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NEUROSENSORY MECHANOTRANSDUCTION IN THE DROSOPHILA LARVA

  • Author(s): Gorczyca, David A.
  • Advisor(s): Jan, Yuh Nung
  • et al.
Abstract

Animals contain mechanisms for interacting with their environment that are exquisitely sensitive to particular modalities. Of all our senses, mechanosensation is the least well understood. The mammalian somatosensory system contains several sensory organs specialized for mechanotransduction, however it is difficult to study for a number of reasons. The da neuron system in Drosophila offers a powerful system in which to study the molecular mechanisms of somatosensation. In this work, the Class III neurons are identified as a rapidly adapting mechanotransducers. In addition, the DEG/ENaC channel Ppk26 is found to interact with Ppk1 in Class IV neurons, where it plays a role in mechanical nociception and locomotion behavior.

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