Get access

The Drosophila Kctd-family homologue Kctd12-like modulates male aggression and mating behaviour



In Drosophila, serotonin (5-HT) regulates aggression, mating behaviour and sleep/wake behaviour through different receptors. Currently, how these various receptors are themselves regulated is still not completely understood. The KCTD12-family of proteins, which have been shown to modify G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) signalling in mammals, are one possibility of auxiliary proteins modulating 5-HT receptor signalling. The KCTD12-family was found to be remarkably conserved and present in species from C. elegans to humans. The Drosophila KCTD12 homologue Kctd12-like (Ktl) was highly expressed in both the larval and adult CNS. By performing behavioural assays in male Drosophila, we now reveal that Ktl is required for proper male aggression and mating behaviour. Previously, it was shown that Ktl is in a complex with the Drosophila 5-HT receptor 5-HT7, and we observed that both Ktl and the 5-HT1A receptor are required in insulin-producing cells (IPCs) for proper adult male behaviour, as well as for hyperaggressive activity induced by the mammalian 5-HT1A receptor agonist 8-hydroxy-2-dipropylaminotetralin-hydrobromide. Finally, we show that Ktl expression in the IPCs is necessary to regulate locomotion and normal sleep/wake patterns in Drosophila, but not the 5-HT1A receptor. Similar to what was observed with mammalian KCTD12-family members that interact physically with a GPCR receptor to regulate desensitization, in Drosophila Ktl may function in GPCR 5-HT receptor pathways to regulate their signalling, which is required for proper adult male behaviour.