In insects, dopamine modulates various aspects of behavior such as learning and memory, arousal and locomotion, and is also a precursor of melanin. To elucidate the molecular basis of the dopaminergic system in the field cricket Gryllus bimaculatus DeGeer, we identified genes involved in dopamine biosynthesis, signal transduction, and dopamine re-uptake in the cricket. Complementary DNA of two isoforms of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), which convert tyrosine into l-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine, was isolated from the cricket brain cDNA library. In addition, four dopamine receptor genes (Dop1, Dop2, Dop3, and DopEcR) and a high-affinity dopamine transporter gene were identified. The two TH isoforms contained isoform-specific regions in the regulatory ACT domain and showed differential expression patterns in different tissues. In addition, the dopamine receptor genes had a receptor subtype-specific distribution: the Dop1, Dop2, and DopEcR genes were broadly expressed in various tissues at differential expression levels, and the Dop3 gene was restrictedly expressed in neuronal tissues and the testicles. Our findings provide a fundamental basis for understanding the dopaminergic regulation of diverse physiological processes in the cricket.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.