Projects per year
The conserved Rho-family GTPase Cdc42 plays a central role in eukaryotic cell polarity. The rod-shaped fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe has two Cdc42 guanine-nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs), Scd1 and Gef1, but little is known about how they are coordinated in polarized growth. Although the microtubule cytoskeleton is normally not required for polarity maintenance in fission yeast, we show here that when scd1 function is compromised, disruption of microtubules or the polarity landmark proteins Tea1, Tea4, or Pom1 leads to disruption of polarized growth. Instead, cells adopt an isotropic-like pattern of growth, which we term PORTLI growth. Surprisingly, PORTLI growth is due to spatially inappropriate activity of Gef1. Although most Cdc42 GEFs are membrane-associated, we find that Gef1 is a broadly-distributed cytosolic protein rather than a membrane-associated protein at cell tips like Scd1. Microtubules and the Tea1/Tea4/Pom1 axis counteract inappropriate Gef1 activity by regulating the localization of the Cdc42 GTPase-activating protein Rga4. Our results suggest a new model of fission yeast cell polarity regulation, involving coordination of "local" (Scd1) and "global" (Gef1) Cdc42 GEFs via microtubules and microtubule-dependent polarity landmarks.
- Cell polarity
- Fission yeast
- Guanine nucleotide exchange factor
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Dynamics and interaction of cell-polarity landmark proteins and the Cdc42 GTPase module: a systems approach
1/07/14 → 30/06/17
11/04/12 → 10/04/18