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A conserved function of c. elegans CASY-1 calsyntenin in associative learning


Hoerndli, F J; Walser, M; Fröhli Hoier, E; de Quervain, D; Papassotiropoulos, A; Hajnal, A (2009). A conserved function of c. elegans CASY-1 calsyntenin in associative learning. PLoS ONE, 4(3):e4880.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Whole-genome association studies in humans have enabled the unbiased discovery of new genes associated with human memory performance. However, such studies do not allow for a functional or causal testing of newly identified candidate genes. Since polymorphisms in Calsyntenin 2 (CLSTN2) showed a significant association with episodic memory performance in humans, we tested the C. elegans CLSTN2 ortholog CASY-1 for possible functions in the associative behavior of C. elegans. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using three different associative learning paradigms and functional rescue experiments, we show that CASY-1 plays an important role during associative learning in C. elegans. Furthermore, neuronal expression of human CLSTN2 in C. elegans rescues the learning defects of casy-1 mutants. Finally, genetic interaction studies and neuron-specific expression experiments suggest that CASY-1 may regulate AMPA-like GLR-1 glutamate receptor signaling. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Our experiments demonstrate a remarkable conservation of the molecular function of Calsyntenins between nematodes and humans and point at a role of C. elegans casy-1 in regulating a glutamate receptor signaling pathway.

BACKGROUND: Whole-genome association studies in humans have enabled the unbiased discovery of new genes associated with human memory performance. However, such studies do not allow for a functional or causal testing of newly identified candidate genes. Since polymorphisms in Calsyntenin 2 (CLSTN2) showed a significant association with episodic memory performance in humans, we tested the C. elegans CLSTN2 ortholog CASY-1 for possible functions in the associative behavior of C. elegans. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using three different associative learning paradigms and functional rescue experiments, we show that CASY-1 plays an important role during associative learning in C. elegans. Furthermore, neuronal expression of human CLSTN2 in C. elegans rescues the learning defects of casy-1 mutants. Finally, genetic interaction studies and neuron-specific expression experiments suggest that CASY-1 may regulate AMPA-like GLR-1 glutamate receptor signaling. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Our experiments demonstrate a remarkable conservation of the molecular function of Calsyntenins between nematodes and humans and point at a role of C. elegans casy-1 in regulating a glutamate receptor signaling pathway.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Molecular Life Sciences
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute for Regenerative Medicine (IREM)
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:16 March 2009
Deposited On:16 Mar 2009 16:15
Last Modified:04 Sep 2016 07:47
Publisher:Public Library of Science (PLoS)
ISSN:1932-6203
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0004880
PubMed ID:19287492
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-17799

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