, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 23–28 | Cite as

Phospholipids inDrosophila heads: Effects of visual mutants and phototransduction manipulations

  • William S. Stark
  • Teng-Nan Lin
  • David Brackhahn
  • J. Scott Christianson
  • Grace Y. Sun


A procedure was developed to label phospholipids inDrosophila heads by feeding radioactive phosphate (32Pi). High-performance thin-layer chromatography showed label incorporation into various phospholipids. After 24 h of feeding, major phospholipids labeled were phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), 47%; phosphatidylcholine (PC), 24%; and phosphatidylinositol (PI), 12%.Drosophila heads have virtually no sphingomyelin as compared with mammalian tissues. Notable label was in ethanolamine plasmalogen, lysophosphatidylethanolamine, lysophosphatidylcholine and lysophosphatidylinositol. Less than 1% of the total label was in phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate and phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate. Other lipids labeled included phosphatidylserine, phosphatidic acid and some unidentified lipids. A time course (3–36 h) study revealed a gradual decrease in proportion of labeled PI, an increase in proportion of labeled PC and no obvious change in labeled PE. There were no significant differences in phospholipid labeling comparing theno receptorpotential (norpA) visual mutant and wild type under lightvs. dark conditions. However, overall32P labeling was higher in the wild type fed in the light as compared to the dark and tonorpA either in light or dark. This suggests that functional vision facilitates incorporation of label. Differences in phospholipid labeling were observed between young and aged flies, particularly in lysophospholipids and poly-PI, implicating phospholipase A2 function in recycling. Manipulations such as theouterrhabdomeresabsent andeyesabsent mutants and carotenoid deprivation failed to yield notable differences in phospholipid labeling pattern, suggesting that phospholipids important to vision may constitute only a minor portion of the total labeled pool in the head.


cn bw





ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid


ethylene glycol-bis(β-aminoethyl ether)N,N,N′,N′ tetraacetic acid




gas chromatography


high-performance thin-layer chromatography


mositol trisphosphate








neutral lipids


no receptorpotential




phosphatidic acid






ethanolamine plasmalogen


inorganic phosphorus




phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate


phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate


protein kinase C


phospholipiase A2


phospholipase C






thin-layer chromatography






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Copyright information

© American Oil Chemists’ Society 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • William S. Stark
    • 1
  • Teng-Nan Lin
    • 2
  • David Brackhahn
    • 2
  • J. Scott Christianson
    • 1
  • Grace Y. Sun
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Biological SciencesUniversity of MissouriColumbia
  2. 2.Department of BiochemistryUniversity of MissouriColumbia

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