Temporal regulation of cell polarity via the interaction of the Ras GTPase Rsr1 and the scaffold protein Bem1

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2543-2557
Journal / PublicationMolecular Biology of the Cell
Issue number20
Online published20 Sep 2019
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019


The Cdc42 guanosine triphosphatase (GTPase) plays a central role in polarity development in species ranging from yeast to humans. In budding yeast, a specific growth site is selected in the G1 phase. Rsr1, a Ras GTPase, interacts with Cdc42 and its associated proteins to promote polarized growth at the proper bud site. Yet how Rsr1 regulates cell polarization is not fully understood. Here, we show that Rsr1-GDP interacts with the scaffold protein Bem1 in early G1, likely hindering the role of Bem1 in Cdc42 polarization and polarized secretion. Consistent with these in vivo observations, mathematical modeling predicts that Bem1 is unable to promote Cdc42 polarization in early G1 in the presence of Rsr1-GDP. We find that a part of the Bem1 Phox homology domain, which overlaps with a region interacting with the exocyst component Exo70, is necessary for the association of Bem1 with Rsr1-GDP. Overexpression of the GDP-locked Rsr1 interferes with Bem1-dependent Exo70 polarization. We thus propose that Rsr1 functions in spatial and temporal regulation of polarity establishment by associating with distinct polarity factors in its GTP- and GDP-bound states.