A common mechanism underlies vertebrate calcium signaling and Drosophila phototransduction

Irit Chorna-Ornan, Tamar Joel-Almagor, Hagit Cohen Ben-Ami, Shahar Frechter, Boaz Gillo, Zvi Selinger, Donald L. Gill, Baruch Minke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Drosophila phototransduction is an important model system for studies of inositol lipid signaling. Light excitation in Drosophila photoreceptors depends on phospholipase C, because null mutants of this enzyme do not respond to light. Surprisingly, genetic elimination of the apparently single inositol trisphosphate receptor (InsP3R) of Drosophila has no effect on phototransduction. This led to the proposal that Drosophila photoreceptors do not use the InsP3 branch of phospholipase C (PLC)-mediated signaling for phototransduction, unlike most other inositol lipid-signaling systems. To examine this hypothesis we applied the membrane-permeant InsP3R antagonist 2-aminoethoxydiphenyl borate (2-APB), which has proved to be an important probe for assessing InsP3R involvement in various signaling systems. We first examined the effects of 2-APB on Xenopus oocytes. We found that 2-APB is efficient at reversibly blocking the robust InsP3-mediated Ca2+ release and store-operated Ca2+ entry in Xenopus oocytes at a stage operating after production of InsP3 but before the opening of the surface membrane Cl- channels by Ca2+. We next demonstrated that 2-APB is effective at reversibly blocking the response to light of Drosophila photoreceptors in a light-dependent manner at a concentration range similar to that effective in Xenopus oocytes and other cells. We show furthermore that 2-APB does not directly block the light-sensitive channels, indicating that it operates upstream in the activation of these channels. The results indicate an important link in the coupling mechanism of vertebrate store-operated channels and Drosophila TRP channels, which involves the InsP3 branch of the inositol lipid-signaling pathway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2622-2629
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 15 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience


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