Study of Melipona quadrifasciata brain under operant learning using proteomic and phosphoproteomic analysis

Liudy G. Hernández, Carlos Henrique S. Garcia, Jaques M.F. De Souza, Gabriel C.N. Da Cruz, Luciana Karen Calábria, Antonio Mauricio Moreno, Foued S. Espindola, Deisy G. De Souza, Marcelo V. De Sousa

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Learning to anticipate events based on the predictive relationship between an action and an outcome (operant conditioning) is a form of associative learning shared by humans and most of other living beings, including invertebrates. Several behavioral studies on the mechanisms of operant conditioning have included Melipona quadrifasciata, a honey bee that is easily manipulated due to lack of sting. In this work, brain proteomes of Melipona bees trained using operant conditioning and untrained (control) bees were compared by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis analysis within pI range of 3-10 and 4–7; in order to find proteins specifically related to this type of associative learning.One protein was detected with differential protein abundance in the brains of trained bees, when compared to not trained ones, through computational gel imaging and statistical analysis. This protein was identified by peptide mass fingerprinting and MS/MS peptide fragmentation using a MALDI-TOF/TOF mass spectrometer as one isoform of arginine kinase monomer, apparently dephosphorylated. Brain protein maps were obtained by 2-DE (Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis) from a total proteins and phosphoproteins extract of the bee Melipona quadrifasciata. One isoform of arginine kinase, probably a dephosphorylated isoform, was significantly more abundant in the brain of trained bees using operant conditioning. Arginine kinase has been reported as an important enzyme of the energy releasing process in the visual system of the bee, but it may carry out additional and unexpected functions in the bee brain for learning process.

Idioma originalInglés
Número de artículoe20201317
PublicaciónAnais da Academia Brasileira de Ciencias
EstadoPublicada - 2023
Publicado de forma externa


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