The role of PPK26 in Drosophila larval mechanical nociception

Cell Rep. 2014 Nov 20;9(4):1183-90. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2014.10.020.


In Drosophila larvae, the class IV dendritic arborization (da) neurons are polymodal nociceptors. Here, we show that ppk26 (CG8546) plays an important role in mechanical nociception in class IV da neurons. Our immunohistochemical and functional results demonstrate that ppk26 is specifically expressed in class IV da neurons. Larvae with mutant ppk26 showed severe behavioral defects in a mechanical nociception behavioral test but responded to noxious heat stimuli comparably to wild-type larvae. In addition, functional studies suggest that ppk26 and ppk (also called ppk1) function in the same pathway, whereas piezo functions in a parallel pathway. Consistent with these functional results, we found that PPK and PPK26 are interdependent on each other for their cell surface localization. Our work indicates that PPK26 and PPK might form heteromeric DEG/ENaC channels that are essential for mechanotransduction in class IV da neurons.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / cytology
  • Drosophila melanogaster / metabolism*
  • Epithelial Sodium Channels / metabolism*
  • Larva / metabolism
  • Mechanotransduction, Cellular*
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Nociception*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Sodium Channels / metabolism
  • Temperature
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism


  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Epithelial Sodium Channels
  • GAL4 protein, Drosophila
  • PPK26 protein, Drosophila
  • Sodium Channels
  • Transcription Factors
  • ppk protein, Drosophila