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Elife. 2015 Aug 7;4. doi: 10.7554/eLife.08898.

The RhoGAP activity of CYK-4/MgcRacGAP functions non-canonically by promoting RhoA activation during cytokinesis.

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Department of Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology, University of Chicago, Chicago, United States.


Cytokinesis requires activation of the GTPase RhoA. ECT-2, the exchange factor responsible for RhoA activation, is regulated to ensure spatiotemporal control of contractile ring assembly. Centralspindlin, composed of the Rho family GTPase-activating protein (RhoGAP) MgcRacGAP/CYK-4 and the kinesin MKLP1/ZEN-4, is known to activate ECT-2, but the underlying mechanism is not understood. We report that ECT-2-mediated RhoA activation depends on the ability of CYK-4 to localize to the plasma membrane, bind RhoA, and promote GTP hydrolysis by RhoA. Defects resulting from loss of CYK-4 RhoGAP activity can be rescued by activating mutations in ECT-2 or depletion of RGA-3/4, which functions as a conventional RhoGAP for RhoA. Consistent with CYK-4 RhoGAP activity contributing to GEF activation, the catalytic domains of CYK-4 and ECT-2 directly interact. Thus, counterintuitively, CYK-4 RhoGAP activity promotes RhoA activation. We propose that the most active form of the cytokinetic RhoGEF involves complex formation between ECT-2, centralspindlin and RhoA.


C. elegans; Rac; Rho GTPase; RhoGAP; RhoGEF; cell biology; centralspindlin; cytokinesis

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