Drosophila Neuromuscular Synapse Assembly and Function Require the TGF-beta Type I Receptor Saxophone and the Transcription Factor Mad

J Neurobiol. 2003 May;55(2):134-50. doi: 10.1002/neu.10189.

Abstract

Transforming growth factor-betas (TGF-beta) comprise a superfamily of secreted proteins with diverse functions in patterning and cell division control. TGF-beta signaling has been implicated in synapse assembly and plasticity in both vertebrate and invertebrate systems. Recently, wishful thinking, a Drosophila gene that encodes a protein related to BMP type II receptors, has been shown to be required for the normal function and development of the neuromuscular junction (NMJ). These findings suggest that a TGF-beta-related ligand activates a signaling cascade involving type I and II receptors and the Smad family of transcription factors to orchestrate the assembly of the NMJ. Here we demonstrate that the TGF-beta type I receptor Saxophone and the downstream transcription factor Mothers against dpp (Mad) are essential for the normal structural and functional development of the Drosophila NMJ, a synapse that displays activity-dependent plasticity.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Activin Receptors, Type I / deficiency
  • Activin Receptors, Type I / genetics
  • Activin Receptors, Type I / physiology*
  • Animals
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / deficiency
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / physiology*
  • Drosophila
  • Drosophila Proteins / deficiency
  • Drosophila Proteins / genetics
  • Drosophila Proteins / physiology*
  • Mutation / physiology
  • Neuromuscular Junction / embryology
  • Neuromuscular Junction / genetics
  • Neuromuscular Junction / physiology*
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology
  • Organ Specificity / physiology
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational / physiology
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Receptor, Transforming Growth Factor-beta Type I
  • Receptors, Transforming Growth Factor beta / deficiency
  • Receptors, Transforming Growth Factor beta / genetics
  • Receptors, Transforming Growth Factor beta / physiology*
  • Synapses / genetics
  • Synapses / metabolism*
  • Transcription Factors / deficiency
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / physiology*

Substances

  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • MAD protein, Drosophila
  • Receptors, Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Transcription Factors
  • sax protein, Drosophila
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Activin Receptors, Type I
  • Receptor, Transforming Growth Factor-beta Type I