Solar irradiation including ultraviolet (UV) light causes tissue damage by generating reactive free radicals that can be electrophilic or nucleophilic due to unpaired electrons. Little is known about how free radicals induced by natural sunlight are rapidly detected and avoided by animals. We discover that Drosophila Transient Receptor Potential Ankyrin 1 (TRPA1), previously known only as an electrophile receptor, sensitively detects photochemically active sunlight through nucleophile sensitivity. Rapid light-dependent feeding deterrence in Drosophila was mediated only by the TRPA1(A) isoform, despite the TRPA1(A) and TRPA1(B) isoforms having similar electrophile sensitivities. Such isoform dependentce re-emerges in the detection of structurally varied nucleophilic compounds and nucleophilicity-accompanying hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Furthermore, these isoform-dependent mechanisms require a common set of TRPA1(A)-specific residues dispensable for electrophile detection. Collectively, TRPA1(A) rapidly responds to natural sunlight intensities through its nucleophile sensitivity as a receptor of photochemically generated radicals, leading to an acute light-induced behavioral shift in Drosophila.
- KyeongJin Kang
- Tae Jung Ahn
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Leslie C Griffith, Brandeis University, United States
© 2016, Du et al.
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