Farnesol-Detecting Olfactory Neurons in Drosophila

The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience (Impact Factor: 6.34). 03/2014; 34(11):3959-68. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4582-13.2014
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We set out to deorphanize a subset of putative Drosophila odorant receptors expressed in trichoid sensilla using a transgenic in vivo misexpression approach. We identified farnesol as a potent and specific activator for the orphan odorant receptor Or83c. Farnesol is an intermediate in juvenile hormone biosynthesis, but is also produced by ripe citrus fruit peels. Here, we show that farnesol stimulates robust activation of Or83c-expressing olfactory neurons, even at high dilutions. The CD36 homolog Snmp1 is required for normal farnesol response kinetics. The neurons expressing Or83c are found in a subset of poorly characterized intermediate sensilla. We show that these neurons mediate attraction behavior to low concentrations of farnesol and that Or83c receptor mutants are defective for this behavior. Or83c neurons innervate the DC3 glomerulus in the antennal lobe and projection neurons relaying information from this glomerulus to higher brain centers target a region of the lateral horn previously implicated in pheromone perception. Our findings identify a sensitive, narrowly tuned receptor that mediates attraction behavior to farnesol and demonstrates an effective approach to deorphanizing odorant receptors expressed in neurons located in intermediate and trichoid sensilla that may not function in the classical "empty basiconic neuron" system.

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    • "sed from the peal of citrus fruit ( Ronderos et al . , 2014 ) . In contrast to the OR19a pathway , activation of farnesol - sensitive OSNs induces attraction . This might suggest two distinct pathways of which one ( via OR83c ) is essential for citrus attraction and the other ( via OR19a ) for citrus oviposition preference ( Dweck et al . , 2013 ; Ronderos et al . , 2014 ) . However , the ecological significance of farnesol and the OR83c pathway was recently questioned by Mansourian and Stensmyr ( 2015 ) . Farnesol is present in minor quantities only in some citrus varieties , and the fact that the projection neurons from the glomerulus that receives input from Or83c expressing OSNs terminate in the bra"
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