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Science. 2000 Oct 13;290(5490):333-7.

Localized Rac activation dynamics visualized in living cells.

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Department of Cell Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.


Signaling proteins are thought to be tightly regulated spatially and temporally in order to generate specific and localized effects. For Rac and other small guanosine triphosphatases, binding to guanosine triphosphate leads to interaction with downstream targets and regulates subcellular localization. A method called FLAIR (fluorescence activation indicator for Rho proteins) was developed to quantify the spatio-temporal dynamics of the Rac1 nucleotide state in living cells. FLAIR revealed precise spatial control of growth factor-induced Rac activation, in membrane ruffles and in a gradient of activation at the leading edge of motile cells. FLAIR exemplifies a generally applicable approach for examining spatio-temporal control of protein activity.

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