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Cell. 2009 Jan 9;136(1):149-62. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2008.12.001.

Variant ionotropic glutamate receptors as chemosensory receptors in Drosophila.

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  • 1Laboratory of Neurogenetics and Behavior, The Rockefeller University, 1230 York Avenue, Box 63, New York, NY 10065, USA.

Abstract

Ionotropic glutamate receptors (iGluRs) mediate neuronal communication at synapses throughout vertebrate and invertebrate nervous systems. We have characterized a family of iGluR-related genes in Drosophila, which we name ionotropic receptors (IRs). These receptors do not belong to the well-described kainate, AMPA, or NMDA classes of iGluRs, and they have divergent ligand-binding domains that lack their characteristic glutamate-interacting residues. IRs are expressed in a combinatorial fashion in sensory neurons that respond to many distinct odors but do not express either insect odorant receptors (ORs) or gustatory receptors (GRs). IR proteins accumulate in sensory dendrites and not at synapses. Misexpression of IRs in different olfactory neurons is sufficient to confer ectopic odor responsiveness. Together, these results lead us to propose that the IRs comprise a novel family of chemosensory receptors. Conservation of IR/iGluR-related proteins in bacteria, plants, and animals suggests that this receptor family represents an evolutionarily ancient mechanism for sensing both internal and external chemical cues.

PMID:
19135896
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2709536
Free PMC Article
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