Endocytosis and cell migration both require transient localised remodelling of the cell cortex. Several lines of evidence suggest a key regulatory role in these activities for members of the Ras family of small GTPases. We have generated Dictyostelium cells lacking one member of this family, RasS, and the mutant cells are perturbed in endocytosis and cell migration. Mutant amoebae are defective in phagocytosis and fluid-phase endocytosis and are impaired in growth. Conversely, the rasS(-)cells show an enhanced rate of cell migration, moving three times faster than wild-type controls. The mutant cells display an aberrant morphology, are highly polarised, carry many elongated actin protrusions and show a concomitant decrease in formation of pinocytic crowns on the cell surface. These morphological aberrations are paralleled by changes in the actin cytoskeleton, with a significant proportion of the cortical F-actin relocalised to prominent pseudopodia. Rapid migration and endocytosis appear to be mutually incompatible and it is likely that RasS protein is required to maintain the normal balance between these two actin-dependent processes.

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