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Neuron. 2005 Oct 20;48(2):213-9.

PDF receptor signaling in Drosophila contributes to both circadian and geotactic behaviors.

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Laboratory of Developmental Physiology, Genomics and Proteomics, K.U. Leuven, Naamsestraat 59, B-3000 Leuven, Belgium.


The neuropeptide Pigment-Dispersing Factor (PDF) is a principle transmitter regulating circadian locomotor rhythms in Drosophila. We have identified a Class II (secretin-related) G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) that is specifically responsive to PDF and also to calcitonin-like peptides and to PACAP. In response to PDF, the PDF receptor (PDFR) elevates cAMP levels when expressed in HEK293 cells. As predicted by in vivo studies, cotransfection of Neurofibromatosis Factor 1 significantly improves coupling of PDFR to adenylate cyclase. pdfr mutant flies display increased circadian arrhythmicity, and also display altered geotaxis that is epistatic to that of pdf mutants. PDFR immunosignals are expressed by diverse neurons, but only by a small subset of circadian pacemakers. These data establish the first synapse within the Drosophila circadian neural circuit and underscore the importance of Class II peptide GPCR signaling in circadian neural systems.

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