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Genetics. 2003 Aug;164(4):1323-31.

Rho3p regulates cell separation by modulating exocyst function in Schizosaccharomyces pombe.

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  • 1Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117604, Republic of Singapore.


Cytokinesis is the final stage of the cell division cycle in which the mother cell is physically divided into two daughters. In recent years the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe has emerged as an attractive model organism for the study of cytokinesis, since it divides using an actomyosin ring whose constriction is coordinated with the centripetal deposition of new membranes and a division septum. The final step of cytokinesis in S. pombe requires the digestion of the primary septum to liberate two daughters. We have previously shown that the multiprotein exocyst complex is essential for this process. Here we report the isolation of rho3(+), encoding a Rho family GTPase, as a high-copy suppressor of an exocyst mutant, sec8-1. Overproduction of Rho3p also suppressed the temperature-sensitive growth phenotype observed in cells lacking Exo70p, another conserved component of the S. pombe exocyst complex. Cells deleted for rho3 arrest at higher growth temperatures with two or more nuclei and uncleaved division septa between pairs of nuclei. rho3Delta cells accumulate approximately 100-nm vesicle-like structures. These phenotypes are all similar to those observed in exocyst component mutants, consistent with a role for Rho3p in modulation of exocyst function. Taken together, our results suggest the possibility that S. pombe Rho3p regulates cell separation by modulation of exocyst function.

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