E and M circadian pacemaker neurons use different PDF receptor signalosome components in Drosophila

Laura B. Duvall, Paul H. Taghert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


We used real-time imaging to detect cAMP levels in neurons of intact fly brains to study the mechanisms of circadian pacemaker synchronization by the neuropeptide pigment dispersing factor (PDF) in Drosophila. PDF receptor (PDF-R) is expressed by both M (sLNv) and E (LNd) pacemaker subclasses and is coupled to Gsα in both cases. We previously reported that PDF-R in M pacemakers elevates cAMP levels by activating the ortholog of mammalian adenylate cyclase 3 (AC3) but that AC3 disruptions had no effect on E pacemaker sensitivity to PDF. Here, we show that PDF-R in E pacemakers activates a different AC isoform, AC78C, an ortholog of mammalian AC8. Knockdown of AC78C by transgenic RNAi substantially reduces, but does not completely abrogate, PDF responses in these E pacemakers. The knockdown effect is intact when restricted to mature stages, suggesting a physiological and not a development role for AC78C in E pacemakers. The AC78C phenotype is rescued by the overexpression of AC78C but not by overexpression of the rutabaga AC. AC78C overexpression does not disrupt PDF responses in these E pacemakers, and neither AC78C knockdown nor its overexpression disrupted locomotor rhythms. Finally, knockdown of 2 AKAPs, nervy and AKAP200, partially reduces LNd PDF responses. These findings begin to identify the components of E pacemaker PDF-R signalosomes and indicate that they are distinct from PDF-R signalosomes in M pacemakers: we propose they contain AC78C and at least 1 other AC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-248
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Rhythms
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2013


  • Drosophila melanogaster
  • circadian circuit
  • neuropeptide
  • pacemaker synchronization
  • pigment dispersing factor
  • signalosomes


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