Nociceptor-enriched genes required for normal thermal nociception

Journal Article

SummaryHere, we describe a targeted reverse genetic screen for thermal nociception genes of Drosophila larvae. Using laser capture microdissection and microarray analyses of nociceptive and non-nociceptive neurons we identified 275 nociceptor-enriched genes. We then tested the function of the enriched genes with nociceptor-specific RNAi and thermal nociception assays. Tissue specific RNAi targeted against 14 genes caused insensitive thermal nociception while targeting of 22 genes caused hypersensitive thermal nociception. Previously uncategorized genes were named for heat resistance (ie. boilerman, fire dancer, oven mitt, trivet, thawb and bunker gear) or heat sensitivity (firelighter, black match, eucalyptus, primacord, jet fuel, detonator, gasoline, smoke alarm, and jetboil). Insensitive nociception phenotypes were often associated with severely reduced branching of nociceptor neurites and hyperbranched dendrites were seen in two of the hypersensitive cases. Many genes that we identified were not isolated in a prior genome-wide screen, and are evolutionarily conserved in mammals.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Honjo, K; Mauthner, SE; Wang, Y; Skene, JHP; Tracey, WD

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Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1101/053413