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Regulation of neuronal excitability by the inebriated encoded neurotransmitter transporter

, : Regulation of neuronal excitability by the inebriated encoded neurotransmitter transporter. Society for Neuroscience Abstracts 26(1-2): Abstract No -128 1

The Drosophila inebriated (ine) gene encodes a member of the Na+/Cl- -dependent neurotransmitter transporter family. Mutations in the ine gene cause increased neuronal excitability, as was indicated by an increased rate of onset of long term facilitation in the larval motor neuron and a "down-turned wings and indented dorsal thorax" morphological defect in a Shaker mutant background. In this study we used the UAS/GAL4 system to achieve ectopic expression of the Ine transporer and analyze the effects on neuronal excitability. The ine gene expresses two isoforms of the transporter: the long form contains 300 amino acids at the N terminal intracellular domain but is otherwise identical to the short form. We found that re-introduction of either isoform was able to rescue the ine mutant phenotypes, although the long form seems to function more efficiently. We also found that the mutant phenotypes can be rescued by expression of the Ine transporter in either glial cells or neurons. More interestingly, ectopic expression of the Ine transporter on a wildtype background reduces the rate of onset of long term facilitation. This result further confirms that the level of the Ine transporter can regulate neuronal excitability. Establishment and characterization of such an overexpression system will be very useful in dissecting the molecular mechanisms of excitability regulation by neurotransmitter transporters. We are currently in the process of investigating the effect of overexpression of the ine gene on various ion channels mutations such as Shaker, eag, and para.


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