Genetic modulation of Rpd3 expression impairs long-term courtship memory in Drosophila

  • Fitzsimons H
  • Scott M
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Abstract

There is increasing evidence that regulation of local chromatin structure is a critical mechanism underlying the consolidation of long-term memory (LTM), however considerably less is understood about the specific mechanisms by which these epigenetic effects are mediated. Furthermore, the importance of histone acetylation in Drosophila memory has not been reported. The histone deacetylase (HDAC) Rpd3 is abundant in the adult fly brain, suggesting a post-mitotic function. Here, we investigated the role of Rpd3 in long-term courtship memory in Drosophila. We found that while modulation of Rpd3 levels predominantly in the adult mushroom body had no observed impact on immediate recall or one-hour memory, 24-hour LTM was severely impaired. Surprisingly, both overexpression as well as RNAi-mediated knockdown of Rpd3 resulted in impairment of long-term courtship memory, suggesting that the dose of Rpd3 is critical for normal LTM.

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