Painful heat sensed by 'painless' in flies

Sep 30, 2008

Japanese research group led by Prof Makoto Tominaga and Dr Takaaki Sokabe, National Institute for Physiological Sciences (NIPS), Japan, found that a small fly, drosophila, has a receptor for noxious heat. The research group reports their finding in Journal of Neuroscience published on Oct 1, 2008.

It has been unknown how flies detect a noxious heat to avoid it. The research group investigated the function of "Painless" protein, which had been known to be important for heat avoidance behavior in flies. This protein had been predicted as one type of ionic TRP (transient receptor potential) channels. They found that the channel can sense noxious heat directly. The channel activity was modulated by intracellular calcium to maintain optimal sensitivity. Camphor, a moth repellent, did block the activity of this channel.

Dr. Sokabe said, "this is the first report to show that flies can sense hazardous heat by a specific sensor, namely 'Painless'. This finding may help designing new anti-fly substance."

Source: National Institute for Physiological Sciences

Explore further: Not just for the holidays, mistletoe could fight obesity-related liver disease

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Fruit flies lead scientists to new human pain gene

Nov 11, 2010

While it has become clear in recent years that susceptibility to pain has a strong inherited component, very little is known about actual "pain genes" and how they work. In the November 12th issue of Cell, researchers at Chi ...

Recommended for you

Stem cells faulty in Duchenne muscular dystrophy

18 hours ago

Like human patients, mice with a form of Duchenne muscular dystrophy undergo progressive muscle degeneration and accumulate connective tissue as they age. Now, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have ...

Here's how the prion protein protects us

22 hours ago

The cellular prion protein (PrPC) has the ability to protect the brain's neurons. Although scientists have known about this protective physiological function for some time, they were lacking detailed knowledge ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.