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EMBO J. 1996 Sep 2;15(17):4584-91.

Rho 1 GTPase activates the (1-3)beta-D-glucan synthase and is involved in Schizosaccharomyces pombe morphogenesis.

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Instituto de Microbiología Bioquímica, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas and Universidad de Salamanca, Edificio Departamental, Spain.


The Schizosaccharomyces pombe Cdc42 and Rho1 GTPases were tested for their ability to complement the cwg2-1 mutant phenotype of a decrease in (1-3)beta-D-glucan synthase activity when grown at the non-permissive temperature. Only Rho1 is able to partly complement the defect in glucan synthase associated with the cwg2-1 mutation. Moreover, overexpression of the rho1 gene in wild-type S.pombe cells causes aberrant morphology with loss of polarity and cells with several septa. Under this condition (1-3)beta-D-glucan synthase activity is increased four times, but is still dependent on GTP. When S.pombe is transformed with constitutively active rho1 mutant alleles (rho1-G15V or rho1-Q64L), cells stop growing and show a very thick cell wall with hardly any septum. Under this condition the level of (1-3)beta-D-glucan synthase activity is at least 20 times higher than wild-type and is independent of GTP. Neither cdc42+ nor the cdc42-V12G or cdc42-Q61L constitutively active mutant alleles affect (1-3)beta-D-glucan synthase activity when overexpressed in S.pombe. Cells overproducing Rho1 are hypersensitive to inhibitors of cell wall biosynthesis or to cell wall degrading enzymes. We conclude that Rho1 GTPase directly activates (1-3)beta-D-glucan synthase and regulates S.pombe morphogenesis.

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