The folded gastrulation (fog) gene is required during Drosophila gastrulation for two morphogenetic movements, formation of the ventral furrow and invagination of the posterior midgut primordium. fog coordinates cell shape changes during these invaginations by inducing apical constriction of cells in spatially and temporally defined manners. fog is expressed in the invagination primordia in a pattern that precisely precedes the pattern of constrictions. Overexpression of fog in the dorsoanterior region of the embryo induces ectopic constrictions, indicating localization of fog transcripts may define domains of cell shape changes. fog encodes a novel protein with a putative signal sequence but no potential transmembrane domains. We suggest fog functions as a secreted signal that activates the G protein alpha subunit encoded by concertina in neighboring cells. Our analyses indicate that cell-cell communication ensures the rapid, orderly progression of constriction initiations from the middle of invagination primordia out toward the margins.