Molecular Studies of Phospholipase C Function in Drosophila
Randall Shortridge Principal Investigator
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Vision in Drosophila (fruit fly) utilizes a fundamental biochemical pathway to convert light into chemical and electrical signals that eventually are processed by the brain. This type of cellular signaling is found in both plants and animals an is known to be active in hormonal, sensory, nervous, secretory, developmental processes in humans. Several decades ago, a mutation (designated norpA, for "no receptor potential") in the fruit fly was found which renders the animal blind without effecting eye structure. Within the past few years the norpA gene has been cloned and shown to encode the enzyme phospholipase C, an important factor in the production of a number of intracellular chemical signal agents. The lack of this enzyme renders the fly blind. In higher animals this gene encodes a number of enzymes and proteins whose function are unknown. The goals of this proposal are to utilize molecular genetic methods to study the expression of the norpA gene, identify its products, reintroduce them into the deficient animal to determine the products function in terms of their importance to the process of visual transduction.