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Citation
Starostina, E., Liu, T., Vijayan, V., Zheng, Z., Siwicki, K.K., Pikielny, C.W. (2012). A Drosophila DEG/ENaC Subunit Functions Specifically in Gustatory Neurons Required for Male Courtship Behavior.  J. Neurosci. 32(13): 4665--4674.
FlyBase ID
FBrf0217925
Publication Type
Research paper
Abstract

Detection of specific female pheromones stimulates courtship behavior in Drosophila melanogaster males, but the chemosensory molecules, cells, and mechanisms involved remain poorly understood. Here we show that ppk25, a DEG/ENaC ion channel subunit required for normal male response to females, is expressed at highest levels in a single sexually dimorphic gustatory neuron of most taste hairs on legs and wings, but not in neurons that detect courtship-inhibiting pheromones or food. Synaptic inactivation of ppk25-expressing neurons, or knockdown of ppk25 expression in all gustatory neurons, significantly impairs male response to females, whereas gustatory expression of ppk25 rescues the courtship behavior of ppk25 mutant males. Remarkably, the only other detectable albeit significantly weaker expression of ppk25 occurs in olfactory neurons implicated in modulation of courtship behavior. However, expression of ppk25 in olfactory neurons is not required for male courtship under our experimental conditions. These data show that ppk25 functions specifically in peripheral taste neurons involved in activation of courtship behavior, an unexpected function for this type of channel. Furthermore, our work identifies a small subset of gustatory neurons with an essential role in activation of male courtship behavior, most likely in response to female pheromones.

PubMed ID
PubMed Central ID
PMC3324785 (PMC) (EuropePMC)
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    Language of Publication
    English
    Additional Languages of Abstract
    Parent Publication
    Publication Type
    Journal
    Abbreviation
    J. Neurosci.
    Title
    Journal of Neuroscience
    Publication Year
    1981-
    ISBN/ISSN
    0270-6474 1529-2401
    Data From Reference