Control of thermotactic behavior via coupling of a TRP channel to a phospholipase C signaling cascade

Nat Neurosci. 2008 Aug;11(8):871-3. doi: 10.1038/nn.2170.


In animals such as the fruitfly, even minor deviations in environmental temperature can have major impacts on development and lifespan. Here we demonstrated that the ability of Drosophila melanogaster larvae to discriminate between the optimal temperature of 18 degrees C and slightly higher temperatures (19-24 degrees C) depended on the TRPA1 channel, which functioned downstream of a phospholipase C-dependent signaling cascade similar to that used in fly phototransduction. We propose that activation of TRPA1 through a signaling cascade promotes amplification of small differences in temperature and facilitates adaptation to temperatures within the comfortable range.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological / genetics
  • Adaptation, Physiological / physiology
  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Behavior, Animal
  • Choice Behavior / physiology
  • Drosophila Proteins / genetics
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics
  • Drosophila melanogaster / physiology*
  • Ion Channels
  • Larva / genetics
  • Larva / physiology
  • Motor Activity / genetics
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Mutagenesis
  • Signal Transduction / genetics
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • TRPA1 Cation Channel
  • TRPC Cation Channels / genetics
  • TRPC Cation Channels / metabolism*
  • Temperature*
  • Type C Phospholipases / metabolism*


  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Ion Channels
  • TRPA1 Cation Channel
  • TRPC Cation Channels
  • TrpA1 protein, Drosophila
  • Type C Phospholipases