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

A genetic analysis of aromatic amino acid hydroxylases involvement in DOPA synthesis during Drosophila adult development.

Around 50 min after adult ecdysis, a significant increase in DOPA content is observed in Drosophila melanogaster. This increase, which is followed by increases of other catecholamine sclerotizing precursors, parallels the visually observable pigmentation and hardening of the adult cuticle. Since this DOPA concentration developmental profile is correlated with cuticle formation, we have analyzed the involvement of aromatic amino acid hydroxylases in this process by determining the same profile in mutant strains affecting these hydroxylations, either directly (defects in the genes coding for these hydroxylases), or indirectly (defects in genes involved in the biosynthesis of the essential pterin cofactor, tetrahydrobiopterin). The altered profiles of the pterin biosynthesis defective strains Pu2/SM1 and cn prc4/cn prm2b showed that some pterin is required for these metabolic changes. Meanwhile the altered profiles of the Hnr3 and ple/TM3 strains directly implicate the phenylalanine and tyrosine hydroxylase enzymes. An analysis of the phenylalanine hydroxylase protein presence during the period of the first 3 h post adult ecdysis in thorax plus abdomen extracts has shown that although the protein is present during the complete developmental period, no changes in the cross reacting material amounts are observed.[1]


  1. A genetic analysis of aromatic amino acid hydroxylases involvement in DOPA synthesis during Drosophila adult development. Piedrafita, A.C., Martínez-Ramírez, A.C., Silva, F.J. Insect Biochem. Mol. Biol. (1994) [Pubmed]
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