Trehalose sensitivity in Drosophila correlates with mutations in and expression of the gustatory receptor gene Gr5a

Curr Biol. 2001 Sep 18;11(18):1451-5. doi: 10.1016/s0960-9822(01)00450-x.


Drosophila taste gene Tre is located on the distal X chromosome and controls gustatory sensitivity to a subset of sugars [1, 2]. Two adjacent, seven-transmembrane domain genes near the Tre locus are candidate genes for Tre. One (CG3171) encodes a rhodopsin family G protein receptor [3, 4], and the other (Gr5a) is a member of a chemosensory gene family encoding a putative gustatory receptor [5-7]. We carried out molecular analyses of mutations in Tre to elucidate their involvement in the gustatory phenotype. Here, we show that Tre mutations induced by P element-mediated genomic deletions disrupt Gr5a gene organization and the expression of Gr5a mRNA, while disruption of the CG3171 gene or its expression was not always associated with mutations in Tre. In flies with the spontaneous mutation Tre(01), both CG3171 and Gr5a mRNAs are transcribed. Coding sequences of these two candidate genes were compared among various strains. A total of three polymorphic sites leading to amino acid changes in CG3171 were not correlated with the gustatory phenotype. Among four nonsynonymous sites in Gr5a, a single nucleotide polymorphism leading to an Ala218Thr substitution in the predicted second intracellular loop cosegregated with Tre(01). Taken together, the mutation analyses support that Gr5a is allelic to Tre.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • Drosophila
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Gene Expression*
  • Genes, Insect
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics*
  • Mutagenesis
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / genetics*
  • Rhodopsin / genetics
  • Taste / physiology
  • Trehalose / genetics
  • Trehalose / metabolism*


  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • gustatory receptor, Drosophila
  • Rhodopsin
  • Trehalose