SIFamide acts on fruitless neurons to modulate sexual behavior in Drosophila melanogaster

Azza Sellami, Jan A. Veenstra
Peptides. 2015-12-01; 74: 50-56
DOI: 10.1016/j.peptides.2015.10.003

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Sellami A(1), Veenstra JA(2).

Author information:
(1)Université de Bordeaux, CNRS, INCIA UMR 5287, 33400 Talence, France.
(2)Université de Bordeaux, CNRS, INCIA UMR 5287, 33400 Talence, France.
Electronic address: .

The Drosophila gene fruitless expresses male and female specific transcription
factors which are responsible for the generation of male specific neuronal
circuitry for courtship behavior. Mutations in this gene may lead to bisexual
behavior in males. Bisexual behavior in males also occurs in the absence of the
neuropeptide SIFamide. We show here that the SIFamide neurons do not express
fruitless. However, when fruitless neurons are made to express RNAi specific for
the SIFamide receptor, male flies engage in bisexual behavior, showing that
SIFamide acts on fruitless neurons. If neurons expressing a SIFaR-gal4 transgene
are killed by the apoptotic protein reaper or when these neurons express SIFamide
receptor RNAi, males also show male-male courtship behavior. We next used this
transgene to localize neurons that express the SIFamide receptor. Such neurons
are ubiquitously present in the central nervous and we also found two neurons in
the uterus that project into the central nervous system.

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