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J Neurobiol. 1995 Apr;26(4):461-84.

Developmental expression of heterotrimeric G proteins in the nervous system of Manduca sexta.

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Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland 97201, USA.


The heterotrimeric G proteins are a conserved family of guanyl nucleotide-binding proteins that appear in all eukaryotic cells but whose developmental functions are largely unknown. We have examined the developmental expression of representative G proteins in the developing nervous system of the moth Manduca sexta. Using affinity-purified antisera against different G alpha subunits, we found that each of the G proteins exhibited distinctive patterns of expression within the developing central nervous system (CNS), and that these patterns underwent progressive phases of spatial and temporal regulation that corresponded to specific aspects of neuronal differentiation. Several of the G proteins examined (including Gs alpha and G(o) alpha) were expressed in an apparently ubiquitous manner in all neurons, but other proteins (including Gi alpha) were ultimately confined to a more restricted subset of cells in the mature CNS. Although most of the G proteins examined could be detected within the central ganglia, only G(o) alpha-related proteins were seen in the developing peripheral nerves; manipulations of G protein activity in cultured embryos suggested that this class of G protein may contribute to the regulation of neuronal motility during axonal outgrowth. G(o) alpha-related proteins were also localized to the developing axons and terminals of the developing adult limb during metamorphosis. These intracellular signaling molecules may, therefore, play similar developmental roles in both the embryonic and postembryonic nervous system.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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