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Cell Rep. 2018 Oct 23;25(4):1051-1065.e6. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2018.09.075.

Microtubule Acetylation Is Required for Mechanosensation in Drosophila.

Author information

1
Department of Biology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.
2
Department of Neurobiology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA 01605, USA.
3
Department of Biochemistry, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706, USA.
4
Department of Chemistry, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.
5
Department of Chemistry, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA; Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.
6
Department of Physics & Astronomy, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3280, USA.
7
Department of Applied and Physical Sciences, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3280, USA.
8
Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.
9
Department of Biology, Integrative Program for Biological and Genome Sciences, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3280, USA; Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3280, USA. Electronic address: srogers@bio.unc.edu.
10
Department of Biology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA. Electronic address: jzp2@uw.edu.

Abstract

At the cellular level, α-tubulin acetylation alters the structure of microtubules to render them mechanically resistant to compressive forces. How this biochemical property of microtubule acetylation relates to mechanosensation remains unknown, although prior studies have shown that microtubule acetylation influences touch perception. Here, we identify the major Drosophila α-tubulin acetylase (dTAT) and show that it plays key roles in several forms of mechanosensation. dTAT is highly expressed in the larval peripheral nervous system (PNS), but it is largely dispensable for neuronal morphogenesis. Mutation of the acetylase gene or the K40 acetylation site in α-tubulin impairs mechanical sensitivity in sensory neurons and behavioral responses to gentle touch, harsh touch, gravity, and vibration stimuli, but not noxious thermal stimulus. Finally, we show that dTAT is required for mechanically induced activation of NOMPC, a microtubule-associated transient receptor potential channel, and functions to maintain integrity of the microtubule cytoskeleton in response to mechanical stimulation.

KEYWORDS:

Drosophila; TRP channel; mechanosensation; microtubule acetylation; somatosensory neuron

PMID:
30355484
PMCID:
PMC6248335
DOI:
10.1016/j.celrep.2018.09.075
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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