SRO9, a multicopy suppressor of the bud growth defect in the Saccharomyces cerevisiae rho3-deficient cells, shows strong genetic interactions with tropomyosin genes, suggesting its role in organization of the actin cytoskeleton.
RHO3 encodes a Rho-type small GTPase in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and is involved in the proper organization of the actin cytoskeleton required for bud growth. SRO9 (YCL37c) was isolated as a multicopy suppressor of a rho3delta mutation. An Sro9p domain required for function is similar to a domain in the La protein (an RNA-binding protein). Disruption of SRO9 did not affect vegetative growth, even with the simultaneous disruption of an SRO9 homologue, SRO99. However, sro9delta was synthetically lethal with a disruption of TPM1, which encodes tropomyosin; sro9delta tpm1delta cells did not distribute cortical actin patches properly and lysed. We isolated TPM2, the other gene for tropomyosin, as a multicopy suppressor of a tpm1delta sro9delta double mutant. Genetic analysis suggests that TPM2 is functionally related to TPM1 and that tropomyosin is important but not essential for cell growth. Overexpression of SRO9 suppressed the growth defect in tpm1delta tpm2delta cells, disappearance of cables of actin filaments in both rho3delta cells and tpm1delta cells, and temperature sensitivity of actin mutant cells (act1-1 cells), suggesting that Sro9p has a function that overlaps or is related to tropomyosin function. Unlike tropomyosin, Sro9p does not colocalize with actin cables but is diffusely cytoplasmic. These results suggest that Sro9p is a new cytoplasmic factor involved in the organization of actin filaments.