Project Detail
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Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC) logo

Functional analysis of neurexin IV in Drosophila  

Dr. Zipursky and his colleagues are studying the role of the gene neurexin IV in brain development. The gene is the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster's homolog of the human autism-linked gene CNTNAP2, and it is believed to play a role in regulating the formation of connections between neurons in the brain. Zipursky's team plans to explore the gene's role in the fruit fly's visual system. Using the many tools available to manipulate genes in this well-studied model, the researchers will investigate the role of neurexin IV in various classes of neurons, such as those that sense light and those that relay visual information to the brain. The researchers will also analyze the functions of the handful of genes that have been shown to interact with neurexin IV. Together, these studies will provide a detailed picture of how neurexin IV regulates wiring in various types of neurons, and will set the stage for developing genetic screens to identify other components of the neurexin IV pathways. Zipursky and colleagues hope to use the Drosophila model to shed light on how neurexin IV — and by extension, the human CNTNAP2 — functions during development, and to identify neurexin-interacting genes whose human counterparts could also contribute to autism. Project Status


Funder Simons Foundation
Fiscal Year Funding $57,210.00
Project Number 140366
Principal Investigator Zipursky, Larry
Received ARRA Funding? No
Strategic Plan Question Question 4: Which Treatments And Interventions Will Help? (Interventions)
Strategic Plan Objective Green dot: Objective has greater than or equal to the recommended funding. 4SB. Standardize and validate at least 20 model systems (e.g., cellular and/or animal) that replicate features of ASD and will allow identification of specific molecular targets or neural circuits amenable to existing or new interventions by 2012. IACC Recommended Budget: $75,000,000 over 5 years.
Federal or Private? Private
Institution University of California, Los Angeles
State/Country California
Web Link 1 Functional analysis of neurexin IV in Drosophila (External web link)
Web Link 2 No URL available.
Web Link 3 No URL available.
History/Related Projects Functional analysis of neurexin IV in Drosophila | $148,746.00 | 2010 | 140366
Functional analysis of neurexin IV in Drosophila | $68,652.00 | 2011 | 140366
Functional analysis of neurexin IV in Drosophila | $0.00 | 2012 | 140366