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Traffic. 2001 Nov;2(11):839-50.

Drosophila Amphiphysin is a post-synaptic protein required for normal locomotion but not endocytosis.

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Department of Zoology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.


Clathrin-mediated endocytosis is required to recycle synaptic vesicles for fast and efficient neurotransmission. Amphiphysins are thought to be multiprotein adaptors that may contribute to this process by bringing together many of the proteins required for endocytosis. Their in vivo function, however, has yet to be determined. Here, we show that the Drosophila genome encodes a single amphiphysin gene that is broadly expressed during development. We also show that, unlike its vertebrate counterparts, Drosophila Amphiphysin is enriched postsynaptically at the larval neuromuscular junction. To determine the role of Drosophila Amphiphysin, we also generated null mutants which are viable but give rise to larvae and adults with pronounced locomotory defects. Surprisingly, the locomotory defects cannot be accounted for by alterations in the morphology or physiology of the neuromuscular junction. Moreover, using stimulus protocols designed to test endocytosis under moderate and extreme vesicle cycling, we could not detect any defect in the neuromuscular junction of the amphiphysin mutant. Taken together, our findings suggest that Amphiphysin is not required for viability, nor is it absolutely required for clathrin-mediated endocytosis. However, Drosophila Amphiphysin function is required in both larvae and adults for normal locomotion.

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