On 4/3/2018, the Cell Reports published online a research article entitled “Brv1 is required for Drosophila larvae to sense gentle touch” from Prof. Li’s group.
How we sense touch is fundamental for many physiological processes. However, the underlying mechanism and molecular identity for touch sensation are largely unknown. In this study, Li's group reports defective gentle-touch behavioral responses in brv1 loss-of-function Drosophila larvae. RNAi and Ca2+ imaging confirmed the involvement of Brv1 in sensing touch and demonstrated that Brv1 mediates the mechanotransduction of class III dendritic arborization neurons. Electrophysiological recordings further revealed that the expression of Brv1 protein in HEK293T cells gives rise to stretch-activated cation channels. Purified Brv1 protein reconstituted into liposomes were found to sense stretch stimuli. In addition, co-expression studies suggested that Brv1 amplifies the response of mechanosensitive ion channel NOMPC (no mechanoreceptor potential C) to touch stimuli. Together, these findings demonstrate a molecular entity that mediates the gentle touch response in Drosophila larvae, providing insights into the molecular mechanisms of touch sensation.
This work was supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China, the National Foundation of Natural Science of China, Fundamental Research Funds for Central Universities, Public Technology Application Research of Zhejiang Province, and the Chinese Ministry of Education Project 111 Program.