Distinct Roles of Arrestin 1 in Photoreceptors During Drosophila Development [Neurobiology]

May 16th, 2014 by Shieh, B.-H., Kristaponyte, I., Hong, Y.

Arrestin regulates many facets of G-protein coupled receptors signaling. In Drosophila, Arrestin 1 (Arr1) is expressed at a lower level than Arrestin 2 (Arr2), and the role of Arr1 in visual physiology is less understood. Here we generated transgenic flies expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein tagged Arr1 (Arr1-eGFP) and explored its trafficking in live photoreceptors. We show that Arr1-eGFP is localized in the cytoplasm, and displays light-dependent translocation to the rhabdomere possibly by interacting with photoactivated Rh1 (Rh1*). In the adult, translocation of Arr1-eGFP occurs with slower kinetics when compared to that of Arr2-eGFP. This slower kinetics may be attributable to a reduced level of phosphorylated Rh1*. Indeed, a reduced level of phosphorylated Rh1* recruits a lower level of Arr1-eGFP to rhabdomeres. To investigate whether Arr1 is required for the deactivation of phosphorylated Rh1*, we show that in flies with reduced Arr1 prolonged depolarizing afterpotential (PDA) can be triggered with fewer light pulses, indicating that inactivation of phosphorylated Rh1* is compromised when the Arr1 level is reduced. Consistently, Arr1 is no longer required for deactivation of Rh1 in flies expressing phosphorylation deficient Rh1. Previously it was reported that Arr1 displays light-dependent internalization. Unexpectedly, in adult photoreceptors we failed to observe endocytosis of Arr1-eGFP. In contrast, we show that in pupal photoreceptors Arr1-eGFP becomes internalized and sequestered in vesicles within the cytoplasm. Taken together, we propose that Arr1 plays distinct roles during development and adulthood. Arr1 orchestrates the recycling of phosphorylated Rh1* in pupae while it regulates the deactivation in adult.