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Neuron. 1994 Feb;12(2):373-81.

A mutation of the Drosophila sodium pump alpha subunit gene results in bang-sensitive paralysis.

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Department of Zoology, University of Washington, Seattle 98195.


A bang-sensitive enhancer trap line was isolated in a behavioral screen. The flies show a weak bang-sensitive paralysis, recovering after about 7 s. The P element insert is localized at 93B1-2 on the salivary chromosomes, the site of the (Na+,K+)ATPase alpha subunit gene. Molecular characterization demonstrates that the transposon is inserted into the first intron of this gene. This insertion leads to normal-sized transcripts, but reduced levels of expression. This change is also reflected in lower amounts of a normal-sized alpha subunit protein. Mutant flies show a much greater sensitivity to ouabain, likewise indicating, on a functional level, a reduction in Na+ pump activity. Furthermore, the bang-sensitive behavior can also be mimicked by injecting sublethal doses of ouabain into wild-type flies. The molecular and functional evidence indicates that the insertion has produced a hypomorphic mutation of the (Na+,K+)ATPase alpha subunit gene, opening the way to future studies of the regulation of the Na+ pump.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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