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Journal Articles Genes Year : 2020

Modulation of sex pheromone discrimination by a UDP-glycosyltransferase in Drosophila melanogaster

Abstract

The detection and processing of chemical stimuli involve coordinated neuronal networks that process sensory information. This allows animals, such as the model species Drosophila melanogaster, to detect food sources and to choose a potential mate. In peripheral olfactory tissues, several classes of proteins are acting to modulate the detection of chemosensory signals. This includes odorant-binding proteins together with odorant-degrading enzymes (ODEs). These enzymes, which primarily act to eliminate toxic compounds from the whole organism also modulate chemodetection. ODEs are thought to neutralize the stimulus molecule concurrently to its detection, avoiding receptor saturation thus allowing chemosensory neurons to respond to the next stimulus. Here, we show that one UDP-glycosyltransferase (UGT36E1) expressed in D. melanogaster antennal olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) is involved in sex pheromone discrimination. UGT36E1 overexpression caused by an insertion mutation affected male behavioral ability to discriminate sex pheromones while it increased OSN electrophysiological activity to male pheromones. Reciprocally, the decreased expression of UGT36E1, controlled by an RNAi transgene, improved male ability to discriminate sex pheromones whereas it decreased electrophysiological activity in the relevant OSNs. When we combined the two genotypes (mutation and RNAi), we restored wild-type-like levels both for the behavioral discrimination and UGT36E1 expression. Taken together, our results strongly suggest that this UGT plays a pivotal role in Drosophila pheromonal detection.
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hal-02498984 , version 1 (05-03-2020)

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Stéphane Fraichard, Arièle Legendre, Philippe Lucas, Isabelle Chauvel, Philippe Faure, et al.. Modulation of sex pheromone discrimination by a UDP-glycosyltransferase in Drosophila melanogaster. Genes, 2020, 11 (3), pp.237. ⟨10.3390/genes11030237⟩. ⟨hal-02498984⟩
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