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Transmembrane/juxtamembrane domain-dependent Dscam distribution and function during mushroom body neuronal morphogenesis.

Wang J., Ma X., Yang J.S., Zheng X., Zugates C.T., Lee C.H., Lee T.

Besides 19,008 possible ectodomains, Drosophila Dscam contains two alternative transmembrane/juxtamembrane segments, respectively, derived from exon 17.1 and exon 17.2. We wondered whether specific Dscam isoforms mediate formation and segregation of axonal branches in the Drosophila mushroom bodies (MBs). Removal of various subsets of the 12 exon 4s does not affect MB neuronal morphogenesis, while expression of a Dscam transgene only partially rescues Dscam mutant phenotypes. Interestingly, differential rescuing effects are observed between two Dscam transgenes that each possesses one of the two possible exon 17s. Axon bifurcation/segregation abnormalities are better rescued by the exon 17.2-containing transgene, but coexpression of both transgenes is required for rescuing mutant viability. Meanwhile, exon 17.1 targets ectopically expressed Dscam-GFP to dendrites while Dscam[exon 17.2]-GFP is enriched in axons; only Dscam[exon 17.2] affects MB axons. These results suggest that exon 17.1 is minimally involved in axonal morphogenesis and that morphogenesis of MB axons probably involves multiple distinct exon 17.2-containing Dscam isoforms.

Neuron 43:663-672(2004) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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