TRP channels in Drosophila photoreceptors: the lipid connection

Cell Calcium. 2003 May-Jun;33(5-6):385-93. doi: 10.1016/s0143-4160(03)00051-4.


The light-sensitive current in Drosophila photoreceptors is mediated by transient receptor potential (TRP) channels, at least two members of which (TRP and TRPL) are activated downstream of phospholipase C (PLC) in response to light. Recent evidence is reviewed suggesting that Drosophila TRP channels are activated by one or more lipid products of PLC activity: namely diacylglycerol (DAG), its metabolites (polyunsaturated fatty acids) or the reduction in phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP(2)). The most compelling evidence for this view comes from analysis of rdgA mutants which are unable to effectively metabolise DAG due to a defect in DAG kinase. The rdgA mutation leads to constitutive activation of both TRP and TRPL channels and dramatically increases sensitivity to light in hypomorphic mutations of PLC and G protein.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium Channels / physiology*
  • Diacylglycerol Kinase / metabolism
  • Drosophila Proteins / physiology*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / metabolism
  • Lipid Metabolism*
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Photoreceptor Cells, Invertebrate / metabolism*
  • Transient Receptor Potential Channels
  • Vision, Ocular / physiology*


  • Calcium Channels
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Transient Receptor Potential Channels
  • trp protein, Drosophila
  • Diacylglycerol Kinase