Mushroom body subsets encode CREB2-dependent water-reward long-term memory in Drosophila

Wang Pao Lee, Meng Hsuan Chiang, Li Yun Chang, Jhen Yi Lee, Ya Lun Tsai, Tai Hsiang Chiu, Hsueh Cheng Chiang, Tsai Feng Fu, Tony Wu, Chia Lin Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Long-term memory (LTM) formation depends on the conversed cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB)-dependent gene transcription followed by de novo protein synthesis. Thirsty fruit flies can be trained to associate an odor with water reward to form water-reward LTM (wLTM), which can last for over 24 hours without a significant decline. The role of de novo protein synthesis and CREB-regulated gene expression changes in neural circuits that contribute to wLTM remains unclear. Here, we show that acute inhibition of protein synthesis in the mushroom body (MB) αβ or γ neurons during memory formation using a cold-sensitive ribosome-inactivating toxin disrupts wLTM. Furthermore, adult stage-specific expression of dCREB2b in αβ or γ neurons also disrupts wLTM. The MB αβ and γ neurons can be further classified into five different neuronal subsets including αβ core, αβ surface, αβ posterior, γ main, and γ dorsal. We observed that the neurotransmission from αβ surface and γ dorsal neuron subsets is required for wLTM retrieval, whereas the αβ core, αβ posterior, and γ main are dispensable. Adult stage-specific expression of dCREB2b in αβ surface and γ dorsal neurons inhibits wLTM formation. In vivo calcium imaging revealed that αβ surface and γ dorsal neurons form wLTM traces with different dynamic properties, and these memory traces are abolished by dCREB2b expression. Our results suggest that a small population of neurons within the MB circuits support long-term storage of water-reward memory in Drosophila.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1008963
JournalPLoS genetics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Aug

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Cancer Research


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