Channel nuclear pore protein 54 directs sexual differentiation and neuronal wiring of female reproductive behaviors in Drosophila

Nallasivan, Mohanakarthik P and Haussmann, Irmgard U. and Civetta, Alberto and Soller, Matthias (2021) Channel nuclear pore protein 54 directs sexual differentiation and neuronal wiring of female reproductive behaviors in Drosophila. BMC Biology, 19 (1). p. 226. ISSN 1741-7007

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Female reproductive behaviors and physiology change profoundly after mating. The control of pregnancy-associated changes in physiology and behaviors are largely hard-wired into the brain to guarantee reproductive success, yet the gene expression programs that direct neuronal differentiation and circuit wiring at the end of the sex determination pathway in response to mating are largely unknown. In Drosophila, the post-mating response induced by male-derived sex-peptide in females is a well-established model to elucidate how complex innate behaviors are hard-wired into the brain. Here, we use a genetic approach to further characterize the molecular and cellular architecture of the sex-peptide response in Drosophila females.

Screening for mutations that affect the sensitivity to sex-peptide, we identified the channel nuclear pore protein Nup54 gene as an essential component for mediating the sex-peptide response, with viable mutant alleles leading to the inability of laying eggs and reducing receptivity upon sex-peptide exposure. Nup54 directs correct wiring of eight adult brain neurons that express pickpocket and are required for egg-laying, while additional channel Nups also mediate sexual differentiation. Consistent with links of Nups to speciation, the Nup54 promoter is a hot spot for rapid evolution and promoter variants alter nucleo-cytoplasmic shuttling.

These results implicate nuclear pore functionality to neuronal wiring underlying the sex-peptide response and sexual differentiation as a response to sexual conflict arising from male-derived sex-peptide to direct the female post-mating response.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ** From Europe PMC via Jisc Publications Router ** History: ppub 01-10-2021; epub 20-10-2021. ** Licence for this article: cc by
Identification Number:
15 September 2021Accepted
20 October 2021Published Online
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sexual differentiation, Nuclear Pore Complex (Npc), Post-mating Behaviors, Neuronal Wiring, Nup54, Pickpocket (Ppk) Neurons
Subjects: CAH03 - biological and sport sciences > CAH03-01 - biosciences > CAH03-01-02 - biology (non-specific)
Divisions: Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences > School of Health Sciences
SWORD Depositor: JISC PubRouter
Depositing User: JISC PubRouter
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2021 11:05
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2021 11:05

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