The putative exchange factor Gef3p interacts with Rho3p GTPase and the septin ring during cytokinesis in fission yeast [Signal Transduction]

June 20th, 2014 by Munoz, S., Manȷon, E., Sanchez, Y.

The small GTP-binding proteins of the Rho family and its regulatory proteins play a central role in cytokinetic actomyosin ring (CAR) assembly and cytokinesis. Here we show that the fission yeast guanine nucleotide exchange factor Gef3p interacts with Rho3p at the division site. Gef3p contains a putative DH homology domain and a BAR/IMD-like domain. The protein localized to the division site late in mitosis, where it formed a ring that did not constrict with actomyosin ring (CAR) invagination; instead, it split into a double ring that resembled the septin ring. Gef3p co-localized with septins and Mid2p and required septins and Mid2p for its localization. Gef3p interacts physically with the GTP-bound form of Rho3p. Although Gef3p is not essential for cell separation, the simultaneous disruption of gef3+ and Rho3p-interacting proteins, such as Sec8p, an exocyst component, Apm1p, a subunit of the clathrin adaptor complex or For3p, an actin-polymerizing protein, yielded cells with strong defects in septation and polarity respectively. Our results suggest that interactions between septins and Rho-GEFs provide a new targeting mechanism for GTPases in cytokinesis, in this case probably contributing to Rho3p function in vesicle tethering and vesicle trafficking in the later steps of cell separation.