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© 2020 The Authors. Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of Research Society on Alcoholism Background: G protein signaling pathways are key neuromodulatory mechanisms for behaviors and neurological functions that affect the impact of ethanol (EtOH) on locomotion, arousal, and synaptic plasticity. Here, we report a novel role for the Drosophila G protein–coupled receptor kinase 2 (GPRK2) as a member of the GRK4/5/6 subfamily in modulating EtOH-induced behaviors. Methods: We studied the requirement of Drosophila Gprk2 for naïve sensitivity to EtOH sedation and ability of the fly to develop rapid tolerance after a single exposure to EtOH, using the loss of righting reflex (LORR) and fly group activity monitor (FlyGrAM) assays. Results: Loss-of-function Gprk2 mutants demonstrate an increase in alcohol-induced hyperactivity, reduced sensitivity to the sedative effects of EtOH, and diminished rapid tolerance after a single intoxicating exposure. The requirement for Gprk2 in EtOH sedation and rapid tolerance maps to ellipsoid body neurons within the Drosophila brain, suggesting that wild-type Gprk2 is required for modulation of locomotion and alertness. However, even though Gprk2 loss of function leads to decreased and fragmented sleep, this change in the sleep state does not depend on Gprk2 expression in the ellipsoid body. Conclusion: Our work on GPRK2 has established a role for this GRK4/5/6 subfamily member in EtOH sensitivity and rapid tolerance.

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