The cAMP Transduction Cascade Mediates Olfactory Reception in Drosophila melanogaster

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Two main second messenger systems depending on IP3 and cAMP have been related to olfaction in vertebrates as well as invertebrates. In Drosophila melanogaster, the availability of mutations affecting one or the other pathway (rdgB and norpA or rut and dnc, respectively) allowed showing of abnormal olfactory behavior phenotypes associated with olfactory transduction in complete living animals. However, because rut and dnc genes showed ubiquitous expression at olfactory receptor organs and some brain locations, the mutant behavior cannot be assigned exclusively to olfactory reception. In this report, overexpression of the dnc gene directed specifically to different olfactory receptor neuron subsets was used to produce dominant mutants. Abnormal olfactory behavior was found in 62.5% of the 8 lines studied in response to some odorants, depending on the affected neuronal subset. These results suggest that even for a small number of tested odorants (5), cAMP cascade is involved in olfactory reception to an important extent.

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