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Keleman Lab / Publications
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9 Publications

Showing 1-9 of 9 results
06/05/17 | Drosophila courtship conditioning as a measure of learning and memory.
Koemans TS, Oppitz C, Donders RA, van Bokhoven H, Schenck A, Keleman K, Kramer JM
Journal of Visualized Experiments - Neuroscience . 2017-06-05(124):e55808. doi: 10.3791/55808

Many insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying learning and memory have been elucidated through the use of simple behavioral assays in model organisms such as the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogasterDrosophila is useful for understanding the basic neurobiology underlying cognitive deficits resulting from mutations in genes associated with human cognitive disorders, such as intellectual disability (ID) and autism. This work describes a methodology for testing learning and memory using a classic paradigm in Drosophilaknown as courtship conditioning. Male flies court females using a distinct pattern of easily recognizable behaviors. Premated females are not receptive to mating and will reject the male's copulation attempts. In response to this rejection, male flies reduce their courtship behavior. This learned reduction in courtship behavior is measured over time, serving as an indicator of learning and memory. The basic numerical output of this assay is the courtship index (CI), which is defined as the percentage of time that a male spends courting during a 10 min interval. The learning index (LI) is the relative reduction of CI in flies that have been exposed to a premated female compared to naïve flies with no previous social encounters. For the statistical comparison of LIs between genotypes, a randomization test with bootstrapping is used. To illustrate how the assay can be used to address the role of a gene relating to learning and memory, the pan-neuronal knockdown of Dihydroxyacetone phosphate acyltransferase (Dhap-at) was characterized here. The human ortholog of Dhap-atglyceronephosphate O-acyltransferase (GNPT), is involved in rhizomelic chondrodysplasia punctata type 2, an autosomal-recessive syndrome characterized by severe ID. Using the courtship conditioning assay, it was determined that Dhap-at is required for long-term memory, but not for short-term memory. This result serves as a basis for further investigation of the underlying molecular mechanisms.

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10/24/16 | RNA-binding profiles of Drosophila CPEB proteins Orb and Orb2.
Stepien BK, Oppitz C, Gerlach D, Dag U, Novatchkova M, Krüttner S, Stark A, Keleman K
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2016 Oct 24:. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1603715113

Localized protein translation is critical in many biological contexts, particularly in highly polarized cells, such as neurons, to regulate gene expression in a spatiotemporal manner. The cytoplasmic polyadenylation element-binding (CPEB) family of RNA-binding proteins has emerged as a key regulator of mRNA transport and local translation required for early embryonic development, synaptic plasticity, and long-term memory (LTM). Drosophila Orb and Orb2 are single members of the CPEB1 and CPEB2 subfamilies of the CPEB proteins, respectively. At present, the identity of the mRNA targets they regulate is not fully known, and the binding specificity of the CPEB2 subfamily is a matter of debate. Using transcriptome-wide UV cross-linking and immunoprecipitation, we define the mRNA-binding sites and targets of Drosophila CPEBs. Both Orb and Orb2 bind linear cytoplasmic polyadenylation element-like sequences in the 3' UTRs of largely overlapping target mRNAs, with Orb2 potentially having a broader specificity. Both proteins use their RNA-recognition motifs but not the Zinc-finger region for RNA binding. A subset of Orb2 targets is translationally regulated in cultured S2 cells and fly head extracts. Moreover, pan-neuronal RNAi knockdown of these targets suggests that a number of these targets are involved in LTM. Our results provide a comprehensive list of mRNA targets of the two CPEB proteins in Drosophila, thus providing insights into local protein synthesis involved in various biological processes, including LTM.

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Keleman LabFetter Lab
06/30/15 | Synaptic Orb2A Bridges Memory Acquisition and Late Memory Consolidation in Drosophila.
Krüttner S, Traunmüller L, Dag U, Jandrasits K, Stepien B, Iyer N, Fradkin LG, Noordermeer JN, Mensh BD, Keleman K
Cell Reports. 2015 Jun 30;11(12):1953-65. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2015.05.037

To adapt to an ever-changing environment, animals consolidate some, but not all, learning experiences to long-term memory. In mammals, long-term memory consolidation often involves neural pathway reactivation hours after memory acquisition. It is not known whether this delayed-reactivation schema is common across the animal kingdom or how information is stored during the delay period. Here, we show that, during courtship suppression learning, Drosophila exhibits delayed long-term memory consolidation. We also show that the same class of dopaminergic neurons engaged earlier in memory acquisition is also both necessary and sufficient for delayed long-term memory consolidation. Furthermore, we present evidence that, during learning, the translational regulator Orb2A tags specific synapses of mushroom body neurons for later consolidation. Consolidation involves the subsequent recruitment of Orb2B and the activity-dependent synthesis of CaMKII. Thus, our results provide evidence for the role of a neuromodulated, synapse-restricted molecule bridging memory acquisition and long-term memory consolidation in a learning animal.

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04/01/15 | Identification of genes that promote or inhibit olfactory memory formation in Drosophila.
Walkinshaw E, Gai Y, Farkas C, Richter D, Nicholas E, Keleman K, Davis RL
Genetics. 2015 Apr;199(4):1173-82. doi: 10.1534/genetics.114.173575

Genetic screens in Drosophila melanogaster and other organisms have been pursued to filter the genome for genetic functions important for memory formation. Such screens have employed primarily chemical or transposon-mediated mutagenesis and have identified numerous mutants including classical memory mutants, dunce and rutabaga. Here, we report the results of a large screen using panneuronal RNAi expression to identify additional genes critical for memory formation. We identified >500 genes that compromise memory when inhibited (low hits), either by disrupting the development and normal function of the adult animal or by participating in the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying memory formation. We also identified >40 genes that enhance memory when inhibited (high hits). The dunce gene was identified as one of the low hits and further experiments were performed to map the effects of the dunce RNAi to the α/β and γ mushroom body neurons. Additional behavioral experiments suggest that dunce knockdown in the mushroom body neurons impairs memory without significantly affecting acquisition. We also characterized one high hit, sickie, to show that RNAi knockdown of this gene enhances memory through effects in dopaminergic neurons without apparent effects on acquisition. These studies further our understanding of two genes involved in memory formation, provide a valuable list of genes that impair memory that may be important for understanding the neurophysiology of memory or neurodevelopmental disorders, and offer a new resource of memory suppressor genes that will aid in understanding restraint mechanisms employed by the brain to optimize resources.

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10/18/12 | Drosophila CPEB Orb2A mediates memory independent of Its RNA-binding domain.
Krüttner S, Stepien B, Noordermeer JN, Mommaas MA, Mechtler K, Dickson BJ, Keleman K
Neuron. 2012 Oct 18;76(2):383-95. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2012.08.028

Long-term memory and synaptic plasticity are thought to require the synthesis of new proteins at activated synapses. The CPEB family of RNA binding proteins, including Drosophila Orb2, has been implicated in this process. The precise mechanism by which these molecules regulate memory formation is however poorly understood. We used gene targeting and site-specific transgenesis to specifically modify the endogenous orb2 gene in order to investigate its role in long-term memory formation. We show that the Orb2A and Orb2B isoforms, while both essential, have distinct functions in memory formation. These two isoforms have common glutamine-rich and RNA-binding domains, yet Orb2A uniquely requires the former and Orb2B the latter. We further show that Orb2A induces Orb2 complexes in a manner dependent upon both its glutamine-rich region and neuronal activity. We propose that Orb2B acts as a conventional CPEB to regulate transport and/or translation of specific mRNAs, whereas Orb2A acts in an unconventional manner to form stable Orb2 complexes that are essential for memory to persist.

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09/06/12 | Dopamine neurons modulate pheromone responses in Drosophila courtship learning.
Keleman K, Vrontou E, Krüttner S, Yu JY, Kurtovic-Kozaric A, Dickson BJ
Nature. 2012 Sep 6;489(7414):145-9. doi: 10.1038/nature11345

Learning through trial-and-error interactions allows animals to adapt innate behavioural ‘rules of thumb’ to the local environment, improving their prospects for survival and reproduction. Naive Drosophila melanogaster males, for example, court both virgin and mated females, but learn through experience to selectively suppress futile courtship towards females that have already mated. Here we show that courtship learning reflects an enhanced response to the male pheromone cis-vaccenyl acetate (cVA), which is deposited on females during mating and thus distinguishes mated females from virgins. Dissociation experiments suggest a simple learning rule in which unsuccessful courtship enhances sensitivity to cVA. The learning experience can be mimicked by artificial activation of dopaminergic neurons, and we identify a specific class of dopaminergic neuron that is critical for courtship learning. These neurons provide input to the mushroom body (MB) γ lobe, and the DopR1 dopamine receptor is required in MBγ neurons for both natural and artificial courtship learning. Our work thus reveals critical behavioural, cellular and molecular components of the learning rule by which Drosophila adjusts its innate mating strategy according to experience.

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12/28/07 | Function of the Drosophila CPEB protein Orb2 in long-term courtship memory.
Keleman K, Krüttner S, Alenius M, Dickson BJ
Nature Neuroscience. 2007 Dec 28;10(12):1587-93. doi: 10.1038/nn1996

Both long-term behavioral memory and synaptic plasticity require protein synthesis, some of which may occur locally at specific synapses. Cytoplasmic polyadenylation element-binding (CPEB) proteins are thought to contribute to the local protein synthesis that underlies long-term changes in synaptic efficacy, but a role has not been established for them in the formation of long-term behavioral memory. We found that the Drosophila melanogaster CPEB protein Orb2 is acutely required for long-term conditioning of male courtship behavior. Deletion of the N-terminal glutamine-rich region of Orb2 resulted in flies that were impaired in their ability to form long-term, but not short-term, memory. Memory was restored by expressing Orb2 selectively in fruitless (fru)-positive gamma neurons of the mushroom bodies and by providing Orb2 function in mushroom bodies only during and shortly after training. Our data thus demonstrate that a CPEB protein is important in long-term memory and map the molecular, spatial and temporal requirements for its function in memory formation.

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07/12/07 | A genome-wide transgenic RNAi library for conditional gene inactivation in Drosophila.
Dietzl G, Chen D, Schnorrer F, Su K, Barinova Y, Fellner M, Gasser B, Kinsey K, Oppel S, Scheiblauer S, Couto A, Marra V, Keleman K, Dickson BJ
Nature. 2007 Jul 12;448(7150):151-6. doi: 10.1038/nature05954

Forward genetic screens in model organisms have provided important insights into numerous aspects of development, physiology and pathology. With the availability of complete genome sequences and the introduction of RNA-mediated gene interference (RNAi), systematic reverse genetic screens are now also possible. Until now, such genome-wide RNAi screens have mostly been restricted to cultured cells and ubiquitous gene inactivation in Caenorhabditis elegans. This powerful approach has not yet been applied in a tissue-specific manner. Here we report the generation and validation of a genome-wide library of Drosophila melanogaster RNAi transgenes, enabling the conditional inactivation of gene function in specific tissues of the intact organism. Our RNAi transgenes consist of short gene fragments cloned as inverted repeats and expressed using the binary GAL4/UAS system. We generated 22,270 transgenic lines, covering 88% of the predicted protein-coding genes in the Drosophila genome. Molecular and phenotypic assays indicate that the majority of these transgenes are functional. Our transgenic RNAi library thus opens up the prospect of systematically analysing gene functions in any tissue and at any stage of the Drosophila lifespan.

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Pastalkova LabKeleman Lab
02/18/03 | Operant behavior can be triggered by the position of the rat relative to objects rotating on an inaccessible platform.
Pastalkova E, Kelemen E, Bures J
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2003 Feb 18;100(4):2094-9. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0438002100

The present study describes a task testing the ability of rats to trigger operant behavior by their relative spatial position to inaccessible rotating objects. Rats were placed in a Skinner box with a transparent front wall through which they could observe one or two adjacent objects fixed on a slowly rotating arena (d = 1 m) surrounded by an immobile black cylinder. The direction of arena rotation was alternated at a sequence of different time intervals. Rats were reinforced for the first bar-press that was emitted when a radius separating the two adjacent objects or dividing a single object into two halves (pointing radius) entered a 60 degrees sector of its circular trajectory defined with respect to the stationary Skinner box (reward sector). Well trained rats emitted 62.1 +/- 3.6% of responses in a 60 degrees sector preceding the reward sector and in the first 30 degrees of the reward sector. Response rate increased only when the pointing radius was approaching the reward sector, regardless of the time elapsed from the last reward. In the extinction session, when no reward was delivered, rats responded during the whole passage of the pointing radius through the former reward sector and spontaneously decreased responding after the pointing radius left this area. This finding suggests that rats perceived the reward sector as a continuous single region. The same results were obtained when the Skinner box with the rat was orbiting around the immobile scene. It is concluded that rats can recognize and anticipate their position relative to movable objects.

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