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Gene Review

dnc  -  dunce

Drosophila melanogaster

Synonyms: CG10791, CG10792, CG10797, CG14267, CG14268, ...
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Disease relevance of dnc


Psychiatry related information on dnc


High impact information on dnc

  • In this study several chromosomal deletions and inversions that remove increasingly larger portions of the dnc gene from its 5' end and progressively more of the five known transcription start sites (tss) were used to assess the functions of the various transcriptional units [4].
  • In rutabaga (rut) with low cAMP levels, mobilization of vesicles from RP during tetanic stimulation was depressed, while it was enhanced in dunce (dnc) with high cAMP levels [5].
  • Furthermore, we demonstrate the presence of circadian rhythms in cAMP content in head tissues and show that dnc mutations increase the amplitude of daily cAMP peaks [6].
  • In situ hybridization demonstrated that dnc RNA was enriched in the mushroom body perikarya [7].
  • A probe representing the Drosophila dunce+ (dnc+) gene, the structural gene for a cAMP phosphodiesterase (PDEase), detects homologous sequences in many different organisms, including mouse, rat, and human [8].

Biological context of dnc

  • The diminished learning-memory capacity and synaptic transmission plasticity have been associated with altered cAMP levels since dnc affects the cAMP-specific phosphodiesterase and rut affects adenylate cyclase [9].
  • Altogether, the results indicate that the size and sequence heterogeneity of dnc transcripts results from transcription initiation at multiple sites, alternative splicing, and processes which generate different 3' ends [10].
  • Expression of a cDNA clone in yeast containing a large portion of the open reading frame produced cAMP PDEase activity identical in properties to the Drosophila enzyme affected by the dnc mutation [10].
  • This is consistent with previous reports of more severe learning defects in dnc and rut mutations than these PKA mutants and allows identification of the phenotypes involving long-term developmental regulation and those conferred by PKA [1].
  • Two mutants, rutabaga (rut) and dunce (dnc), which are defective in learning and in the activity of the cAMP cascade, show altered kinetics of sensory fatigue [11].

Anatomical context of dnc

  • Previous studies show that activity-induced facilitation and potentiation are disrupted at larval neuromuscular junctions in the memory mutants dunce (dnc) and rutabaga (rut) of Drosophila [9].
  • Altered cAMP metabolism by the dnc and rut mutations reduced response amplitude in the growth cone while prolonging the response within the soma [12].
  • In this report, overexpression of the dnc gene directed specifically to different olfactory receptor neuron subsets was used to produce dominant mutants [13].
  • Antibodies to the dnc PDE showed that the most intensely stained regions in the adult brain were the mushroom body neuropil--areas previously implicated in learning and memory [7].
  • Larvae dnc mutants lack facilitation and post-tetanic potentiation (PTP) at their motor end-plates; dnc mutants are also deficient in a form of phosphodiesterase, and exhibit abnormally high levels of cyclic adenosine 3',5'-monophosphate (cAMP) [14].

Associations of dnc with chemical compounds

  • At reduced Ca(2+) levels, decreased quantal content coupled with an increase in failure rate was seen in rut boutons and reduced pair-pulse facilitation were found in both rut and dnc mutants [1].
  • The dnc phenotype could be mimicked by normal neurons when perfused with dibutyryl cAMP (db-cAMP) or forskolin [15].
  • The currents in dnc and rut fibers showed strikingly altered responses to caffeine and W7 [16].
  • The dunce (dnc) gene in Drosophila codes for a cyclic adenosine monophosphate-specific phosphodiesterase (PDE) [17].

Regulatory relationships of dnc

  • Hybridization experiments with probes representing each of the three sequenced genes showed that only the SER1-related genes were differentially expressed in dnc mutants [18].

Other interactions of dnc

  • The dunce (dnc) and rutabaga (rut) mutations of Drosophila affect a cAMP-dependent phosphodiesterase and a Ca(2+)/CaM-regulated adenylyl cyclase, respectively [12].
  • The Drosophila mutants amnesiac, dunce (dnc), and rutabaga were isolated after associative conditioning tests, during which animals were trained to associate the presence of an odor with that of electric shocks (ES) [19].
  • Pharmacological and genetic studies indicated broader ranges of physiological alteration by dnc and rut mutations than either the acute effects of cAMP analogs or the available mutations that affect cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) activity [1].
  • Mutations altered both types of conditioned association suggested in the model, i.e., the association between the conditioned and unconditioned stimuli (lat, rut, dnc, amn, and P153) and the association between the conditioned stimulus and the aversive motivational system mediating the action of the unconditioned stimulus (P171) [20].
  • The Dunce gene of Drosophila: roles of Ca2+ and calmodulin in adenosine 3':5'-cyclic monophosphate-specific phosphodiesterase activity [21].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of dnc

  • The usefulness of this coculture system in studying presynaptic secretion mechanisms is illustrated by a series of studies on the cAMP pathway mutations, dunce (dnc) and PKA-RI, which disrupt a cAMP-specific phosphodiesterase and the regulatory subunit of cAMP-dependent protein kinase A, respectively [22].
  • Our experiments address a long-standing question in the genetic dissection of learning and memory of whether dnc is involved in physiological processes underlying learning [23].
  • Surprisingly, in situ hybridization and northern blotting using a probe specific for one of the four mammalian dnc homologs (mPDE2) reveals high levels of expression in the olfactory neuroepithelium [17].


  1. Role of cAMP cascade in synaptic stability and plasticity: ultrastructural and physiological analyses of individual synaptic boutons in Drosophila memory mutants. Renger, J.J., Ueda, A., Atwood, H.L., Govind, C.K., Wu, C.F. J. Neurosci. (2000) [Pubmed]
  2. A neuropeptide gene defined by the Drosophila memory mutant amnesiac. Feany, M.B., Quinn, W.G. Science (1995) [Pubmed]
  3. Identification of Drosophila mutant with memory defects after acquisition of conditioned reflex suppression of courtship. Kamyshev, N.G., Iliadi, K.G., Bragina, Y.V., Savvateeva-Popova, E.V., Tokmacheva, E.V., Preat, T. Neurosci. Behav. Physiol. (2000) [Pubmed]
  4. Genetic dissection of the learning/memory gene dunce of Drosophila melanogaster. Qiu, Y., Davis, R.L. Genes Dev. (1993) [Pubmed]
  5. Tetanic stimulation recruits vesicles from reserve pool via a cAMP-mediated process in Drosophila synapses. Kuromi, H., Kidokoro, Y. Neuron (2000) [Pubmed]
  6. Altered circadian pacemaker functions and cyclic AMP rhythms in the Drosophila learning mutant dunce. Levine, J.D., Casey, C.I., Kalderon, D.D., Jackson, F.R. Neuron (1994) [Pubmed]
  7. The cyclic AMP phosphodiesterase encoded by the Drosophila dunce gene is concentrated in the mushroom body neuropil. Nighorn, A., Healy, M.J., Davis, R.L. Neuron (1991) [Pubmed]
  8. Cloning and characterization of mammalian homologs of the Drosophila dunce+ gene. Davis, R.L., Takayasu, H., Eberwine, M., Myres, J. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1989) [Pubmed]
  9. Synaptic plasticity in Drosophila memory and hyperexcitable mutants: role of cAMP cascade. Zhong, Y., Budnik, V., Wu, C.F. J. Neurosci. (1992) [Pubmed]
  10. Characterization of the memory gene dunce of Drosophila melanogaster. Qiu, Y.H., Chen, C.N., Malone, T., Richter, L., Beckendorf, S.K., Davis, R.L. J. Mol. Biol. (1991) [Pubmed]
  11. Adaptation and fatigue of a mechanosensory neuron in wild-type Drosophila and in memory mutants. Corfas, G., Dudai, Y. J. Neurosci. (1990) [Pubmed]
  12. Regional calcium regulation within cultured Drosophila neurons: effects of altered cAMP metabolism by the learning mutations dunce and rutabaga. Berke, B., Wu, C.F. J. Neurosci. (2002) [Pubmed]
  13. The cAMP transduction cascade mediates olfactory reception in Drosophila melanogaster. Gomez-Diaz, C., Martin, F., Alcorta, E. Behav. Genet. (2004) [Pubmed]
  14. K(+)-channel blockers restore synaptic plasticity in the neuromuscular junction of dunce, a Drosophila learning and memory mutant. Delgado, R., Latorre, R., Labarca, P. Proc. Biol. Sci. (1992) [Pubmed]
  15. Reduced growth cone motility in cultured neurons from Drosophila memory mutants with a defective cAMP cascade. Kim, Y.T., Wu, C.F. J. Neurosci. (1996) [Pubmed]
  16. Differential modulation of potassium currents by cAMP and its long-term and short-term effects: dunce and rutabaga mutants of Drosophila. Zhong, Y., Wu, C.F. J. Neurogenet. (1993) [Pubmed]
  17. A mouse homolog of dunce, a gene important for learning and memory in Drosophila, is preferentially expressed in olfactory receptor neurons. Cherry, J.A., Davis, R.L. J. Neurobiol. (1995) [Pubmed]
  18. Levels of RNA from a family of putative serine protease genes are reduced in Drosophila melanogaster dunce mutants and are regulated by cyclic AMP. Yun, Y., Davis, R.L. Mol. Cell. Biol. (1989) [Pubmed]
  19. Decreased odor avoidance after electric shock in Drosophila mutants biases learning and memory tests. Préat, T. J. Neurosci. (1998) [Pubmed]
  20. Comparative studies of four Drosophila P-insertion mutants with memory defects. Bragina, Y.V., Kamyshev, N.G. Neurosci. Behav. Physiol. (2003) [Pubmed]
  21. The Dunce gene of Drosophila: roles of Ca2+ and calmodulin in adenosine 3':5'-cyclic monophosphate-specific phosphodiesterase activity. Walter, M.F., Kiger, J.A. J. Neurosci. (1984) [Pubmed]
  22. Spontaneous acetylcholine secretion from developing growth cones of Drosophila central neurons in culture: effects of cAMP-pathway mutations. Yao, W.D., Rusch, J., Poo, M., Wu, C.F. J. Neurosci. (2000) [Pubmed]
  23. Conditional rescue of the dunce learning/memory and female fertility defects with Drosophila or rat transgenes. Dauwalder, B., Davis, R.L. J. Neurosci. (1995) [Pubmed]
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