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Genetics. 2005 Aug;170(4):1677-89. Epub 2005 Jun 3.

The mei-P26 gene encodes a RING finger B-box coiled-coil-NHL protein that regulates seizure susceptibility in Drosophilia.

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Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, Division of Neurobiology, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.


Seizure-suppressor mutations provide unique insight into the genes and mechanisms involved in regulating nervous system excitability. Drosophila bang-sensitive (BS) mutants present a useful tool for identifying seizure suppressors since they are a well-characterized epilepsy model. Here we describe the isolation and characterization of a new Drosophila seizure-suppressor mutant that results from disruption of the meiotic gene mei-P26, which belongs to the RBCC-NHL family of proteins. The mei-P26 mutation reduces seizures in easily shocked (eas) and slamdance (sda) epileptic flies following mechanical stimulation and electroconvulsive shock. In addition, mutant mei-P26 flies exhibit seizure thresholds at least threefold greater than those of wild type. The mei-P26 phenotypes appear to result from missense mutation of a critical residue in the NHL protein-protein interaction domain of the protein. These results reveal a surprising role for mei-P26 outside of the germline as a regulator of seizure susceptibility, possibly by affecting synaptic development as a ubiquitin ligase.

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