Chordotonal neurons are responsible for sound sensation in Drosophila. However, little is known about how they respond to sound with high sensitivity. Using genetic labeling, we found one of the Drosophila axonemal dynein heavy chains, CG9492 (DNAH5), was specifically expressed in larval chordotonal neurons and showed a distribution restricted to proximal cilia. While DNAH5 mutation did not affect the cilium morphology or the trafficking of Inactive, a candidate auditory transduction channel, larvae with DNAH5 mutation had reduced startle responses to sound at low and medium intensities. Calcium imaging confirmed that DNAH5 functioned autonomously in chordotonal neurons for larval sound sensation. Furthermore, disrupting DNAH5 resulted in a decrease of spike firing responses to low-level sound in chordotonal neurons. Intriguingly, DNAH5 mutant larvae displayed an altered frequency tuning curve of the auditory organs. All together, our findings support a critical role of DNAH5 in tuning the frequency selectivity and the sound sensitivity of larval auditory neurons.
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We thank Yuh-Nung Jan (University of California, San Francisco, USA), Yi Rao (Peking University, CIBR and CCMU), and Yongqing Zhang (Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences) for fly lines and reagents, and Bowen Deng at the Chinese Institute for Brain Research for technical support. We also thank the Core Facility of Drosophila Resource and Technology (Shanghai Institutes of Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences) for fly microinjections. The research was supported by funds from the National Key R&D Program of China Project (2017YFA0103900 and 2016YFA0502800), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31571083 and 31970931), the Program for Professor of Special Appointment (Eastern Scholar of Shanghai, TP2014008), the Shanghai Municipal Science and Technology Major Project (2017SHZDZX01 and 2018SHZDZX01) and ZJLab, and the Shanghai Rising-Star Program (14QA1400800).
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Li, B., Li, S. & Yan, Z. Axonemal Dynein DNAH5 is Required for Sound Sensation in Drosophila Larvae. Neurosci. Bull. (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12264-021-00631-w
- Chordotonal neuron
- Drosophila larvae
- Sound sensation