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J Neurocytol. 1991 Jul;20(7):597-608.

Turnover of membrane and opsin in visual receptors of normal and mutant Drosophila.

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Division of Biological Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia 65211.


Electron microscopy was used to investigate membrane turnover in the photoreceptors of Drosophila. Coated pits and vesicles, multivesicular bodies, primary lysosomes, multilamellate bodies, residual bodies and Golgi complexes are present throughout a light/dark cycle. Serial sections reveal that the membrane bounding of multivesicular bodies is only seen at an optimal plane of section. The temperature-sensitive shibire (shi(ts)) mutant has a defect in conversion of coated pits into vesicles which may also affect visual receptors. We used monoclonal antibodies to Rh1 in R1-6 receptors in the compound eye (also to Rh2 in ocellar receptors in the simple eyes) ro relate turnover processes at the visual pigment compared with membrane levels. Compound eye rhabdomeres but not rhabdomere caps stained selectively. Immunogold labelling was equivocal in multivesicular bodies. Further, early in the process of carotenoid replacement therapy, labelling is high in the rough endoplasmic reticulum, demonstrating de novo opsin synthesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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