Neuroligins Nlg2 and Nlg4 Affect Social Behavior in Drosophila melanogaster
Corthals, Kristina ; Heukamp, Alina Sophia ; Kossen, Robert ; Großhennig, Isabel ; Hahn, Nina ; Gras, Heribert ; Göpfert, Martin C. ; Heinrich, Ralf et al.
Zitierfähiger Link (URL): http://resolver.sub.uni-goettingen.de/purl?gs-1/14580
The genome of Drosophila melanogaster includes homologs to approximately one-third of the currently known human disease genes. Flies and humans share many biological processes, including the principles of information processing by excitable neurons, synaptic transmission, and the chemical signals involved in intercellular communication. Studies on the molecular and behavioral impact of genetic risk factors of human neuro- developmental disorders [autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), schizophrenia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorders, and Tourette syndrome] increasingly use the well-studied social behavior of D. melanogaster, an organism that is amenable to a large variety of genetic manipulations. Neuroligins (Nlgs) are a family of phylogenetically conserved postsynaptic adhesion molecules present (among others) in nematodes, insects, and mammals. Impaired function of Nlgs (particularly of Nlg 3 and 4) has been associated with ASDs in humans and impaired social and communication behavior in mice. Making use of a set of behavioral and social assays, we, here, analyzed the impact of two Drosophila Nlgs, Dnlg2 and Dnlg4, which are differentially expressed at excitatory and inhibitory central nervous synapses, respectively. Both Nlgs seem to be associated with diurnal activity and social behavior. Even though deficiencies in Dnlg2 and Dnlg4 appeared to have no effects on sensory or motor systems, they differentially impacted on social interactions, suggesting that social behavior is distinctly regulated by these Nlgs.
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