Rho small GTPase regulates cell morphology, adhesion and cytokinesis through the actin cytoskeleton. We have identified a protein, p140mDia, as a downstream effector of Rho. It is a mammalian homolog of Drosophila diaphanous, a protein required for cytokinesis, and belongs to a family of formin-related proteins containing repetitive polyproline stretches. p140mDia binds selectively to the GTP-bound form of Rho and also binds to profilin. p140mDia, profilin and RhoA are co-localized in the spreading lamellae of cultured fibroblasts. They are also co-localized in membrane ruffles of phorbol ester-stimulated sMDCK2 cells, which extend these structures in a Rho-dependent manner. The three proteins are recruited around phagocytic cups induced by fibronectin-coated beads. Their recruitment is not induced after Rho is inactivated by microinjection of botulinum C3 exoenzyme. Overexpression of p140mDia in COS-7 cells induced homogeneous actin filament formation. These results suggest that Rho regulates actin polymerization by targeting profilin via p140mDia beneath the specific plasma membranes.