Editors' ChoiceNeurobiology

Fruit Flies and Mental Retardation

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science's STKE  15 Aug 2006:
Vol. 2006, Issue 348, pp. tw281
DOI: 10.1126/stke.3482006tw281

Neurotrypsin is a multidomain neuronal trypsin-like serine protease predominantly expressed in the developing and adult nervous system. A mutation in the human neurotrypsin gene is involved in nonsyndromic mental retardation. To gain further insight into the pathophysiology of mental retardation associated with neurotrypsin mutations, Didelot et al. investigated the Drosophila neurotrypsin ortholog, Tequila (Teq). They found that Teq mutants have a specific impairment of long-term memory and that teq messenger RNA is up-regulated during a short time window after spaced training. Tequila is specifically required in adult mushroom bodies, the insect memory centers, and impairment of long-term memory capacity after transient teq silencing is reversible.

G. Didelot, F. Molinari, P. Tchénio, D. Comas, E. Milhiet, A. Munnich, L. Colleaux, T. Preat, Tequila, a neurotrypsin ortholog, regulates long-term memory formation in Drosophila. Science 313, 851-853 (2006). [Abstract] [Full Text]