The voltage-gated Na+ channels (VGSC) are complex membrane proteins responsible for generation and propagation of the electrical signals through the brain, the skeletal muscle and the heart. The levels of sodium channels affect behavior and physical activity. This is illustrated by the maleless mutant allele (mlenapts) in Drosophila, where the decreased levels of voltage-gated Na+ channels cause temperature-sensitive paralysis.
Here, we report that mlenapts mutant flies exhibit developmental lethality, decreased fecundity and increased neurodegeneration. The negative effect of decreased levels of Na+ channels on development and ts-paralysis was more pronounced at 18 and 29°C than at 25°C, suggesting particular sensitivity of the mlenapts flies to temperatures above and below normal environmental conditions. Similarly, longevity of mlenapts flies was unexpectedly short at 18 and 29°C compared with flies heterozygous for the mlenapts mutation. Developmental lethality and neurodegeneration of mlenapts flies was partially rescued by increasing the dosage of para, confirming a vital role of Na+ channels in development, longevity and neurodegeneration of flies and their adaptation to temperatures.Full Text Options