Probing Cdc42 Polarization Dynamics in Budding Yeast Using a Biosensor

Methods Enzymol. 2017;589:171-190. doi: 10.1016/bs.mie.2017.01.011. Epub 2017 Feb 20.


Cdc42 is a small guanosine triphosphatase (GTPase) that plays a central role in polarity development in diverse cell types. Since the activity of Cdc42 is dynamically controlled in time and space, it is required to develop a biosensor to monitor its activation in vivo. In this chapter, we describe the construction and usage of a simple and robust biosensor for monitoring active Cdc42 in budding yeast. This affinity-based biosensor uses a red fluorescent protein fused to a Cdc42- and Rac-interactive binding motif from one of the Cdc42 effector proteins. Because it binds specifically to the GTP-bound Cdc42, this biosensor can be used to monitor Cdc42 activation in vivo. This or similar biosensors can be widely used for studying GTPase signaling in other cell types because of the conserved CRIB motif present among GTPase targets.

Keywords: CRIB; Cdc42; FRAP; GEF; GFP; GTPase.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Biosensing Techniques / methods*
  • Fungal Proteins / analysis*
  • Fungal Proteins / metabolism
  • Guanosine Triphosphate / metabolism
  • Luminescent Proteins / analysis
  • Luminescent Proteins / metabolism
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence / methods
  • Optical Imaging / methods
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / analysis
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / metabolism
  • Saccharomycetales / chemistry
  • Saccharomycetales / cytology*
  • Saccharomycetales / metabolism
  • Spectrometry, Fluorescence / methods
  • cdc42 GTP-Binding Protein / analysis*
  • cdc42 GTP-Binding Protein / metabolism


  • Fungal Proteins
  • Luminescent Proteins
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • red fluorescent protein
  • Guanosine Triphosphate
  • cdc42 GTP-Binding Protein