|Citation||Hekmat-Scafe, D.S., Dang, K.N., Tanouye, M.A. (2005). Seizure suppression by gain-of-function escargot mutations. Genetics 169(3): 1477--1493. (Export to RIS)|
|Publication Type||Research paper|
|PubMed Abstract||Suppressor mutations provide potentially powerful tools for examining mechanisms underlying neurological disorders and identifying novel targets for pharmacological intervention. Here we describe mutations that suppress seizures in a Drosophila model of human epilepsy. A screen utilizing the Drosophila easily shocked (eas) "epilepsy" mutant identified dominant suppressors of seizure sensitivity. Among several mutations identified, neuronal escargot (esg) reduced eas seizures almost 90%. The esg gene encodes a member of the snail family of transcription factors. Whereas esg is normally expressed in a limited number of neurons during a defined period of nervous system development, here normal esg was expressed in all neurons and throughout development. This greatly ameliorated both the electrophysiological and the behavioral epilepsy phenotypes of eas. Neuronal esg appears to act as a general seizure suppressor in the Drosophila epilepsy model as it reduces the susceptibility of several seizure-prone mutants. We observed that esg must be ectopically expressed during nervous system development to reduce seizure susceptibility in adults. Furthermore, induction of esg in a small subset of neurons (interneurons) will reduce seizure susceptibility. A combination of microarray and computational analyses revealed 100 genes that represent possible targets of neuronal esg. We anticipate that some of these genes may ultimately serve as targets for novel antiepileptic drugs.|
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|Language of Publication||English|
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