Bud growth in yeast is guided by myosin-driven delivery of secretory vesicles from the mother cell to the bud. We find transport occurs along two sets of actin cables assembled by two formin isoforms. The Bnr1p formin assembles cables that radiate from the bud neck into the mother, providing a stable mother-bud axis. These cables also depend on septins at the neck and are required for efficient transport from the mother to the bud. The Bni1p formin assembles cables that line the bud cortex and target vesicles to varying locations in the bud. Loss of these cables results in morphological defects as vesicles accumulate at the neck. Assembly of these cables depends on continued polarized secretion, suggesting vesicular transport provides a positive feedback signal for Bni1p activation, possibly by rho-proteins. By coupling different formin isoforms to unique cortical landmarks, yeast uses common cytoskeletal elements to maintain stable and dynamic axes in the same cell.
Polarity is achieved partly through the localized assembly of the cytoskeleton. During growth in budding yeast, the bud cortex and neck localized formins Bni1p and Bnr1p nucleate and assemble actin cables that extend along the bud-mother axis, providing tracks for secretory vesicle delivery. Localized formins are believed to determine the location and polarity of cables, hence growth. However, yeast expressing the nonlocalized actin nucleating/assembly formin homology (FH) 1-FH2 domains of Bnr1p or Bni1p as the sole formin grow well. Although cables are significantly disorganized, analysis of directed transport of secretory vesicles is still biased toward the bud, reflecting a bias in correctly oriented cables, thereby permitting polarized growth. Myosin II, localized at the bud neck, contributes to polarized growth as a mutant unable to interact with F-actin further compromises growth in cells with an unlocalized formin but not with a localized formin. Our results show that multiple mechanisms contribute to cable orientation and polarized growth, with localized formins and myosin II being two major contributors.
In fission yeast, myosin Vs contribute to actin cable extension through the cell and promote retrograde flow. Chimeric motor proteins are used to show that Myo52 organizes actin cables by both delivering cargoes to cell tips and exerting physical force pulling on the cables. This suggests that cable tracks are shaped by cargo transport.
Myosin V motors are believed to contribute to cell polarization by carrying cargoes along actin tracks. In Schizosaccharomyces pombe, Myosin Vs transport secretory vesicles along actin cables, which are dynamic actin bundles assembled by the formin For3 at cell poles. How these flexible structures are able to extend longitudinally in the cell through the dense cytoplasm is unknown. Here we show that in myosin V (myo52 myo51) null cells, actin cables are curled, bundled, and fail to extend into the cell interior. They also exhibit reduced retrograde flow, suggesting that formin-mediated actin assembly is impaired. Myo52 may contribute to actin cable organization by delivering actin regulators to cell poles, as myoV∆ defects are partially suppressed by diverting cargoes toward cell tips onto microtubules with a kinesin 7–Myo52 tail chimera. In addition, Myo52 motor activity may pull on cables to provide the tension necessary for their extension and efficient assembly, as artificially tethering actin cables to the nuclear envelope via a Myo52 motor domain restores actin cable extension and retrograde flow in myoV mutants. Together these in vivo data reveal elements of a self-organizing system in which the motors shape their own tracks by transporting cargoes and exerting physical pulling forces.
Actin in eukaryotic cells is found in different pools, with filaments being organized into a variety of supramolecular assemblies. To investigate the assembly and functional relationships between different parts of the actin cytoskeleton in one cell, we studied the morphology and dynamics of cables and patches in yeast. The fine structure of actin cables and the manner in which cables disassemble support a model in which cables are composed of a number of overlapping actin filaments. No evidence for intrinsic polarity of cables was found.
To investigate to what extent different parts of the actin cytoskeleton depend on each other, we looked for relationships between cables and patches. Patches and cables were often associated, and their polarized distributions were highly correlated. Therefore, patches and cables do appear to depend on each other for assembly and function.
Many cell types show rearrangements of the actin cytoskeleton, which can occur via assembly or movement of actin filaments. In our studies, dramatic changes in actin polarization did not include changes in filamentous actin. In addition, the concentration of actin patches was relatively constant as cells grew. Therefore, cells do not have bursts of activity in which new parts of the actin cytoskeleton are created.
actin; cytoskeleton; yeast; fluorescence microscopy; 3-D reconstructions
During yeast cell division, aggregates of damaged proteins are segregated asymmetrically between the bud and the mother. It is thought that protein aggregates are cleared from the bud via actin cable-based retrograde transport toward the mother, and that Bni1p formin regulates this transport. Here we examined the dynamics of Hsp104-associated protein aggregates by video microscopy, particle tracking and image correlation analysis. We show that protein aggregates undergo random walk without directional bias. Clearance of heat-induced aggregates from the bud does not depend on formin proteins but occurs mostly through dissolution via Hsp104p chaperon. Aggregates formed naturally in aged cells also exhibit random walk but do not dissolve during observation. Although our data does not disagree with a role for actin or cell polarity in aggregate segregation, modeling suggests that their asymmetric inheritance can be a predictable outcome of aggregates' slow diffusion and the geometry of yeast cells.
In animal and fungal cells, the monomeric GTPase Cdc42p is a key regulator of cell polarity that itself exhibits a polarized distribution in asymmetric cells. Previous work showed that in budding yeast, Cdc42p polarization is unaffected by depolymerization of the actin cytoskeleton (Ayscough et al., J. Cell Biol. 137, 399–416, 1997). Surprisingly, we now report that unlike complete actin depolymerization, partial actin depolymerization leads to the dispersal of Cdc42p from the polarization site in unbudded cells. We provide evidence that dispersal is due to endocytosis associated with cortical actin patches and that actin cables are required to counteract the dispersal and maintain Cdc42p polarity. Thus, although Cdc42p is initially polarized in an actin-independent manner, maintaining that polarity may involve a reinforcing feedback between Cdc42p and polarized actin cables to counteract the dispersing effects of actin-dependent endocytosis. In addition, we report that once a bud has formed, polarized Cdc42p becomes more resistant to dispersal, revealing an unexpected difference between unbudded and budded cells in the organization of the polarization site.
Formins are a conserved family of proteins with robust effects in promoting actin nucleation and elongation. However, the mechanisms restraining formin activities in cells to generate actin networks with particular dynamics and architectures are not well understood. In S. cerevisiae, formins assemble actin cables, which serve as tracks for myosin-dependent intracellular transport. Here, we show that the kinesin-like myosin passenger-protein Smy1 interacts with the FH2 domain of the formin Bnr1 to decrease rates of actin filament elongation, which is distinct from the formin displacement activity of Bud14. In vivo analysis of smy1Δ mutants demonstrates that this ‘damper’ mechanism is critical for maintaining proper actin cable architecture, dynamics, and function. We directly observe Smy1–3GFP being transported by myosin V and transiently pausing at the neck in a manner dependent on Bnr1. These observations suggest that Smy1 is part of a negative feedback mechanism that detects cable length and prevents overgrowth.
actin; formin; Smy1; myosin; Bnr1; yeast; kinesin; Bud14
In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Golgi elements are present in the bud very early in the cell cycle. We have analyzed this Golgi inheritance process using fluorescence microscopy and genetics. In rapidly growing cells, late Golgi elements show an actin-dependent concentration at sites of polarized growth. Late Golgi elements are apparently transported into the bud along actin cables and are also retained in the bud by a mechanism that may involve actin. A visual screen for mutants defective in the inheritance of late Golgi elements yielded multiple alleles of CDC1. Mutations in CDC1 severely depolarize the actin cytoskeleton, and these mutations prevent late Golgi elements from being retained in the bud. The efficient localization of late Golgi elements to the bud requires the type V myosin Myo2p, further suggesting that actin plays a role in Golgi inheritance. Surprisingly, early and late Golgi elements are inherited by different pathways, with early Golgi elements localizing to the bud in a Cdc1p- and Myo2p-independent manner. We propose that early Golgi elements arise from ER membranes that are present in the bud. These two pathways of Golgi inheritance in S. cerevisiae resemble Golgi inheritance pathways in vertebrate cells.
Golgi apparatus; endoplasmic reticulum; budding yeast; actins; myosin
Budding yeast mutants in assembly of actin cables, which are thought to be the only actin structures essential for budding, still could form a small bud. Mutations in actin patch endocytic machineries/endocytic recycling factors inhibited this budding, suggesting a mechanism that promotes polarized growth by local recycling of endocytic vesicles.
The assembly of filamentous actin is essential for polarized bud growth in budding yeast. Actin cables, which are assembled by the formins Bni1p and Bnr1p, are thought to be the only actin structures that are essential for budding. However, we found that formin or tropomyosin mutants, which lack actin cables, are still able to form a small bud. Additional mutations in components for cortical actin patches, which are assembled by the Arp2/3 complex to play a pivotal role in endocytic vesicle formation, inhibited this budding. Genes involved in endocytic recycling were also required for small-bud formation in actin cable-less mutants. These results suggest that budding yeast possesses a mechanism that promotes polarized growth by local recycling of endocytic vesicles. Interestingly, the type V myosin Myo2p, which was thought to use only actin cables to track, also contributed to budding in the absence of actin cables. These results suggest that some actin network may serve as the track for Myo2p-driven vesicle transport in the absence of actin cables or that Myo2p can function independent of actin filaments. Our results also show that polarity regulators including Cdc42p were still polarized in mutants defective in both actin cables and cortical actin patches, suggesting that the actin cytoskeleton does not play a major role in cortical assembly of polarity regulators in budding yeast.
Retrograde flow of cortical actin networks and bundles is essential for cell motility and retrograde intracellular movement, and for the formation and maintenance of microvilli, stereocilia, and filopodia. Actin cables, which are F-actin bundles that serve as tracks for anterograde and retrograde cargo movement in budding yeast, undergo retrograde flow that is driven, in part, by actin polymerization and assembly. We find that the actin cable retrograde flow rate is reduced by deletion or delocalization of the type II myosin Myo1p, and by deletion or conditional mutation of the Myo1p motor domain. Deletion of the tropomyosin isoform Tpm2p, but not the Tpm1p isoform, increases the rate of actin cable retrograde flow. Pretreatment of F-actin with Tpm2p, but not Tpm1p, inhibits Myo1p binding to F-actin and Myo1p-dependent F-actin gliding. These data support novel, opposing roles of Myo1p and Tpm2 in regulating retrograde actin flow in budding yeast and an isoform-specific function of Tpm1p in promoting actin cable function in myosin-driven anterograde cargo transport.
There are four distinct localization domains in formin Bni1p of budding yeast. Analysis of the functions of the domains in the actin cytoskeleton and in spindle orientation reveals unexpected complexity in the mechanism of formin localization and function.
Formins are conserved proteins that assemble unbranched actin filaments in a regulated, localized manner. Budding yeast's two formins, Bni1p and Bnr1p, assemble actin cables necessary for polarized cell growth and organelle segregation. Here we define four regions in Bni1p that contribute to its localization to the bud and at the bud neck. The first (residues 1–333) requires dimerization for its localization and encompasses the Rho-binding domain. The second (residues 334–821) covers the Diaphanous inhibitory–dimerization–coiled coil domains, and the third is the Spa2p-binding domain. The fourth region encompasses the formin homology 1–formin homology 2–COOH region of the protein. These four regions can each localize to the bud cortex and bud neck at the right stage of the cell cycle independent of both F-actin and endogenous Bni1p. The first three regions contribute cumulatively to the proper localization of Bni1p, as revealed by the effects of progressive loss of these regions on the actin cytoskeleton and fidelity of spindle orientation. The fourth region contributes to the localization of Bni1p in tiny budded cells. Expression of mislocalized Bni1p constructs has a dominant-negative effect on both growth and nuclear segregation due to mislocalized actin assembly. These results define an unexpected complexity in the mechanism of formin localization and function.
Formins are conserved actin nucleators responsible for the assembly of diverse actin structures. Many formins are controlled through an autoinhibitory mechanism involving the interaction of a C-terminal DAD sequence with an N-terminal DID sequence. Here, we show that the fission yeast formin for3p, which mediates actin cable assembly and polarized cell growth, is regulated by a similar autoinhibitory mechanism in vivo. Multiple sites govern for3p localization to cell tips. The localization and activity of for3p are inhibited by an intramolecular interaction of divergent DAD and DID-like sequences. A for3p DAD mutant expressed at endogenous levels produces more robust actin cables, which appear to have normal organization and dynamics. We identify cdc42p as the primary Rho GTPase involved in actin cable assembly and for3p regulation. Both cdc42p, which binds at the N terminus of for3p, and bud6p, which binds near the C-terminal DAD-like sequence, are needed for for3p localization and full activity, but a mutation in the for3p DAD restores for3p localization and other phenotypes of cdc42 and bud6 mutants. In particular, the for3p DAD mutation suppresses the bipolar growth (NETO) defect of bud6Δ cells. These findings suggest that cdc42p and bud6p activate for3p by relieving autoinhibition.
Microtubules (MTs) participate in the spatial regulation of actin-based processes such as cytokinesis and cell polarization . The fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe is a rod-shaped cell which exhibits polarized cell growth at cell tips. MT plus ends contact and shrink from the cell tips and contribute to polarity regulation.
Here, we investigate the effects of changing cell shape on MTs and cell polarization machinery. We physically bend fission yeast cells by forcing them into microfabricated femtoliter chambers. In these bent cells, MTs maintain a straight axis and contact and shrink from cortical sites at the sides of cells. At these ectopic sites, polarity factors such as bud6p, for3p (formin), and cdc42p are recruited and assemble actin cables in an MT-dependent manner. MT contact at the cortex induces the appearance of a bud6p dot within seconds. The accumulation of polarity factors leads to cell growth at these sites, when the MT-associated polarity factor tea1p is absent. This process is dependent on MTs, mal3p (EB1), moe1p (an EB1-binding protein), and for3p, but surprisingly, is independent of the tea1p–tea4p pathway.
These studies provide a direct demonstration for how MTs induce actin assembly at specific locations on the cell cortex and begin to identify a new pathway involved in this process. MT interactions with the cortex may be regulated by cortical attachment sites. These findings highlight the crosstalk between cell shape, polarity mechanisms, and MTs responsible for cell morphogenesis.
In fission yeast, long-range transport and vesicle tethering by the exocyst are individually dispensable but together essential for cell morphogenesis. Both pathways function downstream of Cdc42. The exocyst localizes to growing cell tips independently of the cytoskeleton and instead depends on PIP2.
Cell morphogenesis depends on polarized exocytosis. One widely held model posits that long-range transport and exocyst-dependent tethering of exocytic vesicles at the plasma membrane sequentially drive this process. Here, we describe that disruption of either actin-based long-range transport and microtubules or the exocyst did not abolish polarized growth in rod-shaped fission yeast cells. However, disruption of both actin cables and exocyst led to isotropic growth. Exocytic vesicles localized to cell tips in single mutants but were dispersed in double mutants. In contrast, a marker for active Cdc42, a major polarity landmark, localized to discreet cortical sites even in double mutants. Localization and photobleaching studies show that the exocyst subunits Sec6 and Sec8 localize to cell tips largely independently of the actin cytoskeleton, but in a cdc42 and phospholipid phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2)–dependent manner. Thus in fission yeast long-range cytoskeletal transport and PIP2-dependent exocyst represent parallel morphogenetic modules downstream of Cdc42, raising the possibility of similar mechanisms in other cell types.
In yeast, growth and organelle segregation requires formin-dependent assembly of polarized actin cables. These tracks are used by myosin Vs to deliver secretory vesicles for cell growth, organelles for their segregation, and mRNA for fate determination. Several specific receptors have been identified that interact with the cargo-binding tails of the myosin Vs. A recent study implicates specific degradation in the bud of the vacuolar receptor, Vac17, as a mechanism for cell cycle–regulated segregation of this organelle.
polarity; transport; actin; myosin; vacuole
Polarity establishment and maintenance are crucial for morphogenesis and development. In budding yeast, these two intricate processes involve the superposition of regulatory loops between polarity landmarks, RHO GTPases, actin-mediated vesicles transport and endocytosis. Deciphering the chronology and the significance of each molecular step of polarized growth is therefore very challenging.
We have taken advantage of the fact that yeast quiescent cells display actin bodies, a non polarized actin structure, to evaluate the role of F-actin in bud emergence. Here we show that upon exit from quiescence, actin cables are not required for the first steps of polarized growth. We further show that polarized growth can occur in the absence of actin patch-mediated endocytosis. We finally establish, using latrunculin-A, that the first steps of polarized growth do not require any F-actin containing structures. Yet, these structures are required for the formation of a bona fide daughter cell and cell cycle completion. We propose that upon exit from quiescence in the absence of F-actin, secretory vesicles randomly reach the plasma membrane but preferentially dock and fuse where polarity cues are localized, this being sufficient to trigger polarized growth.
Bud6 functions as an actin nucleation–promoting factor (NPF) for Bni1; thus formins can depend on NPFs like the Arp2/3 complex. Unexpected parallels exist between Bud6 and WASp. Bud6 is the first nonmetazoan example of formins pairing with actin monomer–binding proteins to stimulate nucleation, akin to Spire-Capu and APC-mDia1
Formins are a conserved family of actin assembly–promoting factors with diverse biological roles, but how their activities are regulated in vivo is not well understood. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the formins Bni1 and Bnr1 are required for the assembly of actin cables and polarized cell growth. Proper cable assembly further requires Bud6. Previously it was shown that Bud6 enhances Bni1-mediated actin assembly in vitro, but the biochemical mechanism and in vivo role of this activity were left unclear. Here we demonstrate that Bud6 specifically stimulates the nucleation rather than the elongation phase of Bni1-mediated actin assembly, defining Bud6 as a nucleation-promoting factor (NPF) and distinguishing its effects from those of profilin. We generated alleles of Bud6 that uncouple its interactions with Bni1 and G-actin and found that both interactions are critical for NPF activity. Our data indicate that Bud6 promotes filament nucleation by recruiting actin monomers to Bni1. Genetic analysis of the same alleles showed that Bud6 regulation of formin activity is critical for normal levels of actin cable assembly in vivo. Our results raise important mechanistic parallels between Bud6 and WASP, as well as between Bud6 and other NPFs that interact with formins such as Spire.
In vivo time-lapse microscopy reveals that the number of peroxisomes in Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells is fairly constant and that a subset of the organelles are targeted and segregated to the bud in a highly ordered, vectorial process. The dynamin-like protein Vps1p controls the number of peroxisomes, since in a vps1Δ mutant only one or two giant peroxisomes remain. Analogous to the function of other dynamin-related proteins, Vps1p may be involved in a membrane fission event that is required for the regulation of peroxisome abundance. We found that efficient segregation of peroxisomes from mother to bud is dependent on the actin cytoskeleton, and active movement of peroxisomes along actin filaments is driven by the class V myosin motor protein, Myo2p: (a) peroxisomal dynamics always paralleled the polarity of the actin cytoskeleton, (b) double labeling of peroxisomes and actin cables revealed a close association between both, (c) depolymerization of the actin cytoskeleton abolished all peroxisomal movements, and (d) in cells containing thermosensitive alleles of MYO2, all peroxisome movement immediately stopped at the nonpermissive temperature. In addition, time-lapse videos showing peroxisome movement in wild-type and vps1Δ cells suggest the existence of various levels of control involved in the partitioning of peroxisomes.
peroxisome inheritance; Vps1; fission; actin cytoskeleton; Myo2p
The plus ends of microtubules have been speculated to regulate the actin cytoskeleton for the proper positioning of sites of cell polarization and cytokinesis. In the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, interphase microtubules and the kelch repeat protein tea1p regulate polarized cell growth. Here, we show that tea1p is directly deposited at cell tips by microtubule plus ends. Tea1p associates in large “polarisome” complexes with bud6p and for3p, a formin that assembles actin cables. Tea1p also interacts in a separate complex with the CLIP-170 protein tip1p, a microtubule plus end–binding protein that anchors tea1p to the microtubule plus end. Localization experiments suggest that tea1p and bud6p regulate formin distribution and actin cable assembly. Although single mutants still polarize, for3Δbud6Δtea1Δ triple-mutant cells lack polarity, indicating that these proteins contribute overlapping functions in cell polarization. Thus, these experiments begin to elucidate how microtubules contribute to the proper spatial regulation of actin assembly and polarized cell growth.
actin; microtubules; cell polarity; fission yeast; formin
During the cell cycle of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the actin cytoskeleton and the growth of cell surface are polarized, mediating bud emergence, bud growth, and cytokinesis. We identified CDC50 as a multicopy suppressor of the myo3 myo5-360 temperature-sensitive mutant, which is defective in organization of cortical actin patches. The cdc50 null mutant showed cold-sensitive cell cycle arrest with a small bud as reported previously. Cortical actin patches and Myo5p, which are normally localized to polarization sites, were depolarized in the cdc50 mutant. Furthermore, actin cables disappeared, and Bni1p and Gic1p, effectors of the Cdc42p small GTPase, were mislocalized in the cdc50 mutant. As predicted by its amino acid sequence, Cdc50p appears to be a transmembrane protein because it was solubilized from the membranes by detergent treatment. Cdc50p colocalized with Vps21p in endosomal compartments and was also localized to the class E compartment in the vps27 mutant. The cdc50 mutant showed defects in a late stage of endocytosis but not in the internalization step. It showed, however, only modest defects in vacuolar protein sorting. Our results indicate that Cdc50p is a novel endosomal protein that regulates polarized cell growth.
We show that Kar9p polarity is instructed by a feedback loop that requires astral microtubules, actin cables, and Myo2p-based transport to enforce Kar9p loading to the bud-ward pole. This novel mechanism also provides the basis for a model unifying Kar9p polarity and the stereotyped pattern of spindle pole inheritance known to occur in yeast.
In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Kar9p, one player in spindle alignment, guides the bud-ward spindle pole by linking astral microtubule plus ends to Myo2p-based transport along actin cables generated by the formins Bni1p and Bnr1p and the polarity determinant Bud6p. Initially, Kar9p labels both poles but progressively singles out the bud-ward pole. Here, we show that this polarization requires cell polarity determinants, actin cables, and microtubules. Indeed, in a bud6Δ bni1Δ mutant or upon direct depolymerization of actin cables Kar9p symmetry increased. Furthermore, symmetry was selectively induced by myo2 alleles, preventing Kar9p binding to the Myo2p cargo domain. Kar9p polarity was rebuilt after transient disruption of microtubules, dependent on cell polarity and actin cables. Symmetry breaking also occurred after transient depolymerization of actin cables, with Kar9p increasing at the spindle pole engaging in repeated cycles of Kar9p-mediated transport. Kar9p returning to the spindle pole on shrinking astral microtubules may contribute toward this bias. Thus, Myo2p transport along actin cables may support a feedback loop by which delivery of astral microtubule plus ends sustains Kar9p polarized recruitment to the bud-ward spindle pole. Our findings also explain the link between Kar9p polarity and the choice setting aside the old spindle pole for daughter-bound fate.
Rho and Rab family GTPases play a key role in cytoskeletal organization and vesicular trafficking, but the exact mechanisms by which these GTPases regulate polarized cell growth are incompletely understood. A previous screen for genes that interact with CDC42, which encodes a Rho GTPase, found SWF1/PSL10. Here, we show Swf1p, a member of the DHHC-CRD family of palmitoyltransferases, localizes to actin cables and cortical actin patches in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Deletion of SWF1 results in misorganization of the actin cytoskeleton and decreased stability of actin filaments in vivo. Cdc42p localization depends upon Swf1p primarily after bud emergence. Importantly, we revealed that the actin regulating activity of Swf1p is independent of its DHHC motif. A swf1 mutant, in which alanine substituted for the cysteine required for the palmitoylation activity of DHHC-CRD proteins, displayed wild-type actin organization and Cdc42p localization. Bgl2p-marked exocytosis was found wild type in this mutant, although invertase secretion was impaired. These data indicate Swf1p has at least two distinct functions, one of which regulates actin organization and Bgl2p-marked secretion. This report is the first to link the function of a DHHC-CRD protein to Cdc42p and the regulation of the actin cytoskeleton.
To further elucidate the functions of actin in budding yeast and to relate actin structure to specific roles and interactions in vivo, we determined the phenotypes caused by 13 charged-to-alanine mutations isolated previously in the single Saccharomyces cerevisiae actin gene. Defects in actin organization, morphogenesis, budding pattern, chitin deposition, septation, nuclear segregation, and mitochondrial organization were observed. In wild-type cells, mitochondria were found to be aligned along actin cables. Many of the amino acid substitutions that had the most severe effects on mitochondrial organization are located under the myosin "footprint" on the actin monomer, suggesting that actin-myosin interactions might underlie mitochondrial organization in yeast. In addition, one mutant (act1-129; R177A, D179A) produced an actin that assembled into cables and patches that could be visualized by anti-actin immunofluorescence in situ and that assembled into microfilaments of normal appearance in vitro as judged by electron microscopy but which could not be labeled by rhodamine-phalloidin in situ or in vitro. Rhodamine-phalloidin could label actin filaments assembled from all of the other mutant actins, including one (act1-119; R116A, E117A, K118A) that is altered at a residue (E117) that can be chemically cross-linked to phalloidin. The implication of residues R177 and/or D179 in phalloidin binding is in close agreement with a recently reported molecular model in which the phalloidin-binding site is proposed to be at the junction of two or three actin monomers in the filament.
The ability of actin filaments to function in cell morphogenesis and motility is closely coupled to their dynamic properties. Yeast cells contain two prominent actin structures, cables and patches, both of which are rapidly assembled and disassembled. Although genetic studies have shown that rapid actin turnover in patches and cables depends on cofilin, how cofilin might control cable disassembly remains unclear, because tropomyosin, a component of actin cables, is thought to protect actin filaments against the depolymerizing activity of ADF/cofilin. We have identified cofilin as a yeast tropomyosin (Tpm1) binding protein through Tpm1 affinity column and mass spectrometry. Using a variety of assays, we show that yeast cofilin can efficiently depolymerize and sever yeast actin filaments decorated with either Tpm1 or mouse tropomyosins TM1 and TM4. Our results suggest that yeast cofilin has the intrinsic ability to promote actin cable turnover, and that the severing activity may rely on its ability to bind Tpm1.
In addition to de novo F-actin assembly at the division site, directed transport of F-actin cables assembled elsewhere can contribute to actomyosin ring assembly during cytokinesis.
In many eukaryotes, cytokinesis requires the assembly and constriction of an actomyosin-based contractile ring. Despite the central role of this ring in cytokinesis, the mechanism of F-actin assembly and accumulation in the ring is not fully understood. In this paper, we investigate the mechanism of F-actin assembly during cytokinesis in Schizosaccharomyces pombe using lifeact as a probe to monitor actin dynamics. Previous work has shown that F-actin in the actomyosin ring is assembled de novo at the division site. Surprisingly, we find that a significant fraction of F-actin in the ring was recruited from formin-Cdc12p nucleated long actin cables that were generated at multiple nonmedial locations and incorporated into the ring by a combination of myosin II and myosin V activities. Our results, together with findings in animal cells, suggest that de novo F-actin assembly at the division site and directed transport of F-actin cables assembled elsewhere can contribute to ring assembly.