In a forward screen for genes affecting neurotransmission in Drosophila, we identified mutations in dynamin-related protein (drp1). DRP1 is required for proper cellular distribution of mitochondria, and in mutant neurons, mitochondria are largely absent from synapses, thus providing a genetic tool to assess the role of mitochondria at synapses. Although resting Ca2+is elevated at drp1 NMJs, basal synaptic properties are barely affected. However, during intense stimulation, mutants fail to maintain normal neurotransmission. Surprisingly, FM1-43 labeling indicates normal exo- and endocytosis, but a specific inability to mobilize reserve pool vesicles, which is partially rescued by exogenous ATP. Using a variety of drugs, we provide evidence that reserve pool recruitment depends on mitochondrial ATP production downstream of PKA signaling and that mitochondrial ATP limits myosin-propelled mobilization of reserve pool vesicles. Our data suggest a specific role for mitochondria in regulating synaptic strength. Copyright ©2005 by Elsevier Inc.
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