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    A highly conserved member of the Rho family of small GTPases, Cdc42 functions as the "master regulator of cell polarity." It has been reported that for proper establishment and maintenance of cell polarity, Cdc42 regulates and requires vesicle trafficking. Importantly, we recently discovered that in budding yeast, vesicle trafficking also controls the localization and function of Bem3, a GTPase activating protein for Cdc42. Specifically, we observed that Bem3 partitioned between the plasma membrane and an internal membrane-bound compartment. This Bem3-containing compartment was present during extended periods of apical growth, required actin tracks for trafficking to polarized sites and functioned as a recycling station that was positioned at the junction of endocytic and secretory pathways. Strikingly, many of these features are reminiscent of the Spitzenkörper, a dynamic structure involved in polarized growth during hyphal development in several filamentous fungi. Furthermore, Bem3 was not merely a passive cargo but actively recruited the secretory Rab GTPase Sec4 to this Spitzenkörper-like compartment. Importantly, this function of Bem3 was independent of its GAP activity. Our work demonstrates the existence of a complementary regulation between Bem3, a regulator of Cdc42 signaling and Sec4, a key component of the secretory machinery.


    Arpita Sen, Debarati Mukherjee, R Claudio Aguilar. Bem3: Filling the GAP between cell polarity and secretion. Communicative & integrative biology. 2013 Nov 1;6(6):e26702

    PMID: 24753785

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