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CASY-1, an ortholog of calsyntenins/alcadeins, is essential for learning in Caenorhabditis elegans

By Daisuke D. Ikeda, Yukan Duan, Masahiro Matsuki, Hirofumi Kunitomo, Harald Hutter, Edward M. Hedgecock and Yuichi Iino


Calsyntenins/alcadeins are type I transmembrane proteins with two extracellular cadherin domains highly expressed in mammalian brain. They form a tripartite complex with X11/X11L and APP (amyloid precursor protein) and are proteolytically processed in a similar fashion to APP. Although a genetic association of calsyntenin-2 with human memory performance has recently been reported, physiological roles and molecular functions of the protein in the nervous system are poorly understood. Here, we show that CASY-1, the Caenorhabditis elegans ortholog of calsyntenins/alcadeins, is essential for multiple types of learning. Through a genetic screen, we found that casy-1 mutants show defects in salt chemotaxis learning. casy-1 mutants also show defects in temperature learning, olfactory adaptation, and integration of two sensory signals. casy-1 is widely expressed in the nervous system. Expression of casy-1 in a single sensory neuron and at the postdevelopmental stage is sufficient for its function in salt chemotaxis learning. The fluorescent protein-tagged ectodomain of CASY-1 is released from neurons. Moreover, functional domain analyses revealed that both cytoplasmic and transmembrane domains of this protein are dispensable, whereas the ectodomain, which contains the LG/LNS-like domain, is critically required for learning. These results suggest that learning is modulated by the released ectodomain of CASY-1

Topics: Biological Sciences
Publisher: National Academy of Sciences
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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