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Science 324 (5932): 1338-1340

Copyright © 2009 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Endogenous Activation Patterns of Cdc42 GTPase Within Drosophila Embryos

Daichi Kamiyama, and Akira Chiba*

Abstract: Knowing when and where a given protein is activated within intact animals assists in elucidating its in vivo function. With the use of a genetically encoded A-probe (activation bioprobe), we revealed that Cdc42 guanosine triphosphatase (GTPase) remains inactive within Drosophila embryos during the first two-thirds of embryogenesis. Within the central nervous system where Cdc42 activity first becomes up-regulated, individual neurons display patterns restricted to specific subcellular compartments. At both organismal and cellular levels, Cdc42’s endogenous activation patterns in the wild type allow predictions of where loss-of-function phenotypes will emerge in cdc42/cdc42 mutants. Genetic tests support the importance of suppressing endogenous Cdc42 activities until needed. Thus, bioprobe-assisted analysis uncovers how ubiquitously expressed signaling proteins control cellular events through continual regulation of their activities within animals.

Department of Biology and Miami Institute of Molecular Imaging and Computation, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL 33146, USA.
* To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: akira.chiba{at}

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