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TOR is required for the retrograde regulation of synaptic homeostasis at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction.

TOR is required for the retrograde regulation of synaptic homeostasis at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction.

Homeostatic mechanisms operate to stabilize synaptic function; however, we know little about how they are regulated. Exploiting Drosophila genetics, we have uncovered a critical role for the target of rapamycin (TOR) in the regulation of synaptic homeostasis at the Drosophila larval neuromuscular junction. Loss of postsynaptic TOR disrupts a retrograde compensatory enhancement in neurotransmitter release that is normally triggered by a reduction in postsynaptic glutamate receptor activity. Moreover, postsynaptic overexpression of TOR or a phosphomimetic form of S6 ribosomal protein kinase, a common target of TOR, can trigger a strong retrograde increase in neurotransmitter release. Interestingly, heterozygosity for eIF4E, a critical component of the cap-binding protein complex, blocks the retrograde signal in all these cases. Our findings suggest that cap-dependent translation under the control of TOR plays a critical role in establishing the activity dependent homeostatic response at the NMJ.



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