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PNAS 101 (6): 1764-1768

Copyright © 2004 by the National Academy of Sciences.


Neuroscience

Notch is required for long-term memory in Drosophila

Asaf Presente, Randy S. Boyles, Christine N. Serway, J. Steven de Belle, and Andrew J. Andres *

Department of Biological Sciences, University of Nevada, 4505 Maryland Parkway, Las Vegas, NV 89154-4004

Communicated by Howard A. Nash, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, December 11, 2003

Received for publication October 10, 2003.

Abstract: A role for Notch in the elaboration of existing neural processes is emerging that is distinct from the increasingly well understood function of this gene in binary cell-fate decisions. Several research groups, by using a variety of organisms, have shown that Notch is important in the development of neural ultrastructure. Simultaneously, Presenilin (Psn) was identified both as a key mediator of Notch signaling and as a site of genetic lesions that cause early-onset Alzheimer's disease. Here we demonstrate that Notch loss of function produces memory deficits in Drosophila melanogaster. The effects are specific to long-term memory, which is thought to depend on ultrastructural remodeling. We propose that Notch plays an important role in the neural plasticity underlying consolidated memory.


Abbreviations: RNAi, RNA interference; PI, performance index; CS, Canton Special; UAS, upstream activating sequence; MB, mushroom body; AD, Alzheimer's disease.

* To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: andrew.andres{at}ccmail.nevada.edu.


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