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Dynamic changes in synaptic connectivity and strength, which occur during both embryonic development and learning, have the tendency to destabilize neural circuits. To overcome this, neurons have developed a diversity of homeostatic mechanisms to maintain firing within physiologically defined limits. In this study, we show that activity-dependent control of(More)
The trp (transient receptor potential) gene encodes a Ca2+ channel responsible for the major component of the phospholipase C (PLC) mediated light response in Drosophila. In trp mutants, maintained light leads to response decay and temporary total loss of sensitivity (inactivation). Using genetically targeted PIP2-sensitive inward rectifier channels(More)
Duchenne muscular dystrophy is caused by mutations in the dystrophin gene and is characterized by progressive muscle wasting. A number of Duchenne patients also present with mental retardation. The dystrophin protein is part of the highly conserved dystrophin-associated glycoprotein complex (DGC) which accumulates at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ) and at(More)
BACKGROUND While developmental processes such as axon pathfinding and synapse formation have been characterized in detail, comparatively less is known of the intrinsic developmental mechanisms that regulate transcription of ion channel genes in embryonic neurons. Early decisions, including motoneuron axon targeting, are orchestrated by a cohort of(More)
The ability to regulate intrinsic membrane excitability, to maintain consistency of action potential firing, is critical for stable neural circuit activity. Without such mechanisms, Hebbian-based synaptic plasticity could push circuits toward activity saturation or, alternatively, quiescence. Although now well documented, the underlying molecular components(More)
The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster has been instrumental in expanding our understanding of early aspects of neural development. The use of this model system has greatly added to our knowledge of neural cell-fate determination, axon guidance, and synapse formation. It has also become possible to access and make electrophysiological recordings directly(More)
Diversity in neuronal signaling is a product not only of differential gene expression, but also of alternative splicing. However, although recognized, the precise contribution of alternative splicing in ion channel transcripts to channel kinetics remains poorly understood. Invertebrates, with their smaller genomes, offer attractive models to examine the(More)
Homeostatic regulation of ionic currents is of paramount importance during periods of synaptic growth or remodeling. Our previous work has identified the translational repressor Pumilio (Pum) as a regulator of sodium current (I(Na)) and excitability in Drosophila motoneurons. In this current study, we show that Pum is able to bind directly the mRNA encoding(More)
During the development of the nervous system embryonic neurons are incorporated into neural networks that underlie behaviour. For example, during embryogenesis in Drosophila, motor neurons in every body segment are wired into the circuitry that drives the simple peristaltic locomotion of the larva. Very little is known about the way in which the necessary(More)
The Dystrophin protein is encoded by a gene that, when mutated in humans, can cause Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a disease characterized by progressive muscle wasting. A number of Duchenne patients also exhibit poorly understood mental retardation, likely associated with loss of a brain-specific isoform. Furthermore, although Dystrophin isoforms and the(More)