We recently isolated from the filamentous fungus Trichoderma reesei (Hypocrea jecorina) a gene encoding RHOIII as a multicopy suppressor of the yeast temperature-sensitive secretory mutation, sec15-1. To characterize this gene further, we tested its ability to suppress other late-acting secretory mutations. The growth defect of yeast strains with sec1-1, sec1-11, sec3-2, sec6-4 and sec8-9 mutations was suppressed. Expression of rho3 also improved the impaired actin organization of sec15-1 cells at +38°C. Overproduction of yeast Rho3p using the same expression vector as T. reesei RHOIII appeared to be toxic in sec3-101, sec5-24, sec8-9, sec10-2 and sec15-1 cells. When expressed from the GAL1 promoter, RHO3 suppressed the growth defect of sec1 at the restrictive temperature and inhibited the growth of sec3-101 at the permissive temperature. Disruption of the rho3 gene in the T. reesei genome did not affect the hyphal or colony morphology nor the cellular cytoskeleton organization. Furthermore, the growth of T. reesei was not affected on glucose by the rho3 disruption. Instead, both growth and protein secretion of T. reesei in cellulose cultures was remarkably decreased in rho3 disruptant strains when compared with the parental strain. These results suggest that rho3 is involved in secretion processes in T. reesei.