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Genetics. 1996 Feb;142(2):359-69.

Genetic analysis of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae RHO3 gene, encoding a rho-type small GTPase, provides evidence for a role in bud formation.

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Department of Biological Sciences, University of Tokyo, Japan.


RHO3 encodes a Rho-type small GTPase of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We isolated temperature-sensitive alleles and a dominant active allele of RHO3. Ts- rho3 cells lost cell polarity during bud formation and grew more isotropically than wild-type cells at nonpermissive temperatures. In contrast, cells carrying a dominant active mutant RHO3 displayed cold sensitivity, and the cells became elongated and bent, often at the position where actin patches were concentrated. These phenotypes of the rho3 mutants strongly suggest that RHO3 is involved in directing the growing points during bud formation. In addition, we found that SRO6, previously isolated as a multicopy suppressor of rho3, is the same as SEC4. The sec4-2 mutation was synthetic lethal with temperature-sensitive rho3 mutations and suppressed the cold sensitivity caused by a dominant active mutant RHO3. The genetic interactions between RHO3 and SEC4, taken together with the fact that the Rab-type GTPase Sec4p is required to fuse secretory vesicles together with plasma membrane for exocytosis, support a model in which the Rho3p pathway modulates morphogenesis during bud growth via directing organization of the actin cytoskeleton and the position of the secretory machinery for exocytosis.

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