesis, emphasizing the key concepts, mechanisms, and emerging questions in the field.
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