Efthimios M. C. Skoulakis

Learn More
Mutations in the neuronal-specific microtubule-binding protein TAU are associated with several dementias and neurodegenerative diseases. However, the effects of elevated TAU accumulation on behavioral plasticity are unknown. We report that directed expression of wild-type vertebrate and Drosophila TAU in adult mushroom body neurons, centers for olfactory(More)
Development of neural circuitry relies on precise matching between correct synaptic partners and appropriate synaptic strength tuning. Adaptive developmental adjustments may emerge from activity and calcium-dependent mechanisms. Calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) has been associated with developmental synaptic plasticity, but its varied(More)
Tauopathies are a heterogeneous group of neurodegenerative dementias involving perturbations in the levels, phosphorylation, or mutations of the microtubule-binding protein Tau. The heterogeneous pathology in humans and model organisms suggests differential susceptibility of neuronal types to wild-type (WT) and mutant Tau. WT and mutant human Tau-encoding(More)
Members of the ubiquitous 14-3-3 family of proteins are abundantly expressed in metazoan neurons. The Drosophila 14-3-3zeta gene leonardo is preferentially expressed in adult mushroom bodies, centers of insect learning and memory. Mutants exhibit defects in olfactory learning and memory and physiological neuroplasticity at the neuromuscular junction.(More)
A common explanation of molecular recognition by the olfactory system posits that receptors recognize the structure or shape of the odorant molecule. We performed a rigorous test of shape recognition by replacing hydrogen with deuterium in odorants and asking whether Drosophila melanogaster can distinguish these identically shaped isotopes. We report that(More)
Loss of the RNA-binding fragile X protein [fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP)] results in a spectrum of cognitive deficits, the fragile X syndrome (FXS), while aging individuals with decreased protein levels present with a subset of these symptoms and tremor. The broad range of behavioral deficits likely reflects the ubiquitous distribution and(More)
Whether olfaction recognizes odorants by their shape, their molecular vibrations, or both remains an open and controversial question. A convenient way to address it is to test for odor character differences between deuterated and undeuterated odorant isotopomers, since these have identical ground-state conformations but different vibrational modes. In a(More)
Diminished responses to stimuli defined as habituation can serve as a gating mechanism for repetitive environmental cues with little predictive value and importance. We demonstrate that wild-type animals diminish their responses to electric shock stimuli with properties characteristic of short- and long-term habituation. We used spatially restricted(More)
The growing interest in studying social behaviours of swarming fruit flies, Drosophila melanogaster, has heightened the need for developing tools that provide quantitative motion data. To achieve such a goal, multi-camera three-dimensional tracking technology is the key experimental gateway. We have developed a novel tracking system for tracking hundreds of(More)
Osmotactic responses can be modified in an experience-dependent manner and have been used to condition animals in negative or positive associative paradigms. Experience-dependent non-associative defects in avoidance of aversive odors were reported in Drosophila learning mutants. This prompted an examination of the contribution of the mushroom bodies and(More)