Transsynaptic mapping and manipulation of neural circuits in flies by trans-Tango - Gilad Barnea

Thursday, February 14, 2019

12:00 pm

Clark Center Auditorium Map

Sponsored by:
Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute

Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute Seminar Series Presents

Transsynaptic mapping and manipulation of neural circuits in flies by trans-Tango

Gilad Barneak, PhD

Doctors Fox Associate Professor of Ophthalmology, Visual Science, and Neuroscience

Brown University

Host: Ethan Richman (Deisseroth/Luo Lab)


I will present trans-Tango, a new technique for anterograde transsynaptic circuit

tracing and manipulation that we have established in fruit flies. At the core of

trans-Tango is a synthetic signaling pathway that is introduced into all neurons in

the animal. This pathway converts receptor activation at the cell-surface into

reporter expression through site-specific proteolysis. Specific labeling is achieved

by presenting a tethered ligand at the synapses of genetically defined neurons,

thereby activating the pathway in their postsynaptic partners. Activation of the

pathway culminates in expression of a reporter that can be visualized. Because

our system is modular, it can be easily adapted to experiments in which the

properties of specific circuits are modified and the functional consequences are

analyzed. We first validated trans-Tango in the Drosophila olfactory system and

then implemented it in the gustatory system, where projections beyond the firstorder

receptor neurons are not well characterized. We identified second-order

neurons within the sweet and bitter circuits and revealed that they target brain

areas involved in neuromodulation with similar but distinct projection patterns.

Using our studies in flies as proof of concept, we are currently establishing an

equivalent technique for labeling circuits in vertebrate models, such as mice and

zebrafish. These experiments establish trans-Tango as a flexible platform for

comprehensive transsynaptic analysis of neural circuits.

Thursday, February 14, 2019
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Clark Center Auditorium Map

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