An S-Acylation Switch of Conserved G Domain Cysteines Is Required for Polarity Signaling by ROP GTPases

Nadav Sorek, Oshik Segev, Orit Gutman, Einat Bar, Sandra Richter, Limor Poraty, Joel A. Hirsch, Yoav I. Henis, Efraim Lewinsohn, Gerd Jürgens, Shaul Yalovsky*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Rho GTPases are master regulators of cell polarity [1]. For their function, Rhos must associate with discrete plasma membrane domains [2]. Rho of Plants (ROPs) or RACs comprise a single family [3-5]. Prenylation and S-acylation of hypervariable domain cysteines of Ras and Rho GTPases are required for their function [6-11]; however, lipid modifications in the G domain have never been reported. Reversible S-acylation involves the attachment of palmitate (C16:0) or other saturated lipids to cysteines through a thioester linkage and was implicated in the regulation of signaling [12]. Here we show that transient S-acylation of Arabidopsis AtROP6 takes place on two conserved G domain cysteine residues, C21 and C156. C21 is relatively exposed and is accessible for modification, but C156 is not, implying that its S-acylation involves a conformational change. Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching beam-size analysis [13] shows that S-acylation of AtROP6 regulates its membrane-association dynamics, and detergent-solubilization studies indicate that it regulates AtROP6 association with lipid rafts. Site-specific acylation-deficient AtROP6 mutants can bind and hydrolyze GTP but display compromised effects on polar cell growth, endocytic uptake of the tracer dye FM4-64, and distribution of reactive oxygen species. These data reveal an S-acylation switch that regulates Rho signaling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)914-920
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Biology
Issue number10
StatePublished - 25 May 2010




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