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Mouse Anti-Drosophila fasciclin II Monoclonal Antibody, Unconjugated

RRID:AB_528235

Biallelic missense variants in ZBTB11 can cause intellectual disability in human.

  • Fattahi Z
  • Hum. Mol. Genet.
  • 2018 Jun 8

Literature context:


Abstract:

Exploring genes and pathways underlying Intellectual Disability (ID) provides insight into brain development and function, clarifying the complex puzzle of how cognition develops. As part of ongoing systematic studies to identify candidate ID genes, linkage analysis and next generation sequencing revealed ZBTB11, as a novel candidate ID gene. ZBTB11 encodes a less-studied transcription regulator and the two identified missense variants in this study may disrupt canonical Zn2+-binding residues of its C2H2 zinc finger domain, leading to possible altered DNA binding. Using HEK293T cells transfected with wild type and mutant GFP-ZBTB11 constructs, we found the ZBTB11 mutants being excluded from the nucleolus, where the wild-type recombinant protein is predominantly localized. Pathway analysis applied to ChIP-seq data deposited in the ENCODE database supports the localization of ZBTB11 in nucleoli, highlighting associated pathways such as rRNA synthesis, ribosomal assembly, RNA modification, stress sensing and provides a direct link between subcellular ZBTB11 location and its function. Furthermore, considering the report of prominent brain and spinal cord degeneration in a zebrafish Zbtb11 mutant, we investigated ZBTB11-ortholog knockdown in Drosophila melanogaster brain by targeting RNAi using the UAS/Gal4 system. The observed approximate reduction to a third of the mushroom body size - possibly through neuronal reduction or degeneration - may affect neuronal circuits in the brain that are required for adaptive behavior, specifying the role of this gene in nervous system. In conclusion, we report two ID families segregating ZBTB11 biallelic mutations disrupting Zn2+-binding motifs, and provide functional evidence linking ZBTB11 dysfunction to this phenotype.

Funding information:
  • Medical Research Council - 2 P50 MH066392-05A1(United Kingdom)

Nociceptive interneurons control modular motor pathways to promote escape behavior in Drosophila.

  • Burgos A
  • Elife
  • 2018 Mar 12

Literature context:


Abstract:

Rapid and efficient escape behaviors in response to noxious sensory stimuli are essential for protection and survival. Yet, how noxious stimuli are transformed to coordinated escape behaviors remains poorly understood. In Drosophila larvae, noxious stimuli trigger sequential body bending and corkscrew-like rolling behavior. We identified a population of interneurons in the nerve cord of Drosophila, termed Down-and-Back (DnB) neurons, that are activated by noxious heat, promote nociceptive behavior, and are required for robust escape responses to noxious stimuli. Electron microscopic circuit reconstruction shows that DnBs are targets of nociceptive and mechanosensory neurons, are directly presynaptic to pre-motor circuits, and link indirectly to Goro rolling command-like neurons. DnB activation promotes activity in Goro neurons, and coincident inactivation of Goro neurons prevents the rolling sequence but leaves intact body bending motor responses. Thus, activity from nociceptors to DnB interneurons coordinates modular elements of nociceptive escape behavior.

Funding information:
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute - (United States)
  • Japan Society for the Promotion of Science - KAKENHI 26890025()
  • National Institutes of Health - GM086458()
  • National Institutes of Health - NS061908()
  • National Institutes of Health - NS086564()
  • National Institutes of Health - NS090909-01()
  • National Science Foundation - Graduate Research Fellowship()
  • Thompson Family Foundation - Innovation Award()

Drosophila Full-Length Amyloid Precursor Protein Is Required for Visual Working Memory and Prevents Age-Related Memory Impairment.

  • Rieche F
  • Curr. Biol.
  • 2018 Mar 5

Literature context:


Abstract:

The β-amyloid precursor protein (APP) plays a central role in the etiology of Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, its normal physiological functions are still unclear. APP is cleaved by various secretases whereby sequential processing by the β- and γ-secretases produces the β-amyloid peptide that is accumulating in plaques that typify AD. In addition, this produces secreted N-terminal sAPPβ fragments and the APP intracellular domain (AICD). Alternative cleavage by α-secretase results in slightly longer secreted sAPPα fragments and the identical AICD. Whereas the AICD has been connected with transcriptional regulation, sAPPα fragments have been suggested to have a neurotrophic and neuroprotective role [1]. Moreover, expression of sAPPα in APP-deficient mice could rescue their deficits in learning, spatial memory, and long-term potentiation [2]. Loss of the Drosophila APP-like (APPL) protein impairs associative olfactory memory formation and middle-term memory that can be rescued with a secreted APPL fragment [3]. We now show that APPL is also essential for visual working memory. Interestingly, this short-term memory declines rapidly with age, and this is accompanied by enhanced processing of APPL in aged flies. Furthermore, reducing secretase-mediated proteolytic processing of APPL can prevent the age-related memory loss, whereas overexpression of the secretases aggravates the aging effect. Rescue experiments confirmed that this memory requires signaling of full-length APPL and that APPL negatively regulates the neuronal-adhesion molecule Fasciclin 2. Overexpression of APPL or one of its secreted N termini results in a dominant-negative interaction with the FASII receptor. Therefore, our results show that specific memory processes require distinct APPL products.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - Z01 BC010313(United States)
  • NIA NIH HHS - R01 AG045830()
  • NIA NIH HHS - R21 AG055943()
  • NIH HHS - P40 OD018537()

Divergent Connectivity of Homologous Command-like Neurons Mediates Segment-Specific Touch Responses in Drosophila.

  • Takagi S
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Dec 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

Animals adaptively respond to a tactile stimulus by choosing an ethologically relevant behavior depending on the location of the stimuli. Here, we investigate how somatosensory inputs on different body segments are linked to distinct motor outputs in Drosophila larvae. Larvae escape by backward locomotion when touched on the head, while they crawl forward when touched on the tail. We identify a class of segmentally repeated second-order somatosensory interneurons, that we named Wave, whose activation in anterior and posterior segments elicit backward and forward locomotion, respectively. Anterior and posterior Wave neurons extend their dendrites in opposite directions to receive somatosensory inputs from the head and tail, respectively. Downstream of anterior Wave neurons, we identify premotor circuits including the neuron A03a5, which together with Wave, is necessary for the backward locomotion touch response. Thus, Wave neurons match their receptive field to appropriate motor programs by participating in different circuits in different segments.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - P01 CA108671(United States)

Steroid Hormone Ecdysone Signaling Specifies Mushroom Body Neuron Sequential Fate via Chinmo.

  • Marchetti G
  • Curr. Biol.
  • 2017 Oct 9

Literature context:


Abstract:

The functional variety in neuronal composition of an adult brain is established during development. Recent studies proposed that interactions between genetic intrinsic programs and external cues are necessary to generate proper neural diversity [1]. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying this developmental process are still poorly understood. Three main subtypes of Drosophila mushroom body (MB) neurons are sequentially generated during development and provide a good example of developmental neural plasticity [2]. Our present data propose that the environmentally controlled steroid hormone ecdysone functions as a regulator of early-born MB neuron fate during larval-pupal transition. We found that the BTB-zinc finger factor Chinmo acts upstream of ecdysone signaling to promote a neuronal fate switch. Indeed, Chinmo regulates the expression of the ecdysone receptor B1 isoform to mediate the production of γ and α'β' MB neurons. In addition, we provide genetic evidence for a regulatory negative feedback loop driving the α'β' to αβ MB neuron transition in which ecdysone signaling in turn controls microRNA let-7 depression of Chinmo expression. Thus, our results uncover a novel interaction in the MB neural specification pathway for temporal control of neuronal identity by interplay between an extrinsic hormonal signal and an intrinsic transcription factor cascade.

Glial overexpression of Dube3a causes seizures and synaptic impairments in Drosophila concomitant with down regulation of the Na+/K+ pump ATPα.

  • Hope KA
  • Neurobiol. Dis.
  • 2017 Sep 11

Literature context:


Abstract:

Duplication 15q syndrome (Dup15q) is an autism-associated disorder co-incident with high rates of pediatric epilepsy. Additional copies of the E3 ubiquitin ligase UBE3A are thought to cause Dup15q phenotypes, yet models overexpressing UBE3A in neurons have not recapitulated the epilepsy phenotype. We show that Drosophila endogenously expresses Dube3a (fly UBE3A homolog) in glial cells and neurons, prompting an investigation into the consequences of glial Dube3a overexpression. Here we expand on previous work showing that the Na+/K+ pump ATPα is a direct ubiquitin ligase substrate of Dube3a. A robust seizure-like phenotype was observed in flies overexpressing Dube3a in glial cells, but not neurons. Glial-specific knockdown of ATPα also produced seizure-like behavior, and this phenotype was rescued by simultaneously overexpressing ATPα and Dube3a in glia. Our data provides the basis of a paradigm shift in Dup15q research given that clinical phenotypes have long been assumed to be due to neuronal UBE3A overexpression.

Funding information:
  • NICHD NIH HHS - R21 HD091541()
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R21 GM118962()
  • NIH HHS - P40 OD018537()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS059902()
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS082296()

Axon Death Pathways Converge on Axundead to Promote Functional and Structural Axon Disassembly.

  • Neukomm LJ
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Jul 5

Literature context:


Abstract:

Axon degeneration is a hallmark of neurodegenerative disease and neural injury. Axotomy activates an intrinsic pro-degenerative axon death signaling cascade involving loss of the NAD+ biosynthetic enzyme Nmnat/Nmnat2 in axons, activation of dSarm/Sarm1, and subsequent Sarm-dependent depletion of NAD+. Here we identify Axundead (Axed) as a mediator of axon death. axed mutants suppress axon death in several types of axons for the lifespan of the fly and block the pro-degenerative effects of activated dSarm in vivo. Neurodegeneration induced by loss of the sole fly Nmnat ortholog is also fully blocked by axed, but not dsarm, mutants. Thus, pro-degenerative pathways activated by dSarm signaling or Nmnat elimination ultimately converge on Axed. Remarkably, severed axons morphologically preserved by axon death pathway mutations remain integrated in circuits and able to elicit complex behaviors after stimulation, indicating that blockade of axon death signaling results in long-term functional preservation of axons.

Amplification of F-Actin Disassembly and Cellular Repulsion by Growth Factor Signaling.

  • Yoon J
  • Dev. Cell
  • 2017 Jul 24

Literature context:


Abstract:

Extracellular cues that regulate cellular shape, motility, and navigation are generally classified as growth promoting (i.e., growth factors/chemoattractants and attractive guidance cues) or growth preventing (i.e., repellents and inhibitors). Yet, these designations are often based on complex assays and undefined signaling pathways and thus may misrepresent direct roles of specific cues. Here, we find that a recognized growth-promoting signaling pathway amplifies the F-actin disassembly and repulsive effects of a growth-preventing pathway. Focusing on Semaphorin/Plexin repulsion, we identified an interaction between the F-actin-disassembly enzyme Mical and the Abl tyrosine kinase. Biochemical assays revealed Abl phosphorylates Mical to directly amplify Mical Redox-mediated F-actin disassembly. Genetic assays revealed that Abl allows growth factors and Semaphorin/Plexin repellents to combinatorially increase Mical-mediated F-actin disassembly, cellular remodeling, and repulsive axon guidance. Similar roles for Mical in growth factor/Abl-related cancer cell behaviors further revealed contexts in which characterized positive effectors of growth/guidance stimulate such negative cellular effects as F-actin disassembly/repulsion.

Funding information:
  • NIMH NIH HHS - R01 MH085923()

Astrocytic glutamate transport regulates a Drosophila CNS synapse that lacks astrocyte ensheathment.

  • MacNamee SE
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2016 Jul 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Anatomical, molecular, and physiological interactions between astrocytes and neuronal synapses regulate information processing in the brain. The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster has become a valuable experimental system for genetic manipulation of the nervous system and has enormous potential for elucidating mechanisms that mediate neuron-glia interactions. Here, we show the first electrophysiological recordings from Drosophila astrocytes and characterize their spatial and physiological relationship with particular synapses. Astrocyte intrinsic properties were found to be strongly analogous to those of vertebrate astrocytes, including a passive current-voltage relationship, low membrane resistance, high capacitance, and dye-coupling to local astrocytes. Responses to optogenetic stimulation of glutamatergic premotor neurons were correlated directly with anatomy using serial electron microscopy reconstructions of homologous identified neurons and surrounding astrocytic processes. Robust bidirectional communication was present: neuronal activation triggered astrocytic glutamate transport via excitatory amino acid transporter 1 (Eaat1), and blocking Eaat1 extended glutamatergic interneuron-evoked inhibitory postsynaptic currents in motor neurons. The neuronal synapses were always located within 1 μm of an astrocytic process, but none were ensheathed by those processes. Thus, fly astrocytes can modulate fast synaptic transmission via neurotransmitter transport within these anatomical parameters. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:1979-1998, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Analysis of Glial Distribution in Drosophila Adult Brains.

  • Ou J
  • Neurosci Bull
  • 2016 Apr 6

Literature context:


Abstract:

Neurons and glia are the two major cell types in the nervous system and work closely with each other to program neuronal interplay. Traditionally, neurons are thought to be the major cells that actively regulate processes like synapse formation, plasticity, and behavioral output. Glia, on the other hand, serve a more supporting role. To date, accumulating evidence has suggested that glia are active participants in virtually every aspect of neuronal function. Despite this, fundamental features of how glia interact with neurons, and their spatial relationships, remain elusive. Here, we describe the glial cell population in Drosophila adult brains. Glial cells extend and tightly associate their processes with major structures such as the mushroom body (MB), ellipsoid body (EB), and antennal lobe (AL) in the brain. Glial cells are distributed in a more concentrated manner in the MB. Furthermore, subsets of glia exhibit distinctive association patterns around different neuronal structures. Whereas processes extended by astrocyte-like glia and ensheathing glia wrap around the MB and infiltrate into the EB and AL, cortex glia stay where cell bodies of neurons are and remain outside of the synaptic regions structured by EB or AL.

Funding information:
  • NIAID NIH HHS - U19 AI065683-04(United States)

Neuropeptide F neurons modulate sugar reward during associative olfactory learning of Drosophila larvae.

  • Rohwedder A
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2015 Dec 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

All organisms continuously have to adapt their behavior according to changes in the environment in order to survive. Experience-driven changes in behavior are usually mediated and maintained by modifications in signaling within defined brain circuits. Given the simplicity of the larval brain of Drosophila and its experimental accessibility on the genetic and behavioral level, we analyzed if Drosophila neuropeptide F (dNPF) neurons are involved in classical olfactory conditioning. dNPF is an ortholog of the mammalian neuropeptide Y, a highly conserved neuromodulator that stimulates food-seeking behavior. We provide a comprehensive anatomical analysis of the dNPF neurons on the single-cell level. We demonstrate that artificial activation of dNPF neurons inhibits appetitive olfactory learning by modulating the sugar reward signal during acquisition. No effect is detectable for the retrieval of an established appetitive olfactory memory. The modulatory effect is based on the joint action of three distinct cell types that, if tested on the single-cell level, inhibit and invert the conditioned behavior. Taken together, our work describes anatomically and functionally a new part of the sugar reinforcement signaling pathway for classical olfactory conditioning in Drosophila larvae.

Funding information:
  • NEI NIH HHS - R01 EY015128(United States)

Characterization of the octopaminergic and tyraminergic neurons in the central brain of Drosophila larvae.

  • Selcho M
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2014 Oct 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Drosophila larvae are able to evaluate sensory information based on prior experience, similarly to adult flies, other insect species, and vertebrates. Larvae and adult flies can be taught to associate odor stimuli with sugar reward, and prior work has implicated both the octopaminergic and the dopaminergic modulatory systems in reinforcement signaling. Here we use genetics to analyze the anatomy, up to the single-cell level, of the octopaminergic/tyraminergic system in the larval brain and subesophageal ganglion. Genetic ablation of subsets of these neurons allowed us to determine their necessity for appetitive olfactory learning. These experiments reveal that a small subset of about 39 largely morphologically distinguishable octopaminergic/tyraminergic neurons is involved in signaling reward in the Drosophila larval brain. In addition to prior work on larval locomotion, these data functionally separate the octopaminergic/tyraminergic system into two sets of about 40 neurons. Those situated in the thoracic/abdominal ganglion are involved in larval locomotion, whereas the others in the subesophageal ganglion and brain hemispheres mediate reward signaling.

Funding information:
  • Wellcome Trust - 095598/Z/11/Z(United Kingdom)

MicroRNA-8 promotes robust motor axon targeting by coordinate regulation of cell adhesion molecules during synapse development.

  • Lu CS
  • Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond., B, Biol. Sci.
  • 2014 Sep 26

Literature context:


Abstract:

Neuronal connectivity and specificity rely upon precise coordinated deployment of multiple cell-surface and secreted molecules. MicroRNAs have tremendous potential for shaping neural circuitry by fine-tuning the spatio-temporal expression of key synaptic effector molecules. The highly conserved microRNA miR-8 is required during late stages of neuromuscular synapse development in Drosophila. However, its role in initial synapse formation was previously unknown. Detailed analysis of synaptogenesis in this system now reveals that miR-8 is required at the earliest stages of muscle target contact by RP3 motor axons. We find that the localization of multiple synaptic cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) is dependent on the expression of miR-8, suggesting that miR-8 regulates the initial assembly of synaptic sites. Using stable isotope labelling in vivo and comparative mass spectrometry, we find that miR-8 is required for normal expression of multiple proteins, including the CAMs Fasciclin III (FasIII) and Neuroglian (Nrg). Genetic analysis suggests that Nrg and FasIII collaborate downstream of miR-8 to promote accurate target recognition. Unlike the function of miR-8 at mature larval neuromuscular junctions, at the embryonic stage we find that miR-8 controls key effectors on both sides of the synapse. MiR-8 controls multiple stages of synapse formation through the coordinate regulation of both pre- and postsynaptic cell adhesion proteins.

Funding information:
  • NIDCD NIH HHS - 1 R03 DC013997-01(United States)

Odd-skipped labels a group of distinct neurons associated with the mushroom body and optic lobe in the adult Drosophila brain.

  • Levy P
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2014 Jun 11

Literature context:


Abstract:

Olfactory processing has been intensively studied in Drosophila melanogaster. However, we still know little about the descending neural pathways from the higher order processing centers and how these connect with other neural circuits. Here we describe, in detail, the adult projections patterns that arise from a cluster of 78 neurons, defined by the expression of the Odd-skipped transcription factor. We term these neurons Odd neurons. By using expression of genetically encoded axonal and dendritic markers, we show that a subset of the Odd neurons projects dendrites into the calyx of the mushroom body (MB) and axons into the inferior protocerebrum. We exclude the possibility that the Odd neurons are part of the well-known Kenyon cells whose projections form the MB and conclude that the Odd neurons belong to a previously not described class of extrinsic MB neurons. In addition, three of the Odd neurons project into the lobula plate of the optic lobe, and two of these cells extend axons ipsi- and contralaterally in the brain. Anatomically, these cells do not resemble any previously described lobula plate tangential cells (LPTCs) in Drosophila. We show that the Odd neurons are predominantly cholinergic but also include a small number of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic neurons. Finally, we provide evidence that the Odd neurons are a hemilineage, suggesting they are born from a defined set of neuroblasts. Our anatomical analysis hints at the possibility that subgroups of Odd neurons could be involved in olfactory and visual processing.

Funding information:
  • NHGRI NIH HHS - 5 T32 HG000044(United States)

Tao controls epithelial morphogenesis by promoting Fasciclin 2 endocytosis.

  • Gomez JM
  • J. Cell Biol.
  • 2012 Dec 24

Literature context:


Abstract:

Regulation of epithelial cell shape, for example, changes in relative sizes of apical, basal, and lateral membranes, is a key mechanism driving morphogenesis. However, it is unclear how epithelial cells control the size of their membranes. In the epithelium of the Drosophila melanogaster ovary, cuboidal precursor cells transform into a squamous epithelium through a process that involves lateral membrane shortening coupled to apical membrane extension. In this paper, we report a mutation in the gene Tao, which resulted in the loss of this cuboidal to squamous transition. We show that the inability of Tao mutant cells to shorten their membranes was caused by the accumulation of the cell adhesion molecule Fasciclin 2, the Drosophila N-CAM (neural cell adhesion molecule) homologue. Fasciclin 2 accumulation at the lateral membrane of Tao mutant cells prevented membrane shrinking and thereby inhibited morphogenesis. In wild-type cells, Tao initiated morphogenesis by promoting Fasciclin 2 endocytosis at the lateral membrane. Thus, we identify here a mechanism controlling the morphogenesis of a squamous epithelium.

Funding information:
  • NEI NIH HHS - EY014074(United States)
  • Wellcome Trust - 067205(United Kingdom)

A targeted glycan-related gene screen reveals heparan sulfate proteoglycan sulfation regulates WNT and BMP trans-synaptic signaling.

  • Dani N
  • PLoS Genet.
  • 2012 Nov 12

Literature context:


Abstract:

A Drosophila transgenic RNAi screen targeting the glycan genome, including all N/O/GAG-glycan biosynthesis/modification enzymes and glycan-binding lectins, was conducted to discover novel glycan functions in synaptogenesis. As proof-of-product, we characterized functionally paired heparan sulfate (HS) 6-O-sulfotransferase (hs6st) and sulfatase (sulf1), which bidirectionally control HS proteoglycan (HSPG) sulfation. RNAi knockdown of hs6st and sulf1 causes opposite effects on functional synapse development, with decreased (hs6st) and increased (sulf1) neurotransmission strength confirmed in null mutants. HSPG co-receptors for WNT and BMP intercellular signaling, Dally-like Protein and Syndecan, are differentially misregulated in the synaptomatrix of these mutants. Consistently, hs6st and sulf1 nulls differentially elevate both WNT (Wingless; Wg) and BMP (Glass Bottom Boat; Gbb) ligand abundance in the synaptomatrix. Anterograde Wg signaling via Wg receptor dFrizzled2 C-terminus nuclear import and retrograde Gbb signaling via synaptic MAD phosphorylation and nuclear import are differentially activated in hs6st and sulf1 mutants. Consequently, transcriptional control of presynaptic glutamate release machinery and postsynaptic glutamate receptors is bidirectionally altered in hs6st and sulf1 mutants, explaining the bidirectional change in synaptic functional strength. Genetic correction of the altered WNT/BMP signaling restores normal synaptic development in both mutant conditions, proving that altered trans-synaptic signaling causes functional differentiation defects.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - R21 CA149548(United States)

The role of octopamine and tyramine in Drosophila larval locomotion.

  • Selcho M
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2012 Nov 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The characteristic crawling behavior of Drosophila larvae consists of a series of rhythmic waves of peristalsis and episodes of head swinging and turning. The two biogenic amines octopamine and tyramine have recently been shown to modulate various parameters of locomotion, such as muscle contraction, the time spent in pausing or forward locomotion, and the initiation and maintenance of rhythmic motor patterns. By using mutants having altered octopamine and tyramine levels and by genetic interference with both systems we confirm that signaling of these two amines is necessary for larval locomotion. We show that a small set of about 40 octopaminergic/tyraminergic neurons within the ventral nerve cord is sufficient to trigger proper larval locomotion. Using single-cell clones, we describe the morphology of these neurons individually. Given various potential roles of octopamine and tyramine in the larval brain, such as locomotion, learning and memory, stress-induced behaviors or the regulation of the energy state, functions that are often not easy to discriminate, we dissect here for the first time a subset of this complex circuit that modulates specifically larval locomotion. Thus, these data will help to understand-for a given neuronal modulator-how specific behavioral functions are executed within distinct subcircuits of a complex neuronal network.

Funding information:
  • NIMH NIH HHS - R01 MH050388(United States)
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS052370(United States)

Developmental changes in expression, subcellular distribution, and function of Drosophila N-cadherin, guided by a cell-intrinsic program during neuronal differentiation.

  • Kurusu M
  • Dev. Biol.
  • 2012 Jun 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) perform numerous functions during neural development. An individual CAM can play different roles during each stage of neuronal differentiation; however, little is known about how such functional switching is accomplished. Here we show that Drosophila N-cadherin (CadN) is required at multiple developmental stages within the same neuronal population and that its sub-cellular expression pattern changes between the different stages. During development of mushroom body neurons and motoneurons, CadN is expressed at high levels on growing axons, whereas expression becomes downregulated and restricted to synaptic sites in mature neurons. Phenotypic analysis of CadN mutants reveals that developing axons require CadN for axon guidance and fasciculation, whereas mature neurons for terminal growth and receptor clustering. Furthermore, we demonstrate that CadN downregulation can be achieved in cultured neurons without synaptic contact with other cells. Neuronal silencing experiments using Kir(2.1) indicate that neuronal excitability is also dispensable for CadN downregulation in vivo. Interestingly, downregulation of CadN can be prematurely induced by ectopic expression of a nonselective cation channel, dTRPA1, in developing neurons. Together, we suggest that switching of CadN expression during neuronal differentiation involves regulated cation influx within neurons.

Funding information:
  • NEI NIH HHS - R01 EY014126(United States)

Regulation of Fasciclin II and synaptic terminal development by the splicing factor beag.

  • Beck ES
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2012 May 16

Literature context:


Abstract:

Pre-mRNA alternative splicing is an important mechanism for the generation of synaptic protein diversity, but few factors governing this process have been identified. From a screen for Drosophila mutants with aberrant synaptic development, we identified beag, a mutant with fewer synaptic boutons and decreased neurotransmitter release. Beag encodes a spliceosomal protein similar to splicing factors in humans and Caenorhabditis elegans. We find that both beag mutants and mutants of an interacting gene dsmu1 have changes in the synaptic levels of specific splice isoforms of Fasciclin II (FasII), the Drosophila ortholog of neural cell adhesion molecule. We show that restoration of one splice isoform of FasII can rescue synaptic morphology in beag mutants while expression of other isoforms cannot. We further demonstrate that this FasII isoform has unique functions in synaptic development independent of transsynaptic adhesion. beag and dsmu1 mutants demonstrate an essential role for these previously uncharacterized splicing factors in the regulation of synapse development and function.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - T32 GM008169(United States)

Drosophila Ten-m and filamin affect motor neuron growth cone guidance.

  • Zheng L
  • PLoS ONE
  • 2012 Feb 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

The Drosophila Ten-m (also called Tenascin-major, or odd Oz (odz)) gene has been associated with a pair-rule phenotype. We identified and characterized new alleles of Drosophila Ten-m to establish that this gene is not responsible for segmentation defects but rather causes defects in motor neuron axon routing. In Ten-m mutants the inter-segmental nerve (ISN) often crosses segment boundaries and fasciculates with the ISN in the adjacent segment. Ten-m is expressed in the central nervous system and epidermal stripes during the stages when the growth cones of the neurons that form the ISN navigate to their targets. Over-expression of Ten-m in epidermal cells also leads to ISN misrouting. We also found that Filamin, an actin binding protein, physically interacts with the Ten-m protein. Mutations in cheerio, which encodes Filamin, cause defects in motor neuron axon routing like those of Ten-m. During embryonic development, the expression of Filamin and Ten-m partially overlap in ectodermal cells. These results suggest that Ten-m and Filamin in epidermal cells might together influence growth cone progression.

Funding information:
  • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council - BB/L010496/1(United Kingdom)

Characterization of Drosophila GDNF receptor-like and evidence for its evolutionarily conserved interaction with neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM)/FasII.

  • Kallijärvi J
  • PLoS ONE
  • 2012 Jan 3

Literature context:


Abstract:

BACKGROUND: Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) family ligands are secreted growth factors distantly related to the TGF-β superfamily. In mammals, they bind to the GDNF family receptor α (Gfrα) and signal through the Ret receptor tyrosine kinase. In order to gain insight into the evolution of the Ret-Gfr-Gdnf signaling system, we have cloned and characterized the first invertebrate Gfr-like cDNA (DmGfrl) from Drosophila melanogaster and generated a DmGfrl mutant allele. RESULTS: We found that DmGfrl encodes a large GPI-anchored membrane protein with four GFR-like domains. In line with the fact that insects lack GDNF ligands, DmGfrl mediated neither Drosophila Ret phosphorylation nor mammalian RET phosphorylation. In situ hybridization analysis revealed that DmGfrl is expressed in the central and peripheral nervous systems throughout Drosophila development, but, surprisingly, DmGfrl and DmRet expression patterns were largely non-overlapping. We generated a DmGfrl null allele by genomic FLP deletion and found that both DmGfrl null females and males are viable but display fertility defects. The female fertility defect manifested as dorsal appendage malformation, small size and reduced viability of eggs laid by mutant females. In male flies DmGfrl interacted genetically with the Drosophila Ncam (neural cell adhesion molecule) homolog FasII to regulate fertility. CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that Ret and Gfrl did not function as an in cis receptor-coreceptor pair before the emergence of GDNF family ligands, and that the Ncam-Gfr interaction predated the in cis Ret-Gfr interaction in evolution. The fertility defects that we describe in DmGfrl null flies suggest that GDNF receptor-like has an evolutionarily ancient role in regulating male fertility and a previously unrecognized role in regulating oogenesis. SIGNIFICANCE: These results shed light on the evolutionary aspects of the structure, expression and function of Ret-Gfrα and Ncam-Gfrα signaling complexes.

Funding information:
  • NHGRI NIH HHS - NIH R01HG006827(United States)
  • NICHD NIH HHS - K-99/R00 HD055052(United States)

The Drosophila larval visual system: high-resolution analysis of a simple visual neuropil.

  • Sprecher SG
  • Dev. Biol.
  • 2011 Oct 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The task of the visual system is to translate light into neuronal encoded information. This translation of photons into neuronal signals is achieved by photoreceptor neurons (PRs), specialized sensory neurons, located in the eye. Upon perception of light the PRs will send a signal to target neurons, which represent a first station of visual processing. Increasing complexity of visual processing stems from the number of distinct PR subtypes and their various types of target neurons that are contacted. The visual system of the fruit fly larva represents a simple visual system (larval optic neuropil, LON) that consists of 12 PRs falling into two classes: blue-senstive PRs expressing Rhodopsin 5 (Rh5) and green-sensitive PRs expressing Rhodopsin 6 (Rh6). These afferents contact a small number of target neurons, including optic lobe pioneers (OLPs) and lateral clock neurons (LNs). We combine the use of genetic markers to label both PR subtypes and the distinct, identifiable sets of target neurons with a serial EM reconstruction to generate a high-resolution map of the larval optic neuropil. We find that the larval optic neuropil shows a clear bipartite organization consisting of one domain innervated by PRs and one devoid of PR axons. The topology of PR projections, in particular the relationship between Rh5 and Rh6 afferents, is maintained from the nerve entering the brain to the axon terminals. The target neurons can be subdivided according to neurotransmitter or neuropeptide they use as well as the location within the brain. We further track the larval optic neuropil through development from first larval instar to its location in the adult brain as the accessory medulla.

Funding information:
  • NLM NIH HHS - LM05110(United States)

Drosophila amyloid precursor protein-like is required for long-term memory.

  • Goguel V
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2011 Jan 19

Literature context:


Abstract:

The amyloid precursor protein (APP) plays an important role in Alzheimer's disease (AD), a progressive neurodegenerative pathology that first manifests as a decline of memory. While the main hypothesis for AD pathology centers on the proteolytic processing of APP, very little is known about the physiological function of the APP protein in the adult brain. Likewise, whether APP loss of function contributes to AD remains unclear. Drosophila has been used extensively as a model organism to study neuronal function and pathology. In addition, many of the molecular mechanisms underlying memory are thought to be conserved from flies to mammals, prompting us to study the function of APPL, the fly APP ortholog, during associative memory. It was previously shown that APPL expression is highly enriched in the mushroom bodies (MBs), a specialized brain structure involved in olfactory memory. We analyzed memory in flies in which APPL expression has been silenced specifically and transiently in the adult MBs. Our results show that in adult flies, APPL is not required for learning but is specifically involved in long-term memory, a long lasting memory whose formation requires de novo protein synthesis and is thought to require synaptic structural plasticity. These data support the hypothesis that disruption of normal APP function may contribute to early AD cognitive impairment.

Funding information:
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute - R01 GM088624(United States)
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM083889(United States)

Atypical cadherins Dachsous and Fat control dynamics of noncentrosomal microtubules in planar cell polarity.

  • Harumoto T
  • Dev. Cell
  • 2010 Sep 14

Literature context:


Abstract:

How global organ asymmetry and individual cell polarity are connected to each other is a central question in studying planar cell polarity (PCP). In the Drosophila wing, which develops PCP along its proximal-distal (P-D) axis, we previously proposed that the core PCP mediator Frizzled redistributes distally in a microtubule (MT)-dependent manner. Here, we performed organ-wide analysis of MT dynamics by introducing quantitative in vivo imaging. We observed MTs aligning along the P-D axis at the onset of redistribution and a small but significant excess of + ends-distal MTs in the proximal region of the wing. This characteristic alignment and asymmetry of MT growth was controlled by atypical cadherins Dachsous (Ds) and Fat (Ft). Furthermore, the action of Ft was mediated in part by PAR-1. All these data support the idea that the active reorientation of MT growth adjusts cell polarity along the organ axis.

Funding information:
  • NHGRI NIH HHS - U54 HG004028(United States)

Drosophila larvae establish appetitive olfactory memories via mushroom body neurons of embryonic origin.

  • Pauls D
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2010 Aug 11

Literature context:


Abstract:

Insect mushroom bodies are required for diverse behavioral functions, including odor learning and memory. Using the numerically simple olfactory pathway of the Drosophila melanogaster larva, we provide evidence that the formation of appetitive olfactory associations relies on embryonic-born intrinsic mushroom body neurons (Kenyon cells). The participation of larval-born Kenyon cells, i.e., neurons that become gradually integrated in the developing mushroom body during larval life, in this task is unlikely. These data provide important insights into how a small set of identified Kenyon cells can store and integrate olfactory information in a developing brain. To investigate possible functional subdivisions of the larval mushroom body, we anatomically disentangle its input and output neurons at the single-cell level. Based on this approach, we define 10 subdomains of the larval mushroom body that may be implicated in mediating specific interactions between the olfactory pathway, modulatory neurons, and neuronal output.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS054734-01A2(United States)
  • Wellcome Trust - 091593/Z/10/Z(United Kingdom)

Interdependence of macrophage migration and ventral nerve cord development in Drosophila embryos.

  • Evans IR
  • Development
  • 2010 May 30

Literature context:


Abstract:

During embryonic development, Drosophila macrophages (haemocytes) undergo a series of stereotypical migrations to disperse throughout the embryo. One major migratory route is along the ventral nerve cord (VNC), where haemocytes are required for the correct development of this tissue. We show, for the first time, that a reciprocal relationship exists between haemocytes and the VNC and that defects in nerve cord development prevent haemocyte migration along this structure. Using live imaging, we demonstrate that the axonal guidance cue Slit and its receptor Robo are both required for haemocyte migration, but signalling is not autonomously required in haemocytes. We show that the failure of haemocyte migration along the VNC in slit mutants is not due to a lack of chemotactic signals within this structure, but rather to a failure in its detachment from the overlying epithelium, creating a physical barrier to haemocyte migration. This block of haemocyte migration in turn disrupts the formation of the dorsoventral channels within the VNC, further highlighting the importance of haemocyte migration for correct neural development. This study illustrates the important role played by the three-dimensional environment in directing cell migration in vivo and reveals an intriguing interplay between the developing nervous system and the blood cells within the fly, demonstrating that their development is both closely coupled and interdependent.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - 1P50GM071558-01A27398(United States)

Patterning and organization of motor neuron dendrites in the Drosophila larva.

  • Kim MD
  • Dev. Biol.
  • 2009 Dec 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Precise patterns of motor neuron connectivity depend on the proper establishment and positioning of the dendritic arbor. However, how different motor neurons orient their dendrites to selectively establish synaptic connectivity is not well understood. The Drosophila neuromuscular system provides a simple model to investigate the underlying organizational principles by which distinct subclasses of motor neurons orient their dendrites within the central neuropil. Here we used genetic mosaic techniques to characterize the diverse dendritic morphologies of individual motor neurons from five main nerve branches (ISN, ISNb, ISNd, SNa, and SNc) in the Drosophila larva. We found that motor neurons from different nerve branches project their dendrites to largely stereotyped mediolateral domains in the dorsal region of the neuropil providing full coverage of the receptive territory. Furthermore, dendrites from different motor neurons overlap extensively, regardless of subclass, suggesting that repulsive dendrite-dendrite interactions between motor neurons do not influence the mediolateral positioning of dendritic fields. The anatomical data in this study provide important information regarding how different subclasses of motor neurons organize their dendrites and establishes a foundation for the investigation of the mechanisms that control synaptic connectivity in the Drosophila motor circuit.

Arborization pattern of engrailed-positive neural lineages reveal neuromere boundaries in the Drosophila brain neuropil.

  • Kumar A
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2009 Nov 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The Drosophila brain is a highly complex structure composed of thousands of neurons that are interconnected in numerous exquisitely organized neuropil structures such as the mushroom bodies, central complex, antennal lobes, and other specialized neuropils. While the neurons of the insect brain are known to derive in a lineage-specific fashion from a stereotyped set of segmentally organized neuroblasts, the developmental origin and neuromeric organization of the neuropil formed by these neurons is still unclear. In this study we used genetic labeling techniques to characterize the neuropil innervation pattern of engrailed-expressing brain lineages of known neuromeric origin. We show that the neurons of these lineages project to and form most arborizations, in particular all of their proximal branches, in the same brain neuropil compartments in embryonic, larval and adult stages. Moreover, we show that engrailed-positive neurons of differing neuromeric origin respect boundaries between neuromere-specific compartments in the brain. This is confirmed by an analysis of the arborization pattern of empty spiracles-expressing lineages. These findings indicate that arborizations of lineages deriving from different brain neuromeres innervate a nonoverlapping set of neuropil compartments. This supports a model for neuromere-specific brain neuropil, in which a given lineage forms its proximal arborizations predominantly in the compartments that correspond to its neuromere of origin.

Drosophila serotonergic varicosities are not distributed in a regular manner.

  • Chen J
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2009 Aug 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Neurons of the brain form complex tree-like structures that are critical for function. Here we examine the spatial pattern of serotonergic varicosities, the synaptic sites of serotonin release in the central nervous system (CNS). These varicosities are thought to form largely nonjunctional-type connections that partition in a grid-like manner in order to distribute evenly the neuromodulatory neurotransmitter serotonin. We describe the neuropil distribution of serotonergic varicosities in the brain and ventral nerve cord (VNC) of the larval Drosophila CNS. In the brain, we find evidence for avoidance between varicosities at distances lower than 1.75 microm. However, in the VNC, we find a clustered distribution. A similar clustered pattern is found in the Xenopus brain. This pattern produces many varicosities that are clustered together but also includes some varicosities that are very isolated. These isolated varicosities are not found along particular topological sections of the neurite tree or in particular locations in the CNS. In addition, the pattern breaks down when serotonergic branches of adjacent segments invade each other's territory. The pattern is similar to those described by a power law.

Neuronal fiber tracts connecting the brain and ventral nerve cord of the early Drosophila larva.

  • Cardona A
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2009 Aug 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

By using a combination of dye injections, clonal labeling, and molecular markers, we have reconstructed the axonal connections between brain and ventral nerve cord of the first-instar Drosophila larva. Out of the approximately 1,400 neurons that form the early larval brain hemisphere, less than 50 cells have axons descending into the ventral nerve cord. Descending neurons fall into four topologically defined clusters located in the anteromedial, anterolateral, dorsal, and basoposterior brain, respectively. The anterolateral cluster represents a lineage derived from a single neuroblast. Terminations of descending neurons are almost exclusively found in the anterior part of the ventral nerve cord, represented by the gnathal and thoracic neuromeres. This region also contains small numbers of neurons with axons ascending into the brain. Terminals of the ascending axons are found in the same basal brain regions that also contain descending neurons. We have mapped ascending and descending axons to the previously described scaffold of longitudinal fiber tracts that interconnect different neuromeres of the ventral nerve cord and the brain. This work provides a structural framework for functional and genetic studies addressing the control of Drosophila larval behavior by brain circuits.

Reception of Slit requires only the chondroitin-sulphate-modified extracellular domain of Syndecan at the target cell surface.

  • Chanana B
  • Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
  • 2009 Jul 21

Literature context:


Abstract:

Syndecan (Sdc) is a conserved transmembrane heparan sulfate proteoglycan (HSPG) bearing additional chondroitin sulfate (CS) modifications on its extracellular domain. In vertebrates, this extracellular domain of Sdc is shed and acts as a soluble effector of cellular communication events, and its cytoplasmic domain participates in intracellular signaling needed to maintain epithelial integrity. In Drosophila, Sdc has been shown to be necessary for Slit signaling-dependent axon and myotube guidance during CNS development and muscle pattern formation. We report that Sdc acts in a cell-autonomous manner in Slit-receiving cells and that its membrane-anchored extracellular domain is sufficient to mediate Slit signaling. Sdc activity can be replaced by the human homolog hsdc2. However, the HSPG Dally-like protein (Dlp), which lacks CS modifications at its extracellular domain, can only partially substitute for Sdc function, and its activity is not restricted to the Slit target cells. Our results suggest that Sdc and Dlp act in a cooperative but nonredundant fashion in axon and myotube guidance. We propose that Dlp, which lacks CS modifications, participates in the transfer of Slit from its site of expression to the target cells, where CS-modified Sdc concentrates and presents the ligand.

Funding information:
  • NIDCD NIH HHS - F32 DC000210(United States)

Genetic ablation of Drosophila phagocytes reveals their contribution to both development and resistance to bacterial infection.

  • Defaye A
  • J Innate Immun
  • 2009 Apr 8

Literature context:


Abstract:

Drosophila phagocytes participate in development and immune responses through their abilities to perform phagocytosis and/or secrete extra-cellular matrix components, antimicrobial peptides, clotting factors and signalling molecules. However, our knowledge of their functional impact on development and host resistance to infection is limited. To address this, we have used a genetic cell ablation strategy to generate Drosophila individuals lacking functional phagocytes. Our results highlight the essential contribution of phagocytes to embryonic development including central nervous system morphogenesis. Phagocytes also ensure optimal viability during post-embryonic development through immune functions. The use of phagocyte-depleted flies reveals the contribution of phagocytes in the resistance of Drosophila adults upon systemic infections with specific bacteria. Phagocytes were not involved in the expression of antimicrobial peptides by the fat body indicating a clear separation between cellular and humoral immune responses at this stage. Finally, we confirm that phagocytosis is a critical effector mechanism of the cellular arm by demonstrating that phagocytosis contributes to resistance to infection with Staphylococcus aureus in adults. Our results highlight the power of this cell ablation strategy to reveal the contribution of phagocytes to specific biological processes. We now provide a blueprint of phagocyte importance during both development and innate immune responses in Drosophila.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01GM077234(United States)

Photoreceptor neurons find new synaptic targets when misdirected by overexpressing runt in Drosophila.

  • Edwards TN
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2009 Jan 21

Literature context:


Abstract:

As a neuron differentiates, it adopts a suite of features specific to its particular type. Fly photoreceptors are of two types: R1-R6, which innervate the first optic neuropile, the lamina; and R7-R8, which innervate the second, the medulla. Photoreceptors R1-R6 normally have large light-absorbing rhabdomeres, express Rhodopsin1, and have synaptic terminals that innervate the lamina. In Drosophila melanogaster, we used the yeast GAL4/UAS system to drive exogenous expression of the transcription factor Runt in subsets of photoreceptors, resulting in aberrant axonal pathfinding and, ultimately, incorrect targeting of R1-R6 synaptic terminals to the medulla, normally occupied by terminals from R7 and R8. Even when subsets of their normal R1-R6 photoreceptor inputs penetrate the lamina, to terminate in the medulla, normal target cells within the lamina persist and maintain expression of cell-specific markers. Some R1-R6 photoreceptors form reciprocal synaptic inputs with their normal lamina targets, whereas supernumerary terminals targeted to the medulla also form synapses. At both sites, tetrad synapses form, with four postsynaptic elements at each release site, the usual number in the lamina. In addition, the terminals at both sites are invaginated by profiles of glia, at organelles called capitate projections, which in the lamina are photoreceptor sites of vesicle endocytosis. The size and shape of the capitate projection heads are identical at both lamina and medulla sites, although those in the medulla are ectopic and receive invaginations from foreign glia. This uniformity indicates the cell-autonomous determination of the architecture of its synaptic organelles by the presynaptic photoreceptor terminal.

Requirement for a core 1 galactosyltransferase in the Drosophila nervous system.

  • Lin YR
  • Dev. Dyn.
  • 2008 Dec 2

Literature context:


Abstract:

Mucin type O-glycosylation is a widespread modification of eukaryotic proteins, but its functional requirements remain incompletely understood. It is initiated by the attachment of N-acetylgalactosamine (GalNAc) to Ser or Thr residues, and then elongated by additional sugars. We have examined requirements for mucin-type glycosylation in Drosophila by characterizing the expression and phenotypes of core 1 galactosyltransferases (core 1 GalTs), which elongate O-GalNAc by adding galactose in a beta1,3 linkage. Drosophila encode several putative core 1 GalTs, each expressed in distinct patterns. CG9520 (C1GalTA) is expressed in the amnioserosa and central nervous system. A null mutation in C1GalTA is lethal, and mutant animals exhibit a striking morphogenetic defect in which the ventral nerve cord is greatly elongated and the brain hemispheres are misshapen. Lectin staining and blotting experiments confirmed that C1GalTA contributes to the synthesis of Gal-beta1,3-GalNAc in vivo. Our results identify a role for mucin-type O-glycosylation during neural development in Drosophila.

Frazzled cytoplasmic P-motifs are differentially required for axon pathway formation in the Drosophila embryonic CNS.

  • Dorsten JN
  • Int. J. Dev. Neurosci.
  • 2008 Nov 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

Frazzled is a Netrin-dependent chemoattractive receptor required for axon pathway formation in the developing Drosophila embryonic CNS. The cytoplasmic domain is important and contains three conserved P-motifs (P1, P2, and P3) thought to initiate intracellular signaling cascades and to crosstalk with other receptors during axon pathway formation. Here, we rescue homozygous frazzled embryos by pan-neurally expressing a series of mutants lacking either the cytoplasmic domain or one of the conserved P-motifs and assess the ability of these mutants to rescue frazzled defects in commissural, longitudinal and motor axon pathways. Surprisingly, while the cytoplasmic domain is required, removal of an individual P-motif does not prevent gross formation of commissures. However, removal of P3 from Fra does prevent eagle-expressing commissural axons from crossing the midline in the posterior commissure suggesting that some neurons have a stronger requirement for P3-dependent signaling. Indeed, axons within the longitudinal connective as well as a small subset of motor neurons within the ISNb pathway also specifically require P3 to project to their targets correctly. In these latter axon projections, deleting the P1-motif appears to de-regulate the receptor's activity, actually increasing the frequency of motor neuron projection errors and inducing ectopic midline crossing errors. Collectively, these data demonstrate the critical nature of both the P1 and the P3-motifs to Frazzled function in vivo during axon pathway formation.

A double S shape provides the structural basis for the extraordinary binding specificity of Dscam isoforms.

  • Sawaya MR
  • Cell
  • 2008 Sep 19

Literature context:


Abstract:

Drosophila Dscam encodes a vast family of immunoglobulin (Ig)-containing proteins that exhibit isoform-specific homophilic binding. This diversity is essential for cell recognition events required for wiring the brain. Each isoform binds to itself but rarely to other isoforms. Specificity is determined by "matching" of three variable Ig domains within an approximately 220 kD ectodomain. Here, we present the structure of the homophilic binding region of Dscam, comprising the eight N-terminal Ig domains (Dscam(1-8)). Dscam(1-8) forms a symmetric homodimer of S-shaped molecules. This conformation, comprising two reverse turns, allows each pair of the three variable domains to "match" in an antiparallel fashion. Structural, genetic, and biochemical studies demonstrate that, in addition to variable domain "matching," intramolecular interactions between constant domains promote homophilic binding. These studies provide insight into how "matching" at all three pairs of variable domains in Dscam mediates isoform-specific recognition.

Visualizing glutamatergic cell bodies and synapses in Drosophila larval and adult CNS.

  • Daniels RW
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2008 May 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Glutamate is the major excitatory neurotransmitter in the vertebrate central nervous system (CNS) and at Drosophila neuromuscular junctions (NMJs). Although glutamate is also used as a transmitter in the Drosophila CNS, there has been no systematic description of the central glutamatergic signaling system in the fly. With the recent cloning of the Drosophila vesicular glutamate transporter (DVGLUT), it is now possible to mark many, if not all, central glutamatergic neurons and synapses. Here we present the pattern of glutamatergic synapses and cell bodies in the late larval CNS and in the adult fly brain by using an anti-DVGLUT antibody. We also introduce two new tools for studying the Drosophila glutamatergic system: a dvglut promoter fragment fused to Gal4 whose expression labels glutamatergic neurons and a green fluorescent protein (GFP)-tagged DVGLUT transgene that localizes to synapses. In the larval CNS, we find synaptic DVGLUT immunoreactivity prominent in all brain lobe neuropil compartments except for the mushroom body. Likewise in the adult CNS, glutamatergic synapses are abundant throughout all major brain structures except the mushroom body. We also find that the larval ventral nerve cord neuropil is rich in glutamatergic synapses, which are primarily located near the dorsal surface of the neuropil, segregated from the ventrally positioned cholinergic processes. This description of the glutamatergic system in Drosophila highlights the prevalence of glutamatergic neurons in the CNS and presents tools for future study and manipulation of glutamatergic transmission.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R21 NS082938(United States)

Matrix metalloproteinases promote motor axon fasciculation in the Drosophila embryo.

  • Miller CM
  • Development
  • 2008 Jan 10

Literature context:


Abstract:

Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are a large conserved family of extracellular proteases, a number of which are expressed during neuronal development and upregulated in nervous system diseases. Primarily on the basis of studies using pharmaceutical inhibitors, MMPs have been proposed to degrade the extracellular matrix to allow growth cone advance during development and hence play largely permissive roles in axon extension. Here we show that MMPs are not required for axon extension in the Drosophila embryo, but rather are specifically required for the execution of several stereotyped motor axon pathfinding decisions. The Drosophila genome contains only two MMP homologs, Mmp1 and Mmp2. We isolated Mmp1 in a misexpression screen to identify molecules required for motoneuron development. Misexpression of either MMP inhibits the regulated separation/defasciculation of motor axons at defined choice points. Conversely, motor nerves in Mmp1 and Mmp2 single mutants and Mmp1 Mmp2 double mutant embryos are loosely bundled/fasciculated, with ectopic axonal projections. Quantification of these phenotypes reveals that the genetic requirement for Mmp1 and Mmp2 is distinct in different nerve branches, although generally Mmp2 plays the predominant role in pathfinding. Using both an endogenous MMP inhibitor and MMP dominant-negative constructs, we demonstrate that MMP catalytic activity is required for motor axon fasciculation. In support of the model that MMPs promote fasciculation, we find that the defasciculation observed when MMP activity is compromised is suppressed by otherwise elevating interaxonal adhesion -- either by overexpressing Fas2 or by reducing Sema-1a dosage. These data demonstrate that MMP activity is essential for embryonic motor axon fasciculation.

Funding information:
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research - 83338-2(Canada)

The F-actin-microtubule crosslinker Shot is a platform for Krasavietz-mediated translational regulation of midline axon repulsion.

  • Lee S
  • Development
  • 2007 May 16

Literature context:


Abstract:

Axon extension and guidance require a coordinated assembly of F-actin and microtubules as well as regulated translation. The molecular basis of how the translation of mRNAs encoding guidance proteins could be closely tied to the pace of cytoskeletal assembly is poorly understood. Previous studies have shown that the F-actin-microtubule crosslinker Short stop (Shot) is required for motor and sensory axon extension in the Drosophila embryo. Here, we provide biochemical and genetic evidence that Shot functions with a novel translation inhibitor, Krasavietz (Kra, Exba), to steer longitudinally directed CNS axons away from the midline. Kra binds directly to the C-terminus of Shot, and this interaction is required for the activity of Shot to support midline axon repulsion. shot and kra mutations lead to weak robo-like phenotypes, and synergistically affect midline avoidance of CNS axons. We also show that shot and kra dominantly enhance the frequency of midline crossovers in embryos heterozygous for slit or robo, and that in kra mutant embryos, some Robo-positive axons ectopically cross the midline that normally expresses the repellent Slit. Finally, we demonstrate that Kra also interacts with the translation initiation factor eIF2beta and inhibits translation in vitro. Together, these data suggest that Kra-mediated translational regulation plays important roles in midline axon repulsion and that Shot functions as a direct physical link between translational regulation and cytoskeleton reorganization.

Funding information:
  • NIDCD NIH HHS - R01 DC011818(United States)

Neurotransmitter-induced changes in the intracellular calcium concentration suggest a differential central modulation of CCAP neuron subsets in Drosophila.

  • Vömel M
  • Dev Neurobiol
  • 2007 May 19

Literature context:


Abstract:

The complete sequencing of the Drosophila melanogaster genome allowed major progress in the research on invertebrate neuropeptide signaling. However, it is still largely unknown how the insect CNS exerts synaptic control over the secretory activity of peptidergic neurons; afferent pathways and employed chemical transmitters remain largely unidentified. In the present study, we set out to identify neurotransmitters mediating synaptic input onto CCAP-expressing neurons (N(CCAP)), which play an important role in the regulation of ecdysis-related events. By in vitro and in situ calcium imaging with synthetic and genetically encoded calcium indicators, we provide evidence that differential neurotransmitter inputs control the activity of N(CCAP) subsets. In short-term culture, almost all N(CCAP) showed increases of the free intracellular calcium concentration after application of acetylcholine (ACh) and nicotine, whereas only some N(CCAP) responded to glutamate and GABA. In the intact ventral ganglia of both larvae and adults, only few N(CCAP) showed intracellular calcium-rises or calcium-oscillations after application of cholinergic agonists indicating a prevailing central inhibition of most N(CCAP) during these developmental stages. In larvae, responding N(CCAP) were primarily located in the third thoracic neuromere. At least one N(CCAP) pair in this neuromere belonged to a morphologically distinct subset with neurohemal endings on the body wall muscles. Our results suggest that N(CCAP) express functional receptors for ACh, glutamate, and GABA, and indicate that these transmitters are involved in a context-dependent regulation of functionally distinct N(CCAP) subsets.

Funding information:
  • NCRR NIH HHS - S10 RR 1797(United States)
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R01 DK103723(United States)

Drosophila spichthyin inhibits BMP signaling and regulates synaptic growth and axonal microtubules.

  • Wang X
  • Nat. Neurosci.
  • 2007 Apr 3

Literature context:


Abstract:

To understand the functions of NIPA1, mutated in the neurodegenerative disease hereditary spastic paraplegia, and of ichthyin, mutated in autosomal recessive congenital ichthyosis, we have studied their Drosophila melanogaster ortholog, spichthyin (Spict). Spict is found on early endosomes. Loss of Spict leads to upregulation of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling and expansion of the neuromuscular junction. BMP signaling is also necessary for a normal microtubule cytoskeleton and axonal transport; analysis of loss- and gain-of-function phenotypes indicate that Spict may antagonize this function of BMP signaling. Spict interacts with BMP receptors and promotes their internalization from the plasma membrane, implying that it inhibits BMP signaling by regulating BMP receptor traffic. This is the first demonstration of a role for a hereditary spastic paraplegia protein or ichthyin family member in a specific signaling pathway, and implies disease mechanisms for hereditary spastic paraplegia that involve dependence of the microtubule cytoskeleton on BMP signaling.

Funding information:
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - P30 DK079310(United States)

Modular neuropile organization in the Drosophila larval brain facilitates identification and mapping of central neurons.

  • Iyengar BG
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2006 Dec 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Elucidating how neuronal networks process information requires identification of critical individual neurons and their connectivity patterns. For this purpose, we used the third-instar Drosophila larval brain and applied reverse-genetic tools, immunolabeling procedures, and 3D digital reconstruction software. Consistent topological definition of neuropile compartments in the larval brain can be obtained through simple fluorescence-immunolabeling methods. The modular neuropiles can be used as a fiducial framework for mapping the projection patterns of individual neurons labeled with green fluorescent protein (GFP). GFP-labeled neurons often exhibit dendrite-like arbors as well as clustered varicose terminals on neurite branches that innervate identifiable neuropile compartments. We identified candidate cholinergic interneurons in genetic mosaic brains that overlap with the larval optic nerve terminus. By using the neuropile framework, we demonstrate that the candidate visual interneurons are not a subset of the previously identified circadian pacemaker neurons that also contact the larval optic nerve terminus; they may represent parallel pathways in the processing of visual inputs. Thus, in the Drosophila larval brain, modular neuropiles can be used as a framework for systematically identifying, mapping, and classifying interneurons; understanding their roles in behavior can then be pursued further.

Funding information:
  • NCRR NIH HHS - P41 RR013642(United States)

Embryonic origin of the Drosophila brain neuropile.

  • Younossi-Hartenstein A
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2006 Aug 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

Neurons of the Drosophila larval brain are formed by a stereotyped set of neuroblasts. As differentiation sets in, neuroblast lineages produce axon bundles that initially form a scaffold of unbranched fibers in the center of the brain primordium. Subsequently, axons elaborate interlaced axonal and dendritic arbors, which, together with sheath-like processes formed by glial cells, establish the neuropile compartments of the larval brain. By using markers that visualize differentiating axons and glial cells, we have analyzed the formation of neuropile compartments and their relationship to neuroblast lineages. Neurons of each lineage extend their axons as a cohesive tract ("primary axon bundle"). We generated a map of the primary axon bundles that visualizes the location of the primary lineages in the brain cortex where the axon bundles originate, the trajectory of the axon bundles into the neuropile, and the relationship of these bundles to the early-formed scaffold of neuropile pioneer tracts (Nassif et al. [1998] J. Comp. Neurol. 402:10-31). The map further shows the growth of neuropile compartments at specific locations around the pioneer tracts. Following the time course of glial development reveals that glial processes, which form prominent septa around compartments in the larval brain, appear very late in the embryonic neuropile, clearly after the compartments themselves have crystallized. This suggests that spatial information residing within neurons, rather than glial cells, specifies the location and initial shape of neuropile compartments.

Funding information:
  • NIMH NIH HHS - K02 MH082998-01(United States)

mummy/cystic encodes an enzyme required for chitin and glycan synthesis, involved in trachea, embryonic cuticle and CNS development--analysis of its role in Drosophila tracheal morphogenesis.

  • Araújo SJ
  • Dev. Biol.
  • 2005 Dec 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Tracheal and nervous system development are two model systems for the study of organogenesis in Drosophila. In two independent screens, we identified three alleles of a gene involved in tracheal, cuticle and CNS development. Here, we show that these alleles, and the previously identified cystic and mummy, all belong to the same complementation group. These are mutants of a gene encoding the UDP-N-acetylglucosamine diphosphorylase, an enzyme responsible for the production of UDP-N-acetylglucosamine, an important intermediate in chitin and glycan biosynthesis. cyst was originally singled out as a gene required for the regulation of tracheal tube diameter. We characterized the cyst/mmy tracheal phenotype and upon histological examination concluded that mmy mutant embryos lack chitin-containing structures, such as the procuticle at the epidermis and the taenidial folds in the tracheal lumen. While most of their tracheal morphogenesis defects can be attributed to the lack of chitin, when compared to krotzkopf verkehrt (kkv) chitin-synthase mutants, mmy mutants showed a stronger phenotype, suggesting that some of the mmy phenotypes, like the axon guidance defects, are chitin-independent. We discuss the implications of these new data in the mechanism of size control in the Drosophila trachea.

Funding information:
  • NIDA NIH HHS - U54 DA021519(United States)
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM068016-02(United States)

Population density regulates Drosophila synaptic morphology in a Fasciclin-II-dependent manner.

  • Stewart BA
  • J. Neurobiol.
  • 2004 Dec 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Genetic analysis of the Drosophila larval neuromuscular junction has identified some of the key molecules that regulate synaptic plasticity. Among these molecules, the expression level of Fasciclin II (FasII), a homophilic cell adhesion molecule, is critically important for determining the final form of the neuromuscular junction. Genetic reduction of FasII expression by 50% yields more elaborate nerve terminals, while a greater reduction in expression, to 10% of wild-type, yields a substantial reduction in the nerve terminal morphology. Importantly, regulation of FasII expression seems to be the final output for several genetic manipulations that transform NMJ morphology. In an effort to understand the importance of this regulatory pathway in the normal animal, we have undertaken studies to identify environmental cues that might be important for initiating FasII-dependent changes in synaptic plasticity. Here we report on the relationship between larval population density and synaptic morphology, synaptic strength, and FasII levels. We raised Drosophila larvae under conditions of increasing population density and found an inverse exponential relationship between population density and the number of synaptic boutons, the number of branches, and the length of branches. We also observed population-dependent alteration in FasII levels, with lower densities having less FasII at the synapse. The correlation between density and morphological change was abrogated in larvae constitutively expressing FasII, and in wild-type larvae grown on soft culture medium. Together these data show that environmental cues can induce regulation of FasII. Interestingly, however, the quantal content of synaptic transmission was not different among the different population densities, suggesting that other factors contribute to maintaining synaptic strength at a defined level.

Funding information:
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - T32-HL-07778(United States)
  • NICHD NIH HHS - R01 HD046598(United States)

The microtubule plus end tracking protein Orbit/MAST/CLASP acts downstream of the tyrosine kinase Abl in mediating axon guidance.

  • Lee H
  • Neuron
  • 2004 Jun 24

Literature context:


Abstract:

Axon guidance requires coordinated remodeling of actin and microtubule polymers. Using a genetic screen, we identified the microtubule-associated protein Orbit/MAST as a partner of the Abelson (Abl) tyrosine kinase. We find identical axon guidance phenotypes in orbit/MAST and Abl mutants at the midline, where the repellent Slit restricts axon crossing. Genetic interaction and epistasis assays indicate that Orbit/MAST mediates the action of Slit and its receptors, acting downstream of Abl. We find that Orbit/MAST protein localizes to Drosophila growth cones. Higher-resolution imaging of the Orbit/MAST ortholog CLASP in Xenopus growth cones suggests that this family of microtubule plus end tracking proteins identifies a subset of microtubules that probe the actin-rich peripheral growth cone domain, where guidance signals exert their initial influence on cytoskeletal organization. These and other data suggest a model where Abl acts as a central signaling node to coordinate actin and microtubule dynamics downstream of guidance receptors.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - U24 CA143848(United States)

Defective neuronal development in the mushroom bodies of Drosophila fragile X mental retardation 1 mutants.

  • Michel CI
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2004 Jun 23

Literature context:


Abstract:

Fragile X mental retardation 1 (Fmr1) is a highly conserved gene with major roles in CNS structure and function. Its product, the RNA-binding protein FMRP, is believed to regulate translation of specific transcripts at postsynaptic sites in an activity-dependent manner. Hence, Fmr1 is central to the molecular mechanisms of synaptic plasticity required for normal neuronal maturation and cognitive ability. Mutations in its Drosophila ortholog, dfmr1, produce phenotypes of brain interneurons and axon terminals at the neuromuscular junction, as well as behavioral defects of circadian rhythms and courtship. We hypothesized that dfmr1 mutations would disrupt morphology of the mushroom bodies (MBs), highly plastic brain regions essential for many forms of learning and memory. We found developmental defects of MB lobe morphogenesis, of which the most common is a failure of beta lobes to stop at the brain midline. A similar recessive beta-lobe midline-crossing phenotype has been previously reported in the memory mutant linotte. The dfmr1 MB defects are highly sensitive to genetic background, which is reminiscent of mammalian fragile-X phenotypes. Mutations of dfmr1 also interact with one or more third-chromosome loci to promote alpha/beta-lobe maturation. These data further support the use of the Drosophila model system for study of hereditary cognitive disorders of humans.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - T32 GM007198(United States)

Echinoid facilitates Notch pathway signalling during Drosophila neurogenesis through functional interaction with Delta.

  • Rawlins EL
  • Development
  • 2003 Dec 8

Literature context:


Abstract:

The Notch intercellular signalling pathway is important throughout development, and its components are modulated by a variety of cellular and molecular mechanisms. Ligand and receptor trafficking are tightly controlled, although context-specific regulation of this is incompletely understood. We show that during sense organ precursor specification in Drosophila, the cell adhesion molecule Echinoid colocalises extensively with the Notch ligand, Delta, at the cell membrane and in early endosomes. Echinoid facilitates efficient Notch pathway signalling. Cultured cell experiments suggest that Echinoid is associated with the cis-endocytosis of Delta, and is therefore linked to the signalling events that have been shown to require such Delta trafficking. Consistent with this, overexpression of Echinoid protein causes a reduction in Delta level at the membrane and in endosomes. In vivo and cell culture studies suggest that homophilic interaction of Echinoid on adjacent cells is necessary for its function.

Funding information:
  • NIAID NIH HHS - R01 AI053568-01A1(United States)
  • NIH HHS - S10 OD021764(United States)

Drosophila amphiphysin functions during synaptic Fasciclin II membrane cycling.

  • Mathew D
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2003 Nov 19

Literature context:


Abstract:

Recent studies have revealed that endocytosis and exocytosis of postsynaptic receptors play a major role in the regulation of synaptic function, particularly during long-term potentiation and long-term depression. Interestingly, many of the proteins implicated in exocytosis and endocytosis of synaptic vesicles are also involved in postsynaptic protein cycling. In vertebrates, Amphiphysin is postulated to function during endocytosis in nerve terminals; however, several recent reports using a Drosophila amphiphysin (damph) null mutant have failed to substantiate such a role at fly synapses. In addition, Damph is surprisingly enriched at the postsynapse. Here we used the glutamatergic larval neuromuscular junction to study the synaptic role of Damph. By selectively labeling internal and external pools of the cell adhesion molecule Fasciclin II (FasII), and by using a novel in vivo surface FasII immunocapture protocol, we show that the level of external FasII is decreased in damph mutants although the total level of FasII remains constant. In vivo FasII internalization assays indicate that the reincorporation of FasII molecules into the cell surface is severely inhibited in damph mutants. Moreover, we show that blocking soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptor (SNARE) function in postsynaptic muscle cells interferes with FasII exocytosis. These experiments suggest that in Drosophila, Damph functions during SNARE-dependent postsynaptic FasII membrane cycling. This study challenges the notion that synaptic Amphiphysin is involved exclusively in endocytosis and suggests a novel role for this protein in postsynaptic exocytosis.

Funding information:
  • NIAAA NIH HHS - U01 AA013510(United States)

Early development of the Drosophila brain: III. The pattern of neuropile founder tracts during the larval period.

  • Nassif C
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2003 Jan 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

The Drosophila N-CAM homolog Fasciclin II (FasII) is expressed during the embryonic period in a subset of central neurons that pioneer the neuropile of the larval brain. Toward the end of embryogenesis, FasII expression in axon tracts diminishes but resumes from the late first larval instar in an increasingly complex pattern of axon tracts that join the tracts laid down in the embryo. We present evidence that FasII is expressed in a major fraction of the long axon tracts that interconnect different domains of the larval brain. For many tracts, FasII expression remains stable throughout larval development and pupal development. Therefore, the FasII pattern of axon tracts, along with the mushroom body and optic lobe, both of which are also FasII-positive, represents a useful set of landmarks that define different regions in the Drosophila brain throughout development. In this study, serial confocal brain sections were used to generate digital three-dimensional models of larval axon tracts at different stages. These models form part of our effort to generate an anatomic framework of Drosophila larval brain structure required for accurate localization of gene expression and gene function in experimental studies of neural development.

Funding information:
  • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council - BB/E02209X/1(United Kingdom)

Drosophila Dscam is required for divergent segregation of sister branches and suppresses ectopic bifurcation of axons.

  • Wang J
  • Neuron
  • 2002 Feb 14

Literature context:


Abstract:

Axon bifurcation results in the formation of sister branches, and divergent segregation of the sister branches is essential for efficient innervation of multiple targets. From a genetic mosaic screen, we find that a lethal mutation in the Drosophila Down syndrome cell adhesion molecule (Dscam) specifically perturbs segregation of axonal branches in the mushroom bodies. Single axon analysis further reveals that Dscam mutant axons generate additional branches, which randomly segregate among the available targets. Moreover, when only one target remains, branching is suppressed in wild-type axons while Dscam mutant axons still form multiple branches at the original bifurcation point. Taken together, we conclude that Dscam controls axon branching and guidance such that a neuron can innervate multiple targets with minimal branching.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS078072(United States)

Gliolectin-mediated carbohydrate binding at the Drosophila midline ensures the fidelity of axon pathfinding.

  • Sharrow M
  • Development
  • 2001 Nov 20

Literature context:


Abstract:

Gliolectin is a carbohydrate-binding protein (lectin) that mediates cell adhesion in vitro and is expressed by midline glial cells in the Drosophila melanogaster embryo. Gliolectin expression is maximal during early pathfinding of commissural axons across the midline (stages 12-13), a process that requires extensive signaling and cell-cell interactions between the midline glia and extending axons. Deletion of the gliolectin locus disrupts the formation of commissural pathways and also delays the completion of longitudinal pathfinding. The disruption in commissure formation is accompanied by reduced axon-glial contact, such that extending axons grow on other axons and form a tightly fasciculated bundle that arches over the midline. By contrast, pioneering commissural axons normally cross the midline as a distributed array of fibers that interdigitate among the midline glia, maximizing contact and, therefor, communication between axon and glia. Restoration of Gliolectin protein expression in the midline glia rescues the observed pathfinding defects of null mutants in a dose-dependent manner. Hypomorphic alleles generated by ethylmethanesulfonate mutagenesis exhibit a similar phenotype in combination with a deletion and these defects are also rescued by transgenic expression of Gliolectin protein. The observed phenotypes indicate that carbohydrate-lectin interactions at the Drosophila midline provide the necessary surface contact to capture extending axons, thereby ensuring that combinatorial codes of positive and negative growth signals are interpreted appropriately.

Homeostatic control of presynaptic release is triggered by postsynaptic membrane depolarization.

  • Paradis S
  • Neuron
  • 2001 Jun 29

Literature context:


Abstract:

Homeostatic mechanisms regulate synaptic function to maintain nerve and muscle excitation within reasonable physiological limits. The mechanisms that initiate homeostasic changes to synaptic function are not known. We specifically impaired cellular depolarization by expressing the Kir2.1 potassium channel in Drosophila muscle. In Kir2.1-expressing muscle there is a persistent outward potassium current ( approximately 10 nA), decreased muscle input resistance (50-fold), and a hyperpolarized resting potential. Despite impaired muscle excitability, synaptic depolarization of muscle achieves wild-type levels. A quantal analysis demonstrates that increased presynaptic release (quantal content), without a change in quantal size (mEPSC amplitude), compensates for altered muscle excitation. Because morphological synaptic growth is normal, we conclude that a homeostatic increase in presynaptic release compensates for impaired muscle excitability. These data demonstrate that a monitor of muscle membrane depolarization is sufficient to initiate synaptic homeostatic compensation.

Funding information:
  • NCRR NIH HHS - KL2 RR025754(United States)

Drosophila fasciclinII is required for the formation of odor memories and for normal sensitivity to alcohol.

  • Cheng Y
  • Cell
  • 2001 Jun 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

Drosophila fasciclinII (fasII) mutants perform poorly after olfactory conditioning due to a defect in encoding, stabilizing, or retrieving short-term memories. Performance was rescued by inducing the expression of a normal transgene just before training and immediate testing. Induction after training but before testing failed to rescue performance, showing that Fas II does not have an exclusive role in memory retrieval processes. The stability of odor memories in fasII mutants are indistinguishable from control animals when initial performance is normalized. Like several other mutants deficient in odor learning, fasII mutants exhibit a heightened sensitivity to ethanol vapors. A combination of behavioral and genetic strategies have therefore revealed a role for Fas II in the molecular operations of encoding short-term odor memories and conferring alcohol sensitivity. The preferential expression of Fas II in the axons of mushroom body neurons furthermore suggests that short-term odor memories are formed in these neurites.

Drosophila Futsch/22C10 is a MAP1B-like protein required for dendritic and axonal development.

  • Hummel T
  • Neuron
  • 2000 May 23

Literature context:


Abstract:

Here we report the description of the Drosophila gene futsch, which encodes a protein recognized by the monoclonal antibody 22C10 that has been widely used to visualize neuronal morphology and axonal projections. The Futsch protein is 5327 amino acids in length. It localizes to the microtubule compartment of the cell and associates with microtubules in vitro. The N- and C-terminal domains of Futsch are homologous to the vertebrate MAP1B microtubule-associated protein. The central domain of the Futsch protein is highly repetitive and shows sequence similarity to neurofilament proteins of which no Drosophila homologs have been reported. Loss-of-function analyses demonstrate that during embryogenesis Futsch is necessary for dendritic and axonal growth. Gain-of-function analyses demonstrate a functional interaction of Futsch with other MAPs. In addition, we show that during development, futsch expression is negatively regulated in nonneuronal tissues.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM078622-01(United States)

Watching a synapse grow: noninvasive confocal imaging of synaptic growth in Drosophila.

  • Zito K
  • Neuron
  • 1999 Apr 19

Literature context:


Abstract:

The glutamatergic neuromuscular junction (NMJ) in Drosophila adds new boutons and branches during larval development. We generated transgenic fruit flies that express a novel green fluorescent membrane protein at the postsynaptic specialization, allowing for repeated noninvasive confocal imaging of synapses in live, developing larvae. As synapses grow, existing synaptic boutons stretch apart and new boutons insert between them; in addition, new boutons are added at the ends of existing strings of boutons. Some boutons are added de novo, while others bud from existing boutons. New branches form as multiple boutons bud from existing boutons. Nascent boutons contain active zones, T bars, and synaptic vesicles; we observe no specialized growth structures. Some new boutons exhibit a lower level of Fasciclin II, suggesting that the levels of this synaptic cell adhesion molecule vary locally during synaptic growth.

Funding information:
  • Intramural NIH HHS - (United States)
  • NINDS NIH HHS - 5RO1 NS3557(United States)

Synapse-specific control of synaptic efficacy at the terminals of a single neuron.

  • Davis GW
  • Nature
  • 1998 Mar 5

Literature context:


Abstract:

The regulation of synaptic efficacy is essential for the proper functioning of neural circuits. If synaptic gain is set too high or too low, cells are either activated inappropriately or remain silent. There is extra complexity because synapses are not static, but form, retract, expand, strengthen, and weaken throughout life. Homeostatic regulatory mechanisms that control synaptic efficacy presumably exist to ensure that neurons remain functional within a meaningful physiological range. One of the best defined systems for analysis of the mechanisms that regulate synaptic efficacy is the neuromuscular junction. It has been shown, in organisms ranging from insects to humans, that changes in synaptic efficacy are tightly coupled to changes in muscle size during development. It has been proposed that a signal from muscle to motor neuron maintains this coupling. Here we show, by genetically manipulating muscle innervation, that there are two independent mechanisms by which muscle regulates synaptic efficacy at the terminals of single motor neurons. Increased muscle innervation results in a compensatory, target-specific decrease in presynaptic transmitter release, implying a retrograde regulation of presynaptic release. Decreased muscle innervation results in a compensatory increase in quantal size.

Funding information:
  • NIEHS NIH HHS - Z01 ES065073(United States)

Synaptic clustering of Fascilin II and Shaker: essential targeting sequences and role of Dlg.

  • Zito K
  • Neuron
  • 1997 Nov 29

Literature context:


Abstract:

Previous studies have shown that both the Fasciclin II (Fas II) cell adhesion molecule and the Shaker potassium channel are localized at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction, where they function in the growth and plasticity of the synapse. Here, we use the GAL4-UAS system to drive expression of the chimeric proteins CD8-Fas II and CD8-Shaker and show that the C-terminal sequences of both Fas II and Shaker are necessary and sufficient to drive the synaptic localization of a heterologous protein. Moreover, we show that the PDZ-containing protein Discs-Large (Dlg) controls the localization of these proteins, most likely through a direct interaction with their C-terminal amino acids. Finally, transient expression studies show that the pathway these proteins take to the synapse involves either an active clustering or a selective stabilization in the synaptic membrane.

Funding information:
  • NEI NIH HHS - EY12562(United States)

Genetic analysis of Fasciclin II in Drosophila: defasciculation, refasciculation, and altered fasciculation.

  • Lin DM
  • Neuron
  • 1994 Nov 27

Literature context:


Abstract:

The Drosophila neural cell adhesion molecule Fasciclin II (Fas II) is expressed dynamically on a subset of embryonic CNS axons, many of which selectively fasciculate in the vMP2, MP1, and FN3 pathways. Here we show complementary fasII loss-of-function and gain-of-function phenotypes. Loss-of-function fasII mutations lead to the complete or partial defasciculation of all three pathways. Gain-of-function conditions, using a specific control element to direct increased levels of Fas II on the axons in these three pathways, rescue the loss-of-function phenotype. Moreover, the gain-of-function can alter fasciculation by abnormally fusing pathways together, in one case apparently by preventing normal defasciculation. These results define an in vivo function for Fas II as a neuronal recognition molecule that controls one mechanism of growth cone guidance-selective axon fasciculation--and genetically separates this function from other aspects of outgrowth and directional guidance.

Funding information:
  • NHGRI NIH HHS - R01HG003008(United States)

[Anti-inflammatory effect of radix Angelicae sinensis].

  • Hu H
  • Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi
  • 1991 Nov 6

Literature context:


Abstract:

Radix Angelicae Sinensis (RAS) decoction can markedly inhibit acute and chronic inflammation caused by various phlogistic agents. Similar effects are equally seen in adrenalectomized rats. RAS can also suppress the biosynthesis or release of prostaglandin E2 in inflamed tissues induced by carrageenan, as well as significantly decrease the hemolytic activity of complement bypass, but shows no effect on the inflammation caused by histamine.

Funding information:
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - P01 HL095491(United States)

Genetic analysis of growth cone guidance in Drosophila: fasciclin II functions as a neuronal recognition molecule.

  • Grenningloh G
  • Cell
  • 1991 Oct 4

Literature context:


Abstract:

fasiclin II (fas II), a member of the immunoglobulin superfamily, was previously characterized and cloned in grasshopper. To analyze the function of this molecule, we cloned the Drosophila fas II homolog and generated mutants in the gene. In both grasshopper and Drosophila, fasciclin II is expressed on the MP1 fascicle and a subset of other axon pathways. In fas II mutant Drosophila embryos, the CNS displays no gross phenotype, but the MP1 fascicle fails to develop. The MP1, dMP2, and vMP2 growth cones fail to recognize one another or other axons that normally join the MP1 pathway. During their normal period of axon out-growth, these growth cones stall and do not join any other neighboring pathway. Thus, fasciclin II functions as a neuronal recognition molecule for the MP1 axon pathway. These studies serve as molecular confirmation for the existence of functional labels on specific axon pathways in the developing nervous system.