Selective elimination/RNAi silencing of FMRF-related peptides and their receptors decreases the locomotor activity in Drosophila melanogaster

Brigitta Kiss, Tamás Szlanka, Ágnes Zvara, Michal Žurovec, Michal Sery, Štefan Kakaš, Beáta Ramasz, Zoltán HegedUs, Tamás Lukacsovich, László Puskás, Adrien Fónagy, István Kiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)


Five neuropeptide genes are classified in the FMRF-related (FaRP) group: the Fmrf, dromyosuppressin (Dms), drosulfakinin (Dsk), neuropeptide F (npf) and short neuropeptide F (sNPF) genes coding for 8, 1, 2, 1 and 4 peptides, respectively. In order to compare their effects on the locomotor activity of Drosophila adults, we made RNAi knockdown of the peptides and their specific receptor genes. In addition, we constructed Gal4 drivers with three distinct parts of the Fmrf gene's 5' regulatory sequence (RS8-Gal4, RS11-Gal4, RS17-Gal4), and used them to ablate FMRF-positive neurons inducing apoptosis by expressing the reaper (rpr) gene. We examined the locomotor activity of flies by measuring the mean velocity of movement (MVM) following repeated air-puffs. Locomotor activity was decreased by RNAi knockdown induced in the CNS by the elav-Gal4 driver. According to the MVM curve profiles, RNAi knockdown most effectively decreased the velocity when the DmsR-1 and DmsR-2 genes were silenced together (DmsR-1-RNAi/elav-Gal4; DmsR-2-RNAi/+). Similar effect was observed in Dsk-RNAi/ elav-Gal4; DskR-2-RNAi/+, while moderate effects were found in three other combinations (Fmrf-RNAi/elav-Gal4; FR-RNAi/+, Dms-RNAi/ elav-Gal4;DmsR-2-RNAi/+, CCKLR-17D1-RNAi/elav-Gal4; CCKLR-17D3-RNAi/+), and weak effect in DmsR-2-RNAi/elav-Gal4; DmsR-1-RNAi/+. Male and female flies were not different in this respect. In the cell ablation experiment, the MVM profiles of the female flies were different from the controls when the UAS-. rpr transgene was driven by RS8-Gal4 or RS17-Gal4. The RS11-Gal4 and Fmrf-Gal4 drivers were ineffective. In the males only the RS17-Gal4 showed a weak effect. RNAi silencing of the FaRP and FaRP-receptor genes effectively decreased the startle-induced locomotor activity of flies. Ablation of FMRF-positive neurons by the RS8-Gal4 and/or RS17-Gal4 drivers also decreased the flies' activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-145
Number of pages9
JournalGeneral and Comparative Endocrinology
Publication statusPublished - Sep 15 2013



  • Drosophila melanogaster
  • FMRF-related peptides
  • G protein-coupled receptors
  • Locomotor activity
  • RNAi-silencing
  • UAS-reaper ablation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Endocrinology

Cite this