The perception of temperature in external environmental stimuli is one of the important sensory systems in organisms to survive. However, regarding the mechanisms of thermosensation little is known about it. Recently, a study of the mechanisms of thermosensation has been advanced by discovery of transient receptor potential (TRP) channels. These TRP channels are quite unusual in the sense that they react to their own temperature. Although, there are some TRP channels that respond to various temperatures - noxious heat, warm and cold temperature - in mammals, only two TRP channels are known in Drosophila that react to hot and warm temperature.
Using Drosophila which has central nerve system as a model system, fourteen thousands independent lines of P-element inserted mutant flies were tested by temperature-preference behavior in genome-scale and then one hundred sixty two candidates were selected as thermomutants. Possibly affected genes in these lines were predated through database search. These hermomutants fall into several categories which are involved in regulation of transcription and translation, cytoskeleton, nervous system, cell communication, signal transduction, ubiquitination, metabolism, biosynthesis, G protein coupled receptor (GPCR), channel activity, other function and novel function. Using RT-PCR, the expression level of suspected genes was observed in central nerve system, epidermis, and guts of third instar larvae. Based on their domain homology, biological process, and expression level of each organ, sixteen thermomutants were selected. The expression patterns in central nerve system for these mutants were investigated by using in-situ hybridization method.
Although, this high-throughput screen of genes is related to thermosensation, more detail research following this study will be clear up the mechanism of thermosensation form Drosophila to human.