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Neuron. 2002 Mar 28;34(1):83-93.

Light-regulated subcellular translocation of Drosophila TRPL channels induces long-term adaptation and modifies the light-induced current.

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Zoological Institute, Department of Cell- and Neurobiology, University of Karlsruhe, 76128 Karlsruhe, Germany.


Drosophila phototransduction results in the opening of two classes of cation channels, composed of the channel subunits transient receptor potential (TRP), TRP-like (TRPL), and TRPgamma. Here, we report that one of these subunits, TRPL, is translocated back and forth between the signaling membrane and an intracellular compartment by a light-regulated mechanism. A high level of rhabdomeral TRPL, characteristic of dark-raised flies, is functionally manifested in the properties of the light-induced current. These flies are more sensitive than flies with no or reduced TRPL level to dim background lights, and they respond to a wider range of light intensities, which fit them to function better in darkness or dim background illumination. Thus, TRPL translocation represents a novel mechanism to fine tune visual responses.

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