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Cell. 1995 Jan 27;80(2):311-20.

Genetic and electrophysiological studies of Drosophila syntaxin-1A demonstrate its role in nonneuronal secretion and neurotransmission.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Molecular and Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030.


Cloning and characterization of the Drosophila syntaxin-1A gene, syx-1A, reveal that it is present in several tissues but is predominantly expressed in the nervous system, where it is localized to axons and synapses. We have generated an allelic series of loss-of-function mutations that result in embryonic lethality with associated morphological and secretory defects dependent on the severity of the mutant allele. Electrophysiological recordings from partial loss-of-function mutants indicate absence of endogenous synaptic transmission at the neuromuscular junction and an 80% reduction of evoked transmission. Complete absence of syx-1A causes subtle morphological defects in the peripheral and central nervous systems, affects nonneural secretory events, and entirely abolishes neurotransmitter release. These data demonstrate that syntaxin plays a key role in nonneuronal secretion and is absolutely required for evoked neurotransmission.

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