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Neofunctionalization of “Juvenile Hormone Esterase Duplication” in Drosophila as an odorant-degrading enzyme towards food odorants

Abstract : Odorant degrading enzymes (ODEs) are thought to be responsible, at least in part, for olfactory signal termination in the chemosensory system by rapid degradation of odorants in the vicinity of the receptors. A carboxylesterase, specifically expressed in Drosophila antennae, called “juvenile hormone esterase duplication (JHEdup)” has been previously reported to hydrolyse different fruit esters in vitro. Here we functionally characterize JHEdup in vivo. We show that the jhedup gene is highly expressed in large basiconic sensilla that have been reported to detect several food esters. An electrophysiological analysis demonstrates that ab1A olfactory neurons of jhedup mutant flies exhibit an increased response to certain food acetates. Furthermore, mutant flies show a higher sensitivity towards the same odorants in behavioural assays. A phylogenetic analysis reveals that jhedup arose as a duplication of the juvenile hormone esterase gene during the evolution of Diptera, most likely in the ancestor of Schizophora, and has been conserved in all the 12 sequenced Drosophila species. Jhedup exhibits also an olfactory-predominant expression pattern in other Drosophila species. Our results support the implication of JHEdup in the degradation of food odorants in D. melanogaster and propose a neofunctionalization of this enzyme as a bona fide ODE in Drosophilids.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, October 17, 2017 - 3:06:55 PM
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Claudia Steiner, Françoise Bozzolan, Nicolas Montagné, Martine Maïbèche, Thomas Chertemps. Neofunctionalization of “Juvenile Hormone Esterase Duplication” in Drosophila as an odorant-degrading enzyme towards food odorants. Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2017, 7, pp.12629. ⟨10.1038/s41598-017-13015-w⟩. ⟨hal-01618165⟩



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