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J Neurobiol. 1997 Jun 20;32(7):695-706.

Immunolocalization of Drosophila eye-specific diacylgylcerol kinase, rdgA, which is essential for the maintenance of the photoreceptor.

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Molecular Genetics Research Laboratory, University of Tokyo, Japan.


The Drosophila retinal degeneration A (rdgA) mutant has photoreceptor cells that degenerate within a week after eclosion. The degeneration starts with the disruption of the subrhabdomeric cisternae (SRC), which are the organelles essential for the transport of phospholipids to the photoreceptive membranes. Our previous biochemical and molecular studies suggested that the rdgA gene encodes an eye-specific diacylglycerol kinase (DGK). In this study, we show that retinal degeneration is prevented by the introduction of the eye-DGK gene in the rdgA mutant genome, suggesting that the DGK activity is crucial for the maintenance of the photoreceptor. Furthermore, by immunohistochemical analysis, we have demonstrated that the rdgA protein is predominantly associated with the SRC, suggesting that the conversion from diacylglycerol (DG) to phosphatidic acid (PA) most actively occurs in SRC. The analysis of the eyes of mutants homozygous for rdgA and eye-protein kinase C mutations indicates that retinal degeneration is caused by the deficiency of PA rather than excessive accumulation of DG. From these data, we conclude that the production of PA in the SRC membranes is essential for the maintenance of the photoreceptor.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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