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Blind flies without recycling
Date:3/18/2013

l into -alanine using other enzymes. Hovemann's team inactivated both production pathways for -alanine and tested the vision of the fruit fly again. According to the electroretinogram, the animals' sense of sight was not impaired by the double mutation. "The results seem to represent a contradiction", says Bernhard Hovemann. "Although the insect eyes with the double mutation cannot produce -alanine, the animals seem to have normal vision. At the same time, our data clearly shows that the recycling by attaching -alanine is necessary for the animals to see." The researchers suggest that -alanine like histamine is recycled in a circuit between glial cells and photoreceptors. This would mean that the enzyme Black merely compensates for -alanine losses. "That would explain why we do not immediately find visual defects in flies which cannot produce new -alanine", says Hovemann. These puzzles can, however, only be solved by further studies.


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Contact: Bernhard Hovemann
Bernhard.Hovemann@rub.de
49-234-322-4235
Ruhr-University Bochum
Source:Eurekalert

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