A mutation of the Drosophila sodium pump alpha subunit gene results in bang-sensitive paralysis

Neuron. 1994 Feb;12(2):373-81. doi: 10.1016/0896-6273(94)90278-x.


A bang-sensitive enhancer trap line was isolated in a behavioral screen. The flies show a weak bang-sensitive paralysis, recovering after about 7 s. The P element insert is localized at 93B1-2 on the salivary chromosomes, the site of the (Na+,K+)ATPase alpha subunit gene. Molecular characterization demonstrates that the transposon is inserted into the first intron of this gene. This insertion leads to normal-sized transcripts, but reduced levels of expression. This change is also reflected in lower amounts of a normal-sized alpha subunit protein. Mutant flies show a much greater sensitivity to ouabain, likewise indicating, on a functional level, a reduction in Na+ pump activity. Furthermore, the bang-sensitive behavior can also be mimicked by injecting sublethal doses of ouabain into wild-type flies. The molecular and functional evidence indicates that the insertion has produced a hypomorphic mutation of the (Na+,K+)ATPase alpha subunit gene, opening the way to future studies of the regulation of the Na+ pump.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • DNA Transposable Elements / genetics
  • Drosophila / genetics*
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Genes*
  • Immunoblotting
  • Immunoglobulin G / immunology
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation*
  • Ouabain / pharmacology
  • Paralysis / genetics*
  • Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase / genetics*
  • Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase / immunology


  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Ouabain
  • Sodium-Potassium-Exchanging ATPase