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Role for the Rho-family GTPase Cdc42 in yeast mating-pheromone signal pathway.

In the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the process of conjugation of haploid cells of genotype MATa and MAT alpha to form MATa/alpha diploids is triggered by pheromones produced by each mating type. These pheromones stimulate a cellular response by interaction with receptors linked to a heterotrimeric G protein. Although genetic analysis indicates that the pheromone signal is transmitted through the G beta gamma dimer, the initial target(s) of G protein activation remain to be determined. Temperature-sensitive cells with mutations of the CDC24 and CDC42 genes, which are incapable of budding and of generating cell polarity at the restrictive temperature, are also unable to mate. Cdc24 acts as a guanylyl-nucleotide-exchange factor for the Rho-type GTPase Cdc42, which has been shown to be a fundamental component of the molecular machinery controlling morphogenesis in eukaryotic cells. Therefore, the inability of cdc24 and cdc42 mutants to mate has been presumed to be due to a requirement for generation of cell polarity and related morphogenetic events during conjugation. But here we show that Cdc42 has a direct signalling role in the mating-pheromone response between the G protein and the downstream protein kinase cascade.

Pubmed ID: 7651520


  • Simon MN
  • De Virgilio C
  • Souza B
  • Pringle JR
  • Abo A
  • Reed SI



Publication Data

August 24, 1995

Associated Grants


Mesh Terms

  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Fungal Proteins
  • GTP-Binding Protein beta Subunits
  • GTP-Binding Proteins
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Fungal
  • Genes, Fungal
  • Genes, Mating Type, Fungal
  • Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factors
  • Guanosine Triphosphate
  • Heterotrimeric GTP-Binding Proteins
  • Humans
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • MAP Kinase Kinase Kinases
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Mutation
  • Pheromones
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Signal Transduction
  • Transformation, Genetic
  • cdc42 GTP-Binding Protein, Saccharomyces cerevisiae