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Science 315 (5810): 384-386

Copyright © 2007 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Control of Drosophila Gastrulation by Apical Localization of Adherens Junctions and RhoGEF2

Verena Kölsch,1* Thomas Seher,1 Gregorio J. Fernandez-Ballester,2 Luis Serrano,3{dagger} Maria Leptin1{ddagger}

Abstract: A hallmark of epithelial invagination is the constriction of cells on their apical sides. During Drosophila gastrulation, apical constrictions under the control of the transcription factor Twist lead to the invagination of the mesoderm. Twist-controlled G protein signaling is involved in mediating the invagination but is not sufficient to account for the full activity of Twist. We identified a Twist target, the transmembrane protein T48, which acts in conjunction with G protein signaling to orchestrate shape changes. Together with G protein signaling, T48 recruits adherens junctions and the cytoskeletal regulator RhoGEF2 to the sites of apical constriction, ensuring rapid and intense changes in cell shape.

1 Institute of Genetics, University of Cologne, Zülpicher Strasse 47, 50674 Cologne, Germany.
2 Instituto de Biología Molecular y Celular, Universidad Miguel Hernández, Edificio Torregaitán, Avenida de la Universidad, 03202 Elche, Spain.
3 European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Meyerhofstrasse 1, 69012 Heidelberg, Germany.

* Present address: Section of Cell and Developmental Biology, Division of Biological Sciences and Center for Molecular Genetics, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA.

{dagger} Present address: Centre de Regulació Genòmica, 08003 Barcelona, Spain.

{ddagger} To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: mleptin{at}

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