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Neuropeptides related to vertebrate tachykinins have been identified in Drosophila. Two Drosophila G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), designated NKD (CG6515) and DTKR (CG7887), cloned earlier, display sequence similarities to mammalian tachykinin receptors. However, they were not characterized with the endogenous Drosophila tachykinins (DTKs). The present study characterizes one of these receptors, DTKR. We determined that HEK-293 cells transfected with DTKR displayed dose-dependent increases in both intracellular calcium and cyclic AMP levels in response to the different DTK peptides. DTK peptides also induced internalization of DTKR-green fluorescent protein (GFP) fusion constructs in HEK-293 cells. We generated specific antireceptor antisera and showed that DTKR is widely distributed in the adult brain and more scarcely in the larval CNS. The distribution of the receptor in brain neuropils corresponds well with the distribution of its ligands, the DTKs. Our findings suggest that DTKR is a DTK receptor in Drosophila and that this ligand-receptor system plays multiple functional roles.


Ryan T Birse, Erik C Johnson, Paul H Taghert, Dick R Nässel. Widely distributed Drosophila G-protein-coupled receptor (CG7887) is activated by endogenous tachykinin-related peptides. Journal of neurobiology. 2006 Jan;66(1):33-46

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PMID: 16193493

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