Functional characterisation of human synaptic genes expressed in the Drosophila brain

Lysimachos Zografos, Joanne Tang, Franziska Hesse, Erich E. Wanker, Ka Wan Li, August B. Smit, R. Wayne Davies, J. Douglas Armstrong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Drosophila melanogaster is an established and versatile model organism. Here we describe and make available a collection of transgenic Drosophila strains expressing human synaptic genes. The collection can be used to study and characterise human synaptic genes and their interactions and as controls for mutant studies. It was generated in a way that allows the easy addition of new strains, as well as their combination. In order to highlight the potential value of the collection for the characterisation of human synaptic genes we also use two assays, investigating any gain-of-function motor and/or cognitive phenotypes in the strains in this collection. Using these assays we show that among the strains made there are both types of gain-of-function phenotypes investigated. As an example, we focus on the three strains expressing human tyrosine protein kinase Fyn, the small GTPase Rap1a and human Arc, respectively. Of the three, the first shows a cognitive gain-of-function phenotype while the second a motor gain-of-function phenotype. By contrast, Arc, which has no Drosophila ortholog, shows no gain-of-function phenotype.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)662-667
Number of pages6
JournalBiology Open
Issue number5
Early online date11 Apr 2016
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2016

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