The involvement of potassium channel ORK1 in short-term memory and sleep in Drosophila

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The sleep and cognitive dysfunction are common in major depressive disorders (MDDs). Recently, the 2-pore domain potassium channel twik-related K(+) channel 1 (TREK-1) has been identified to be closely related to the etiology of MDD. However, whether TREK-1 is involved in the regulation of sleep and cognition is still unknown.


The present study tried to dissect the role of outwardly rectifying K+ channel-1 (ORK1) (TREK-1 homolog in Drosophila) in sleep and cognition in Drosophila. The mutant and over-expressed lines of ork1 were generated using Drosophila genetics. Sleep analysis and short-term memory experiments were used to test sleep time and short-term memory of the mutant and over-expressed ORK1 lines, respectively.


Our results showed that the learning index of ork1 mutant lines was increased compared with the wild type. However, ork1 mutant could obviously decrease sleep time in Drosophila. Contrary to the ork1 mutant lines, we also found that ORK1 over-expression could increase sleep time and decreased learning index in Drosophila.


Results from this study suggest that ORK1 might play an important role in the regulation of sleep time and short-term memory in Drosophila.

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