14-3-3 proteins are highly conserved ubiquitous proteins whose explicit functions have remained elusive. Here, we show that the S. cerevisiae 14-3-3 homologs BMH1 and BMH2 are not essential for viability or mating MAPK cascade signaling, but they are essential for pseudohyphal-development MAPK cascade signaling and other processes. Activated alleles of RAS2 and CDC42 induce pseudohyphal development and FG(TyA)-lacZ signaling in Bmh+ strains but not in ste20 (p65PAK) or bmh1 bmh2 mutant strains. Moreover, Bmh1p and Bmh2p associate with Ste20p in vivo. Three alleles of BMH1 encode proteins defective for FG(TyA)-lacZ signaling and association with Ste20p, yet these alleles complement other 14-3-3 functions. Therefore, the 14-3-3 proteins are specifically required for RAS/MAPK cascade signaling during pseudohyphal development in S. cerevisiae.
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