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Vis Neurosci. 2000 Nov-Dec;17(6):911-7.

Divergent mechanisms for phototransduction of invertebrate microvillar photoreceptors.

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Department of Physiology, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington 06030-3505, USA.


Recently, it was reported that the polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), arachidonic acid (AA) and linolenic acid (LNA), activate the light-sensitive channels in Drosophila photoreceptors (Chyb et al. 1999). We have examined whether these PUFAs activate the light-sensitive channels in Limulus ventral photoreceptors. We find that, whether applied from the outside or injected into a Limulus ventral photoreceptor, either AA or LNA fails to activate the light-sensitive channels. Moreover, the synthetic diacylglycerol analog, 1-oleoyl-2-acetyl-sn-glycerol, also fails to activate the light-sensitive channels. We suggest that these findings require us to rethink our view about the generality of the process of phototransduction in invertebrate microvillar photoreceptors. We propose that the photoreceptors of Drosophila and Limulus evolved to utilize different branches of the phosphoinositide pathway for phototransduction: those of Limulus evolved to utilize IP3-mediated calcium release while those of Drosophila evolved to utilize diacylglycerol and it's downstream products.

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