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13 Publications

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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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