In Drosophila melanogaster, gustatory receptor genes (Grs) encode G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) in gustatory receptor neurons (GRNs) and some olfactory receptor neurons. One of the Gr genes, Gr5a, encodes a sugar receptor that is expressed in a subset of GRNs and has been most extensively studied both molecularly and physiologically, but the G-protein alpha subunit (Galpha) that is coupled to this sugar receptor remains unknown. Here, we propose that Gs is the Galpha that is responsible for Gr5a-mediated sugar-taste transduction, based on the following findings: First, immunoreactivities against Gs were detected in a subset of GRNs including all Gr5a-expressing neurons. Second, trehalose-intake is reduced in flies heterozygous for null mutations in DGsalpha, a homolog of mammalian Gs, and trehalose-induced electrical activities in sugar-sensitive GRNs were depressed in those flies. Furthermore, expression of wild-type DGsalpha in sugar-sensitive GRNs in heterozygotic DGsalpha mutant flies rescued those impairments. Third, expression of double-stranded RNA for DGsalpha in sugar-sensitive GRNs depressed both behavioral and electrophysiological responses to trehalose. Together, these findings indicate that DGsalpha is involved in trehalose perception. We suggest that sugar-taste signals are processed through the Gsalpha-mediating signal transduction pathway in sugar-sensitive GRNs in Drosophila.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience|
|Publication status||Published - Jun 7 2006|