A carboxylesterase, Esterase-6, modulates sensory physiological and behavioral response dynamics to pheromone in DrosophilaReportar como inadecuado

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BMC Biology

, 10:56

First Online: 21 June 2012Received: 27 February 2012Accepted: 21 June 2012DOI: 10.1186-1741-7007-10-56

Cite this article as: Chertemps, T., François, A., Durand, N. et al. BMC Biol 2012 10: 56. doi:10.1186-1741-7007-10-56


BackgroundInsects respond to the spatial and temporal dynamics of a pheromone plume, which implies not only a strong response to -odor on-, but also to -odor off-. This requires mechanisms geared toward a fast signal termination. Several mechanisms may contribute to signal termination, among which odorant-degrading enzymes. These enzymes putatively play a role in signal dynamics by a rapid inactivation of odorants in the vicinity of the sensory receptors, although direct in vivo experimental evidences are lacking. Here we verified the role of an extracellular carboxylesterase, esterase-6 Est-6, in the sensory physiological and behavioral dynamics of Drosophila melanogaster response to its pheromone, cis-vaccenyl acetate cVA. Est-6 was previously linked to post-mating effects in the reproductive system of females. As Est-6 is also known to hydrolyze cVA in vitro and is expressed in the main olfactory organ, the antenna, we tested here its role in olfaction as a putative odorant-degrading enzyme.

ResultsWe first confirm that Est-6 is highly expressed in olfactory sensilla, including cVA-sensitive sensilla, and we show that expression is likely associated with non-neuronal cells. Our electrophysiological approaches show that the dynamics of olfactory receptor neuron ORN responses is strongly influenced by Est-6, as in Est-6° null mutants lacking the Est-6 gene cVA-sensitive ORN showed increased firing rate and prolonged activity in response to cVA. Est-6° mutant males had a lower threshold of behavioral response to cVA, as revealed by the analysis of two cVA-induced behaviors. In particular, mutant males exhibited a strong decrease of male-male courtship, in association with a delay in courtship initiation.

ConclusionsOur study presents evidence that Est-6 plays a role in the physiological and behavioral dynamics of sex pheromone response in Drosophila males and supports a role of Est-6 as an odorant-degrading enzyme ODE in male antennae. Our results also expand the role of Est-6 in Drosophila biology, from reproduction to olfaction, and highlight the role of ODEs in insect olfaction.

Keywordscarboxylesterase esterase 6 olfaction pheromone signal termination Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1741-7007-10-56 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Thomas Chertemps - Adrien François - Nicolas Durand - Gloria Rosell - Teun Dekker - Philippe Lucas - Martine Maïbèche-Co

Fuente: https://link.springer.com/

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