Adult movement defects associated with a CORL mutation in Drosophila display behavioral plasticity

Agapi Dimitriadou, Nasia Chatzianastasi, Panagiota I. Zacharaki, Mary Jane O'Connor, Samuel L. Goldsmith, Michael B. O'Connor, Christos Consoulas, Stuart J. Newfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The CORL family of CNS-specific proteins share a Smad-binding region with mammalian SnoN and c-Ski protooncogenes. In this family Drosophila CORL has two mouse and two human relatives. Roles for the mouse and human CORL proteins are largely unknown. Based on genome-wide association studies linking the human CORL proteins Fussel15 and Fussel18 with ataxia, we tested the hypothesis that dCORL mutations will cause adult movement disorders. For our initial tests, we conducted side by side studies of adults with the small deletion Df(4)dCORL and eight control strains. We found that deletion mutants exhibit three types of behavioral plasticity. First, significant climbing defects attributable to loss of dCORL are eliminated by age. Second, significant phototaxis defects due to loss of dCORL are partially ameliorated by age and are not due to faulty photoreceptors. Third, Df(4)dCORL males raised in groups have a lower courtship index than males raised as singles though this defect is not due to loss of dCORL. Subsequent tests showed that the climbing and phototaxis defects were phenocpied by dCORL21B and dCORL23C two CRISPR generated mutations. Overall, the finding that adult movement defects due to loss of dCORL are subject to age-dependent plasticity suggests new hypotheses for CORL functions in flies and mammals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1697-1706
Number of pages10
JournalG3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020


  • Ataxia
  • Climbing
  • Courtship
  • Fussel/SKOR
  • Phototaxis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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