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Neuron. 2002 Nov 14;36(4):689-701.

Molecular basis of amplification in Drosophila phototransduction: roles for G protein, phospholipase C, and diacylglycerol kinase.

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Department of Anatomy, Cambridge University, Downing Street, Cambridge, United Kingdom.


In Drosophila photoreceptors, the amplification responsible for generating quantum bumps in response to photoisomerization of single rhodopsin molecules has been thought to be mediated downstream of phospholipase C (PLC), since bump amplitudes were reportedly unaffected in mutants with greatly reduced levels of either G protein or PLC. We now find that quantum bumps in such mutants are reduced approximately 3- to 5-fold but are restored to near wild-type values by mutations in the rdgA gene encoding diacylglycerol kinase (DGK) and also by depleting intracellular ATP. The results demonstrate that amplification requires activation of multiple G protein and PLC molecules, identify DGK as a key enzyme regulating amplification, and implicate diacylglycerol as a messenger of excitation in Drosophila phototransduction.

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