The Drosophila FMRP and LARK RNA-binding proteins function together to regulate eye development and circadian behavior

J Neurosci. 2008 Oct 8;28(41):10200-5. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2786-08.2008.


Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most common form of hereditary mental retardation. FXS patients have a deficit for the fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) that results in abnormal neuronal dendritic spine morphology and behavioral phenotypes, including sleep abnormalities. In a Drosophila model of FXS, flies lacking the dfmr1 protein (dFMRP) have abnormal circadian rhythms apparently as a result of altered clock output. In this study, we present biochemical and genetic evidence that dFMRP interacts with a known clock output component, the LARK RNA-binding protein. Our studies demonstrate physical interactions between dFMRP and LARK, that the two proteins are present in a complex in vivo, and that LARK promotes the stability of dFMRP. Furthermore, we show genetic interactions between the corresponding genes indicating that dFMRP and LARK function together to regulate eye development and circadian behavior.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology*
  • Circadian Rhythm / genetics
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Drosophila / growth & development
  • Drosophila / physiology*
  • Drosophila Proteins / genetics
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism*
  • Eye / growth & development*
  • Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein / genetics
  • Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein / metabolism*
  • Fragile X Syndrome
  • Larva / metabolism
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*


  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Lark protein, Drosophila
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein