skip to main content


Title: UNC-33L partially rescues life span and locomotion defects in unc-33 mutants but fails to rescue dauer formation defects.
Herein, we tested the ability of UNC-33L to rescue dauer formation, lifespan, and locomotion defects of unc-33(mn407) mutants. Results show that the presence of UNC-33L does not rescue the defective dauer phenotype in unc-33(mn407) mutants. However, UNC-33L significantly rescued premature death and uncoordinated locomotion in young unc-33(mn407) adults. The degree of UNC-33L-mediated rescue was less noticeable as the nematodes aged, denoting that both age and the presence of UNC-33L interact in the production of the phenotypes.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
1748523
NSF-PAR ID:
10322853
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
microPublication biology
ISSN:
2578-9430
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Collapsin response mediator protein-2 (CRMP2) in humans, UNC-33 in C. elegans , is a molecule that mediates axonal outgrowth and stability. UNC-33/CRMP2 has been hypothesized as a potential drug target for treating Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases, which can often be attributed in part to aging. In aging, CRMP2 becomes hyperphosphorylated, which decreases the protein’s functionality, destabilizes the cellular skeleton, and contributes to neurodegeneration. In C. elegans, aging can be slowed by entering dauer diapause; a non-aging developmental stage turned on when the DAF-7/TGFβ signaling pathway is silenced in response to environmental stressors. In our laboratory, we discovered that unc-33 mutants are unable to form dauers in response to environmental stressors, but the mechanism behind this is still unknown. Here, we present a study that investigates whether a mutation in the daf-7 gene which leads to a temperature sensitive constitutive dauer phenotype can rescue phenotypes characteristic of unc-33 mutants. To this end, we created unc-33 ; daf-7 double mutants and quantified proper dauer formation after exposure to unfavorable environmental conditions. In addition, we tested how the introduction of the daf-7 mutation would affect the locomotion of the double mutants on an agar plate and a liquid medium. Furthermore, we examined axonal elongation of the double mutants using a transgene, juIs76, which expresses GFP in GABAergic motor neurons. Our analysis of unc-33; daf-7 double mutants showed that introducing the daf-7 mutation into an unc-33 mutant rescued dauer formation. However, further studies revealed that the unc-33; daf-7 double mutants had defects in axonal outgrowth of their D-type motor neuron which had been previously seen in unc-33 single mutants and impaired locomotion. Based on these results, we concluded that unc-33 mutants might have a problem suppressing DAF-7 signaling under unfavorable environmental conditions, leading to the activation of reproductive programs and the development of adults instead of dauers. 
    more » « less
  2. Environmental factors such as prenatal stress are hypothesized to contribute to the development of schizophrenia. Lee and colleagues determined rats exposed to prenatal stress exhibited decreased levels of only one protein, DPYSL2, in their prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. DYPSL2, a protein seen to be inactivated in schizophrenic patients, is important for neuronal development. The C. elegans homolog of DPYSL2, UNC-33, is also found to be critical for axonal outgrowth and synapse formation. Herein, we study the effects of environmental stressors such as increasing temperatures and pathogens on the expression of GFP driven by the unc-33 promoter. Results indicate that neuronal GFP expression was lower in C. elegans exposed to these prenatal stressors, making this the first report denoting an environmental regulation of the unc-33 promoter. This study provides insight into unc-33 and the regulation of its expression in relation to temperature and infection. 
    more » « less
  3. Abstract

    Activated Gαq signals through phospholipase-Cβ and Trio, a Rho GTPase exchange factor (RhoGEF), but how these distinct effector pathways promote cellular responses to neurotransmitters like serotonin remains poorly understood. We used the egg-laying behavior circuit of Caenorhabditis elegans to determine whether phospholipase-Cβ and Trio mediate serotonin and Gαq signaling through independent or related biochemical pathways. Our genetic rescue experiments suggest that phospholipase-Cβ functions in neurons while Trio Rho GTPase exchange factor functions in both neurons and the postsynaptic vulval muscles. While Gαq, phospholipase-Cβ, and Trio Rho GTPase exchange factor mutants fail to lay eggs in response to serotonin, optogenetic stimulation of the serotonin-releasing HSN neurons restores egg laying only in phospholipase-Cβ mutants. Phospholipase-Cβ mutants showed vulval muscle Ca2+ transients while strong Gαq and Trio Rho GTPase exchange factor mutants had little or no vulval muscle Ca2+ activity. Treatment with phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate that mimics 1,2-diacylglycerol, a product of PIP2 hydrolysis, rescued egg-laying circuit activity and behavior defects of Gαq signaling mutants, suggesting both phospholipase-C and Rho signaling promote synaptic transmission and egg laying via modulation of 1,2-diacylglycerol levels. 1,2-Diacylglycerol activates effectors including UNC-13; however, we find that phorbol esters, but not serotonin, stimulate egg laying in unc-13 and phospholipase-Cβ mutants. These results support a model where serotonin signaling through Gαq, phospholipase-Cβ, and UNC-13 promotes neurotransmitter release, and that serotonin also signals through Gαq, Trio Rho GTPase exchange factor, and an unidentified, phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate-responsive effector to promote postsynaptic muscle excitability. Thus, the same neuromodulator serotonin can signal in distinct cells and effector pathways to coordinate activation of a motor behavior circuit.

     
    more » « less
  4. Bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling regulates many different developmental and homeostatic processes in metazoans. The BMP pathway is conserved in Caenorhabditis elegans, and is known to regulate body size and mesoderm development. We have identified the C. elegans smoc-1 (Secreted MOdular Calcium-binding protein-1) gene as a new player in the BMP pathway. smoc-1(0) mutants have a small body size, while overexpression of smoc-1 leads to a long body size and increased expression of the RAD-SMAD (reporter acting downstream of SMAD) BMP reporter, suggesting that SMOC-1 acts as a positive modulator of BMP signaling. Using double-mutant analysis, we showed that SMOC-1 antagonizes the function of the glypican LON-2 and acts through the BMP ligand DBL-1 to regulate BMP signaling. Moreover, SMOC-1 appears to specifically regulate BMP signaling without significant involvement in a TGFβ-like pathway that regulates dauer development. We found that smoc-1 is expressed in multiple tissues, including cells of the pharynx, intestine, and posterior hypodermis, and that the expression of smoc-1 in the intestine is positively regulated by BMP signaling. We further established that SMOC-1 functions cell nonautonomously to regulate body size. Human SMOC1 and SMOC2 can each partially rescue the smoc-1(0) mutant phenotype, suggesting that SMOC-1's function in modulating BMP signaling is evolutionarily conserved. Together, our findings highlight a conserved role of SMOC proteins in modulating BMP signaling in metazoans. 
    more » « less
  5. Abstract

    The eukaryote‐specific ribosomal protein of the small subunit eS6 is phosphorylated through the target of rapamycin (TOR) kinase pathway. Although this phosphorylation event responds dynamically to environmental conditions and has been studied for over 50 years, its biochemical and physiological significance remains controversial and poorly understood. Here, we report data fromArabidopsis thaliana, which indicate that plants expressing only a phospho‐deficient isoform of eS6 grow essentially normally under laboratory conditions. The eS6z (RPS6A) paralog of eS6 functionally rescued a double mutant in bothrps6aandrps6bgenes when expressed at approximately twice the wild‐type dosage. A mutant isoform of eS6z lacking the major six phosphorylatable serine and threonine residues in its carboxyl‐terminal tail also rescued the lethality, rosette growth, and polyribosome loading of the double mutant. This isoform also complemented many mutant phenotypes ofrps6that were newly characterized here, including photosynthetic efficiency, and most of the gene expression defects that were measured by transcriptomics and proteomics. However, compared with plants rescued with a phospho‐enabled version of eS6z, the phospho‐deficient seedlings retained a mild pointed‐leaf phenotype, root growth was reduced, and certain cell cycle‐related mRNAs and ribosome biogenesis proteins were misexpressed. The residual defects of the phospho‐deficient seedlings could be understood as an incomplete rescue of therps6mutant defects. There was little or no evidence for gain‐of‐function defects. As previously published, the phospho‐deficient eS6z also rescued therps6aandrps6bsingle mutants; however, phosphorylation of the eS6y (RPS6B) paralog remained lower than predicted, further underscoring that plants can tolerate phospho‐deficiency of eS6 well. Our data also yield new insights into how plants cope with mutations in essential, duplicated ribosomal protein isoforms.

     
    more » « less