Rsu1 regulates ethanol consumption in Drosophila and humans

Shamsideen A. Ojelade, Tianye Jia, Aylin R. Rodan, Tao Chenyang, Julie L. Kadrmas, Anna Cattrell, Barbara Ruggeri, Pimphen Charoen, Hervé Lemaitre, Tobias Banaschewski, Christian Büchel, Arun L W Bokde, Fabiana Carvalho, Patricia J. Conrod, Herta Flor, Vincent Frouin, Jürgen Gallinat, Hugh Garavan, Penny A. Gowland, Andreas HeinzBernd Ittermann, Mark Lathrop, Steven Lubbe, Jean Luc Martinot, Tomás Pausu, Michael N. Smolka, Rainer Spanagel, Paul F. O'Reilly, Jaana Laitinen, Juha M. Veijola, Jianfeng Feng, Sylvane Desrivières, Marjo Riitta Jarvelin, Gunter Schumann, Adrian Rothenfluh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Alcohol abuse is highly prevalent, but little is understood about the molecular causes. Here, we report that Ras suppressor 1 (Rsu1) affects ethanol consumption in flies and humans. Drosophila lacking Rsu1 show reduced sensitivity to ethanol-induced sedation. We show that Rsu1 is required in the adult nervous system for normal sensitivity and that it acts downstream of the integrin cell adhesion molecule and upstream of the Ras-related C3 botulinum toxin substrate 1 (Rac1) GTPase to regulate the actin cytoskeleton. In an ethanol preference assay, global loss of Rsu1 causes high naïve preference. In contrast, flies lacking Rsu1 only in the mushroom bodies of the brain show normal naïve preference but then fail to acquire ethanol preference like normal flies. Rsu1 is, thus, required in distinct neurons tomodulate naïve and acquired ethanol preference. In humans, we find that polymorphisms in RSU1 are associated with brain activation in the ventral striatum during reward anticipation in adolescents and alcohol consumption in both adolescents and adults. Together, these data suggest a conserved role for integrin/Rsu1/Rac1/actin signaling in modulating rewardrelated phenotypes, including ethanol consumption, across phyla.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E4085-E4093
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number30
StatePublished - Jul 28 2015


  • Actin
  • Addiction
  • Alcohol
  • Genetics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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