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Science 293 (5529): 514-517

Copyright © 2001 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Absence of Junctional Glutamate Receptor Clusters in Drosophila Mutants Lacking Spontaneous Transmitter Release

Minoru Saitoe,12* Thomas L. Schwarz,3dagger Joy A. Umbach,4 Cameron B. Gundersen,4 Yoshiaki Kidokoro1

Little is known about the functional significance of spontaneous miniature synaptic potentials, which are the result of vesicular exocytosis at nerve terminals. Here, by using Drosophila mutants with specific defects in presynaptic function, we found that glutamate receptors clustered normally at neuromuscular junctions of mutants that retained spontaneous transmitter secretion but had lost the ability to release transmitter in response to action potentials. In contrast, receptor clustering was defective in mutants in which both spontaneous and evoked vesicle exocytosis were absent. Thus, spontaneous vesicle exocytosis appears to be tightly linked to the clustering of glutamate receptors during development.

1 Institute for Behavioral Sciences, Gunma University School of Medicine, Maebashi, Gunma 371-8511, Japan.
2 Tokyo Metropolitan Institute for Neuroscience, Fuchu, Tokyo 183-8526, Japan.
3 Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology, Stanford University Medical Center, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.
4 Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology, School of Medicine, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.
*   To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: saitoe{at}tmin.ac.jp

dagger    Present address: Division of Neuroscience, 300 Longwood Avenue, Enders, 208 Children's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA.



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