The Drosophila BMP type II receptor Wishful Thinking regulates neuromuscular synapse morphology and function

Neuron. 2002 Feb 14;33(4):529-43. doi: 10.1016/s0896-6273(02)00595-0.

Abstract

Proper synaptic development is critical for establishing all aspects of neural function including learning, memory, and locomotion. Here, we describe the phenotypic consequences of mutations in the wishful thinking (wit) gene, the Drosophila homolog of the vertebrate BMP type II receptor. Mutations in wit result in pharate lethality that can be rescued by expression of a wit transgene in motor neurons but not in muscles. Mutant larvae exhibit small synapses, severe defects in evoked junctional potentials, a lower frequency of spontaneous vesicle release, and an alteration in the ultrastructure of synaptic active zones. These results reveal a novel role for BMP signaling in regulating Drosophila neuromuscular junction synapse assembly and activity and may indicate that similar pathways could govern vertebrate synapse development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Patterning / genetics
  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein Receptors, Type II
  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins / genetics
  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins / metabolism
  • Cell Differentiation / genetics
  • Central Nervous System / abnormalities*
  • Central Nervous System / growth & development
  • Central Nervous System / ultrastructure
  • DNA, Complementary / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Drosophila Proteins / genetics*
  • Drosophila Proteins / isolation & purification
  • Drosophila melanogaster / embryology*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / growth & development
  • Drosophila melanogaster / ultrastructure
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental / physiology*
  • Genes, Lethal / genetics
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Motor Neurons / metabolism
  • Motor Neurons / ultrastructure
  • Mutation / physiology*
  • Neuromuscular Junction / abnormalities*
  • Neuromuscular Junction / growth & development
  • Neuromuscular Junction / ultrastructure
  • Neuronal Plasticity / genetics
  • Neurotransmitter Agents / genetics
  • Neurotransmitter Agents / metabolism
  • Phenotype
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / genetics*
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / isolation & purification
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / genetics*
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / isolation & purification
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • Signal Transduction / genetics
  • Transcription Factors*

Substances

  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins
  • DNA, Complementary
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • MAD protein, Drosophila
  • Neurotransmitter Agents
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Transcription Factors
  • wit protein, Drosophila
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein Receptors, Type II

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF237561