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25 Publications

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    Zuker Lab
    01/01/01 | Independent anchoring and assembly mechanisms of INAD signaling complexes in Drosophila photoreceptors.
    Tsunoda S, Sun Y, Suzuki E, Zuker C
    The Journal of Neuroscience: The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 2001 Jan 1;21(1):150-8

    In Drosophila photoreceptors the multivalent PDZ protein INAD organizes the phototransduction cascade into a macromolecular signaling complex containing the effector PLC, the light-activated TRP channels, and a regulatory PKC. Previously, we showed that the subcellular localization of INAD signaling complexes is critical for signaling. Now we have examined how INAD complexes are anchored and assembled in photoreceptor cells. We find that trp mutants, or transgenic flies expressing inaD alleles that disrupt the interaction between INAD and TRP, cause the mislocalization of the entire transduction complex. The INAD-TRP interaction is not required for targeting but rather for anchoring of complexes, because INAD and TRP can be targeted independently of each other. We also show that, in addition to its scaffold role, INAD functions to preassemble transduction complexes. Preassembly of signaling complexes helps to ensure that transduction complexes with the appropriate composition end up in the proper location. This may be a general mechanism used by cells to target different signaling machinery to the pertinent subcellular location.

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    Zuker Lab
    10/05/00 | A molecular pathway for light-dependent photoreceptor apoptosis in Drosophila.
    Kiselev A, Socolich M, Vinós J, Hardy RW, Zuker CS, Ranganathan R
    Neuron. 2000 Oct 5;28(1):139-52

    Light-induced photoreceptor apoptosis occurs in many forms of inherited retinal degeneration resulting in blindness in both vertebrates and invertebrates. Though mutations in several photoreceptor signaling proteins have been implicated in triggering this process, the molecular events relating light activation of rhodopsin to photoreceptor death are yet unclear. Here, we uncover a pathway by which activation of rhodopsin in Drosophila mediates apoptosis through a G protein-independent mechanism. This process involves the formation of membrane complexes of phosphorylated, activated rhodopsin and its inhibitory protein arrestin, and subsequent clathrin-dependent endocytosis of these complexes into a cytoplasmic compartment. Together, these data define the proapoptotic molecules in Drosophila photoreceptors and indicate a novel signaling pathway for light-activated rhodopsin molecules in control of photoreceptor viability.

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    Zuker Lab
    03/17/00 | A novel family of mammalian taste receptors.
    Adler E, Hoon MA, Mueller KL, Chandrashekar J, Ryba NJ, Zuker CS
    Cell. 2000 Mar 17;100:693-702

    In mammals, taste perception is a major mode of sensory input. We have identified a novel family of 40-80 human and rodent G protein-coupled receptors expressed in subsets of taste receptor cells of the tongue and palate epithelia. These candidate taste receptors (T2Rs) are organized in the genome in clusters and are genetically linked to loci that influence bitter perception in mice and humans. Notably, a single taste receptor cell expresses a large repertoire of T2Rs, suggesting that each cell may be capable of recognizing multiple tastants. T2Rs are exclusively expressed in taste receptor cells that contain the G protein alpha subunit gustducin, implying that they function as gustducin-linked receptors. In the accompanying paper, we demonstrate that T2Rs couple to gustducin in vitro, and respond to bitter tastants in a functional expression assay.

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    Zuker Lab
    03/17/00 | T2Rs function as bitter taste receptors.
    Chandrashekar J, Mueller KL, Hoon MA, Adler E, Feng L, Guo W, Zuker CS, Ryba NJ
    Cell. 2000 Mar 17;100(6):703-11

    Bitter taste perception provides animals with critical protection against ingestion of poisonous compounds. In the accompanying paper, we report the characterization of a large family of putative mammalian taste receptors (T2Rs). Here we use a heterologous expression system to show that specific T2Rs function as bitter taste receptors. A mouse T2R (mT2R-5) responds to the bitter tastant cycloheximide, and a human and a mouse receptor (hT2R-4 and mT2R-8) responded to denatonium and 6-n-propyl-2-thiouracil. Mice strains deficient in their ability to detect cycloheximide have amino acid substitutions in the mT2R-5 gene; these changes render the receptor significantly less responsive to cycloheximide. We also expressed mT2R-5 in insect cells and demonstrate specific tastant-dependent activation of gustducin, a G protein implicated in bitter signaling. Since a single taste receptor cell expresses a large repertoire of T2Rs, these findings provide a plausible explanation for the uniform bitter taste that is evoked by many structurally unrelated toxic compounds.

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    Zuker LabRubin Lab
    04/01/85 | Isolation and structure of a rhodopsin gene from D. melanogaster.
    Zuker CS, Cowman AF, Rubin GM
    Cell. 1985 Apr;40(4):851-8. doi: 10.1186/gb-2007-8-7-r145

    Using a novel method for detecting cross-homologous nucleic acid sequences we have isolated the gene coding for the major rhodopsin of Drosophila melanogaster and mapped it to chromosomal region 92B8-11. Comparison of cDNA and genomic DNA sequences indicates that the gene is divided into five exons. The amino acid sequence deduced from the nucleotide sequence is 373 residues long, and the polypeptide chain contains seven hydrophobic segments that appear to correspond to the seven transmembrane segments characteristic of other rhodopsins. Three regions of Drosophila rhodopsin are highly conserved with the corresponding domains of bovine rhodopsin, suggesting an important role for these polypeptide regions.

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