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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Dominant-negative NSF2 disrupts the structure and function of Drosophila neuromuscular synapses.

N-ethylmaleimide sensitive fusion protein (NSF) is an ATPase necessary for vesicle trafficking, including exocytosis. Current models hold that NSF is required in a step that readies vesicles for fusion by disassembling postfusion SNARE protein complexes allowing them to participate in further rounds of vesicle cycling. Whereas most organisms have only one NSF isoform, Drosophila has two. dNSF1 is the predominant functional isoform in the adult nervous system. Conditional mutations in the dNSF1 gene, comatose, are paralytic and lead to disruption of synaptic transmission and the rapid accumulation of SNARE complexes in adult flies. This isoform is not required for synaptic transmission in larvae. In contrast, dNSF2 is important at earlier developmental stages, and its broad expression indicates its importance in neural and non-neural tissues alike. To study dNSF2, and to circumvent the lethality of dNSF2 null mutants, we have constructed transgenic flies carrying a dominant negative form of dNSF2. When this construct was expressed in neurons we observed suppression of synaptic transmission, activity-dependent fatigue of transmitter release, and a reduction in the number of releasable vesicles. However, we unexpectedly found that there was no accumulation of SNARE complexes accompanying these physiological phenotypes. Intriguingly, we also found that expression of mutant dNSF2 induced pronounced overgrowth of the neuromuscular junction and some misrouting of axons. These results support the idea that dNSF2 has multiple roles in cellular function and adds that not all of its functions require disassembly of the SNARE complex.[1]


  1. Dominant-negative NSF2 disrupts the structure and function of Drosophila neuromuscular synapses. Stewart, B.A., Mohtashami, M., Rivlin, P., Deitcher, D.L., Trimble, W.S., Boulianne, G.L. J. Neurobiol. (2002) [Pubmed]
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