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Neuron. 2002 Feb 14;33(4):545-58.

wishful thinking encodes a BMP type II receptor that regulates synaptic growth in Drosophila.

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1
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.

Abstract

We conducted a large-scale screen for Drosophila mutants that have structural abnormalities of the larval neuromuscular junction (NMJ). We recovered mutations in wishful thinking (wit), a gene that positively regulates synaptic growth. wit encodes a BMP type II receptor. In wit mutant larvae, the size of the NMJs is greatly reduced relative to the size of the muscles. wit NMJs have reduced evoked excitatory junctional potentials, decreased levels of the synaptic cell adhesion molecule Fasciclin II, and synaptic membrane detachment at active zones. Wit is expressed by a subset of neurons, including motoneurons. The NMJ phenotype is specifically rescued by transgenic expression of Wit only in motoneurons. Thus, Wit appears to function as a presynaptic receptor that regulates synaptic size at the Drosophila NMJ.

PMID:
11856529
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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