In Drosophila, a phospholipase C (PLC)-mediated signaling cascade, couples photo-excitation of rhodopsin to the opening of the transient receptor potential (TRP) and TRP-like (TRPL) channels. A lipid product of PLC, diacylglycerol (DAG), and its metabolites, polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) may function as second messengers of channel activation. However, how can one separate between the increase in putative second messengers, change in pH, and phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PI(4,5)P2) depletion when exploring the TRPL gating mechanism? To answer this question we co-expressed the TRPL channels together with the muscarinic (M1) receptor, enabling the openings of TRPL channels via G-protein activation of PLC. To dissect PLC activation of TRPL into its molecular components, we used a powerful method that reduced plasma membrane-associated PI(4,5)P2 in HEK cells within seconds without activating PLC. Upon the addition of a dimerizing drug, PI(4,5)P2 was selectively hydrolyzed in the cell membrane without producing DAG, inositol trisphosphate, or calcium signals. We show that PI(4,5)P2 is not an inhibitor of TRPL channel activation. PI(4,5)P2 hydrolysis combined with either acidification or application of DAG analogs failed to activate the channels, whereas PUFA did activate the channels. Moreover, a reduction in PI(4,5)P2 levels or inhibition of DAG lipase during PLC activity suppressed the PLC-activated TRPL current. This suggests that PI(4,5)P2 is a crucial substrate for PLC-mediated activation of the channels, whereas PUFA may function as the channel activator. Together, this study defines a narrow range of possible mechanisms for TRPL gating.
Year of publication
The Journal of Biological Chemistry, 287, 1436-1447