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Mouse Anti-Drosophila PDF C7 Antibody, Unconjugated

RRID:AB_760350

Reconfiguration of a Multi-oscillator Network by Light in the Drosophila Circadian Clock.

  • Chatterjee A
  • Curr. Biol.
  • 2018 Jul 9

Literature context:


Abstract:

The brain clock that drives circadian rhythms of locomotor activity relies on a multi-oscillator neuronal network. In addition to synchronizing the clock with day-night cycles, light also reformats the clock-driven daily activity pattern. How changes in lighting conditions modify the contribution of the different oscillators to remodel the daily activity pattern remains largely unknown. Our data in Drosophila indicate that light readjusts the interactions between oscillators through two different modes. We show that a morning s-LNv > DN1p circuit works in series, whereas two parallel evening circuits are contributed by LNds and other DN1ps. Based on the photic context, the master pacemaker in the s-LNv neurons swaps its enslaved partner-oscillator-LNd in the presence of light or DN1p in the absence of light-to always link up with the most influential phase-determining oscillator. When exposure to light further increases, the light-activated LNd pacemaker becomes independent by decoupling from the s-LNvs. The calibration of coupling by light is layered on a clock-independent network interaction wherein light upregulates the expression of the PDF neuropeptide in the s-LNvs, which inhibits the behavioral output of the DN1p evening oscillator. Thus, light modifies inter-oscillator coupling and clock-independent output-gating to achieve flexibility in the network. It is likely that the light-induced changes in the Drosophila brain circadian network could reveal general principles of adapting to varying environmental cues in any neuronal multi-oscillator system.

Funding information:
  • NIAMS NIH HHS - AR052190(United States)
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R35 GM118087()

Adult-specific insulin-producing neurons in Drosophila melanogaster.

  • Ohhara Y
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2018 Jun 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Holometabolous insects undergo metamorphosis to reorganize their behavioral and morphological features into adult-specific ones. In the central nervous system (CNS), some larval neurons undergo programmed cell death, whereas others go through remodeling of axonal and dendritic arbors to support functions of re-established adult organs. Although there are multiple neuropeptides that have stage-specific roles in holometabolous insects, the reorganization pattern of the entire neuropeptidergic system through metamorphosis still remains largely unclear. In this study, we conducted a mapping and lineage tracing of peptidergic neurons in the larval and adult CNS by using Drosophila genetic tools. We found that Diuretic hormone 44-producing median neurosecretory cells start expressing Insulin-like peptide 2 in the pharate adult stage. This neuronal cluster projects to the corpora cardiaca and dorsal vessel in both larval and adult stages, and also innervates an adult-specific structure in the digestive tract, the crop. We propose that the adult-specific insulin-producing cells may regulate functions of the digestive system in a stage-specific manner. Our study provides a neuroanatomical basis for understanding remodeling of the neuropeptidergic system during insect development and evolution.

Funding information:
  • NHGRI NIH HHS - HG001536(United States)

Anatomical characterization of PDF-tri neurons and peptidergic neurons associated with eclosion behavior in Drosophila.

  • Selcho M
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2018 Jun 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The peptidergic Pigment-dispersing factor (PDF)-Tri neurons are a group of non-clock neurons that appear transiently around the time of adult ecdysis (=eclosion) in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. This specific developmental pattern points to a function of these neurons in eclosion or other processes that are active around pupal-adult transition. As a first step to understand the role of these neurons, we here characterize the anatomy of the PDF-Tri neurons. In addition, we describe a further set of peptidergic neurons that have been associated with eclosion behavior, eclosion hormone (EH), and crustacean cardioactive peptide (CCAP) neurons, to single cell level in the pharate adult brain. PDF-Tri neurons as well as CCAP neurons co-express a classical transmitter indicated by the occurrence of small clear vesicles in addition to dense-core vesicles containing the peptides. In the tritocerebrum, gnathal ganglion and the superior protocerebrum PDF-Tri neurites contain peptidergic varicosities and both pre- and postsynaptic sites, suggesting that the PDF-Tri neurons represent modulatory rather than pure interneurons that connect the subesophageal zone with the superior protocerebrum. The extensive overlap of PDF-Tri arborizations with neurites of CCAP- and EH-expressing neurons in distinct brain regions provides anatomical evidence for a possible function of the PDF-Tri neurons in eclosion behavior.

Funding information:
  • NIAID NIH HHS - AI29611(United States)

ER Lipid Defects in Neuropeptidergic Neurons Impair Sleep Patterns in Parkinson's Disease.

  • Valadas JS
  • Neuron
  • 2018 Jun 27

Literature context:


Abstract:

Parkinson's disease patients report disturbed sleep patterns long before motor dysfunction. Here, in parkin and pink1 models, we identify circadian rhythm and sleep pattern defects and map these to specific neuropeptidergic neurons in fly models and in hypothalamic neurons differentiated from patient induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). Parkin and Pink1 control the clearance of mitochondria by protein ubiquitination. Although we do not observe major defects in mitochondria of mutant neuropeptidergic neurons, we do find an excess of endoplasmic reticulum-mitochondrial contacts. These excessive contact sites cause abnormal lipid trafficking that depletes phosphatidylserine from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and disrupts the production of neuropeptide-containing vesicles. Feeding mutant animals phosphatidylserine rescues neuropeptidergic vesicle production and acutely restores normal sleep patterns in mutant animals. Hence, sleep patterns and circadian disturbances in Parkinson's disease models are explained by excessive ER-mitochondrial contacts, and blocking their formation or increasing phosphatidylserine levels rescues the defects in vivo.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - GM073874(United States)

Non-canonical Phototransduction Mediates Synchronization of the Drosophila melanogaster Circadian Clock and Retinal Light Responses.

  • Ogueta M
  • Curr. Biol.
  • 2018 Jun 4

Literature context:


Abstract:

The daily light-dark cycles represent a key signal for synchronizing circadian clocks. Both insects and mammals possess dedicated "circadian" photoreceptors but also utilize the visual system for clock resetting. In Drosophila, circadian clock resetting is achieved by the blue-light photoreceptor cryptochrome (CRY), which is expressed within subsets of the brain clock neurons. In addition, rhodopsin-expressing photoreceptor cells contribute to light synchronization. Light resets the molecular clock by CRY-dependent degradation of the clock protein Timeless (TIM), although in specific subsets of key circadian pacemaker neurons, including the small ventral lateral neurons (s-LNvs), TIM and Period (PER) oscillations can be synchronized by light independent of CRY and canonical visual Rhodopsin phototransduction. Here, we show that at least three of the seven Drosophila rhodopsins can utilize an alternative transduction mechanism involving the same α-subunit of the heterotrimeric G protein operating in canonical visual phototransduction (Gq). Surprisingly, in mutants lacking the canonical phospholipase C-β (PLC-β) encoded by the no receptor potential A (norpA) gene, we uncovered a novel transduction pathway using a different PLC-β encoded by the Plc21C gene. This novel pathway is important for behavioral clock resetting to semi-natural light-dark cycles and mediates light-dependent molecular synchronization within the s-LNv clock neurons. The same pathway appears to be responsible for norpA-independent light responses in the compound eye. We show that Rhodopsin 5 (Rh5) and Rh6, present in the R8 subset of retinal photoreceptor cells, drive both the long-term circadian and rapid light responses in the eye.

Funding information:
  • Cancer Research UK - C11509/A8570(United Kingdom)

A Single-Cell Transcriptome Atlas of the Aging Drosophila Brain.

  • Davie K
  • Cell
  • 2018 Jun 9

Literature context:


Abstract:

The diversity of cell types and regulatory states in the brain, and how these change during aging, remains largely unknown. We present a single-cell transcriptome atlas of the entire adult Drosophila melanogaster brain sampled across its lifespan. Cell clustering identified 87 initial cell clusters that are further subclustered and validated by targeted cell-sorting. Our data show high granularity and identify a wide range of cell types. Gene network analyses using SCENIC revealed regulatory heterogeneity linked to energy consumption. During aging, RNA content declines exponentially without affecting neuronal identity in old brains. This single-cell brain atlas covers nearly all cells in the normal brain and provides the tools to study cellular diversity alongside other Drosophila and mammalian single-cell datasets in our unique single-cell analysis platform: SCope (http://scope.aertslab.org). These results, together with SCope, allow comprehensive exploration of all transcriptional states of an entire aging brain.

Funding information:
  • Medical Research Council - G0600214(United Kingdom)

Neuroanatomical details of the lateral neurons of Drosophila melanogaster support their functional role in the circadian system.

  • Schubert FK
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2018 May 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Drosophila melanogaster is a long-standing model organism in the circadian clock research. A major advantage is the relative small number of about 150 neurons, which built the circadian clock in Drosophila. In our recent work, we focused on the neuroanatomical properties of the lateral neurons of the clock network. By applying the multicolor-labeling technique Flybow we were able to identify the anatomical similarity of the previously described E2 subunit of the evening oscillator of the clock, which is built by the 5th small ventrolateral neuron (5th s-LNv ) and one ITP positive dorsolateral neuron (LNd ). These two clock neurons share the same spatial and functional properties. We found both neurons innervating the same brain areas with similar pre- and postsynaptic sites in the brain. Here the anatomical findings support their shared function as a main evening oscillator in the clock network like also found in previous studies. A second quite surprising finding addresses the large lateral ventral PDF-neurons (l-LNv s). We could show that the four hardly distinguishable l-LNv s consist of two subgroups with different innervation patterns. While three of the neurons reflect the well-known branching pattern reproduced by PDF immunohistochemistry, one neuron per brain hemisphere has a distinguished innervation profile and is restricted only to the proximal part of the medulla-surface. We named this neuron "extra" l-LNv (l-LNv x). We suggest the anatomical findings reflect different functional properties of the two l-LNv subgroups.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - R01 CA031363(United States)

nocte Is Required for Integrating Light and Temperature Inputs in Circadian Clock Neurons of Drosophila.

  • Chen C
  • Curr. Biol.
  • 2018 May 21

Literature context:


Abstract:

Circadian clocks organize biological processes to occur at optimized times of day and thereby contribute to overall fitness. While the regular daily changes of environmental light and temperature synchronize circadian clocks, extreme external conditions can bypass the temporal constraints dictated by the clock. Despite advanced knowledge about how the daily light-dark changes synchronize the clock, relatively little is known with regard to how the daily temperature changes influence daily timing and how temperature and light signals are integrated. In Drosophila, a network of ∼150 brain clock neurons exhibit 24-hr oscillations of clock gene expression to regulate daily activity and sleep. We show here that a temperature input pathway from peripheral sensory organs, which depends on the gene nocte, targets specific subsets of these clock neurons to synchronize molecular and behavioral rhythms to temperature cycles. Strikingly, while nocte1 mutant flies synchronize normally to light-dark cycles at constant temperatures, the combined presence of light-dark and temperature cycles inhibits synchronization. nocte1 flies exhibit altered siesta sleep, suggesting that the sleep-regulating clock neurons are an important target for nocte-dependent temperature input, which dominates a parallel light input into these cells. In conclusion, we reveal a nocte-dependent temperature input pathway to central clock neurons and show that this pathway and its target neurons are important for the integration of sensory light and temperature information in order to temporally regulate activity and sleep during daily light and temperature cycles.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - P01 GM081629-03(United States)

Fbxl4 Serves as a Clock Output Molecule that Regulates Sleep through Promotion of Rhythmic Degradation of the GABAA Receptor.

  • Li Q
  • Curr. Biol.
  • 2017 Dec 4

Literature context:


Abstract:

The timing of sleep is tightly governed by the circadian clock, which contains a negative transcriptional feedback loop and synchronizes the physiology and behavior of most animals to daily environmental oscillations. However, how the circadian clock determines the timing of sleep is largely unclear. In vertebrates and invertebrates, the status of sleep and wakefulness is modulated by the electrical activity of pacemaker neurons that are circadian regulated and suppressed by inhibitory GABAergic inputs. Here, we showed that Drosophila GABAA receptors undergo rhythmic degradation in arousal-promoting large ventral lateral neurons (lLNvs) and their expression level in lLNvs displays a daily oscillation. We also demonstrated that the E3 ligase Fbxl4 promotes GABAA receptor ubiquitination and degradation and revealed that the transcription of fbxl4 in lLNvs is CLOCK dependent. Finally, we demonstrated that Fbxl4 regulates the timing of sleep through rhythmically reducing GABA sensitivity to modulate the excitability of lLNvs. Our study uncovered a critical molecular linkage between the circadian clock and the electrical activity of pacemaker neurons and demonstrated that CLOCK-dependent Fbxl4 expression rhythmically downregulates GABAA receptor level to increase the activity of pacemaker neurons and promote wakefulness.

Funding information:
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - T32-DK007665(United States)

The role of PDF neurons in setting the preferred temperature before dawn in Drosophila.

  • Tang X
  • Elife
  • 2017 May 2

Literature context:


Abstract:

Animals have sophisticated homeostatic controls. While mammalian body temperature fluctuates throughout the day, small ectotherms, such as Drosophila achieve a body temperature rhythm (BTR) through their preference of environmental temperature. Here, we demonstrate that pigment dispersing factor (PDF) neurons play an important role in setting preferred temperature before dawn. We show that small lateral ventral neurons (sLNvs), a subset of PDF neurons, activate the dorsal neurons 2 (DN2s), the main circadian clock cells that regulate temperature preference rhythm (TPR). The number of temporal contacts between sLNvs and DN2s peak before dawn. Our data suggest that the thermosensory anterior cells (ACs) likely contact sLNvs via serotonin signaling. Together, the ACs-sLNs-DN2s neural circuit regulates the proper setting of temperature preference before dawn. Given that sLNvs are important for sleep and that BTR and sleep have a close temporal relationship, our data highlight a possible neuronal interaction between body temperature and sleep regulation.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM107582()

LSM12 and ME31B/DDX6 Define Distinct Modes of Posttranscriptional Regulation by ATAXIN-2 Protein Complex in Drosophila Circadian Pacemaker Neurons.

  • Lee J
  • Mol. Cell
  • 2017 Apr 6

Literature context:


Abstract:

ATAXIN-2 (ATX2) has been implicated in human neurodegenerative diseases, yet it remains elusive how ATX2 assembles specific protein complexes to execute its physiological roles. Here we employ the posttranscriptional co-activator function of Drosophila ATX2 to demonstrate that LSM12 and ME31B/DDX6 are two ATX2-associating factors crucial for sustaining circadian rhythms. LSM12 acts as a molecular adaptor for the recruitment of TWENTY-FOUR (TYF) to ATX2. The ATX2-LSM12-TYF complex thereby stimulates TYF-dependent translation of the rate-limiting clock gene period (per) to maintain 24 hr periodicity in circadian behaviors. In contrast, ATX2 contributes to NOT1-mediated gene silencing and associates with NOT1 in a ME31B/DDX6-dependent manner. The ME31B/DDX6-NOT1 complex does not affect PER translation but supports high-amplitude behavioral rhythms along with ATX2, indicating a PER-independent clock function of ATX2. Taken together, these data suggest that the ATX2 complex may switch distinct modes of posttranscriptional regulation through its associating factors to control circadian clocks and ATX2-related physiology.

Functions of corazonin and histamine in light entrainment of the circadian pacemaker in the Madeira cockroach, Rhyparobia maderae.

  • Arendt A
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2017 Apr 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The circadian pacemaker of the Madeira cockroach, Rhyparobia (Leucophaea) maderae, is located in the accessory medulla (AME). Ipsi- and contralateral histaminergic compound eyes are required for photic entrainment. Light pulses delay locomotor activity rhythm during the early night and advance it during the late night. Thus, different neuronal pathways might relay either light-dependent delays or advances to the clock. Injections of neuroactive substances combined with running-wheel assays suggested that GABA, pigment-dispersing factor, myoinhibitory peptides (MIPs), and orcokinins (ORCs) were part of both entrainment pathways, whereas allatotropin (AT) only delayed locomotor rhythms at the early night. To characterize photic entrainment further, histamine and corazonin were injected. Histamine injections resulted in light-like phase delays and advances, indicating that the neurotransmitter of the compound eyes participates in both entrainment pathways. Because injections of corazonin only advanced during the late subjective night, it was hypothesized that corazonin is only part of the advance pathway. Multiple-label immunocytochemistry in combination with neurobiotin backfills demonstrated that a single cell expressed corazonin in the optic lobes that belonged to the group of medial AME interneurons. It colocalized GABA and MIP but not AT or ORC immunoreactivity. Corazonin-immunoreactive (-ir) terminals overlapped with projections of putatively light-sensitive interneurons from the ipsi- and contralateral compound eye. Thus, we hypothesize that the corazonin-ir medial neuron integrates ipsi- and contralateral light information as part of the phase-advancing light entrainment pathway to the circadian clock. J. Comp. Neurol. 525:1250-1272, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Mushroom body signaling is required for locomotor activity rhythms in Drosophila.

  • Mabuchi I
  • Neurosci. Res.
  • 2016 Oct 28

Literature context:


Abstract:

In the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster, circadian rhythms of locomotor activity under constant darkness are controlled by pacemaker neurons. To understand how behavioral rhythmicity is generated by the nervous system, it is essential to identify the output circuits from the pacemaker neurons. A recent study of Drosophila has suggested that pacemaker neurons project to mushroom body (MB) neurons, which are considered the memory center in Drosophila. MBs also regulate spontaneous locomotor activity without learning, suggesting that MB neuronal activity regulates behavioral rhythms. However, the importance of MBs in generating behavioral rhythmicity remains controversial because contradicting results have been reported as follows: (1) locomotor activity in MB-ablated flies is substantially rhythmic, but (2) activation of restricted neuronal populations including MB neurons induces arrhythmic locomotor activity. Here, we report that neurotransmission in MBs is required for behavioral rhythmicity. For adult-specific disruption of neurotransmission in MBs, we used the GAL80/GAL4/UAS ternary gene expression system in combination with the temperature-sensitive dynamin mutation shibire(ts1). Blocking of neurotransmission in GAL4-positive neurons including MB neurons induced arrhythmic locomotor activity, whereas this arrhythmicity was rescued by the MB-specific expression of GAL80. Our results indicate that MB signaling plays a key role in locomotor activity rhythms in Drosophila.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM078526(United States)
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS088137(United States)

Using Drosophila as an integrated model to study mild repetitive traumatic brain injury.

  • Barekat A
  • Sci Rep
  • 2016 May 4

Literature context:


Abstract:

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. In addition, there has been a growing appreciation that even repetitive, milder forms of TBI (mTBI) can have long-term deleterious consequences to neural tissues. Hampering our understanding of genetic and environmental factors that influence the cellular and molecular responses to injury has been the limited availability of effective genetic model systems that could be used to identify the key genes and pathways that modulate both the acute and long-term responses to TBI. Here we report the development of a severe and mild-repetitive TBI model using Drosophila. Using this system, key features that are typically found in mammalian TBI models were also identified in flies, including the activation of inflammatory and autophagy responses, increased Tau phosphorylation and neuronal defects that impair sleep-related behaviors. This novel injury paradigm demonstrates the utility of Drosophila as an effective tool to validate genetic and environmental factors that influence the whole animal response to trauma and to identify prospective therapies needed for the treatment of TBI.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - NS064013(United States)

The neuropeptide SIFamide in the brain of three cockroach species.

  • Arendt A
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2016 May 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The sequence as well as the distribution pattern of SIFamide in the brain of different insects is highly conserved. As a general rule, at least four prominent SIFamide-immunoreactive somata occur in the pars intercerebralis. They arborize throughout the brain and the ventral nerve cord. Whereas SIFamide is implicated in mating and sleep regulation in Drosophila, other functions of this peptide remain largely unknown. To determine whether SIFamide plays a role in the circadian system of cockroaches, we studied SIFamide in Rhyparobia (= Leucophaea) maderae (Blaberidae), Periplaneta americana (Blattidae), and Therea petiveriana (Polyphagidae). Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry revealed identical SIFamide sequences (TYRKPPFNGSIFamide) in the three species. In addition to four large immunoreactive cells in the pars intercerebralis (group 1), smaller SIFamide-immunoreactive somata were detected in the pars intercerebralis (group 2), in the superior median protocerebrum (group 3), and in the lateral protocerebrum (group 4). Additional cells in the optic lobe (group 5) and posterior protocerebrum (group 6) were stained only in P. americana. Almost the entire protocerebrum was filled with a beaded network of SIFamide-immunoreactive processes that especially strongly invaded the upper unit of the central body. Double-label experiments did not confirm colocalizations with γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) or the circadian coupling peptide pigment-dispersing factor (PDF). In contrast to locusts, colocalization of SIFamide and histamine immunoreactivity occurred not in group 1, but in group 4 cells. Because the accessory medulla displayed SIFamide immunoreactivity and injections of SIFamide delayed locomotor activity rhythms circadian time-dependently, SIFamide plays a role in the circadian system of cockroaches. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:1337-1360, 2016. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Funding information:
  • HHMI - R01ES021557(United States)

Differentially timed extracellular signals synchronize pacemaker neuron clocks.

  • Collins B
  • PLoS Biol.
  • 2015 May 28

Literature context:


Abstract:

Synchronized neuronal activity is vital for complex processes like behavior. Circadian pacemaker neurons offer an unusual opportunity to study synchrony as their molecular clocks oscillate in phase over an extended timeframe (24 h). To identify where, when, and how synchronizing signals are perceived, we first studied the minimal clock neural circuit in Drosophila larvae, manipulating either the four master pacemaker neurons (LNvs) or two dorsal clock neurons (DN1s). Unexpectedly, we found that the PDF Receptor (PdfR) is required in both LNvs and DN1s to maintain synchronized LNv clocks. We also found that glutamate is a second synchronizing signal that is released from DN1s and perceived in LNvs via the metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluRA). Because simultaneously reducing Pdfr and mGluRA expression in LNvs severely dampened Timeless clock protein oscillations, we conclude that the master pacemaker LNvs require extracellular signals to function normally. These two synchronizing signals are released at opposite times of day and drive cAMP oscillations in LNvs. Finally we found that PdfR and mGluRA also help synchronize Timeless oscillations in adult s-LNvs. We propose that differentially timed signals that drive cAMP oscillations and synchronize pacemaker neurons in circadian neural circuits will be conserved across species.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - P30 CA060553(United States)

Drosophila spaghetti and doubletime link the circadian clock and light to caspases, apoptosis and tauopathy.

  • Means JC
  • PLoS Genet.
  • 2015 May 8

Literature context:


Abstract:

While circadian dysfunction and neurodegeneration are correlated, the mechanism for this is not understood. It is not known if age-dependent circadian dysfunction leads to neurodegeneration or vice-versa, and the proteins that mediate the effect remain unidentified. Here, we show that the knock-down of a regulator (spag) of the circadian kinase Dbt in circadian cells lowers Dbt levels abnormally, lengthens circadian rhythms and causes expression of activated initiator caspase (Dronc) in the optic lobes during the middle of the day or after light pulses at night. Likewise, reduced Dbt activity lengthens circadian period and causes expression of activated Dronc, and a loss-of-function mutation in Clk also leads to expression of activated Dronc in a light-dependent manner. Genetic epistasis experiments place Dbt downstream of Spag in the pathway, and Spag-dependent reductions of Dbt are shown to require the proteasome. Importantly, activated Dronc expression due to reduced Spag or Dbt activity occurs in cells that do not express the spag RNAi or dominant negative Dbt and requires PDF neuropeptide signaling from the same neurons that support behavioral rhythms. Furthermore, reduction of Dbt or Spag activity leads to Dronc-dependent Drosophila Tau cleavage and enhanced neurodegeneration produced by human Tau in a fly eye model for tauopathy. Aging flies with lowered Dbt or Spag function show markers of cell death as well as behavioral deficits and shortened lifespans, and even old wild type flies exhibit Dbt modification and activated caspase at particular times of day. These results suggest that Dbt suppresses expression of activated Dronc to prevent Tau cleavage, and that the circadian clock defects confer sensitivity to expression of activated Dronc in response to prolonged light. They establish a link between the circadian clock factors, light, cell death pathways and Tau toxicity, potentially via dysregulation of circadian neuronal remodeling in the optic lobes.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R37NS008174(United States)

The central molecular clock is robust in the face of behavioural arrhythmia in a Drosophila model of Alzheimer's disease.

  • Chen KF
  • Dis Model Mech
  • 2014 Nov 26

Literature context:


Abstract:

Circadian behavioural deficits, including sleep irregularity and restlessness in the evening, are a distressing early feature of Alzheimer's disease (AD). We have investigated these phenomena by studying the circadian behaviour of transgenic Drosophila expressing the amyloid beta peptide (Aβ). We find that Aβ expression results in an age-related loss of circadian behavioural rhythms despite ongoing normal molecular oscillations in the central clock neurons. Even in the absence of any behavioural correlate, the synchronised activity of the central clock remains protective, prolonging lifespan, in Aβ flies just as it does in control flies. Confocal microscopy and bioluminescence measurements point to processes downstream of the molecular clock as the main site of Aβ toxicity. In addition, there seems to be significant non-cell-autonomous Aβ toxicity resulting in morphological and probably functional signalling deficits in central clock neurons.

Funding information:
  • NIMH NIH HHS - MH101188(United States)

The logic of circadian organization in Drosophila.

  • Dissel S
  • Curr. Biol.
  • 2014 Oct 6

Literature context:


Abstract:

BACKGROUND: In the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, interlocked negative transcription/translation feedback loops provide the core of the circadian clock that generates rhythmic phenotypes. Although the current molecular model portrays the oscillator as cell autonomous, cross-talk among clock neurons is essential for robust cycling behavior. Nevertheless, the functional organization of the neuronal network remains obscure. RESULTS: Here we show that shortening or lengthening of the circadian period of locomotor activity can be obtained either by targeting different groups of clock cells with the same genetic manipulation or by challenging the same group of cells with activators and repressors of neuronal excitability. CONCLUSIONS: Based on these observations we interpret circadian rhythmicity as an emerging property of the circadian network and we propose an initial model for its architectural design.

Funding information:
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research - 6027(Canada)

Activity-dependent regulation of astrocyte GAT levels during synaptogenesis.

  • Muthukumar AK
  • Nat. Neurosci.
  • 2014 Oct 26

Literature context:


Abstract:

Astrocytic uptake of GABA through GABA transporters (GATs) is an important mechanism regulating excitatory/inhibitory balance in the nervous system; however, mechanisms by which astrocytes regulate GAT levels are undefined. We found that at mid-pupal stages the Drosophila melanogaster CNS neuropil was devoid of astrocyte membranes and synapses. Astrocyte membranes subsequently infiltrated the neuropil coordinately with synaptogenesis, and astrocyte ablation reduced synapse numbers by half, indicating that Drosophila astrocytes are pro-synaptogenic. Shortly after synapses formed in earnest, GAT was upregulated in astrocytes. Ablation or silencing of GABAergic neurons or disruption of metabotropic GABA receptor 1 and 2 (GABA(B)R1/2) signaling in astrocytes led to a decrease in astrocytic GAT. Notably, developmental depletion of astrocytic GABA(B)R1/2 signaling suppressed mechanosensory-induced seizure activity in mutants with hyperexcitable neurons. These data reveal that astrocytes actively modulate GAT expression via metabotropic GABA receptor signaling and highlight the importance of precise regulation of astrocytic GAT in modulation of seizure activity.

Funding information:
  • NEI NIH HHS - R01EY024704(United States)

The ion transport peptide is a new functional clock neuropeptide in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster.

  • Hermann-Luibl C
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2014 Jul 16

Literature context:


Abstract:

The clock network of Drosophila melanogaster expresses various neuropeptides, but a function in clock-mediated behavioral control was so far only found for the neuropeptide pigment dispersing factor (PDF). Here, we propose a role in the control of behavioral rhythms for the ion transport peptide (ITP), which is expressed in the fifth small ventral lateral neuron, one dorsal lateral neuron, and in only a few nonclock cells in the brain. Immunocytochemical analyses revealed that ITP, like PDF, is most probably released in a rhythmic manner at projection terminals in the dorsal protocerebrum. This rhythm continues under constant dark conditions, indicating that ITP release is clock controlled. ITP expression is reduced in the hypomorph mutant Clk(AR), suggesting that ITP expression is regulated by CLOCK. Using a genetically encoded RNAi construct, we knocked down ITP in the two clock cells and found that these flies show reduced evening activity and increased nocturnal activity. Overexpression of ITP with two independent timeless-GAL4 lines completely disrupted behavioral rhythms, but only slightly dampened PER cycling in important pacemaker neurons, suggesting a role for ITP in clock output pathways rather than in the communication within the clock network. Simultaneous knockdown (KD) of ITP and PDF made the flies hyperactive and almost completely arrhythmic under constant conditions. Under light-dark conditions, the double-KD combined the behavioral characteristics of the single-KD flies. In addition, it reduced the flies' sleep. We conclude that ITP and PDF are the clock's main output signals that cooperate in controlling the flies' activity rhythms.

Funding information:
  • NEI NIH HHS - T32 EY024236(United States)

Casein kinase 1 promotes synchrony of the circadian clock network.

  • Zheng X
  • Mol. Cell. Biol.
  • 2014 Jul 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Casein kinase 1, known as DOUBLETIME (DBT) in Drosophila melanogaster, is a critical component of the circadian clock that phosphorylates and promotes degradation of the PERIOD (PER) protein. However, other functions of DBT in circadian regulation are not clear, in part because severe reduction of dbt causes preadult lethality. Here we report the molecular and behavioral phenotype of a viable dbt(EY02910) loss-of-function mutant. We found that DBT protein levels are dramatically reduced in adult dbt(EY02910) flies, and the majority of mutant flies display arrhythmic behavior, with a few showing weak, long-period (∼32 h) rhythms. Peak phosphorylation of PER is delayed, and both hyper- and hypophosphorylated forms of the PER and CLOCK proteins are present throughout the day. In addition, molecular oscillations of the circadian clock are dampened. In the central brain, PER and TIM expression is heterogeneous and decoupled in the canonical clock neurons of the dbt(EY02910) mutants. We also report an interaction between dbt and the signaling pathway involving pigment dispersing factor (PDF), a synchronizing peptide in the clock network. These data thus demonstrate that overall reduction of DBT causes long and arrhythmic behavior, and they reveal an unexpected role of DBT in promoting synchrony of the circadian clock network.

Funding information:
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - R01 DK057038(United States)

Identification of a circadian output circuit for rest:activity rhythms in Drosophila.

  • Cavanaugh DJ
  • Cell
  • 2014 Apr 24

Literature context:


Abstract:

Though much is known about the cellular and molecular components of the circadian clock, output pathways that couple clock cells to overt behaviors have not been identified. We conducted a screen for circadian-relevant neurons in the Drosophila brain and report here that cells of the pars intercerebralis (PI), a functional homolog of the mammalian hypothalamus, comprise an important component of the circadian output pathway for rest:activity rhythms. GFP reconstitution across synaptic partners (GRASP) analysis demonstrates that PI cells are connected to the clock through a polysynaptic circuit extending from pacemaker cells to PI neurons. Molecular profiling of relevant PI cells identified the corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) homolog, DH44, as a circadian output molecule that is specifically expressed by PI neurons and is required for normal rest:activity rhythms. Notably, selective activation or ablation of just six DH44+ PI cells causes arrhythmicity. These findings delineate a circuit through which clock cells can modulate locomotor rhythms.

Funding information:
  • NHGRI NIH HHS - U54 HG006997(United States)

Dual PDF signaling pathways reset clocks via TIMELESS and acutely excite target neurons to control circadian behavior.

  • Seluzicki A
  • PLoS Biol.
  • 2014 Mar 19

Literature context:


Abstract:

Molecular circadian clocks are interconnected via neural networks. In Drosophila, PIGMENT-DISPERSING FACTOR (PDF) acts as a master network regulator with dual functions in synchronizing molecular oscillations between disparate PDF(+) and PDF(-) circadian pacemaker neurons and controlling pacemaker neuron output. Yet the mechanisms by which PDF functions are not clear. We demonstrate that genetic inhibition of protein kinase A (PKA) in PDF(-) clock neurons can phenocopy PDF mutants while activated PKA can partially rescue PDF receptor mutants. PKA subunit transcripts are also under clock control in non-PDF DN1p neurons. To address the core clock target of PDF, we rescued per in PDF neurons of arrhythmic per⁰¹ mutants. PDF neuron rescue induced high amplitude rhythms in the clock component TIMELESS (TIM) in per-less DN1p neurons. Complete loss of PDF or PKA inhibition also results in reduced TIM levels in non-PDF neurons of per⁰¹ flies. To address how PDF impacts pacemaker neuron output, we focally applied PDF to DN1p neurons and found that it acutely depolarizes and increases firing rates of DN1p neurons. Surprisingly, these effects are reduced in the presence of an adenylate cyclase inhibitor, yet persist in the presence of PKA inhibition. We have provided evidence for a signaling mechanism (PKA) and a molecular target (TIM) by which PDF resets and synchronizes clocks and demonstrates an acute direct excitatory effect of PDF on target neurons to control neuronal output. The identification of TIM as a target of PDF signaling suggests it is a multimodal integrator of cell autonomous clock, environmental light, and neural network signaling. Moreover, these data reveal a bifurcation of PKA-dependent clock effects and PKA-independent output effects. Taken together, our results provide a molecular and cellular basis for the dual functions of PDF in clock resetting and pacemaker output.

Funding information:
  • European Research Council - 261063(International)

Sexual interactions influence the molecular oscillations in DN1 pacemaker neurons in Drosophila melanogaster.

  • Hanafusa S
  • PLoS ONE
  • 2013 Dec 24

Literature context:


Abstract:

Circadian rhythms can synchronize to environmental time cues, such as light, temperature, humidity, and food availability. Previous studies have suggested that these rhythms can also be entrained by social interactions. Here, we used Drosophila melanogaster as a model to study the influence of socio-sexual interactions on the circadian clock in behavior and pacemaker neurons. If two flies of opposite sex were paired and kept in a small space, the daily activity patterns of the two flies were clearly different from the sum of the activity of single male and female flies. Compared with single flies, paired flies were more active in the night and morning, were more active during females' active phase, and were less active during males' active phase. These behavioral phenotypes are related to courtship behavior, but not to the circadian clock. Nevertheless, in male-female pairs of flies with clocks at different speeds (wild-type and per (S) flies), clock protein cycling in the DN1 pacemaker neurons in the male brain were slightly influenced by their partners. These results suggest that sexual interactions between male-female couples can serve as a weak zeitgeber for the DN1 pacemaker neurons, but the effect is not sufficient to alter rhythms of behavioral activity.

Funding information:
  • NHGRI NIH HHS - R01-HG006677(United States)
  • NINDS NIH HHS - NS-19620(United States)

Sensorimotor structure of Drosophila larva phototaxis.

  • Kane EA
  • Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
  • 2013 Oct 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The avoidance of light by fly larvae is a classic paradigm for sensorimotor behavior. Here, we use behavioral assays and video microscopy to quantify the sensorimotor structure of phototaxis using the Drosophila larva. Larval locomotion is composed of sequences of runs (periods of forward movement) that are interrupted by abrupt turns, during which the larva pauses and sweeps its head back and forth, probing local light information to determine the direction of the successive run. All phototactic responses are mediated by the same set of sensorimotor transformations that require temporal processing of sensory inputs. Through functional imaging and genetic inactivation of specific neurons downstream of the sensory periphery, we have begun to map these sensorimotor circuits into the larval central brain. We find that specific sensorimotor pathways that govern distinct light-evoked responses begin to segregate at the first relay after the photosensory neurons.

Glutathione peroxidase activity is neuroprotective in models of Huntington's disease.

  • Mason RP
  • Nat. Genet.
  • 2013 Oct 27

Literature context:


Abstract:

Huntington's disease is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder caused by a CAG repeat expansion encoding a polyglutamine tract in the huntingtin (Htt) protein. Here we report a genome-wide overexpression suppressor screen in which we identified 317 ORFs that ameliorate the toxicity of a mutant Htt fragment in yeast and that have roles in diverse cellular processes, including mitochondrial import and copper metabolism. Two of these suppressors encode glutathione peroxidases (GPxs), which are conserved antioxidant enzymes that catalyze the reduction of hydrogen peroxide and lipid hydroperoxides. Using genetic and pharmacological approaches in yeast, mammalian cells and Drosophila, we found that GPx activity robustly ameliorates Huntington's disease-relevant metrics and is more protective than other antioxidant approaches tested here. Notably, we found that GPx activity, unlike many antioxidant treatments, does not inhibit autophagy, which is an important mechanism for clearing mutant Htt. Because previous clinical trials have indicated that GPx mimetics are well tolerated in humans, this study may have important implications for treating Huntington's disease.

Funding information:
  • NICHD NIH HHS - R01 HD060726(United States)

GABA(B) receptors play an essential role in maintaining sleep during the second half of the night in Drosophila melanogaster.

  • Gmeiner F
  • J. Exp. Biol.
  • 2013 Oct 15

Literature context:


Abstract:

GABAergic signalling is important for normal sleep in humans and flies. Here we advance the current understanding of GABAergic modulation of daily sleep patterns by focusing on the role of slow metabotropic GABAB receptors in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. We asked whether GABAB-R2 receptors are regulatory elements in sleep regulation in addition to the already identified fast ionotropic Rdl GABAA receptors. By immunocytochemical and reporter-based techniques we show that the pigment dispersing factor (PDF)-positive ventrolateral clock neurons (LNv) express GABAB-R2 receptors. Downregulation of GABAB-R2 receptors in the large PDF neurons (l-LNv) by RNAi reduced sleep maintenance in the second half of the night, whereas sleep latency at the beginning of the night that was previously shown to depend on ionotropic Rdl GABAA receptors remained unaltered. Our results confirm the role of the l-LNv neurons as an important part of the sleep circuit in D. melanogaster and also identify the GABAB-R2 receptors as the thus far missing component in GABA-signalling that is essential for sleep maintenance. Despite the significant effects on sleep, we did not observe any changes in circadian behaviour in flies with downregulated GABAB-R2 receptors, indicating that the regulation of sleep maintenance via l-LNv neurons is independent of their function in the circadian clock circuit.

Funding information:
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - U01 DK63795(United States)
  • NIMH NIH HHS - MH080310(United States)

The transcription factor Mef2 links the Drosophila core clock to Fas2, neuronal morphology, and circadian behavior.

  • Sivachenko A
  • Neuron
  • 2013 Jul 24

Literature context:


Abstract:

The transcription factor Mef2 regulates activity-dependent neuronal plasticity and morphology in mammals, and clock neurons are reported to experience activity-dependent circadian remodeling in Drosophila. We show here that Mef2 is required for this daily fasciculation-defasciculation cycle. Moreover, the master circadian transcription complex CLK/CYC directly regulates Mef2 transcription. ChIP-Chip analysis identified numerous Mef2 target genes implicated in neuronal plasticity, including the cell-adhesion gene Fas2. Genetic epistasis experiments support this transcriptional regulatory hierarchy, CLK/CYC- > Mef2- > Fas2, indicate that it influences the circadian fasciculation cycle within pacemaker neurons, and suggest that this cycle also contributes to circadian behavior. Mef2 therefore transmits clock information to machinery involved in neuronal remodeling, which contributes to locomotor activity rhythms.

Funding information:
  • NLM NIH HHS - LM-07079(United States)

The circadian clock network in the brain of different Drosophila species.

  • Hermann C
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2013 Feb 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Comparative studies on cellular and molecular clock mechanisms have revealed striking similarities in the organization of the clocks among different animal groups. To gain evolutionary insight into the properties of the clock network within the Drosophila genus, we analyzed sequence identities and similarities of clock protein homologues and immunostained brains of 10 different Drosophila species using antibodies against vrille (VRI), PAR-protein domain1 (PDP1), and cryptochrome (CRY). We found that the clock network of both subgenera Sophophora and Drosophila consists of all lateral and dorsal clock neuron clusters that were previously described in Drosophila melanogaster. Immunostaining against CRY and the neuropeptide pigment-dispersing factor (PDF), however, revealed species-specific differences. All species of the Drosophila subgenus and D. pseudoobscura of the Sophophora subgenus completely lacked CRY in the large ventrolateral clock neurons (lLN(v) s) and showed reduced PDF immunostaining in the small ventrolateral clock neurons (sLN(v) s). In contrast, we found the expression of the ion transport peptide (ITP) to be consistent within the fifth sLN(v) and one dorsolateral clock neuron (LN(d) ) in all investigated species, suggesting a conserved putative function of this neuropeptide in the clock. We conclude that the general anatomy of the clock network is highly conserved throughout the Drosophila genus, although there is variation in PDF and CRY expression. Our comparative study is a first step toward understanding the organization of the circadian clock in Drosophila species adapted to different habitats.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01 NS085232(United States)

Insulin/IGF-regulated size scaling of neuroendocrine cells expressing the bHLH transcription factor Dimmed in Drosophila.

  • Luo J
  • PLoS Genet.
  • 2013 Jan 3

Literature context:


Abstract:

Neurons and other cells display a large variation in size in an organism. Thus, a fundamental question is how growth of individual cells and their organelles is regulated. Is size scaling of individual neurons regulated post-mitotically, independent of growth of the entire CNS? Although the role of insulin/IGF-signaling (IIS) in growth of tissues and whole organisms is well established, it is not known whether it regulates the size of individual neurons. We therefore studied the role of IIS in the size scaling of neurons in the Drosophila CNS. By targeted genetic manipulations of insulin receptor (dInR) expression in a variety of neuron types we demonstrate that the cell size is affected only in neuroendocrine cells specified by the bHLH transcription factor DIMMED (DIMM). Several populations of DIMM-positive neurons tested displayed enlarged cell bodies after overexpression of the dInR, as well as PI3 kinase and Akt1 (protein kinase B), whereas DIMM-negative neurons did not respond to dInR manipulations. Knockdown of these components produce the opposite phenotype. Increased growth can also be induced by targeted overexpression of nutrient-dependent TOR (target of rapamycin) signaling components, such as Rheb (small GTPase), TOR and S6K (S6 kinase). After Dimm-knockdown in neuroendocrine cells manipulations of dInR expression have significantly less effects on cell size. We also show that dInR expression in neuroendocrine cells can be altered by up or down-regulation of Dimm. This novel dInR-regulated size scaling is seen during postembryonic development, continues in the aging adult and is diet dependent. The increase in cell size includes cell body, axon terminations, nucleus and Golgi apparatus. We suggest that the dInR-mediated scaling of neuroendocrine cells is part of a plasticity that adapts the secretory capacity to changing physiological conditions and nutrient-dependent organismal growth.

Funding information:
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - HL080079(United States)

Flies in the north: locomotor behavior and clock neuron organization of Drosophila montana.

  • Kauranen H
  • J. Biol. Rhythms
  • 2012 Oct 26

Literature context:


Abstract:

The circadian clock plays an important role in adaptation in time and space by synchronizing changes in physiological, developmental, and behavioral traits of organisms with daily and seasonal changes in their environment. We have studied some features of the circadian activity and clock organization in a northern Drosophila species, Drosophila montana, at both the phenotypic and the neuronal levels. In the first part of the study, we monitored the entrained and free-running locomotor activity rhythms of females in different light-dark and temperature regimes. These studies showed that D. montana flies completely lack the morning activity component typical to more southern Drosophila species in an entrained environment and that they are able to maintain their free-running locomotor activity rhythm better in constant light than in constant darkness. In the second part of the study, we traced the expression of the PDF neuropeptide and the CRY protein in the neurons of the brain in D. montana adults and found differences in the number and location of PDF- and CRY-expressing neurons compared with those described in Drosophila melanogaster. These differences could account, at least in part, for the lack of morning activity and the reduced circadian rhythmicity of D. montana flies in constant darkness, both of which are likely to be adaptive features during the long and dark winters occurring in nature.

Funding information:
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - U01-DK61249(United States)
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01GM085250(United States)

CULLIN-3 controls TIMELESS oscillations in the Drosophila circadian clock.

  • Grima B
  • PLoS Biol.
  • 2012 Aug 10

Literature context:


Abstract:

Eukaryotic circadian clocks rely on transcriptional feedback loops. In Drosophila, the PERIOD (PER) and TIMELESS (TIM) proteins accumulate during the night, inhibit the activity of the CLOCK (CLK)/CYCLE (CYC) transcriptional complex, and are degraded in the early morning. The control of PER and TIM oscillations largely depends on post-translational mechanisms. They involve both light-dependent and light-independent pathways that rely on the phosphorylation, ubiquitination, and proteasomal degradation of the clock proteins. SLMB, which is part of a CULLIN-1-based E3 ubiquitin ligase complex, is required for the circadian degradation of phosphorylated PER. We show here that CULLIN-3 (CUL-3) is required for the circadian control of PER and TIM oscillations. Expression of either Cul-3 RNAi or dominant negative forms of CUL-3 in the clock neurons alters locomotor behavior and dampens PER and TIM oscillations in light-dark cycles. In constant conditions, CUL-3 deregulation induces behavioral arrhythmicity and rapidly abolishes TIM cycling, with slower effects on PER. CUL-3 affects TIM accumulation more strongly in the absence of PER and forms protein complexes with hypo-phosphorylated TIM. In contrast, SLMB affects TIM more strongly in the presence of PER and preferentially associates with phosphorylated TIM. CUL-3 and SLMB show additive effects on TIM and PER, suggesting different roles for the two ubiquitination complexes on PER and TIM cycling. This work thus shows that CUL-3 is a new component of the Drosophila clock, which plays an important role in the control of TIM oscillations.

Funding information:
  • NHLBI NIH HHS - R01HL101190(United States)
  • Wellcome Trust - 089275(United Kingdom)

Peptidomics of the agriculturally damaging larval stage of the cabbage root fly Delia radicum (Diptera: Anthomyiidae).

  • Zoephel J
  • PLoS ONE
  • 2012 Jul 31

Literature context:


Abstract:

The larvae of the cabbage root fly induce serious damage to cultivated crops of the family Brassicaceae. We here report the biochemical characterisation of neuropeptides from the central nervous system and neurohemal organs, as well as regulatory peptides from enteroendocrine midgut cells of the cabbage maggot. By LC-MALDI-TOF/TOF and chemical labelling with 4-sulfophenyl isothiocyanate, 38 peptides could be identified, representing major insect peptide families: allatostatin A, allatostatin C, FMRFamide-like peptides, kinin, CAPA peptides, pyrokinins, sNPF, myosuppressin, corazonin, SIFamide, sulfakinins, tachykinins, NPLP1-peptides, adipokinetic hormone and CCHamide 1. We also report a new peptide (Yamide) which appears to be homolog to an amidated eclosion hormone-associated peptide in several Drosophila species. Immunocytochemical characterisation of the distribution of several classes of peptide-immunoreactive neurons and enteroendocrine cells shows a very similar but not identical peptide distribution to Drosophila. Since peptides regulate many vital physiological and behavioural processes such as moulting or feeding, our data may initiate the pharmacological testing and development of new specific peptide-based protection methods against the cabbage root fly and its larva.

Funding information:
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - P30-DK079307(United States)
  • NIH HHS - DP2OD006493-01(United States)

Cellular requirements for LARK in the Drosophila circadian system.

  • Sundram V
  • J. Biol. Rhythms
  • 2012 Jun 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

RNA-binding proteins mediate posttranscriptional functions in the circadian systems of multiple species. A conserved RNA recognition motif (RRM) protein encoded by the lark gene is postulated to serve circadian output and molecular oscillator functions in Drosophila and mammals, respectively. In no species, however, has LARK been eliminated, in vivo, to determine the consequences for circadian timing. The present study utilized RNA interference (RNAi) techniques in Drosophila to decrease LARK levels in clock neurons and other cell types in order to evaluate the circadian functions of the protein. Knockdown of LARK in timeless (TIM)- or pigment dispersing factor (PDF)-containing clock cells caused a significant number of flies to exhibit arrhythmic locomotor activity, demonstrating a requirement for the protein in pacemaker cells. There was no obvious effect on PER protein cycling in lark interference (RNAi) flies, but a knockdown within the PDF neurons was associated with increased PDF immunoreactivity at the dorsal termini of the small ventral lateral neuronal (s-LNv) projections, suggesting an effect on neuropeptide release. The expression of lark RNAi in multiple neurosecretory cell populations demonstrated that LARK is required within pacemaker and nonpacemaker cells for the manifestation of normal locomotor activity rhythms. Interestingly, decreased LARK function in the prothoracic gland (PG), a peripheral organ containing a clock required for the circadian control of eclosion, was associated with weak population eclosion rhythms or arrhythmicity.

Funding information:
  • NIAMS NIH HHS - R03 AR059942(United States)

Myoinhibitory peptides in the brain of the cockroach Leucophaea maderae and colocalization with pigment-dispersing factor in circadian pacemaker cells.

  • Schulze J
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2012 Apr 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Myoinhibitory peptides (MIPs) are a family of insect W(X(6))Wamides with inhibitory effects on visceral muscles and juvenile hormone synthesis. Although MIPs are widely distributed within the nervous system, a detailed analysis of their distribution and function in insect brains is still missing. We analyzed the distribution of MIPs in the brain of the cockroach Leucophaea maderae. We focused on the accessory medulla (AMe), a small neuropil near the medulla that acts as the master circadian clock. Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time of flight (MALDI-TOF) and Nano-LC electrospray ionization (ESI) mass spectrometry revealed five Lem-MIPs in preparations of the AMe and corpora cardiaca. The complete sequences of two of these peptides were identified. Immunocytochemistry revealed wide distribution of MIP-related peptides in the cockroach brain. The superior median protocerebrum, parts of the central complex, and the tritocerebrum showed particularly dense immunostaining. In contrast, only a few local interneurons were stained in the antennal lobe and a few extrinsic neurons in the mushroom body, including a giant neuron innervating the calyces. The noduli of the AMe showed dense immunostaining, and neurons in all AMe cell groups except the anterior neurons were labeled. Pigment-dispersing factor- (PDF) and MIP immunostaining was colocalized in two neurons of the AMe. No colocalization of MIP- and PDF immunostaining was detected in the anterior optic commissure, but two small PDF-immunoreactive commissural fibers near the posterior optic commissure showed colocalized MIP immunostaining. The results suggest that several MIPs participate in different functional circuits of the circadian system and are involved in multiple brain circuits of the Madeira cockroach.

Funding information:
  • Intramural NIH HHS - ZIA BC010638-07(United States)
  • NEI NIH HHS - R01 EY004067(United States)

A role for O-GlcNAcylation in setting circadian clock speed.

  • Kim EY
  • Genes Dev.
  • 2012 Mar 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Post-translational modifications of one or more central "clock" proteins, most notably time-of-day-dependent changes in phosphorylation, are critical for setting the pace of circadian (≅24 h) clocks. In animals, PERIOD (PER) proteins are the key state variable regulating circadian clock speed and undergo daily changes in abundance and cytoplasmic-nuclear distribution that are partly driven by a complex phosphorylation program. Here, we identify O-GlcNAcylation (O-GlcNAc) as a critical post-translational modification in circadian regulation that also contributes to setting clock speed. Knockdown or overexpression of Drosophila O-GlcNAc transferase (ogt) in clock cells either shortens or lengthens circadian behavioral rhythms, respectively. The Drosophila PERIOD protein (dPER) is a direct target of OGT and undergoes daily changes in O-GlcNAcylation, a modification that is mainly observed during the first half of the night, when dPER is predominantly located in the cytoplasm. Intriguingly, the timing of when dPER translocates from the cytoplasm to the nucleus is advanced or delayed in flies, wherein ogt expression is reduced or increased, respectively. Our results suggest that O-GlcNAcylation of dPER contributes to setting the correct pace of the clock by delaying the timing of dPER nuclear entry. In addition, OGT stabilizes dPER, suggesting that O-GlcNAcylation has multiple roles in circadian timing systems.

Funding information:
  • NINDS NIH HHS - R01-NS-091220(United States)

Adult-specific electrical silencing of pacemaker neurons uncouples molecular clock from circadian outputs.

  • Depetris-Chauvin A
  • Curr. Biol.
  • 2011 Nov 8

Literature context:


Abstract:

BACKGROUND: Circadian rhythms regulate physiology and behavior through transcriptional feedback loops of clock genes running within specific pacemaker cells. In Drosophila, molecular oscillations in the small ventral lateral neurons (sLNvs) command rhythmic behavior under free-running conditions releasing the neuropeptide PIGMENT DISPERSING FACTOR (PDF) in a circadian fashion. Electrical activity in the sLNvs is also required for behavioral rhythmicity. Yet, how temporal information is transduced into behavior remains unclear. RESULTS: Here we developed a new tool for temporal control of gene expression to obtain adult-restricted electrical silencing of the PDF circuit, which led to reversible behavioral arrhythmicity. Remarkably, PERIOD (PER) oscillations during the silenced phase remained unaltered, indicating that arrhythmicity is a direct consequence of the silenced activity. Accordingly, circadian axonal remodeling and PDF accumulation were severely affected during the silenced phase. CONCLUSIONS: Although electrical activity of the sLNvs is not a clock component, it coordinates circuit outputs leading to rhythmic behavior.

Funding information:
  • NEI NIH HHS - R01 EY014454(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)

Adult circadian behavior in Drosophila requires developmental expression of cycle, but not period.

  • Goda T
  • PLoS Genet.
  • 2011 Jul 13

Literature context:


Abstract:

Circadian clocks have evolved as internal time keeping mechanisms that allow anticipation of daily environmental changes and organization of a daily program of physiological and behavioral rhythms. To better examine the mechanisms underlying circadian clocks in animals and to ask whether clock gene expression and function during development affected subsequent daily time keeping in the adult, we used the genetic tools available in Drosophila to conditionally manipulate the function of the CYCLE component of the positive regulator CLOCK/CYCLE (CLK/CYC) or its negative feedback inhibitor PERIOD (PER). Differential manipulation of clock function during development and in adulthood indicated that there is no developmental requirement for either a running clock mechanism or expression of per. However, conditional suppression of CLK/CYC activity either via per over-expression or cyc depletion during metamorphosis resulted in persistent arrhythmic behavior in the adult. Two distinct mechanisms were identified that may contribute to this developmental function of CLK/CYC and both involve the ventral lateral clock neurons (LN(v)s) that are crucial to circadian control of locomotor behavior: (1) selective depletion of cyc expression in the LN(v)s resulted in abnormal peptidergic small-LN(v) dorsal projections, and (2) PER expression rhythms in the adult LN(v)s appeared to be affected by developmental inhibition of CLK/CYC activity. Given the conservation of clock genes and circuits among animals, this study provides a rationale for investigating a possible similar developmental role of the homologous mammalian CLOCK/BMAL1 complex.

Funding information:
  • NIEHS NIH HHS - 5U01ES017156(United States)

Synchronized bilateral synaptic inputs to Drosophila melanogaster neuropeptidergic rest/arousal neurons.

  • McCarthy EV
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2011 Jun 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Neuropeptide PDF (pigment-dispersing factor)-secreting large ventrolateral neurons (lLN(v)s) in the Drosophila brain regulate daily patterns of rest and arousal. These bilateral wake-promoting neurons are light responsive and integrate information from the circadian system, sleep circuits, and light environment. To begin to dissect the synaptic circuitry of the circadian neural network, we performed simultaneous dual whole-cell patch-clamp recordings of pairs of lLN(v)s. Both ipsilateral and contralateral pairs of lLN(v)s exhibit synchronous rhythmic membrane activity with a periodicity of ∼ 5-10 s. This rhythmic lLN(v) activity is blocked by TTX, voltage-gated sodium blocker, or α-bungarotoxin, nicotinic acetylcholine receptor antagonist, indicating that action potential-dependent cholinergic synaptic connections are required for rhythmic lLN(v) activity. Since injecting current into one neuron of the pair had no effect on the membrane activity of the other neuron of the pair, this suggests that the synchrony is attributable to bilateral inputs and not coupling between the pairs of lLN(v)s. To further elucidate the nature of these synaptic inputs to lLN(v)s, we blocked or activated a variety of neurotransmitter receptors and measured effects on network activity and ionic conductances. These measurements indicate the lLN(v)s possess excitatory nicotinic ACh receptors, inhibitory ionotropic GABA(A) receptors, and inhibitory ionotropic GluCl (glutamate-gated chloride) receptors. We demonstrate that cholinergic input, but not GABAergic input, is required for synchronous membrane activity, whereas GABA can modulate firing patterns. We conclude that neuropeptidergic lLN(v)s that control rest and arousal receive synchronous synaptic inputs mediated by ACh.

Funding information:
  • NIDA NIH HHS - U01DA025956(United States)

Distinct visual pathways mediate Drosophila larval light avoidance and circadian clock entrainment.

  • Keene AC
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2011 Apr 27

Literature context:


Abstract:

Visual organs perceive environmental stimuli required for rapid initiation of behaviors and can also entrain the circadian clock. The larval eye of Drosophila is capable of both functions. Each eye contains only 12 photoreceptors (PRs), which can be subdivided into two subtypes. Four PRs express blue-sensitive rhodopsin5 (rh5) and eight express green-sensitive rhodopsin6 (rh6). We found that either PR-subtype is sufficient to entrain the molecular clock by light, while only the Rh5-PR subtype is essential for light avoidance. Acetylcholine released from PRs confers both functions. Both subtypes of larval PRs innervate the main circadian pacemaker neurons of the larva, the neuropeptide PDF (pigment-dispersing factor)-expressing lateral neurons (LNs), providing sensory input to control circadian rhythms. However, we show that PDF-expressing LNs are dispensable for light avoidance, and a distinct set of three clock neurons is required. Thus we have identified distinct sensory and central circuitry regulating light avoidance behavior and clock entrainment. Our findings provide insights into the coding of sensory information for distinct behavioral functions and the underlying molecular and neuronal circuitry.

Funding information:
  • NCI NIH HHS - P30 CA92103(United States)

Circadian pacemaker coupling by multi-peptidergic neurons in the cockroach Leucophaea maderae.

  • Soehler S
  • Cell Tissue Res.
  • 2011 Mar 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Lesion and transplantation studies in the cockroach, Leucophaea maderae, have located its bilaterally symmetric circadian pacemakers necessary for driving circadian locomotor activity rhythms to the accessory medulla of the optic lobes. The accessory medulla comprises a network of peptidergic neurons, including pigment-dispersing factor (PDF)-expressing presumptive circadian pacemaker cells. At least three of the PDF-expressing neurons directly connect the two accessory medullae, apparently as a circadian coupling pathway. Here, the PDF-expressing circadian coupling pathways were examined for peptide colocalization by tracer experiments and double-label immunohistochemistry with antisera against PDF, FMRFamide, and Asn(13)-orcokinin. A fourth group of contralaterally projecting medulla neurons was identified, additional to the three known groups. Group one of the contralaterally projecting medulla neurons contained up to four PDF-expressing cells. Of these, three medium-sized PDF-immunoreactive neurons coexpressed FMRFamide and Asn(13)-orcokinin immunoreactivity. However, the contralaterally projecting largest PDF neuron showed no further peptide colocalization, as was also the case for the other large PDF-expressing medulla cells, allowing the easy identification of this cell group. Although two-thirds of all PDF-expressing medulla neurons coexpressed FMRFamide and orcokinin immunoreactivity in their somata, colocalization of PDF and FMRFamide immunoreactivity was observed in only a few termination sites. Colocalization of PDF and orcokinin immunoreactivity was never observed in any of the terminals or optic commissures. We suggest that circadian pacemaker cells employ axonal peptide sorting to phase-control physiological processes at specific times of the day.

Funding information:
  • Intramural NIH HHS - (United States)

PDF receptor expression reveals direct interactions between circadian oscillators in Drosophila.

  • Im SH
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2010 Jun 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

Daily rhythms of behavior are controlled by a circuit of circadian pacemaking neurons. In Drosophila, 150 pacemakers participate in this network, and recent observations suggest that the network is divisible into M and E oscillators, which normally interact and synchronize. Sixteen oscillator neurons (the small and large lateral neurons [LNvs]) express a neuropeptide called pigment-dispersing factor (PDF) whose signaling is often equated with M oscillator output. Given the significance of PDF signaling to numerous aspects of behavioral and molecular rhythms, determining precisely where and how signaling via the PDF receptor (PDFR) occurs is now a central question in the field. Here we show that GAL4-mediated rescue of pdfr phenotypes using a UAS-PDFR transgene is insufficient to provide complete behavioral rescue. In contrast, we describe a approximately 70-kB PDF receptor (pdfr) transgene that does rescue the entire pdfr circadian behavioral phenotype. The transgene is widely but heterogeneously expressed among pacemakers, and also among a limited number of non-pacemakers. Our results support an important hypothesis: the small LNv cells directly target a subset of the other crucial pacemaker neurons cells. Furthermore, expression of the transgene confirms an autocrine feedback signaling by PDF back to PDF-expressing cells. Finally, the results present an unexpected PDF receptor site: the large LNv cells appear to target a population of non-neuronal cells that resides at the base of the eye.

Funding information:
  • NIMH NIH HHS - K01 MH093809-01(United States)

The double-time protein kinase regulates the subcellular localization of the Drosophila clock protein period.

  • Cyran SA
  • J. Neurosci.
  • 2005 Jun 1

Literature context:


Abstract:

The Period (PER), Timeless (TIM), and Double-Time (DBT) proteins are essential components of one feedback loop in the Drosophila circadian molecular clock. PER and TIM physically interact. Coexpression of PER and TIM promotes their nuclear accumulation and influences the activity of DBT: although DBT phosphorylates and destabilizes PER, this is suppressed by TIM. Experiments using Drosophila cells in culture have indicated that PER can translocate to the nucleus without TIM and will repress transcription in a DBT-potentiated manner. In this study, we examined the control of PER subcellular localization in Drosophila clock cells in vivo. We found that PER can translocate to the nucleus in tim(01) null mutants but only if DBT kinase activity is inhibited. We also found that nuclear PER is a potent transcriptional repressor in dbt mutants in vivo without TIM. Thus, in vivo, DBT regulates PER subcellular localization, in addition to its previously documented role as a mediator of PER stability. However, DBT does not seem essential for transcriptional repression by PER. It was reported previously that overexpression of a second kinase, Shaggy (SGG)/Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3, accelerates PER nuclear accumulation. Here, we show that these effects of SGG on PER nuclear accumulation require TIM. We propose a revised clock model that incorporates this tight kinase regulation of PER and TIM nuclear entry.

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