Mang D, Shu M, Tanaka S, Nagata S, Takada T, Endo H, Kikuta S, Tabunoki H, Iwabuchi K, Sato R.
Insect gustatory receptors (Grs) are members of a large family of proteins with seven transmembrane domains that provide insects with the ability to detect chemical signals critical for feeding, mating, and oviposition. To date, 69 Bombyx mori Grs (BmGrs) genes have been identified via genome studies. BmGr9 has been shown to respond specifically to fructose and to function as a ligand-gated ion channel selectively activated by fructose. However, the sites where this Gr are expressed remain unclear. We demonstrated using reverse transcription (RT)-PCR that BmGr9 is widely expressed in the central nervous system (CNS), as well as oral sensory organs. Additionally, immunohistochemistry was performed using anti-BmGr9 antiserum to show that BmGr9 is expressed in cells of the oral sensory organs, including the maxillary galea, maxillary palps, labrum, and labium, as well as in putative neurosecretory cells of the CNS. Furthermore, double immunohistochemical analysis showed that most BmGr9-expressing cells co-localized with putative neuropeptide F1-expressing cells in the brain, suggesting that BmGr9 is involved in the promotion of feeding behaviors. In addition, a portion of BmGr9-expressing cells in the brain co-localized with cells expressing BmGr6, a molecule of the sugar receptor clade, suggesting that sugars other than fructose are involved in the regulation of feeding behaviors in B. mori larvae.