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Keywords:

  • actin cable;
  • cell morphogenesis;
  • cell polarity;
  • exocyst;
  • exocytosis;
  • fission yeast;
  • formin;
  • small GTPase

Proper cell morphogenesis requires the co-ordination of cell polarity, cytoskeletal organization and vesicle trafficking. The Schizosaccharomyces pombe mutant pob1-664 has a curious lemon-like shape, the basis of which is not understood. Here, we found abundant vesicle accumulation in these cells, suggesting that Pob1 plays a role in vesicle trafficking. We identified Rho3 as a multicopy suppressor of this phenotype. Because Rho3 function is related to For3, an actin-polymerizing protein, and Sec8, a component of the exocyst complex, we analyzed their functional relationship with Pob1. Pob1 was essential for the formation of actin cables (by interacting with For3) and for the polarized localization of Sec8. Although neither For3 nor Sec8 is essential for polarized growth, their simultaneous disruption prevented tip growth and yielded a lemon-like cell morphology similar to pob1-664. Thus, Pob1 may ensure cylindrical cell shape of S. pombe by coupling actin-mediated vesicle transport and exocyst-mediated vesicle tethering during secretory vesicle targeting.