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Keywords:

  • Neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors;
  • Immunoprecipitation;
  • α-Bungarotoxin;
  • Drosophila melanogaster.

Abstract

: ALS and ARD proteins are thought to represent a ligand binding and a structural subunit, respectively, of Drosophila nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). Here, antibodies raised against fusion constructs encompassing specific regions of the ALS and ARD proteins were used to investigate a potential association of these two polypeptides. Both ALS and ARD antisera removed 20-30% of the high-affinity binding sites for the nicotinic antagonist 125I-α-bungarotoxin (125I-α-Btx) from detergent extracts of fly head membranes. Combinations of both types of antisera also precipitated the same fraction of α-Btx binding sites, a result suggesting that both polypeptides are components of the previously defined class I 125I-α-Btx binding sites in the Drosophila CNS. 125I-α-Btx binding to a MS2 polymerase-ALS fusion protein containing the predicted antagonist binding region showed that the ALS protein indeed constitutes the ligand binding subunit of a nicotinic receptor complex. These data are consistent with neuronal nAChRs in Drosophila containing at least two types of subunits, ligand binding and structural ones.