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J Neurogenet. 2012 Sep;26(3-4):338-47. doi: 10.3109/01677063.2012.725436. Epub 2012 Oct 8.

Identification of a suppressor of retinal degeneration in Drosophila photoreceptors.

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The Inositide laboratory, Babraham Institute, Babraham Research Campus, Cambridge, United Kingdom.


During sensory transduction, Drosophila photoreceptors experience substantial increases in intracellular Ca(2+) levels ([Ca(2+)](i)). Nevertheless in a number of mutants associated with excessive Ca(2+) influx through transient receptor potential (TRP) channels, Drosophila photoreceptors undergo loss of normal cellular structure manifest as a retinal degeneration. However, the molecular mechanisms that underpin this degeneration process remain unclear. The authors previously isolated a mutant, su(40), that is able to suppress the retinal degeneration seen in photoreceptors from loss-of-function alleles of rdgA that are known to have constitutively active TRP channels. Here the authors report the genetic mapping of su(40) as well the isolation of additional alleles of su(40). Studies of su(40) as well as these new alleles should facilitate the understanding of the mechanisms by which excessive Ca(2+) influx results in retinal degeneration.

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