A Pair of Oviduct-Born Pickpocket Neurons Important for Egg-Laying in Drosophila melanogaster

Mol Cells. 2016 Jul;39(7):573-9. doi: 10.14348/molcells.2016.0121. Epub 2016 Jun 24.


During copulation, male Drosophila transfers Sex Peptide (SP) to females where it acts on internal sensory neurons expressing pickpocket (ppk). These neurons induce a post-mating response (PMR) that includes elevated egg-laying and refractoriness to re-mating. Exactly how ppk neurons regulate the different aspects of the PMR, however, remains unclear. Here, we identify a small subset of the ppk neurons which requires expression of a pre-mRNA splicing factor CG3542 for egg-laying, but not refractoriness to mating. We identify two CG3542-ppk expressing neurons that innervate the upper oviduct and appear to be responsible for normal egg-laying. Our results suggest specific subsets of the ppk neurons are responsible for each PMR component.

Keywords: CG3542; egg-laying; phosphoprotein; pickpocket; post mating response; sex peptide.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / physiology*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Male
  • Oviposition* / drug effects
  • Peptides / pharmacology
  • Phosphorylation
  • Proteomics / methods*
  • Sensory Receptor Cells / metabolism
  • Sensory Receptor Cells / physiology*
  • Sexual Behavior, Animal
  • Sodium Channels / metabolism


  • CG3542 protein, Drosophila
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Peptides
  • Sodium Channels