The gene encoding the alpha subunit of the Drosophila Go protein is expressed early in embryogenesis in the precursor cells of the heart tube, of the visceral muscles, and of the nervous system. This early expression coincides with the onset of the mesenchymal-epithelial transition to which are subjected the cardial cells and the precursor cells of the visceral musculature. This gene constitutes an appropriate marker to follow this transition. In addition, a detailed analysis of its expression suggests that the cardioblasts originate from two subpopulations of cells in each parasegment of the dorsal mesoderm that might depend on the wingless and hedgehog signaling pathways for both their determination and specification. In the nervous system, the expression of Goalpha shortly precedes the beginning of axonogenesis. Mutants produced in the Goalpha gene harbor abnormalities in the three tissues in which the gene is expressed. In particular, the heart does not form properly and interruptions in the heart epithelium are repeatedly observed, henceforth the brokenheart (bkh) name. Furthermore, in the bkh mutant embryos, the epithelial polarity of cardial cells was not acquired (or maintained) in various places of the cardiac tube. We predict that bkh might be involved in vesicular traffic of membrane proteins that is responsible for the acquisition of polarity.