Genetic dissection of the phosphoinositide cycle in Drosophila photoreceptors.

26 Apr 2018

Phototransduction in Drosophila is mediated by phospholipase C-dependent hydrolysis of PIP2-, and is an important model for phosphoinositide signalling. Although generally assumed to operate by generic machinery conserved from yeast to mammals, some key elements of the phosphoinositide cycle have yet to be identified in Drosophila photoreceptors. Here, we used transgenic flies expressing fluorescently tagged probes (P4M and TbR332H), which allow in vivo quantitative measurements of PI4P and PIP2 dynamics in photoreceptors of intact living flies. Using mutants and RNA interference for candidate genes potentially involved in phosphoinositide turnover, we identified Drosophila PI4KIIIα (CG10260) as the PI4-kinase responsible for PI4P synthesis in the photoreceptor membrane. Our results also indicate that PI4KIIIα activity requires rbo (the Drosophila orthologue of Efr3) and CG8325 (orthologue of YPP1), both of which are implicated as scaffolding proteins necessary for PI4KIIIα activity in yeast and mammals. However, our evidence indicates that the recently reported central role of dPIP5K59B (CG3682) in PIP2 synthesis in the rhabdomeres should be re-evaluated; although PIP2 resynthesis was suppressed by RNAi directed against dPIP5K59B, little or no defect was detected in a reportedly null mutant (dPIP5K18 ).