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Genetics. 2004 Jan; 166(1): 225–236.
PMCID: PMC1470716

Genetic dissection of itpr gene function reveals a vital requirement in aminergic cells of Drosophila larvae.


Signaling by the second messenger inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate is thought to affect several developmental and physiological processes. Mutants in the inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor (itpr) gene of Drosophila exhibit delays in molting while stronger alleles are also larval lethal. In a freshly generated set of EMS alleles for the itpr locus we have sequenced and identified single point mutations in seven mutant chromosomes. The predicted allelic strength of these mutants matches the observed levels of lethality. They range from weak hypomorphs to complete nulls. Interestingly, lethality in three heteroallelic combinations has a component of cold sensitivity. The temporal focus of cold sensitivity lies in the larval stages, predominantly at second instar. Coupled with our earlier observation that an itpr homozygous null allele dies at the second instar stage, it appears that there is a critical period for itpr gene function in second instar larvae. Here we show that the focus of this critical function lies in aminergic cells by rescue with UAS-itpr and DdCGAL4. However, this function does not require synaptic activity, suggesting that InsP(3)-mediated Ca(2+) release regulates the neurohormonal action of serotonin.

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Selected References

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