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New gene reduces retinal degeneration in fruit flies

e molecules known to control TRP channels, a key player is diacylglycerol, known as DAG. DAG is known to be made by a well-studied biochemical pathway. The researchers found that Lazaro provides a second way to make DAG, enabling the cell to make more DAG.

Why is there a second pathway for DAG production? "We think Lazaro is priming the system for maximal light response," says Montell.

DAG can be metabolized to polyunsaturated fatty acids, which have been shown to control TRP channels in flies and may also control some mammalian TRP channels. However, exactly how these molecules exert their control remains unclear. In adding the Lazaro gene to the list of players, the researchers hope to learn more about how TRP channels are controlled.


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Source:Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions


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