Temperature synchronization of the Drosophila circadian clock protein PERIOD is controlled by the TRPA channel PYREXIA

Commun. Biol.
July 2019
Full Article
Roessingh S
Rosing M.
Marunova M.
Ogueta M.
George R.
Lamaze A.
Stanewsky R.

Circadian clocks are endogenous molecular oscillators that temporally organize behavioral activity thereby contributing to the fitness of organisms. To synchronize the fly circadian clock with the daily fluctuations of light and temperature, these environmental cues are sensed both via brain clock neurons, and by light and temperature sensors located in the peripheral nervous system. Here we demonstrate that the TRPA channel PYREXIA (PYX) is required for temperature synchronization of the key circadian clock protein PERIOD. We observe a molecular synchronization defect explaining the previously reported defects of pyx mutants in behavioral temperature synchronization. Surprisingly, surgical ablation of pyx-mutant antennae partially rescues behavioral synchronization, indicating that antennal temperature signals are modulated by PYX function to synchronize clock neurons in the brain. Our results suggest that PYX protects antennal neurons from faulty signaling that would otherwise interfere with temperature synchronization of the circadian clock neurons in the brain