The Drosophila agnostic Locus: Involvement in the Formation of Cognitive Defects in Williams Syndrome

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The molecular basis of the pathological processes that lead to genome disorders is similar both in invertebrates and mammals. Since cognitive impairments in Williams syndrome are caused by LIMK1 hemizygosity, could the spontaneous and mutant variants of the Drosophila limk1 gene serve as a model for studying two diagnostic features from three distinct cognitive defects of the syndrome? These two symptoms are the disturbance of visuospatial orientation and an unusualy strong fixation on the faces of other people during pairwise interaction with a stranger. An experimental approach to the first cognitive manifestation might be an analysis of the locomotor behavior of Drosophila larvae involving visuospatial orientation during the exploration of the surrounding environment. An approach to tackle the second manifestation might be an analysis of the most natural ways of contact between a male and a female during courtship (the first stage of this ritual is the orientation of a male towards a female and following the female with constant fixation on the female’s image). The present study of locomotor activity and cognitive repertoire in spontaneous and mutant variants of the Drosophila agnostic locus allows one to bridge alterations in the structure of the limk1 gene and behavior.

About the authors

Е. А. Nikitina

Pavlov Institute of Physiology RAS; Herzen State Pedagogical University

Author for correspondence.
Russian Federation

A. V. Medvedeva

Pavlov Institute of Physiology RAS; Saint-Petersburg State University

Russian Federation

G. А. Zakharov

Pavlov Institute of Physiology RAS; Saint-Petersburg State University

Russian Federation

Е. V. Savvateeva-Popova

Pavlov Institute of Physiology RAS; Saint-Petersburg State University

Russian Federation


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Copyright (c) 2014 Nikitina Е.А., Medvedeva A.V., Zakharov G.А., Savvateeva-Popova Е.V.

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