Ethan Bier UC San Diego
Molecular Genetic Analysis of the Drosophila Angelman Syndrome Gene
UBE3A, the gene when disrupted causes AS, is present in all animal and insect species, thus indicating how important it is for normal neuronal function. These investigators were able to identify the equivalent of the UBE3A gene in Drosophila, the fruit fly, and were able to manipulate it and change the expression of UBE3A in such a way that they learned more about other proteins that interact with the Drosophila equivalent of UBE3A. This interaction of other proteins proved to be important in understanding how UBE3A normally acts within brain cells and what happens to brain cells when UBE3A is disrupted.