A role for SK channels in synaptic plasticity has been very well-characterized. However, in the absence of simple genetic animal models, their role in behavioral memory remains elusive. Here, we take advantage of Drosophila melanogaster with its single SK gene (dSK) and well-established courtship memory assay to investigate the contribution of this channel to memory. Using two independent dSK alleles, a null mutation and a dominant negative subunit, we show that while dSK negatively regulates the acquisition of short-term memory 30 min after a short training session, it is required for normal long-term memory 24 h after extended training. These findings highlight important functions for dSK in courtship memory and suggest that SK channels can mediate multiple forms of behavioral plasticity.
Abou Tayoun, Ahmad N.; Pikielny, Claudio; and Dolph, Patrick J., "Roles of the Drosophila SK Channel (dSK) in Courtship Memory" (2012). Open Dartmouth: Faculty Open Access Articles. 3177.