Article

Drosophila visual transduction.

Departments of Biological Chemistry and Neuroscience, Center for Sensory Biology, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.
Trends in Neurosciences (Impact Factor: 13.58). 04/2012; 35(6):356-63. DOI: 10.1016/j.tins.2012.03.004
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Visual transduction in the Drosophila compound eye functions through a pathway that couples rhodopsin to phospholipase C (PLC) and the opening of transient receptor potential (TRP) channels. This cascade differs from phototransduction in mammalian rods and cones, but is remarkably similar to signaling in mammalian intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs). In this review, I focus on recent advances in the fly visual system, including the discovery of a visual cycle and insights into the machinery and mechanisms involved in generating a light response in photoreceptor cells.

0 Bookmarks
 · 
109 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Female yellow-fever mosquitoes, Aedes aegypti, are obligate blood-feeders and vectors of the pathogens that cause dengue fever, yellow fever and Chikungunya. This feeding behavior concludes a series of multisensory events guiding the mosquito to its host from a distance. The antennae and maxillary palps play a major role in host detection and other sensory-mediated behaviors. Compared to the antennae, the maxillary palps are a relatively simple organ and thus an attractive model for exploration of the neuromolecular networks underlying chemo- and mechanosensation. In this study, we surveyed the expressed genetic components and examined their potential involvement with these sensory modalities. Using Illumina sequencing, we identified the transcriptome of the maxillary palps of physiologically mature female Ae. aegypti. Genes expressed in the maxillary palps included those involved in sensory reception, signal transduction and neuromodulation. In addition to previously reported chemosensory genes, we identified candidate transcripts potentially involved in mechanosensation and thermosensation. This survey lays the groundwork to explore sensory networks in an insect appendage. The identification of genes involved in thermosensation provides prospective molecular targets for the development of chemicals aimed at disrupting the behavior of this medically important insect.
    Insect biochemistry and molecular biology 03/2014; · 3.25 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Many higher animals have evolved the ability to use the Earth's magnetic field, particularly for orientation. Drosophila melanogaster also respond to electromagnetic fields (EMFs), although the reported effects are quite modest. Here we report that negative geotaxis in flies, scored as climbing, is disrupted by a static EMF, and this is mediated by cryptochrome (CRY), the blue-light circadian photoreceptor. CRYs may sense EMFs via formation of radical pairs of electrons requiring photoactivation of flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) bound near a triad of Trp residues, but mutation of the terminal Trp in the triad maintains EMF responsiveness in climbing. In contrast, deletion of the CRY C terminus disrupts EMF responses, indicating that it plays an important signalling role. CRY expression in a subset of clock neurons, or the photoreceptors, or the antennae, is sufficient to mediate negative geotaxis and EMF sensitivity. Climbing therefore provides a robust and reliable phenotype for studying EMF responses in Drosophila.
    Nature Communications 01/2014; 5:4391. · 10.02 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Neurons rely on glia to recycle neurotransmitters such as glutamate and histamine for sustained signaling. Both mammalian and insect glia form intercellular gap-junction networks, but their functional significance underlying neurotransmitter recycling is unknown. Using the Drosophila visual system as a genetic model, here we show that a multicellular glial network transports neurotransmitter metabolites between perisynaptic glia and neuronal cell bodies to mediate long-distance recycling of neurotransmitter. In the first visual neuropil (lamina), which contains a multilayer glial network, photoreceptor axons release histamine to hyperpolarize secondary sensory neurons. Subsequently, the released histamine is taken up by perisynaptic epithelial glia and converted into inactive carcinine through conjugation with β-alanine for transport. In contrast to a previous assumption that epithelial glia deliver carcinine directly back to photoreceptor axons for histamine regeneration within the lamina, we detected both carcinine and β-alanine in the fly retina, where they are found in photoreceptor cell bodies and surrounding pigment glial cells. Downregulating Inx2 gap junctions within the laminar glial network causes β-alanine accumulation in retinal pigment cells and impairs carcinine synthesis, leading to reduced histamine levels and photoreceptor synaptic vesicles. Consequently, visual transmission is impaired and the fly is less responsive in a visual alert analysis compared with wild type. Our results suggest that a gap junction-dependent laminar and retinal glial network transports histamine metabolites between perisynaptic glia and photoreceptor cell bodies to mediate a novel, long-distance mechanism of neurotransmitter recycling, highlighting the importance of glial networks in the regulation of neuronal functions.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 02/2014; 111(7):2812-7. · 9.81 Impact Factor

Full-text

View
3 Downloads
Available from