Genetic and molecular identification of a Drosophila histidine decarboxylase gene required in photoreceptor transmitter synthesis

M. G. Burg, P. V. Sarthy, G. Koliantz, W. L. Pak*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations

Abstract

Drosophila mutants of a single complementation group with defective on-/off-transients of the electroretinogram (ERG) were found to be deficient in synthesis of the photoreceptor transmitter, histamine, in a gene-dosage dependent manner, suggesting that the gene identified by the mutants (hdc) might be the structural gene for Drosophila histidine decarboxylase (HDC). A rat HDC cDNA was used to isolate a Drosophila homolog which shows ~ 60% sequence identity with mammalian HDCs over a region of 476 amino acids. In RNA blots, the Drosophila homolog detects four transcripts that are expressed primarily in the eye and are severely reduced in hdc mutants. The cloned Drosophila cDNA hybridizes to the 46F region of the chromosome, to which hdc mutations have been mapped, and rescues the hdc mutant phenotype in transgenic flies generated by P element-mediated germline transformation. The results thus show that the Drosophila homolog corresponds to the histidine decarboxylase gene, identified by the hdc mutants, and that mutations in the gene disrupt photoreceptor synaptic transmission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)911-919
Number of pages9
JournalEMBO Journal
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1993

Keywords

  • Drosophila
  • Histidine decarboxylase gene
  • Mutant
  • Photoreceptor
  • Synaptic transmission

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)

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