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Publications (5)56.02 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Budding yeast serves as a powerful genetic model organism for studying the molecular mechanisms of cell polarity in single cells. Like other polarized eukaryotic cells, yeast cells possess polarity programs that regulate where they grow and divide. Establishment of a site of cell polarity may be conceptualized in several stages. First, cells mark a specific location at the cell surface for polarized cell growth and cell division. To define these sites, cells use intrinsic cues present in the cell or landmarks determined by extracellular signals such as morphogens. Second, these landmark proteins then recruit or activate polarity establishment proteins including small GTPases and their regulators. Positive and negative feedback mechanisms are required to transform these site-selection processes into a stable axis of polarity. Finally, these locally activated GTPase modules recruit and activate proteins that organize the actin cytoskeleton and cell growth. In this short review, we describe molecular pathways required to establish oriented cell polarity, and emphasize recent advances in defining positive and negative feedback mechanisms that together may translate an initially weak symmetry-breaking signal into a robust axis of polarity.
    Novartis Foundation symposium 02/2005; 269:47-54; discussion 54-8, 223-30.
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    ABSTRACT: Receptor-mediated cell polarization via heterotrimeric G-proteins induces cytoskeletal rearrangements in a variety of organisms. In yeast, Far1p is required for orienting cell growth towards the mating partner by linking activated Gbetagamma to the guanine-nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) Cdc24p, which activates the Rho-type GTPase Cdc42p. Here we investigated the role of Far1p in the regulation of Cdc24p in vivo. Using time-lapse microscopy of mating cells and artificial membrane targeting of Far1p, we show that Far1p is necessary and sufficient to recruit Cdc24p to the plasma membrane. Wild-type Far1p contains a PH-like domain, which is required for its membrane localization in vivo. Interestingly, expression of membrane-targeted Far1p causes toxicity, most likely by activating Cdc42p uniformly at the cell cortex. The ability of full-length Far1p to function as an activator of Cdc24p in vivo requires its interaction with Cdc24p and Gbetagamma. Our results imply that Gbetagamma not only targets Far1p to the correct site but may also trigger a conformational change in Far1p that is required for its ability to activate Cdc24p in vivo.
    The EMBO Journal 04/2004; 23(5):1063-74. DOI:10.1038/sj.emboj.7600123 · 10.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Site-specific activation of the Rho-type GTPase Cdc42p by its guanine-nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) Cdc24p is critical for the establishment of cell polarity. Here we show that binding of Cdc24p to the small GTPase Rsr1p/Bud1p is required for its recruitment to the incipient bud site. Rsr1p/Bud1p binds to the CH-domain of Cdc24p, which is essential for its function in vivo. We have identified a cdc24-mutant allele, which is specifically defective for bud-site selection. Our results suggest that Cdc24p is auto-inhibited by an intramolecular interaction with its carboxy-terminal PB1-domain. Rsr1p/Bud1p appears to activate the GEF activity of Cdc24p in vivo, possibly by triggering a conformational change that dissociates the PB1-domain from its intramolecular binding site. Genetic experiments suggest that Bem1p functions as a positive regulator of Cdc24p by binding to the PB1-domain of Cdc24p, thereby preventing its re-binding to the intramolecular inhibitory site. Taken together, our results support a two-step molecular mechanism for the site-specific activation of Cdc24p, which involves Rsr1p/Bud1p and the adaptor protein Bem1p.
    The EMBO Journal 04/2004; 23(5):1051-62. DOI:10.1038/sj.emboj.7600124 · 10.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Rho-type GTPases control many cytoskeletal rearrangements, but their regulation remains poorly understood. Here, we show that in S. cerevisiae, activation of the CDK Cdc28-Cln2 at bud emergence triggers relocalization of Cdc24, the GEF for Cdc42, from the nucleus to the polarization site, where it is stably maintained by binding to the adaptor Bem1. Locally activated Cdc42 then polarizes the cytoskeleton in a manner dependent on its effectors Bni1 and the PAK-like kinase Cla4. In addition, Cla4 induces phosphorylation of Cdc24, leading to its dissociation from Bem1 at bud tips, thereby ending polarized bud growth in vivo. Our results thus suggest a dynamic temporal and spatial regulation of the Cdc42 module: Cdc28-Cln triggers actin polarization by activating Cdc42, which in turn restricts its own activation via a negative feedback loop acting on its GEF Cdc24.
    Molecular Cell 12/2000; 6(5):1155-67. DOI:10.1016/S1097-2765(00)00113-1 · 14.46 Impact Factor
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    Yukiko Shimada, M P Gulli, Matthias Peter
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    ABSTRACT: Cytoskeletal rearrangements during the cell cycle and in response to signals are regulated by small Rho-type GTPases, but it is not known how these GTPases are activated in a spatial and temporal manner. Here we show that Cdc24, the guanine-nucleotide exchange factor for the yeast GTPase Cdc42, is sequestered in the cell nucleus by Far1. Export of Cdc24 to a site of cell polarization is mediated by two mechanisms. At bud emergence, activation of the G1 cyclin-dependent kinase Cdc28-Cln triggers degradation of Far1 and, as a result, relocation of Cdc24 to the cytoplasm. Cells overexpressing a non-degradable Far1 were unable to polarize their actin cytoskeleton because they failed to relocate Cdc24 to the incipient bud site. In contrast, in response to mating pheromones, the Far1-Cdc24 complex is exported from the nucleus by Msn5. This mechanism ensures that Cdc24 is targeted to the site of receptor-associated heterotrimeric G-protein activation at the plasma membrane, thereby allowing polarization of the actin cytoskeleton along the morphogenetic gradient of pheromone. Either degradation of Far1 or its nuclear export by Msn5 was sufficient for cell growth, suggesting that the two mechanisms are redundant for cell viability. Taken together, our results indicate that Far1 functions as a nuclear anchor for Cdc24. This sequestration regulates cell polarity in response to pheromones by restricting activation of Cdc42 to the site of pheromone receptor activation.
    Nature Cell Biology 03/2000; 2(2):117-24. DOI:10.1038/35000073 · 20.06 Impact Factor