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Published March 15, 1989 | Published
Journal Article Open

Two Sodium-Channel Genes in Drosophila: Implications for Channel Diversity


We describe two Drosophila melanogaster transcription units that are highly homologous to a rat Na+-channel cDNA. They appear to encode the major subunits of two distinct Na+-channel proteins. One of these maps to the second chromosome and is identical to a Na+-channel gene whose partial sequence has been previously reported [Salkoff, L., Butler, A., Wei, A., Scavarda, N., Giffen, K., Ifune, K., Goodman, R. & Mandel, G. (1987) Science 237, 744-749]. The other transcription unit maps to position 14C/D, on the X chromosome, close to the paralyzed (para) gene. Mutations in para affect membrane excitability in Drosophila neurons [Ganetzky, B. & Wu, C. F. (1986) Annu. Rev. Genet. 20, 13-44]. Sequence comparisons suggest that two Na+-channel genes arose early in evolution, before the divergence of vertebrate and invertebrate lines.

Additional Information

© 1989 by the National Academy of Sciences Communicated by Seymour Benzer, December 13, 1988 We thank A. Goldin, V. Auld, N. Davidson, and R. Dunn for the rat Na+-channel clones that were used as hybridization probes in our experiments. We are grateful to K. Loughney and B. Ganetzky for making their unpublished results available to us. We thank U. Banedjee, M. Gautam, J. Campanelli, L. Iverson, A. Kamb, A. Lashgari, M. Mathew, K. McCormack, J. Robinson, B. Rudy, and W.W. Trevarrow for helpful discussions throughout the course of the work. We also thank R. McMahon for excellent technical assistance. This research was supported by the Pfeiffer Research Foundation, and by U.S. Public Health Service Grant NS21327-01 (M.A.T.). M.R. was supported by fellowships from the Evelyn Sharp Foundation and the Markey Charitable Trust. M.A.T. is a McKnight Foundation Scholar and a Sloan Foundation Fellow. The sequence discussed in this paper is being deposited in the EMBL/GenBank data base (accession no. J04508). The publication costs of this article were defrayed in part by page charge payment. This article must therefore be hereby marked "advertisement" in accordance with 18 U.S.C. §1734 solely to indicate this fact.

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