Manipulating signaling at will: chemically-inducible dimerization (CID) techniques resolve problems in cell biology

Pflugers Arch. 2013 Mar;465(3):409-17. doi: 10.1007/s00424-012-1208-6. Epub 2013 Jan 9.


Chemically-inducible dimerization (CID) is a powerful tool that has proved useful in solving numerous problems in cell biology and related fields. In this review, we focus on case studies where CID was able to provide insight into otherwise refractory problems. Of particular interest are the cases of lipid second messengers and small GTPases, where the "signaling paradox" (how a small pool of signaling molecules can generate a large range of responses) can be at least partly explained through results gleaned from CID experiments. We also discuss several recent technical advances that provide improved specificity in CID action, novel CID substrates that allow simultaneous orthogonal manipulation of multiple systems in one cell, and several applications that move beyond the traditional CID technique of moving a protein of interest to a specific spatiotemporal location.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Monomeric GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Protein Multimerization / drug effects*
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Sirolimus / pharmacology
  • Tacrolimus Binding Proteins / chemistry
  • Tacrolimus Binding Proteins / drug effects


  • Monomeric GTP-Binding Proteins
  • Tacrolimus Binding Proteins
  • Sirolimus