Contribution of EAG to excitability and potassium currents in Drosophila larval motoneurons

Subhashini Srinivasan, Kimberley Lance, Richard B. Levine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Diversity in the expression of K+ channels among neurons allows a wide range of excitability, growth, and functional regulation. Ether-à-go-go (EAG), a voltage-gated K+ channel, was first characterized in Drosophila mutants by spontaneous firing in nerve terminals and enhanced neurotransmitter release. Although diverse functions have been ascribed to this protein, its role within neurons remains poorly understood. The aim of this study was to characterize the function of EAG in situ in Drosophila larval motoneurons. Whole cell patch-clamp recordings performed from the somata revealed a decrease in IAv and IKv K+ currents in eag mutants and with targeted eag RNAi expression. Spontaneous spike-like events were observed in eag mutants but absent in wild-type motoneurons. Thus our results provide evidence that EAG represents a unique K+ channel contributing to multiple K+ currents in motoneurons helping to regulate excitability, consistent with previous observations in the Drosophila larval muscle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2660-2671
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of neurophysiology
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 15 2012


  • Heteromultimer
  • Potassium channel subunit
  • Spontaneous firing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Physiology


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