Christoph M. Schuster

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The glutamatergic neuromuscular synapse in Drosophila forms and differentiates into distinct boutons in the embryo and grows by sprouting new boutons throughout larval life. We demonstrate that two axons form approximately 18 boutons on muscles 7 and 6 by hatching and grow to approximately 180 boutons by third instar. We further show that, after synapse(More)
Increased neuronal activity (eag Shaker mutants) and cAMP concentration (dunce mutants) lead to increased synaptic structure and function at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction. Here, we show that the increase in synaptic growth is accompanied by an approximately 50% decrease in synaptic levels of the cell adhesion molecule Fasciclin II (Fas II). This(More)
The genetic analysis of larval neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) of Drosophila has provided detailed insights into molecular mechanisms that control the morphological and physiological development of these glutamatergic synapses. However, because of the chronic defects caused by mutations, a time-resolved analysis of these mechanisms and their functional(More)
We present a new test of the hypothesis that synaptic strength is directly related to nerve terminal morphology through analysis of synaptic transmission at Drosophila neuromuscular junctions with a genetically reduced number of nerve terminal varicosities. Synaptic transmission would decrease in target cells with fewer varicosities if there is a(More)
In Drosophila, motoneuron growth cones initially probe many potential muscle targets but later withdraw most of these contacts to form stereotypic synapses with only one or a few muscles. Prior to synapse formation, Fasciclin II (Fas II) is expressed at low levels on muscle. During synapse formation, Fas II concentrates at the synapse and disappears from(More)
Insects and other invertebrates use glutamate as a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system and at the neuromuscular junction. A complementary DNA from Drosophila melanogaster, designated DGluR-II, has been isolated that encodes a distant homolog of the cloned mammalian ionotropic glutamate receptor family and is expressed in somatic muscle tissue of(More)
Increased cAMP (in dunce mutants) leads to an increase in the structure and function of the Drosophila neuromuscular junction. Synaptic Fasciclin II (Fas II) controls this structural plasticity, but does not alter synaptic function. Here, we show that CREB, the cAMP response element-binding protein, acts in parallel with Fas II to cause an increase in(More)
We report the isolation and functional characterization of cDNAs encoding a Drosophila kainate-selective glutamate receptor. The deduced mature 964-residue protein (DGluR-I) is 108,482 Da and exhibits significant homology to mammalian glutamate receptor subunits. Injection of DGluR-I cRNA into Xenopus oocytes generated kainate-operated ion channels which(More)
Long-term synaptic plasticity may be associated with structural rearrangements within the neuronal circuitry. Although the molecular mechanisms governing such activity-controlled morphological alterations are mostly elusive, polysomal accumulations at the base of developing dendritic spines and the activity-induced synthesis of synaptic components suggest(More)
The NMDA subtype of ionotropic glutamate receptors has been implicated in the activity-dependent modification of synaptic efficacy in the mammalian brain. Here we describe a cDNA isolated from Drosophila melanogaster which encodes a putative invertebrate NMDA receptor protein (DNMDAR-I). The deduced amino acid sequence of DNMDAR-I displays 46% amino acid(More)