Behavioral responses to hypoxia and hyperoxia in Drosophila larvae molecular and neuronal sensors

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8 Scopus citations


The ability to detect changes in oxygen concentration in the environment is critical to the survival of all animals. This requires cells to express a molecular oxygen sensor that can detect shifts in oxygen levels and transmit a signal that leads to the appropriate cellular response. Recent biochemical, genetic and behavioral studies have shown that the atypical soluble guanylyl cyclases function as oxygen detectors in Drosophila larvae triggering a behavioral escape response when exposed to hypoxia. These studies also identified the sensory neurons that innervate the terminal sensory cones as likely chemosensors that mediate this response. Here I summarize the data that led to these conclusions and also highlight evidence that suggests additional, as yet unidentified, proteins are also required for detecting increases and decreases in oxygen concentrations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-125
Number of pages7
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011



  • Cyclic GMP
  • Oxygen detection
  • Soluble guanylyl cyclase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science

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