Using a PCR approach we have isolated racF1, a novel member of the Rho family in Dictyostelium. The racF1 gene encodes a protein of 193 amino acids and is constitutively expressed throughout the Dictyostelium life cycle. Highest identity (94%) was found to a RacF2 isoform, to Dictyostelium Rac1A, Rac1B, and Rac1C (70%), and to Rac proteins of animal species (64-69%). To investigate the role of RacF1 in cytoskeleton-dependent processes, we have fused it at its amino-terminus with green fluorescent protein (GFP) and studied the dynamics of subcellular redistribution using a confocal laser scanning microscope and a double-view microscope system. GFP-RacF1 was homogeneously distributed in the cytosol and accumulated at the plasma membrane, especially at regions of transient intercellular contacts. GFP-RacF1 also localized transiently to macropinosomes and phagocytic cups and was gradually released within <1 min after formation of the endocytic vesicle or the phagosome, respectively. On stimulation with cAMP, no enrichment of GFP-RacF1 was observed in leading fronts, from which it was found to be initially excluded. Cell lines were obtained using homologous recombination that expressed a truncated racF1 gene lacking sequences encoding the carboxyl-terminal region responsible for membrane targeting. These cells displayed normal phagocytosis, endocytosis, and exocytosis rates. Our results suggest that RacF1 associates with dynamic structures that are formed during pinocytosis and phagocytosis. Although RacF1 appears not to be essential, it might act in concert and/or share functions with other members of the Rho family in the regulation of a subset of cytoskeletal rearrangements that are required for these processes.