PMCC PMCC

Search tips
Search criteria

Advanced
Results 1-2 (2)
 

Clipboard (0)
None
Journals
Authors
Year of Publication
Document Types
1.  Increased synaptic microtubules and altered synapse development in Drosophila sec8 mutants 
BMC Biology  2005;3:27.
Background
Sec8 is highly expressed in mammalian nervous systems and has been proposed to play a role in several aspects of neural development and function, including neurite outgrowth, calcium-dependent neurotransmitter secretion, trafficking of ionotropic glutamate receptors and regulation of neuronal microtubule assembly. However, these models have never been tested in vivo. Nervous system development and function have not been described after mutation of sec8 in any organism.
Results
We identified lethal sec8 mutants in an unbiased forward genetic screen for mutations causing defects in development of glutamatergic Drosophila neuromuscular junctions (NMJs). The Drosophila NMJ is genetically malleable and accessible throughout development to electrophysiology and immunocytochemistry, making it ideal for examination of the sec8 mutant synaptic phenotype. We developed antibodies to Drosophila Sec8 and showed that Sec8 is abundant at the NMJ. In our sec8 null mutants, in which the sec8 gene is specifically deleted, Sec8 immunoreactivity at the NMJ is eliminated but immunoblots reveal substantial maternal contribution in the rest of the animal. Contrary to the hypothesis that Sec8 is required for neurite outgrowth or synaptic terminal growth, immunocytochemical examination revealed that sec8 mutant NMJs developed more branches and presynaptic terminals during larval development, compared to controls. Synaptic electrophysiology showed no evidence that Sec8 is required for basal neurotransmission, though glutamate receptor trafficking was mildly disrupted in sec8 mutants. The most dramatic NMJ phenotype in sec8 mutants was an increase in synaptic microtubule density, which was approximately doubled compared to controls.
Conclusion
Sec8 is abundant in the Drosophila NMJ. Sec8 is required in vivo for regulation of synaptic microtubule formation, and (probably secondarily) regulation of synaptic growth and glutamate receptor trafficking. We did not find any evidence that Sec8 is required for basal neurotransmission.
doi:10.1186/1741-7007-3-27
PMCID: PMC1326216  PMID: 16351720
2.  Discs-large (DLG) is clustered by presynaptic innervation and regulates postsynaptic glutamate receptor subunit composition in Drosophila 
BMC Biology  2005;3:1.
Background
Drosophila discs-large (DLG) is the sole representative of a large class of mammalian MAGUKs, including human DLG, SAP 97, SAP102, and PSD-95. MAGUKs are thought to be critical for postsynaptic assembly at glutamatergic synapses. However, glutamate receptor cluster formation has never been examined in Drosophila DLG mutants. The fly neuromuscular junction (NMJ) is a genetically-malleable model glutamatergic synapse widely used to address questions regarding the molecular mechanisms of synapse formation and growth. Here, we use immunohistochemistry, confocal microscopy, and electrophysiology to examine whether fly NMJ glutamate receptor clusters form normally in DLG mutants. We also address the question of how DLG itself is localized to the synapse by testing whether presynaptic innervation is required for postsynaptic DLG clustering, and whether DLG localization requires the presence of postsynaptic glutamate receptors.
Results
There are thought to be two classes of glutamate receptors in the Drosophila NMJ: 1) receptors that contain the subunit GluRIIA, and 2) receptors that contain the subunit GluRIIB. In DLG mutants, antibody staining for the glutamate receptor subunit GluRIIA is normal, but antibody staining for the glutamate receptor subunit GluRIIB is significantly reduced. Electrophysiological analysis shows an overall loss of functional postsynaptic glutamate receptors, along with changes in receptor biophysical properties that are consistent with a selective loss of GluRIIB from the synapse. In uninnervated postsynaptic muscles, neither glutamate receptors nor DLG cluster at synapses. DLG clusters normally in the complete absence of glutamate receptors.
Conclusions
Our results suggest that DLG controls glutamate receptor subunit composition by selectively stabilizing GluRIIB-containing receptors at the synapse. We also show that DLG, like glutamate receptors, is localized only after the presynaptic neuron contacts the postsynaptic cell. We hypothesize that glutamate receptors and DLG cluster in response to parallel signals from the presynaptic neuron, after which DLG regulates subunit composition by stabilizing (probably indirectly) receptors that contain the GluRIIB subunit. The mechanism(s) stabilizing GluRIIA-containing receptors remains unknown.
doi:10.1186/1741-7007-3-1
PMCID: PMC545058  PMID: 15638945

Results 1-2 (2)