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Liebl, F.L., Featherstone, D.E. (2005). Genes involved in Drosophila glutamate receptor expression and localization.  BMC Neurosci. 6(1): 44.
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Research paper

A clear picture of the mechanisms controlling glutamate receptor expression, localization, and stability remains elusive, possibly due to an incomplete understanding of the proteins involved. We screened transposon mutants generated by the ongoing Drosophila Gene Disruption Project in an effort to identify the different types of genes required for glutamate receptor cluster development.To enrich for non-silent insertions with severe disruptions in glutamate receptor clustering, we identified and focused on homozygous lethal mutants in a collection of 2185 BG and KG transposon mutants generated by the BDGP Gene Disruption Project. 202 lethal mutant lines were individually dissected to expose glutamatergic neuromuscular junctions, stained using antibodies that recognize neuronal membrane and the glutamate receptor subunit GluRIIA, and viewed using laser-scanning confocal microscopy. We identified 57 mutants with qualitative differences in GluRIIA expression and/or localization. 84% of mutants showed loss of receptors and/or clusters; 16% of mutants showed an increase in receptors. Insertion loci encode a variety of protein types, including cytoskeleton proteins and regulators, kinases, phosphatases, ubiquitin ligases, mucins, cell adhesion proteins, transporters, proteins controlling gene expression and protein translation, and proteins of unknown/novel function. Expression pattern analyses and complementation tests, however, suggest that any single mutant - even if a mutant gene is uniquely tagged - must be interpreted with caution until the mutation is validated genetically and phenotypically.Our study identified 57 transposon mutants with qualitative differences in glutamate receptor expression and localization. Despite transposon tagging of every insertion locus, extensive validation is needed before one can have confidence in the role of any individual gene. Alternatively, one can focus on the types of genes identified, rather than the identities of individual genes. This genomic approach, which circumvents many technical caveats in favor of a wider perspective, suggests that glutamate receptor cluster formation involves many cellular processes, including: 1) cell adhesion and signaling, 2) extensive and relatively specific regulation of gene expression and RNA, 3) the actin and microtubule cytoskeletons, and 4) many novel/unexplored processes, such as those involving mucin/polycystin-like proteins and proteins of unknown function.

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PMC1173111 (PMC) (EuropePMC)
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    BMC Neurosci.
    BMC Neuroscience
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