Maurice J. Kernan

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To identify genes involved in mechanotransduction, Drosophila larvae were screened for X-linked mutations affecting a behavioral response to touch. Many mutations that caused nondevelopmental defects were recovered, among them multiple alleles of the genes uncoordinated (unc) and uncoordinated-like (uncl). Adult flies mutant in these genes showed reduced(More)
Centrosomes consist of a pair of centrioles surrounded by an amorphous pericentriolar material (PCM). Proteins that contain a Pericentrin/AKAP450 centrosomal targeting (PACT) domain have been implicated in recruiting several proteins to the PCM. We show that the only PACT domain protein in Drosophila (the Drosophila pericentrin-like protein [D-PLP]) is(More)
BACKGROUND Intraflagellar transport (IFT) uses kinesin II to carry a multiprotein particle to the tips of eukaryotic cilia and flagella and a nonaxonemal dynein to return it to the cell body. IFT particle proteins and motors are conserved in ciliated eukaryotes, and IFT-deficient mutants in algae, nematodes, and mammals fail to extend or maintain cilia and(More)
To test the effects of mechanosensory mutations on hearing in Drosophila, we have recorded sound-evoked potentials originating from ciliated sensory neurons in Johnston's organ, the chordotonal organ that is the sensory element of the fly's antennal ear. Electrodes inserted close to the antennal nerve were used to record extracellular compound potentials(More)
The many types of insect ear share a common sensory element, the chordotonal organ, in which sound-induced antennal or tympanal vibrations are transmitted to ciliated sensory neurons and transduced to receptor potentials. However, the molecular identity of the transducing ion channels in chordotonal neurons, or in any auditory system, is still unknown.(More)
Hearing in Drosophila depends on the transduction of antennal vibration into receptor potentials by ciliated sensory neurons in Johnston's organ, the antennal chordotonal organ. We previously found that a Drosophila protein in the vanilloid receptor subfamily (TRPV) channel subunit, Nanchung (NAN), is localized to the chordotonal cilia and required to(More)
Behavioural responses to wind are thought to have a critical role in controlling the dispersal and population genetics of wild Drosophila species, as well as their navigation in flight, but their underlying neurobiological basis is unknown. We show that Drosophila melanogaster, like wild-caught Drosophila strains, exhibits robust wind-induced suppression of(More)
Mutations in the no-mechanoreceptor-potential A (nompA) gene, which eliminate transduction in Drosophila mechanosensory organs, disrupt contacts between neuronal sensory endings and cuticular structures. nompA encodes a transmembrane protein with a large, modular extracellular segment that includes a zona pellucida (ZP) domain and several plasminogen(More)
uncoordinated (unc) mutants of Drosophila, which lack transduction in ciliated mechanosensory neurons, do not produce motile sperm. Both sensory and spermatogenesis defects are associated with disrupted ciliary structures: mutant sensory neurons have truncated cilia, and sensory neurons and spermatids show defects in axoneme ultrastructure. unc encodes a(More)
The maleless (mle) gene is one of four known regulatory loci required for increased transcription (dosage compensation) of X-linked genes in D. melanogaster males. A predicted mle protein (MLE) contains seven short segments that define a superfamily of known and putative RNA and DNA helicases. MLE, while present in the nuclei of both male and female cells,(More)