Cox, G N; Kramer, J. M.; Hirsh, D
We analyzed the number and organization of collagen genes in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Genomic Southern blot hybridization experiments and recombinant phage library screenings indicated that C. elegans has between 40 and 150 distinct collagen genes. A large number of recombinant phages containing collagen genes were isolated from C. elegans DNA libraries. Physical mapping studies indicated that most phage contained a single small collagen gene less than 3 kilobases in size. A few p...
Kostrouch, Z; Kostrouchova, M; Rall, J. E.
The large family of steroid/thyroid hormone receptor (STR) genes has been extensively studied in vertebrates and insects but little information is available on it in more primitive organisms. All members possess a DNA binding domain of zinc fingers of the C2, C2 type. We have used the polymerase chain reaction with degenerate oligonucleotide primers covering this region to clone three distinct members of this family from the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. All three belong to the retinoic ac...
Chen, Nansheng; Mah, Allan; Oliver E Blacque; Chu, Jeffrey; Phgora, Kiran; Bakhoum, Mathieu W.; Newbury, C. Rebecca Hunt; Khattra, Jaswinder; Chan, Susanna; Efimenko, Evgheni; Johnsen, Robert; Phirke, Prasad; Swoboda, Peter; Marra, Marco; Moerman, Donald
Background The recent availability of genome sequences of multiple related Caenorhabditis species has made it possible to identify, using comparative genomics, similarly transcribed genes in Caenorhabditis elegans and its sister species. Taking this approach, we have identified numerous novel ciliary genes in C. elegans, some of which may be orthologs of unidentified human ciliopathy genes. Results By screening for genes possessing canonical X-box sequences in promoters of three Caenorhabditi...
Katic, Iskra; Großhans, Helge
We have achieved targeted heritable genome modification in Caenorhabditis elegans by injecting mRNA of the nuclease Cas9 and Cas9 guide RNAs. This system rapidly creates precise genomic changes, including knockouts and transgene-instructed gene conversion.
Liu, Huijie; WANG, XUEREN; Wang, Horng-Dar; Wu, JinJing; Ren, Jing; Meng, Lingfeng; Wu, Qingfa; Dong, Hansheng; WU, Jing; Kao, Tzu-Yu; Ge, Qian; Wu, Zheng-xing; Yuh, Chiou-Hwa; Shan, Ge
Food and other environmental factors affect gene expression and behaviour of animals. Differences in bacterial food affect the behaviour and longevity of Caenorhabditis elegans. However, no research has been carried out to investigate whether bacteria could utilize endogenous RNAs to affect C. elegans physiology. Here we show that two Escherichia coli endogenous noncoding RNAs, OxyS and DsrA, impact on the physiology of C. elegans. OxyS downregulates che-2, leading to impairment in C. elegans...
Meng C Wang
Full Text Available Reproductive senescence is a hallmark of aging. The molecular mechanisms regulating reproductive senescence and its association with the aging of somatic cells remain poorly understood. From a full genome RNA interference (RNAi screen, we identified 32 Caenorhabditis elegans gene inactivations that delay reproductive senescence and extend reproductive lifespan. We found that many of these gene inactivations interact with insulin/IGF-1 and/or TGF-β endocrine signaling pathways to regulate reproductive senescence, except nhx-2 and sgk-1 that modulate sodium reabsorption. Of these 32 gene inactivations, we also found that 19 increase reproductive lifespan through their effects on oocyte activities, 8 of them coordinate oocyte and sperm functions to extend reproductive lifespan, and 5 of them can induce sperm humoral response to promote reproductive longevity. Furthermore, we examined the effects of these reproductive aging regulators on somatic aging. We found that 5 of these gene inactivations prolong organismal lifespan, and 20 of them increase healthy life expectancy of an organism without altering total life span. These studies provide a systemic view on the genetic regulation of reproductive senescence and its intersection with organism longevity. The majority of these newly identified genes are conserved, and may provide new insights into age-associated reproductive senescence during human aging.
Zhang, Yuru; Zou, Xiaoju; Ding, Yihong; Wang, Haizhen; Wu, Xiaoyun; Liang, Bin
Background Animal models are indispensable to understand the lipid metabolism and lipid metabolic diseases. Over the last decade, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has become a popular animal model for exploring the regulation of lipid metabolism, obesity, and obese-related diseases. However, the genomic and functional conservation of lipid metabolism from C. elegans to humans remains unknown. In the present study, we systematically analyzed genes involved in lipid metabolism in the C. eleg...
Sleumer Monica C
Full Text Available Abstract Background Ribosomal protein genes (RPGs are essential, tightly regulated, and highly expressed during embryonic development and cell growth. Even though their protein sequences are strongly conserved, their mechanism of regulation is not conserved across yeast, Drosophila, and vertebrates. A recent investigation of genomic sequences conserved across both nematode species and associated with different gene groups indicated the existence of several elements in the upstream regions of C. elegans RPGs, providing a new insight regarding the regulation of these genes in C. elegans. Results In this study, we performed an in-depth examination of C. elegans RPG regulation and found nine highly conserved motifs in the upstream regions of C. elegans RPGs using the motif discovery algorithm DME. Four motifs were partially similar to transcription factor binding sites from C. elegans, Drosophila, yeast, and human. One pair of these motifs was found to co-occur in the upstream regions of 250 transcripts including 22 RPGs. The distance between the two motifs displayed a complex frequency pattern that was related to their relative orientation. We tested the impact of three of these motifs on the expression of rpl-2 using a series of reporter gene constructs and showed that all three motifs are necessary to maintain the high natural expression level of this gene. One of the motifs was similar to the binding site of an orthologue of POP-1, and we showed that RNAi knockdown of pop-1 impacts the expression of rpl-2. We further determined the transcription start site of rpl-2 by 5’ RACE and found that the motifs lie 40–90 bases upstream of the start site. We also found evidence that a noncoding RNA, contained within the outron of rpl-2, is co-transcribed with rpl-2 and cleaved during trans-splicing. Conclusions Our results indicate that C. elegans RPGs are regulated by a complex novel series of regulatory elements that is evolutionarily distinct from
Full Text Available Two sets of LSGs were identified using BLAST: Caenorhabditis elegans species-specific genes (SSGs, 1423, and Caenorhabditis genus-specific genes (GSGs, 4539. The data contained in this article show SSGs and GSGs have significant differences in evolution and that most of them were formed by gene duplication and integration of transposable elements (TEs. Subsequent observation of temporal expression and protein function presents that many SSGs and GSGs are expressed and that genes involved with sex determination, specific stress, immune response, and morphogenesis are most represented. The data are related to research article “Genome-wide identification of lineage-specific genes within Caenorhabditis elegans” in Journal of Genomics .
Portal-Celhay, Cynthia; Nehrke, Keith; Martin J. Blaser
Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) between bacteria occurs in the intestinal tract of their animal hosts and facilitates both virulence and antibiotic resistance. A model in which both the pathogen and the host are genetically tractable facilitates developing insight into mechanistic processes enabling or restricting the transfer of antibiotic resistance genes. Here we develop an in vivo experimental system to study HGT in bacteria using Caenorhabditis elegans as a model host. Using a thermosensi...
Glauser, Dominique A; Johnson, Brandon E.; Aldrich, Richard W; Goodman, Miriam B.
Alternative splicing is critical for diversifying eukaryotic proteomes, but the rules governing and coordinating splicing events among multiple alternate splice sites within individual genes are not well understood. We developed a quantitative PCR-based strategy to quantify the expression of the 12 transcripts encoded by the Caenorhabditis elegans slo-1 gene, containing three alternate splice sites. Using conditional probability-based models, we show that splicing events are coordinated acros...
We used the nematode C. elegans to characterize the genotoxic and cytotoxic effects of ionizing radiation in a simple animal model emphasizing the unique effects of charged particle radiation. Here we demonstrate by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) differential display and whole genome microarray hybridization experiments that gamma rays, accelerated protons and iron ions at the same physical dose lead to unique transcription profiles. 599 of 17871 genes analyzed (3.4%) showed differential expression 3 hrs after exposure to 3 Gy of radiation. 193 were up-regulated, 406 were down-regulated and 90% were affected only by a single species of radiation. A novel statistical clustering technique identified the regulatory relationships between the radiation-modulated genes and showed that genes affected by each radiation species were associated with unique regulatory clusters. This suggests that independent homeostatic mechanisms are activated in response to radiation exposure as a function of track structure or ionization density. (author)
Full Text Available During their development, Caenorhabditis elegans larvae go through four developmental stages. At the end of each larval stage, nematodes molt. They synthesize a new cuticle and shed the old cuticle. During the molt, larvae display a sleep-like behavior that is called lethargus. We wanted to determine how gene expression changes during the C. elegans molting cycle. We performed transcriptional profiling of C. elegans by selecting larvae displaying either sleep-like behavior during the molt or wake behavior during the intermolt to identify genes that oscillate with the molting-cycle. We found that expression changed during the molt and we identified 520 genes that oscillated with the molting cycle. 138 of these genes were not previously reported to oscillate. The majority of genes that had oscillating expression levels appear to be involved in molting, indicating that the majority of transcriptional changes serve to resynthesize the cuticle. Identification of genes that control sleep-like behavior during lethargus is difficult but may be possible by looking at genes that are expressed in neurons. 22 of the oscillating genes were expressed in neurons. One of these genes, the dopamine transporter gene dat-1, was previously shown in mammals and in C. elegans to control sleep. Taken together, we provide a dataset of genes that oscillate with the molting and sleep-wake cycle, which will be useful to investigate molting and possibly also sleep-like behavior during lethargus.
Chuang, Han-Sheng; Raizen, David; Lamb, Annesia; Dabbish, Nooreen; Bau, Haim
We demonstrate for the first time the dielectrophoretic trapping and manipulation of a whole animal, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We studied the effect of the electric field on the nematode as a function of field intensity and frequency. We identified a range of electric field intensities and frequencies that trap worms without apparent adverse effect on their viability. Worms tethered by dielectrophoresis (DEP) exhibit behavioral responses to blue light, indicating that at least some...
Schøler, Lone Vedel; Møller, Tine Hørning; Nørgaard, Steffen; Vestergård, Lotte; Olsen, Anders
The soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has become a popular genetic model organism used to study a broad range of complex biological processes, including development, aging, apoptosis, and DNA damage responses. Many genetic tools and tricks have been developed in C. elegans including knock down...... of gene expression via RNA interference (RNAi). In C. elegans RNAi can effectively be administrated via feeding the nematodes bacteria expressing double-stranded RNA targeting the gene of interest. Several commercial C. elegans RNAi libraries are available and hence gene inactivation using RNAi can...
Raich, William B; Moorman, Celine; Lacefield, Clay O.; Lehrer, Jonah; Bartsch, Dusan; Plasterk, Ronald H.A.; Kandel, Eric R.; Hobert, Oliver
The pathology of trisomy 21/Down syndrome includes cognitive and memory deficits. Increased expression of the dual-specificity protein kinase DYRK1A kinase (DYRK1A) appears to play a significant role in the neuropathology of Down syndrome. To shed light on the cellular role of DYRK1A and related genes we identified three DYRK/minibrain-like genes in the genome sequence of Caenorhabditis elegans, termed mbk-1, mbk-2, and hpk-1. We found these genes to be widely expressed and to localize to dis...
Luteijn, Maartje J.; van Bergeijk, Petra; Kaaij, Lucas J. T.; Almeida, Miguel Vasconcelos; Roovers, Elke F.; Berezikov, Eugene; Ketting, René F.
RNA-induced epigenetic silencing (RNAe) is a new pathway in C. elegans initiated by the Piwi protein PRG-1. RNAe stably silences transgenes over many generations through a nuclear RNAi pathway that induces transcriptional silencing.
Inokuchi, Ayako; Yamamoto, Ryoko; Morita, Fumiyo; Takumi, Shota; Matsusaki, Hiromi; Ishibashi, Hiroshi; Tominaga, Nobuaki; Arizono, Koji
Lithium (Li) has been widely used to treat bipolar disorder, and industrial use of Li has been increasing; thus, environmental pollution and ecological impacts of Li have become a concern. This study was conducted to clarify the potential biological effects of LiCl and Li(2)CO(3) on a nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans as a model system for evaluating soil contaminated with Li. Exposure of C. elegans to LiCl and Li(2)CO(3) decreased growth/maturation and reproduction. The lowest observed effect concentrations for growth, maturation and reproduction were 1250, 313 and 10 000 µm, respectively, for LiCl and 750, 750 and 3000 µm, respectively, for Li(2)CO(3). We also investigated the physiological function of LiCl and LiCO(3) in C. elegans using DNA microarray analysis as an eco-toxicogenomic approach. Among approximately 300 unique genes, including metabolic genes, the exposure to 78 µm LiCl downregulated the expression of 36 cytochrome P450, 16 ABC transporter, 10 glutathione S-transferase, 16 lipid metabolism and two vitellogenin genes. On the other hand, exposure to 375 µm Li(2)CO(3) downregulated the expression of 11 cytochrome P450, 13 ABC transporter, 13 lipid metabolism and one vitellogenin genes. No gene was upregulated by LiCl or Li(2)CO(3). These results suggest that LiCl and Li(2)CO(3) potentially affect the biological and physiological function in C. elegans associated with alteration of the gene expression such as metabolic genes. Our data also provide experimental support for the utility of toxicogenomics by integrating gene expression profiling into a toxicological study of an environmentally important organism such as C. elegans. PMID:25644961
Full Text Available Despite rapid development and application of a wide range of manufactured metal oxide nanoparticles (NPs, the understanding of potential risks of using NPs is less completed, especially at the molecular level. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (C.elegans has been emerging as an environmental model to study the molecular mechanism of environmental contaminations, using standard genetic tools such as the real-time quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR. The most important factor that may affect the accuracy of RT-qPCR is to choose appropriate genes for normalization. In this study, we selected 13 reference gene candidates (act-1, cdc-42, pmp-3, eif-3.C, actin, act-2, csq-1, Y45F10D.4, tba-1, mdh-1, ama-1, F35G12.2, and rbd-1 to test their expression stability under different doses of nano-copper oxide (CuO 0, 1, 10, and 50 µg/mL using RT-qPCR. Four algorithms, geNorm, NormFinder, BestKeeper, and the comparative ΔCt method, were employed to evaluate these 13 candidates expressions. As a result, tba-1, Y45F10D.4 and pmp-3 were the most reliable, which may be used as reference genes in future study of nanoparticle-induced genetic response using C.elegans.
Tomoko M Tabuchi
Full Text Available DRM is a conserved transcription factor complex that includes E2F/DP and pRB family proteins and plays important roles in development and cancer. Here we describe new aspects of DRM binding and function revealed through genome-wide analyses of the Caenorhabditis elegans DRM subunit LIN-54. We show that LIN-54 DNA-binding activity recruits DRM to promoters enriched for adjacent putative E2F/DP and LIN-54 binding sites, suggesting that these two DNA-binding moieties together direct DRM to its target genes. Chromatin immunoprecipitation and gene expression profiling reveals conserved roles for DRM in regulating genes involved in cell division, development, and reproduction. We find that LIN-54 promotes expression of reproduction genes in the germline, but prevents ectopic activation of germline-specific genes in embryonic soma. Strikingly, C. elegans DRM does not act uniformly throughout the genome: the DRM recruitment motif, DRM binding, and DRM-regulated embryonic genes are all under-represented on the X chromosome. However, germline genes down-regulated in lin-54 mutants are over-represented on the X chromosome. We discuss models for how loss of autosome-bound DRM may enhance germline X chromosome silencing. We propose that autosome-enriched binding of DRM arose in C. elegans as a consequence of germline X chromosome silencing and the evolutionary redistribution of germline-expressed and essential target genes to autosomes. Sex chromosome gene regulation may thus have profound evolutionary effects on genome organization and transcriptional regulatory networks.
In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, spermatogenesis represents one of two alternative developmental pathways open to premeiotic germ cells. At least two genes, fem-1 and fem-2, control the initiation of spermatogenesis in XX (hermaphrodite) worms, and the entire spectrum of male differentiation in XO animals. Low-dose irradiation of worms treated with the light-activated DNA crosslinking drug trimethylpsoralen, at levels that do not affect cell division or growth rates, blocks spermatogenesis in C. elegans hermaphrodites and produces an identical phenotype to that of temperature-sensitive mutations in the fem genes. Psoralen treatment does not, however, produce corresponding phenotypes of these mutants in XO animals. The developmental age for phenocopy production is the same as the hermaphrodite temperature-sensitive period of the two mutants. The effects of pulses of restrictive temperature and psoralen treatment on fem-2 mutant hermaphrodites are additive, suggesting that psoralen crosslinking may reduce the level of the fem-2 gene product. Microbeam experiments localize the target for the psoralen effect to the primary germ cells in the first stage larvae, indicating that a critical step occurs in a small number of precursor cells prior to their commitment to spermatogenesis
Chen, Xiangyang; Li, Mu; Feng, Xuezhu; Guang, Shouhong
Many genes play essential roles in development and fertility; their disruption leads to growth arrest or sterility. Genetic balancers have been widely used to study essential genes in many organisms. However, it is technically challenging and laborious to generate and maintain the loss-of-function mutations of essential genes. The CRISPR/Cas9 technology has been successfully applied for gene editing and chromosome engineering. Here, we have developed a method to induce chromosomal translocations and produce genetic balancers using the CRISPR/Cas9 technology and have applied this approach to edit essential genes in Caenorhabditis elegans. The co-injection of dual small guide RNA targeting genes on different chromosomes resulted in reciprocal translocation between nonhomologous chromosomes. These animals with chromosomal translocations were subsequently crossed with animals that contain normal sets of chromosomes. The F1 progeny were subjected to a second round of Cas9-mediated gene editing. Through this method, we successfully produced nematode strains with specified chromosomal translocations and generated a number of loss-of-function alleles of two essential genes (csr-1 and mes-6). Therefore, our method provides an easy and efficient approach to generate and maintain loss-of-function alleles of essential genes with detailed genetic background information. PMID:26482793
Lincke, C R; Broeks, A; the, I; Plasterk, R H; Borst, P
P-glycoproteins can cause multidrug resistance in mammalian tumor cells by active extrusion of cytotoxic drugs. The natural function of these evolutionarily conserved, membrane-bound ATP binding transport proteins is unknown. In mammals, P-glycoproteins are abundantly present in organs associated with the digestive tract. We have studied the tissue-specific expression of Caenorhabditis elegans P-glycoprotein genes pgp-1 and pgp-3 by transformation of nematodes with pgp-lacZ gene fusion constr...
Cox-Paulson, Elisabeth A.; Grana, Theresa M.; Harris, Michelle A.; Batzli, Janet M.
Scientists routinely integrate information from various channels to explore topics under study. We designed a 4-wk undergraduate laboratory module that used a multifaceted approach to study a question in molecular genetics. Specifically, students investigated whether "Caenorhabditis elegans" can be a useful model system for studying genes…
Mora-Lorca, José Antonio; Sáenz-Narciso, Beatriz; Gaffney, Christopher J; Naranjo-Galindo, Francisco José; Pedrajas, José Rafael; Guerrero-Gómez, David; Dobrzynska, Agnieszka; Askjaer, Peter; Szewczyk, Nathaniel J; Cabello, Juan; Miranda-Vizuete, Antonio
Glutathione is the most abundant thiol in the vast majority of organisms and is maintained in its reduced form by the flavoenzyme glutathione reductase. In this work, we describe the genetic and functional analysis of the Caenorhabditis elegans gsr-1 gene that encodes the only glutathione reductase protein in this model organism. By using green fluorescent protein reporters we demonstrate that gsr-1 produces two GSR-1 isoforms, one located in the cytoplasm and one in the mitochondria. gsr-1 loss of function mutants display a fully penetrant embryonic lethal phenotype characterized by a progressive and robust cell division delay accompanied by an aberrant distribution of interphasic chromatin in the periphery of the cell nucleus. Maternally expressed GSR-1 is sufficient to support embryonic development but these animals are short-lived, sensitized to chemical stress, have increased mitochondrial fragmentation and lower mitochondrial DNA content. Furthermore, the embryonic lethality of gsr-1 worms is prevented by restoring GSR-1 activity in the cytoplasm but not in mitochondria. Given the fact that the thioredoxin redox systems are dispensable in C. elegans, our data support a prominent role of the glutathione reductase/glutathione pathway in maintaining redox homeostasis in the nematode. PMID:27117030
Michael A Smith; Zhang, Yanqiong; Polli, Joseph R.; Wu, Hongmei; Zhang, Baohong; Xiao, Peng; Farwell, Mary A.; Pan, Xiaoping
Effects and mechanisms of chronic exposure to low levels of nicotine is an area fundamentally important however less investigated. We employed the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans to investigate potential impacts of chronic (24 h) and low nicotine exposure (6.17–194.5 μM) on stimulus-response, reproduction, and gene expressions. Nicotine significantly affects the organism's response to touch stimulus (p = 0.031), which follows a dose-dependent pattern. Chronic nicotine exposure promotes ...
Full Text Available Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC is a carbapenemase increasingly reported worldwide in Enterobacteriaceae. The aim of this study was to analyze the virulence of several KPC-2-producing K. pneumoniae isolates. The studied strains were (i five KPC-2 clinical strains from different geographical origins, belonging to different ST-types and possessing plasmids of different incompatibility groups; (ii seven transformants obtained after electroporation of either these natural KPC plasmids or a recombinant plasmid harboring only the bla KPC-2 gene into reference strains K. pneumoniae ATCC10031/CIP53153; and (iii five clinical strains cured of plasmids. The virulence of K. pneumoniae isolates was evaluated in the Caenorhabditis elegans model. The clinical KPC producers and transformants were significantly less virulent (LT50: 5.5 days than K. pneumoniae reference strain (LT50: 4.3 days (p<0.01. However, the worldwide spread KPC-2 positive K. pneumoniae ST258 strains and reference strains containing plasmids extracted from K. pneumoniae ST258 strains had a higher virulence than KPC-2 strains belonging to other ST types (LT50: 5 days vs. 6 days, p<0.01. The increased virulence observed in cured strains confirmed this trend. The bla KPC-2 gene itself was not associated to increased virulence.
Murayama, Takashi; Toh, Yoshihiro; Ohshima, Yasumi; Koga, Makoto
Ciliated neurons in animals are important for the reception of environmental stimuli. To understand the mechanism of cilium morphogenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans, we analyzed dyf-3 mutants that are defective in uptake of a fluorescent dye and abnormal in sensory cilium structure. Expression of green fluorescent protein in sensory neurons of a dyf-3 mutant revealed that the mutant has stunted cilia and abnormal posterior projections in some sensory neurons. The dyf-3 gene encodes three proteins with different N-terminals. The largest DYF-3 protein has 404 amino acid residues that are 38% identical with those of a predicted human protein of unknown function. Expression of a functional dyf-3Colon, two colonsgfp fusion gene is detected in 26 chemosensory neurons, including six IL2 neurons, eight pairs of amphid neurons (ASE, ADF, ASG, ASH, ASI, ASJ, ASK and ADL) and two pairs of phasmid neurons (PHA and PHB). Expression of a dyf-3 cDNA in specific neurons of dyf-3 animals indicated that dyf-3 acts cell-autonomously for fluorescent dye uptake. Reduction of dyf-3Colon, two colonsgfp expression in a daf-19 mutant suggests that dyf-3 expression is regulated by DAF-19 transcription factor, and DYF-3 may be involved in the intraflagellar transport system. PMID:15713455
Bell, Leslie R.; Stone, Steven; Yochem, John; Shaw, Jocelyn E.; Herman, Robert K.
The Caenorhabditis elegans genes dyf-6, daf-10, and osm-1 are among the set of genes that affect chemotaxis and the ability of certain sensory neurons to take up fluorescent dyes from the environment. Some genes in this category are known to be required for intraflagellar transport (IFT), which is the bidirectional movement of raft-like particles along the axonemes of cilia and flagella. The cloning of dyf-6, daf-10, and osm-1 are described here. The daf-10 and osm-1 gene products resemble ea...
Wicks, S R; Yeh, R T; Gish, W R; Waterston, R H; Plasterk, R H
Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are valuable genetic markers of human disease. They also comprise the highest potential density marker set available for mapping experimentally derived mutations in model organisms such as Caenorhabditis elegans. To facilitate the positional cloning of mutations we have identified polymorphisms in CB4856, an isolate from a Hawaiian island that shows a uniformly high density of polymorphisms compared with the reference Bristol N2 strain. Based on 5.4 Mbp of aligned sequences, we predicted 6,222 polymorphisms. Furthermore, 3,457 of these markers modify restriction enzyme recognition sites ('snip-SNPs') and are therefore easily detected as RFLPs. Of these, 493 were experimentally confirmed by restriction digest to produce a snip-SNP map of the worm genome. A mapping strategy using snip-SNPs and bulked segregant analysis (BSA) is outlined. CB4856 is crossed into a mutant strain, and exclusion of CB4856 alleles of a subset of snip-SNPs in mutant progeny is assessed with BSA. The proximity of a linked marker to the mutation is estimated by the relative proportion of each form of the biallelic marker in populations of wildtype and mutant genomes. The usefulness of this approach is illustrated by the rapid mapping of the dyf-5 gene. PMID:11381264
González-Barrios, María; Fierro-González, Juan Carlos; Krpelanova, Eva; Mora-Lorca, José Antonio; Pedrajas, José Rafael; Peñate, Xenia; Chavez, Sebastián; Swoboda, Peter; Jansen, Gert; Miranda-Vizuete, Antonio
The identity of a given cell type is determined by the expression of a set of genes sharing common cis-regulatory motifs and being regulated by shared transcription factors. Here, we identify cis and trans regulatory elements that drive gene expression in the bilateral sensory neuron ASJ, located in the head of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. For this purpose, we have dissected the promoters of the only two genes so far reported to be exclusively expressed in ASJ, trx-1 and ssu-1. We her...
Full Text Available Homeobox genes play crucial roles for the development of multicellular eukaryotes. We have generated a revised list of all homeobox genes for Caenorhabditis elegans and provide a nomenclature for the previously unnamed ones. We show that, out of 103 homeobox genes, 70 are co-orthologous to human homeobox genes. 14 are highly divergent, lacking an obvious ortholog even in other Caenorhabditis species. One of these homeobox genes encodes 12 homeodomains, while three other highly divergent homeobox genes encode a novel type of double homeodomain, termed HOCHOB. To understand how transcription factors regulate cell fate during development, precise spatio-temporal expression data need to be obtained. Using a new imaging framework that we developed, Endrov, we have generated spatio-temporal expression profiles during embryogenesis of over 60 homeobox genes, as well as a number of other developmental control genes using GFP reporters. We used dynamic feedback during recording to automatically adjust the camera exposure time in order to increase the dynamic range beyond the limitations of the camera. We have applied the new framework to examine homeobox gene expression patterns and provide an analysis of these patterns. The methods we developed to analyze and quantify expression data are not only suitable for C. elegans, but can be applied to other model systems or even to tissue culture systems.
Yuan, Jinzhou; Raizen, David M.; Haim H. Bau
How independent agents interact to form collective behavior is of interest in diverse disciplines. Larger animals coordinate their motions via their nervous systems. However, little is known regarding the mechanisms by which microscopic animals coordinate their gaits. We observed that, when in a swarm, clusters of Caenorhabditis elegans synchronize their swimming gait. To identify the mechanism responsible for this behavior, we devised controlled experiments to examine the interactions betwee...
Full Text Available Abstract Background Physiologically based modelling using DEBtox (dynamic energy budget in toxicology and transcriptional profiling were used in Caenorhabditis elegans to identify how physiological modes of action, as indicated by effects on system level resource allocation were associated with changes in gene expression following exposure to three toxic chemicals: cadmium, fluoranthene (FA and atrazine (AZ. Results For Cd, the physiological mode of action as indicated by DEBtox model fitting was an effect on energy assimilation from food, suggesting that the transcriptional response to exposure should be dominated by changes in the expression of transcripts associated with energy metabolism and the mitochondria. While evidence for effect on genes associated with energy production were seen, an ontological analysis also indicated an effect of Cd exposure on DNA integrity and transcriptional activity. DEBtox modelling showed an effect of FA on costs for growth and reproduction (i.e. for production of new and differentiated biomass. The microarray analysis supported this effect, showing an effect of FA on protein integrity and turnover that would be expected to have consequences for rates of somatic growth. For AZ, the physiological mode of action predicted by DEBtox was increased cost for maintenance. The transcriptional analysis demonstrated that this increase resulted from effects on DNA integrity as indicated by changes in the expression of genes chromosomal repair. Conclusions Our results have established that outputs from process based models and transcriptomics analyses can help to link mechanisms of action of toxic chemicals with resulting demographic effects. Such complimentary analyses can assist in the categorisation of chemicals for risk assessment purposes.
Rocheleau, Christian E.; Cullison, Kevin; Huang, Kai; Bernstein, Yelena; Spilker, Annina C.; Sundaram, Meera V.
A canonical Ras–ERK signaling pathway specifies the fate of the excretory duct cell during Caenorhabditis elegans embryogenesis. The paralogs ksr-1 and ksr-2 encode scaffolding proteins that facilitate signaling through this pathway and that act redundantly to promote the excretory duct fate. In a genomewide RNAi screen for genes that, like ksr-2, are required in combination with ksr-1 for the excretory duct cell fate, we identified 16 “ekl” (enhancer of ksr-1 lethality) genes that are largel...
Davis, Diana E.; Roh, Hyun Cheol; Deshmukh, Krupa; Bruinsma, Janelle J.; Schneider, Daniel L.; Guthrie, James; Robertson, J. David; Kornfeld, Kerry
Zinc is essential for many cellular processes. To use Caenorhabditis elegans to study zinc metabolism, we developed culture conditions allowing full control of dietary zinc and methods to measure zinc content of animals. Dietary zinc dramatically affected growth and zinc content; wild-type worms survived from 7 μm to 1.3 mm dietary zinc, and zinc content varied 27-fold. We investigated cdf-2, which encodes a predicted zinc transporter in the cation diffusion facilitator family. cdf-2 mRNA lev...
Kagias, Konstantinos; Podolska, Agnieszka; Pocock, Roger
Background Quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) has become the “gold standard” for measuring expression levels of individual miRNAs. However, little is known about the validity of reference miRNAs, the improper use of which can result in misleading interpretation of data. Results Here we undertook a systematic approach to identify highly stable miRNAs in different stress conditions such as low oxygen (hypoxia), UV-stress and high temperature (heat-stress) in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. ...
Calvo, Dominica; Victor, Martin; Gay, Frédérique; Sui, Guangchao; Luke, Margaret Po-Shan; Dufourcq, Pascale; Wen, Gengyun; Maduro, Morris; Rothman, Joel; Shi, Yang
In Caenorhabditis elegans, histone acetyltransferase CBP-1 counteracts the repressive activity of the histone deacetylase HDA-1 to allow endoderm differentiation, which is specified by the E cell. In the sister MS cell, the endoderm fate is prevented by the action of an HMG box-containing protein, POP-1, through an unknown mechanism. In this study, we show that CBP-1, HDA-1 and POP-1 converge on end-1, an initial endoderm-determining gene. In the E lineage, an essential function of CBP-1 appe...
Rose, Simon; Malabarba, Maria Grazia; Krag, Claudia;
characterization of intersectin function in Caenorhabditis elegans. Nematode intersectin (ITSN-1) is expressed in the nervous system, and it is enriched in presynaptic regions. The C. elegans intersectin gene (itsn-1) is nonessential for viability. In addition, itsn-1-null worms do not display any evident...
González-Barrios, María; Fierro-González, Juan Carlos; Krpelanova, Eva; Mora-Lorca, José Antonio; Pedrajas, José Rafael; Peñate, Xenia; Chavez, Sebastián; Swoboda, Peter; Jansen, Gert; Miranda-Vizuete, Antonio
The identity of a given cell type is determined by the expression of a set of genes sharing common cis-regulatory motifs and being regulated by shared transcription factors. Here, we identify cis and trans regulatory elements that drive gene expression in the bilateral sensory neuron ASJ, located in the head of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. For this purpose, we have dissected the promoters of the only two genes so far reported to be exclusively expressed in ASJ, trx-1 and ssu-1. We hereby identify the ASJ motif, a functional cis-regulatory bipartite promoter region composed of two individual 6 bp elements separated by a 3 bp linker. The first element is a 6 bp CG-rich sequence that presumably binds the Sp family member zinc-finger transcription factor SPTF-1. Interestingly, within the C. elegans nervous system SPTF-1 is also found to be expressed only in ASJ neurons where it regulates expression of other genes in these neurons and ASJ cell fate. The second element of the bipartite motif is a 6 bp AT-rich sequence that is predicted to potentially bind a transcription factor of the homeobox family. Together, our findings identify a specific promoter signature and SPTF-1 as a transcription factor that functions as a terminal selector gene to regulate gene expression in C. elegans ASJ sensory neurons. PMID:25769980
Hada, K.; Asahina, Masako; Hasegawa, H.; Kanaho, Y.; Slack, F. J.; Niwa, R.
Roč. 344, č. 2 (2010), s. 1100-1109. ISSN 0012-1606 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA204/07/0948; GA ČR(CZ) GD204/09/H058 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60220518 Keywords : apl -1 * Caenorhabditis elegans * heterochronic gene * heterochronic gene * let-7 * nuclear receptor * nhr-25 Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 4.094, year: 2010
Overall Christopher C
Full Text Available Abstract Background Heterodera glycines (soybean cyst nematode [SCN], the major pathogen of Glycine max (soybean, undergoes muscle degradation (sarcopenia as it becomes sedentary inside the root. Many genes encoding muscular and neuromuscular components belong to the uncoordinated (unc family of genes originally identified in Caenorhabditis elegans. Previously, we reported a substantial decrease in transcript abundance for Hg-unc-87, the H. glycines homolog of unc-87 (calponin during the adult sedentary phase of SCN. These observations implied that changes in the expression of specific muscle genes occurred during sarcopenia. Results We developed a bioinformatics database that compares expressed sequence tag (est and genomic data of C. elegans and H. glycines (CeHg database. We identify H. glycines homologs of C. elegans unc genes whose protein products are involved in muscle composition and regulation. RT-PCR reveals the transcript abundance of H. glycines unc homologs at mobile and sedentary stages of its lifecycle. A prominent reduction in transcript abundance occurs in samples from sedentary nematodes for homologs of actin, unc-60B (cofilin, unc-89, unc-15 (paromyosin, unc-27 (troponin I, unc-54 (myosin, and the potassium channel unc-110 (twk-18. Less reduction is observed for the focal adhesion complex gene Hg-unc-97. Conclusion The CeHg bioinformatics database is shown to be useful in identifying homologs of genes whose protein products perform roles in specific aspects of H. glycines muscle biology. Our bioinformatics comparison of C. elegans and H. glycines genomic data and our Hg-unc-87 expression experiments demonstrate that the transcript abundance of specific H. glycines homologs of muscle gene decreases as the nematode becomes sedentary inside the root during its parasitic feeding stages.
Muniesh Muthaiyan Shanmugam
Full Text Available The study of model organisms is very important in view of their potential for application to human therapeutic uses. One such model organism is the nematode worm, Caenorhabditis elegans. As a nematode, C. elegans have ~65% similarity with human disease genes and, therefore, studies on C. elegans can be translated to human, as well as, C. elegans can be used in the study of different types of parasitic worms that infect other living organisms. In the past decade, many efforts have been undertaken to establish interdisciplinary research collaborations between biologists, physicists and engineers in order to develop microfluidic devices to study the biology of C. elegans. Microfluidic devices with the power to manipulate and detect bio-samples, regents or biomolecules in micro-scale environments can well fulfill the requirement to handle worms under proper laboratory conditions, thereby significantly increasing research productivity and knowledge. The recent development of different kinds of microfluidic devices with ultra-high throughput platforms has enabled researchers to carry out worm population studies. Microfluidic devices primarily comprises of chambers, channels and valves, wherein worms can be cultured, immobilized, imaged, etc. Microfluidic devices have been adapted to study various worm behaviors, including that deepen our understanding of neuromuscular connectivity and functions. This review will provide a clear account of the vital involvement of microfluidic devices in worm biology.
Muthaiyan Shanmugam, Muniesh; Subhra Santra, Tuhin
The study of model organisms is very important in view of their potential for application to human therapeutic uses. One such model organism is the nematode worm, Caenorhabditis elegans. As a nematode, C. elegans have ~65% similarity with human disease genes and, therefore, studies on C. elegans can be translated to human, as well as, C. elegans can be used in the study of different types of parasitic worms that infect other living organisms. In the past decade, many efforts have been undertaken to establish interdisciplinary research collaborations between biologists, physicists and engineers in order to develop microfluidic devices to study the biology of C. elegans. Microfluidic devices with the power to manipulate and detect bio-samples, regents or biomolecules in micro-scale environments can well fulfill the requirement to handle worms under proper laboratory conditions, thereby significantly increasing research productivity and knowledge. The recent development of different kinds of microfluidic devices with ultra-high throughput platforms has enabled researchers to carry out worm population studies. Microfluidic devices primarily comprises of chambers, channels and valves, wherein worms can be cultured, immobilized, imaged, etc. Microfluidic devices have been adapted to study various worm behaviors, including that deepen our understanding of neuromuscular connectivity and functions. This review will provide a clear account of the vital involvement of microfluidic devices in worm biology. PMID:27490525
Full Text Available Most of our knowledge about the regulation of aging comes from mutants originally isolated for other phenotypes. To ask whether our current view of aging has been affected by selection bias, and to deepen our understanding of known longevity pathways, we screened a genomic Caenorhabditis elegans RNAi library for clones that extend lifespan. We identified 23 new longevity genes affecting signal transduction, the stress response, gene expression, and metabolism and assigned these genes to specific longevity pathways. Our most important findings are (i that dietary restriction extends C. elegans' lifespan by down-regulating expression of key genes, including a gene required for methylation of many macromolecules, (ii that integrin signaling is likely to play a general, evolutionarily conserved role in lifespan regulation, and (iii that specific lipophilic hormones may influence lifespan in a DAF-16/FOXO-dependent fashion. Surprisingly, of the new genes that have conserved sequence domains, only one could not be associated with a known longevity pathway. Thus, our current view of the genetics of aging has probably not been distorted substantially by selection bias.
Dent, Joseph A.; Smith, McHardy M.; Vassilatis, Demetrios K.; Avery, Leon
The ability of organisms to evolve resistance threatens the effectiveness of every antibiotic drug. We show that in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, simultaneous mutation of three genes, avr-14, avr-15, and glc-1, encoding glutamate-gated chloride channel (GluCl) α-type subunits confers high-level resistance to the antiparasitic drug ivermectin. In contrast, mutating any two channel genes confers modest or no resistance. We propose a model in which ivermectin sensitivity in C. elegans is ...
Ma, Xuan; Zhu, Yingjie; Li, Chunfang; Xue, Peng; Zhao, Yanmei; Chen, Shilin; Yang, Fuquan; Miao, Long
Background Although sperm is transcriptionally and translationally quiescent, complex populations of RNAs, including mRNAs and non-coding RNAs, exist in sperm. Previous microarray analysis of germ cell mutants identified hundreds of sperm genes in Caenorhabditis elegans. To take a more comprehensive view on C. elegans sperm genes, here, we isolate highly pure sperm cells and employ high-throughput technologies to obtain sperm transcriptome and proteome. Results First, sperm transcriptome cons...
Helmcke, Kirsten J.; Aschner, Michael
Research has demonstrated the toxic effects of methylmercury (MeHg), yet molecular mechanisms underlying its toxicity are not completely understood. Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) offers a unique biological model to explore mechanisms of MeHg toxicity given many advantages associated with its ease of use and genetic power. Since our previous work indicated neurotoxic resistance of C. elegans to MeHg, the present study was designed to examine molecular mechanisms associated with this resi...
Full Text Available Abstract Background Small interfering RNA (siRNA molecules mediate sequence specific silencing in RNA interference (RNAi, a gene regulatory phenomenon observed in almost all organisms. Large scale sequencing of small RNA libraries obtained from C. elegans has revealed that a broad spectrum of siRNAs is endogenously transcribed from genomic sequences. The biological role and molecular diversity of C. elegans endogenous siRNA (endo-siRNA molecules, nonetheless, remain poorly understood. In order to gain insight into their biological function, we annotated two large libraries of endo-siRNA sequences, identified their cognate targets, and performed gene ontology analysis to identify enriched functional categories. Results Systematic trends in categorization of target genes according to the specific length of siRNA sequences were observed: 18- to 22-mer siRNAs were associated with genes required for embryonic development; 23-mers were associated uniquely with post-embryonic development; 24–26-mers were associated with phosphorus metabolism or protein modification. Moreover, we observe that some argonaute related genes associate with siRNAs with multiple reads. Sequence frequency graphs suggest that different lengths of siRNAs share similarities in overall sequence structure: the 5' end begins with G, while the body predominates with U and C. Conclusion These results suggest that the lengths of endogenous siRNA molecules are consequential to their biological functions since the gene ontology categories for their cognate mRNA targets vary depending upon their lengths.
Jovelin, Richard; Cutter, Asher D
Nested genes represent an intriguing form of non-random genomic organization in which the boundaries of one gene are fully contained within another, longer host gene. The C. elegans genome contains over 10,000 nested genes, 92% of which are ncRNAs, which occur inside 16% of the protein coding gene complement. Host genes are longer than non-host coding genes, owing to their longer and more numerous introns. Indel alleles are available for nearly all of these host genes that simultaneously alter the nested gene, raising the possibility of nested gene disruption contributing to phenotypes that might be attributed to the host gene. Such dual-knockouts could represent a source of misinterpretation about host gene function. Dual-knockouts might also provide a novel source of synthetic phenotypes that reveal the functional effects of ncRNA genes, whereby the host gene disruption acts as a perturbed genetic background to help unmask ncRNA phenotypes. PMID:27386165
Raymond Y. N. Lee; Sternberg, Paul W.
We are endowed with a rich knowledge about Caenorhabditis elegans. Its stereotyped anatomy and development has stimulated research and resulted in the accumulation of cell-based information concerning gene expression, and the role of specific cells in developmental signalling and behavioural circuits. To make the information more accessible to sophisticated queries and automated retrieval systems, WormBase has begun to construct a C. elegans cell and anatomy ontology. Here we present our stra...
Volkers, J.M.; Snoek, L.B.; Hellenberg Hubar, van C.J.; Coopman, R.; Chen, W.; Yang, Wentao; Sterken, M.G.; Schulenburg, H.; Braeckman, B.; Kammenga, J.E.
Background: Analyzing and understanding the relationship between genotypes and phenotypes is at the heart of genetics. Research on the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has been instrumental for unraveling genotype-phenotype relations, and has important implications for understanding the biology of ma
Lee, Hyewon; Crane, Matthew M; Zhang, Yun; Lu, Hang
Forward genetic screening via mutagenesis is a powerful method for identifying regulatory factors in target pathways in model organisms such as the soil-dwelling free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans). Currently manual microscopy is the standard technique for conducting such screens; however, it is labor-intensive and time-consuming because screening requires imaging thousands of animals. Recently microfluidic chips have been developed to increase the throughput of some of such experiments; nonetheless, most of these chips are multilayer devices and complicated to fabricate and therefore prone to failure during fabrication and operation. In addition, most sorting decisions are made manually and the criteria used for sorting are subjective. To overcome these limitations, we developed a simple single-layer microfluidic device and an adaptive algorithm to make sorting decisions. The one-layer device greatly improves the reliability, while quantitative analysis with the adaptive algorithm allows for the identification of mutations that generate subtle changes in expression, which would have been hard to detect by eye. The screening criterion is set based on the mutagenized population, not separate control populations measured prior to actual screening experiments, to account for stochasticity and day-to-day variations of gene expression in mutagenized worms. Moreover, during each experiment, the threshold is constantly updated to reflect the balance between maximizing sorting rate and minimizing false-positive rate. Using this system, we screened for mutants that have altered expression levels of tryptophan hydroxylase, a key enzyme for serotonin synthesis in a CaMKII gain-of-function background. We found several putative mutants in this screen. Furthermore, this microfluidic system and quantitative analysis can be easily adapted to study other pathways in C. elegans. PMID:23168494
Korswagen Hendrik C
Full Text Available Abstract Background In C. elegans and other nematode species, body size is determined by the composition of the extracellular cuticle as well as by the nuclear DNA content of the underlying hypodermis. Mutants that are defective in these processes can exhibit either a short or a long body size phenotype. Several mutations that give a long body size (Lon phenotype have been characterized and found to be regulated by the DBL-1/TGF-β pathway, that controls post-embryonic growth and male tail development. Results Here we characterize a novel gene affecting body size. lon-8 encodes a secreted product of the hypodermis that is highly conserved in Rhabditid nematodes. lon-8 regulates larval elongation as well as male tail development. In both processes, lon-8 appears to function independently of the Sma/Mab pathway. Rather, lon-8 genetically interacts with dpy-11 and dpy-18, which encode cuticle collagen modifying enzymes. Conclusion The novel gene lon-8 encodes a secreted product of the hypodermis that controls body size and male ray morphology in C. elegans. lon-8 genetically interacts with enzymes that affect the composition of the cuticle.
Bell, Leslie R; Stone, Steven; Yochem, John; Shaw, Jocelyn E; Herman, Robert K
The Caenorhabditis elegans genes dyf-6, daf-10, and osm-1 are among the set of genes that affect chemotaxis and the ability of certain sensory neurons to take up fluorescent dyes from the environment. Some genes in this category are known to be required for intraflagellar transport (IFT), which is the bidirectional movement of raft-like particles along the axonemes of cilia and flagella. The cloning of dyf-6, daf-10, and osm-1 are described here. The daf-10 and osm-1 gene products resemble each other and contain WD and WAA repeats. DYF-6, the product of a complex locus, lacks known motifs, but orthologs are present in flies and mammals. Phenotypic analysis of dyf-6 mutants expressing an OSM-6::GFP reporter indicates that the cilia of the amphid and phasmid dendritic endings are foreshortened. Consistent with genetic mosaic analysis, which indicates that dyf-6 functions in neurons of the amphid sensilla, DYF-6::GFP is expressed in amphid and phasmid neurons. Movement of DYF-6::GFP within the ciliated endings of the neurons indicates that DYF-6 is involved in IFT. In addition, IFT can be observed in dauer larvae. PMID:16648645
Yu, Hsiang; Lai, Huey-Jen; Lin, Tai-Wei; Chen, Chang-Shi; Lo, Szecheng J
Three waves of apoptosis shape the development of Caenorhabditis elegans. Although the exact roles of the three DNase II genes (nuc-1, crn-6 and crn-7), which are known to mediate degradation of apoptotic DNA, in the embryonic and larval phases of apoptosis have been characterized, the DNase II acting in the third wave of germ cell apoptosis remains undetermined. In the present study, we performed in vitro and in vivo assays on various mutant nematodes to demonstrate that NUC-1 and CRN-7, but not CRN-6, function in germ cell apoptosis. In addition, in situ DNA-break detection and anti-phosphorylated ERK (extracellular-signal-regulated kinase) staining illustrated the sequential and spatially regulated actions of NUC-1 and CRN-7, at the pachytene zone of the gonad and at the loop respectively. In line with the notion that UV-induced DNA fragment accumulation in the gonad activates innate immunity responses, we also found that loss of NUC-1 and CRN-7 lead to up-regulation of antimicrobial genes (abf-2, spp-1, nlp-29, cnc-2, and lys-7). Our observations suggest that an incomplete digestion of DNA fragments resulting from the absence of NUC-1 or CRN-7 in the gonad could induce the ERK signalling, consequently activating antimicrobial gene expression. Taken together, the results of the present study demonstrate for the first time that nuc-1 and crn-7 play a role in degrading apoptotic DNA in distinct sites of the gonad, and act as negative regulators of innate immunity in C. elegans. PMID:26251453
Full Text Available Neuroligins are cell adhesion proteins that interact with neurexins at the synapse. This interaction may contribute to differentiation, plasticity and specificity of synapses. In humans, single mutations in neuroligin encoding genes lead to autism spectrum disorder and/or mental retardation. Caenorhabditis elegans mutants deficient in nlg-1, an orthologue of human neuroligin genes, have defects in different behaviors. Here we show that the expression of human NLGN1 or rat Nlgn1 cDNAs in C. elegans nlg-1 mutants rescues the fructose osmotic strength avoidance and gentle touch response phenotypes. Two specific point mutations in NLGN3 and NLGN4 genes, involved in autistic spectrum disorder, were further characterized in this experimental system. The R451C allele described in NLGN3, was analyzed with both human NLGN1 (R453C and worm NLG-1 (R437C proteins, and both were not functional in rescuing the osmotic avoidance behavior and the gentle touch response phenotype. The D396X allele described in NLGN4, which produces a truncated protein, was studied with human NLGN1 (D432X and they did not rescue any of the behavioral phenotypes analyzed. In addition, RNAi feeding experiments measuring gentle touch response in wild type strain and worms expressing SID-1 in neurons (which increases the response to dsRNA, both fed with bacteria expressing dsRNA for nlg-1, provided evidence for a postsynaptic in vivo function of neuroligins both in muscle cells and neurons, equivalent to that proposed in mammals. This finding was further confirmed generating transgenic nlg-1 deficient mutants expressing NLG-1 under pan-neuronal (nrx-1 or pan-muscular (myo-3 specific promoters. All these results suggest that the nematode could be used as an in vivo model for studying particular synaptic mechanisms with proteins orthologues of humans involved in pervasive developmental disorders.
Girard, Lisa R.; Fiedler, Tristan J.; Harris, Todd W.; Carvalho, Felicia; Antoshechkin, Igor; Han, Michael; Sternberg, Paul W.; Stein, Lincoln D; Chalfie, Martin
WormBook (www.wormbook.org) is an open-access, online collection of original, peer-reviewed chapters on the biology of Caenorhabditis elegans and related nematodes. Since WormBook was launched in June 2005 with 12 chapters, it has grown to over 100 chapters, covering nearly every aspect of C.elegans research, from Cell Biology and Neurobiology to Evolution and Ecology. WormBook also serves as the text companion to WormBase, the C.elegans model organism database. Objects such as genes, protein...
Zheng, J; Greenway, F L
Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) is a small nematode that conserves 65% of the genes associated with human disease, has a 21-day lifespan, reproductive cycles of 3 days, large brood sizes, lives in an agar dish and does not require committee approvals for experimentation. Research using C. elegans is encouraged and a Caenorhabditis Genetics Center (CGC, Minnesota) is funded by the National Institutes of Health-National Center for Research Resources. Many genetically manipulated strains of C. elegans are available at nominal cost from the CGC. Studies using the C. elegans model have explored insulin signaling, response to dietary glucose, the influence of serotonin on obesity, satiety, feeding and hypoxia-associated illnesses. C. elegans has also been used as a model to evaluate potential obesity therapeutics, explore the mechanisms behind single gene mutations related to obesity and to define the mechanistic details of fat metabolism. Obesity now affects a third of the US population and is becoming a progressively more expensive public health problem. Faster and less expensive methods to reach more effective treatments are clearly needed. We present this review hoping to stimulate interest in using the C. elegans model as a vehicle to advance the understanding and future treatment of obesity. PMID:21556043
Updike, Dustin L.; Strome, Susan
P granules are non-membrane-bound organelles found in the germ-line cytoplasm throughout Caenorhabditis elegans development. Like their “germ granule” counterparts in other animals, P granules are thought to act as determinants of the identity and special properties of germ cells, properties that include the unique ability to give rise to all tissues of future generations of an organism. Therefore, understanding how P granules work is critical to understanding how cellular immortality and tot...
Fiona R Savory
Full Text Available In Caenorhabditis elegans, mutants of the conserved insulin/IGF-1 signalling (IIS pathway are long-lived and stress resistant due to the altered expression of DAF-16 target genes such as those involved in cellular defence and metabolism. The three Δ(9 desaturase genes, fat-5, fat-6 and fat-7, are included amongst these DAF-16 targets, and it is well established that Δ(9 desaturase enzymes play an important role in survival at low temperatures. However, no assessment of cold tolerance has previously been reported for IIS mutants. We demonstrate that long-lived age-1(hx546 mutants are remarkably resilient to low temperature stress relative to wild type worms, and that this is dependent upon daf-16. We also show that cold tolerance following direct transfer to low temperatures is increased in wild type worms during the facultative, daf-16 dependent, dauer stage. Although the cold tolerant phenotype of age-1(hx546 mutants is predominantly due to the Δ(9 desaturase genes, additional transcriptional targets of DAF-16 are also involved. Surprisingly, survival of wild type adults following a rapid temperature decline is not dependent upon functional daf-16, and cellular distributions of a DAF-16::GFP fusion protein indicate that DAF-16 is not activated during low temperature stress. This suggests that cold-induced physiological defences are not specifically regulated by the IIS pathway and DAF-16, but expression of DAF-16 target genes in IIS mutants and dauers is sufficient to promote cross tolerance to low temperatures in addition to other forms of stress.
Hasegawa, Kenji; Saigusa, Tetsu; Tamai, Yoichi
The roundworm, Caenorhabditis elegans, is known to carry homologues of clock genes such as per (=period) and tim (=timeless), which constitute the core of the circadian clock in Drosophila and mammals: lin-42 and tim-1. Analyses using WormBase (C. elegans gene database) have identified with relatively high identity analogous of the clock genes recognized in Drosophila and mammals, with the notable exception of cry (=cryptochrome), which is lacking in C. elegans. All of these C. elegans cognates of the clock genes appear to belong to members of the PAS-superfamily and to participate in development or responsiveness to the environment but apparently are not involved in the C. elegans circadian clock. Nevertheless, C. elegans exhibits convincing circadian rhythms in locomotor behavior in the adult stage and in resistance to hyperosmotic stress in starved larvae (L1) after hatching, indicating that it has a circadian clock with a core design entirely different from that of Drosophila and mammals. Here two possibilities are considered. First, the core of the C. elegans circadian clock includes transcriptional/translational feedback loops between genes and their protein products that are entirely different from those of Drosophila and mammals. Second, a more basic principle such as homeostasis governs the circadian cellular physiology, and was established primarily to minimize the accumulation of DNA damage in response to an environment cycling at 24 h intervals. PMID:15865318
Selch, Florian; Higashibata, Akira; Imamizo-Sato, Mari; Higashitani, Atsushi; Ishioka, Noriaki; Szewczyk, Nathaniel J.; Conley, Catharine A.
On Earth, it is common to employ laboratory animals such as the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to help understand human health concerns. Similar studies in Earth orbit should help understand and address the concerns associated with spaceflight. The “International Caenorhabditis elegans Experiment FIRST” (ICE FIRST), was carried out onboard the Dutch Taxiflight in April of 2004 by an international collaboration of laboratories in France, Canada, Japan and the United States. With the exception of a slight movement defect upon return to Earth, the result of altered muscle development, no significant abnormalities were detected in spaceflown C. elegans. Work from Japan revealed apoptosis proceeds normally and work from Canada revealed no significant increase in the rate of mutation. These results suggest that C. elegans can be used to study non-lethal responses to spaceflight and can possibly be developed as a biological sensor. To further our understanding of C. elegans response to spaceflight, we examined the gene transcription response to the 10 days in space using a near full genome microarray analysis. The transcriptional response is consistent with the observed normal developmental timing, apoptosis, DNA repair, and altered muscle development. The genes identified as altered in response to spaceflight are enriched for genes known to be regulated, in C. elegans, in response to altered environmental conditions (Insulin and TGF-β regulated). These results demonstrate C. elegans can be used to study the effects of altered gravity and suggest that C. elegans responds to spaceflight by altering the expression of at least some of the same metabolic genes that are altered in response to differing terrestrial environments.
Hutter, Harald; Moerman, Donald
A clear definition of what constitutes "Big Data" is difficult to identify, but we find it most useful to define Big Data as a data collection that is complete. By this criterion, researchers on Caenorhabditis elegans have a long history of collecting Big Data, since the organism was selected with the idea of obtaining a complete biological description and understanding of development. The complete wiring diagram of the nervous system, the complete cell lineage, and the complete genome sequence provide a framework to phrase and test hypotheses. Given this history, it might be surprising that the number of "complete" data sets for this organism is actually rather small--not because of lack of effort, but because most types of biological experiments are not currently amenable to complete large-scale data collection. Many are also not inherently limited, so that it becomes difficult to even define completeness. At present, we only have partial data on mutated genes and their phenotypes, gene expression, and protein-protein interaction--important data for many biological questions. Big Data can point toward unexpected correlations, and these unexpected correlations can lead to novel investigations; however, Big Data cannot establish causation. As a result, there is much excitement about Big Data, but there is also a discussion on just what Big Data contributes to solving a biological problem. Because of its relative simplicity, C. elegans is an ideal test bed to explore this issue and at the same time determine what is necessary to build a multicellular organism from a single cell. PMID:26543198
Hartman, Philip S.; Herman, Robert K.
Nine rad (for abnormal radiation sensitivity) mutants hypersensitive to ultraviolet light were isolated in the small nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. The mutations are recessive to their wild-type alleles, map to four of the six linkage groups in C. elegans and define nine new games named rad-1 through rad-9. Two of the mutants—rad-1 and rad-2—are very hypersensitive to X rays, and three—rad-2, rad-3 and rad-4—are hypersensitive to methyl methanesulfonate under particular conditions of exposu...
Dufourcq, Pascale; Victor, Martin; Gay, Frédérique; Calvo, Dominica; Hodgkin, Jonathan; Shi, Yang
Histone acetylation and deacetylation have been implicated in the regulation of gene expression. Molecular studies have shown that histone deacetylases (HDACs) function as transcriptional repressors. However, very little is known about their roles during development in multicellular organisms. We previously demonstrated that inhibition of maternal and zygotic expression of histone deacetylase 1 (HDA-1) causes embryonic lethality in Caenorhabditis elegans. Here, we report the identification of...
Choy, Robert K. M.; Kemner, John M; Thomas, James H.
Fluoxetine (Prozac) is one of the most widely prescribed pharmaceuticals, yet important aspects of its mechanism of action remain unknown. We previously reported that fluoxetine and related antidepressants induce nose muscle contraction of C. elegans. We also reported the identification and initial characterization of mutations in seven C. elegans genes that cause defects in this response (Nrf, nose resistant to fluoxetine). Here we present genetic evidence that the known nrf genes can be div...
Gallo, Marco; Riddle, Donald L.
The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a favorite model for the study of aging. A wealth of genetic and genomic studies show that metabolic regulation is a hallmark of life-span modulation. A recent study in BMC Biology identifying metabolic signatures for longevity suggests that amino-acid pools may be important in longevity. See research article http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7007/8/14.
Lant, Benjamin; Derry, W Brent
The nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans has provided researchers with a wealth of information on the molecular mechanisms controlling programmed cell death (apoptosis). Its genetic tractability, optical clarity, and relatively short lifespan are key advantages for rapid assessment of apoptosis in vivo. The use of forward and reverse genetics methodology, coupled with in vivo imaging, has provided deep insights into how a multicellular organism orchestrates the self-destruction of specific cells during development and in response to exogenous stresses. Strains of C. elegans carrying mutations in the core elements of the apoptotic pathway, or in tissue-specific regulators of apoptosis, can be used for genetic analyses to reveal conserved mechanisms by which apoptosis is regulated in the somatic and reproductive (germline) tissue. Here we present an introduction to the study of apoptosis in C. elegans, including current techniques for visualization, analysis, and screening. PMID:24786497
Dent, J A; Smith, M M; Vassilatis, D K; Avery, L
The ability of organisms to evolve resistance threatens the effectiveness of every antibiotic drug. We show that in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, simultaneous mutation of three genes, avr-14, avr-15, and glc-1, encoding glutamate-gated chloride channel (GluCl) alpha-type subunits confers high-level resistance to the antiparasitic drug ivermectin. In contrast, mutating any two channel genes confers modest or no resistance. We propose a model in which ivermectin sensitivity in C. elegans is mediated by genes affecting parallel genetic pathways defined by the family of GluCl genes. The sensitivity of these pathways is further modulated by unc-7, unc-9, and the Dyf (dye filling defective) genes, which alter the structure of the nervous system. Our results suggest that the evolution of drug resistance can be slowed by targeting antibiotic drugs to several members of a multigene family. PMID:10716995
Cranfield, Charles G; Dawe, Adam; Karloukovski, Vassil; Dunin-Borkowski, Rafal E; de Pomerai, David; Dobson, Jon
The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is widely used as a model system in biological research. Recently, examination of the production of heat-shock proteins in this organism in response to mobile phone-type electromagnetic field exposure produced the most robust demonstration to date of a non-thermal, deleterious biological effect. Though these results appear to be a sound demonstration of non-thermal bioeffects, to our knowledge, no mechanism has been proposed to explain them. We show, apparently for the first time, that biogenic magnetite, a ferrimagnetic iron oxide, is present in C. elegans. Its presence may have confounding effects on experiments involving electromagnetic fields as well as implications for the use of this nematode as a model system for iron biomineralization in multi-cellular organisms. PMID:15801597
Keane, John; Avery, Leon
Mechanical stimulation induces opposite behavioral responses in the adult and dauer pharynx. Tail tap of adults inhibits pharyngeal pumping via a pathway involving the innexin gene unc-7 and components of the glutamatergic pathway encoded by the genes avr-14 and avr-15. Tail tap of dauers stimulates pumping through a mechanism involving G alpha o and G alpha q. The nematocidal drug ivermectin is believed to kill worms by opening a glutamate-gated chloride channel (AVR-15) on pharyngeal muscle...
Stroustrup, Nicholas; Anthony, Winston E.; Nash, Zachary M.; Gowda, Vivek; Gomez, Adam; López-Moyado, Isaac F.; Apfeld, Javier; Fontana, Walter
The process of ageing makes death increasingly likely, involving a random aspect that produces a wide distribution of lifespan even in homogeneous populations. The study of this stochastic behaviour may link molecular mechanisms to the ageing process that determines lifespan. Here, by collecting high-precision mortality statistics from large populations, we observe that interventions as diverse as changes in diet, temperature, exposure to oxidative stress, and disruption of genes including the heat shock factor hsf-1, the hypoxia-inducible factor hif-1, and the insulin/IGF-1 pathway components daf-2, age-1, and daf-16 all alter lifespan distributions by an apparent stretching or shrinking of time. To produce such temporal scaling, each intervention must alter to the same extent throughout adult life all physiological determinants of the risk of death. Organismic ageing in Caenorhabditis elegans therefore appears to involve aspects of physiology that respond in concert to a diverse set of interventions. In this way, temporal scaling identifies a novel state variable, r(t), that governs the risk of death and whose average decay dynamics involves a single effective rate constant of ageing, kr. Interventions that produce temporal scaling influence lifespan exclusively by altering kr. Such interventions, when applied transiently even in early adulthood, temporarily alter kr with an attendant transient increase or decrease in the rate of change in r and a permanent effect on remaining lifespan. The existence of an organismal ageing dynamics that is invariant across genetic and environmental contexts provides the basis for a new, quantitative framework for evaluating the manner and extent to which specific molecular processes contribute to the aspect of ageing that determines lifespan.
van Swinderen, B.; Metz, L B; Shebester, L D; Mendel, J E; Sternberg, P. W.; Crowder, C. M.
To identify genes controlling volatile anesthetic (VA) action, we have screened through existing Caenorhabditis elegans mutants and found that strains with a reduction in Go signaling are VA resistant. Loss-of-function mutants of the gene goa-1, which codes for the alpha-subunit of Go, have EC(50)s for the VA isoflurane of 1.7- to 2.4-fold that of wild type. Strains overexpressing egl-10, which codes for an RGS protein negatively regulating goa-1, are also isoflurane resistant. However, sensi...
Vinuela Rodriguez, A.; Snoek, L.B.; Riksen, J.A.G.; Kammenga, J.E.
Although organophosphorus pesticides (OP) share a common mode of action, there is increased awareness that they elicit a diverse range of gene expression responses. As yet however, there is no clear understanding of these responses and how they interact with ambient environmental conditions. In the
Long Ma; Xiaoyang Gao; Jintao Luo; Liange Huang; Yanling Teng; H Robert Horvitz
RNA splicing is a major regulatory mechanism for controlling eukaryotic gene expression. By generating various splice isoforms from a single pre-mRNA, alternative splicing plays a key role in promoting the evolving complexity of metazoans. Numerous splicing factors have been identified. However, the in vivo functions of many splicing factors remain to be understood. In vivo studies are essential for understanding the molecular mechanisms of RNA splicing and the biology of numerous RNA splicin...
Myers, Edith M
Caenorhabditis elegans enter an alternate developmental stage called dauer in unfavorable conditions such as starvation, overcrowding, or high temperature. Several evolutionarily conserved signaling pathways control dauer formation. DAF-7/TGFβ and serotonin, important ligands in these signaling pathways, affect not only dauer formation, but also the expression of one another. The heterotrimeric G proteins GOA-1 (Gα(o)) and EGL-30 (Gα(q)) mediate serotonin signaling as well as serotonin biosynthesis in C. elegans. It is not known whether GOA-1 or EGL-30 also affect dauer formation and/or daf-7 expression, which are both modulated in part by serotonin. The purpose of this study is to better understand the relationship between proteins important for neuronal signaling and developmental plasticity in both C. elegans and humans. Using promoter-GFP transgenic worms, it was determined that both goa-1 and egl-30 regulate daf-7 expression during larval development. In addition, the normal daf-7 response to high temperature or starvation was altered in goa-1 and egl-30 mutants. Despite the effect of goa-1 and egl-30 mutations on daf-7 expression in various environmental conditions, there was no effect of the mutations on dauer formation. This paper provides evidence that while goa-1 and egl-30 are important for normal daf-7 expression, mutations in these genes are not sufficient to disrupt dauer formation. PMID:22808145
Research has demonstrated the toxic effects of methylmercury (MeHg), yet molecular mechanisms underlying its toxicity are not completely understood. Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) offers a unique biological model to explore mechanisms of MeHg toxicity given many advantages associated with its ease of use and genetic power. Since our previous work indicated neurotoxic resistance of C. elegans to MeHg, the present study was designed to examine molecular mechanisms associated with this resistance. We hypothesized MeHg would induce expression of gst, hsp or mtl in vivo since glutathione (GSH), heat shock proteins (HSPs), and metallothioneins (MTs) have shown involvement in MeHg toxicity. Our studies demonstrated a modest, but significant increase in fluorescence in gst-4::GFP and mtl-1::GFP strains at an acute, low L1 MeHg exposure, whereas chronic L4 MeHg exposure induced expression of gst-4::GFP and hsp-4::GFP. Knockout gst-4 animals showed no alterations in lethality sensitivity compared to wildtype animals whereas mtl knockouts displayed increased sensitivity to MeHg exposure. GSH levels were increased by acute MeHg treatment and depleted with chronic exposure. We also demonstrate that MeHg induces hormesis, a phenotype whereby a sublethal exposure to MeHg rendered C. elegans resistant to subsequent exposure to the organometal. The involvement of gst-4, hsp-4, mtl-1, and mtl-2 in hormesis was examined. An increase in gst-4::GFP expression after a low-dose acute exposure to MeHg indicated that gst-4 may be involved in this response. Our results implicate GSH, HSPs, and MTs in protecting C. elegans from MeHg toxicity and show a potential role of gst-4 in MeHg-induced hormesis.
Helmcke, Kirsten J; Aschner, Michael
Research has demonstrated the toxic effects of methylmercury (MeHg), yet molecular mechanisms underlying its toxicity are not completely understood. Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) offers a unique biological model to explore mechanisms of MeHg toxicity given many advantages associated with its ease of use and genetic power. Since our previous work indicated neurotoxic resistance of C. elegans to MeHg, the present study was designed to examine molecular mechanisms associated with this resistance. We hypothesized MeHg would induce expression of gst, hsp or mtl in vivo since glutathione (GSH), heat shock proteins (HSPs), and metallothioneins (MTs) have shown involvement in MeHg toxicity. Our studies demonstrated a modest, but significant increase in fluorescence in gst-4::GFP and mtl-1::GFP strains at an acute, low L1 MeHg exposure, whereas chronic L4 MeHg exposure induced expression of gst-4::GFP and hsp-4::GFP. Knockout gst-4 animals showed no alterations in lethality sensitivity compared to wildtype animals whereas mtl knockouts displayed increased sensitivity to MeHg exposure. GSH levels were increased by acute MeHg treatment and depleted with chronic exposure. We also demonstrate that MeHg induces hormesis, a phenotype whereby a sublethal exposure to MeHg rendered C. elegans resistant to subsequent exposure to the organometal. The involvement of gst-4, hsp-4, mtl-1, and mtl-2 in hormesis was examined. An increase in gst-4::GFP expression after a low-dose acute exposure to MeHg indicated that gst-4 may be involved in this response. Our results implicate GSH, HSPs, and MTs in protecting C. elegans from MeHg toxicity and show a potential role of gst-4 in MeHg-induced hormesis. PMID:20691719
Emily R Troemel; Marie-Anne Félix; Whiteman, Noah K.; Antoine Barrière; Ausubel, Frederick M.
For decades the soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has been an important model system for biology, but little is known about its natural ecology. Recently, C. elegans has become the focus of studies of innate immunity and several pathogens have been shown to cause lethal intestinal infections in C. elegans. However none of these pathogens has been shown to invade nematode intestinal cells, and no pathogen has been isolated from wild-caught C. elegans. Here we describe an intracellular patho...
Yanase, S; Luo, Y; Maruta, H
There is an increasing evidence that the oncogenic kinase PAK1 is responsible not only for malignant transformation, but also for several other diseases such as inflammatory diseases (asthma and arthritis), infectious diseases including malaria, AIDS, and flu, as well as a series of neuronal diseases/disorders (neurofibromatosis, tuberous sclerosis, Alzheimer's diseases, Huntington's disease, epilepsy, depression, learning deficit, etc.) which often cause premature death. Interestingly, a few natural PAK1-blockers such as curcumin, caffeic acid (CA) and rosmarinic acid (RA) extend the lifespan of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans or fruit flies. Here, to explore the possibility that C. elegans could provide us with a quick and inexpensive in vivo screening system for a series of more potent but safe (non-toxic) PAK1-blocking therapeutics, we examined the effects of PAK1-deficiency or down-regulation on a few selected functions of this worm, including reproduction, expression of HSP16.2 gene, and lifespan. In short, we found that PAK1 promotes reproduction, whereas it inactivates HSP16.2 gene and shortens lifespan, as do PI-3 kinase (AGE-1), TOR, and insulin-like signalling /ILS (Daf-2) in this worm. These findings not only support the "trade-off" theory on reproduction versus lifespan, but also suggest the possibility that the reduced reproduction (or HSP16.2 gene activation) of this worm could be used as the first indicator of extended lifespan for a quick in vivo screening for PAK1-blockers. PMID:23524941
Lee, Jeeyong; Kim, Kwang-Youl; Paik, Young-Ki
Altered acetylcholine (Ach) homeostasis is associated with loss of viability in flies, developmental defects in mice, and cognitive deficits in human. Here, we assessed the importance of Ach in Caenorhabditis elegans development, focusing on the role of Ach during dauer formation. We found that dauer formation was disturbed in choline acetyltransferase (cha-1) and acetylcholinesterase (ace) mutants defective in Ach biosynthesis and degradation, respectively. When examined the potential role of G-proteins in dauer formation, goa-1 and egl-30 mutant worms, expressing mutated versions of mammalian G(o) and G(q) homolog, respectively, showed some abnormalities in dauer formation. Using quantitative mass spectrometry, we also found that dauer larvae had lower Ach content than did reproductively grown larvae. In addition, a proteomic analysis of acetylcholinesterase mutant worms, which have excessive levels of Ach, showed differential expression of metabolic genes. Collectively, these results indicate that alterations in Ach release may influence dauer formation in C. elegans. PMID:24219868
Folick, Andrew; Oakley, Holly D; Yu, Yong; Armstrong, Eric H; Kumari, Manju; Sanor, Lucas; Moore, David D; Ortlund, Eric A; Zechner, Rudolf; Wang, Meng C
Lysosomes are crucial cellular organelles for human health that function in digestion and recycling of extracellular and intracellular macromolecules. We describe a signaling role for lysosomes that affects aging. In the worm Caenorhabditis elegans, the lysosomal acid lipase LIPL-4 triggered nuclear translocalization of a lysosomal lipid chaperone LBP-8, which promoted longevity by activating the nuclear hormone receptors NHR-49 and NHR-80. We used high-throughput metabolomic analysis to identify several lipids in which abundance was increased in worms constitutively overexpressing LIPL-4. Among them, oleoylethanolamide directly bound to LBP-8 and NHR-80 proteins, activated transcription of target genes of NHR-49 and NHR-80, and promoted longevity in C. elegans. These findings reveal a lysosome-to-nucleus signaling pathway that promotes longevity and suggest a function of lysosomes as signaling organelles in metazoans. PMID:25554789
Patel, Amar; Bilbao, Alejandro; Padmanabhan, Venkat; Khan, Zeina; Armstrong, Andrew; Rumbaugh, Kendra; Vanapalli, Siva; Blawzdziewicz, Jerzy
A soil-dwelling nematode Caenorhabditis Elegans efficiently navigates through complex environments, responding to chemical signals to find food or avoid danger. According to previous studies, the nematode uses both gradual-turn and run-and-tumble strategies to move in the direction of the increasing concentration of chemical attractants. We show that both these chemotaxis strategies can be described using our kinematic model [PLoS ONE, 7: e40121 (2012)] in which harmonic-curvature modes represent elementary nematode movements. In our chemotaxis model, the statistics of mode changes is governed by the time history of the chemoattractant concentration at the position of the nematode head. We present results for both nematodes crawling without transverse slip and for swimming nematodes. This work was supported by NSF grant No. CBET 1059745.
Full Text Available Abstract Background Human α-galactosidase A (α-GAL and α-N-acetylgalactosaminidase (α-NAGA are presumed to share a common ancestor. Deficiencies of these enzymes cause two well-characterized human lysosomal storage disorders (LSD – Fabry (α-GAL deficiency and Schindler (α-NAGA deficiency diseases. Caenorhabditis elegans was previously shown to be a relevant model organism for several late endosomal/lysosomal membrane proteins associated with LSDs. The aim of this study was to identify and characterize C. elegans orthologs to both human lysosomal luminal proteins α-GAL and α-NAGA. Results BlastP searches for orthologs of human α-GAL and α-NAGA revealed a single C. elegans gene (R07B7.11 with homology to both human genes (α-galactosidase and α-N-acetylgalactosaminidase – gana-1. We cloned and sequenced the complete gana-1 cDNA and elucidated the gene organization. Phylogenetic analyses and homology modeling of GANA-1 based on the 3D structure of chicken α-NAGA, rice α-GAL and human α-GAL suggest a close evolutionary relationship of GANA-1 to both human α-GAL and α-NAGA. Both α-GAL and α-NAGA enzymatic activities were detected in C. elegans mixed culture homogenates. However, α-GAL activity on an artificial substrate was completely inhibited by the α-NAGA inhibitor, N-acetyl-D-galactosamine. A GANA-1::GFP fusion protein expressed from a transgene, containing the complete gana-1 coding region and 3 kb of its hypothetical promoter, was not detectable under the standard laboratory conditions. The GFP signal was observed solely in a vesicular compartment of coelomocytes of the animals treated with Concanamycin A (CON A or NH4Cl, agents that increase the pH of the cellular acidic compartment. Immunofluorescence detection of the fusion protein using polyclonal anti-GFP antibody showed a broader and coarsely granular cytoplasmic expression pattern in body wall muscle cells, intestinal cells, and a vesicular compartment of
Rukov, Jakob Lewin; Irimia, Manuel; Mørk, Søren;
Alternative splicing (AS) is an important contributor to proteome diversity and is regarded as an explanatory factor for the relatively low number of human genes compared with less complex animals. To assess the evolutionary conservation of AS and its developmental regulation, we have investigated...... the qualitative and quantitative expression of 21 orthologous alternative splice events through the development of 2 nematode species separated by 85-110 Myr of evolutionary time. We demonstrate that most of these alternative splice events present in Caenorhabditis elegans are conserved in...... the regulatory mechanisms controlling AS are to a large extent conserved during the evolution of Caenorhabditis. This strong conservation indicates that both major and minor splice forms have important functional roles and that the relative quantities in which they are expressed are crucial. Our...
Kaplan, Fatma; BADRI, DAYAKAR V.; Zachariah, Cherian; Ajredini, Ramadan; Sandoval, Francisco J.; Roje, Sanja; Lanfang H Levine; Zhang, Fengli; Robinette, Steven. L.; Alborn, Hans T.; Zhao, Wei; Stadler, Michael; Nimalendran, Rathika; Dossey, Aaron T.; Brüschweiler, Rafael
Caenorhabditis elegans, a bacterivorous nematode, lives in complex rotting fruit, soil, and compost environments, and chemical interactions are required for mating, monitoring population density, recognition of food, avoidance of pathogenic microbes, and other essential ecological functions. Despite being one of the best-studied model organisms in biology, relatively little is known about the signals that C. elegans uses to chemically interact with its environment or as defense. C. elegans ex...
Surasri N Sahu
Full Text Available Arsenic, a known human carcinogen, is widely distributed around the world and found in particularly high concentrations in certain regions including Southwestern US, Eastern Europe, India, China, Taiwan and Mexico. Chronic arsenic poisoning affects millions of people worldwide and is associated with increased risk of many diseases including arthrosclerosis, diabetes and cancer. In this study, we explored genome level global responses to high and low levels of arsenic exposure in Caenorhabditis elegans using Affymetrix expression microarrays. This experimental design allows us to do microarray analysis of dose-response relationships of global gene expression patterns. High dose (0.03% exposure caused stronger global gene expression changes in comparison with low dose (0.003% exposure, suggesting a positive dose-response correlation. Biological processes such as oxidative stress, and iron metabolism, which were previously reported to be involved in arsenic toxicity studies using cultured cells, experimental animals, and humans, were found to be affected in C. elegans. We performed genome-wide gene expression comparisons between our microarray data and publicly available C. elegans microarray datasets of cadmium, and sediment exposure samples of German rivers Rhine and Elbe. Bioinformatics analysis of arsenic-responsive regulatory networks were done using FastMEDUSA program. FastMEDUSA analysis identified cancer-related genes, particularly genes associated with leukemia, such as dnj-11, which encodes a protein orthologous to the mammalian ZRF1/MIDA1/MPP11/DNAJC2 family of ribosome-associated molecular chaperones. We analyzed the protective functions of several of the identified genes using RNAi. Our study indicates that C. elegans could be a substitute model to study the mechanism of metal toxicity using high-throughput expression data and bioinformatics tools such as FastMEDUSA.
Nicole Shangming Hou
Full Text Available Rapidly expanding aging populations and a concomitant increase in the prevalence of age-related diseases are global health problems today. Over the past three decades, a large body of work has led to the identification of genes and regulatory networks that affect longevity and health span, often benefitting from the tremendous power of genetics in vertebrate and invertebrate model organisms. Interestingly, many of these factors appear linked to lipids, important molecules that participate in cellular signaling, energy metabolism, and structural compartmentalization. Despite the putative link between lipids and longevity, the role of lipids in aging remains poorly understood. Emerging data from the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans suggest that lipid composition may change during aging, as several pathways that influence aging also regulate lipid metabolism enzymes; moreover, some of these enzymes apparently play key roles in the pathways that affect the rate of aging. By understanding how lipid biology is regulated during C. elegans aging, and how it impacts molecular, cellular and organismal function, we may gain insight into novel ways to delay aging using genetic or pharmacological interventions. In the present review we discuss recent insights into the roles of lipids in C. elegans aging, including regulatory roles played by lipids themselves, the regulation of lipid metabolic enzymes, and the roles of lipid metabolism genes in the pathways that affect aging.
Luallen, Robert J; Bakowski, Malina A.; Troemel, Emily R.
Microsporidia comprise a highly diverged phylum of intracellular, eukaryotic pathogens, with some species able to cause life-threatening illnesses in immunocompromised patients. To better understand microsporidian infection in animals, we study infection of the genetic model organism Caenorhabditis elegans and a species of microsporidia, Nematocida parisii, which infects Caenorhabditis nematodes in the wild. We conducted a targeted RNAi screen for host C. elegans genes important for infection...
Full Text Available Abstract Background Presenilin proteins are part of a complex of proteins that can cleave many type I transmembrane proteins, including Notch Receptors and the Amyloid Precursor Protein, in the middle of the transmembrane domain. Dominant mutations in the human presenilin genes PS1 and PS2 lead to Familial Alzheimer's disease. Mutations in the Caenorhabditis elegans sel-12 presenilin gene cause a highly penetrant egg-laying defect due to reduction of signalling through the lin-12/Notch receptor. Mutations in six spr genes (for suppressor of presenilin are known to strongly suppress sel-12. Mutations in most strong spr genes suppress sel-12 by de-repressing the transcription of the largely functionally equivalent hop-1 presenilin gene. However, how mutations in the spr-2 gene suppress sel-12 is unknown. Results We show that spr-2 mutations increase the levels of sel-12 transcripts with Premature translation Termination Codons (PTCs in embryos and L1 larvae. mRNA transcripts from sel-12 alleles with PTCs undergo degradation by a process known as Nonsense Mediated Decay (NMD. However, spr-2 mutations do not appear to affect NMD. Mutations in the smg genes, which are required for NMD, can restore sel-12(PTC transcript levels and ameliorate the phenotype of sel-12 mutants with amber PTCs. However, the phenotypic suppression of sel-12 by smg genes is nowhere near as strong as the effect of previously characterized spr mutations including spr-2. Consistent with this, we have identified only two mutations in smg genes among the more than 100 spr mutations recovered in genetic screens. Conclusion spr-2 mutations do not suppress sel-12 by affecting NMD of sel-12(PTC transcripts and appear to have a novel mechanism of suppression. The fact that mutations in smg genes can ameliorate the phenotype of sel-12 alleles with amber PTCs suggests that some read-through of sel-12(amber alleles occurs in smg backgrounds.
Schmökel, Verena; Memar, Nadin; Wiekenberg, Anne; Trotzmüller, Martin; Schnabel, Ralf; Döring, Frank
Lipids play a pivotal role in embryogenesis as structural components of cellular membranes, as a source of energy, and as signaling molecules. On the basis of a collection of temperature-sensitive embryonic lethal mutants, a systematic database search, and a subsequent microscopic analysis of >300 interference RNA (RNAi)-treated/mutant worms, we identified a couple of evolutionary conserved genes associated with lipid storage in Caenorhabditis elegans embryos. The genes include cpl-1 (cathepsin L-like cysteine protease), ccz-1 (guanine nucleotide exchange factor subunit), and asm-3 (acid sphingomyelinase), which is closely related to the human Niemann-Pick disease-causing gene SMPD1. The respective mutant embryos accumulate enlarged droplets of neutral lipids (cpl-1) and yolk-containing lipid droplets (ccz-1) or have larger genuine lipid droplets (asm-3). The asm-3 mutant embryos additionally showed an enhanced resistance against C band ultraviolet (UV-C) light. Herein we propose that cpl-1, ccz-1, and asm-3 are genes required for the processing of lipid-containing droplets in C. elegans embryos. Owing to the high levels of conservation, the identified genes are also useful in studies of embryonic lipid storage in other organisms. PMID:26773047
Zorio, D A; Blumenthal, T
In most species the 3' splice site is recognized initially by an interaction between the two-subunit splicing factor U2AF with the polypyrimidine (poly(Y)) tract that results in recruitment of the U2 snRNP to the branch-point consensus just upstream. In contrast, in Caenorhabditis elegans, both the poly(Y) tract and the branch-point consensus sequences are missing, apparently replaced by the highly conserved U4CAG/R 3' splice site consensus. Nevertheless C. elegans U2AF65 is very similar to i...
Hartman, P. S.; Hlavacek, A.; Wilde, H.; Lewicki, D.; Schubert, W.; Kern, R. G.; Kazarians, G. A.; Benton, E. V.; Benton, E. R.; Nelson, G. A.
The fem-3 gene of Caenorhabditis elegans was employed to determine the mutation frequency as well as the nature of mutations induced by low earth orbit space radiation ambient to Space Shuttle flight STS-76. Recovered mutations were compared to those induced by accelerated iron ions generated by the AGS synchrotron accelerator at Brookhaven National Laboratory. For logistical reasons, dauer larvae were prepared at TCU, transported to either Kennedy Space Center or Brookhaven National Laboratory, flown in space or irradiated, returned to TCU and screened for mutants. A total of 25 fem-3 mutants were recovered after the shuttle flight and yielded a mutation frequency of 2.1x10(-5), roughly 3.3-fold higher than the spontaneous rate of 6.3x10(-6). Four of the mutations were homozygous inviable, suggesting that they were large deletions encompassing fem-3 as well as neighboring, essential genes. Southern blot analyses revealed that one of the 25 contained a polymorphism in fem-3, further evidence that space radiation can induce deletions. While no polymorphisms were detected among the iron ion-induced mutations, three of the 15 mutants were homozygous inviable, which is in keeping with previous observations that high LET iron particles generate deficiencies. These data provide evidence, albeit indirect, that an important mutagenic component of ambient space radiation is high LET charged particles such as iron ions.
Myers, Edith M.
Caenorhabditis elegans enter an alternate developmental stage called dauer in unfavorable conditions such as starvation, overcrowding, or high temperature. Several evolutionarily conserved signaling pathways control dauer formation. DAF-7/TGFβ and serotonin, important ligands in these signaling pathways, affect not only dauer formation, but also the expression of one another. The heterotrimeric G proteins GOA-1 (Gαo) and EGL-30 (Gαq) mediate serotonin signaling as well as serotonin biosynthes...
Full Text Available In multicellular organisms, the surface barrier is essential for maintaining the internal environment. In mammals, the barrier is the stratum corneum. Fatty acid transport protein 4 (FATP4 is a key factor involved in forming the stratum corneum barrier. Mice lacking Fatp4 display early neonatal lethality with features such as tight, thick, and shiny skin, and a defective skin barrier. These symptoms are strikingly similar to those of a human skin disease called restrictive dermopathy. FATP4 is a member of the FATP family that possesses acyl-CoA synthetase activity for very long chain fatty acids. How Fatp4 contributes to skin barrier function, however, remains to be elucidated. In the present study, we characterized two Caenorhabditis elegans genes, acs-20 and acs-22, that are homologous to mammalian FATPs. Animals with mutant acs-20 exhibited defects in the cuticle barrier, which normally prevents the penetration of small molecules. acs-20 mutant animals also exhibited abnormalities in the cuticle structure, but not in epidermal cell fate or cell integrity. The acs-22 mutants rarely showed a barrier defect, whereas acs-20;acs-22 double mutants had severely disrupted barrier function. Moreover, the barrier defects of acs-20 and acs-20;acs-22 mutants were rescued by acs-20, acs-22, or human Fatp4 transgenes. We further demonstrated that the incorporation of exogenous very long chain fatty acids into sphingomyelin was reduced in acs-20 and acs-22 mutants. These findings indicate that C. elegans Fatp4 homologue(s have a crucial role in the surface barrier function and this model might be useful for studying the fundamental molecular mechanisms underlying human skin barrier and relevant diseases.
Govindan, J Amaranath; Jayamani, Elamparithi; Zhang, Xinrui; Breen, Peter; Larkins-Ford, Jonah; Mylonakis, Eleftherios; Ruvkun, Gary
Translation in eukaryotes is followed to detect toxins and virulence factors and coupled to the induction of defence pathways. Caenorhabditis elegans germline-specific mutations in translation components are detected by this system to induce detoxification and immune responses in distinct somatic cells. An RNA interference screen revealed gene inactivations that act at multiple steps in lipid biosynthetic and kinase pathways upstream of MAP kinase to mediate the systemic communication of translation defects to induce detoxification genes. Mammalian bile acids can rescue the defect in detoxification gene induction caused by C. elegans lipid biosynthetic gene inactivations. Extracts prepared from C. elegans with translation deficits but not from the wild type can also rescue detoxification gene induction in lipid-biosynthesis-defective strains. These eukaryotic antibacterial countermeasures are not ignored by bacteria: particular bacterial species suppress normal C. elegans detoxification responses to mutations in translation factors. PMID:26322678
Kim, Dennis H.
The molecular genetic analysis of longevity of Caenorhabditis elegans has yielded fundamental insights into evolutionarily conserved pathways and processes governing the physiology of aging. Recent studies suggest that interactions between C. elegans and its microbial environment may influence the aging and longevity of this simple host organism. Experimental evidence supports a role for bacteria in affecting longevity through distinct mechanisms—as a nutrient source, as a potential pathogen ...
Shen, X. N.; Sznitman, J.; Krajacic, P.; Lamitina, T.; Arratia, P. E.
The physical and biomechanical principles that govern undulatory movement on wet surfaces have important applications in physiology, physics, and engineering. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, with its highly stereotypical and functionally distinct sinusoidal locomotory gaits, is an excellent system in which to dissect these properties. Measurements of the main forces governing the C. elegans crawling gait on lubricated surfaces have been scarce, primarily due to difficulties in estimating...
Dickinson, Daniel J.; Goldstein, Bob
The advent of genome editing techniques based on the clustered regularly interspersed short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)–Cas9 system has revolutionized research in the biological sciences. CRISPR is quickly becoming an indispensible experimental tool for researchers using genetic model organisms, including the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Here, we provide an overview of CRISPR-based strategies for genome editing in C. elegans. We focus on practical considerations for successful genome edi...
Tejeda-Benitez, Lesly; Olivero-Verbel, Jesus
Caenorhabditis elegans is a nematode of microscopic size which, due to its biological characteristics, has been used since the 1970s as a model for research in molecular biology, medicine, pharmacology, and toxicology. It was the first animal whose genome was completely sequenced and has played a key role in the understanding of apoptosis and RNA interference. The transparency of its body, short lifespan, ability to self-fertilize and ease of culture are advantages that make it ideal as a model in toxicology. Due to the fact that some of its biochemical pathways are similar to those of humans, it has been employed in research in several fields. C. elegans' use as a biological model in environmental toxicological assessments allows the determination of multiple endpoints. Some of these utilize the effects on the biological functions of the nematode and others use molecular markers. Endpoints such as lethality, growth, reproduction, and locomotion are the most studied, and usually employ the wild type Bristol N2 strain. Other endpoints use reporter genes, such as green fluorescence protein, driven by regulatory sequences from other genes related to different mechanisms of toxicity, such as heat shock, oxidative stress, CYP system, and metallothioneins among others, allowing the study of gene expression in a manner both rapid and easy. These transgenic strains of C. elegans represent a powerful tool to assess toxicity pathways for mixtures and environmental samples, and their numbers are growing in diversity and selectivity. However, other molecular biology techniques, including DNA microarrays and MicroRNAs have been explored to assess the effects of different toxicants and samples. C. elegans has allowed the assessment of neurotoxic effects for heavy metals and pesticides, among those more frequently studied, as the nematode has a very well defined nervous system. More recently, nanoparticles are emergent pollutants whose toxicity can be explored using this nematode
He, Housheng; Cai, Lun; Skogerbø, Geir; Deng, Wei; Liu, Tao; Zhu, Xiaopeng; Wang, Yudong; Jia, Dong; Zhang, Zhihua; Tao, Yong; Zeng, Haipan; Aftab, Muhammad Nauman; Cui, Yan; Liu, Guozhen; Chen, Runsheng
Small non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) are encoded by genes that function at the RNA level, and several hundred ncRNAs have been identified in various organisms. Here we describe an analysis of the small non-coding transcriptome of Caenorhabditis elegans, microRNAs excepted. As a substantial fraction of the ncRNAs is located in introns of protein-coding genes in C.elegans, we also analysed the relationship between ncRNA and host gene expression. To this end, we designed a combined microarray, which i...
Ardiel, Evan L.; Rankin, Catharine H.
This article reviews the literature on learning and memory in the soil-dwelling nematode "Caenorhabditis elegans." Paradigms include nonassociative learning, associative learning, and imprinting, as worms have been shown to habituate to mechanical and chemical stimuli, as well as learn the smells, tastes, temperatures, and oxygen levels that…
Zhang, Jun; Bakheet, Razan; Parhar, Ranjit S; Huang, Cheng-Han; Hussain, M Mahmood; Pan, Xiaoyue; Siddiqui, Shahid S; Hashmi, Sarwar
Coordinated regulation of fat storage and utilization is essential for energy homeostasis, and its disruption is associated with metabolic syndrome and atherosclerosis in humans. Across species, Krüppel-like transcription factors (KLFs) have been identified as key components of adipogenesis. In humans, KLF14 acts as a master transregulator of adipose gene expression in type 2 diabetes and cis-acting expression quantitative trait locus associated with high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Herein we report that, in Caenorhabditis elegans, mutants in klf-3 accumulate large fat droplets rich in neutral lipids in the intestine; this lipid accumulation is associated with an increase in triglyceride levels. The klf-3 mutants show normal pharyngeal pumping; however, they are sterile or semisterile. We explored important genetic interactions of klf-3 with the genes encoding enzymes involved in fatty acid (FA) β-oxidation in mitochondria or peroxisomes and FA synthesis in the cytosol, namely acyl-CoA synthetase (acs-1 and acs-2), acyl-CoA oxidase (F08A8.1 and F08A8.2), and stearoyl-CoA desaturase (fat-7). We show that mutations or RNA interference in these genes increases fat deposits in the intestine of acs-1, acs-2, F08A8.1, and F08A8 animals. We further show that acs-1 and F08A8.1 influence larval development and fertility, respectively. Thus, KLF3 may regulate FA utilization in the intestine and reproductive tissue. We demonstrate that depletion of F08A8.1 activity, but not of acs-1, acs-2, F08A8.2, or fat-7 activity, enhances the fat phenotype of the klf-3 mutant. Taken together, these results suggest that klf-3 regulates lipid metabolism, along with acs-1, acs-2, F08A8.1, and F08A8.2, by promoting FA β-oxidation and, in parallel, may contribute to normal reproductive behavior and fecundity in C. elegans. PMID:21704635
Calvo, Ana C; Pey, Angel L; Ying, Ming; Loer, Curtis M; Martinez, Aurora
In humans, liver phenylalanine hydroxylase (PAH) has an established catabolic function, and mutations in PAH cause phenylketonuria, a genetic disease characterized by neurological damage, if not treated. To obtain novel evolutionary insights and information on molecular mechanisms operating in phenylketonuria, we investigated PAH in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (cePAH), where the enzyme is coded by the pah-1 gene, expressed in the hypodermis. CePAH presents similar molecular and kinetic properties to human PAH [S(0.5)(L-Phe) approximately 150 microM; K(m) for tetrahydrobiopterin (BH(4)) approximately 35 microM and comparable V(max)], but cePAH is devoid of positive cooperativity for L-Phe, an important regulatory mechanism of mammalian PAH that protects the nervous system from excess L-Phe. Pah-1 knockout worms show no obvious neurological defects, but in combination with a second cuticle synthesis mutation, they display serious cuticle abnormalities. We found that pah-1 knockouts lack a yellow-orange pigment in the cuticle, identified as melanin by spectroscopic techniques, and which is detected in C. elegans for the first time. Pah-1 mutants show stimulation of superoxide dismutase activity, suggesting that cuticle melanin functions as oxygen radical scavenger. Our results uncover both an important anabolic function of PAH and the change in regulation of the enzyme along evolution. PMID:18460651
Full Text Available Neuropeptides regulate all aspects of behavior in multicellular organisms. Because of their ability to act at long distances, neuropeptides can exert their effects beyond the conventional synaptic connections, thereby adding an intricate layer of complexity to the activity of neural networks. In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, a large number of neuropeptide genes that are expressed throughout the nervous system has been identified. The actions of these peptides supplement the synaptic connections of the 302 neurons, allowing for fine tuning of neural networks and increasing the ways in which behaviors can be regulated. In this review, we focus on a large family of genes encoding FMRFamide-related peptides. These genes, the flp genes, have been used as a starting point to identifying flp genes throughout Nematoda. Nematodes have the largest family of FMRFamide-related peptides described thus far. The challenges in the future are the elucidation of their functions and the identification of the receptors and signaling pathways through which they function.
Sinclair, Jason; Hamza, Iqbal
Hemes are prosthetic groups that participate in diverse biochemical pathways across phylogeny. Although heme can also regulate broad physiological processes by directly modulating gene expression in Metazoa, the regulatory pathways for sensing and responding to heme are not well defined. Caenorhabditis elegans is a heme auxotroph and relies solely on environmental heme for sustenance. Worms respond to heme availability by regulating heme-responsive genes such as hrg-1, an intestinal heme tran...
Mutations in the unc-87 gene of Caenorhabditis elegans cause disorganization of the myofilament lattice in adult bodywall muscle. In order to assess the organization of specific bodywall muscle components in the absence of the unc-87 gene product, we examined the bodywall muscles of mutant animals using phalloidin and monoclonal antibodies to various muscle proteins. These studies indicated that the bodywall muscle of unc-87 embryos is initially almost wild type in its organization, but at la...
Pati, Amrita; Jin, Ying; Klage, Karsten; Helm, Richard F.; Lenwood S. Heath; Ramakrishnan, Naren
CMGSDB (Database for Computational Modeling of Gene Silencing) is an integration of heterogeneous data sources about Caenorhabditis elegans with capabilities for compositional data mining (CDM) across diverse domains. Besides gene, protein and functional annotations, CMGSDB currently unifies information about 531 RNAi phenotypes obtained from heterogeneous databases using a hierarchical scheme. A phenotype browser at the CMGSDB website serves this hierarchy and relates phenotypes to other bio...
Emily R Troemel
Full Text Available For decades the soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has been an important model system for biology, but little is known about its natural ecology. Recently, C. elegans has become the focus of studies of innate immunity and several pathogens have been shown to cause lethal intestinal infections in C. elegans. However none of these pathogens has been shown to invade nematode intestinal cells, and no pathogen has been isolated from wild-caught C. elegans. Here we describe an intracellular pathogen isolated from wild-caught C. elegans that we show is a new species of microsporidia. Microsporidia comprise a large class of eukaryotic intracellular parasites that are medically and agriculturally important, but poorly understood. We show that microsporidian infection of the C. elegans intestine proceeds through distinct stages and is transmitted horizontally. Disruption of a conserved cytoskeletal structure in the intestine called the terminal web correlates with the release of microsporidian spores from infected cells, and appears to be part of a novel mechanism by which intracellular pathogens exit from infected cells. Unlike in bacterial intestinal infections, the p38 MAPK and insulin/insulin-like growth factor (IGF signaling pathways do not appear to play substantial roles in resistance to microsporidian infection in C. elegans. We found microsporidia in multiple wild-caught isolates of Caenorhabditis nematodes from diverse geographic locations. These results indicate that microsporidia are common parasites of C. elegans in the wild. In addition, the interaction between C. elegans and its natural microsporidian parasites provides a system in which to dissect intracellular intestinal infection in vivo and insight into the diversity of pathogenic mechanisms used by intracellular microbes.
Moore Landon L
Full Text Available Abstract Background The spindle checkpoint delays the onset of anaphase until all sister chromatids are aligned properly at the metaphase plate. To investigate the role san-1, the MAD3 homologue, has in Caenorhabditis elegans embryos we used RNA interference (RNAi to identify genes synthetic lethal with the viable san-1(ok1580 deletion mutant. Results The san-1(ok1580 animal has low penetrating phenotypes including an increased incidence of males, larvae arrest, slow growth, protruding vulva, and defects in vulva morphogenesis. We found that the viability of san-1(ok1580 embryos is significantly reduced when HCP-1 (CENP-F homologue, MDF-1 (MAD-1 homologue, MDF-2 (MAD-2 homologue or BUB-3 (predicted BUB-3 homologue are reduced by RNAi. Interestingly, the viability of san-1(ok1580 embryos is not significantly reduced when the paralog of HCP-1, HCP-2, is reduced. The phenotype of san-1(ok1580;hcp-1(RNAi embryos includes embryonic and larval lethality, abnormal organ development, and an increase in abnormal chromosome segregation (aberrant mitotic nuclei, anaphase bridging. Several of the san-1(ok1580;hcp-1(RNAi animals displayed abnormal kinetochore (detected by MPM-2 and microtubule structure. The survival of mdf-2(RNAi;hcp-1(RNAi embryos but not bub-3(RNAi;hcp-1(RNAi embryos was also compromised. Finally, we found that san-1(ok1580 and bub-3(RNAi, but not hcp-1(RNAi embryos, were sensitive to anoxia, suggesting that like SAN-1, BUB-3 has a functional role as a spindle checkpoint protein. Conclusion Together, these data suggest that in the C. elegans embryo, HCP-1 interacts with a subset of the spindle checkpoint pathway. Furthermore, the fact that san-1(ok1580;hcp-1(RNAi animals had a severe viability defect whereas in the san-1(ok1580;hcp-2(RNAi and san-1(ok1580;hcp-2(ok1757 animals the viability defect was not as severe suggesting that hcp-1 and hcp-2 are not completely redundant.
Chakrabarti, Shumon; Dicke, Christiane; Kalderis, Dimitrios; Kern, Jürgen
Currently, char substrates gain a lot of interest since soils amended with such substrates are being discussed to increase in fertility and productivity, water retention, and mitigation of greenhouse gases. Char substrates can be produced by carbonization of organic matter. Among different process conditions, temperature is the main factor controlling the occurrence of organic and inorganic contaminants such as phenols and furfurals, which may affect target and non-target organisms. The hydrochar produced at 200 °C contained both furfural and phenol with concentrations of 282 and 324 mg kg(-1) in contrast to the 300 °C hydrochar, which contained only phenol with a concentration of 666 mg kg(-1). By washing with acetone and water, these concentrations were significantly reduced. In this study, the potential toxic effects of hydrochars on the free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans were investigated via gene transcription studies using the following four matrices: (i) raw rice husk, (ii) unwashed rice char, (iii) acetone/water washed rice char, and (iv) the wash water of the two rice chars produced at 200 and 300 °C via hydrothermal carbonization (HTC). Furthermore, genetically modified strains, where the green fluorescent protein (GFP) gene sequence is linked to a reporter gene central in specific anti-stress regulations, were also exposed to these matrices. Transgenic worms exposed to hydrochars showed very weak, if any, fluorescence, and expression of the associated RNAs related to stress response and biotransformation genes was surprisingly downregulated. Similar patterns were also found for the raw rice husk. It is hypothesized that an unidentified chemical trigger exists in the rice husk, which is not destroyed during the HTC process. Therefore, the use of GFP transgenic nematode strains cannot be recommended as a general rapid monitoring tool for farmers treating their fields with artificial char. However, it is hypothesized that the observed reduced
Leighton, Daniel H W; Choe, Andrea; Wu, Shannon Y; Sternberg, Paul W
Males of the androdioecious species Caenorhabditis elegans are more likely to attempt to mate with and successfully inseminate C. elegans hermaphrodites that do not concurrently harbor sperm. Although a small number of genes have been implicated in this effect, the mechanism by which it arises remains unknown. In the context of the battle of the sexes, it is also unknown whether this effect is to the benefit of the male, the hermaphrodite, or both. We report that successful contact between mature sperm and oocyte in the C. elegans gonad at the start of fertilization causes the oocyte to release a signal that is transmitted to somatic cells in its mother, with the ultimate effect of reducing her attractiveness to males. Changes in hermaphrodite attractiveness are tied to the production of a volatile pheromone, the first such pheromone described in C. elegans. PMID:25453110
Dickinson, Daniel J.; Goldstein, Bob
The advent of genome editing techniques based on the clustered regularly interspersed short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)–Cas9 system has revolutionized research in the biological sciences. CRISPR is quickly becoming an indispensible experimental tool for researchers using genetic model organisms, including the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Here, we provide an overview of CRISPR-based strategies for genome editing in C. elegans. We focus on practical considerations for successful genome editing, including a discussion of which strategies are best suited to producing different kinds of targeted genome modifications. PMID:26953268
Sutherlin, M. E.; Emmons, S W
The action of the gene mab-19 is required for specification of a subset of Caenorhabditis elegans male peripheral sense organ (ray) lineages. Two mab-19 alleles, isolated in screens for ray developmental mutations, resulted in males that lacked the three most posterior rays. Cell lineage alterations of male-specific divisions of the most posterior lateral hypodermal (seam) blast cell, T, resulted in the ray loss phenotype in mab-19 mutant animals. Postembryonic seam lineage defects were limit...
Gerstein, Mark B.; Lu, Zhi John; Van Nostrand, Eric L.; Cheng, Chao; Arshinoff, Bradley I.; Liu, Tao; Yip, Kevin Y.; Robilotto, Rebecca; Rechtsteiner, Andreas; Ikegami, Kohta; Alves, Pedro; Chateigner, Aurelien; Perry, Marc; Morris, Mitzi; Auerbach, Raymond K.
We systematically generated large-scale data sets to improve genome annotation for the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, a key model organism. These data sets include transcriptome profiling across a developmental time course, genome-wide identification of transcription factor–binding sites, and maps of chromatin organization. From this, we created more complete and accurate gene models, including alternative splice forms and candidate noncoding RNAs. We constructed hierarchical networks of tr...
Zaslaver, Alon; Liani, Idan; Shtangel, Oshrat; Ginzburg, Shira; Yee, Lisa; Sternberg, Paul W.
Animals with compact sensory systems face an encoding problem where a small number of sensory neurons are required to encode information about its surrounding complex environment. Using Caenorhabditis elegans worms as a model, we ask how chemical stimuli are encoded by a small and highly connected sensory system. We first generated a comprehensive library of transgenic worms where each animal expresses a genetically encoded calcium indicator in individual sensory neurons....
Vázquez-Manrique, Rafael P.; Nagy, Anikó I.; Legg, James C.; Bales, Olivia A.M.; Ly, Sung; Baylis, Howard A.
Migration of cells within epithelial sheets is an important feature of embryogenesis and other biological processes. Previous work has demonstrated a role for inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3)-mediated calcium signalling in the rearrangement of epidermal cells (also known as hypodermal cells) during embryonic morphogenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans. However the mechanism by which IP3 production is stimulated is unknown. IP3 is produced by the action of phospholipase C (PLC). We therefore sur...
Lee, Jeeyong; Kim, Kwang-Youl; Paik, Young-Ki
Altered acetylcholine (Ach) homeostasis is associated with loss of viability in flies, developmental defects in mice, and cognitive deficits in human. Here, we assessed the importance of Ach in Caenorhabditis elegans development, focusing on the role of Ach during dauer formation. We found that dauer formation was disturbed in choline acetyltransferase (cha-1) and acetylcholinesterase (ace) mutants defective in Ach biosynthesis and degradation, respectively. When examined the potential role o...
Authors: Timothy Walston and Jeff Hardin Adapted from [*Imaging in Developmental Biology*](http://www.cshlpress.com/link/imagingdevbiop.htm) (ed. Sharpe and Wong). CSHL Press, Cold Spring Harbor, NY, USA, 2011 (in press). ### INTRODUCTION The *Caenorhabditis elegans* embryo is particularly amenable to microscopy and embryological studies because of its short developmental time, transparent shell, and nonpigmented cells. The agar mount described in this protocol is an easy way to ...
Pukkila-Worley, Read; Ausubel, Frederick M.
Intestinal epithelial cells provide an essential line of defense for Caenorhabditis elegans against ingested pathogens. Because nematodes consume microorganisms as their food source, there has presumably been selection pressure to evolve and maintain immune defense mechanisms within the intestinal epithelium. Here we review recent advances that further define the immune signaling network within these cells and suggest mechanisms used by the nematode to monitor for infection. In reviewing stud...
Kocabas, Askin; Shen, Ching-Han; Guo, Zengcai V.; Ramanathan, Sharad
Animals locate and track chemoattractive gradients in the environment to find food. With its small nervous system, Caenorhabditis elegans is a good model system in which to understand how the dynamics of neural activity control this search behaviour. Extensive work on the nematode has identified the neurons that are necessary for the different locomotory behaviours underlying chemotaxis through the use of laser ablation, activity recording in immobilized animals and the study of mutants. Howe...
Feldman, Naama; Kosolapov, Libby; Ben-Zvi, Anat
Protein homeostasis (proteostasis) networks are dynamic throughout the lifespan of an organism. During Caenorhabditis elegans adulthood, the maintenance of metastable proteins and the activation of stress responses are inversely associated with germline stem cell proliferation. Here, we employed the thymidylate synthase inhibitor 5-fluoro-2′-deoxyuridine (FUdR) to chemically inhibit reproduction, thus allowing for examination of the interplay between reproduction and somatic proteostasis. We ...
Primary cilia are cellular antennae found on many cell types in metazoans. Their biogenesis and maintenance is critical throughout lifespan of an animal to support signal transduction pathways essential for development, and physiological processes such as vision and olfaction. Intraflagellar transport (IFT) is a process that is required to form and maintain cilia. Studies in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and Caenorhabditis elegans have revealed several components required for ciliogenesis and IFT...
Ailion, M; Thomas, J. H.
Dauer formation in Caenorhabditis elegans is regulated by several environmental stimuli, including a pheromone and temperature. Dauer formation is moderately induced as the growth temperature increases from 15 degrees to 25 degrees. Here we show that dauer formation is very strongly induced at a temperature of 27 degrees in both wild-type animals and mutants such as unc-64, unc-31, and unc-3, which do not form dauers at 25 degrees. A 27 degrees temperature stimulus is sufficient to induce dau...
Folick, Andrew; Oakley, Holly Doebbler; Yu, Yong; Armstrong, Eric H.; Kumari, Manju; Sanor, Lucas; Moore, David D.; Ortlund, Eric A.; Zechner, Rudolf; Wang, Meng C.
Lysosomes are crucial cellular organelles for human health that function in digestion and recycling of extracellular and intracellular macromolecules. We describe a signaling role for lysosomes that affects aging. In the worm, Caenorhabditis elegans, the lysosomal acid lipase LIPL-4 triggered nuclear translocalization of a lysosomal lipid chaperone LBP-8, consequently promoting longevity by activating the nuclear hormone receptors NHR-49 and NHR-80. We used high-throughput metabolomic analysi...
Singson, A; Hill, K L; L'Hernault, S. W.
Hermaphrodite self-fertilization is the primary mode of reproduction in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. However, when a hermaphrodite is crossed with a male, nearly all of the oocytes are fertilized by male-derived sperm. This sperm precedence during reproduction is due to the competitive superiority of male-derived sperm and results in a functional suppression of hermaphrodite self-fertility. In this study, mutant males that inseminate fertilization-defective sperm were used to reveal t...
LaMunyon, C W; Ward, S.
Sperm competition is generally thought to drive the evolution of sperm miniaturization. Males gain advantage by transferring more sperm, which they produce by dividing limited resources into ever smaller cells. Here, we describe the opposite effect of size on the competitiveness of amoeboid sperm in the hermaphroditic nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Larger sperm crawled faster and displaced smaller sperm, taking precedence at fertilization. Larger sperm took longer to produce, however, and s...
Full Text Available An enormous number of alternative pre-mRNA splicing patterns in multicellular organisms are coordinately defined by a limited number of regulatory proteins and cis elements. Mutually exclusive alternative splicing should be strictly regulated and is a challenging model for elucidating regulation mechanisms. Here we provide models of the regulation of two sets of mutually exclusive exons, 4a-4c and 7a-7b, of the Caenorhabditis elegans uncoordinated (unc-32 gene, encoding the a subunit of V0 complex of vacuolar-type H(+-ATPases. We visualize selection patterns of exon 4 and exon 7 in vivo by utilizing a trio and a pair of symmetric fluorescence splicing reporter minigenes, respectively, to demonstrate that they are regulated in tissue-specific manners. Genetic analyses reveal that RBFOX family RNA-binding proteins ASD-1 and FOX-1 and a UGCAUG stretch in intron 7b are involved in the neuron-specific selection of exon 7a. Through further forward genetic screening, we identify UNC-75, a neuron-specific CELF family RNA-binding protein of unknown function, as an essential regulator for the exon 7a selection. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays specify a short fragment in intron 7a as the recognition site for UNC-75 and demonstrate that UNC-75 specifically binds via its three RNA recognition motifs to the element including a UUGUUGUGUUGU stretch. The UUGUUGUGUUGU stretch in the reporter minigenes is actually required for the selection of exon 7a in the nervous system. We compare the amounts of partially spliced RNAs in the wild-type and unc-75 mutant backgrounds and raise a model for the mutually exclusive selection of unc-32 exon 7 by the RBFOX family and UNC-75. The neuron-specific selection of unc-32 exon 4b is also regulated by UNC-75 and the unc-75 mutation suppresses the Unc phenotype of the exon-4b-specific allele of unc-32 mutants. Taken together, UNC-75 is the neuron-specific splicing factor and regulates both sets of the mutually exclusive
Szewczyk, Nathaniel J.; Kozak, Elena; Conley, Catharine A.
BACKGROUND: C. elegans has been established as a powerful genetic system. Use of a chemically defined medium (C. elegans Maintenance Medium (CeMM)) now allows standardization and systematic manipulation of the nutrients that animals receive. Liquid cultivation allows automated culturing and experimentation and should be of use in large-scale growth and screening of animals. RESULTS: We find that CeMM is versatile and culturing is simple. CeMM can be used in a solid or liquid state, it can be stored unused for at least a year, unattended actively growing cultures may be maintained longer than with standard techniques, and standard C. elegans protocols work well with animals grown in defined medium. We also find that there are caveats to using defined medium. Animals in defined medium grow more slowly than on standard medium, appear to display adaptation to the defined medium, and display altered growth rates as they change the composition of the defined medium. CONCLUSIONS: As was suggested with the introduction of C. elegans as a potential genetic system, use of defined medium with C. elegans should prove a powerful tool.
Viney Jonathan M
Full Text Available Abstract Background Many Caenorhabditis elegans mutations increase longevity and much evidence suggests that they do so at least partly via changes in metabolism. However, up until now there has been no systematic investigation of how the metabolic networks of long-lived mutants differ from those of normal worms. Metabolomic technologies, that permit the analysis of many untargeted metabolites in parallel, now make this possible. Here we use one of these, 1H nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, to investigate what makes long-lived worms metabolically distinctive. Results We examined three classes of long-lived worms: dauer larvae, adult Insulin/IGF-1 signalling (IIS-defective mutants, and a translation-defective mutant. Surprisingly, these ostensibly different long-lived worms share a common metabolic signature, dominated by shifts in carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism. In addition the dauer larvae, uniquely, had elevated levels of modified amino acids (hydroxyproline and phosphoserine. We interrogated existing gene expression data in order to integrate functional (metabolite-level changes with transcriptional changes at a pathway level. Conclusions The observed metabolic responses could be explained to a large degree by upregulation of gluconeogenesis and the glyoxylate shunt as well as changes in amino acid catabolism. These responses point to new possible mechanisms of longevity assurance in worms. The metabolic changes observed in dauer larvae can be explained by the existence of high levels of autophagy leading to recycling of cellular components. See associated minireview: http://jbiol.com/content/9/1/7
Ailion, M; Thomas, J H
Dauer formation in Caenorhabditis elegans is regulated by several environmental stimuli, including a pheromone and temperature. Dauer formation is moderately induced as the growth temperature increases from 15 degrees to 25 degrees. Here we show that dauer formation is very strongly induced at a temperature of 27 degrees in both wild-type animals and mutants such as unc-64, unc-31, and unc-3, which do not form dauers at 25 degrees. A 27 degrees temperature stimulus is sufficient to induce dauer formation in wild-type animals independent of pheromone. Analysis of previously described dauer mutants at 27 degrees reveals a number of surprising results. Several classes of mutants (dyf, daf-3, tax-4, and tax-2) that are defective in dauer formation at lower temperatures reverse their phenotypes at 27 degrees and form dauers constitutively. Epistasis experiments place unc-64 and unc-31 at a different position in the dauer pathway from unc-3. We also uncover new branches of the dauer pathway at 27 degrees that are not detected at 25 degrees. We show that epistatic gene interactions can show both quantitative and qualitative differences depending on environmental conditions. Finally, we discuss some of the possible ecological implications of dauer induction by high temperatures. PMID:11063684
Full Text Available All organisms respond to environmental stresses (e.g., heavy metal, heat, UV irradiation, hyperoxia, food limitation, etc. with coordinated adjustments in order to deal with the consequences and/or injuries caused by the severe stress. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans often exerts adaptive responses if preconditioned with low concentrations of agents or stressor. In C. elegans, three types of adaptive responses can be formed: hormesis, cross-adaptation, and dietary restriction. Several factors influence the formation of adaptive responses in nematodes, and some mechanisms can explain their response formation. In particular, antioxidation system, heat-shock proteins, metallothioneins, glutathione, signaling transduction, and metabolic signals may play important roles in regulating the formation of adaptive responses. In this paper, we summarize the published evidence demonstrating that several types of adaptive responses have converged in C. elegans and discussed some possible alternative theories explaining the adaptive response control.
Saldanha, Jenifer N.; Pandey, Santosh; Powell-Coffman, Jo Anne
As we seek to recognize the opportunities of advanced aerospace technologies and spaceflight, it is increasingly important to understand the impacts of hypergravity, defined as gravitational forces greater than those present on the earth's surface. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has been established as a powerful model to study the effects of altered gravity regimens and has displayed remarkable resilience to space travel. In this study, we investigate the effects of short-term and defined hypergravity exposure on C. elegans motility, brood size, pharyngeal pumping rates, and lifespan. The results from this study advance our understanding of the effects of shorter durations of exposure to increased gravitational forces on C. elegans, and also contribute to the growing body of literature on the impacts of altered gravity regimens on earth's life forms.
Sivamaruthi, Bhagavathi Sundaram; Balamurugan, Krishnaswamy
Studies pertaining to Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium infection by utilizing model systems failed to mimic the essential aspects of immunity induced by Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi, as the determinants of innate immunity are distinct. The present study investigated the physiological and innate immune responses of S. Typhi infected Caenorhabditis elegans and also explored the Ty21a mediated immune enhancement in C. elegans. Ty21a is a known live vaccine for typhoidal infection in human beings. Physiological responses of C. elegans infected with S. Typhi assessed by survival and behavioral assays revealed that S. Typhi caused host mortality by persistent infection. However, Ty21a exposure to C. elegans was not harmful. Ty21a pre-exposed C. elegans, exhibited significant resistance against S. Typhi infection. Elevated accumulation of S. Typhi inside the infected host was observed when compared to Ty21a exposures. Transcript analysis of candidate innate immune gene (clec-60, clec-87, lys-7, ilys-3, scl-2, cpr-2, F08G5.6, atf-7, age-1, bec-1 and daf-16) regulations in the host during S. Typhi infection have been assessed through qPCR analysis to understand the activation of immune signaling pathways during S. Typhi infections. Gene silencing approaches confirmed that clec-60 and clec-87 has a major role in the defense system of C. elegans during S. Typhi infection. In conclusion, the study revealed that preconditioning of host with Ty21a protects against subsequent S. Typhi infection. PMID:24426167
Full Text Available Nucleotide excision repair (NER plays an essential role in many organisms across life domains to preserve and faithfully transmit DNA to the next generation. In humans, NER is essential to prevent DNA damage-induced mutation accumulation and cell death leading to cancer and aging. NER is a versatile DNA repair pathway that repairs many types of DNA damage which distort the DNA helix, such as those induced by solar UV light. A detailed molecular model of the NER pathway has emerged from in vitro and live cell experiments, particularly using model systems such as bacteria, yeast, and mammalian cell cultures. In recent years, the versatility of the nematode C. elegans to study DNA damage response (DDR mechanisms including NER has become increasingly clear. In particular, C. elegans seems to be a convenient tool to study NER during the UV response in vivo, to analyze this process in the context of a developing and multicellular organism, and to perform genetic screening. Here, we will discuss current knowledge gained from the use of C. elegans to study NER and the response to UV-induced DNA damage.
Zhang, Z; Zhao, Y; Wang, X; Lin, R; Zhang, Y; Ma, H; Guo, Y; Xu, L; Zhao, B
Food-derived bioactive peptides may have various physiological modulatory and regulatory functions and are now being studied extensively. Recently, the novel dipeptide Tyr-Ala was isolated from hydrolyzed maize protein. Tyr-Ala significantly prolonged the lifespan of wild-type Caenorhabditis elegans and extended the nematode healthspan and lifespan during heat/oxidative stress. Compared with its constituent amino acids, Tyr-Ala was more efficient in enhancing stress resistance. Further studies demonstrated that the significant longevity-extending effects of Tyr-Ala on Caenorhabditis elegans were attributed to its in vitro and in vivo free radical-scavenging effects, in addition to its ability to up-regulate stress resistance-related proteins, such as SOD (Superoxide Dismutase)-3 and HSP (Heat Shock Protein)-16.2. Real-time PCR results showed that the up-regulation of aging-associated genes, such as daf-16, sod-3, hsp-16.2 and skn-1, also contributed to the stress-resistance effect of Tyr-Ala. These results indicate that the novel dipeptide Tyr-Ala can protect against external stress and thus extend the lifespan and healthspan of Caenorhabditis elegans. Thereby, Tyr-Ala could be used as a potential medicine in anti-aging research. PMID:26987062
Holden-Dye, Lindy; Walker, Robert J
Parasitic nematodes infect many species of animals throughout the phyla, including humans. Moreover, nematodes that parasitise plants are a global problem for agriculture. As such, these nematodes place a major burden on human health, on livestock production, on the welfare of companion animals and on crop production. In the 21st century there are two major challenges posed by the wide-spread prevalence of parasitic nematodes. First, many anthelmintic drugs are losing their effectiveness because nematode strains with resistance are emerging. Second, serious concerns regarding the environmental impact of the nematicides used for crop protection have prompted legislation to remove them from use, leaving agriculture at increased risk from nematode pests. There is clearly a need for a concerted effort to address these challenges. Over the last few decades the free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has provided the opportunity to use molecular genetic techniques for mode of action studies for anthelmintics and nematicides. These approaches continue to be of considerable value. Less fruitful so far, but nonetheless potentially very useful, has been the direct use of C. elegans for anthelmintic and nematicide discovery programmes. Here we provide an introduction to the use of C. elegans as a 'model' parasitic nematode, briefly review the study of nematode control using C. elegans and highlight approaches that have been of particular value with a view to facilitating wider-use of C. elegans as a platform for anthelmintic and nematicide discovery and development. PMID:25517625
Sun, Quancai; Yue, Yiren; Shen, Peiyi; Yang, Jeremy J; Park, Yeonhwa
Cranberry phenolic compounds have been linked to many health benefits. A recent report suggested that cranberry bioactives inhibit adipogenesis in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Thus, we investigated the effects and mechanisms of the cranberry product (CP) on lipid metabolism using the Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) model. CP (0.016% and 0.08%) dose-dependently reduced overall fat accumulation in C. elegans (N2, wild type) by 43% and 74%, respectively, without affecting its pumping rates or locomotive activities. CP decreased fat accumulation in aak-2 (an ortholog of AMP-activated kinase α) and tub-1 (an ortholog of TUBBY) mutants significantly, but only minimal effects were observed in sbp-1 (an ortholog of sterol response element-binding protein-1) and nhr-49 (an ortholog of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-α) mutant strains. We further confirmed that CP downregulated sbp-1, cebp, and hosl-1 (an ortholog of hormone-sensitive lipase homolog) expression, while increasing the expression of nhr-49 in wild-type C. elegans. These results suggest that CP could effectively reduce fat accumulation in C. elegans dependent on sbp-1, cebp, and nhr-49, but not aak-2 and tub-1. PMID:26991055
Deng, Xinxian; Hiatt, Joseph B.; Nguyen, Di Kim; Ercan, Sevinc; Sturgill, David; Hillier, Ladeana W; Schlesinger, Felix; Davis, Carrie A.; Reinke, Valerie J; Gingeras, Thomas R.; Shendure, Jay; Robert H Waterston; Oliver, Brian; Lieb, Jason D.; Disteche, Christine M
Many animal species use a chromosome-based mechanism of sex determination, which has led to the coordinate evolution of dosage-compensation systems. Dosage compensation not only corrects the imbalance in the number of X chromosomes between the sexes but also is hypothesized to correct dosage imbalance within cells that is due to monoallelic X-linked expression and biallelic autosomal expression, by upregulating X-linked genes twofold (termed ‘Ohno’s hypothesis’). Although this hypothesis is w...
Kumar, Sandeep; Dietrich, Nicholas; Kornfeld, Kerry
Animal aging is characterized by progressive, degenerative changes in many organ systems. Because age-related degeneration is a major contributor to disability and death in humans, treatments that delay age-related degeneration are desirable. However, no drugs that delay normal human aging are currently available. To identify drugs that delay age-related degeneration, we used the powerful Caenorhabditis elegans model system to screen for FDA-approved drugs that can extend the adult lifespan of worms. Here we show that captopril extended mean lifespan. Captopril is an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor used to treat high blood pressure in humans. To explore the mechanism of captopril, we analyzed the acn-1 gene that encodes the C. elegans homolog of ACE. Reducing the activity of acn-1 extended the mean life span. Furthermore, reducing the activity of acn-1 delayed age-related degenerative changes and increased stress resistance, indicating that acn-1 influences aging. Captopril could not further extend the lifespan of animals with reduced acn-1, suggesting they function in the same pathway; we propose that captopril inhibits acn-1 to extend lifespan. To define the relationship with previously characterized longevity pathways, we analyzed mutant animals. The lifespan extension caused by reducing the activity of acn-1 was additive with caloric restriction and mitochondrial insufficiency, and did not require sir-2.1, hsf-1 or rict-1, suggesting that acn-1 functions by a distinct mechanism. The interactions with the insulin/IGF-1 pathway were complex, since the lifespan extensions caused by captopril and reducing acn-1 activity were additive with daf-2 and age-1 but required daf-16. Captopril treatment and reducing acn-1 activity caused similar effects in a wide range of genetic backgrounds, consistent with the model that they act by the same mechanism. These results identify a new drug and a new gene that can extend the lifespan of worms and suggest new
Full Text Available Animal aging is characterized by progressive, degenerative changes in many organ systems. Because age-related degeneration is a major contributor to disability and death in humans, treatments that delay age-related degeneration are desirable. However, no drugs that delay normal human aging are currently available. To identify drugs that delay age-related degeneration, we used the powerful Caenorhabditis elegans model system to screen for FDA-approved drugs that can extend the adult lifespan of worms. Here we show that captopril extended mean lifespan. Captopril is an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE inhibitor used to treat high blood pressure in humans. To explore the mechanism of captopril, we analyzed the acn-1 gene that encodes the C. elegans homolog of ACE. Reducing the activity of acn-1 extended the mean life span. Furthermore, reducing the activity of acn-1 delayed age-related degenerative changes and increased stress resistance, indicating that acn-1 influences aging. Captopril could not further extend the lifespan of animals with reduced acn-1, suggesting they function in the same pathway; we propose that captopril inhibits acn-1 to extend lifespan. To define the relationship with previously characterized longevity pathways, we analyzed mutant animals. The lifespan extension caused by reducing the activity of acn-1 was additive with caloric restriction and mitochondrial insufficiency, and did not require sir-2.1, hsf-1 or rict-1, suggesting that acn-1 functions by a distinct mechanism. The interactions with the insulin/IGF-1 pathway were complex, since the lifespan extensions caused by captopril and reducing acn-1 activity were additive with daf-2 and age-1 but required daf-16. Captopril treatment and reducing acn-1 activity caused similar effects in a wide range of genetic backgrounds, consistent with the model that they act by the same mechanism. These results identify a new drug and a new gene that can extend the lifespan of worms
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Monascus-fermented products are mentioned in an ancient Chinese pharmacopoeia of medicinal food and herbs. Monascus-fermented products offer valuable therapeutic benefits and have been extensively used in East Asia for several centuries. Several biological activities of Monascus-fermented products were recently described, and the extract of Monascus-fermented products showed strong antioxidant activity of scavenging DPPH radicals. To evaluate whether Monascus-fermented dioscorea products have potential as nutritional supplements, Monascus-fermented dioscorea's modulation of oxidative-stress resistance and associated regulatory mechanisms in Caenorhabditis elegans were investigated. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We examined oxidative stress resistance of the ethanol extract of red mold dioscorea (RMDE in C. elegans, and found that RMDE-treated wild-type C. elegans showed an increased survival during juglone-induced oxidative stress compared to untreated controls, whereas the antioxidant phenotype was absent from a daf-16 mutant. In addition, the RMDE reduced the level of intracellular reactive oxygen species in C. elegans. Finally, the RMDE affected the subcellular distribution of the FOXO transcription factor, DAF-16, in C. elegans and induced the expression of the sod-3 antioxidative gene. CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that the RMDE acts as an antioxidative stress agent and thus may have potential as a nutritional supplement. Further studies in C. elegans suggest that the antioxidant effect of RMDE is mediated via regulation of the DAF-16/FOXO-dependent pathway.
Johnson, Thomas E.; Nelson, Gregory A.
The utility of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans in studies spanning aspects of development, aging, and radiobiology is reviewed. These topics are interrelated via cellular and DNA repair processes especially in the context of oxidative stress and free-radical metabolism. The relevance of these research topics to problems in space biology is discussed and properties of the space environment are outlined. Exposure to the space-flight environment can induce rapid changes in living systems that are similar to changes occurring during aging; manipulation of these environmental parameters may represent an experimental strategy for studies of development and senescence. The current and future opportunities for such space-flight experimentation are presented.
During the development of Caenorhabditis elegans, through cell divisions, a total of exactly 1090 cells are generated, 131 of which undergo programmed cell death (PCD) to result in an adult organism comprising 959 cells. Of those 131, exactly 113 undergo PCD during embryogenesis, subdivided across the cell lineages in the following fashion: 98 for AB lineage; 14 for MS lineage; and 1 for C lineage. Is there a law underlying these numbers, and if there is, what could it be? Here we wish to show that the count of the cells undergoing PCD complies with the cipher laws related to the algorithms of Shor and of Grover
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The approach of RNAi mediated gene knockdown, employing exogenous dsRNA, is being beneficially exploited in various fields of functional genomics. The immense utility of the approach came to fore from studies with model system C. elegans, but quickly became applicable with varied research models ranging from in vitro to various in vivo systems. Previously, there have been reports on the refractoriness of the neuronal cells to RNAi mediated gene silencing following which several modulators like eri-1 and lin-15 were described in C. elegans which, when present, would negatively impact the gene knockdown. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Taking a clue from these findings, we went on to screen hypothesis-driven- methodologies towards exploring the efficiency in the process of RNAi under various experimental conditions, wherein these genes would be knocked down preceding to, or concurrently with, the knocking down of a gene of interest. For determining the efficiency of gene knockdown, we chose to study visually stark phenotypes of uncoordinated movement, dumpy body morphology and blistered cuticle obtained by knocking down of genes unc-73, dpy-9 and bli-3 respectively, employing the RNAi-by-feeding protocol in model system C. elegans. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our studies led to a very interesting outcome as the results reveal that amongst various methods tested, pre-incubation with eri-1 dsRNA synthesizing bacteria followed by co-incubation with eri-1 and gene-of-interest dsRNA synthesizing bacteria leads to the most efficient gene silencing as observed by the analysis of marker phenotypes. This provides an approach for effectively employing RNAi induced gene silencing while working with different genetic backgrounds including transgenic and mutant strains.
Full Text Available Mutants of trt-1, the Caenorhabditis elegans telomerase reverse transcriptase, reproduce normally for several generations but eventually become sterile as a consequence of telomere erosion and end-to-end chromosome fusions. Telomere erosion and uncapping do not cause an increase in apoptosis in the germlines of trt-1 mutants. Instead, late-generation trt-1 mutants display chromosome segregation defects that are likely to be the direct cause of sterility. trt-1 functions in the same telomere replication pathway as mrt-2, a component of the Rad9/Rad1/Hus1 (9-1-1 proliferating cell nuclear antigen-like sliding clamp. Thus, the 9-1-1 complex may be required for telomerase to act at chromosome ends in C. elegans. Although telomere erosion limits replicative life span in human somatic cells, neither trt-1 nor telomere shortening affects postmitotic aging in C. elegans. These findings illustrate effects of telomere dysfunction in C. elegans mutants lacking the catalytic subunit of telomerase, trt-1.
Wilson, Mark A; Shukitt-Hale, Barbara; Kalt, Wilhelmina; Ingram, Donald K; Joseph, James A; Wolkow, Catherine A
The beneficial effects of polyphenol compounds in fruits and vegetables are mainly extrapolated from in vitro studies or short-term dietary supplementation studies. Due to cost and duration, relatively little is known about whether dietary polyphenols are beneficial in whole animals, particularly with respect to aging. To address this question, we examined the effects of blueberry polyphenols on lifespan and aging of the nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, a useful organism for such a study. We report that a complex mixture of blueberry polyphenols increased lifespan and slowed aging-related declines in C. elegans. We also found that these benefits did not just reflect antioxidant activity in these compounds. For instance, blueberry treatment increased survival during acute heat stress, but was not protective against acute oxidative stress. The blueberry extract consists of three major fractions that all contain antioxidant activity. However, only one fraction, enriched in proanthocyanidin compounds, increased C. elegans lifespan and thermotolerance. To further determine how polyphenols prolonged C. elegans lifespan, we analyzed the genetic requirements for these effects. Prolonged lifespan from this treatment required the presence of a CaMKII pathway that mediates osmotic stress resistance, though not other pathways that affect stress resistance and longevity. In conclusion, polyphenolic compounds in blueberries had robust and reproducible benefits during aging that were separable from antioxidant effects. PMID:16441844
Fujii, Michihiko; Matsumoto, Yuki; Tanaka, Nanae; Miki, Kensuke; Suzuki, Toshikazu; Ishii, Naoaki; Ayusawa, Dai
The relationship between oxidative stress and longevity is a matter of concern in various organisms. We isolated mutants resistant to paraquat from nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. One mutant named mev-4 was long-lived and showed cross-resistance to heat and Dyf phenotype (defective in dye filling). Genetic and sequence analysis revealed that mev-4 had a nonsense mutation on the che-11 gene, homologues of which are involved in formation of cilia and flagella in other organisms. The paraquat resistance was commonly observed in various Dyf mutants and did not depend on the daf-16 gene, whereas the extension of life span did depend on it. Expression of antioxidant enzyme genes seemed normal. These results suggest that chemosensory neurons are a target of oxidative stress and influence longevity dependent on the daf-16 signaling in C. elegans. PMID:14982934
Baillie David L
Full Text Available Abstract Background The complete genome sequences for human and the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans offer an opportunity to learn more about human gene function through functional characterization of orthologs in the worm. Based on a previous genome-wide analysis of worm-human orthologous transmembrane proteins, we selected seventeen genes to explore experimentally in C. elegans. These genes were selected on the basis that they all have high confidence candidate human orthologs and that their function is unknown. We first analyzed their phylogeny, membrane topology and domain organization. Then gene functions were studied experimentally in the worm by using RNA interference and transcriptional gfp reporter gene fusions. Results The experiments gave functional insights for twelve of the genes studied. For example, C36B1.12, the worm ortholog of three presenilin-like genes, was almost exclusively expressed in head neurons, suggesting an ancient conserved role important to neuronal function. We propose a new transmembrane topology for the presenilin-like protein family. sft-4, the worm ortholog of surfeit locus gene Surf-4, proved to be an essential gene required for development during the larval stages of the worm. R155.1, whose human ortholog is entirely uncharacterized, was implicated in body size control and other developmental processes. Conclusions By combining bioinformatics and C. elegans experiments on orthologs, we provide functional insights on twelve previously uncharacterized human genes.
Kudron, Michelle; Niu, Wei; Lu, Zhi; Wang, Guilin; Gerstein, Mark; Snyder, Michael; Reinke, Valerie
Background The tumor suppressor Rb/E2F regulates gene expression to control differentiation in multiple tissues during development, although how it directs tissue-specific gene regulation in vivo is poorly understood. Results We determined the genome-wide binding profiles for Caenorhabditis elegans Rb/E2F-like components in the germline, in the intestine and broadly throughout the soma, and uncovered highly tissue-specific binding patterns and target genes. Chromatin association by LIN-35, th...
Hall, Julie; Haas, Kathryn L; Freedman, Jonathan H
Cadmium is an environmental toxicant whose exposure is associated with multiple human pathologies. To prevent cadmium-induced toxicity, organisms produce a variety of detoxification molecules. In response to cadmium, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans increases the steady-state levels of several hundred genes, including two metallothioneins, mtl-1 and mtl-2, and the cadmium-specific response gene, cdr-1. Despite the presumed importance in metal detoxification of mtl-1 and mtl-2, knockdown of their expression does not increase cadmium hypersensitivity, which suggests that these genes are not required for resistance to metal toxicity in C. elegans. To determine whether cdr-1 is critical in metal detoxification and compensates for the loss of mtl-1 and/or mtl-2, C. elegans strains were generated in which one, two, and all three genes were deleted, and the effects of cadmium on brood size, embryonic lethality, the Bag phenotype, and growth were determined. Growth at low cadmium concentrations was the only endpoint in which the triple mutant displayed more sensitivity than the single and double mutants. A lack of hypersensitivity in these strains suggests that other factors may be involved in the response to cadmium. Caenorhabditis elegans produces phytochelatins (PCs) that are critical in the defense against cadmium toxicity. PC levels in wild type, cdr-1 single, mtl-1, mtl-2 double, and triple mutants were measured. PC levels were constitutively higher in the mtl-1, mtl-2 double, and triple mutants compared with wild type. Following cadmium exposure, PC levels increased. The lack of cadmium hypersensitivity when these genes are deleted may be attributed to the compensatory effects of increases in PCs. PMID:22552775
Meiosis in the free-living, hermaphroditic nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is marked by the same highly conserved features observed in other sexually reproducing systems. Accurate chromosome segregation at the meiotic divisions depends on earlier landmark events of meiotic prophase, including the pairing of homologous chromosomes, synapsis between them, and the formation of crossovers. Dissection of these processes has revealed a unique simplification of meiotic mechanisms that impact the interpretation of meiotic chromosome behaviour in more complex systems. Chromosome sites required for chromosome pairing are consolidated to one end of each chromosome, the many sites of recombination initiation are resolved into a single crossover for each chromosome pair, and the diffuse (holocentric) kinetic activity that extends along the length of the mitotic chromosomes is reduced to a single end of each meiotic chromosome. Consequently, studies from the nematode have illuminated and challenged long-standing concepts of homologue pairing mechanisms, crossover interference, and kinetochore structure. Because chromosome pairing, synapsis, and recombination can proceed independently of one another, C. elegans has provided a simplified system for studying these processes and the mechanisms mediating their coordination during meiosis. This review covers the major features of C. elegans meiosis with emphasis on its contributions to understanding essential meiotic processes. PMID:18948706
Full Text Available The innate immune response may be activated quickly once the organism is invaded by exotic pathogens. An excessive immune response may result in inflammation and tissue damage, whereas an insufficient immune response may result in infection. Nervous system may regulate the intensity of innate immune responses by releasing neurotransmitters, neuropeptides and hormones. Compared with the complicated neuro-immune system in mammals, it is much simpler in Caenorhabditis elegans. Besides, C. elegans is accessible to genetic, molecular biology and behavioral analyses, so it has been used in studies on neuro-immune interactions. It has been revealed recently in the studies with C. elegans that the neuronal pathways regulating innate immune responses primarily include a transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β pathway, an insulin/insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGF pathway and dopaminergic neurotransmission. Since these pathways are evolutionally conservative, so it might be able to provide some new ideas for the research on neuro-immune interactions at molecular levels. The recent progress in this field has been reviewed in present paper.
Venkatachalam, Vivek; Ji, Ni; Wang, Xian; Clark, Christopher; Mitchell, James Kameron; Klein, Mason; Tabone, Christopher J; Florman, Jeremy; Ji, Hongfei; Greenwood, Joel; Chisholm, Andrew D; Srinivasan, Jagan; Alkema, Mark; Zhen, Mei; Samuel, Aravinthan D T
We present an imaging system for pan-neuronal recording in crawling Caenorhabditis elegans. A spinning disk confocal microscope, modified for automated tracking of the C. elegans head ganglia, simultaneously records the activity and position of ∼80 neurons that coexpress cytoplasmic calcium indicator GCaMP6s and nuclear localized red fluorescent protein at 10 volumes per second. We developed a behavioral analysis algorithm that maps the movements of the head ganglia to the animal's posture and locomotion. Image registration and analysis software automatically assigns an index to each nucleus and calculates the corresponding calcium signal. Neurons with highly stereotyped positions can be associated with unique indexes and subsequently identified using an atlas of the worm nervous system. To test our system, we analyzed the brainwide activity patterns of moving worms subjected to thermosensory inputs. We demonstrate that our setup is able to uncover representations of sensory input and motor output of individual neurons from brainwide dynamics. Our imaging setup and analysis pipeline should facilitate mapping circuits for sensory to motor transformation in transparent behaving animals such as C. elegans and Drosophila larva. PMID:26711989
The Tat protein from HIV-1 fused with heterologous proteins traverses biological membranes in a transcellular process called: protein transduction. This has already been successfully exploited in various biological models, but never in the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans. TAT-eGFP or GST-eGFP proteins were fed to C. elegans worms, which resulted in the specific localization of Tat-eGFP to epithelial intestinal cells. This system represents an efficient tool for transcellular transduction in C. elegans intestinal cells. Indeed, this approach avoids the use of tedious purification steps to purify the TAT fusion proteins and allows for rapid analyses of the transduced proteins. In addition, it may represent an efficient tool to functionally analyze the mechanisms of protein transduction as well as to complement RNAi/KO in the epithelial intestinal system. To sum up, the advantage of this technology is to combine the potential of bacterial expression system and the Tat-mediated transduction technique in living worm
De Riso, L; Ristoratore, F; Sebastiano, M; Bazzicalupo, P
Studies are reported on a chemoreception mutant which arose in a mutator strain. The mutant sensory neurons do not stain with fluoresceine isothiocyanate (Dyf phenotype), hence the name, dyf-1, given to the gene it identifies. The gene maps on LGI, 0.4 map units from dpy-5 on the unc-11 side. The response of mutant worms to various repellents has been studied and shown to be partially altered. Other chemoreception based behaviors are less affected. The cilia of the sensory neurons of the amphid are shorter than normal and the primary defect may be in the capacity of the sheath cells to secrete the matrix material that fills the space between cilia in the amphid channel. Progress toward the molecular cloning of the gene is also reported. Relevant results from other laboratories are briefly reviewed. PMID:7896139
Timmons, Lisa; Tabara, Hiroaki; Mello, Craig C.; Fire, Andrew Z.
Introduction of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) can elicit a gene-specific RNA interference response in a variety of organisms and cell types. In many cases, this response has a systemic character in that silencing of gene expression is observed in cells distal from the site of dsRNA delivery. The molecular mechanisms underlying the mobile nature of RNA silencing are unknown. For example, although cellular entry of dsRNA is possible, cellular exit of dsRNA from normal anim...
Sznitman, Raphael; Hager, Gregory D; Arratia, Paulo E; Sznitman, Josue
The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a well-known model organism used to investigate fundamental questions in biology. Motility assays of this small roundworm are designed to study the relationships between genes and behavior. Commonly, motility analysis is used to classify nematode movements and characterize them quantitatively. Over the past years, C. elegans' motility has been studied across a wide range of environments, including crawling on substrates, swimming in fluids, and locomoting through microfluidic substrates. However, each environment often requires customized image processing tools relying on heuristic parameter tuning. In the present study, we propose a novel Multi-Environment Model Estimation (MEME) framework for automated image segmentation that is versatile across various environments. The MEME platform is constructed around the concept of Mixture of Gaussian (MOG) models, where statistical models for both the background environment and the nematode appearance are explicitly learned and ...
Jauregui, Andrew R.; Nguyen, Ken C.Q.; Hall, David H.; Barr, Maureen M.
Nephronophthisis (NPHP) is the most common genetic cause of end-stage renal disease in children and young adults. In Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, Caenorhabditis elegans, and mammals, the NPHP1 and NPHP4 gene products nephrocystin-1 and nephrocystin-4 localize to basal bodies or ciliary transition zones (TZs), but their function in this location remains unknown. We show here that loss of C. elegans NPHP-1 and NPHP-4 from TZs is tolerated in developing cilia but causes changes in localization of specific ciliary components and a broad range of subtle axonemal ultrastructural defects. In amphid channel cilia, nphp-4 mutations cause B tubule defects that further disrupt intraflagellar transport (IFT). We propose that NPHP-1 and NPHP-4 act globally at the TZ to regulate ciliary access of the IFT machinery, axonemal structural components, and signaling molecules, and that perturbing this balance results in cell type–specific phenotypes. PMID:18316409
Bito, Tomohiro; Watanabe, Fumio
Caenorhabditis elegans is a nematode that has been widely used as an animal for investigation of diverse biological phenomena. Vitamin B12 is essential for the growth of this worm, which contains two cobalamin-dependent enzymes, methylmalonyl-CoA mutase and methionine synthase. A full complement of gene homologs encoding the enzymes associated with the mammalian intercellular metabolic processes of vitamin B12 is identified in the genome of C elegans However, this worm has no orthologs of the vitamin B12-binders that participate in human intestinal absorption and blood circulation. When the worm is treated with a vitamin B12-deficient diet for five generations (15 days), it readily develops vitamin B12 deficiency, which induces worm phenotypes (infertility, delayed growth, and shorter lifespan) that resemble the symptoms of mammalian vitamin B12 deficiency. Such phenotypes associated with vitamin B12 deficiency were readily induced in the worm. PMID:27486161
Kesika, Periyanaina; Prasanth, Mani Iyer; Balamurugan, Krishnaswamy
To analyze the pathogenesis at both physiological and molecular level using the model organism, Caenorhabditis elegans at different developmental stages in response to Shigella spp. and its pathogen associated molecular patterns such as lipopolysaccharide. The solid plate and liquid culture-based infection assays revealed that Shigella spp. infects C. elegans and had an impact on the brood size and pharyngeal pumping rate. LPS of Shigella spp. was toxic to C. elegans. qPCR analysis revealed that host innate immune genes have been modulated upon Shigella spp. infections and its LPS challenges. Non-destructive analysis was performed to kinetically assess the alterations in LPS during interaction of Shigella spp. with C. elegans. The modulation of innate immune genes attributed the surrendering of host immune system to Shigella spp. by favoring the infection. LPS appeared to have a major role in Shigella-mediated pathogenesis and Shigella employs a tactic behavior of modifying its LPS content to escape from the recognition of host immune system. PMID:25384571
Dierking, Katja; Yang, Wentao; Schulenburg, Hinrich
Nematodes and arthropods likely form the taxon Ecdysozoa. Information on antimicrobial effectors from the model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans may thus shed light on the evolutionary origin of these defences in arthropods. This nematode species possesses an extensive armory of putative antimicrobial effector proteins, such as lysozymes, caenopores (or saposin-like proteins), defensin-like peptides, caenacins and neuropeptide-like proteins, in addition to the production of reactive oxygen species and autophagy. As C. elegans is a bacterivore that lives in microbe-rich environments, some of its effector peptides and proteins likely function in both digestion of bacterial food and pathogen elimination. In this review, we provide an overview of C. elegans immune effector proteins and mechanisms. We summarize the experimental evidence of their antimicrobial function and involvement in the response to pathogen infection. We further evaluate the microbe-induced expression of effector genes using WormExp, a recently established database for C. elegans gene expression analysis. We emphasize the need for further analysis at the protein level to demonstrate an antimicrobial activity of these molecules both in vitro and in vivoThis article is part of the themed issue 'Evolutionary ecology of arthropod antimicrobial peptides'. PMID:27160601
Frøkjaer-Jensen, Christian; Davis, M Wayne; Hopkins, Christopher E; Newman, Blake J; Thummel, Jason M; Olesen, Søren-Peter; Grunnet, Morten; Jorgensen, Erik M
At present, transgenes in Caenorhabditis elegans are generated by injecting DNA into the germline. The DNA assembles into a semistable extrachromosomal array composed of many copies of injected DNA. These transgenes are typically overexpressed in somatic cells and silenced in the germline. We have...... developed a method that inserts a single copy of a transgene into a defined site. Mobilization of a Mos1 transposon generates a double-strand break in noncoding DNA. The break is repaired by copying DNA from an extrachromosomal template into the chromosomal site. Homozygous single-copy insertions can be...... obtained in less than 2 weeks by injecting approximately 20 worms. We have successfully inserted transgenes as long as 9 kb and verified that single copies are inserted at the targeted site. Single-copy transgenes are expressed at endogenous levels and can be expressed in the female and male germlines....
Wang, Yang; Zhang, Yi; Chen, Lianwan; Liang, Qian; Yin, Xiao-Ming; Miao, Long; Kang, Byung-Ho; Xue, Ding
In most eukaryotes, mitochondria are inherited maternally. The autophagy process is critical for paternal mitochondrial elimination (PME) in Caenorhabditis elegans, but how paternal mitochondria, but not maternal mitochondria, are selectively targeted for degradation is poorly understood. Here we report that mitochondrial dynamics have a profound effect on PME. A defect in fission of paternal mitochondria delays PME, whereas a defect in fusion of paternal mitochondria accelerates PME. Surprisingly, a defect in maternal mitochondrial fusion delays PME, which is reversed by a fission defect in maternal mitochondria or by increasing maternal mitochondrial membrane potential using oligomycin. Electron microscopy and tomography analyses reveal that a proportion of maternal mitochondria are compromised when they fail to fuse normally, leading to their competition for the autophagy machinery with damaged paternal mitochondria and delayed PME. Our study indicates that mitochondrial dynamics play a critical role in regulating both the kinetics and the specificity of PME. PMID:27581092
Shoichet, Sarah A.; Malik, Talat H.; Rothman, Joel H.; Shivdasani, Ramesh A.
In ecdysozoan protostomes, including arthropods and nematodes, transcription factors of the GATA family specify the endoderm: Drosophila dGATAb (ABF/Serpent) and Caenorhabditis elegans END-1 play important roles in generating this primary germ layer. end-1 is the earliest expressed endoderm-specific gene known in C. elegans and appears to initiate the program of gene expression required for endoderm differentiation, including a cascade of GATA factors required for development and maintenance ...
SMG-ly knocking out gene expression in specific cells: an educational primer for use with "a novel strategy for cell-autonomous gene knockdown in caenorhabditis elegans defines a cell-specific function for the G-protein subunit GOA-1".
Meneely, Philip M; Bloom, Jordana C
A recent article by Maher et al. in GENETICS introduces an alternative approach to cell-type-specific gene knockdown in Caenorhabditis elegans, using nonsense-mediated decay. This strategy has the potential to be applicable to other organisms (this strategy requires that animals can survive without nonsense-mediated decay-not all can). This Primer article provides a guide and resource for educators and students by describing different gene knockdown methodologies, by assisting with the technically difficult portions of the Maher et al. article, and by providing conceptual questions relating to the article. PMID:24302743
Full Text Available Genetic defects in the dystrophin-associated protein complex (DAPC are responsible for a variety of pathological conditions including muscular dystrophy, cardiomyopathy, and vasospasm. Conserved DAPC components from humans to Caenorhabditis elegans suggest a similar molecular function. C. elegans DAPC mutants exhibit a unique locomotory deficit resulting from prolonged muscle excitation and contraction. Here we show that the C. elegans DAPC is essential for proper localization of SLO-1, the large conductance, voltage-, and calcium-dependent potassium (BK channel, which conducts a major outward rectifying current in muscle under the normal physiological condition. Through analysis of mutants with the same phenotype as the DAPC mutants, we identified the novel islo-1 gene that encodes a protein with two predicted transmembrane domains. We demonstrate that ISLO-1 acts as a novel adapter molecule that links the DAPC to SLO-1 in muscle. We show that a defect in either the DAPC or ISLO-1 disrupts normal SLO-1 localization in muscle. Consistent with observations that SLO-1 requires a high calcium concentration for full activation, we find that SLO-1 is localized near L-type calcium channels in muscle, thereby providing a mechanism coupling calcium influx with the outward rectifying current. Our results indicate that the DAPC modulates muscle excitability by localizing the SLO-1 channel to calcium-rich regions of C. elegans muscle.
Small-molecule signaling plays an important role in the biology of Caenorhabditis elegans. We have previously shown that ascarosides, glycosides of the dideoxysugar ascarylose regulate both development and behavior in C. elegans The mating signal consists of a synergistic blend of three dauer-induc...
Wüstner, Daniel; Landt Larsen, Ane; Færgeman, Nils J.;
The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a genetically tractable model organism to investigate sterol transport. In vivo imaging of the fluorescent sterol, dehydroergosterol (DHE), is challenged by C. elegans' high autofluorescence in the same spectral region as emission of DHE. We present a method...
G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) are ancient molecules that sense environmental and physiological signals. Currently, the majority of the predicted Caenorhabditis elegans GPCRs are orphan. Here, we describe the characterization of such an orphan C. elegans GPCR, which is categorized in the tachyk...
Johnson, R.P.; Kramer, J.M.
Recent studies in Caenorhabditis elegans have revealed specific neural maintenance mechanisms that protect soma and neurites against mispositioning due to displacement stresses, such as muscle contraction. We report that C. elegans dystroglycan (DG) DGN-1 functions to maintain the position of lumbar
Engleman, Eric A; Katner, Simon N; Neal-Beliveau, Bethany S
Drug addiction takes a massive toll on society. Novel animal models are needed to test new treatments and understand the basic mechanisms underlying addiction. Rodent models have identified the neurocircuitry involved in addictive behavior and indicate that rodents possess some of the same neurobiologic mechanisms that mediate addiction in humans. Recent studies indicate that addiction is mechanistically and phylogenetically ancient and many mechanisms that underlie human addiction are also present in invertebrates. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has conserved neurobiologic systems with powerful molecular and genetic tools and a rapid rate of development that enables cost-effective translational discovery. Emerging evidence suggests that C. elegans is an excellent model to identify molecular mechanisms that mediate drug-induced behavior and potential targets for medications development for various addictive compounds. C. elegans emit many behaviors that can be easily quantitated including some that involve interactions with the environment. Ethanol (EtOH) is the best-studied drug-of-abuse in C. elegans and at least 50 different genes/targets have been identified as mediating EtOH's effects and polymorphisms in some orthologs in humans are associated with alcohol use disorders. C. elegans has also been shown to display dopamine and cholinergic system-dependent attraction to nicotine and demonstrate preference for cues previously associated with nicotine. Cocaine and methamphetamine have been found to produce dopamine-dependent reward-like behaviors in C. elegans. These behavioral tests in combination with genetic/molecular manipulations have led to the identification of dozens of target genes/systems in C. elegans that mediate drug effects. The one target/gene identified as essential for drug-induced behavioral responses across all drugs of abuse was the cat-2 gene coding for tyrosine hydroxylase, which is consistent with the role of dopamine neurotransmission
Greg J Stephens
Full Text Available Organisms move through the world by changing their shape, and here we explore the mapping from shape space to movements in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as it crawls on an agar plate. We characterize the statistics of the trajectories through the correlation functions of the orientation angular velocity, orientation angle and the mean-squared displacement, and we find that the loss of orientational memory has significant contributions from both abrupt, large amplitude turning events and the continuous dynamics between these events. Further, we discover long-time persistence of orientational memory in the intervals between abrupt turns. Building on recent work demonstrating that C. elegans movements are restricted to a low-dimensional shape space, we construct a map from the dynamics in this shape space to the trajectory of the worm along the agar. We use this connection to illustrate that changes in the continuous dynamics reveal subtle differences in movement strategy that occur among mutants defective in two classes of dopamine receptors.
Vidal-Gadea, Andrés; Ward, Kristi; Beron, Celia; Ghorashian, Navid; Gokce, Sertan; Russell, Joshua; Truong, Nicholas; Parikh, Adhishri; Gadea, Otilia; Ben-Yakar, Adela; Pierce-Shimomura, Jonathan
Many organisms spanning from bacteria to mammals orient to the earth's magnetic field. For a few animals, central neurons responsive to earth-strength magnetic fields have been identified; however, magnetosensory neurons have yet to be identified in any animal. We show that the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans orients to the earth's magnetic field during vertical burrowing migrations. Well-fed worms migrated up, while starved worms migrated down. Populations isolated from around the world, migrated at angles to the magnetic vector that would optimize vertical translation in their native soil, with northern- and southern-hemisphere worms displaying opposite migratory preferences. Magnetic orientation and vertical migrations required the TAX-4 cyclic nucleotide-gated ion channel in the AFD sensory neuron pair. Calcium imaging showed that these neurons respond to magnetic fields even without synaptic input. C. elegans may have adapted magnetic orientation to simplify their vertical burrowing migration by reducing the orientation task from three dimensions to one. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.07493.001 PMID:26083711
Shane L Rea
Full Text Available Prior studies have shown that disruption of mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC function in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans can result in life extension. Counter to these findings, many mutations that disrupt ETC function in humans are known to be pathologically life-shortening. In this study, we have undertaken the first formal investigation of the role of partial mitochondrial ETC inhibition and its contribution to the life-extension phenotype of C. elegans. We have developed a novel RNA interference (RNAi dilution strategy to incrementally reduce the expression level of five genes encoding mitochondrial proteins in C. elegans: atp-3, nuo-2, isp-1, cco-1, and frataxin (frh-1. We observed that each RNAi treatment led to marked alterations in multiple ETC components. Using this dilution technique, we observed a consistent, three-phase lifespan response to increasingly greater inhibition by RNAi: at low levels of inhibition, there was no response, then as inhibition increased, lifespan responded by monotonically lengthening. Finally, at the highest levels of RNAi inhibition, lifespan began to shorten. Indirect measurements of whole-animal oxidative stress showed no correlation with life extension. Instead, larval development, fertility, and adult size all became coordinately affected at the same point at which lifespan began to increase. We show that a specific signal, initiated during the L3/L4 larval stage of development, is sufficient for initiating mitochondrial dysfunction-dependent life extension in C. elegans. This stage of development is characterized by the last somatic cell divisions normally undertaken by C. elegans and also by massive mitochondrial DNA expansion. The coordinate effects of mitochondrial dysfunction on several cell cycle-dependent phenotypes, coupled with recent findings directly linking cell cycle progression with mitochondrial activity in C. elegans, lead us to propose that cell cycle checkpoint control
Full Text Available Caenorhabditis elegans is commonly used as an infection model for pathogenesis studies in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The standard virulence assays rely on the slow and fast killing or paralysis of nematodes but here we developed a behaviour assay to monitor the preferred bacterial food sources of C. elegans. We monitored the food preferences of nematodes fed the wild type PAO1 and mutants in the type III secretion (T3S system, which is a conserved mechanism to inject secreted effectors into the host cell cytosol. A ΔexsEΔpscD mutant defective for type III secretion served as a preferred food source, while an ΔexsE mutant that overexpresses the T3S effectors was avoided. Both food sources were ingested and observed in the gastrointestinal tract. Using the slow killing assay, we showed that the ΔexsEΔpscD had reduced virulence and thus confirmed that preferred food sources are less virulent than the wild type. Next we developed a high throughput feeding behaviour assay with 48 possible food colonies in order to screen a transposon mutant library and identify potential virulence genes. C. elegans identified and consumed preferred food colonies from a grid of 48 choices. The mutants identified as preferred food sources included known virulence genes, as well as novel genes not identified in previous C. elegans infection studies. Slow killing assays were performed and confirmed that several preferred food sources also showed reduced virulence. We propose that C. elegans feeding behaviour can be used as a sensitive indicator of virulence for P. aeruginosa PAO1.
Full Text Available Abstract Background The success of invertebrates throughout evolution is an excellent illustration of the efficiency of their defence strategies. Caenorhabditis elegans has proven to be an appropriate model for transcriptome studies of host-pathogen interactions. The aim of this paper is to complement this knowledge by investigating the worm's response to a Staphylococcus aureus infection through a 2-dimensional differential proteomics approach. Results Different types of growth media in combination with either E. coli OP50 or Staphylococcus aureus were tested for an effect on the worm's lifespan. LB agar was chosen and C. elegans samples were collected 1 h, 4 h, 8 h and 24 h post S. aureus infection or E. coli incubation. Proteomics analyses resulted in the identification of 130 spots corresponding to a total of 108 differentially expressed proteins. Conclusions Exploring four time-points discloses a dynamic insight of the reaction against a gram-positive infection at the level of the whole organism. The remarkable upregulation after 8 h and 24 h of many enzymes involved in the citric acid cycle might illustrate the cost of fighting off an infection. Intriguing is the downregulation of chaperone molecules, which are presumed to serve a protective role. A comparison with a similar experiment in which C. elegans was infected with the gram-negative Aeromonas hydrophila reveals that merely 9% of the identified spots, some of which even exhibiting an opposite regulation, are present in both studies. Hence, our findings emphasise the complexity and pathogen-specificity of the worm's immune response and form a firm basis for future functional research. Reviewers This article was reviewed by Itai Yanai, Dieter Wolf and Torben Luebke (nominated by Walter Lutz.
Davis, Edward S.; Wille, Lucia; Chestnut, Barry A.; Sadler, Penny L.; Shakes, Diane C; Golden, Andy
Two genes, originally identified in genetic screens for Caenorhabditis elegans mutants that arrest in metaphase of meiosis I, prove to encode subunits of the anaphase-promoting complex or cyclosome (APC/C). RNA interference studies reveal that these and other APC/C subunits are essential for the segregation of chromosomal homologs during meiosis I. Further, chromosome segregation during meiosis I requires APC/C functions in addition to the release of sister chromatid cohesion.
Hua, Qing-Xin; Nakagawa, Satoe H.; Wilken, Jill; Ramos, Rowena R.; Jia, Wenhua; Bass, Joseph; Weiss, Michael A.
Caenorhabditis elegans contains a family of putative insulin-like genes proposed to regulate dauer arrest and senescence. These sequences often lack characteristic sequence features of human insulin essential for its folding, structure, and function. Here, we describe the structure and receptor-binding properties of INS-6, a single-chain polypeptide expressed in specific neurons. Despite multiple nonconservative changes in sequence, INS-6 recapitulates an insulin-like fold. Although lacking c...
Parker, Scott; Walker, Denise S.; Ly, Sung; Baylis, Howard A.
Caveolins are plasma membrane–associated proteins that colocalize with, and stabilize caveolae. Their functions remain unclear although they are known to be involved in specific events in cell signaling and endocytosis. Caenorhabditis elegans encodes two caveolin genes, cav-1 and cav-2. We show that cav-2 is expressed in the intestine where it is localized to the apical membrane and in intracellular bodies. Using the styryl dye FM4-64 and BODIPY-labeled lactosylceramide, we show that the inte...
Full Text Available When Caenorhabditis elegans senses dauer pheromone (daumone, signaling inadequate growth conditions, it enters the dauer state, which is capable of long-term survival. However, the molecular pathway of dauer entry in C. elegans has remained elusive. To systematically monitor changes in gene expression in dauer paths, we used a DNA microarray containing 22,625 gene probes corresponding to 22,150 unique genes from C. elegans. We employed two different paths: direct exposure to daumone (Path 1 and normal growth media plus liquid culture (Path 2. Our data reveal that entry into dauer is accomplished through the multi-step process, which appears to be compartmentalized in time and according to metabolic flux. That is, a time-course of dauer entry in Path 1 shows that dauer larvae formation begins at post-embryonic stage S4 (48 h and is complete at S6 (72 h. Our results also suggest the presence of a unique adaptive metabolic control mechanism that requires both stage-specific expression of specific genes and tight regulation of different modes of fuel metabolite utilization to sustain the energy balance in the context of prolonged survival under adverse growth conditions. It is apparent that worms entering dauer stage may rely heavily on carbohydrate-based energy reserves, whereas dauer larvae utilize fat or glyoxylate cycle-based energy sources. We created a comprehensive web-based dauer metabolic database for C. elegans (www.DauerDB.org that makes it possible to search any gene and compare its relative expression at a specific stage, or evaluate overall patterns of gene expression in both paths. This database can be accessed by the research community and could be widely applicable to other related nematodes as a molecular atlas.
Williams, Carol; Xu, Lei; Blumenthal, Thomas
Many Caenorhabditis elegans genes exist in operons in which polycistronic precursors are processed by cleavage at the 3′ ends of upstream genes and trans splicing 100 to 400 nucleotides away, at the 5′ ends of downstream genes, to generate monocistronic messages. Of the two spliced leaders, SL1 is trans spliced to the 5′ ends of upstream genes, whereas SL2 is reserved for downstream genes in operons. However, there are isolated examples of what appears to be a different sort of operon, in whi...
Zhou, Qian-Jin; Yang, Yi; Guo, Xiao-Lu; Duan, Li-Jun; Chen, Xue-Qiu; Yan, Bao-Long; Zhang, Hong-Li; Du, Ai-Fang
Aminopeptidase H11 present in the surface of intestine microvilli in Haemonchus contortus was identified as the most effective antigen candidate. However, its recombinant forms produced in Escherichiacoli, insect cells and yeast could not provide promising protection against H. contortus challenge, probably due to the inappropriate glycosylation and/or conformational folding. Herein, partial H11 containing the potential zinc-binding domain and two predicted glycosylation sites (nt 1 bp-1710 bp, Trans-HPS) was subcloned downstream of 5' flanking region of Caenorhabditis elegans cpr-1 gene in pPD95.77 vector, with the deletion of GFP gene. The recombinant was expressed in C. elegans and verified by blotting with anti-H11 and anti-Trans-HPS rabbit polyclonal antibodies and anti-His monoclonal antibody. Stably inherited Trans-HPS in worm descendants was achieved by integration using UV irradiation. Immunization with the crude Trans-HPS extracted from transgenic worms resulted in 37.71% reduction in faecal egg counts (FEC) (Pgoats. These results suggested an apparent delay against H. contortus egg-laying in goats, which differed from that with bacteria-origin form of partial H11 (nt 670 bp-1710 bp, HPS) (26.04% reduction in FEC and 18.46% reduction in worm burden). These findings indicate the feasibility of sufficient C. elegans-expressed H11 for the immunological research and vaccine development. PMID:25128369
Full Text Available Abstract Background The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is both sensitive and tolerant to hypoxic stress, particularly when the evolutionarily conserved hypoxia response pathway HIF-1/EGL-9/VHL is involved. Hypoxia-induced changes in the expression of a number of genes have been analyzed using whole genome microarrays in C. elegans, but the changes at the protein level in response to hypoxic stress still remain unclear. Results Here, we utilized a quantitative proteomic approach to evaluate changes in the expression patterns of proteins during the early response to hypoxia in C. elegans. Two-dimensional difference gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE was used to compare the proteomic maps of wild type C. elegans strain N2 under a 4-h hypoxia treatment (0.2% oxygen and under normoxia (control. A subsequent analysis by MALDI-TOF-TOF-MS revealed nineteen protein spots that were differentially expressed. Nine of the protein spots were significantly upregulated, and ten were downregulated upon hypoxic stress. Three of the upregulated proteins were involved in cytoskeletal function (LEV-11, MLC-1, ACT-4, while another three upregulated (ATP-2, ATP-5, VHA-8 were ATP synthases functionally related to energy metabolism. Four ribosomal proteins (RPL-7, RPL-8, RPL-21, RPS-8 were downregulated, indicating a decrease in the level of protein translation upon hypoxic stress. The overexpression of tropomyosin (LEV-11 was further validated by Western blot. In addition, the mutant strain of lev-11(x12 also showed a hypoxia-sensitive phenotype in subsequent analyses, confirming the proteomic findings. Conclusions Taken together, our data suggest that altered protein expression, structural protein remodeling, and the reduction of translation might play important roles in the early response to oxygen deprivation in C. elegans, and this information will help broaden our knowledge on the mechanism of hypoxia response.
Murphy, John T; Bruinsma, Janelle J.; Schneider, Daniel L.; Sara Collier; James Guthrie; Asif Chinwalla; J David Robertson; Elaine R Mardis; Kerry Kornfeld
Author Summary Zinc is an essential nutrient that is critical for human health. However, excess zinc can cause toxicity, indicating that regulatory mechanisms are necessary to maintain homeostasis. The analysis of mechanisms that promote zinc homeostasis can elucidate fundamental regulatory processes and suggest new approaches for treating disorders of zinc metabolism. To discover genes that modulate zinc tolerance, we screened for C. elegans mutants that were resistant to zinc toxicity. Here...
Tejeda-Benitez, Lesly; Flegal, Russell; Odigie, Kingsley; Olivero-Verbel, Jesus
The Magdalena River is the most important river in Colombia, supplying over 70% of the population of fish and drinking water, and it also is the main river transportation way of the country. It receives effluents from multiple sources along its course such as contaminant agricultural and industrial discharges. To evaluate the toxicity profile of Magdalena River sediments through endpoints such as survival, locomotion, and growth, wild type strains of Caenorhabditis elegans were exposed to aqueous extracts of the sediments. To identify changes in gene expression, GFP transgenic strains were used as reporter genes. Physiological and biochemical data were correlated with metal concentration in the sediments, identifying patterns of toxicity along the course of the river. Levels of some metals such as Cd, Cu, and Ni were above TEC and PEC limits. Effects in survival, growth, and locomotion were observed in most of the samples, and changes in gene expression were evident in the genes mtl-2, sod-4, and gst-1 using fluorescence expression. Cadmium and lead were the metals which were primarily associated with sediment toxicity, and the sampling sites with the highest increased expression of stress response genes were Barrancabermeja and Girardot. However, the diverse nature of toxic profiles observed in C. elegans in the study area showed the pervasiveness of different types of discharges throughout the river system. PMID:26851980
Shi, Zhenhua; Yu, Hui; Sun, Yongyan; Yang, Chuanjun; Lian, Huiyong; Cai, Peng
A literal mountain of documentation generated in the past five decades showing unmistakable health hazards associated with extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMFs) exposure. However, the relation between energy mechanism and ELF-EMF exposure is poorly understood. In this study, Caenorhabditis elegans was exposed to 50 Hz ELF-EMF at intensities of 0.5, 1, 2, and 3 mT, respectively. Their metabolite variations were analyzed by GC-TOF/MS-based metabolomics. Although minimal metabolic variations and no regular pattern were observed, the contents of energy metabolism-related metabolites such as pyruvic acid, fumaric acid, and L-malic acid were elevated in all the treatments. The expressions of nineteen related genes that encode glycolytic enzymes were analyzed by using quantitative real-time PCR. Only genes encoding GAPDH were significantly upregulated (P energy metabolism and restricted dietary, which might contribute to the resistance against exogenous ELF-EMF stress.
Full Text Available The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a well-known model organism used to investigate fundamental questions in biology. Motility assays of this small roundworm are designed to study the relationships between genes and behavior. Commonly, motility analysis is used to classify nematode movements and characterize them quantitatively. Over the past years, C. elegans' motility has been studied across a wide range of environments, including crawling on substrates, swimming in fluids, and locomoting through microfluidic substrates. However, each environment often requires customized image processing tools relying on heuristic parameter tuning. In the present study, we propose a novel Multi-Environment Model Estimation (MEME framework for automated image segmentation that is versatile across various environments. The MEME platform is constructed around the concept of Mixture of Gaussian (MOG models, where statistical models for both the background environment and the nematode appearance are explicitly learned and used to accurately segment a target nematode. Our method is designed to simplify the burden often imposed on users; here, only a single image which includes a nematode in its environment must be provided for model learning. In addition, our platform enables the extraction of nematode 'skeletons' for straightforward motility quantification. We test our algorithm on various locomotive environments and compare performances with an intensity-based thresholding method. Overall, MEME outperforms the threshold-based approach for the overwhelming majority of cases examined. Ultimately, MEME provides researchers with an attractive platform for C. elegans' segmentation and 'skeletonizing' across a wide range of motility assays.
Full Text Available The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is widely used as a model system for research on aging, development, and host-pathogen interactions. Little is currently known about the mechanisms underlying the effects exerted by foodborne microbes. We took advantage of C. elegans to evaluate the impact of foodborne microbiota on well characterized physiological features of the worms. Foodborne lactic acid bacteria (LAB consortium was used to feed nematodes and its composition was evaluated by 16S rDNA analysis and strain typing before and after colonization of the nematode gut. Lactobacillus delbrueckii, L. fermentum, and Leuconostoc lactis were identified as the main species and shown to display different worm gut colonization capacities. LAB supplementation appeared to decrease nematode lifespan compared to the animals fed with the conventional Escherichia coli nutrient source or a probiotic bacterial strain. Reduced brood size was also observed in microbiota-fed nematodes. Moreover, massive accumulation of lipid droplets was revealed by BODIPY staining. Altered expression of nhr-49, pept-1, and tub-1 genes, associated with obesity phenotypes, was demonstrated by RT-qPCR. Since several pathways are evolutionarily conserved in C. elegans, our results highlight the nematode as a valuable model system to investigate the effects of a complex microbial consortium on host energy metabolism.
Full Text Available Abstract Background A powerful approach to understanding complex processes such as aging is to use model organisms amenable to genetic manipulation, and to seek relevant phenotypes to measure. Caenorhabditis elegans is particularly suited to studies of aging, since numerous single-gene mutations have been identified that affect its lifespan; it possesses an innate immune system employing evolutionarily conserved signaling pathways affecting longevity. As worms age, bacteria accumulate in the intestinal tract. However, quantitative relationships between worm genotype, lifespan, and intestinal lumen bacterial load have not been examined. We hypothesized that gut immunity is less efficient in older animals, leading to enhanced bacterial accumulation, reducing longevity. To address this question, we evaluated the ability of worms to control bacterial accumulation as a functional marker of intestinal immunity. Results We show that as adult worms age, several C. elegans genotypes show diminished capacity to control intestinal bacterial accumulation. We provide evidence that intestinal bacterial load, regulated by gut immunity, is an important causative factor of lifespan determination; the effects are specified by bacterial strain, worm genotype, and biologic age, all acting in concert. Conclusions In total, these studies focus attention on the worm intestine as a locus that influences longevity in the presence of an accumulating bacterial population. Further studies defining the interplay between bacterial species and host immunity in C. elegans may provide insights into the general mechanisms of aging and age-related diseases.
Marroquin, L D; Elyassnia, D; Griffitts, J S; Feitelson, J S; Aroian, R V
The protein toxins produced by Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) are the most widely used natural insecticides in agriculture. Despite successful and extensive use of these toxins in transgenic crops, little is known about toxicity and resistance pathways in target insects since these organisms are not ideal for molecular genetic studies. To address this limitation and to investigate the potential use of these toxins to control parasitic nematodes, we are studying Bt toxin action and resistance in Caenorhabditis elegans. We demonstrate for the first time that a single Bt toxin can target a nematode. When fed Bt toxin, C. elegans hermaphrodites undergo extensive damage to the gut, a decrease in fertility, and death, consistent with toxin effects in insects. We have screened for and isolated 10 recessive mutants that resist the toxin's effects on the intestine, on fertility, and on viability. These mutants define five genes, indicating that more components are required for Bt toxicity than previously known. We find that a second, unrelated nematicidal Bt toxin may utilize a different toxicity pathway. Our data indicate that C. elegans can be used to undertake detailed molecular genetic analysis of Bt toxin pathways and that Bt toxins hold promise as nematicides. PMID:10924467
Full Text Available Egg laying is an important phase of the life cycle of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans. Previous studies examined egg-laying events manually. This paper presents a method for automatic detection of egg-laying onset using deformable template matching and other morphological image analysis techniques. Some behavioral changes surrounding egg-laying events are also studied. The results demonstrate that the computer vision tools and the algorithm developed here can be effectively used to study C. elegans egg-laying behaviors. The algorithm developed is an essential part of a machine-vision system for C. elegans tracking and behavioral analysis.
Full Text Available In women, oocytes arrest development at the end of prophase of meiosis I and remain quiescent for years. Over time, the quality and quantity of these oocytes decreases, resulting in fewer pregnancies and an increased occurrence of birth defects. We used the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to study how oocyte quality is regulated during aging. To assay quality, we determine the fraction of oocytes that produce viable eggs after fertilization. Our results show that oocyte quality declines in aging nematodes, as in humans. This decline affects oocytes arrested in late prophase, waiting for a signal to mature, and also oocytes that develop later in life. Furthermore, mutations that block all cell deaths result in a severe, early decline in oocyte quality, and this effect increases with age. However, mutations that block only somatic cell deaths or DNA-damage-induced deaths do not lower oocyte quality. Two lines of evidence imply that most developmentally programmed germ cell deaths promote the proper allocation of resources among oocytes, rather than eliminate oocytes with damaged chromosomes. First, oocyte quality is lowered by mutations that do not prevent germ cell deaths but do block the engulfment and recycling of cell corpses. Second, the decrease in quality caused by apoptosis mutants is mirrored by a decrease in the size of many mature oocytes. We conclude that competition for resources is a serious problem in aging germ lines, and that apoptosis helps alleviate this problem.
Oren-Suissa, Meital; Bayer, Emily A; Hobert, Oliver
Whether and how neurons that are present in both sexes of the same species can differentiate in a sexually dimorphic manner is not well understood. A comparison of the connectomes of the Caenorhabditis elegans hermaphrodite and male nervous systems reveals the existence of sexually dimorphic synaptic connections between neurons present in both sexes. Here we demonstrate sex-specific functions of these sex-shared neurons and show that many neurons initially form synapses in a hybrid manner in both the male and hermaphrodite pattern before sexual maturation. Sex-specific synapse pruning then results in the sex-specific maintenance of subsets of these connections. Reversal of the sexual identity of either the pre- or postsynaptic neuron alone transforms the patterns of synaptic connectivity to that of the opposite sex. A dimorphically expressed and phylogenetically conserved transcription factor is both necessary and sufficient to determine sex-specific connectivity patterns. Our studies reveal new insights into sex-specific circuit development. PMID:27144354
Harterink, Martin; van Bergeijk, Petra; Allier, Calixte; de Haan, Bart; van den Heuvel, Sander; Hoogenraad, Casper C; Kapitein, Lukas C
To establish and maintain their complex morphology and function, neurons and other polarized cells exploit cytoskeletal motor proteins to distribute cargoes to specific compartments . Recent studies in cultured cells have used inducible motor protein recruitment to explore how different motors contribute to polarized transport and to control the subcellular positioning of organelles [2,3]. Such approaches also seem promising avenues for studying motor activity and organelle positioning within more complex cellular assemblies, but their applicability to multicellular in vivo systems has so far remained unexplored. Here, we report the development of an optogenetic organelle transport strategy in the in vivo model system Caenorhabditis elegans. We demonstrate that movement and pausing of various organelles can be achieved by recruiting the proper cytoskeletal motor protein with light. In neurons, we find that kinesin and dynein exclusively target the axon and dendrite, respectively, revealing the basic principles for polarized transport. In vivo control of motor attachment and organelle distributions will be widely useful in exploring the mechanisms that govern the dynamic morphogenesis of cells and tissues, within the context of a developing animal. PMID:26906482
Full Text Available Caenorhabditis elegans can reproduce exclusively by self-fertilization. Yet, males can be maintained in laboratory populations, a phenomenon that continues to puzzle biologists. In this study we evaluated the role of males in facilitating adaptation to novel environments. For this, we contrasted the evolution of a fitness component exclusive to outcrossing in experimental populations of different mating systems. We introgressed a modifier of outcrossing into a hybrid population derived from several wild isolates to transform the wild-type androdioecious mating system into a dioecious mating system. By genotyping 375 single-nucleotide polymorphisms we show that the two populations had similar standing genetic diversity available for adaptation, despite the occurrence of selection during their derivation. We then performed replicated experimental evolution under the two mating systems from starting conditions of either high or low levels of diversity, under defined environmental conditions of discrete non-overlapping generations, constant density at high population sizes (N = 10(4, no obvious spatial structure and abundant food resources. During 100 generations measurements of sex ratios and male competitive performance showed: 1 adaptation to the novel environment; 2 directional selection on male frequency under androdioecy; 3 optimal outcrossing rates of 0.5 under androdioecy; 4 the existence of initial inbreeding depression; and finally 5 that the strength of directional selection on male competitive performance does not depend on male frequencies. Taken together, these results suggest that androdioecious males are maintained at intermediate frequencies because outcrossing is adaptive.
Full Text Available In the present study, we used Caenorhabditis elegans assay system to investigate in vivo toxicity from clentuberol and ractopamine and the possible underlying mechanism. Both acute and prolonged exposures to clentuberol or ractopamine decreased brood size and locomotion behavior, and induced intestinal autofluorescence and reactive oxygen species (ROS production. Although acute exposure to the examined concentrations of clentuberol or ractopamine did not induce lethality, prolonged exposure to 10 µg/L of clentuberol and ractopamine reduced lifespan. At relatively high concentrations, ractopamine exhibited more severe toxicity than clentuberol on nematodes. Overexpression of sod-2 gene encoding a Mn-SOD to prevent induction of oxidative stress effectively inhibited toxicity from clentuberol or ractopamine. Besides oxidative stress, we found that clentuberol might reduce lifespan through influencing insulin/IGF signaling pathway; however, ractopamine might reduce lifespan through affecting both insulin/IGF signaling pathway and TOR signaling pathway. Ractopamine more severely decreased expression levels of daf-16, sgk-1, skn-1, and aak-2 genes than clentuberol, and increased expression levels of daf-2 and age-1 genes at the examined concentration. Therefore, the C. elegans assay system may be useful for assessing the possible toxicity from weight loss agents, and clentuberol and ractopamine may induce toxicity through different molecular mechanisms.
Liu, Haicui; Sun, Lingmei; Gao, Wei; Wang, Dayong
In the present study, we used Caenorhabditis elegans assay system to investigate in vivo toxicity from clentuberol and ractopamine and the possible underlying mechanism. Both acute and prolonged exposures to clentuberol or ractopamine decreased brood size and locomotion behavior, and induced intestinal autofluorescence and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. Although acute exposure to the examined concentrations of clentuberol or ractopamine did not induce lethality, prolonged exposure to 10 µg/L of clentuberol and ractopamine reduced lifespan. At relatively high concentrations, ractopamine exhibited more severe toxicity than clentuberol on nematodes. Overexpression of sod-2 gene encoding a Mn-SOD to prevent induction of oxidative stress effectively inhibited toxicity from clentuberol or ractopamine. Besides oxidative stress, we found that clentuberol might reduce lifespan through influencing insulin/IGF signaling pathway; however, ractopamine might reduce lifespan through affecting both insulin/IGF signaling pathway and TOR signaling pathway. Ractopamine more severely decreased expression levels of daf-16, sgk-1, skn-1, and aak-2 genes than clentuberol, and increased expression levels of daf-2 and age-1 genes at the examined concentration. Therefore, the C. elegans assay system may be useful for assessing the possible toxicity from weight loss agents, and clentuberol and ractopamine may induce toxicity through different molecular mechanisms. PMID:24465573
Full Text Available Abstract Background Transgenic strains of Caenorhabditis elegans are typically generated by injecting DNA into the germline to form multi-copy extrachromosomal arrays. These transgenes are semi-stable and their expression is silenced in the germline. Mos1 transposon or microparticle bombardment methods have been developed to create single- or low-copy chromosomal integrated lines. Here we report an alternative method using ultraviolet trimethylpsoralen (UV/TMP to generate single/low-copy gene integrations. Results We successfully integrated low-copy transgenes from extrachromosomal arrays using positive selection based on temperature sensitivity with a vps-45 rescue fragment and negative selection based on benzimidazole sensitivity with a ben-1 rescue fragment. We confirmed that the integrants express transgenes in the germline. Quantitative PCR revealed that strains generated by this method contain single- or low-copy transgenes. Moreover, positive selection marker genes flanked by LoxP sites were excised by Cre recombinase mRNA microinjection, demonstrating Cre-mediated chromosomal excision for the first time in C. elegans. Conclusion Our UV/TMP integration method, based on familiar extrachromosomal transgenics, provides a useful approach for generating single/low-copy gene integrations.
Kovacevic, Ismar; Ho, Richard; Cram, Erin J
The Caenorhabditis elegans distal tip cells (DTCs) are an in vivo model for the study of developmentally regulated cell migration. In this study, we characterize a novel role for CCDC-55, a conserved coiled-coil domain containing protein, in DTC migration and larval development in C. elegans. Although animals homozygous for a probable null allele, ccdc-55(ok2851), display an early larval arrest, RNAi depletion experiments allow the analysis of later phenotypes and suggest that CCDC-55 is needed within the DTC for migration to cease at the end of larval morphogenesis. The ccdc-55 gene is found in an operon with rnf-121 and rnf-5, E3 ubiquitin ligases that target cell migration genes such as the β-integrin PAT-3. Genetic interaction studies using RNAi depletion and the deletion alleles rnf-121(ok848) and rnf-5(tm794) indicate that CCDC-55 and the RNF genes act at least partially in parallel to promote termination of cell migration in the adult DTC. PMID:22285439
Prithika, Udayakumar; Deepa, Veerappan; Balamurugan, Krishnaswamy
Heat shock proteins (HSPs) are highly chaperonic molecules that give immediate response during any stress, tissue damage or bacterial infections. In the present study, the role of HSPs upon bacterial encounter is studied by applying external heat induction to live Caenorhabditis elegans Heat shock was observed to increase the life span of wild type C. elegans upon pathogenic encounter, indicating a role of HSPs in bacterial infection and immunity. Similar increase in resistance towards pathogenesis observed in long-lived C. elegans daf-2 mutants and the increase in the lifespan indicated a role for the insulin/IGF-1 signaling (IIS) pathway in HSP-mediated pathogenic resistance. The microscopic observation of C. elegans after external heat induction and sequential exposure of pathogens indicated reduction of egg viability. Results of Real-time PCR and immunoblotting analysis of candidate genes revealed that heat shock and IIS pathways collaborate in the observed pathogenic resistance and further suggested SGK-1 to be the possible factor linking both these pathways. In addition, survival assays carried out using mutants equips us with supporting evidence that HSP and HSF-1 are necessary for the accelerated lifespan of C. elegans Our findings thus confirm that crosstalk between HSPs and SGK-1 influences C. elegans longevity. PMID:27317398
Kim, Younghoon; Mylonakis, Eleftherios
Although the immune response of Caenorhabditis elegans to microbial infections is well established, very little is known about the effects of health-promoting probiotic bacteria on evolutionarily conserved C. elegans host responses. We found that the probiotic Gram-positive bacterium Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM is not harmful to C. elegans and that L. acidophilus NCFM is unable to colonize the C. elegans intestine. Conditioning with L. acidophilus NCFM significantly decreased the burden of a subsequent Enterococcus faecalis infection in the nematode intestine and prolonged the survival of nematodes exposed to pathogenic strains of E. faecalis and Staphylococcus aureus, including multidrug-resistant (MDR) isolates. Preexposure of nematodes to Bacillus subtilis did not provide any beneficial effects. Importantly, L. acidophilus NCFM activates key immune signaling pathways involved in C. elegans defenses against Gram-positive bacteria, including the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway (via TIR-1 and PMK-1) and the β-catenin signaling pathway (via BAR-1). Interestingly, conditioning with L. acidophilus NCFM had a minimal effect on Gram-negative infection with Pseudomonas aeruginosa or Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium and had no or a negative effect on defense genes associated with Gram-negative pathogens or general stress. In conclusion, we describe a new system for the study of probiotic immune agents and our findings demonstrate that probiotic conditioning with L. acidophilus NCFM modulates specific C. elegans immunity traits. PMID:22585961
Park, Mi Ri; Oh, Sangnam; Son, Seok Jun; Park, Dong-June; Oh, Sejong; Kim, Sae Hun; Jeong, Do-Youn; Oh, Nam Su; Lee, Youngbok; Song, Minho; Kim, Younghoon
In this study, we investigated potentially probiotic Bacillus licheniformis strains isolated from traditional Korean food sources for ability to enhance longevity using the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as a simple in vivo animal model. We first investigated whether B. licheniformis strains were capable of modulating the lifespan of C. elegans. Among the tested strains, preconditioning with four B. licheniformis strains significantly enhanced the longevity of C. elegans. Unexpectedly, plate counting and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) results indicated that B. licheniformis strains were not more highly attached to the C. elegans intestine compared with Escherichia coli OP50 or Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG controls. In addition, qRT-PCR and an aging assay with mutant worms showed that the conditioning of B. licheniformis strain 141 directly influenced genes associated with serotonin signaling in nematodes, including tph-1 (tryptophan hydroxylase), bas-1 (serotonin- and dopamine-synthetic aromatic amino acid decarboxylase), mod-1 (serotonin-gated chloride channel), ser-1, and ser-7 (serotonin receptors) during C. elegans aging. Our findings suggest that B. licheniformis strain 141, which is isolated from traditional Korean foods, is a probiotic generally recognized as safe (GRAS) strain that enhances the lifespan of C. elegans via host serotonin signaling. PMID:26541069
Putrenko, Igor; Zakikhani, Mahvash; Dent, Joseph A
The genome of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans encodes a surprisingly large and diverse superfamily of genes encoding Cys loop ligand-gated ion channels. Here we report the first cloning, expression, and pharmacological characterization of members of a family of anion-selective acetylcholine receptor subunits. Two subunits, ACC-1 and ACC-2, form homomeric channels for which acetylcholine and arecoline, but not nicotine, are efficient agonists. These channels are blocked by d-tubocurarine but not by alpha-bungarotoxin. We provide evidence that two additional subunits, ACC-3 and ACC-4, interact with ACC-1 and ACC-2. The acetylcholine-binding domain of these channels appears to have diverged substantially from the acetylcholine-binding domain of nicotinic receptors. PMID:15579462
张立春; 刘晓辉; 曹阳; 于永生; 朴庆林; 金海国; 王晓阳
Objective: In order to make Fat-1 gene from Caenorhabditis elegans be highly expressed in cattle, the Fat-1 gene was optimized and obtained by nucleotide synthesis, the transgenic vector was constructed in the end. Methods: The codons of Fat-1 gene from C.elegans were optimized by bio-information software according cattle as the expressional host. The optimized Fat-1 gene was named as bFat-1. The bFat-1 was obtained by nucleotide synthesis, and the transgenic vector pcDNA3.1-bFat-l was consturcted in the end. Results: The results showed that some indexes which control the expression level in cattle were significantly improved, including codon adaptation index (CAI), frequency of optimal codons (FOP) and GC content. The results of nucleotide synthesis, gene clone and sequencing aproved the bFat-1 gene was obtained successfully; the results of vector construction and identification showed that the construction of pcDNA3.1-bFat-l was successful. Conclusion: The transgenic vector pcDNA3.1-bFat-l, which expresses optimized Fat-1 gene from C.elegans was successfully established and would be used to construct the Fal-1 transgenic cell lines in follows study.%目的:为使线虫Fat-Ⅰ基因能够在牛中高效表达,通过密码子优化及全基因合成方法制备Fat-1基因,并构建其转基因表达载体.方法:通过生物信息学手段,将来源于线虫的Fat-1基因以牛为表达宿主进行密码子优化,将优化后的Fat-1基因命名为bFat-1；通过全基因合成方法获得bFat-1基因,构建pcDNA3,1-bFat-Ⅰ真核表达载体.结果:通过密码子优化,影响Fat-Ⅰ基因在牛中表达的密码子适应指数、优势密码子频率及GC含量等各项指标均有显著改善；全基因合成、克隆及测序结果显示已获得bFat-1基因；构建并鉴定了pcDNA3.1-bFat-1载体.结论:获得了适合牛体表达的Fat-1基因并构建了其转基因载体,为获得高效表达Fat-1基因的转基因牛细胞系奠定了基础.
Robert J Luallen
Full Text Available Microsporidia comprise a highly diverged phylum of intracellular, eukaryotic pathogens, with some species able to cause life-threatening illnesses in immunocompromised patients. To better understand microsporidian infection in animals, we study infection of the genetic model organism Caenorhabditis elegans and a species of microsporidia, Nematocida parisii, which infects Caenorhabditis nematodes in the wild. We conducted a targeted RNAi screen for host C. elegans genes important for infection and growth of N. parisii, using nematode larval arrest as an assay for infection. Here, we present the results of this RNAi screen, and our analyses on one of the RNAi hits from the screen that was ultimately not corroborated by loss of function mutants. This hit was an RNAi clone against F56A8.3, a conserved gene that encodes a transmembrane protein containing leucine-rich repeats (LRRs, a domain found in numerous pathogen receptors from other systems. This RNAi clone caused C. elegans to be resistant to infection by N. parisii, leading to reduced larval arrest and lower pathogen load. Characterization of the endogenous F56A8.3 protein revealed that it is expressed in the intestine, localized to the membrane around lysosome-related organelles (LROs, and exists in two different protein isoforms in C. elegans. We used the CRISPR-Cas9 system to edit the F56A8.3 locus and created both a frameshift mutant resulting in a truncated protein and a complete knockout mutant. Neither of these mutants was able to recapitulate the infection phenotypes of the RNAi clone, indicating that the RNAi-mediated phenotypes are due to an off-target effect of the RNAi clone. Nevertheless, this study describes microsporidia-induced developmental arrest in C. elegans, presents results from an RNAi screen for host genes important for microsporidian infection, and characterizes aspects of the conserved F56A8.3 gene and its protein product.
Luallen, Robert J; Bakowski, Malina A; Troemel, Emily R
Microsporidia comprise a highly diverged phylum of intracellular, eukaryotic pathogens, with some species able to cause life-threatening illnesses in immunocompromised patients. To better understand microsporidian infection in animals, we study infection of the genetic model organism Caenorhabditis elegans and a species of microsporidia, Nematocida parisii, which infects Caenorhabditis nematodes in the wild. We conducted a targeted RNAi screen for host C. elegans genes important for infection and growth of N. parisii, using nematode larval arrest as an assay for infection. Here, we present the results of this RNAi screen, and our analyses on one of the RNAi hits from the screen that was ultimately not corroborated by loss of function mutants. This hit was an RNAi clone against F56A8.3, a conserved gene that encodes a transmembrane protein containing leucine-rich repeats (LRRs), a domain found in numerous pathogen receptors from other systems. This RNAi clone caused C. elegans to be resistant to infection by N. parisii, leading to reduced larval arrest and lower pathogen load. Characterization of the endogenous F56A8.3 protein revealed that it is expressed in the intestine, localized to the membrane around lysosome-related organelles (LROs), and exists in two different protein isoforms in C. elegans. We used the CRISPR-Cas9 system to edit the F56A8.3 locus and created both a frameshift mutant resulting in a truncated protein and a complete knockout mutant. Neither of these mutants was able to recapitulate the infection phenotypes of the RNAi clone, indicating that the RNAi-mediated phenotypes are due to an off-target effect of the RNAi clone. Nevertheless, this study describes microsporidia-induced developmental arrest in C. elegans, presents results from an RNAi screen for host genes important for microsporidian infection, and characterizes aspects of the conserved F56A8.3 gene and its protein product. PMID:25874557
White, Corin V; Darby, Brian J; Breeden, Robert J; Herman, Michael A
Stenotrophomonas maltophilia is a ubiquitous bacterium and an emerging nosocomial pathogen. This bacterium is resistant to many antibiotics, associated with a number of infections, and a significant health risk, especially for immunocompromised patients. Given that Caenorhabditis elegans shares many conserved genetic pathways and pathway components with higher organisms, the study of its interaction with bacterial pathogens has biomedical implications. S. maltophilia has been isolated in association with nematodes from grassland soils, and it is likely that C. elegans encounters this bacterium in nature. We found that a local S. maltophilia isolate, JCMS, is more virulent than the other S. maltophilia isolates (R551-3 and K279a) tested. JCMS virulence correlates with intestinal distension and bacterial accumulation and requires the bacteria to be alive. Many of the conserved innate immune pathways that serve to protect C. elegans from various pathogenic bacteria also play a role in combating S. maltophilia JCMS. However, S. maltophilia JCMS is virulent to normally pathogen-resistant DAF-2/16 insulin-like signaling pathway mutants. Furthermore, several insulin-like signaling effector genes were not significantly differentially expressed between S. maltophilia JCMS and avirulent bacteria (Escherichia coli OP50). Taken together, these findings suggest that S. maltophilia JCMS evades the pathogen resistance conferred by the loss of DAF-2/16 pathway components. In summary, we have discovered a novel host-pathogen interaction between C. elegans and S. maltophilia and established a new animal model with which to study the mode of action of this emerging nosocomial pathogen. PMID:26644380
Schroeder Fabian; Muschiol Daniel; Traunspurger Walter
Abstract Background The free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is the predominant model organism in biological research, being used by a huge number of laboratories worldwide. Many researchers have evaluated life-history traits of C. elegans in investigations covering quite different aspects such as ecotoxicology, inbreeding depression and heterosis, dietary restriction/supplement, mutations, and ageing. Such traits include juvenile growth rates, age at sexual maturity, adult body size, ...
Racher, Hilary; Hansen, Dave
Stem cell populations are maintained by keeping a balance between self-renewal (proliferation) and differentiation of dividing stem cells. Within the Caenorhabditis elegans germline, the key regulator maintaining this balance is the canonical Notch signaling pathway, with GLP-1/Notch activity promoting the proliferative fate. We identified the Pumilio homolog, PUF-8, as an inhibitor of the proliferative fate of stem cells in the C. elegans germline. puf-8(0) strongly enhances overproliferatio...
Sohn, Yunkyu; Choi, Myung-Kyu; Ahn, Yong-Yeol; Lee, Junho; Jeong, Jaeseung
The modular organization of networks of individual neurons interwoven through synapses has not been fully explored due to the incredible complexity of the connectivity architecture. Here we use the modularity-based community detection method for directed, weighted networks to examine hierarchically organized modules in the complete wiring diagram (connectome) of Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) and to investigate their topological properties. Incorporating bilateral symmetry of the network...
Flibotte Stephane; Edgley Mark L; Lorch Adam; Maydan Jason S; Moerman Donald G
Abstract Background Copy number variation is an important component of genetic variation in higher eukaryotes. The extent of natural copy number variation in C. elegans is unknown outside of 2 highly divergent wild isolates and the canonical N2 Bristol strain. Results We have used array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) to detect copy number variation in the genomes of 12 natural isolates of Caenorhabditis elegans. Deletions relative to the canonical N2 strain are more common in these ...
Plasterk, Ronald H.A.; van der Linden, Alexander M.
We present a strategy to identify and map large numbers of transposon insertions in the genome of Caenorhabditis elegans. Our approach makes use of the mutator strain mut-7, which has germline-transposition activity of the Tc1/mariner family of transposons, a display protocol to detect new transposon insertions, and the availability of the genomic sequence of C. elegans. From a pilot insertional mutagenesis screen, we have obtained 351 new Tc1 transposons inserted in or near 219 predicted C. ...
Horikawa, Makoto; Sakamoto, Kazuichi
Fatty acids are the major components of the phospholipid bilayer and are involved in several functions of cell membrane. We previously reported that fatty-acid metabolism is involved in the regulation of DAF-2/insulin signal in Caenorhabditis elegans. In this study, we investigate the role of fatty-acid metabolism in stress resistance with respect to daf-16 in nematode. We found that fatty-acid metabolism regulates heat, osmotic, and oxidative-stress resistance in C. elegans. RNA interference...
Chen, C.; Fenk, L. A.; Bono, M.
Cas9 is an RNA-guided double-stranded DNA nuclease that participates in clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-mediated adaptive immunity in prokaryotes. CRISPR–Cas9 has recently been used to generate insertion and deletion mutations in Caenorhabditis elegans, but not to create tailored changes (knock-ins). We show that the CRISPR–CRISPR-associated (Cas) system can be adapted for efficient and precise editing of the C. elegans genome. The targeted double-strand bre...
Jennifer L. Watts
The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a powerful model organism to study functions of polyunsaturated fatty acids. The ability to alter fatty acid composition with genetic manipulation and dietary supplementation permits the dissection of the roles of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in many biological process including reproduction, aging and neurobiology. Studies in C. elegans to date have mostly identified overlapping functions of 20-carbon omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in reproduction a...
Pukkila-Worley, Read; Peleg, Anton Y.; Tampakakis, Emmanouil; Mylonakis, Eleftherios
Candida albicans colonizes the human gastrointestinal tract and can cause life-threatening systemic infection in susceptible hosts. We study here C. albicans virulence determinants using the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans in a pathogenesis system that models candidiasis. The yeast form of C. albicans is ingested into the C. elegans digestive tract. In liquid media, the yeast cells then undergo morphological change to form hyphae, which results in aggressive tissue destruction and death of th...
Full Text Available Neurodegenerative diseases share pathogenic mechanisms at the cellular level including protein misfolding, excitotoxicity and altered RNA homeostasis among others. Recent advances have shown that the genetic causes underlying these pathologies overlap, hinting at the existence of a genetic network for neurodegeneration. This is perhaps best illustrated by the recent discoveries of causative mutations for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS and frontotemporal degeneration (FTD. Once thought to be distinct entities, it is now recognized that these diseases exist along a genetic spectrum. With this wealth of discoveries comes the need to develop new genetic models of ALS and FTD to investigate not only pathogenic mechanisms linked to causative mutations, but to uncover potential genetic interactions that may point to new therapeutic targets. Given the conservation of many disease genes across evolution, Caenorhabditis elegans is an ideal system to investigate genetic interactions amongst these genes. Here we review the use of C. elegans to model ALS and investigate a putative genetic network for ALS/FTD that may extend to other neurological disorders.
Palmisano, Nicholas J; Meléndez, Alicia
Autophagy plays an active role during the early stages of embryogenesis in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Although their exact function is unknown, P granules are ribonucleoprotein particles that play a role in germ cell specification. The localization of P granules is restricted to the germline precursor cells in wild-type embryos, as a result of their degradation in the somatic cell lineage. Autophagy is known to be required for the degradation of P granules, as mutations in various autophagy genes, including those encoding the adaptor SEPA-1 and the p62-like adaptor SQST-1, result in the accumulation of the P granule components PGL-1 and PGL-3 (termed PGL granules) in the somatic cells of C. elegans embryos. In this protocol, we present a methodology for using fusion reporters of SEPA-1, SQST-1, and PGL-1 that have aided in the identification of new genes for normal autophagy activity by screening for mutant animals that lack the degradation of these autophagy substrates. PMID:26729906
Thakur, Nishant; Pujol, Nathalie; Tichit, Laurent; Ewbank, Jonathan J
RNA interference (RNAi), mediated by the introduction of a specific double-stranded RNA, is a powerful method to investigate gene function. It is widely used in the Caenorhabditis elegans research community. An expanding number of laboratories conduct genome-wide RNAi screens, using standard libraries of bacterial clones each designed to produce a specific double-stranded RNA. Proper interpretation of results from RNAi experiments requires a series of analytical steps, from the verification of the identity of bacterial clones, to the identification of the clones' potential targets. Despite the popularity of the technique, no user-friendly set of tools allowing these steps to be carried out accurately, automatically, and at a large scale, is currently available. We report here the design and production of Clone Mapper, an online suite of tools specifically adapted to the analysis pipeline typical for RNAi experiments with C. elegans. We show that Clone Mapper overcomes the limitations of existing techniques and provide examples illustrating its potential for the identification of biologically relevant genes. The Clone Mapper tools are freely available via http://www.ciml.univ-mrs.fr/EWBANK_jonathan/software.html. PMID:25187039
Raj Kumar Pan
Full Text Available One of the biggest challenges in biology is to understand how activity at the cellular level of neurons, as a result of their mutual interactions, leads to the observed behavior of an organism responding to a variety of environmental stimuli. Investigating the intermediate or mesoscopic level of organization in the nervous system is a vital step towards understanding how the integration of micro-level dynamics results in macro-level functioning. The coordination of many different co-occurring processes at this level underlies the command and control of overall network activity. In this paper, we have considered the somatic nervous system of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, for which the entire neuronal connectivity diagram is known. We focus on the organization of the system into modules, i.e., neuronal groups having relatively higher connection density compared to that of the overall network. We show that this mesoscopic feature cannot be explained exclusively in terms of considerations such as, optimizing for resource constraints (viz., total wiring cost and communication efficiency (i.e., network path length. Even including information about the genetic relatedness of the cells cannot account for the observed modular structure. Comparison with other complex networks designed for efficient transport (of signals or resources implies that neuronal networks form a distinct class. This suggests that the principal function of the network, viz., processing of sensory information resulting in appropriate motor response, may be playing a vital role in determining the connection topology. Using modular spectral analysis we make explicit the intimate relation between function and structure in the nervous system. This is further brought out by identifying functionally critical neurons purely on the basis of patterns of intra- and inter-modular connections. Our study reveals how the design of the nervous system reflects several constraints, including
Biochemical and molecular techniques have been used to study the formation and recovery of the developmentally arrested, non-feeding dauer stage of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. While investigating developmental transitions in energy metabolism, a major metabolite isolated from perchloric acid extracts has been identified as a modified uridine nucleotide. The compound was isolated by gel filtration and ion-exchange chromatography and its structure was determined by 1H NMR and 13C NMR spectroscopy. This compound is the most abundant metabolite detected in 31PMR spectra of perchloric acid extracts from growing larvae. In the absence of phosphoarginine or phosphocreatine, this modified nucleotide may have an important function in the nematode's energy metabolism, and it may also be found in several other invertebrates. During recovery from the dauer stage, metabolic activation is accompanied by a decrease in intracellular pH (pHi). Although metabolic activation has been associated with an alkaline pHi shift in other organisms, in vivo 31P NMR analysis of recovering dauer larvae shows a pHi decrease from ∼7.3 to ∼6.3 within 3 hr after the animals encounter food. This shift occurs before feeding begins, and coincides with, or soon follows, the development commitment to recover from the dauer stage, suggesting that control of pHi may be important in the regulation of larval development in nematodes. A library enriched for sequences expressed specifically during the L2d (predauer) stage was made by selecting plaques from a genomic lambda library that hybridized to subtracted L2d cDNA probes. Ultimately, three clones that were shown to hybridize only to L2d RNA were selected
Full Text Available Abstract It is suggested that oxidative stress induced by cellular reactive oxygen species is one of the major causal factors of aging. The effect of dietary supplementation of anti-oxidants on response to environmental stressors and lifespan has been studied in various model organisms. In the present study, we examine the effect of Artemisia annua extract on resistance to oxidative, heat, and ultraviolet stresses in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Artemisia annua significantly increases survival under oxidative and heat stresses, however has no effects in response to ultraviolet stress. Then, we measured the in vivo changes in expression of stress-responsive genes by Artemisia annua using green fluorescence protein. The expression of hsp-16.2, known to be involved in response to heat stress, is significantly increased by Artemisia annua supplementation. An anti-oxidant gene, sod-3, was also up-regulated by Artemisia annua. However, both mean and maximum lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans was not altered by dietary supplementation of Artemisia annua. These findings indicate that Artemisia annua confers health-promoting effects through increasing the resistance to environmental stressors and has no effect on lifespan in C. elegans. Our study suggests that Artemisia annua can be used for the development of novel natural therapeutics for diseases caused by environmental stressors.
Reichert, Kerstin; Menzel, Ralph
The soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is frequently used in ecotoxicological studies due to its wide distribution in terrestrial habitats, its easy handling in the laboratory, and its sensitivity against different kinds of stress. Since its genome has been completely sequenced, more and more studies are investigating the functional relation of gene expression and phenotypic response. For these reasons C. elegans seems to be an attractive animal for the development of a new, genome based, ecotoxicological test system. In recent years, the DNA array technique has been established as a powerful tool to obtain distinct gene expression patterns in response to different experimental conditions. Using a C. elegans whole genome DNA microarray in this study, the effects of five different xenobiotics on the gene expression of the nematode were investigated. The exposure time for the following five applied compounds beta-NF (5 mg/l), Fla (0.5 mg/l), atrazine (25 mg/l), clofibrate (10 mg/l) and DES (0.5 mg/l) was 48+/-5 h. The analysis of the data showed a clear induction of 203 genes belonging to different families like the cytochromes P450, UDP-glucoronosyltransferases (UDPGT), glutathione S-transferases (GST), carboxylesterases, collagenes, C-type lectins and others. Under the applied conditions, fluoranthene was able to induce most of the induceable genes, followed by clofibrate, atrazine, beta-naphthoflavone and diethylstilbestrol. A decreased expression could be shown for 153 genes with atrazine having the strongest effect followed by fluoranthene, diethylstilbestrol, beta-naphthoflavone and clofibrate. For upregulated genes a change ranging from approximately 2.1- till 42.3-fold and for downregulated genes from approximately 2.1 till 6.6-fold of gene expression could be affected through the applied xenobiotics. The results confirm the applicability of the gene expression for the development of an ecotoxicological test system. Compared to classical tests the main
Gao, Ying; Sun, Yeqing; Xu, Dan; Zhao, Lei; Xu, Jiamin
DNA damage response (DDR) plays an important role in genome maintenance through cell cycle arrest followed by DNA repair and/or apoptosis. Perturbing DDR may elicit genomic instability, carcinogenesis, even cell death. Space radiation and microgravity both have been reported to cause DDR in mammal cells，while, in the space environment, the interaction of space radiation and microgravity on DDR is still controversial. To clarify the interaction, dauer larva of Caenorhabditis elegans were employed in Shenzhou-8 space mission and suffered space synthetic environment (RM) and space radiation (R) during 16.5-day spaceflight. mRNA microarray, qPCR and miRNA microarray were performed individually to detect the differences of transcriptome and microRNome affected by two environments. The results showed that, two fold genes were regulated more significantly by RM than by R. These regulated genes were involved in different physiological activities from each environment, which mainly involve in protein metabolic and modification processes in RM, and energy metabolic process in R. 21 of 500 DDR genes were extracted as significantly different expression in two space environments. DNA repair and apoptosis were enhanced by microgravity, since 18 of 21 genes were altered by RM specifically, including six “Response to DNA damage stimulus” genes, four “DNA repair” genes and eight “apoptosis process” genes. miRNAome also showed changes in response to microgravity. miRNA-81, 82, 124 and 795 were predicted to respond to RM and regulate DDR in C.elegans for the first time. These results suggest that microgravity increases the physiological activities to the space environment, especially enhance DNA damage response on transcription and post-transcriptional regulation in metazoan. We expect the finding provides new informations on synergetic effects between microgravity and radiation, and may be helpful for space risk assessment.
Nakagawa, Hisako; Shiozaki, Takuya; Kobatake, Eiji; Hosoya, Tomohiro; Moriya, Tomohiro; Sakai, Fumihiko; Taru, Hidenori; Miyazaki, Tadaaki
Lactic-acid bacteria are widely recognized beneficial host associated groups of the microbiota of humans and animals. Some lactic-acid bacteria have the ability to extend the lifespan of the model animals. The mechanisms behind the probiotic effects of bacteria are not entirely understood. Recently, we reported the benefit effects of Lactobacillus gasseriSBT2055 (LG2055) on animal and human health, such as preventing influenza A virus, and augmentation of IgA production. Therefore, it was preconceived that LG2055 has the beneficial effects on longevity and/or aging. We examined the effects of LG2055 on lifespan and aging of Caenorhabditis elegans and analyzed the mechanism of prolongevity. Our results demonstrated that LG2055 has the beneficial effects on longevity and anti-aging of C. elegans. Feeding with LG2055 upregulated the expression of the skn-1 gene and the target genes of SKN-1, encoding the antioxidant proteins enhancing antioxidant defense responses. We found that feeding with LG2055 directly activated SKN-1 activity via p38 MAPK pathway signaling. The oxidative stress response is elicited by mitochondrial dysfunction in aging, and we examined the influence of LG2055 feeding on the membrane potential of mitochondria. Here, the amounts of mitochondria were significantly increased by LG2055 feeding in comparison with the control. Our result suggests that feeding with LG2055 is effective to the extend lifespan in C. elegans by a strengthening of the resistance to oxidative stress and by stimulating the innate immune response signaling including p38MAPK signaling pathway and others. PMID:26710940
Pellis-van Berkel, W.; Verheijen, M. H. G.; Cuppen, E.; Asahina, Masako; de Rooij, J.; Jansen, G.; Plasterk, R. H. A.; Bos, J. L.; Zwartkruis, F. J. T.
Roč. 16, č. 1 (2005), s. 106-116. ISSN 1059-1524 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR KJB5022303 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60220518 Keywords : Rap signaling pathway * epidermis * Caenorhabditis elegans Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 6.520, year: 2005
Zhang, L.; Yu, J.; Xie, Y.; Lin, H.; Huang, Z.; Xu, L.; Gelbič, Ivan; Guan, X.
Roč. 107, č. 2 (2014), s. 551-558. ISSN 0022-0493 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : Bacillus thuringiensis * Caenorhabditis elegans * chitinase Subject RIV: GF - Plant Pathology, Vermin, Weed, Plant Protection Impact factor: 1.506, year: 2014 http://www.bioone.org/doi/pdf/10.1603/EC13201
Guziewicz, Megan; Vitullo, Toni; Simmons, Bethany; Kohn, Rebecca Eustance
The goal of this laboratory exercise is to increase student understanding of the impact of nervous system function at both the organismal and cellular levels. This inquiry-based exercise is designed for an undergraduate course examining principles of cell biology. After observing the movement of "Caenorhabditis elegans" with defects in their…
Watson, Emma; Walhout, Albertha J.M.
Diet greatly impacts metabolism in health and disease. In response to the presence or absence of specific nutrients, metabolic gene regulatory networks sense the metabolic state of the cell and regulate metabolic flux accordingly, for instance by the transcriptional control of metabolic enzymes. Here we discuss recent insights regarding metazoan metabolic regulatory networks using the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as a model, including the modular organization of metabolic gene regulatory networks, the prominent impact of diet on the transcriptome and metabolome, specialized roles of nuclear hormone receptors in responding to dietary conditions, regulation of metabolic genes and metabolic regulators by microRNAs, and feedback between metabolic genes and their regulators. PMID:24731597
Full Text Available Animals change their behavior and metabolism in response to external stimuli. cAMP response element binding protein (CREB is a signal-activated transcription factor that enables the coupling of extracellular signals and gene expression to induce adaptive changes. Biogenic amine neurotransmitters regulate CREB and such regulation is important for long-term changes in various nervous system functions, including learning and drug addiction. In Caenorhabditis elegans, the amine neurotransmitter octopamine activates a CREB homolog, CRH-1, in cholinergic SIA neurons, whereas dopamine suppresses CREB activation by inhibiting octopamine signaling in response to food stimuli. However, the physiological role of this activation is unknown. In this study, the effect of dopamine, octopamine, and CREB on acetylcholine signaling was analyzed using the acetylcholinesterase inhibitor aldicarb. Mutants with decreased dopamine signaling exhibited reduced acetylcholine signaling, and octopamine and CREB functioned downstream of dopamine in this regulation. This study demonstrates that the regulation of CREB by amine neurotransmitters modulates acetylcholine release from the neurons of C. elegans.
Han, Yan; Song, Shaojuan; Guo, Yaping; Zhang, Jianzhen; Ma, Enbo
Organophosphorus and carbamate are widely used in agricultural production. Caenorhabditis elegans is a model organism that is widely used in various toxicology studies. To understand the effects of two types of commonly used pesticides, phoxim (organophosphorus) and carbaryl (carbamate), we determined the activities of acetylcholinesterases (AChEs) and detected the expression of four ace genes by RT-qPCR in C. elegans following treatment with these pesticides. The results showed that phoxim and carbaryl could reduce acetylcholinesterase activities and up-regulate the ace-3 mRNA expression levels. We also detected the toxic effects of these pesticides on the ace-3 deletion mutant dc-2, and found that some characteristics, including LC50, development, movement, reproduction and lifespan, were reduced in the dc-2 mutant. However, the toxic effects of carbaryl were weaker than those of phoxim. Carbaryl treatment did not significantly affect the LC50, movement ability or lifespan. Interestingly, body and brood size increased with carbaryl treatment at low concentrations. These data showed that both phoxim and carbaryl could inhibit AChE but that the ace-3 was necessary for phoxim detoxification. The LC50 of phoxim and carbaryl in wild type N2 and the ace-3 deletion mutant dc-2. **Higher significant differences (P < 0.01). PMID:26947509
Krishnan Gandhimathi; Sellamuthu Karthi; Paramasivam Manimaran; Perumal Varalakshmi; Balasubramaniem Ashokkumar
Riboflavin transporter (rft-1 and rft-2), orthologous to human riboflavin transporter-3 (hR VFT-3), are identified and characterized in Caenorhabditis elegans. However, studies pertaining to functional contribution of rft-2 in maintaining body homeostatic riboflavin levels and its regulation are very limited. In this study, the expression pattern of rft-2 at different life stages of C. elegans was studied through real-time PCR, and found to be consistent from larval to adult stages that demonstrate its involvement in maintaining the body homeostatic riboflavin levels at whole animal level all through its life. A possible regulation of rft-2 expression at mRNA levels at whole animal was studied after adaptation to low and high concentrations of riboflavin. Abundance of rft-2 transcript was upregulated in riboflavin-deficient conditions (10 nM), while it was downregulated with riboflavin-supplemented conditions (2 mM) as compared with control (10 M). Further, the 5′-regulatory region of the rft-2 gene was cloned, and transgenic nematodes expressing transcriptional rft-2 promoter::GFP fusion constructs were generated. The expression of rft-2 was found to be adaptively regulated in vivo when transgenic worms were maintained under different extracellular riboflavin levels, which was also mediated partly via changes in the rft-2 levels that directs towards the possible involvement of transcriptional regulatory events.
Prasanth, Mani Iyer; Santoshram, Gunasekaran Santhi; Bhaskar, James Prabhanand; Balamurugan, Krishnaswamy
Ultraviolet radiations (UV) are the primary causative agent for skin aging (photoaging) and cancer, especially UV-A. The mode of action and the molecular mechanism behind the damages caused by UV-A is not well studied, in vivo. The current study was employed to investigate the impact of UV-A exposure using the model organism, Caenorhabditis elegans. Analysis of lifespan, healthspan, and other cognitive behaviors were done which was supported by the molecular mechanism. UV-A exposure on collagen damages the synthesis and functioning which has been monitored kinetically using engineered strain, col-19:: GFP. The study results suggested that UV-A accelerated the aging process in an insulin-like signaling pathway dependent manner. Mutant (daf-2)-based analysis concrete the observations of the current study. The UV-A exposure affected the usual behavior of the worms like pharyngeal movements and brood size. Quantitative PCR profile of the candidate genes during UV-A exposure suggested that continuous exposure has damaged the neural network of the worms, but the mitochondrial signaling and dietary restriction pathway remain unaffected. Western blot analysis of HSF-1 evidenced the alteration in protein homeostasis in UV-A exposed worms. Outcome of the current study supports our view that C. elegans can be used as a model to study photoaging, and the mode of action of UV-A-mediated damages can be elucidated which will pave the way for drug developments against photoaging. PMID:26873884
Gomez-Marin, Alex; Stephens, Greg J; Brown, André E X
Regularities in animal behaviour offer insights into the underlying organizational and functional principles of nervous systems and automated tracking provides the opportunity to extract features of behaviour directly from large-scale video data. Yet how to effectively analyse such behavioural data remains an open question. Here, we explore whether a minimum description length principle can be exploited to identify meaningful behaviours and phenotypes. We apply a dictionary compression algorithm to behavioural sequences from the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans freely crawling on an agar plate both with and without food and during chemotaxis. We find that the motifs identified by the compression algorithm are rare but relevant for comparisons between worms in different environments, suggesting that hierarchical compression can be a useful step in behaviour analysis. We also use compressibility as a new quantitative phenotype and find that the behaviour of wild-isolated strains of C. elegans is more compressible than that of the laboratory strain N2 as well as the majority of mutant strains examined. Importantly, in distinction to more conventional phenotypes such as overall motor activity or aggregation behaviour, the increased compressibility of wild isolates is not explained by the loss of function of the gene npr-1, which suggests that erratic locomotion is a laboratory-derived trait with a novel genetic basis. Because hierarchical compression can be applied to any sequence, we anticipate that compressibility can offer insights into the organization of behaviour in other animals including humans. PMID:27581484
McCallum, Katie C; Liu, Bin; Fierro-González, Juan Carlos; Swoboda, Peter; Arur, Swathi; Miranda-Vizuete, Antonio; Garsin, Danielle A
The Caenorhabditis elegans oxidative stress response transcription factor, SKN-1, is essential for the maintenance of redox homeostasis and is a functional ortholog of the Nrf family of transcription factors. The numerous levels of regulation that govern these transcription factors underscore their importance. Here, we add a thioredoxin, encoded by trx-1, to the expansive list of SKN-1 regulators. We report that loss of trx-1 promotes nuclear localization of intestinal SKN-1 in a redox-independent, cell non-autonomous fashion from the ASJ neurons. Furthermore, this regulation is not general to the thioredoxin family, as two other C. elegans thioredoxins, TRX-2 and TRX-3, do not play a role in this process. Moreover, TRX-1-dependent regulation requires signaling from the p38 MAPK-signaling pathway. However, while TRX-1 regulates SKN-1 nuclear localization, classical SKN-1 transcriptional activity associated with stress response remains largely unaffected. Interestingly, RNA-Seq analysis revealed that loss of trx-1 elicits a general, organism-wide down-regulation of several classes of genes; those encoding for collagens and lipid transport being most prevalent. Together, these results uncover a novel role for a thioredoxin in regulating intestinal SKN-1 nuclear localization in a cell non-autonomous manner, thereby contributing to the understanding of the processes involved in maintaining redox homeostasis throughout an organism. PMID:26920757
Kamaladevi, Arumugam; Ganguli, Abhijit; Balamurugan, Krishnaswamy
Malathion, an organophosphorus insecticide, is renowned for its inhibitory action on acetylcholinesterase (AChE) enzyme that eventually leads to widespread disturbance in the normal physiological and behavioral activities of any organism. Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are still an underexploited and inexhaustible source of significant pharmaceutical thrust. In the present study, Caenorhabditis elegans was employed to identify and characterize the indigenous LAB isolated from different traditional food against malathion-induced toxicity. The results demonstrated that malathion at its LD50 concentration decreased various C. elegans physiological parameters such as survival, feeding, and locomotion. Among the screened isolates, L. casei exhibited an excellent protective efficacy against malathion-induced toxicity by increasing the level of AChE and thereby rescued all physiological parameters of C. elegans. In addition, short-term exposure and food choice assay divulged that L. casei could serve as a better food to protect C. elegans from noxious environment. The expression analysis unveiled that L. casei gavage upregulated the phase-II detoxification enzymes coding genes metallothioneins (mtl-1 and mtl-2) and glutathione-S-transferase (gst-8) and thereby eliminated malathion from the host system. Furthermore, the upregulation of ace-3 along with down-regulation of cyp35a in the nematodes supplemented with L. casei could be attributed to attenuate the malathion-induced physiological defects in C. elegans. Thus, the present study reports that an indigenous LAB-L. casei could serve as a promising protective agent against the harmful effects of pesticide. PMID:26297616
Win, Myat Thu Thu; Yamamoto, Yasuhiko; Munesue, Seiichi; Han, Dong; Harada, Shin-Ichi; Yamamoto, Hiroshi
Nutritional and genetic factors influence aging and life expectancy. The reduction of food intake without malnutrition, referred to caloric restriction (CR), has been shown to increase lifespan in a wide variety of species. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) is one of the principle models with which to study the biology of aging and search for anti-aging compounds. In this study, we validated and optimized a high-throughput liquid culture system to monitor C. elegans lifespan with minimized mechanical stress. We used alive and ultraviolet (UV)-killed Escherichia coli (E. coli) OP50 at 10(8) or 10(9) colony-forming units (cfu)/ml to feed Bristol N2 wild-type (WT) and mutant worms of a well-characterized insulin/insulin-like growth factor signaling (ILS) pathway: the insulin receptor homolog daf-2 (e1370), phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase age-1 (hx546), and transcriptional factor FOXO homolog daf-16 (mu86 and mgDf50). Compared with alive E. coli at 10(9) cfu/ml, supplementations of alive E. coli at 10(8) cfu/ml or UV-killed E. coli at 10(9) cfu/ml dramatically prolonged lifespan in WT and age-1 mutants, and to a lesser extent, in daf-2 and daf-16 mutants, suggesting that signaling pathways in CR and ILS do not overlap fully. Feeding 10(8) cfu/ml UV-killed E. coli, which led to maximally saturated longevity in WT and daf-2 mutant, can prolonged lifespan in age-1, but not daf-16, mutants. This approach will be useful for investigating the biology of aging, physiological responses and gene functions under CR conditions and also for screening pharmacologic compounds to extend lifespan or affect other biologic processes. PMID:23936742
Full Text Available Genkwa Flos (GF, the dried flower bud from Daphne genkwa Sieb. et Zucc. (Thymelaeaceae, is a well-known and widely used traditional Chinese medicine. However, we know little about the in vivo mechanism of GF toxicity. Nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has been considered as a useful toxicity assay system by offering a system best suited for asking the in vivo questions. In the present study, we employed the prolonged exposure assay system of C. elegans to perform the full in vivo toxicity assessment of raw-processed GF. Our data show that GF exposure could induce the toxicity on lifespan, development, reproduction, and locomotion behavior. GF exposure not only decreased body length but also induced the formation of abnormal vulva. The decrease in brood size in GF exposed nematodes appeared mainly at day-1 during the development of adult nematodes. The decrease of locomotion behavior in GF exposed nematodes might be due to the damage on development of D-type GABAergic motor neurons. Moreover, we observed the induction of intestinal reactive oxygen species (ROS production and alteration of expression patterns of genes required for development of apical domain, microvilli, and apical junction of intestine in GF exposed nematodes, implying the possible dysfunction of the primary targeted organ. In addition, GF exposure induced increase in defecation cycle length and deficits in development of AVL and DVB neurons controlling the defecation behavior. Therefore, our study implies the usefulness of C. elegans assay system for toxicity assessment from a certain Chinese medicine or plant extract. The observed toxicity of GF might be the combinational effects of oxidative stress, dysfunction of intestine, and altered defecation behavior in nematodes.
Riffle, Michael; Merrihew, Gennifer E.; Jaschob, Daniel; Sharma, Vagisha; Davis, Trisha N.; Noble, William S.; MacCoss, Michael J.
Regulation of protein abundance is a critical aspect of cellular function, organism development, and aging. Alternative splicing may give rise to multiple possible proteoforms of gene products where the abundance of each proteoform is independently regulated. Understanding how the abundances of these distinct gene products change is essential to understanding the underlying mechanisms of many biological processes. Bottom-up proteomics mass spectrometry techniques may be used to estimate protein abundance indirectly by sequencing and quantifying peptides that are later mapped to proteins based on sequence. However, quantifying the abundance of distinct gene products is routinely confounded by peptides that map to multiple possible proteoforms. In this work, we describe a technique that may be used to help mitigate the effects of confounding ambiguous peptides and multiple proteoforms when quantifying proteins. We have applied this technique to visualize the distribution of distinct gene products for the whole proteome across 11 developmental stages of the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans. The result is a large multidimensional dataset for which web-based tools were developed for visualizing how translated gene products change during development and identifying possible proteoforms. The underlying instrument raw files and tandem mass spectra may also be downloaded. The data resource is freely available on the web at http://www.yeastrc.org/wormpes/.
Dumas, Kathleen J; Delaney, Colin E.; Flibotte, Stephane; Moerman, Donald G.; Csankovszki, Gyorgyi; Hu, Patrick J.
During embryogenesis, an essential process known as dosage compensation is initiated to equalize gene expression from sex chromosomes. Although much is known about how dosage compensation is established, the consequences of modulating the stability of dosage compensation postembryonically are not known. Here we define a role for the Caenorhabditis elegans dosage compensation complex (DCC) in the regulation of DAF-2 insulin-like signaling. In a screen for dauer regulatory genes that control th...
Full Text Available BACKGROUND: One of the most important challenges in the study of aging is to discover compounds with longevity-promoting activities and to unravel their underlying mechanisms. Royal jelly (RJ has been reported to possess diverse beneficial properties. Furthermore, protease-treated RJ (pRJ has additional pharmacological activities. Exactly how RJ and pRJ exert these effects and which of their components are responsible for these effects are largely unknown. The evolutionarily conserved mechanisms that control longevity have been indicated. The purpose of the present study was to determine whether RJ and its related substances exert a lifespan-extending function in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and to gain insights into the active agents in RJ and their mechanism of action. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We found that both RJ and pRJ extended the lifespan of C. elegans. The lifespan-extending activity of pRJ was enhanced by Octadecyl-silica column chromatography (pRJ-Fraction 5. pRJ-Fr.5 increased the animals' lifespan in part by acting through the FOXO transcription factor DAF-16, the activation of which is known to promote longevity in C. elegans by reducing insulin/IGF-1 signaling (IIS. pRJ-Fr.5 reduced the expression of ins-9, one of the insulin-like peptide genes. Moreover, pRJ-Fr.5 and reduced IIS shared some common features in terms of their effects on gene expression, such as the up-regulation of dod-3 and the down-regulation of dod-19, dao-4 and fkb-4. 10-Hydroxy-2-decenoic acid (10-HDA, which was present at high concentrations in pRJ-Fr.5, increased lifespan independently of DAF-16 activity. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These results demonstrate that RJ and its related substances extend lifespan in C. elegans, suggesting that RJ may contain longevity-promoting factors. Further analysis and characterization of the lifespan-extending agents in RJ and pRJ may broaden our understanding of the gene network involved in longevity regulation in diverse
Conrad, R; Lea, K; Blumenthal, T
In Caenorhabditis elegans, pre-mRNAs of many genes are trans-spliced to one of two spliced leaders, SL1 or SL2. Some of those that receive exclusively SL1 have been characterized as having at their 5' ends outrons, AU-rich sequences similar to introns followed by conventional 3' splice sites. Comparison of outrons from many different SL1-specific C. elegans genes has not revealed the presence of any consensus sequence that might encode SL1-specificity. In order to determine what parameters in...
Knutson, Andrew Kekūpa'a; Rechtsteiner, Andreas; Strome, Susan
The germ lineage is considered to be immortal. In the quest to extend lifespan, a possible strategy is to drive germ-line traits in somatic cells, to try to confer some of the germ lineage's immortality on the somatic body. Notably, a study in Caenorhabditis elegans suggested that expression of germ-line genes in the somatic cells of long-lived daf-2 mutants confers some of daf-2's long lifespan. Specifically, mRNAs encoding components of C. elegans germ granules (P granules) were up-regulated in daf-2 mutant worms, and knockdown of individual P-granule and other germ-line genes in daf-2 young adults modestly reduced their lifespan. We investigated the contribution of a germ-line program to daf-2's long lifespan and also tested whether other mutants known to express germ-line genes in their somatic cells are long-lived. Our key findings are as follows. (i) We could not detect P-granule proteins in the somatic cells of daf-2 mutants by immunostaining or by expression of a P-granule transgene. (ii) Whole-genome transcript profiling of animals lacking a germ line revealed that germ-line transcripts are not up-regulated in the soma of daf-2 worms compared with the soma of control worms. (iii) Simultaneous removal of multiple P-granule proteins or the entire germ-line program from daf-2 worms did not reduce their lifespan. (iv) Several mutants that robustly express a broad spectrum of germ-line genes in their somatic cells are not long-lived. Together, our findings argue against the hypothesis that acquisition of a germ-cell program in somatic cells increases lifespan and contributes to daf-2's long lifespan. PMID:26976573
Spanier, Britta; Rubio-Aliaga, Isabel; Hu, Hao; Daniel, Hannelore
The insulin-like signalling pathway is a central regulator of development, metabolism, stress resistance and lifespan in eukaryotes. Caenorhabditis elegans daf-2(e1370) animals with a loss-of-function mutation in the insulin-like receptor live twice as long as wild-type animals, and the additional knockout of the intestinal di- and tripeptide transporter pept-1 further increases lifespan by 60%. In assessing the underlying molecular mechanisms for this phenomenon, microarray-based transcriptome data sets of daf-2(e1370) and daf-2(e1370);pept-1(lg601) animals were compared with a focus on genes that showed significantly higher changes in expression levels in daf-2;pept-1 than in daf-2. We identified 187 genes with at least fourfold decreased transcript levels and 170 with more than a fourfold increase. A large fraction of the down-regulated genes encode proteins involved in germline proliferation and reproduction. The DAF-9/DAF-12 signalling cascade was identified as a prime pathway that mediates the longevity of daf-2;pept-1 with a strict dependance on DAF-16. Loss of DAF-9/DAF-12 or KRI-1 reduces the lifespan of daf-2;pept-1 to that of the daf-2 mutant. Amongst the DAF-16 target genes, numerous enzymes involved in the defence of reactive oxygen species were with increased expression level in daf-2;pept-1. On a functional level, it was demonstrated that amongst those, a high de novo synthesis rate of glutathione is most important for the longevity phenotype of this strain. Taken together, a close interdependence of endocrine hormone signalling from germline to intestine was identified as an essential element in the control of the extreme longevity of C. elegans lacking a proper function of the insulin receptor and lacking the intestinal peptide transporter. PMID:20550516
Highlights: •We have determined solution structures of CEH-37 homedomain. •CEH-37 HD has a compact α-helical structure with HTH DNA binding motif. •Solution structure of CEH-37 HD shares its molecular topology with that of the homeodomain proteins. •Residues in the N-terminal region and HTH motif are important in binding to Caenorhabditis elegans telomeric DNA. •CEH-37 could play an important role in telomere function via DNA binding. -- Abstract: The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans protein CEH-37 belongs to the paired OTD/OTX family of homeobox-containing homeodomain proteins. CEH-37 shares sequence similarity with homeodomain proteins, although it specifically binds to double-stranded C. elegans telomeric DNA, which is unusual to homeodomain proteins. Here, we report the solution structure of CEH-37 homeodomain and molecular interaction with double-stranded C. elegans telomeric DNA using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. NMR structure shows that CEH-37 homeodomain is composed of a flexible N-terminal region and three α-helices with a helix-turn-helix (HTH) DNA binding motif. Data from size-exclusion chromatography and fluorescence spectroscopy reveal that CEH-37 homeodomain interacts strongly with double-stranded C. elegans telomeric DNA. NMR titration experiments identified residues responsible for specific binding to nematode double-stranded telomeric DNA. These results suggest that C. elegans homeodomain protein, CEH-37 could play an important role in telomere function via DNA binding
Moon, Sunjin [Structural Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics Lab, Department of Biochemistry, College of Life Science and Biotechnology, Yonsei University, Seoul 120-749 (Korea, Republic of); Lee, Yong Woo; Kim, Woo Taek [Department of Systems Biology, College of Life Science and Biotechnology, Yonsei University, Seoul 120-749 (Korea, Republic of); Lee, Weontae, E-mail: email@example.com [Structural Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics Lab, Department of Biochemistry, College of Life Science and Biotechnology, Yonsei University, Seoul 120-749 (Korea, Republic of)
Highlights: •We have determined solution structures of CEH-37 homedomain. •CEH-37 HD has a compact α-helical structure with HTH DNA binding motif. •Solution structure of CEH-37 HD shares its molecular topology with that of the homeodomain proteins. •Residues in the N-terminal region and HTH motif are important in binding to Caenorhabditis elegans telomeric DNA. •CEH-37 could play an important role in telomere function via DNA binding. -- Abstract: The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans protein CEH-37 belongs to the paired OTD/OTX family of homeobox-containing homeodomain proteins. CEH-37 shares sequence similarity with homeodomain proteins, although it specifically binds to double-stranded C. elegans telomeric DNA, which is unusual to homeodomain proteins. Here, we report the solution structure of CEH-37 homeodomain and molecular interaction with double-stranded C. elegans telomeric DNA using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. NMR structure shows that CEH-37 homeodomain is composed of a flexible N-terminal region and three α-helices with a helix-turn-helix (HTH) DNA binding motif. Data from size-exclusion chromatography and fluorescence spectroscopy reveal that CEH-37 homeodomain interacts strongly with double-stranded C. elegans telomeric DNA. NMR titration experiments identified residues responsible for specific binding to nematode double-stranded telomeric DNA. These results suggest that C. elegans homeodomain protein, CEH-37 could play an important role in telomere function via DNA binding.
Holden-Dye, Lindy; Joyner, Michelle; O'Connor, Vincent; Walker, Robert J
Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) play a key role in the normal physiology of nematodes and provide an established target site for anthelmintics. The free-living nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, has a large number of nAChR subunit genes in its genome and so provides an experimental model for testing novel anthelmintics which act at these sites. However, many parasitic nematodes lack specific genes present in C. elegans, and so care is required in extrapolating from studies using C. elegans to the situation in other nematodes. In this review the properties of C. elegans nAChRs are reviewed and compared to those of parasitic nematodes. This forms the basis for a discussion of the possible subunit composition of nAChRs from different species of parasitic nematodes. Currently our knowledge on this is largely based on studies using heterologous expression and pharmacological analysis of receptor subunits in Xenopus laevis oocytes. It is concluded that more information is required regarding the subunit composition and pharmacology of endogenous nAChRs in parasitic nematodes. PMID:23500392
Sarafi-Reinach, Trina R.; Sengupta, Piali
Caenorhabditis elegans responds to its complex chemical environment using a small number of chemosensory neurons. Each of these neurons exhibits a unique sensory response repertoire. The developmental mechanisms that generate this diversity of function are largely unknown. Many C. elegans chemosensory neurons, including the AWA and ASG neurons, arise as lineal sisters of an asymmetric division. Here we describe the gene unc-130, which plays a role in the generation of the AWA and ASG neurons....