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J Cell Biol. 1981 Jul;90(1):101-7.

Dunce mutants of Drosophila melanogaster: mutants defective in the cyclic AMP phosphodiesterase enzyme system.


The cyclic AMP and cyclic GMP phosphodiesterase activities present in flies of six mutant strains of the dunce gene and in the parent wild-type strains are characterized. All of the mutants exhibit aberrant cyclic AMP metabolism. The mutant strains dunceM14, dunceM11, and dunceML appear to be amorphic, because they completely lack the cAMP-specific phosphodiesterase normally present in adult flies. These strains exhibit extremely high levels of cAMP. The mutant strains dunce1, dunce2, and dunceCK are hypomorphic and exhibit reduced levels of the cAMP-specific phosphodiesterase. These strains exhibit less marked increases in cAMP content compared with the three amorphic strains. The dunce2 strain possesses a residual enzyme activity that exhibits anomalous kinetics compared with those of the normal enzyme. The possibility that the dunce locus is the structural gene for the cAMP-specific phosphodiesterase is discussed.

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