Polarized cell growth requires a well-orchestrated number of events, namely selection of growth site, organization of cytoskeleton elements and delivery of new material to the growth region. The small Rho GTPase Cdc42 has emerged as a major organizer of polarized growth through its participation in many of these events. In the present short review, we focus on the regulation of Cdc42 activity and localization as well as how it controls downstream events necessary for polarized cell growth in Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Owing to the high level of similarity of the polarity pathways, analogies between fission yeast and other model systems can be useful to decipher how cells can actively define their shape by polarized growth.

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