The RHO1 gene in Saccharomyces cerevisiae encodes a homolog of the mammalian RhoA small GTP-binding protein, which is implicated in various actin cytoskeleton-dependent cell functions. In yeast, Rho1p is involved in bud formation. A yeast strain in which RHO1 is replaced with RhoA shows a recessive temperature-sensitive growth phenotype. A dominant suppressor mutant was isolated from this strain. Molecular cloning of the suppressor gene revealed that the mutation occurred at the pseuodosubstrate site of PKC1, a yeast homolog of mammalian protein kinase C. Two-hybrid analysis demonstrated that GTP-Rho1p, but not GDP-Rho1p, interacted with the region of Pkc1p containing the pseudosubstrate site and the C1 domain. MKK1 and MPK1 encode MAP kinase kinase and MAP kinase homologs, respectively, and function downstream of PKC1. A dominant active MKK1-6 mutation or overexpression of MPK1 suppressed the temperature sensitivity of the RhoA mutant. The dominant activating mutation of PKC1 suppressed the temperature sensitivity of the RhoA mutant. The dominant activating mutation of PKC1 suppressed the temperature sensitivity of two effector mutants of RHO1, rho1(F44Y) and rho1(E451), but not that of rho1(V43T). These results indicate that there are at least two signaling pathways regulated by Rho1p and that one of the downstream targets is Pkc1p, leading to the activation of the MAP kinase cascade.
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