What is it about?

This study identifies a gene in fruit flies called Dstac that regulates the release of neuropeptides at synapses by neurons in the fruit fly nervous system.

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Why is it important?

Neuropeptides are important regulators of neural circuits that control complex behavior such as aggression and social behaviors in animals. How the release of neuropeptides is controlled is not well understood. Genes that are similar to Dstac are active in neurons of the vertebrate brain suggesting that these genes may also regulate release of neuropeptides in the vertebrate brain.


Dstac and the vertebrate genes similar to Dstac control the activity of ion channels that selectively allow calcium ions to enter neurons. Since other cell types besides neurons also use an influx of calcium ions to carry out their functions, these genes may also be important for other cell types in animals including humans. In fact, one such human gene called STAC3 is important for muscle activation and is the basis for the Native American myopathy, a devastating congenital muscle disease.

University of Michigan

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This page is a summary of: Stac protein regulates release of neuropeptides, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, November 2020, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2009224117.
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