Defective cortex glia plasma membrane structure underlies light-induced epilepsy in cpes mutants

Govind Kunduri, Daniel Turner-Evans, Yutaka Konya, Yoshihiro Izumi, Kunio Nagashima, Stephen Lockett, Joost Holthuis, Takeshi Bamba, Usha Acharya, Jairaj K. Acharya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Seizures induced by visual stimulation (photosensitive epilepsy; PSE) represent a common type of epilepsy in humans, but the molecular mechanisms and genetic drivers underlying PSE remain unknown, and no good genetic animal models have been identified as yet. Here, we show an animal model of PSE, in Drosophila, owing to defective cortex glia. The cortex glial membranes are severely compromised in ceramide phosphoethanolamine synthase (cpes)-null mutants and fail to encapsulate the neuronal cell bodies in the Drosophila neuronal cortex. Expression of human sphingomyelin synthase 1, which synthesizes the closely related ceramide phosphocholine (sphingomyelin), rescues the cortex glial abnormalities and PSE, underscoring the evolutionarily conserved role of these lipids in glialmembranes. Further,we show the compromise in plasma membrane structure that underlies the glial cell membrane collapse in cpes mutants and leads to the PSE phenotype.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E8919-E8928
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number38
Publication statusPublished - Sep 18 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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