Efthimios M. C. Skoulakis

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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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
Memory formation involves multiple molecular mechanisms, the nature and components of which are essential to understand these processes. Drosophila is a powerful model to identify genes important for the formation and storage of consolidated memories because the molecular mechanisms and dependence of these processes on particular brain regions appear to be(More)
Progress towards amelioration and eventual cure of human cognitive disorders requires understanding the molecular signaling mechanisms that normally govern learning and memory. The fly Drosophila melanogaster has been instrumental in the identification of molecules and signaling pathways essential for learning and memory, because genetic screens have(More)
The functional specialization or redundancy of the ubiquitous 14-3-3 proteins constitutes a fundamental question in their biology and stems from their highly conserved structure and multiplicity of coexpressed isotypes. We address this question in vivo using mutations in the two Drosophila 14-3-3 genes, leonardo (14-3-3zeta) and D14-3-3epsilon. We(More)