Transient receptor potential (TRP) channels mediate responses in a large variety of signaling mechanisms. Most studies on mammalian TRP channels rely on heterologous expression, but their relevance to in vivo tissues is not entirely clear. In contrast, Drosophila TRP and TRP-like (TRPL) channels allow direct analyses of in vivo function. In Drosophila photoreceptors, activation of TRP and TRPL is mediated via the phosphoinositide cascade, with both Ca2+ and diacylglycerol (DAG) essential for generating the light response. In tissue culture cells, TRPL channels are constitutively active, and lipid second messengers greatly facilitate this activity. Inhibition of phospholipase C (PLC) completely blocks lipid activation of TRPL, suggesting that lipid activation is mediated via PLC. In vivo studies in mutant Drosophila also reveal an acute requirement for lipid-producing enzyme, which may regulate PLC activity. Thus, PLC and its downstream second messengers, Ca2+ and DAG, constitute critical mediators of TRP/TRPL gating in vivo.
Insights on TRP Channels from In Vivo Studies in Drosophila
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