• Mode of action of FMRFamide-like peptide on drosophila body wall muscle conractions

      Milakovic, Maja; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 2011-03-08)
      Neuropeptides are the largest group of signalling chemicals that can convey the information from the brain to the cells of all tissues. DPKQDFMRFamide, a member of one of the largest families of neuropeptides, FMRFamide-like peptides, has modulatory effects on nerve-evoked contractions of Drosophila body wall muscles (Hewes et aI.,1998) which are at least in part mediated by the ability of the peptide to enhance neurotransmitter release from the presynaptic terminal (Hewes et aI., 1998, Dunn & Mercier., 2005). However, DPKQDFMRFamide is also able to act directly on Drosophila body wall muscles by inducing contractions which require the influx of extracellular Ca 2+ (Clark et aI., 2008). The present study was aimed at identifying which proteins, including the membrane-bound receptor and second messenger molecules, are involved in mechanisms mediating this myotropic effect of the peptide. DPKQDFMRFamide induced contractions were reduced by 70% and 90%, respectively, in larvae in which FMRFamide G-protein coupled receptor gene (CG2114) was silenced either ubiquitously or specifically in muscle tissue, when compared to the response of the control larvae in which the expression of the same gene was not manipulated. Using an enzyme immunoassay (EIA) method, it was determined that at concentrations of 1 ~M- 0.01 ~M, the peptide failed to increase cAMP and cGMP levels in Drosophila body wall muscles. In addition, the physiological effect of DPKQDFMRFamide at a threshold dose was not potentiated by 3-lsobutyl-1-methylxanthine, a phosphodiesterase inhibitor, nor was the response to 1 ~M peptide blocked or reduced by inhibitors of cAMP-dependent or cGMP-dependent protein kinases. The response to DPKQDFMRFamide was not affected in the mutants of the phosholipase C-~ (PLC~) gene (norpA larvae) or IP3 receptor mutants, which suggested that the PLC-IP3 pathway is not involved in mediat ing the peptide's effects. Alatransgenic flies lacking activity of calcium/calmodul in-dependent protein kinase (CamKII showed an increase in muscle tonus following the application of 1 JlM DPKQDFMRFamide similar to the control larvae. Heat shock treatment potentiated the response to DPKQDFMRFamide in both ala1 and control flies by approximately 150 and 100 % from a non heat-shocked larvae, respectively. Furthermore, a CaMKII inhibitor, KN-93, did not affect the ability of peptide to increase muscle tonus. Thus, al though DPKQDFMRFamide acts through a G-protein coupled FMRFamide receptor, it does not appear to act via cAMP, cGMP, IP3, PLC or CaMKl1. The mechanism through which the FMRFamide receptor acts remains to be determined.