Functions of opsins in Drosophila taste

TitleFunctions of opsins in Drosophila taste
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsLeung NY, Thakur DP, Gurav AS, Kim SHoon, Di Pizio A, Niv MY, Montell C
JournalCurr Biol
Date Published2020 Apr 20

Rhodopsin is a light receptor comprised of an opsin protein and a light-sensitive retinal chromophore. Despite more than a century of scrutiny, there is no evidence that opsins function in chemosensation. Here, we demonstrate that three Drosophila opsins, Rh1, Rh4, and Rh7, are needed in gustatory receptor neurons to sense a plant-derived bitter compound, aristolochic acid (ARI). The gustatory requirements for these opsins are light-independent and do not require retinal. The opsins enabled flies to detect lower concentrations of aristolochic acid by initiating an amplification cascade that includes a G-protein, phospholipase Cβ, and the TRP channel, TRPA1. In contrast, responses to higher levels of the bitter compound were mediated through direct activation of TRPA1. Our study reveals roles for opsins in chemosensation and raise questions concerning the original roles for these classical G-protein-coupled receptors.

Alternate JournalCurr. Biol.
PubMed ID32243853
PubMed Central IDPMC7252503
Grant ListF31 EY027191 / EY / NEI NIH HHS / United States
R01 DC007864 / DC / NIDCD NIH HHS / United States
R01 DC016278 / DC / NIDCD NIH HHS / United States