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Review of 'Drosophila SLC22A Transporter Is a Memory Suppressor Gene that Influences Cholinergic Neurotransmission to the Mushroom Bodies.'

this paper should have failed at peer review.
Average rating:
    Rated 2 of 5.
Level of importance:
    Rated 2 of 5.
Level of validity:
    Rated 2 of 5.
Level of completeness:
    Rated 1 of 5.
Level of comprehensibility:
    Rated 3 of 5.
Competing interests:

Reviewed article

  • Record: found
  • Abstract: found
  • Article: not found

Drosophila SLC22A Transporter Is a Memory Suppressor Gene that Influences Cholinergic Neurotransmission to the Mushroom Bodies.

The mechanisms that constrain memory formation are of special interest because they provide insights into the brain's memory management systems and potential avenues for correcting cognitive disorders. RNAi knockdown in the Drosophila mushroom body neurons (MBn) of a newly discovered memory suppressor gene, Solute Carrier DmSLC22A, a member of the organic cation transporter family, enhances olfactory memory expression, while overexpression inhibits it. The protein localizes to the dendrites of the MBn, surrounding the presynaptic terminals of cholinergic afferent fibers from projection neurons (Pn). Cell-based expression assays show that this plasma membrane protein transports cholinergic compounds with the highest affinity among several in vitro substrates. Feeding flies choline or inhibiting acetylcholinesterase in Pn enhances memory, an effect blocked by overexpression of the transporter in the MBn. The data argue that DmSLC22A is a memory suppressor protein that limits memory formation by helping to terminate cholinergic neurotransmission at the Pn:MBn synapse.

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    Review text

    The paper introduction lacks completely in refering to the literature coming form outside of the lab, self-citation is so high that we can easily define it as unethical.

    Author used the term "memory enhancement" while the data do not tell whether the flies have a better learning or a better memory. A higher valuation of the US (electric shock) can explain the phenotypes reported in the first figures. Indeed fig 5E seem to back up this interpretation. The interpretation of the data is therefore misleading and the gene in question is probably involved in the "punishment signal pathway".

    The specificity of the antibody used seem not to have been tested. Although fig. 2 suggest the antibody recognize the protein expressed, it does suggest another protein (at 90 kD) might be recognized too. This makes the results of the Fig. 3 about the protein localisation questionable.


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