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Identification and characterization of behavioral phenotypes associated to mutations affecting the IRM family of cell adhesion proteins in Drosophila melanogaster

Grant number: 22/04983-8
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2022
Effective date (End): June 30, 2023
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Morphology - Embryology
Principal researcher:Ricardo Guelerman Pinheiro Ramos
Grantee:Vanessa Gomes Fornaziero
Home Institution: Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto (FMRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil


The cell adhesion proteins comprising the IRM (Irre cell-recognition module) are characterized by being evolutionarily conserved and form a functional module required in several processes during animal development, including aspects of nervous system differentiation and maturation such as axonal pathfinding and synaptogenesis. In humans, mutations affecting IRM functionality were correlated with conditions of moderate to severe cognitive deficiencies. The dipteran Drosophila melanogaster is being used very successfully as an experimental model for studying cognitive and behavioral defects. In this project, we propose its utilization to understand the developmental deficiencies that could be associated with IRM dysfunction in the nervous system. To this end behavioral phenotypes present in D. melanogaster IRM component mutants will be analyzed and characterized, in order to compare them with those previously observed in mammals. With this approach we expect to contribute to a better understanding of the general cellular and molecular mechanisms involved and, as a consequence, to identify and establish possible new therapeutic targets in humans.(AU)

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