Recent analysis of Rho subfamily GTPases in Drosophila revealed roles for Rac and Cdc42 during axonogenesis. Here, we describe the identification and characterization of the Drosophila counterpart of Trio, a guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) that associates with the receptor phosphatase LAR and regulates GTPase activation in vertebrate cells. Mutants deficient in trio activity display defects in both central and peripheral axon pathways reminiscent of pheno-types observed in embryos deficient in small GTPase function. Double mutant analysis shows that trio interacts with Rac in a dose-sensitive manner but not with Rho. Moreover, reduction of trio activity potentiates the phenotype of mutations in the LAR homolog Dlar, suggesting that these proteins collaborate in orchestrating the cytoskeletal events that underlie normal axonogenesis.
Bateman, Jack; Shu, Huidy; and Van Vactor, David, "The guanine nucleotide exchange factor trio mediates axonal development in the Drosophila embryo" (2000). Biology Faculty Publications. 29.