Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Curr Biol. 2010 Sep 28;20(18):1672-8. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2010.08.016.

Drosophila TRPA1 channel is required to avoid the naturally occurring insect repellent citronellal.

Author information

  • 1Department of Biological Chemistry, Center for Sensory Biology, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.

Abstract

Plants produce insect repellents, such as citronellal, which is the main component of citronellal oil. However, the molecular pathways through which insects sense botanical repellents are unknown. Here, we show that Drosophila use two pathways for direct avoidance of citronellal. The olfactory coreceptor OR83b contributes to citronellal repulsion and is essential for citronellal-evoked action potentials. Mutations affecting the Ca(2+)-permeable cation channel TRPA1 result in a comparable defect in avoiding citronellal vapor. The TRPA1-dependent aversion to citronellal relies on a G protein (Gq)/phospholipase C (PLC) signaling cascade rather than direct detection of citronellal by TRPA1. Loss of TRPA1, Gq, or PLC causes an increase in the frequency of citronellal-evoked action potentials in olfactory receptor neurons. Absence of the Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channel (BK channel) Slowpoke results in a similar impairment in citronellal avoidance and an increase in the frequency of action potentials. These results suggest that TRPA1 is required for activation of a BK channel to modulate citronellal-evoked action potentials and for aversion to citronellal. In contrast to Drosophila TRPA1, Anopheles gambiae TRPA1 is directly and potently activated by citronellal, thereby raising the possibility that mosquito TRPA1 may be a target for developing improved repellents to reduce insect-borne diseases such as malaria.

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

PMID:
20797863
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2946437
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk