Mutations in the novel membrane protein spinster interfere with programmed cell death and cause neural degeneration in Drosophila melanogaster

Yoshiro Nakano, Kazuko Fujitani, Joyce Kurihara, Janet Ragan, Kazue Usui-Aoki, Lori Shimoda, Tamas Lukacsovich, Keiko Suzuki, Mariko Sezaki, Yumiko Sano, Ryu Ueda, Wakae Awano, Mizuho Kaneda, Masato Umeda, Daisuke Yamamoto

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    100 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Mutations in the spin gene are characterized by an extraordinarily strong rejection behavior of female flies in response to male courtship. They are also accompanied by decreases in the viability, adult life span, and oviposition rate of the flies. In spin mutants, some oocytes and adult neural cells undergo degeneration, which is preceded by reductions in programmed cell death of nurse cells in ovaries and of neurons in the pupal nervous system, respectively. The central nervous system (CNS) of spin mutant flies accumulates autofluorescent lipopigments with characteristics similar to those of lipofuscin. The spin locus generates at least five different transcripts, with only two of these being able to rescue the spin behavioral phenotype; each encodes a protein with multiple membrane-spanning domains that are expressed in both the surface glial cells in the CNS and the follicle cells in the ovaries. Orthologs of the spin gene have also been identified in a number of species from nematodes to humans. Analysis of the spin mutant will give us new insights into neurodegenerative diseases and aging.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3775-3788
    Number of pages14
    JournalMolecular and cellular biology
    Volume21
    Issue number11
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2001 Jun

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Molecular Biology
    • Cell Biology

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