Tissue-specific transcription of the neuronal gene Lim3 affects Drosophila melanogaster lifespan and locomotion
A protein-trap screen using the Drosophila neuromuscular junction (NMJ) as a model synapse was performed to identify genes that control synaptic structure or plasticity. We found that Shaggy (Sgg), the Drosophila homolog of the mammalian glycogen synthase kinases 3 alpha and beta, two serine-threonine kinases, was concentrated at this synapse. Using various combinations of mutant alleles of shaggy, we found that Shaggy negatively controlled the NMJ growth. Moreover, tissue-specific expression of a dominant-negative Sgg indicated that this kinase is required in the motoneuron, but not in the muscle, to control NMJ growth. Finally, we show that Sgg controlled the microtubule cytoskeleton dynamics in the motoneuron and that Futsch, a microtubule-associated protein, was required for Shaggy function on synaptic growth.