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The β-alanine transporter BalaT is required for visual neurotransmission in Drosophila
Source: | Author:pmo7e0e41 | Publish time: 2017-09-05 | 436 Views | Share:
The recycling of neurotransmitters is essential for sustained synaptic transmission. In Drosophila, histamine recycling is required for visual synaptic transmission. Synaptic histamine is rapidly taken up by laminar glia, and is converted to carcinine. After delivered back to photoreceptors,
The recycling of neurotransmitters is essential for sustained synaptic transmission. In Drosophila, histamine recycling is required for visual synaptic transmission. Synaptic histamine is rapidly taken up by laminar glia, and is converted to carcinine. After delivered back to photoreceptors, carcinine is hydrolyzed to release histamine and β-alanine. This histamine is repackaged into synaptic vesicles, but it is unclear how the β-alanine is returned to the laminar glial cells. Here, we identified a new β-alanine transporter, which we named BalaT (Beta-alanine Transporter). Null balat mutants exhibited lower levels of β-alanine, as well as less β-alanine accumulation in the retina. Moreover, BalaT is expressed and required in retinal pigment cells for maintaining visual synaptic transmission and phototaxis behavior. These results provide the first genetic evidence that retinal pigment cells play a critical role in visual neurotransmission, and suggest that a BalaT-dependent β-alanine trafficking pathway is required for histamine homeostasis and visual neurotransmission.