Though G-proteins have been implicated in the primary step of taste signal transduction, no direct demonstration has been done in insects. We show here that a G-protein gamma subunit, Gγ1, is required for the signal transduction of sugar taste reception in Drosophila. The Gγ1 gene is expressed mainly in one of the gustatory receptor neurons. Behavioral responses of the flies to sucrose were reduced by the targeted suppression of neural functions of Gγ1-expressing cells using neural modulator genes such as the modified Shaker K+ channel (EKO), the tetanus toxin light chain or the shibire (shits1) gene. RNA interference targeting to the Gγ1 gene reduced the amount of Gγ1 mRNA and suppressed electrophysiological response of the sugar receptor neuron. We also demonstrated that responses to sugars were lowered in Gγ1 null mutant, Gγ1 N159. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that Gγ1 participates in the signal transduction of sugar taste reception.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)