Conditional protein tagging methods reveal highly specific subcellular distribution of ion channels in motion-sensing neurons
Neurotransmitter receptors and ion channels shape the biophysical properties of neurons, from the sign of the response mediated by neurotransmitter receptors to the dynamics shaped by voltage-gated ion channels. Therefore, knowing the localizations and types of receptors and channels present in neurons is fundamental to our understanding of neural computation. Here, we developed two approaches to visualize the subcellular localization of specific proteins in Drosophila: The flippase-dependent expression of GFP-tagged receptor subunits in single neurons and 'FlpTag', a versatile new tool for the conditional labelling of endogenous proteins. Using these methods, we investigated the subcellular distribution of the receptors GluClα, Rdl, and Dα7 and the ion channels para and Ih in motion-sensing T4/T5 neurons of the Drosophila visual system. We discovered a strictly segregated subcellular distribution of these proteins and a sequential spatial arrangement of glutamate, acetylcholine, and GABA receptors along the dendrite that matched the previously reported EM-reconstructed synapse distributions.
All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files. Source data files have been provided for Figures 2, 3 and 4. Previously Published Datasets: Seven medulla column connectome: Kazunori Shinomiya, 2019, http://emdata.janelia.org/#/repo/medulla7column, #3b548
Article and author information
- Sandra Fendl
- Renee Marie Vieira
- Alexander Borst
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Claude Desplan, New York University, United States
- Received: September 10, 2020
- Accepted: October 14, 2020
- Accepted Manuscript published: October 20, 2020 (version 1)
- Accepted Manuscript updated: October 21, 2020 (version 2)
- Version of Record published: November 10, 2020 (version 3)
© 2020, Fendl et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
- Page views
Article citation count generated by polling the highest count across the following sources: Crossref, PubMed Central, Scopus.
Downloads (link to download the article as PDF)
Open citations (links to open the citations from this article in various online reference manager services)
Cite this article (links to download the citations from this article in formats compatible with various reference manager tools)
- Biochemistry and Chemical Biology
- Chromosomes and Gene Expression
In nucleosomes, histone N-terminal tails exist in dynamic equilibrium between free/accessible and collapsed/DNA-bound states. The latter state is expected to impact histone N-termini availability to the epigenetic machinery. Notably, H3 tail acetylation (e.g. K9ac, K14ac, K18ac) is linked to increased H3K4me3 engagement by the BPTF PHD finger, but it is unknown if this mechanism has a broader extension. Here, we show that H3 tail acetylation promotes nucleosomal accessibility to other H3K4 methyl readers, and importantly, extends to H3K4 writers, notably methyltransferase MLL1. This regulation is not observed on peptide substrates yet occurs on the cis H3 tail, as determined with fully-defined heterotypic nucleosomes. In vivo, H3 tail acetylation is directly and dynamically coupled with cis H3K4 methylation levels. Together, these observations reveal an acetylation ‘chromatin switch’ on the H3 tail that modulates read-write accessibility in nucleosomes and resolves the long-standing question of why H3K4me3 levels are coupled with H3 acetylation.
- Chromosomes and Gene Expression
The consequences of aneuploidy have traditionally been studied in cell and animal models in which the extrachromosomal DNA is from the same species. Here, we explore a fundamental question concerning the impact of aneuploidy on systemic metabolism using a non-mosaic transchromosomic mouse model (TcMAC21) carrying a near-complete human chromosome 21. Independent of diets and housing temperatures, TcMAC21 mice consume more calories, are hyperactive and hypermetabolic, remain consistently lean and profoundly insulin sensitive, and have a higher body temperature. The hypermetabolism and elevated thermogenesis are likely due to a combination of increased activity level and sarcolipin overexpression in the skeletal muscle, resulting in futile sarco(endo)plasmic reticulum Ca2+ ATPase (SERCA) activity and energy dissipation. Mitochondrial respiration is also markedly increased in skeletal muscle to meet the high ATP demand created by the futile cycle and hyperactivity. This serendipitous discovery provides proof-of-concept that sarcolipin-mediated thermogenesis via uncoupling of the SERCA pump can be harnessed to promote energy expenditure and metabolic health.