Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Detailed phenotypic analysis of flies lacking activity of Nf1, which is associated with neurofibromatosis

King LB, Koch M, Murphy K, Velazquez Y, Ja WW, Tomchik SM. Neurofibromin Loss of Function Drives Excessive Grooming in Drosophila. G3 (Bethesda). 2016 Feb 19. PMID: 26896440.

From the abstract: "Neurofibromatosis I is a common genetic disorder that results in tumor formation and predisposes individuals to a range of cognitive/behavioral symptoms, including deficits in attention, visuospatial skills, learning, language development, sleep, and autism spectrum disorder-like traits. ... Drosophila provide a powerful platform to investigate the signaling cascades upstream and downstream of Nf1, and the fly model exhibits similar behavioral phenotypes to mammalian models. In order to understand how loss of Nf1 affects motor behavior in flies, we combined traditional activity monitoring with video analysis of grooming behavior. In nf1 mutants, spontaneous grooming was increased up to 7x. ... Overall, these data suggest that loss of nf1 produces excessive activity that is manifested as increased grooming, providing a platform to dissect the molecular genetics of neurofibromin signaling across neuronal circuits."

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