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Yu, F., Cai, Y., Kaushik, R., Yang, X., Chia, W. (2003). Distinct roles of Galphai and Gbeta13F subunits of the heterotrimeric G protein complex in the mediation of Drosophila neuroblast asymmetric divisions.  J. Cell Biol. 162(4): 623--633.
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Research paper

The asymmetric division of Drosophila neuroblasts involves the basal localization of cell fate determinants and the generation of an asymmetric, apicobasally oriented mitotic spindle that leads to the formation of two daughter cells of unequal size. These features are thought to be controlled by an apically localized protein complex comprising of two signaling pathways: Bazooka/Drosophila atypical PKC/Inscuteable/DmPar6 and Partner of inscuteable (Pins)/Galphai; in addition, Gbeta13F is also required. However, the role of Galphai and the hierarchical relationship between the G protein subunits and apical components are not well defined. Here we describe the isolation of Galphai mutants and show that Galphai and Gbeta13F play distinct roles. Galphai is required for Pins to localize to the cortex, and the effects of loss of Galphai or pins are highly similar, supporting the idea that Pins/Galphai act together to mediate various aspects of neuroblast asymmetric division. In contrast, Gbeta13F appears to regulate the asymmetric localization/stability of all apical components, and Gbeta13F loss of function exhibits phenotypes resembling those seen when both apical pathways have been compromised, suggesting that it acts upstream of the apical pathways. Importantly, our results have also revealed a novel aspect of apical complex function, that is, the two apical pathways act redundantly to suppress the formation of basal astral microtubules in neuroblasts.

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PMC2173805 (PMC) (EuropePMC)
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    J. Cell Biol.
    Journal of Cell Biology
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