Investigating the role of herzog in the Drosophila melanogaster brain : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Biochemistry at Massey University, Manawatu, New Zealand
Memory and cognitive disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease and age-associated memory loss, are common, but currently there is no cure or effective treatment. Better understanding of the pathways involved in memory and how disruptions within these occur may assist in the development of new treatments. To further dissect normal memory and how disruptions in these pathways affect long-term memory, it is vital to first understand which proteins are involved and their function within memory. Histone deacetylase 4 (HDAC4) plays an important role in memory and brain development in Drosophila melanogaster. Mutations in HDAC4 result in intellectual disability in humans and overexpression causes memory deficit in Drosophila. The phosphatase herzog was identified as a potential gene target of HDAC4 via a previous RNA-seq experiment. We found herzog to be highly expressed in the brain, especially in the mushroom body. No nuclear localisation of herzog was seen which contrasts to the localisation of human CTDSP1 suggesting they have diverged in regard to their functions and phosphatase targets. Drosophila eye development requires herzog, however mushroom body development, courtship learning and short-term memory does not require herzog.