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Neuron. 1994 Nov;13(5):1143-57.

The Drosophila dgq gene encodes a G alpha protein that mediates phototransduction.

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Department of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame, Indiana 46556.


We examined the roles of the Drosophila Gq alpha proteins (DGq) in the phototransduction pathway. The DGq proteins immunolocalized to the ocelli and all eight retinular photoreceptor cell rhabdomeres. An affinity-purified anti-DGq alpha immunoglobulin blocked the light-dependent GTP hydrolysis activity associated with Drosophila head membranes in vitro, suggesting that rhodopsin stimulated DGq. Dominantly active DGq1 mutants exhibited a light-independent GTPase activity and abnormal electrophysiological light responses, such as reduced retinal sensitivity and slow response kinetics compared with wild-type flies. Dominant DGq2 mutants exhibited a light-independent GTPase activity with normal electrophysiological light responses. Retinas of double mutants of DGq1, but not DGq2, with the light-dependent retinal degeneration mutant rdgB degenerated even in the dark. DGq1 stimulation of rdgB retinal degeneration in the dark was norpA-dependent. These results indicate that DGq1 mediates the stimulation by light-activated rhodopsin of the norpA-encoded phospholipase C in the visual transduction cascade.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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