The Rap1 guanine nucleotide exchange factor C3G is required for preservation of larval muscle integrity in Drosophila melanogaster

PLoS One. 2010 Mar 3;5(3):e9403. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0009403.


C3G is a guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) and modulator of small G-protein activity, which primarily acts on members of the Rap GTPase subfamily. Via promotion of the active GTP bound conformation of target GTPases, C3G has been implicated in the regulation of multiple cellular and developmental events including proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis. The Drosophila C3G orthologue exhibits a domain organization similar to that of vertebrate C3G. Through deletion of the C3G locus, we have observed that loss of C3G causes semi-lethality, and that escaping adult flies are characterized by a reduction in lifespan and general fitness. In situ hybridization reveals C3G expression in the developing embryonic somatic and visceral muscles, and indeed analysis of C3G mutants suggests essential functions of C3G for normal body wall muscle development during larval stages. C3G mutants display abnormal muscle morphology and attachment, as well as failure to properly localize betaPS integrins to muscle attachment sites. Moreover, we show that C3G stimulates guanine nucleotide exchange on Drosophila Rap GTPases in vitro. Taken together, we conclude that Drosophila C3G is a Rap1-specific GEF with important functions in maintaining muscle integrity during larval stages.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Drosophila Proteins / physiology*
  • Drosophila melanogaster
  • Gene Deletion
  • Integrins / metabolism
  • Larva / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Microscopy, Confocal / methods
  • Models, Genetic
  • Muscles / embryology*
  • Mutation
  • Recombinant Proteins / chemistry
  • Time Factors
  • rap1 GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • rap1 GTP-Binding Proteins / physiology*


  • C3G protein, Drosophila
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Integrins
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • rap1 GTP-Binding Proteins