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Science 290 (5498): 1978-1980

Copyright © 2000 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Rescue of Photoreceptor Degeneration in Rhodopsin-Null Drosophila Mutants by Activated Rac1

Hui-Yun Chang, Donald F. Ready*

Rhodopsin is essential for photoreceptor morphogenesis; photoreceptors lacking rhodopsin degenerate in humans, mice, and Drosophila. Here we report that transgenic expression of a dominant-active Drosophila Rho guanosine triphosphatase, Drac1, rescued photoreceptor morphogenesis in rhodopsin-null mutants; expression of dominant-negative Drac1 resulted in a phenotype similar to that seen in rhodopsin-null mutants. Drac1 was localized in a specialization of the photoreceptor cortical actin cytoskeleton, which was lost in rhodopsin-null mutants. Thus, rhodopsin appears to organize the actin cytoskeleton through Drac1, contributing a structural support essential for photoreceptor morphogenesis.

Department of Biological Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA.
*   To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: dready{at}

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