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Suito, T., Nagao, K., Takeuchi, K., Juni, N., Hara, Y., Umeda, M. (2020). Functional expression of Δ12 fatty acid desaturase modulates thermoregulatory behaviour in Drosophila.  Sci. Rep. 10(1): 11798.
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Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) play crucial roles in adaptation to cold environments in a wide variety of animals and plants. However, the mechanisms by which PUFAs affect thermoregulatory behaviour remain elusive. Thus, we investigated the roles of PUFAs in thermoregulatory behaviour of Drosophila melanogaster. To this end, we generated transgenic flies expressing Caenorhabditis elegans Δ12 fatty acid desaturase (FAT-2), which converts mono-unsaturated fatty acids to PUFAs such as linoleic acid <up> C18:2 (n-6)</up> and linolenic acid <up> C18:3 (n-3)</up>. Neuron-specific expression of FAT-2 using the GAL4/UAS expression system led to increased contents of C18:2 (n-6)-containing phospholipids in central nerve system (CNS) and caused significant decreases in preferred temperature of third instar larvae. In genetic screening and calcium imaging analyses of thermoreceptor-expressing neurons, we demonstrated that ectopic expression of FAT-2 in TRPA1-expressing neurons led to decreases in preferred temperature by modulating neuronal activity. We conclude that functional expression of FAT-2 in a subset of neurons changes the thermoregulatory behaviour of D. melanogaster, likely by modulating quantities of PUFA-containing phospholipids in neuronal cell membranes.

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PMC7366712 (PMC) (EuropePMC)
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