Quasimodo mediates daily and acute light effects on Drosophila clock neuron excitability

Buhl E., Bradlaugh A., Ogueta M., Chen K., Stanewsky R., Hodge J.

Research article (journal)

Abstract

We have characterized a light-input pathway regulating Drosophila clock neuron excitability. The molecular clock drives rhythmic electrical excitability of clock neurons, and we show that the recently discovered light-input factor Quasimodo (Qsm) regulates this variation, presumably via an Na+, K+, Cl-cotransporter (NKCC) and the Shaw K+ channel (dKV3.1). Because of light-dependent degradation of the clock protein Timeless (Tim), constant illumination (LL) leads to a breakdown of molecular and behavioral rhythms. Both overexpression (OX) and knockdown (RNAi) of qsm, NKCC, or Shaw led to robust LL rhythmicity. Whole-cell recordings of the large ventral lateral neurons (l-LNv) showed that altering Qsm levels reduced the daily variation in neuronal activity: qsmOX led to a constitutive less active, night-like state, and qsmRNAi led to a more active, daylike state. Qsm also affected daily changes in K+ currents and the GABA reversal potential, suggesting a role in modifying membrane currents and GABA responses in a daily fashion, potentially modulating light arousal and input to the clock. When directly challenged with blue light, wild-type l-LNvs responded with increased firing at night and no net response during the day, whereas altering Qsm, NKKC, or Shaw levels abolished these day/night differences. Finally, coexpression of ShawOX and NKCCRNAi in a qsm mutant background restored LL-induced behavioral arrhythmicity and wild-type neuronal activity patterns, suggesting that the three genes operate in the same pathway. We propose that Qsm affects both daily and acute light effects in l-LNvs probably acting on Shaw and NKCC.

Details zur Publikation

Publisher:
Pages: 6
Release year: 2016
Publishing company: National Academy of Sciences
Language in which the publication is writtenEnglish
Link to the full text: https://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?partnerID=HzOxMe3b&scp=84996486530&origin=inward