Rho1-GEFs Rgf1 and Rgf2 are involved in formation of cell wall and septum, while Rgf3 is involved in cytokinesis in fission yeast

Mutoh T, Nakano K, Mabuchi I

The Rho GTPase acts as a binary molecular switch by converting between a GDP-bound inactive and a GTP-bound active conformational state. The guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) are critical activators of Rho. Rho1 has been shown to regulate actin cytoskeleton and cell wallsynthesis in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Here we studied function of fission yeast RhoGEFs, Rgf1, Rgf2, and Rgf3. It was shown that these proteins have similar molecular structures, and function as GEFs for Rho1. Disruption of either rgf1 or rgf2 did not show a serious effect on the cell. On the other hand, disruption of rgf3 caused severe defects in contractile ring formation, F-actin patch localization, and septation during cytokinesis. Rgf1 and Rgf2 were localized to the cell ends during interphase and the septum. Rgf3 formed a ring at the division site, which was located outside the contractile ring and inside the septum where Rho1 was accumulated. In summary, Rgf1 and Rgf2 show functional redundancy, and roles of these RhoGEFs are likely to be different from that of Rgf3. Rho1 is likely to be activated by Rgf3 at the division site, andinvolved in contractile ring formation and/or maintenance and septation.