Heterotrimeric G proteins direct two modes of asymmetric cell division in the Drosophila nervous system

Matthias Schaefer, Mark Petronczki, Daniela Dorner, Michael Forte, Juergen A. Knoblich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

248 Scopus citations

Abstract

In Drosophila, distinct mechanisms orient asymmetric cell division along the apical-basal axis in neuroblasts and along the anterior-posterior axis in sensory organ precursor (SOP) cells. Here, we show that heterotrimeric G proteins are essential for asymmetric cell division in both cell types. The G protein subunit Gαi localizes apically in neuroblasts and anteriorly in SOP cells before and during mitosis. Interfering with G protein function by Gαi overexpression or depletion of heterotrimeric G protein complexes causes defects in spindle orientation and asymmetric localization of determinants. Gαi is colocalized and associated with Pins, a protein that induces the release of the βγ subunit and might act as a receptor-independent G protein activator. Thus, asymmetric activation of heterotrimeric G proteins by a receptor-independent mechanism may orient asymmetric cell divisions in different cell types.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-194
Number of pages12
JournalCell
Volume107
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 19 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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