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Gene Review

disco  -  disconnected

Drosophila melanogaster

Synonyms: CG9908, Disco, Dmel\CG9908, Protein disconnected, disc
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Psychiatry related information on disco

  • These mutations also affect adult locomotor activity rhythms, as disco flies are arrhythmic under conditions of constant darkness (DD) [1].

High impact information on disco

  • To determine the state of the circadian pacemaker in disco mutants, we constructed with pers double mutants (a short period allele of the period gene) and assayed their behavioral rhythms in light-dark cycles (LD), and their biochemical rhythms of period gene expression under both LD and DD conditions [1].
  • We determined the nucleotide sequence of the disco gene to be unique when compared with sequences in a number of databases [2].
  • Mutations in the disco (disconnected) gene prevent the establishment of stable connections between the larval optic nerves, the Bolwig's nerves, and their target cells in the brain during embryonic development [2].
  • The amino acid sequence of each pair is homologous to that of the single pair of zinc fingers of the Drosophila transcription factor encoded by disco [3].
  • We also show that in tsh mutants, disco is expressed in the trunk segments, probably explaining the partial trunk to head transformation reported in these mutants, but more importantly demonstrating interactions between members of this regionalization network [4].

Biological context of disco


Anatomical context of disco

  • We find that disco expression in the optic lobe primordium, a group of cells contacted by the developing optic nerve, depends on an autoregulatory feedback loop [9].
  • We used a P[GAL4] enhancer-trap line, C161, in conjunction with the UAS-lacZ reporter construct to visualize the central projections of a defined set of thoracic and abdominal sensory neurons in a disconnected (disco) mutant background [10].
  • The defects are comparable to those previously described for larval photoreceptor and adult retinular cells in disco mutants and extend the known effects of this mutation [10].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of disco

  • We have begun to explore the role of disco in the formation of the nervous system by examining the distribution of disco mRNA and protein in embryos and third instar larvae using in situ hybridization and antibody staining respectively [11].


  1. Behavioral and molecular analyses suggest that circadian output is disrupted by disconnected mutants in D. melanogaster. Hardin, P.E., Hall, J.C., Rosbash, M. EMBO J. (1992) [Pubmed]
  2. Isolation and characterization of the disconnected gene of Drosophila melanogaster. Heilig, J.S., Freeman, M., Laverty, T., Lee, K.J., Campos, A.R., Rubin, G.M., Steller, H. EMBO J. (1991) [Pubmed]
  3. Basonuclin: a keratinocyte protein with multiple paired zinc fingers. Tseng, H., Green, H. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1992) [Pubmed]
  4. An interactive network of zinc-finger proteins contributes to regionalization of the Drosophila embryo and establishes the domains of HOM-C protein function. Robertson, L.K., Bowling, D.B., Mahaffey, J.P., Imiolczyk, B., Mahaffey, J.W. Development (2004) [Pubmed]
  5. A novel double-stranded RNA-binding protein, disco interacting protein 1 (DIP1), contributes to cell fate decisions during Drosophila development. DeSousa, D., Mukhopadhyay, M., Pelka, P., Zhao, X., Dey, B.K., Robert, V., Pélisson, A., Bucheton, A., Campos, A.R. J. Biol. Chem. (2003) [Pubmed]
  6. Survival of photoreceptor neurons in the compound eye of Drosophila depends on connections with the optic ganglia. Campos, A.R., Fischbach, K.F., Steller, H. Development (1992) [Pubmed]
  7. The disconnected visual system mutations in Drosophila melanogaster drastically disrupt circadian rhythms. Dushay, M.S., Rosbash, M., Hall, J.C. J. Biol. Rhythms (1989) [Pubmed]
  8. High-resolution analysis of locomotor activity rhythms in disconnected, a visual-system mutant of Drosophila melanogaster. Dowse, H.B., Dushay, M.S., Hall, J.C., Ringo, J.M. Behav. Genet. (1989) [Pubmed]
  9. Autoregulation of the Drosophila disconnected gene in the developing visual system. Lee, K.J., Mukhopadhyay, M., Pelka, P., Campos, A.R., Steller, H. Dev. Biol. (1999) [Pubmed]
  10. Disconnected mutants show disruption to the central projections of proprioceptive neurons in Drosophila melanogaster. Glossop, N.R., Shepherd, D. J. Neurobiol. (1998) [Pubmed]
  11. Expression of the disconnected gene during development of Drosophila melanogaster. Lee, K.J., Freeman, M., Steller, H. EMBO J. (1991) [Pubmed]
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