Mechanically gated ion channels convert sound into an electrical signal for the sense of hearing. In Drosophila melanogaster, several transient receptor potential (TRP) channels have been implicated to be involved in this process. TRPN (NompC) and TRPV (Inactive) channels are localized in the distal and proximal ciliary zones of auditory receptor neurons, respectively. This segregated ciliary localization suggests distinct roles in auditory transduction. However, the regulation of this localization is not fully understood. Here we show that the Drosophila Tubby homolog, King tubby (hereafter called dTULP) regulates ciliary localization of TRPs. dTULP-deficient flies show uncoordinated movement and complete loss of sound-evoked action potentials. Inactive and NompC are mislocalized in the cilia of auditory receptor neurons in the dTulp mutants, indicating that dTULP is required for proper cilia membrane protein localization. This is the first demonstration that dTULP regulates TRP channel localization in cilia, and suggests that dTULP is a protein that regulates ciliary neurosensory functions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Molecular Biology
- Cancer Research