Drosophila TRPN(=NOMPC) channel localizes to the distal end of mechanosensory cilia

Jeongmi Lee, Sungjin Moon, Yoonseok Cha, Yun Doo Chung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: A TRPN channel protein is essential for sensory transduction in insect mechanosensory neurons and in vertebrate hair cells. The Drosophila TRPN homolog, NOMPC, is required to generate mechanoreceptor potentials and currents in tactile bristles. NOMPC is also required, together with a TRPV channel, for transduction by chordotonal neurons of the fly's antennal ear, but the TRPN or TRPV channels have distinct roles in transduction and in regulating active antennal mechanics. The evidence suggests that NOMPC is a primary mechanotransducer channel, but its subcellular location-key for understanding its exact role in transduction-has not yet been established. Methodology/Principal Findings: Here, by immunostaining, we locate NOMPC at the tips of mechanosensory cilia in both external and chordotonal sensory neurons, as predicted for a mechanotransducer channel. In chordotonal neurons, the TRPN and TRPV channels are respectively segregated into distal and proximal ciliary zones. This zonal separation is demarcated by and requires the ciliary dilation, an intraciliary assembly of intraflagellar transport (IFT) proteins. Conclusions: Our results provide a strong evidence for NOMPC as a primary transduction channel in Drosophila mechansensory organs. The data also reveals a structural basis for the model of auditory chordotonal transduction in which the TRPN and TRPV channels play sequential roles in generating and amplifying the receptor potential, but have opposing roles in regulating active ciliary motility.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere11012
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume5
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010

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