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Sample records for caenorhabditis elegans characterization

  1. Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coffman, Stephanie R; Lu, Jinfeng; Guo, Xunyang; Zhong, Jing; Jiang, Hongshan; Broitman-Maduro, Gina; Li, Wan-Xiang; Lu, Rui; Maduro, Morris; Ding, Shou-Wei

    2017-03-21

    Dicer enzymes process virus-specific double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) into small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) to initiate specific antiviral defense by related RNA interference (RNAi) pathways in plants, insects, nematodes, and mammals. Antiviral RNAi in Caenorhabditis elegans requires Dicer-related helicase 1 (DRH-1), not found in plants and insects but highly homologous to mammalian retinoic acid-inducible gene I (RIG-I)-like receptors (RLRs), intracellular viral RNA sensors that trigger innate immunity against RNA virus infection. However, it remains unclear if DRH-1 acts analogously to initiate antiviral RNAi in C. elegans Here, we performed a forward genetic screen to characterize antiviral RNAi in C. elegans Using a mapping-by-sequencing strategy, we uncovered four loss-of-function alleles of drh-1 , three of which caused mutations in the helicase and C-terminal domains conserved in RLRs. Deep sequencing of small RNAs revealed an abundant population of Dicer-dependent virus-derived small interfering RNAs (vsiRNAs) in drh-1 single and double mutant animals after infection with Orsay virus, a positive-strand RNA virus. These findings provide further genetic evidence for the antiviral function of DRH-1 and illustrate that DRH-1 is not essential for the sensing and Dicer-mediated processing of the viral dsRNA replicative intermediates. Interestingly, vsiRNAs produced by drh-1 mutants were mapped overwhelmingly to the terminal regions of the viral genomic RNAs, in contrast to random distribution of vsiRNA hot spots when DRH-1 is functional. As RIG-I translocates on long dsRNA and DRH-1 exists in a complex with Dicer, we propose that DRH-1 facilitates the biogenesis of vsiRNAs in nematodes by catalyzing translocation of the Dicer complex on the viral long dsRNA precursors. IMPORTANCE The helicase and C-terminal domains of mammalian RLRs sense intracellular viral RNAs to initiate the interferon-regulated innate immunity against RNA virus infection. Both of the domains

  2. Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Hai; Yan, Bo; Gagneur, Julien; Conradt, Barbara

    2017-08-01

    Snail-like transcription factors affect stem cell function through mechanisms that are incompletely understood. In the Caenorhabditis elegans neurosecretory motor neuron (NSM) neuroblast lineage, CES-1 Snail coordinates cell cycle progression and cell polarity to ensure the asymmetric division of the NSM neuroblast and the generation of two daughter cells of different sizes and fates. We have previously shown that CES-1 Snail controls cell cycle progression by repressing the expression of cdc-25.2 CDC25. However, the mechanism through which CES-1 Snail affects cell polarity has been elusive. Here, we systematically searched for direct targets of CES-1 Snail by genome-wide profiling of CES-1 Snail binding sites and identified >3000 potential CES-1 Snail target genes, including pig-1 , the ortholog of the oncogene maternal embryonic leucine zipper kinase (MELK). Furthermore, we show that CES-1 Snail represses pig-1 MELK transcription in the NSM neuroblast lineage and that pig-1 MELK acts downstream of ces-1 Snail to cause the NSM neuroblast to divide asymmetrically by size and along the correct cell division axis. Based on our results we propose that by regulating the expression of the MELK gene, Snail-like transcription factors affect the ability of stem cells to divide asymmetrically and, hence, to self-renew. Furthermore, we speculate that the deregulation of MELK contributes to tumorigenesis by causing cells that normally divide asymmetrically to divide symmetrically instead. Copyright © 2017 by the Genetics Society of America.

  3. Molecular characterization of a novel RhoGAP, RRC-1 of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Delawary, Mina; Nakazawa, Takanobu; Tezuka, Tohru; Sawa, Mariko; Iino, Yuichi; Takenawa, Tadaomi; Yamamoto, Tadashi

    2007-01-01

    The GTPase-activating proteins for Rho family GTPases (RhoGAP) transduce diverse intracellular signals by negatively regulating Rho family GTPase-mediated pathways. In this study, we have cloned and characterized a novel RhoGAP for Rac1 and Cdc42, termed RRC-1, from Caenorhabditis elegans. RRC-1 was highly homologous to mammalian p250GAP and promoted GTP hydrolysis of Rac1 and Cdc42 in cells. The rrc-1 mRNA was expressed in all life stages. Using an RRC-1::GFP fusion protein, we found that RRC-1 was localized to the coelomocytes, excretory cell, GLR cells, and uterine-seam cell in adult worms. These data contribute toward understanding the roles of Rho family GTPases in C. elegans

  4. Characterization of a Francisella tularensis-Caenorhabditis elegans Pathosystem for the Evaluation of Therapeutic Compounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jayamani, Elamparithi; Tharmalingam, Nagendran; Rajamuthiah, Rajmohan; Coleman, Jeffrey J; Kim, Wooseong; Okoli, Ikechukwu; Hernandez, Ana M; Lee, Kiho; Nau, Gerard J; Ausubel, Frederick M; Mylonakis, Eleftherios

    2017-09-01

    Francisella tularensis is a highly infectious Gram-negative intracellular pathogen that causes tularemia. Because of its potential as a bioterrorism agent, there is a need for new therapeutic agents. We therefore developed a whole-animal Caenorhabditis elegans - F. tularensis pathosystem for high-throughput screening to identify and characterize potential therapeutic compounds. We found that the C. elegans p38 mitogen-activate protein (MAP) kinase cascade is involved in the immune response to F. tularensis , and we developed a robust F. tularensis -mediated C. elegans killing assay with a Z' factor consistently of >0.5, which was then utilized to screen a library of FDA-approved compounds that included 1,760 small molecules. In addition to clinically used antibiotics, five FDA-approved drugs were also identified as potential hits, including the anti-inflammatory drug diflunisal that showed anti- F. tularensis activity in vitro Moreover, the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) diflunisal, at 4× MIC, blocked the replication of an F. tularensis live vaccine strain (LVS) in primary human macrophages and nonphagocytic cells. Diflunisal was nontoxic to human erythrocytes and HepG2 human liver cells at concentrations of ≥32 μg/ml. Finally, diflunisal exhibited synergetic activity with the antibiotic ciprofloxacin in both a checkerboard assay and a macrophage infection assay. In conclusion, the liquid C. elegans - F. tularensis LVS assay described here allows screening for anti- F. tularensis compounds and suggests that diflunisal could potentially be repurposed for the management of tularemia. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.

  5. Characterization of the Caenorhabditis elegans Tc1 transposase in vivo and in vitro

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vos, J C; van Luenen, H.G.A.M.; Plasterk, R.H.A.

    We have investigated the function of the Tc1A gene of the mobile element Tc1 of Caenorhabditis elegans. Tc1 is a member of a family of transposons found in several animal phyla, such as nematodes, insects, and vertebrates. Two lines of evidence show that Tc1A encodes the transposase of Tc1. First,

  6. Identification and characterization of a novel allele of Caenorhabditis elegans bbs-7.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kara Braunreiter

    Full Text Available Primary cilia play a role in the sensation of and response to the surrounding environment. Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans have primary cilia only on the distal tips of some dendrites. In order to better understand the relationship between receptor localization to cilia, cilia structure and cilia function, we have characterized a mutation originally identified in a forward genetic screen for mutants with defective PKD-2 ciliary localization. Through behavioral assays and examination of the structure of cilia in the cil-5 (my13 mutant animals, we have found that my13 disrupts not only receptor localization, but also some cilia-mediated sensory behaviors and cilia structural integrity. We have identified the my13 lesion and found that it is a missense mutation in bbs-7, an ortholog of human BBS-7, a gene known to affect human cilia and to be involved in Bardet-Biedl syndrome. Finally, we show that bbs-7(my13 also affects the glia cells which support the cilia.

  7. Biolistic transformation of Caenorhabditis elegans

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Isik, Meltem; Berezikov, Eugene

    2013-01-01

    The ability to generate transgenic animals to study gene expression and function is a powerful and important part of the Caenorhabditis elegans genetic toolbox. Transgenic animals can be created by introducing exogenous DNA into the worm germline either by microinjection or by microparticle

  8. Riboflavin transporter-2 (rft-2) of Caenorhabditis elegans: Adaptive ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    -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 ...

  9. Systematic Functional Characterization of Human 21st Chromosome Orthologs inCaenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nordquist, Sarah K; Smith, Sofia R; Pierce, Jonathan T

    2018-03-02

    Individuals with Down syndrome have neurological and muscle impairments due to an additional copy of the human 21st chromosome (HSA21). Only a few of ∼200 HSA21 genes encoding proteins have been linked to specific Down syndrome phenotypes, while the remainder are understudied. To identify poorly characterized HSA21 genes required for nervous system function, we studied behavioral phenotypes caused by loss-of-function mutations in conserved HSA21 orthologs in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans We identified 10 HSA21 orthologs that are required for neuromuscular behaviors: cle-1 ( COL18A1 ), cysl-2 ( CBS ), dnsn-1 ( DONSON ), eva-1 ( EVA1C ), mtq-2 ( N6ATM1 ), ncam-1 ( NCAM2 ), pad-2 ( POFUT2 ), pdxk-1 ( PDXK ), rnt-1 ( RUNX1 ), and unc-26 ( SYNJ1 ). We also found that three of these genes are required for normal release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. This includes a known synaptic gene unc-26 ( SYNJ1 ), as well as uncharacterized genes pdxk-1 ( PDXK ) and mtq-2 ( N6ATM1 ). As the first systematic functional analysis of HSA21 orthologs, this study may serve as a platform to understand genes that underlie phenotypes associated with Down syndrome. Copyright © 2018 Nordquist et al.

  10. The glia of Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Oikonomou, Grigorios; Shaham, Shai

    2010-01-01

    Glia have been, in many ways, the proverbial elephant in the room. Although glia are as numerous as neurons in vertebrate nervous systems, technical and other concerns had left research on these cells languishing, while research on neurons marched on. Importantly, model systems to study glia had lagged considerably behind. A concerted effort in recent years to develop the canonical invertebrate model animals, Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans, as settings to understand glial roles in nervous system development and function has begun to bear fruit. In this review we summarize our current understanding of glia and their roles in the nervous system of the nematode C. elegans. The recent studies we describe highlight the similarities and differences between C. elegans and vertebrate glia, and focus on novel insights that are likely to have general relevance to all nervous systems. PMID:21732423

  11. Gene-environment and protein degradation signatures characterize genomic and phenotypic diversity in wild Caenorhabditis elegans populations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    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.

    2013-01-01

    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

  12. Caenorhabditis elegans intersectin: a synaptic protein regulating neurotransmission

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rose, Simon; Malabarba, Maria Grazia; Krag, Claudia

    2007-01-01

    the 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...

  13. Caenorhabditis elegans response to salt

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    O.O. Umuerri (Oluwatoroti Omowayewa)

    2012-01-01

    textabstractThis thesis describes my work, where I used genetic methods to identify new genes involved in salt taste in C. elegans. In addition, I used calcium imaging to characterize the cellular response of C. elegans to salt. The thesis is divided into five sections and each section is summarized

  14. Imaging metals in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aschner, M; Palinski, C; Sperling, M; Karst, U; Schwerdtle, T; Bornhorst, J

    2017-04-19

    Systemic trafficking and storage of essential metal ions play fundamental roles in living organisms by serving as essential cofactors in various cellular processes. Thereby metal quantification and localization are critical steps in understanding metal homeostasis, and how their dyshomeostasis might contribute to disease etiology and the ensuing pathologies. Furthermore, the amount and distribution of metals in organisms can provide insight into their underlying mechanisms of toxicity and toxicokinetics. While in vivo studies on metal imaging in mammalian experimental animals are complex, time- and resource-consuming, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) provides a suitable comparative and complementary model system. Expressing homologous genes to those inherent to mammals, including those that regulate metal homeostasis and transport, C. elegans has become a powerful tool to study metal homeostasis and toxicity. A number of recent technical advances have been made in the development and application of analytical methods to visualize metal ions in C. elegans. Here, we briefly summarize key findings and challenges of the three main techniques and their application to the nematode, namely sensing fluorophores, microbeam synchrotron radiation X-ray fluorescence as well as laser ablation (LA) coupled to inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS).

  15. Sensory Transduction in Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Brown, Austin L.; Ramot, Daniel; Goodman, Miriam B.

    The roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans has a well-defined and comparatively simple repertoire of sensory-guided behaviors, all of which rely on its ability to detect chemical, mechanical or thermal stimuli. In this chapter, we review what is known about the ion channels that mediate sensation in this remarkable model organism. Genetic screens for mutants defective in sensory-guided behaviors have identified genes encoding channel proteins, which are likely transducers of chemical, thermal, and mechanical stimuli. Such classical genetic approaches are now being coupled with molecular genetics and in vivo cellular physiology to elucidate how these channels are activated in specific sensory neurons. The ion channel superfamilies implicated in sensory transduction in C. elegans - CNG, TRP, and DEG/ENaC - are conserved across phyla and also appear to contribute to sensory transduction in other organisms, including vertebrates. What we learn about the role of these ion channels in C. elegans sensation is likely to illuminate analogous processes in other animals, including humans.

  16. Characterization of a Caenorhabditis elegans glc seven-like phosphatase (gsp) orthologue from Haemonchus contortus (Nematoda).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Bronwyn E; Rabelo, Elida M; Hofmann, Andreas; Hu, Min; Gasser, Robin B

    2010-08-01

    A full-length complementary DNA (cDNA; designated Hc-stp-1) encoding a serine/threonine phosphatase (Hc-STP-1) was isolated from Haemonchus contortus, a strongylid nematode parasite of small ruminants. Hc-stp-1 was shown to be transcribed in males of both adults and fourth-stage larvae, but not in females, early larval stages or eggs. The full-length gene (2854 bp) contained ten exons and nine introns, and encoded a cDNA of 951 bp. Comparisons of the conceptually translated protein (316 amino acids, estimated at approximately 35 kDa) with serine/threonine phosphatases (STPs) from other organisms revealed the presence of the conserved motif LRGNHE. Structural analysis, by comparative modelling, confirmed strict conservation of residues and features involved in catalytic activity, and variation in the ligand-binding interface. Phylogenetic analysis of amino acid sequence data revealed that Hc-STP-1 clustered with STPs from other nematodes (including Caenorhabditis elegans, Trichostrongylus vitrinus, Oesophagostomum dentatum, Ascaris suum and Brugia malayi) to the exclusion of STPs from other organisms. The protein was inferred to be most closely related to the PP1 class of STPs of C. elegans, within a group containing STPs encoded, amongst others, by the genes gsp-3 and gsp-4 in this free-living nematode. The functions of proteins GSP-3 and GSP-4 are known to be central to spermatogenesis and other male-specific processes in C. elegans. The findings from the present and previous studies support the proposal that Hc-stp-1 and its product play a significant role in reproductive and/or developmental processes in maturing or adult male H. contortus. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Cancer models in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Kirienko, Natalia V; Mani, Kumaran; Fay, David S

    2010-05-01

    Although now dogma, the idea that nonvertebrate organisms such as yeast, worms, and flies could inform, and in some cases even revolutionize, our understanding of oncogenesis in humans was not immediately obvious. Aided by the conservative nature of evolution and the persistence of a cohort of devoted researchers, the role of model organisms as a key tool in solving the cancer problem has, however, become widely accepted. In this review, we focus on the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and its diverse and sometimes surprising contributions to our understanding of the tumorigenic process. Specifically, we discuss findings in the worm that address a well-defined set of processes known to be deregulated in cancer cells including cell cycle progression, growth factor signaling, terminal differentiation, apoptosis, the maintenance of genome stability, and developmental mechanisms relevant to invasion and metastasis. Copyright (c) 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  18. Characterization of STIP, a multi-domain nuclear protein, highly conserved in metazoans, and essential for embryogenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ji Qiongmei; Huang, C.-H.; Peng Jianbin; Hashmi, Sarwar; Ye Tianzhang; Chen Ying

    2007-01-01

    We report here the identification and characterization of STIP, a multi-domain nuclear protein that contains a G-patch, a coiled-coil, and several short tryptophan-tryptophan repeats highly conserved in metazoan species. To analyze their functional role in vivo, we cloned nematode stip-1 genes and determined the spatiotemporal pattern of Caenorhabditis elegans STIP-1 protein. RNA analyses and Western blots revealed that stip-1 mRNA was produced via trans-splicing and translated as a 95-kDa protein. Using reporter constructs, we found STIP-1 to be expressed at all developmental stages and in many tissue/cell types including worm oocyte nuclei. We found that STIP-1 is targeted to the nucleus and forms large polymers with a rod-like shape when expressed in mammalian cells. Using deletion mutants, we mapped the regions of STIP-1 involved in nuclear import and polymer assembly. We further showed that knockdown of C. elegans stip-1 by RNA interference arrested development and resulted in morphologic abnormalities around the 16-cell stage followed by 100% lethality, suggesting its essential role in worm embryogenesis. Importantly, the embryonic lethal phenotype could be faithfully rescued with Drosophila and human genes via transgenic expression. Our data provide the first direct evidence that STIP have a conserved essential nuclear function across metazoans from worms to humans

  19. Crystal structure and catalytic characterization of the dehydrogenase/reductase SDR family member 4 (DHRS4) from Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kisiela, Michael; Faust, Annette; Ebert, Bettina; Maser, Edmund; Scheidig, Axel J

    2018-01-01

    The human dehydrogenase/reductase SDR family member 4 (DHRS4) is a tetrameric protein that is involved in the metabolism of several aromatic carbonyl compounds, steroids, and bile acids. The only invertebrate DHRS4 that has been characterized to date is that from the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans. We have previously cloned and initially characterized this protein that was recently annotated as DHRS4_CAEEL in the UniProtKB database. Crystallization and X-ray diffraction studies of the full-length DHRS4_CAEEL protein in complex with diacetyl revealed its tetrameric structure and showed that two subunits are connected via an intermolecular disulfide bridge that is formed by N-terminal cysteine residues (Cys5) of each protein chain, which increases the enzymatic activity. A more detailed biochemical and catalytic characterization shows that DHRS4_CAEEL shares some properties with human DHRS4 such as relatively low substrate affinities with aliphatic α-diketones and a preference for aromatic dicarbonyls such as isatin, with a 30-fold lower Km value compared with the human enzyme. Moreover, DHRS4_CAEEL is active with aliphatic aldehydes (e.g. hexanal), while human DHRS4 is not. Dehydrogenase activity with alcohols was only observed with aromatic alcohols. Protein thermal shift assay revealed a stabilizing effect of phosphate buffer that was accompanied by an increase in catalytic activity of more than two-fold. The study of DHRS4 homologs in simple lineages such as C. elegans may contribute to our understanding of the original function of this protein that has been shaped by evolutionary processes in the course of the development from invertebrates to higher mammalian species. Structural data are available in the PDB under the accession numbers 5OJG and 5OJI. © 2017 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.

  20. Caenorhabditis elegans contains two distinct acid sphingomyelinases.

    OpenAIRE

    Lin, X; Hengartner, M O; Kolesnick, R N

    1998-01-01

    Mounting evidence supports a role for acid sphingomyelinase (ASM) in cellular stress signaling. Only murine and human sphingomyelinases have been defined at the molecular level. These enzymes are the products of a conserved gene and at the amino acid level share 82% identity. In this study, we show that the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans possesses two ASMs, termed ASM-1 and ASM-2 encoded by two distinct genes, but lacks detectable neutral sphingomyelinase activity. The C. elegans ASMs are ab...

  1. Identification and Functional Characterization of the Caenorhabditis elegans Riboflavin Transporters rft-1 and rft-2

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    Biswas, Arundhati; Elmatari, Daniel; Rothman, Jason; LaMunyon, Craig W.; Said, Hamid M.

    2013-01-01

    Two potential orthologs of the human riboflavin transporter 3 (hRFVT3) were identified in the C. elegans genome, Y47D7A.16 and Y47D7A.14, which share 33.7 and 30.5% identity, respectively, with hRFVT3. The genes are tandemly arranged, and we assign them the names rft-1 (for Y47D7A.16) and rft-2 (for Y47D7A.14). Functional characterization of the coding sequences in a heterologous expression system demonstrated that both were specific riboflavin transporters, although the rft-1 encoded protein had greater transport activity. A more detailed examination of rft-1 showed its transport of riboflavin to have an acidic pH dependence, saturability (apparent Km = 1.4±0.5 µM), inhibition by riboflavin analogues, and Na+ independence. The expression of rft-1 mRNA was relatively higher in young larvae than in adults, and mRNA expression dropped in response to RF supplementation. Knocking down the two transporters individually via RNA interference resulted in a severe loss of fertility that was compounded in a double knockdown. Transcriptional fusions constructed with two fluorophores (rft-1::GFP, and rft-2::mCherry) indicated that rft-1 is expressed in the intestine and a small subset of neuronal support cells along the entire length of the animal. Expression of rft-2 is localized mainly to the intestine and pharynx. We also observed a drop in the expression of the two reporters in animals that were maintained in high riboflavin levels. These results report for the first time the identification of two riboflavin transporters in C. elegans and demonstrate their expression and importance to metabolic function in worms. Absence of transporter function renders worms sterile, making them useful in understanding human disease associated with mutations in hRFVT3. PMID:23483992

  2. Monitoring Autophagic Responses in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papandreou, M E; Tavernarakis, N

    2017-01-01

    Autophagy, from the Greek auto (self) and phagy (eating), is a self-degradative process critical for eukaryotic cell homeostasis. Its rapidly responsive, highly dynamic nature renders this process essential for adapting to and offsetting acute/harsh conditions such as starvation, organelle dysfunction, and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) damage. Autophagy involves an intricate network of interacting factors with multiple levels of control. Importantly, dysregulation of autophagy has been linked to numerous debilitating pathologies, including cancer and neurodegenerative conditions in humans. Methods to monitor and quantify autophagic activity reliably are essential both for studying the basic mechanisms of autophagy and for dissecting its involvement in disease. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a particularly suitable model organism to effectively visualize and study autophagy, in vivo, in a physiological and pathological context due to its optical transparency, experimental malleability, and precise developmental and anatomical characterization. Here, we outline the main tools and approaches to monitor and measure autophagic responses in C. elegans. © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Nucleologenesis in the Caenorhabditis elegans embryo.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Darina Korčeková

    Full Text Available In the Caenorhabditis elegans nematode, the oocyte nucleolus disappears prior to fertilization. We have now investigated the re-formation of the nucleolus in the early embryo of this model organism by immunostaining for fibrillarin and DAO-5, a putative NOLC1/Nopp140 homolog involved in ribosome assembly. We find that labeled nucleoli first appear in somatic cells at around the 8-cell stage, at a time when transcription of the embryonic genome begins. Quantitative analysis of radial positioning showed the nucleolus to be localized at the nuclear periphery in a majority of early embryonic nuclei. At the ultrastructural level, the embryonic nucleolus appears to be composed of a relatively homogenous core surrounded by a crescent-shaped granular structure. Prior to embryonic genome activation, fibrillarin and DAO-5 staining is seen in numerous small nucleoplasmic foci. This staining pattern persists in the germline up to the ∼100-cell stage, until the P4 germ cell divides to give rise to the Z2/Z3 primordial germ cells and embryonic transcription is activated in this lineage. In the ncl-1 mutant, which is characterized by increased transcription of rDNA, DAO-5-labeled nucleoli are already present at the 2-cell stage. Our results suggest a link between the activation of transcription and the initial formation of nucleoli in the C. elegans embryo.

  4. Caenorhabditis elegans: an emerging model in biomedical and environmental toxicology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leung, Maxwell C K; Williams, Phillip L; Benedetto, Alexandre; Au, Catherine; Helmcke, Kirsten J; Aschner, Michael; Meyer, Joel N

    2008-11-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has emerged as an important animal model in various fields including neurobiology, developmental biology, and genetics. Characteristics of this animal model that have contributed to its success include its genetic manipulability, invariant and fully described developmental program, well-characterized genome, ease of maintenance, short and prolific life cycle, and small body size. These same features have led to an increasing use of C. elegans in toxicology, both for mechanistic studies and high-throughput screening approaches. We describe some of the research that has been carried out in the areas of neurotoxicology, genetic toxicology, and environmental toxicology, as well as high-throughput experiments with C. elegans including genome-wide screening for molecular targets of toxicity and rapid toxicity assessment for new chemicals. We argue for an increased role for C. elegans in complementing other model systems in toxicological research.

  5. Comparison of Caenorhabditis elegans NLP peptides with arthropod neuropeptides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Husson, Steven J; Lindemans, Marleen; Janssen, Tom; Schoofs, Liliane

    2009-04-01

    Neuropeptides are small messenger molecules that can be found in all metazoans, where they govern a diverse array of physiological processes. Because neuropeptides seem to be conserved among pest species, selected peptides can be considered as attractive targets for drug discovery. Much can be learned from the model system Caenorhabditis elegans because of the availability of a sequenced genome and state-of-the-art postgenomic technologies that enable characterization of endogenous peptides derived from neuropeptide-like protein (NLP) precursors. Here, we provide an overview of the NLP peptide family in C. elegans and discuss their resemblance with arthropod neuropeptides and their relevance for anthelmintic discovery.

  6. Mainstreaming Caenorhabditis elegans in experimental evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gray, Jeremy C.; Cutter, Asher D.

    2014-01-01

    Experimental evolution provides a powerful manipulative tool for probing evolutionary process and mechanism. As this approach to hypothesis testing has taken purchase in biology, so too has the number of experimental systems that use it, each with its own unique strengths and weaknesses. The depth of biological knowledge about Caenorhabditis nematodes, combined with their laboratory tractability, positions them well for exploiting experimental evolution in animal systems to understand deep questions in evolution and ecology, as well as in molecular genetics and systems biology. To date, Caenorhabditis elegans and related species have proved themselves in experimental evolution studies of the process of mutation, host–pathogen coevolution, mating system evolution and life-history theory. Yet these organisms are not broadly recognized for their utility for evolution experiments and remain underexploited. Here, we outline this experimental evolution work undertaken so far in Caenorhabditis, detail simple methodological tricks that can be exploited and identify research areas that are ripe for future discovery. PMID:24430852

  7. Comparative characterization of three D-aspartate oxidases and one D-amino acid oxidase from Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katane, Masumi; Saitoh, Yasuaki; Seida, Yousuke; Sekine, Masae; Furuchi, Takemitsu; Homma, Hiroshi

    2010-06-01

    Previously, we cloned cDNAs for four Caenorhabditis elegans genes (F20 Hp, C47Ap, F18Ep, and Y69Ap genes) that were annotated in the database as encoding D-amino acid oxidase (DAO) or D-aspartate oxidase (DDO) proteins. These genes were expressed in Escherichia coli, and the recombinant C47Ap and F18Ep were shown to have functional DDO activities, while Y69Ap had functional DAO activity. In this study, we improved the E. coli culture conditions for the production of recombinant F20 Hp and, following purification of the protein, revealed that it has functional DDO activity. The kinetic properties of recombinant C47Ap (DDO-1), F18Ep (DDO-2), F20 Hp (DDO-3), and Y69Ap (DAO) were also determined and compared with recombinant human DDO and DAO. In contrast to the low catalytic efficiency of human DDO for D-Glu, all three C. elegans DDOs showed higher catalytic efficiencies for D-Glu than D-Asp or N-methyl-D-Asp. The catalytic efficiency of C. elegans DAO for D-Ser was substantially lower than that of human DAO, while the C. elegans DAO was more efficient at deamination of basic D-amino acids (D-Arg and D-His) than human DAO. Collectively, our results indicate that C. elegans contains at least three genes that encode functional DDOs, and one gene encoding a functional DAO, and that these enzymes have different and distinctive properties.

  8. Characterization of N-acyl phosphatidylethanolamine-specific phospholipase-D isoforms in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neale Harrison

    Full Text Available N-acylethanolamines are an important class of lipid signaling molecules found in many species, including the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans where they are involved in development and adult lifespan. In mammals, the relative activity of the biosynthetic enzyme N-acyl phosphatidylethanolamine-specific phospholipase-D and the hydrolytic enzyme fatty acid amide hydrolase determine N-acylethanolamine levels. C. elegans has two N-acyl phosphatidylethanolamine-specific phospholipase-D orthologs, nape-1 and nape-2, that are likely to have arisen from a gene duplication event. Here, we find that recombinant C. elegans NAPE-1 and NAPE-2 are capable of generating N-acylethanolamines in vitro, confirming their functional conservation. In vivo, they exhibit overlapping expression in the pharynx and the nervous system, but are also expressed discretely in these and other tissues, suggesting divergent roles. Indeed, nape-1 over-expression results in delayed growth and shortened lifespan only at 25°C, while nape-2 over-expression results in significant larval arrest and increased adult lifespan at 15°C. Interestingly, deletion of the N-acylethanolamine degradation enzyme faah-1 exacerbates nape-1 over-expression phenotypes, but suppresses the larval arrest phenotype of nape-2 over-expression, suggesting that faah-1 is coupled to nape-2, but not nape-1, in a negative feedback loop. We also find that over-expression of either nape-1 or nape-2 significantly enhances recovery from the dauer larval stage in the insulin signaling mutant daf-2(e1368, but only nape-1 over-expression reduces daf-2 adult lifespan, consistent with increased levels of the N-acylethanolamine eicosapentaenoyl ethanolamine. These results provide evidence that N-acylethanolamine biosynthetic enzymes in C. elegans have conserved function and suggest a temperature-dependent, functional divergence between the two isoforms.

  9. Functional characterization of endogenous siRNA target genes in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heikkinen Liisa

    2008-06-01

    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.

  10. Cell Biology of the Caenorhabditis elegans Nucleus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen-Fix, Orna; Askjaer, Peter

    2017-01-01

    Studies on the Caenorhabditis elegans nucleus have provided fascinating insight to the organization and activities of eukaryotic cells. Being the organelle that holds the genetic blueprint of the cell, the nucleus is critical for basically every aspect of cell biology. The stereotypical development of C. elegans from a one cell-stage embryo to a fertile hermaphrodite with 959 somatic nuclei has allowed the identification of mutants with specific alterations in gene expression programs, nuclear morphology, or nuclear positioning. Moreover, the early C. elegans embryo is an excellent model to dissect the mitotic processes of nuclear disassembly and reformation with high spatiotemporal resolution. We review here several features of the C. elegans nucleus, including its composition, structure, and dynamics. We also discuss the spatial organization of chromatin and regulation of gene expression and how this depends on tight control of nucleocytoplasmic transport. Finally, the extensive connections of the nucleus with the cytoskeleton and their implications during development are described. Most processes of the C. elegans nucleus are evolutionarily conserved, highlighting the relevance of this powerful and versatile model organism to human biology. PMID:28049702

  11. Microfluidic Devices in Advanced Caenorhabditis elegans Research

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muniesh Muthaiyan Shanmugam

    2016-08-01

    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.

  12. Automated three-dimensional reconstruction of the Caenorhabditis elegans germline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gopal, Sandeep; Boag, Peter; Pocock, Roger

    2017-12-15

    The Caenorhabditis elegans germline is widely used as a model to study stem cell development, chromosome dynamics and apoptosis. Major readouts of germline phenotypes such as cell counting and protein expression profiling are routinely analyzed manually and in a two-dimensional manner. The major disadvantages of the existing approaches are 1) they are time-consuming and laborious and 2) there is an inability to study the effects of genetic mutations in three dimensions. Here, we demonstrate a rapid, automated method for analyzing the three-dimensional distribution of proteins, germline nuclei and cytoskeletal structures in the C. elegans germline. Using this method, we have revealed previously unappreciated germline organization and cytoskeletal structures that will have a major impact on the characterization of germline phenotypes. To conclude, our new method dramatically enhances the efficiency and resolution of C. elegans germline analysis and may be applied to other cellular structures. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Caenorhabditis elegans responses to bacteria from its natural habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowedder, Holli; Braendle, Christian; Félix, Marie-Anne; Ruvkun, Gary

    2016-01-01

    Most Caenorhabditis elegans studies have used laboratory Escherichia coli as diet and microbial environment. Here we characterize bacteria of C. elegans' natural habitats of rotting fruits and vegetation to provide greater context for its physiological responses. By the use of 16S ribosomal DNA (rDNA)-based sequencing, we identified a large variety of bacteria in C. elegans habitats, with phyla Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, and Actinobacteria being most abundant. From laboratory assays using isolated natural bacteria, C. elegans is able to forage on most bacteria (robust growth on ∼80% of >550 isolates), although ∼20% also impaired growth and arrested and/or stressed animals. Bacterial community composition can predict wild C. elegans population states in both rotting apples and reconstructed microbiomes: alpha-Proteobacteria-rich communities promote proliferation, whereas Bacteroidetes or pathogens correlate with nonproliferating dauers. Combinatorial mixtures of detrimental and beneficial bacteria indicate that bacterial influence is not simply nutritional. Together, these studies provide a foundation for interrogating how bacteria naturally influence C. elegans physiology. PMID:27317746

  14. Longevity and stress in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Katherine I.; Pincus, Zachary; Slack, Frank J.

    2011-01-01

    It has long been understood that many of the same manipulations that increase longevity in Caenorhabditis elegans also increase resistance to various acute stressors, and vice-versa; moreover these findings hold in more complex organisms as well. Nevertheless, the mechanistic relationship between these phenotypes remains unclear, and in many cases the overlap between stress resistance and longevity is inexact. Here we review the known connections between stress resistance and longevity, discuss instances in which these connections are absent, and summarize the theoretical explanations that have been posited for these phenomena. PMID:21937765

  15. Gene expression profiling to characterize sediment toxicity – a pilot study using Caenorhabditis elegans whole genome microarrays

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menzel, Ralph; Swain, Suresh C; Hoess, Sebastian; Claus, Evelyn; Menzel, Stefanie; Steinberg, Christian EW; Reifferscheid, Georg; Stürzenbaum, Stephen R

    2009-01-01

    Background Traditionally, toxicity of river sediments is assessed using whole sediment tests with benthic organisms. The challenge, however, is the differentiation between multiple effects caused by complex contaminant mixtures and the unspecific toxicity endpoints such as survival, growth or reproduction. The use of gene expression profiling facilitates the identification of transcriptional changes at the molecular level that are specific to the bio-available fraction of pollutants. Results In this pilot study, we exposed the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to three sediments of German rivers with varying (low, medium and high) levels of heavy metal and organic contamination. Beside chemical analysis, three standard bioassays were performed: reproduction of C. elegans, genotoxicity (Comet assay) and endocrine disruption (YES test). Gene expression was profiled using a whole genome DNA-microarray approach to identify overrepresented functional gene categories and derived cellular processes. Disaccharide and glycogen metabolism were found to be affected, whereas further functional pathways, such as oxidative phosphorylation, ribosome biogenesis, metabolism of xenobiotics, aging and several developmental processes were found to be differentially regulated only in response to the most contaminated sediment. Conclusion This study demonstrates how ecotoxicogenomics can identify transcriptional responses in complex mixture scenarios to distinguish different samples of river sediments. PMID:19366437

  16. Identification and functional characterization of a putative IDE, C28F5.4 (ceIDE-1), in Caenorhabditis elegans: Implications for Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haque, Rizwanul; Nazir, Aamir

    2016-11-01

    Insulin-degrading enzyme (IDE) is a zinc metalloprotease, known to degrade insulin peptide and amyloid-beta (Aβ); the key protein involved in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Considering the important role played by IDE in disease progression of AD and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), we endeavored to identify the Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) IDE orthologous genes and test them for their role in AD related outcomes. We employed bioinformatics, reverse genetics and molecular biology approaches towards identification and functional characterization of putative IDE candidates in C. elegans. Using in-silico analysis we have identified seven C. elegans genes that possess HXXEH motif, an identifying marker of IDE. We further carried out functional analysis of the identified genes in Aβ expressing C. elegans strain CL4176 [myo-3/Aβ1-42 long 3'-UTR] via studying effect on Aβ induced toxicity, cholinergic neuroanatomy, content of acetylcholine/acetylcholine-esterase, extent of reactive oxygen species and expression of FOXO transcription factor DAF-16. Our findings reveal that amongst the identified putative IDE orthologs, a functionally uncharacterized gene C28F5.4 had a profound effect on the tested endpoints. Knocking down C28F5.4 modulated the AD associated conditions by decreasing Aβ induced toxicity, severely compromising cholinergic neuroanatomy, reducing expression of acetylcholine-transporter, decreasing acetylcholine content, elevating ROS, with no effect on DAF-16 stress-response protein. These studies provide crucial insight into the structural/functional orthology of IDEs across human and nematode species and further our understanding of the involvement of these proteins and insulin pathway in AD. Further studies could aid in identifying novel drug-targets and in understanding the common modulating factors between AD and T2DM. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Approaches for Studying Autophagy in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yanfang Chen

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Macroautophagy (hereafter referred to as autophagy is an intracellular degradative process, well conserved among eukaryotes. By engulfing cytoplasmic constituents into the autophagosome for degradation, this process is involved in the maintenance of cellular homeostasis. Autophagy induction triggers the formation of a cup-shaped double membrane structure, the phagophore, which progressively elongates and encloses materials to be removed. This double membrane vesicle, which is called an autophagosome, fuses with lysosome and forms the autolysosome. The inner membrane of the autophagosome, along with engulfed compounds, are degraded by lysosomal enzymes, which enables the recycling of carbohydrates, amino acids, nucleotides, and lipids. In response to various factors, autophagy can be induced for non-selective degradation of bulk cytoplasm. Autophagy is also able to selectively target cargoes and organelles such as mitochondria or peroxisome, functioning as a quality control system. The modification of autophagy flux is involved in developmental processes such as resistance to stress conditions, aging, cell death, and multiple pathologies. So, the use of animal models is essential for understanding these processes in the context of different cell types throughout the entire lifespan. For almost 15 years, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has emerged as a powerful model to analyze autophagy in physiological or pathological contexts. This review presents a rapid overview of physiological processes involving autophagy in Caenorhabditis elegans, the different assays used to monitor autophagy, their drawbacks, and specific tools for the analyses of selective autophagy.

  18. Caenorhabditis elegans vulval cell fate patterning

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Félix, Marie-Anne

    2012-01-01

    The spatial patterning of three cell fates in a row of competent cells is exemplified by vulva development in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. The intercellular signaling network that underlies fate specification is well understood, yet quantitative aspects remain to be elucidated. Quantitative models of the network allow us to test the effect of parameter variation on the cell fate pattern output. Among the parameter sets that allow us to reach the wild-type pattern, two general developmental patterning mechanisms of the three fates can be found: sequential inductions and morphogen-based induction, the former being more robust to parameter variation. Experimentally, the vulval cell fate pattern is robust to stochastic and environmental challenges, and minor variants can be detected. The exception is the fate of the anterior cell, P3.p, which is sensitive to stochastic variation and spontaneous mutation, and is also evolving the fastest. Other vulval precursor cell fates can be affected by mutation, yet little natural variation can be found, suggesting stabilizing selection. Despite this fate pattern conservation, different Caenorhabditis species respond differently to perturbations of the system. In the quantitative models, different parameter sets can reconstitute their response to perturbation, suggesting that network variation among Caenorhabditis species may be quantitative. Network rewiring likely occurred at longer evolutionary scales. (paper)

  19. Programmed Cell Death During Caenorhabditis elegans Development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conradt, Barbara; Wu, Yi-Chun; Xue, Ding

    2016-08-01

    Programmed cell death is an integral component of Caenorhabditis elegans development. Genetic and reverse genetic studies in C. elegans have led to the identification of many genes and conserved cell death pathways that are important for the specification of which cells should live or die, the activation of the suicide program, and the dismantling and removal of dying cells. Molecular, cell biological, and biochemical studies have revealed the underlying mechanisms that control these three phases of programmed cell death. In particular, the interplay of transcriptional regulatory cascades and networks involving multiple transcriptional regulators is crucial in activating the expression of the key death-inducing gene egl-1 and, in some cases, the ced-3 gene in cells destined to die. A protein interaction cascade involving EGL-1, CED-9, CED-4, and CED-3 results in the activation of the key cell death protease CED-3, which is tightly controlled by multiple positive and negative regulators. The activation of the CED-3 caspase then initiates the cell disassembly process by cleaving and activating or inactivating crucial CED-3 substrates; leading to activation of multiple cell death execution events, including nuclear DNA fragmentation, mitochondrial elimination, phosphatidylserine externalization, inactivation of survival signals, and clearance of apoptotic cells. Further studies of programmed cell death in C. elegans will continue to advance our understanding of how programmed cell death is regulated, activated, and executed in general. Copyright © 2016 by the Genetics Society of America.

  20. Bacterial attraction and quorum sensing inhibition in Caenorhabditis elegans exudates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caenorhabditis elegans, a bacterivorous soil nematode, lives in a complex environment that requires chemical communication for mating, monitoring population density, recognition of food, avoidance of pathogenic microbes, and other essential ecological functions. Despite being one of the best-studied...

  1. Caenorhabditis elegans reveals novel Pseudomonas aeruginosa virulence mechanism

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Utari, Putri Dwi; Quax, Wim J.

    The susceptibility of Caenorhabditis elegans to different virulent phenotypes of Pseudomonas aeruginosa makes the worms an excellent model for studying host-pathogen interactions. Including the recently described liquid killing, five different killing assays are now available offering superb

  2. The Natural Biotic Environment of Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulenburg, Hinrich; Félix, Marie-Anne

    2017-01-01

    Organisms evolve in response to their natural environment. Consideration of natural ecological parameters are thus of key importance for our understanding of an organism’s biology. Curiously, the natural ecology of the model species Caenorhabditis elegans has long been neglected, even though this nematode has become one of the most intensively studied models in biological research. This lack of interest changed ∼10 yr ago. Since then, an increasing number of studies have focused on the nematode’s natural ecology. Yet many unknowns still remain. Here, we provide an overview of the currently available information on the natural environment of C. elegans. We focus on the biotic environment, which is usually less predictable and thus can create high selective constraints that are likely to have had a strong impact on C. elegans evolution. This nematode is particularly abundant in microbe-rich environments, especially rotting plant matter such as decomposing fruits and stems. In this environment, it is part of a complex interaction network, which is particularly shaped by a species-rich microbial community. These microbes can be food, part of a beneficial gut microbiome, parasites and pathogens, and possibly competitors. C. elegans is additionally confronted with predators; it interacts with vector organisms that facilitate dispersal to new habitats, and also with competitors for similar food environments, including competitors from congeneric and also the same species. Full appreciation of this nematode’s biology warrants further exploration of its natural environment and subsequent integration of this information into the well-established laboratory-based research approaches. PMID:28476862

  3. Caenorhabditis elegans chemical biology: lessons from small molecules

    Science.gov (United States)

    How can we complement Caenorhabditis elegans genomics and proteomics with a comprehensive structural and functional annotation of its metabolome? Several lines of evidence indicate that small molecules of largely undetermined structure play important roles in C. elegans biology, including key pathw...

  4. Genetic screens in Caenorhabditis elegans models for neurodegenerative diseases

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Alvarenga Fernandes Sin, Olga; Michels, Helen; Nollen, Ellen A. A.

    2014-01-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans comprises unique features that make it an attractive model organism in diverse fields of biology. Genetic screens are powerful to identify genes and C. elegans can be customized to forward or reverse genetic screens and to establish gene function. These genetic screens can be

  5. Characterization of gana-1, a Caenorhabditis elegans gene encoding a single ortholog of vertebrate α-galactosidase and α-N-acetylgalactosaminidase

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kostrouchová Marta

    2005-01-01

    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

  6. Big Data in Caenorhabditis elegans: quo vadis?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutter, Harald; Moerman, Donald

    2015-11-05

    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. © 2015 Hutter and Moerman. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). Two months after publication it is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

  7. Lack of the RNA chaperone Hfq attenuates pathogenicity of several Escherichia coli pathotypes towards Caenorhabditis elegans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bojer, Martin Saxtorph; Jakobsen, Henrik; Struve, Carsten

    2012-01-01

    as a model for virulence characterization and screening for novel antimicrobial entities. Several E. coli human pathotypes are also pathogenic towards C. elegans, and we show here that lack of the RNA chaperone Hfq significantly reduces pathogenicity of VTEC, EAEC, and UPEC in the nematode model. Thus, Hfq...... is intrinsically essential to pathogenic E. coli for survival and virulence exerted in the C. elegans host.......Escherichia coli is an important agent of Gram-negative bacterial infections worldwide, being one of the leading causes of diarrhoea and urinary tract infections. Strategies to understand pathogenesis and develop therapeutic compounds include the use of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans...

  8. The temporal scaling of Caenorhabditis elegans ageing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stroustrup, Nicholas; Anthony, Winston E.; Nash, Zachary M.; Gowda, Vivek; Gomez, Adam; López-Moyado, Isaac F.; Apfeld, Javier; Fontana, Walter

    2016-02-01

    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.

  9. Comparative functional analysis of the Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila melanogaster proteomes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sabine P Schrimpf

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a popular model system in genetics, not least because a majority of human disease genes are conserved in C. elegans. To generate a comprehensive inventory of its expressed proteome, we performed extensive shotgun proteomics and identified more than half of all predicted C. elegans proteins. This allowed us to confirm and extend genome annotations, characterize the role of operons in C. elegans, and semiquantitatively infer abundance levels for thousands of proteins. Furthermore, for the first time to our knowledge, we were able to compare two animal proteomes (C. elegans and Drosophila melanogaster. We found that the abundances of orthologous proteins in metazoans correlate remarkably well, better than protein abundance versus transcript abundance within each organism or transcript abundances across organisms; this suggests that changes in transcript abundance may have been partially offset during evolution by opposing changes in protein abundance.

  10. Models of Caenorhabditis elegans infection by bacterial and fungal pathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, Jennifer R; Ausubel, Frederick M

    2008-01-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a simple model host for studying the relationship between the animal innate immune system and a variety of bacterial and fungal pathogens. Extensive genetic and molecular tools are available in C. elegans, facilitating an in-depth analysis of host defense factors and pathogen virulence factors. Many of these factors are conserved in insects and mammals, indicating the relevance of the nematode model to the vertebrate innate immune response. Here, we describe pathogen assays for a selection of the most commonly studied bacterial and fungal pathogens using the C. elegans model system.

  11. Concentration dependent differential activity of signalling molecules in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caenorhabditis elegans employs specific glycosides of the dideoxysugar ascarylose (the ‘ascarosides’) for monitoring population density/ dauer formation and finding mates. A synergistic blend of three ascarosides, called ascr#2, ascr#3 and ascr#4 acts as a dauer pheromone at a high concentration na...

  12. An Elegant Mind: Learning and Memory in "Caenorhabditis elegans"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ardiel, Evan L.; Rankin, Catharine H.

    2010-01-01

    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…

  13. Nematicidal activity of Annona crassiflora leaf extract on Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Machado, Alan Rodrigues Teixeira; Ferreira, Sebastião Rodrigo; da Silva Medeiros, Felipe; Fujiwara, Ricardo Toshio; de Souza Filho, José Dias; Pimenta, Lúcia Pinheiro Santos

    2015-02-19

    The aim of this work was to investigate the potential nematicidal activity of Annona crassiflora leaf extract against Caenorhabditis elegans. The hydroalcoholic leaf extract and its fractions (dichloromethane, ethyl acetate, methanol and water) were submitted to mobility assay against the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans. GC-MS and NMR analysis were performed in order to identify metabolites. The dichloromethane and ethyl acetate fractions showed to be the most active among the hydroalcoholic leaf extracts and its four fractions. The percentages of C. elegans larvae immobility were 98.13 and 89.66%, respectively, at a concentration of 1000 μg.mL(-1). Besides some amino acids, palmitic acid methyl ester, 2-isopropyl-5-methylcyclohexanol, oleic acid methyl esther, stearic acid methyl ester, quercetin and kaempferol were also identified in these fractions. The results indicated that of A. crassiflora leaf ethanolic extract has a good potential as a source for natural nematicide.

  14. Cas9 Variants Expand the Target Repertoire in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, Ryan T.; Fu, Becky X. H.; Fire, Andrew Z.

    2016-01-01

    The proliferation of CRISPR/Cas9-based methods in Caenorhabditis elegans has enabled efficient genome editing and precise genomic tethering of Cas9 fusion proteins. Experimental designs using CRISPR/Cas9 are currently limited by the need for a protospacer adjacent motif (PAM) in the target with the sequence NGG. Here we report the characterization of two modified Cas9 proteins in C. elegans that recognize NGA and NGCG PAMs. We found that each variant could stimulate homologous recombination with a donor template at multiple loci and that PAM specificity was comparable to that of wild-type Cas9. To directly compare effectiveness, we used CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing to generate a set of assay strains with a common single-guide RNA (sgRNA) target sequence, but that differ in the juxtaposed PAM (NGG, NGA, or NGCG). In this controlled setting, we determined that the NGA PAM Cas9 variant can be as effective as wild-type Cas9. We similarly edited a genomic target to study the influence of the base following the NGA PAM. Using four strains with four NGAN PAMs differing only at the fourth position and adjacent to the same sgRNA target, we observed that efficient homologous replacement was attainable with any base in the fourth position, with an NGAG PAM being the most effective. In addition to demonstrating the utility of two Cas9 mutants in C. elegans and providing reagents that permit CRISPR/Cas9 experiments with fewer restrictions on potential targets, we established a means to benchmark the efficiency of different Cas9::PAM combinations that avoids variations owing to differences in the sgRNA sequence. PMID:26680661

  15. A Caenorhabditis elegans Mass Spectrometric Resource for Neuropeptidomics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Bael, Sven; Zels, Sven; Boonen, Kurt; Beets, Isabel; Schoofs, Liliane; Temmerman, Liesbet

    2018-01-01

    Neuropeptides are important signaling molecules used by nervous systems to mediate and fine-tune neuronal communication. They can function as neurotransmitters or neuromodulators in neural circuits, or they can be released as neurohormones to target distant cells and tissues. Neuropeptides are typically cleaved from larger precursor proteins by the action of proteases and can be the subject of post-translational modifications. The short, mature neuropeptide sequences often entail the only evolutionarily reasonably conserved regions in these precursor proteins. Therefore, it is particularly challenging to predict all putative bioactive peptides through in silico mining of neuropeptide precursor sequences. Peptidomics is an approach that allows de novo characterization of peptides extracted from body fluids, cells, tissues, organs, or whole-body preparations. Mass spectrometry, often combined with on-line liquid chromatography, is a hallmark technique used in peptidomics research. Here, we used an acidified methanol extraction procedure and a quadrupole-Orbitrap LC-MS/MS pipeline to analyze the neuropeptidome of Caenorhabditis elegans. We identified an unprecedented number of 203 mature neuropeptides from C. elegans whole-body extracts, including 35 peptides from known, hypothetical, as well as from completely novel neuropeptide precursor proteins that have not been predicted in silico. This set of biochemically verified peptide sequences provides the most elaborate C. elegans reference neurpeptidome so far. To exploit this resource to the fullest, we make our in-house database of known and predicted neuropeptides available to the community as a valuable resource. We are providing these collective data to help the community progress, amongst others, by supporting future differential and/or functional studies.

  16. Microsporidia are natural intracellular parasites of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Troemel, Emily R; Félix, Marie-Anne; Whiteman, Noah K; Barrière, Antoine; Ausubel, Frederick M

    2008-12-09

    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.

  17. Immobilization of Caenorhabditis elegans to Analyze Intracellular Transport in Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niwa, Shinsuke

    2017-10-18

    Axonal transport and intraflagellar transport (IFT) are essential for axon and cilia morphogenesis and function. Kinesin superfamily proteins and dynein are molecular motors that regulate anterograde and retrograde transport, respectively. These motors use microtubule networks as rails. Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) is a powerful model organism to study axonal transport and IFT in vivo. Here, I describe a protocol to observe axonal transport and IFT in living C. elegans. Transported cargo can be visualized by tagging cargo proteins using fluorescent proteins such as green fluorescent protein (GFP). C. elegans is transparent and GFP-tagged cargo proteins can be expressed in specific cells under cell-specific promoters. Living worms can be fixed by microbeads on 10% agarose gel without killing or anesthetizing the worms. Under these conditions, cargo movement can be directly observed in the axons and cilia of living C. elegans without dissection. This method can be applied to the observation of any cargo molecule in any cells by modifying the target proteins and/or the cells they are expressed in. Most basic proteins such as molecular motors and adaptor proteins that are involved in axonal transport and IFT are conserved in C. elegans. Compared to other model organisms, mutants can be obtained and maintained more easily in C. elegans. Combining this method with various C. elegans mutants can clarify the molecular mechanisms of axonal transport and IFT.

  18. Evaluation of the pathogenicity of Listeria spp. in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forrester, Stacyann; Milillo, Sara Rose; Hoose, Wendy A; Wiedmann, Martin; Schwab, Ute

    2007-01-01

    Caenorhabditis has proven to be a useful model for studying host-pathogen interactions as well as the ability of nematodes to serve as vectors for the dispersal of foodborne pathogens. In this study, we evaluated whether C. elegans can serve as a host for Listeria spp. While there was an effect of growth media on C. elegans killing, C. elegans exposed to L. monocytogenes and L. innocua pregrown in Luria-Bertani medium showed reduced survival when compared to nonpathogenic E. coli OP50, while L. seeligeri showed survival similar to E. coli OP50. In a preference assay, C. elegans preferred E. coli over L. monocytogenes and L. innocua, but showed no preference between L. monocytogenes and L. innocua. A gentamicin assay indicated that L. monocytogenes did not persist within the C. elegans intestinal tract. Our findings that L. monocytogenes and L. innocua strains tested have equally deleterious effects on C. elegans and that L. monocytogenes did not establish intestinal infection conflict with other recently published results, which found intestinal infection and killing of C. elegans by L. monocytogenes. Further studies are thus needed to clarify the interactions between L. monocytogenes and C. elegans, including effects of environmental conditions and strain differences on killing and intestinal infection.

  19. Investigating Connections between Metabolism, Longevity, and Behavior in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemieux, George A; Ashrafi, Kaveh

    2016-08-01

    An overview of Caenorhabditis elegans as an experimental organism for studying energy balance is presented. Some of the unresolved questions that complicate the interpretation of lipid measurements from C. elegans are highlighted. We review studies that show that both lipid synthesis and lipid breakdown pathways are activated and needed for the longevity of hermaphrodites that lack their germlines. These findings illustrate the heterogeneity of triglyceride-rich lipid particles in C. elegans and reveal specific lipid signals that promote longevity. Finally, we provide a brief overview of feeding behavioral responses of C. elegans to varying nutritional conditions and highlight an unanticipated metabolic pathway that allows the incorporation of experience in feeding behavior. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Pseudomonas aeruginosa PA14 pathogenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirienko, Natalia V; Cezairliyan, Brent O; Ausubel, Frederick M; Powell, Jennifer R

    2014-01-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a simple model host for studying the interaction between bacterial pathogens such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa and the metazoan innate immune system. Powerful genetic and molecular tools in both C. elegans and P. aeruginosa facilitate the identification and analysis of bacterial virulence factors as well as host defense factors. Here we describe three different assays that use the C. elegans-P. aeruginosa strain PA14 host-pathogen system. Fast Killing is a toxin-mediated death that depends on a diffusible toxin produced by PA14 but not on live bacteria. Slow Killing is due to an active infection in which bacteria colonize the C. elegans intestinal lumen. Liquid Killing is designed for high-throughput screening of chemical libraries for anti-infective compounds. Each assay has unique features and, interestingly, the PA14 virulence factors involved in killing are different in each assay.

  1. Genomic response of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to spaceflight

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  2. Cadmium toxicity in the free-living nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Popham, J.D.; Webster, J.M.

    1979-10-01

    The effect of cadmium on the fecundity, growth, and fine structure of the free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans was studied. High concentrations of cadmium significantly decreased the fecundity and growth of these organisms. Electron microscopy showed that cadmium modifies the structure of the mitochondria in the esophagus and intestine, causes the formation of inclusion bodies in the nucleus of esophageal cells, and alters the morphology of cytosomes in the intestinal cells. The results suggest that the decreased fecundity and growth of cadmium-exposed C. elegans may be due to cadmium interfering with nutrient uptake or assimilation or both.

  3. High qualitative and quantitative conservation of alternative splicing in Caenorhabditis elegans and Caenorhabditis briggsae

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rukov, Jakob Lewin; Irimia, Manuel; Mørk, Søren

    2007-01-01

    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 Caenorhabditis briggsae...... 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 results therefore suggest...... that the quantitative regulation of isoform expression levels is an intrinsic part of most AS events. Moreover, our results indicate that AS contributes little to transcript variation in Caenorhabditis genes and that gene duplication may be the major evolutionary mechanism for the origin of novel transcripts in these 2...

  4. Regulation of energy balance in Caenorhabditis elegans 

    OpenAIRE

    Sheng, Ming

    2015-01-01

    Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has been accumulated. It is most commonly caused by imbalance between energy intake and energy expenditure (lack of physical activity and lower metabolic rate, etc.). The control of energy metabolism involves multiple tissues and signalling pathways and there is a great need for further understanding of these different interactions. In this study, I use Caenorhabditis elegans to study these complex pathways at the level of a whole organi...

  5. Japanese studies on neural circuits and behavior of Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sasakura, Hiroyuki; Tsukada, Yuki; Takagi, Shin; Mori, Ikue

    2013-01-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is an ideal organism for studying neural plasticity and animal behaviors. A total of 302 neurons of a C. elegans hermaphrodite have been classified into 118 neuronal groups. This simple neural circuit provides a solid basis for understanding the mechanisms of the brains of higher animals, including humans. Recent studies that employ modern imaging and manipulation techniques enable researchers to study the dynamic properties of nervous systems with great precision. Behavioral and molecular genetic analyses of this tiny animal have contributed greatly to the advancement of neural circuit research. Here, we will review the recent studies on the neural circuits of C. elegans that have been conducted in Japan. Several laboratories have established unique and clever methods to study the underlying neuronal substrates of behavioral regulation in C. elegans. The technological advances applied to studies of C. elegans have allowed new approaches for the studies of complex neural systems. Through reviewing the studies on the neuronal circuits of C. elegans in Japan, we will analyze and discuss the directions of neural circuit studies. PMID:24348340

  6. A Transparent Window into Biology: A Primer on Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corsi, Ann K.; Wightman, Bruce; Chalfie, Martin

    2015-01-01

    A little over 50 years ago, Sydney Brenner had the foresight to develop the nematode (round worm) Caenorhabditis elegans as a genetic model for understanding questions of developmental biology and neurobiology. Over time, research on C. elegans has expanded to explore a wealth of diverse areas in modern biology including studies of the basic functions and interactions of eukaryotic cells, host–parasite interactions, and evolution. C. elegans has also become an important organism in which to study processes that go awry in human diseases. This primer introduces the organism and the many features that make it an outstanding experimental system, including its small size, rapid life cycle, transparency, and well-annotated genome. We survey the basic anatomical features, common technical approaches, and important discoveries in C. elegans research. Key to studying C. elegans has been the ability to address biological problems genetically, using both forward and reverse genetics, both at the level of the entire organism and at the level of the single, identified cell. These possibilities make C. elegans useful not only in research laboratories, but also in the classroom where it can be used to excite students who actually can see what is happening inside live cells and tissues. PMID:26088431

  7. In Vivo Inhibition of Lipid Accumulation in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sulistiyani; Purwakusumah, E. P.; Andrianto, D.

    2017-03-01

    This is a preliminary research report on the use of Caenorhabditis elegans as a model to establish anti-obesity screening assay of the natural plant resources. Nematode C. elegans has been used as experimental animal model for understanding lipid accumulation. The objective of this research was to investigate the effect of selected plant extracts on lipid accumulation in C. elegans. Currently no report could be found regarding lipid accumulation in C.elegans treated with ethanolic leaf extracts of jabon merah (Anthocephalus macrophyllus), jati belanda (Guazuma ulmifolia), and Mindi (Melia Azedarach) plants. Lipid accumulation was determined qualitatively using lipid staining method and quantitatively by colorimetry using sulpho-phospho-vanillin reagent. Data showed that lipid accumulation was inhibited up to 72% by extract of M. azedarach, about 35% by both of A. macrophyllus and G. ulmifolia extracts, and up to 25% by orlistat (a synthetic slimming drug). Ethanolic extract of A. macrophyllus, G. ulmifolia, and M. azedarach leaves were shown to inhibit lipid accumulation in C. elegans and M. azedarach leaves extracts was the most effective inhibitor. C.elegans were shown to be an effective model for in vivo lipid accumulation mechanism and potential to be used as a rapid screening assay for bioactive compounds with lipid accumulation inhibitory activity.

  8. Chemically defined medium and Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szewczyk, Nathaniel J.; Kozak, Elena; Conley, Catharine A.

    2003-01-01

    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.

  9. The Caenorhabditis elegans nicotinamidase PNC-1 enhances survival.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Horst, Armando; Schavemaker, Jolanda M; Pellis-van Berkel, Wendy; Burgering, Boudewijn M T

    2007-04-01

    In yeast, increasing the copy number of the nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD)-dependent deacetylase Sir2 extends lifespan, which can be inhibited by nicotinamide (Nam), the end-product of Sir2-mediated NAD-breakdown. Furthermore, the yeast pyrazinamidase/nicotinamidase PNC-1 can extend yeast lifespan by converting Nam. In Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), increased dosage of the gene encoding SIR-2.1 also increases lifespan. Here, we report that knockdown of the C. elegans homologue of yeast PNC-1 as well as growing worms on Nam-containing medium significantly decreases adult lifespan. Accordingly, increased gene dosage of pnc-1 increases adult survival under conditions of oxidative stress. These data show for the first time the involvement of PNC-1/Nam in the survival of a multicellular organism and may also contribute to our understanding of lifespan regulation in mammals.

  10. The effects of short-term hypergravity on Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saldanha, Jenifer N.; Pandey, Santosh; Powell-Coffman, Jo Anne

    2016-08-01

    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.

  11. Utilization of Caenorhabditis elegans in laboratory teaching of genetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Xiao-Ying; Zhao, Ying-Lan; Jia, Fang-Xing; Song, Ya-Kun; Xie, Yu-Cong

    2017-08-20

    Caenorhabditis elegans is one of the most important model organisms in the study of biology. It is ideal for laboratory teaching due to its short life cycle and low cost. It enriches the teaching content and can motivate students' interest of learning. In this article, we have shown cased C. elegans for the observation of life cycle and mating, as well as the investigation of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and RNA interfere. In addition, we also discuss the details of the experimental design, basic requirement, preparations and related information. We conclude that C. elegans can be used as the experimental materials for teaching college laboratory courses, such as genetic, cell biology, model biology and developmental biology.

  12. of Caenorhabditis elegans: Adaptive and developmental regulation

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    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 ...

  13. Identifying Novel Helix-Loop-Helix Genes in "Caenorhabditis elegans" through a Classroom Demonstration of Functional Genomics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffin, Vernetta; McMiller, Tracee; Jones, Erika; Johnson, Casonya M.

    2003-01-01

    A 14-week, undergraduate-level Genetics and Population Biology course at Morgan State University was modified to include a demonstration of functional genomics in the research laboratory. Students performed a rudimentary sequence analysis of the "Caenorhabditis elegans" genome and further characterized three sequences that were predicted to encode…

  14. Caenorhabditis elegans: a simple nematode infection model for Penicillium marneffei.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaowen Huang

    Full Text Available Penicillium marneffei, one of the most important thermal dimorphic fungi, is a severe threat to the life of immunocompromised patients. However, the pathogenic mechanisms of P. marneffei remain largely unknown. In this work, we developed a model host by using nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to investigate the virulence of P. marneffei. Using two P. marneffei clinical isolate strains 570 and 486, we revealed that in both liquid and solid media, the ingestion of live P. marneffei was lethal to C. elegans (P<0.001. Meanwhile, our results showed that the strain 570, which can produce red pigment, had stronger pathogenicity in C. elegans than the strain 486, which can't produce red pigment (P<0.001. Microscopy showed the formation of red pigment and hyphae within C. elegans after incubation with P. marneffei for 4 h, which are supposed to be two contributors in nematodes killing. In addition, we used C. elegans as an in vivo model to evaluate different antifungal agents against P. marneffei, and found that antifungal agents including amphotericin B, terbinafine, fluconazole, itraconazole and voriconazole successfully prolonged the survival of nematodesinfected by P. marneffei. Overall, this alternative model host can provide us an easy tool to study the virulence of P. marneffei and screen antifungal agents.

  15. Caenorhabditis elegans - A model system for space biology studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Thomas E.; Nelson, Gregory A.

    1991-01-01

    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.

  16. Discovering Functional ERK Substrates Regulating Caenorhabditis elegans Germline Development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Jessica Jie; Arur, Swathi

    2017-01-01

    The Rat Sarcoma (RAS) GTPAse-mediated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) pathway regulates multiple biological processes across metazoans. In particular during Caenorhabditis elegans oogenesis, ERK signaling has been shown to regulate over seven distinct biological processes in a temporal and sequential manner. To fully elucidate how ERK signaling cascade orchestrates these different biological processes in vivo, identification of the direct functional substrates of the pathway is critical. This chapter describes the methods that were used to identify ERK substrates in a global manner and study their functions in the germline. These approaches can also be generally applied to study ERK-dependent biological processes in other systems.

  17. Chromosome pairing and synapsis during Caenorhabditis elegans meiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rog, Ofer; Dernburg, Abby F

    2013-06-01

    Meiosis is the specialized cell division cycle that produces haploid gametes to enable sexual reproduction. Reduction of chromosome number by half requires elaborate chromosome dynamics that occur in meiotic prophase to establish physical linkages between each pair of homologous chromosomes. Caenorhabditis elegans has emerged as an excellent model organism for molecular studies of meiosis, enabling investigators to combine the power of molecular genetics, cytology, and live analysis. Here we focus on recent studies that have shed light on how chromosomes find and identify their homologous partners, and the structural changes that accompany and mediate these interactions. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Cell lineage and cell death: Caenorhabditis elegans and cancer research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potts, Malia B; Cameron, Scott

    2011-01-01

    Cancer is a complex disease in which cells have circumvented normal restraints on tissue growth and have acquired complex abnormalities in their genomes, posing a considerable challenge to identifying the pathways and mechanisms that drive fundamental aspects of the malignant phenotype. Genetic analyses of the normal development of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans have revealed evolutionarily conserved mechanisms through which individual cells establish their fates, and how they make and execute the decision to survive or undergo programmed cell death. The pathways identified through these studies have mammalian counterparts that are co-opted by malignant cells. Effective cancer drugs now target some of these pathways, and more are likely to be discovered.

  19. A microfluidic device for efficient chemical testing using Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Pengfei; Zhang, Weize; Sobolevski, Alexandre; Bernard, Kristine; Hekimi, Siegfried; Liu, Xinyu

    2015-04-01

    The nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans has been employed as a popular model organism in many fields of biological research. In this paper, we present a microfluidic device for facilitating chemical testing using C. elegans. For testing chemicals on chip, the device houses single nematodes in microfluidic chambers and precisely adjusts the chamber's chemical environment during experiments. Eight nematodes can be readily loaded into the chambers through separate loading channels in a quick and gentle manner. In addition, a custom-made software with a graphic user interface is also created for quantitative analysis of locomotion parameters (swimming frequency and bend amplitude) of the nematodes in response to chemical stimuli, thus greatly enhancing the efficiency of data collection. We perform proof-of-concept experiments using two chemicals, zinc ion (Zn(2+)) and glucose, to demonstrate the effectiveness of the microfluidic device.

  20. The Sexual Dimorphism of Dietary Restriction Responsiveness in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sakiko Honjoh

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Organismal lifespan is highly plastic in response to environmental cues, and dietary restriction (DR is the most robust way to extend lifespan in various species. Recent studies have shown that sex also is an important factor for lifespan regulation; however, it remains largely unclear how these two factors, food and sex, interact in lifespan regulation. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has two sexes, hermaphrodite and male, and only the hermaphrodites are essential for the short-term succession of the species. Here, we report an extreme sexual dimorphism in the responsiveness to DR in C. elegans; the essential hermaphrodites show marked longevity responses to various forms of DR, but the males show few longevity responses and sustain reproductive ability. Our analysis reveals that the sex determination pathway and the steroid hormone receptor DAF-12 regulate the sex-specific DR responsiveness, integrating sex and environmental cues to determine organismal lifespan.

  1. DNA double-strand break repair in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemmens, Bennie B L G; Tijsterman, Marcel

    2011-02-01

    Faithful repair of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) is vital for animal development, as inappropriate repair can cause gross chromosomal alterations that result in cellular dysfunction, ultimately leading to cancer, or cell death. Correct processing of DSBs is not only essential for maintaining genomic integrity, but is also required in developmental programs, such as gametogenesis, in which DSBs are deliberately generated. Accordingly, DSB repair deficiencies are associated with various developmental disorders including cancer predisposition and infertility. To avoid this threat, cells are equipped with an elaborate and evolutionarily well-conserved network of DSB repair pathways. In recent years, Caenorhabditis elegans has become a successful model system in which to study DSB repair, leading to important insights in this process during animal development. This review will discuss the major contributions and recent progress in the C. elegans field to elucidate the complex networks involved in DSB repair, the impact of which extends well beyond the nematode phylum.

  2. Staphylococcal biofilm exopolysaccharide protects against Caenorhabditis elegans immune defenses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jakob Begun

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available Staphylococcus epidermidis and Staphylococcus aureus are leading causes of hospital-acquired infections that have become increasingly difficult to treat due to the prevalence of antibiotic resistance in these organisms. The ability of staphylococci to produce biofilm is an important virulence mechanism that allows bacteria both to adhere to living and artificial surfaces and to resist host immune factors and antibiotics. Here, we show that the icaADBC locus, which synthesizes the biofilm-associated polysaccharide intercellular adhesin (PIA in staphylococci, is required for the formation of a lethal S. epidermidis infection in the intestine of the model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Susceptibility to S. epidermidis infection is influenced by mutation of the C. elegans PMK-1 p38 mitogen-activated protein (MAP kinase or DAF-2 insulin-signaling pathways. Loss of PIA production abrogates nematocidal activity and leads to reduced bacterial accumulation in the C. elegans intestine, while overexpression of the icaADBC locus in S. aureus augments virulence towards nematodes. PIA-producing S. epidermidis has a significant survival advantage over ica-deficient S. epidermidis within the intestinal tract of wild-type C. elegans, but not in immunocompromised nematodes harboring a loss-of-function mutation in the p38 MAP kinase pathway gene sek-1. Moreover, sek-1 and pmk-1 mutants are equally sensitive to wild-type and icaADBC-deficient S. epidermidis. These results suggest that biofilm exopolysaccharide enhances virulence by playing an immunoprotective role during colonization of the C. elegans intestine. These studies demonstrate that C. elegans can serve as a simple animal model for studying host-pathogen interactions involving staphylococcal biofilm exopolysaccharide and suggest that the protective activity of biofilm matrix represents an ancient conserved function for resisting predation.

  3. Measuring Food Intake and Nutrient Absorption in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomez-Amaro, Rafael L.; Valentine, Elizabeth R.; Carretero, Maria; LeBoeuf, Sarah E.; Rangaraju, Sunitha; Broaddus, Caroline D.; Solis, Gregory M.; Williamson, James R.; Petrascheck, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans has emerged as a powerful model to study the genetics of feeding, food-related behaviors, and metabolism. Despite the many advantages of C. elegans as a model organism, direct measurement of its bacterial food intake remains challenging. Here, we describe two complementary methods that measure the food intake of C. elegans. The first method is a microtiter plate-based bacterial clearing assay that measures food intake by quantifying the change in the optical density of bacteria over time. The second method, termed pulse feeding, measures the absorption of food by tracking de novo protein synthesis using a novel metabolic pulse-labeling strategy. Using the bacterial clearance assay, we compare the bacterial food intake of various C. elegans strains and show that long-lived eat mutants eat substantially more than previous estimates. To demonstrate the applicability of the pulse-feeding assay, we compare the assimilation of food for two C. elegans strains in response to serotonin. We show that serotonin-increased feeding leads to increased protein synthesis in a SER-7-dependent manner, including proteins known to promote aging. Protein content in the food has recently emerged as critical factor in determining how food composition affects aging and health. The pulse-feeding assay, by measuring de novo protein synthesis, represents an ideal method to unequivocally establish how the composition of food dictates protein synthesis. In combination, these two assays provide new and powerful tools for C. elegans research to investigate feeding and how food intake affects the proteome and thus the physiology and health of an organism. PMID:25903497

  4. Identification of an estrogenic hormone receptor in Caenorhabditis elegans

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mimoto, Ai; Fujii, Madoka; Usami, Makoto; Shimamura, Maki; Hirabayashi, Naoko; Kaneko, Takako; Sasagawa, Noboru; Ishiura, Shoichi

    2007-01-01

    Changes in both behavior and gene expression occur in Caenorhabditis elegans following exposure to sex hormones such as estrogen and progesterone, and to bisphenol A (BPA), an estrogenic endocrine-disrupting compound. However, only one steroid hormone receptor has been identified. Of the 284 known nuclear hormone receptors (NHRs) in C. elegans, we selected nhr-14, nhr-69, and nhr-121 for analysis as potential estrogenic hormone receptors, because they share sequence similarity with the human estrogen receptor. First, the genes were cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli, and then the affinity of each protein for estrogen was determined using a surface plasmon resonance (SPR) biosensor. All three NHRs bound estrogen in a dose-dependent fashion. To evaluate the specificity of the binding, we performed a solution competition assay using an SPR biosensor. According to our results, only NHR-14 was able to interact with estrogen. Therefore, we next examined whether nhr-14 regulates estrogen signaling in vivo. To investigate whether these interactions actually control the response of C. elegans to hormones, we investigated the expression of vitellogenin, an estrogen responsive gene, in an nhr-14 mutant. Semi-quantitative RT-PCR showed that vitellogenin expression was significantly reduced in the mutant. This suggests that NHR-14 is a C. elegans estrogenic hormone receptor and that it controls gene expression in response to estrogen

  5. Caenorhabditis elegans glia modulate neuronal activity and behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stout Jr., Randy F.; Verkhratsky, Alexei; Parpura, Vladimir

    2014-01-01

    Glial cells of Caenorhabditis elegans can modulate neuronal activity and behavior, which is the focus of this review. Initially, we provide an overview of neuroglial evolution, making a comparison between C. elegans glia and their genealogical counterparts. What follows is a brief discussion on C. elegans glia characteristics in terms of their exact numbers, germ layers origin, their necessity for proper development of sensory organs, and lack of their need for neuronal survival. The more specific roles that various glial cells have on neuron-based activity/behavior are succinctly presented. The cephalic sheath glia are important for development, maintenance and activity of central synapses, whereas the amphid glia seem to set the tone of sensory synapses; these glial cell types are ectoderm-derived. Mesoderm-derived Glial-Like cells in the nerve Ring (GLRs) appear to be a part of the circuit for production of motor movement of the worm anterior. Finally, we discuss tools and approaches utilized in studying C. elegans glia, which are assets available for this animal, making it an appealing model, not only in neurosciences, but in biology in general. PMID:24672428

  6. Action potentials drive body wall muscle contractions in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Shangbang; Zhen, Mei

    2011-01-01

    The sinusoidal locomotion exhibited by Caenorhabditis elegans predicts a tight regulation of contractions and relaxations of its body wall muscles. Vertebrate skeletal muscle contractions are driven by voltage-gated sodium channel–dependent action potentials. How coordinated motor outputs are regulated in C. elegans, which does not have voltage-gated sodium channels, remains unknown. Here, we show that C. elegans body wall muscles fire all-or-none, calcium-dependent action potentials that are driven by the L-type voltage-gated calcium and Kv1 voltage-dependent potassium channels. We further demonstrate that the excitatory and inhibitory motoneuron activities regulate the frequency of action potentials to coordinate muscle contraction and relaxation, respectively. This study provides direct evidence for the dual-modulatory model of the C. elegans motor circuit; moreover, it reveals a mode of motor control in which muscle cells integrate graded inputs of the nervous system and respond with all-or-none electrical signals. PMID:21248227

  7. Enhanced Caenorhabditis elegans locomotion in a structured microfluidic environment.

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    Sungsu Park

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Behavioral studies of Caenorhabditis elegans traditionally are done on the smooth surface of agar plates, but the natural habitat of C. elegans and other nematodes is the soil, a complex and structured environment. In order to investigate how worms move in such environments, we have developed a technique to study C. elegans locomotion in microstructures fabricated from agar. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: When placed in open, liquid-filled, microfluidic chambers containing a square array of posts, we discovered that worms are capable of a novel mode of locomotion, which combines the fast gait of swimming with the more efficient movements of crawling. When the wavelength of the worms matched the periodicity of the post array, the microstructure directed the swimming and increased the speed of C. elegans ten-fold. We found that mutants defective in mechanosensation (mec-4, mec-10 or mutants with abnormal waveforms (unc-29 did not perform this enhanced locomotion and moved much more slowly than wild-type worms in the microstructure. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: These results show that the microstructure can be used as a behavioral screen for mechanosensory and uncoordinated mutants. It is likely that worms use mechanosensation in the movement and navigation through heterogeneous environments.

  8. Allyl isothiocyanate induced stress response in Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Saini AkalRachna K

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Allyl isothiocyanate (AITC from mustard is cytotoxic; however the mechanism of its toxicity is unknown. We examined the effects of AITC on heat shock protein (HSP 70 expression in Caenorhabditis elegans. We also examined factors affecting the production of AITC from its precursor, sinigrin, a glucosinolate, in ground Brassica juncea cv. Vulcan seed as mustard has some potential as a biopesticide. Findings An assay to determine the concentration of AITC in ground mustard seed was improved to allow the measurement of AITC release in the first minutes after exposure of ground mustard seed to water. Using this assay, we determined that temperatures above 67°C decreased sinigrin conversion to AITC in hydrated ground B. juncea seed. A pH near 6.0 was found to be necessary for AITC release. RT-qPCR revealed no significant change in HSP70A mRNA expression at low concentrations of AITC ( 1.0 μM resulted in a four- to five-fold increase in expression. A HSP70 ELISA showed that AITC toxicity in C. elegans was ameliorated by the presence of ground seed from low sinigrin B. juncea cv. Arrid. Conclusions • AITC induced toxicity in C. elegans, as measured by HSP70 expression. • Conditions required for the conversion of sinigrin to AITC in ground B. juncea seed were determined. • The use of C. elegans as a bioassay to test AITC or mustard biopesticide efficacy is discussed.

  9. Identification of Pseudomonas aeruginosa phenazines that kill Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cezairliyan, Brent; Vinayavekhin, Nawaporn; Grenfell-Lee, Daniel; Yuen, Grace J; Saghatelian, Alan; Ausubel, Frederick M

    2013-01-01

    Pathogenic microbes employ a variety of methods to overcome host defenses, including the production and dispersal of molecules that are toxic to their hosts. Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a Gram-negative bacterium, is a pathogen of a diverse variety of hosts including mammals and the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. In this study, we identify three small molecules in the phenazine class that are produced by P. aeruginosa strain PA14 that are toxic to C. elegans. We demonstrate that 1-hydroxyphenazine, phenazine-1-carboxylic acid, and pyocyanin are capable of killing nematodes in a matter of hours. 1-hydroxyphenazine is toxic over a wide pH range, whereas the toxicities of phenazine-1-carboxylic acid and pyocyanin are pH-dependent at non-overlapping pH ranges. We found that acidification of the growth medium by PA14 activates the toxicity of phenazine-1-carboxylic acid, which is the primary toxic agent towards C. elegans in our assay. Pyocyanin is not toxic under acidic conditions and 1-hydroxyphenazine is produced at concentrations too low to kill C. elegans. These results suggest a role for phenazine-1-carboxylic acid in mammalian pathogenesis because PA14 mutants deficient in phenazine production have been shown to be defective in pathogenesis in mice. More generally, these data demonstrate how diversity within a class of metabolites could affect bacterial toxicity in different environmental niches.

  10. Identification of Pseudomonas aeruginosa phenazines that kill Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brent Cezairliyan

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Pathogenic microbes employ a variety of methods to overcome host defenses, including the production and dispersal of molecules that are toxic to their hosts. Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a Gram-negative bacterium, is a pathogen of a diverse variety of hosts including mammals and the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. In this study, we identify three small molecules in the phenazine class that are produced by P. aeruginosa strain PA14 that are toxic to C. elegans. We demonstrate that 1-hydroxyphenazine, phenazine-1-carboxylic acid, and pyocyanin are capable of killing nematodes in a matter of hours. 1-hydroxyphenazine is toxic over a wide pH range, whereas the toxicities of phenazine-1-carboxylic acid and pyocyanin are pH-dependent at non-overlapping pH ranges. We found that acidification of the growth medium by PA14 activates the toxicity of phenazine-1-carboxylic acid, which is the primary toxic agent towards C. elegans in our assay. Pyocyanin is not toxic under acidic conditions and 1-hydroxyphenazine is produced at concentrations too low to kill C. elegans. These results suggest a role for phenazine-1-carboxylic acid in mammalian pathogenesis because PA14 mutants deficient in phenazine production have been shown to be defective in pathogenesis in mice. More generally, these data demonstrate how diversity within a class of metabolites could affect bacterial toxicity in different environmental niches.

  11. Using Caenorhabditis elegans as a Model for Obesity Pharmacology Development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Jolene; Vasselli, Joseph R; King, Jason F; King, Michael L; We, Wenqian; Fitzpatrick, Zachary; Johnson, William D; Finley, John W; Martin, Roy J; Keenan, Michael J; Enright, Frederic M; Greenway, Frank L

    The Caenorhabditis elegans model is a rapid and inexpensive method to address pharmacologic questions. We describe the use of C. elegans to explore 2 pharmacologic questions concerning candidate antiobesity drugs and illustrate its potential usefulness in pharmacologic research: (1) to determine a ratio of betahistine-olanzapine that blocks the olanzapine-induced intestinal fat deposition (IFD) as detected by Nile red staining and (2) to identify the mechanism of action of a pharmaceutical candidate AB-101 that reduces IFD. Olanzapine (53 μg/mL) increased the IFD (12.1 ± 0.1%, P < 0.02), which was blocked by betahistine (763 μg/mL, 39.3 ± 0.01%, P < 0.05) in wild-type C. elegans (N2). AB-101 (1.0%) reduced the IFD in N2 (P < 0.05), increased the pharyngeal pumping rate (P < 0.05), and reversed the elevated IFD induced by protease inhibitors atazanavir and ritonavir (P < 0.05). AB-101 did not affect IFD in a ACS null mutant strain acs-4(ok2872) III/hT2[bli-4(e937) let-?(q782) qIs48](I;III) suggesting an involvement of the lipid oxidation pathway and an upregulation of CPT-1. Our studies suggest that C. elegans may be used as a resource in pharmacologic research. This article is intended to stimulate a greater appreciation of its value in the development of new pharmaceutical interventions.

  12. Dynamic changes of histone H3 marks during Caenorhabditis elegans lifecycle revealed by middle-down proteomics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sidoli, Simone; Vandamme, Julien; Elisabetta Salcini, Anna

    2016-01-01

    We applied a middle-down proteomics strategy for large scale protein analysis during in vivo development of Caenorhabditis elegans. We characterized post-translational modifications (PTMs) on histone H3 N-terminal tails at eight time points during the C. elegans lifecycle, including embryo, larval......-occurring PTMs. We measured temporally distinct combinatorial PTM profiles during C. elegans development. We show that the doubly modified form H3K23me3K27me3, which is rare or non-existent in mammals, is the most abundant PTM in all stages of C. elegans lifecycle. The abundance of H3K23me3 increased during...... that is transmitted during dauer formation. Collectively, our data describe the dynamics of histone H3 combinatorial code during C. elegans lifecycle and demonstrate the feasibility of using middle-down proteomics to study in vivo development of multicellular organisms. This article is protected by copyright. All...

  13. A high-throughput method for assessing chemical toxicity using a Caenorhabditis elegans reproduction assay

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boyd, Windy A.; McBride, Sandra J.; Rice, Julie R.; Snyder, Daniel W.; Freedman, Jonathan H.

    2010-01-01

    The National Research Council has outlined the need for non-mammalian toxicological models to test the potential health effects of a large number of chemicals while also reducing the use of traditional animal models. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is an attractive alternative model because of its well-characterized and evolutionarily conserved biology, low cost, and ability to be used in high-throughput screening. A high-throughput method is described for quantifying the reproductive capacity of C. elegans exposed to chemicals for 48 h from the last larval stage (L4) to adulthood using a COPAS Biosort. Initially, the effects of exposure conditions that could influence reproduction were defined. Concentrations of DMSO vehicle ≤ 1% did not affect reproduction. Previous studies indicated that C. elegans may be influenced by exposure to low pH conditions. At pHs greater than 4.5, C. elegans reproduction was not affected; however below this pH there was a significant decrease in the number of offspring. Cadmium chloride was chosen as a model toxicant to verify that automated measurements were comparable to those of traditional observational studies. EC 50 values for cadmium for automated measurements (176-192 μM) were comparable to those previously reported for a 72-h exposure using manual counting (151 μM). The toxicity of seven test toxicants on C. elegans reproduction was highly correlative with rodent lethality suggesting that this assay may be useful in predicting the potential toxicity of chemicals in other organisms.

  14. Sorbus alnifolia protects dopaminergic neurodegeneration in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheon, Se-Myeong; Jang, Insoo; Lee, Myon-Hee; Kim, Dae Keun; Jeon, Hoon; Cha, Dong Seok

    2017-12-01

    The twigs of Sorbus alnifolia (Sieb. et Zucc.) K. Koch (Rosaceae) have been used to treat neurological disorders as a traditional medicine in Korea. However, there are limited data describing the efficacy of S. alnifolia in Parkinson's disease (PD). This study was conducted to identify the protective effects of the methanol extracts of S. alnifolia (MESA) on the dopaminergic (DA) neurodegeneration in Caenorhabditis elegans. To test the neuroprotective action of MESA, viability assay was performed after 48 h exposure to 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridine (MMP + ) in PC12 cells and C. elegans (400 μM and 2 mM of MMP + , respectively). Fluorescence intensity was quantified using transgenic mutants such as BZ555 (Pdat-1::GFP) and and UA57 (Pdat-1::GFP and Pdat-1::CAT-2) to determine MESA's effects on DA neurodegeneration in C. elegans. Aggregation of α-synuclein was observed using NL5901 strain (unc-54p::α-synuclein::YFP). MESA's protective effects on the DA neuronal functions were examined by food-sensing assay. Lifespan assay was conducted to test the effects of MESA on the longevity. MESA restored MPP + -induced loss of viability in both PC12 cells and C. elegans (85.8% and 54.9%, respectively). In C. elegans, MESA provided protection against chemically and genetically-induced DA neurodegeneration, respectively. Moreover, food-sensing functions were increased 58.4% by MESA in the DA neuron degraded worms. MESA also prolonged the average lifespan by 25.6%. However, MESA failed to alter α-synuclein aggregation. These results revealed that MESA protects DA neurodegeneration and recovers diminished DA neuronal functions, thereby can be a valuable candidate for the treatment of PD.

  15. Identifying factors that promote functional aging in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolkow, Catherine A

    2006-10-01

    A major feature of aging is a reduction in muscle strength from sarcopenia, the loss of muscle mass. Sarcopenia impairs physical ability, reduces quality of life and increases the risk of fall and injury. Since aging is a process of stochastic decline, there may be many factors that impinge on the progression of sarcopenia. Possible factors that may promote muscle decline are contraction-related injury and oxidative stress. However, relatively little is understood about the cellular pathways affecting muscle aging, in part because lifespan studies are difficult to conduct in species with large muscles, such as rodents and primates. For this reason, shorter-lived invertebrate models of aging may be more useful for unraveling causes of sarcopenia and functional declines during aging. Recent studies have examined both physiological and genetic factors that affect aging-related declines in Caenorhabditis elegans nematodes. In C. elegans, aging leads to significant functional declines that correlate with muscle deterioration, similar to those documented for longer-lived vertebrates. This article will examine the current research into aging-related functional declines in this species, focusing on recent studies of locomotory and feeding decline during aging in the nematode, C. elegans.

  16. Nicotine affects protein complex rearrangement in Caenorhabditis elegans cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sobkowiak, Robert; Zielezinski, Andrzej; Karlowski, Wojciech M; Lesicki, Andrzej

    2017-10-01

    Nicotine may affect cell function by rearranging protein complexes. We aimed to determine nicotine-induced alterations of protein complexes in Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) cells, thereby revealing links between nicotine exposure and protein complex modulation. We compared the proteomic alterations induced by low and high nicotine concentrations (0.01 mM and 1 mM) with the control (no nicotine) in vivo by using mass spectrometry (MS)-based techniques, specifically the cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) discontinuous gel electrophoresis coupled with liquid chromatography (LC)-MS/MS and spectral counting. As a result, we identified dozens of C. elegans proteins that are present exclusively or in higher abundance in either nicotine-treated or untreated worms. Based on these results, we report a possible network that captures the key protein components of nicotine-induced protein complexes and speculate how the different protein modules relate to their distinct physiological roles. Using functional annotation of detected proteins, we hypothesize that the identified complexes can modulate the energy metabolism and level of oxidative stress. These proteins can also be involved in modulation of gene expression and may be crucial in Alzheimer's disease. The findings reported in our study reveal putative intracellular interactions of many proteins with the cytoskeleton and may contribute to the understanding of the mechanisms of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) signaling and trafficking in cells.

  17. Exposure to mitochondrial genotoxins and dopaminergic neurodegeneration in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Claudia P González-Hunt

    Full Text Available Neurodegeneration has been correlated with mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA damage and exposure to environmental toxins, but causation is unclear. We investigated the ability of several known environmental genotoxins and neurotoxins to cause mtDNA damage, mtDNA depletion, and neurodegeneration in Caenorhabditis elegans. We found that paraquat, cadmium chloride and aflatoxin B1 caused more mitochondrial than nuclear DNA damage, and paraquat and aflatoxin B1 also caused dopaminergic neurodegeneration. 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA caused similar levels of mitochondrial and nuclear DNA damage. To further test whether the neurodegeneration could be attributed to the observed mtDNA damage, C. elegans were exposed to repeated low-dose ultraviolet C radiation (UVC that resulted in persistent mtDNA damage; this exposure also resulted in dopaminergic neurodegeneration. Damage to GABAergic neurons and pharyngeal muscle cells was not detected. We also found that fasting at the first larval stage was protective in dopaminergic neurons against 6-OHDA-induced neurodegeneration. Finally, we found that dopaminergic neurons in C. elegans are capable of regeneration after laser surgery. Our findings are consistent with a causal role for mitochondrial DNA damage in neurodegeneration, but also support non mtDNA-mediated mechanisms.

  18. Research progress in neuro-immune interactions in Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Jin-ling CAI

    2012-09-01

    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.

  19. Differential expression pattern of UBX family genes in Caenorhabditis elegans

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yamauchi, Seiji; Sasagawa, Yohei; Ogura, Teru; Yamanaka, Kunitoshi

    2007-01-01

    UBX (ubiquitin regulatory X)-containing proteins belong to an evolutionary conserved protein family and determine the specificity of p97/VCP/Cdc48p function by binding as its adaptors. Caenorhabditis elegans was found to possess six UBX-containing proteins, named UBXN-1 to -6. However, no general or specific function of them has been revealed. During the course of understanding not only their function but also specified function of p97, we investigated spatial and temporal expression patterns of six ubxn genes in this study. Transcript analyses showed that the expression pattern of each ubxn gene was different throughout worm's development and may show potential developmental dynamics in their function, especially ubxn-5 was expressed specifically in the spermatogenic germline, suggesting a crucial role in spermatogenesis. In addition, as ubxn-4 expression was induced by ER stress, it would function as an ERAD factor in C. elegans. In vivo expression analysis by using GFP translational fusion constructs revealed that six ubxn genes show distinct expression patterns. These results altogether demonstrate that the expression of all six ubxn genes of C. elegans is differently regulated

  20. Serotonin control of thermotaxis memory behavior in nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Yinxia Li

    Full Text Available Caenorhabditis elegans is as an ideal model system for the study of mechanisms underlying learning and memory. In the present study, we employed C. elegans assay system of thermotaxis memory to investigate the possible role of serotonin neurotransmitter in memory control. Our data showed that both mutations of tph-1, bas-1, and cat-4 genes, required for serotonin synthesis, and mutations of mod-5 gene, encoding a serotonin reuptake transporter, resulted in deficits in thermotaxis memory behavior. Exogenous treatment with serotonin effectively recovered the deficits in thermotaxis memory of tph-1 and bas-1 mutants to the level of wild-type N2. Neuron-specific activity assay of TPH-1 suggests that serotonin might regulate the thermotaxis memory behavior by release from the ADF sensory neurons. Ablation of ADF sensory neurons by expressing a cell-death activator gene egl-1 decreased the thermotaxis memory, whereas activation of ADF neurons by expression of a constitutively active protein kinase C homologue (pkc-1(gf increased the thermotaxis memory and rescued the deficits in thermotaxis memory in tph-1 mutants. Moreover, serotonin released from the ADF sensory neurons might act through the G-protein-coupled serotonin receptors of SER-4 and SER-7 to regulate the thermotaxis memory behavior. Genetic analysis implies that serotonin might further target the insulin signaling pathway to regulate the thermotaxis memory behavior. Thus, our results suggest the possible crucial role of serotonin and ADF sensory neurons in thermotaxis memory control in C. elegans.

  1. Serotonin control of thermotaxis memory behavior in nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yinxia; Zhao, Yunli; Huang, Xu; Lin, Xingfeng; Guo, Yuling; Wang, Daoyong; Li, Chaojun; Wang, Dayong

    2013-01-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans is as an ideal model system for the study of mechanisms underlying learning and memory. In the present study, we employed C. elegans assay system of thermotaxis memory to investigate the possible role of serotonin neurotransmitter in memory control. Our data showed that both mutations of tph-1, bas-1, and cat-4 genes, required for serotonin synthesis, and mutations of mod-5 gene, encoding a serotonin reuptake transporter, resulted in deficits in thermotaxis memory behavior. Exogenous treatment with serotonin effectively recovered the deficits in thermotaxis memory of tph-1 and bas-1 mutants to the level of wild-type N2. Neuron-specific activity assay of TPH-1 suggests that serotonin might regulate the thermotaxis memory behavior by release from the ADF sensory neurons. Ablation of ADF sensory neurons by expressing a cell-death activator gene egl-1 decreased the thermotaxis memory, whereas activation of ADF neurons by expression of a constitutively active protein kinase C homologue (pkc-1(gf)) increased the thermotaxis memory and rescued the deficits in thermotaxis memory in tph-1 mutants. Moreover, serotonin released from the ADF sensory neurons might act through the G-protein-coupled serotonin receptors of SER-4 and SER-7 to regulate the thermotaxis memory behavior. Genetic analysis implies that serotonin might further target the insulin signaling pathway to regulate the thermotaxis memory behavior. Thus, our results suggest the possible crucial role of serotonin and ADF sensory neurons in thermotaxis memory control in C. elegans.

  2. Function and regulation of lipid biology in Caenorhabditis elegans aging

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    Nicole Shangming Hou

    2012-05-01

    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.

  3. Serotonin Control of Thermotaxis Memory Behavior in Nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Yuling; Wang, Daoyong; Li, Chaojun; Wang, Dayong

    2013-01-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans is as an ideal model system for the study of mechanisms underlying learning and memory. In the present study, we employed C. elegans assay system of thermotaxis memory to investigate the possible role of serotonin neurotransmitter in memory control. Our data showed that both mutations of tph-1, bas-1, and cat-4 genes, required for serotonin synthesis, and mutations of mod-5 gene, encoding a serotonin reuptake transporter, resulted in deficits in thermotaxis memory behavior. Exogenous treatment with serotonin effectively recovered the deficits in thermotaxis memory of tph-1 and bas-1 mutants to the level of wild-type N2. Neuron-specific activity assay of TPH-1 suggests that serotonin might regulate the thermotaxis memory behavior by release from the ADF sensory neurons. Ablation of ADF sensory neurons by expressing a cell-death activator gene egl-1 decreased the thermotaxis memory, whereas activation of ADF neurons by expression of a constitutively active protein kinase C homologue (pkc-1(gf)) increased the thermotaxis memory and rescued the deficits in thermotaxis memory in tph-1 mutants. Moreover, serotonin released from the ADF sensory neurons might act through the G-protein-coupled serotonin receptors of SER-4 and SER-7 to regulate the thermotaxis memory behavior. Genetic analysis implies that serotonin might further target the insulin signaling pathway to regulate the thermotaxis memory behavior. Thus, our results suggest the possible crucial role of serotonin and ADF sensory neurons in thermotaxis memory control in C. elegans. PMID:24223727

  4. Linking toxicant molecular and physiological mode of action in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Swain, S.; Wren, J.; Sturzenbaum, S.R.; Kille, P.; Morgan, A.J.; Jager, T.; Jonker, M.J.; Hankard, P.K.; Scendsen, C.; Owen, J.; Hedley, B.A.; Blaxter, M.; Spurgeon, D.

    2010-01-01

    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

  5. Linking toxicant physiological mode of action with induced gene expression changes in Caenorhabditis elegans

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Swain, S.; Wren, J.F.; Stürzenbaum, S.R.; Kille, P.; Morgan, A.J.; Jager, T.; Jonker, M.J.; Hankard, P.K.; Svendsen, C.; Owen, J.; Hedley, B.A.; Blaxter, M.; Spurgeon, D.J.

    2010-01-01

    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

  6. An atlas of Caenorhabditis elegans chemoreceptor expression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vidal, Berta; Aghayeva, Ulkar; Sun, Haosheng; Wang, Chen; Glenwinkel, Lori; Bayer, Emily A.

    2018-01-01

    One goal of modern day neuroscience is the establishment of molecular maps that assign unique features to individual neuron types. Such maps provide important starting points for neuron classification, for functional analysis, and for developmental studies aimed at defining the molecular mechanisms of neuron identity acquisition and neuron identity diversification. In this resource paper, we describe a nervous system-wide map of the potential expression sites of 244 members of the largest gene family in the C. elegans genome, rhodopsin-like (class A) G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) chemoreceptors, using classic gfp reporter gene technology. We cover representatives of all sequence families of chemoreceptor GPCRs, some of which were previously entirely uncharacterized. Most reporters are expressed in a very restricted number of cells, often just in single cells. We assign GPCR reporter expression to all but two of the 37 sensory neuron classes of the sex-shared, core nervous system. Some sensory neurons express a very small number of receptors, while others, particularly nociceptive neurons, coexpress several dozen GPCR reporter genes. GPCR reporters are also expressed in a wide range of inter- and motorneurons, as well as non-neuronal cells, suggesting that GPCRs may constitute receptors not just for environmental signals, but also for internal cues. We observe only one notable, frequent association of coexpression patterns, namely in one nociceptive amphid (ASH) and two nociceptive phasmid sensory neurons (PHA, PHB). We identified GPCRs with sexually dimorphic expression and several GPCR reporters that are expressed in a left/right asymmetric manner. We identified a substantial degree of GPCR expression plasticity; particularly in the context of the environmentally-induced dauer diapause stage when one third of all tested GPCRs alter the cellular specificity of their expression within and outside the nervous system. Intriguingly, in a number of cases, the dauer

  7. An atlas of Caenorhabditis elegans chemoreceptor expression.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Berta Vidal

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available One goal of modern day neuroscience is the establishment of molecular maps that assign unique features to individual neuron types. Such maps provide important starting points for neuron classification, for functional analysis, and for developmental studies aimed at defining the molecular mechanisms of neuron identity acquisition and neuron identity diversification. In this resource paper, we describe a nervous system-wide map of the potential expression sites of 244 members of the largest gene family in the C. elegans genome, rhodopsin-like (class A G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR chemoreceptors, using classic gfp reporter gene technology. We cover representatives of all sequence families of chemoreceptor GPCRs, some of which were previously entirely uncharacterized. Most reporters are expressed in a very restricted number of cells, often just in single cells. We assign GPCR reporter expression to all but two of the 37 sensory neuron classes of the sex-shared, core nervous system. Some sensory neurons express a very small number of receptors, while others, particularly nociceptive neurons, coexpress several dozen GPCR reporter genes. GPCR reporters are also expressed in a wide range of inter- and motorneurons, as well as non-neuronal cells, suggesting that GPCRs may constitute receptors not just for environmental signals, but also for internal cues. We observe only one notable, frequent association of coexpression patterns, namely in one nociceptive amphid (ASH and two nociceptive phasmid sensory neurons (PHA, PHB. We identified GPCRs with sexually dimorphic expression and several GPCR reporters that are expressed in a left/right asymmetric manner. We identified a substantial degree of GPCR expression plasticity; particularly in the context of the environmentally-induced dauer diapause stage when one third of all tested GPCRs alter the cellular specificity of their expression within and outside the nervous system. Intriguingly, in a number of

  8. Neurobiology of Caenorhabditis elegans Locomotion: Where Do We Stand?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gjorgjieva, Julijana; Biron, David; Haspel, Gal

    2014-01-01

    Animals use a nervous system for locomotion in some stage of their life cycle. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, a major animal model for almost all fields of experimental biology, has long been used for detailed studies of genetic and physiological locomotion mechanisms. Of its 959 somatic cells, 302 are neurons that are identifiable by lineage, location, morphology, and neurochemistry in every adult hermaphrodite. Of those, 75 motoneurons innervate body wall muscles that provide the thrust during locomotion. In this Overview, we concentrate on the generation of either forward- or backward-directed motion during crawling and swimming. We describe locomotion behavior, the parts constituting the locomotion system, and the relevant neuronal connectivity. Because it is not yet fully understood how these components combine to generate locomotion, we discuss competing hypotheses and models. PMID:26955070

  9. Single-copy insertion of transgenes in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frøkjaer-Jensen, Christian; Davis, M Wayne; Hopkins, Christopher E; Newman, Blake J; Thummel, Jason M; Olesen, Søren-Peter; Grunnet, Morten; Jorgensen, Erik M

    2008-11-01

    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.

  10. Mapping a Mutation in "Caenorhabditis elegans" Using a Polymerase Chain Reaction-Based Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myers, Edith M.

    2014-01-01

    Many single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have been identified within the "Caenorhabditis elegans" genome. SNPs present in the genomes of two isogenic "C. elegans" strains have been routinely used as a tool in forward genetics to map a mutation to a particular chromosome. This article describes a laboratory exercise in which…

  11. Neuronal regulation of ascaroside response during mate response behavior in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    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...

  12. A potential biochemical mechanism underlying the influence of sterol deprivation stress on Caenorhabditis elegans longevity

    Science.gov (United States)

    To investigate the biochemical mechanism for sterol-mediated alteration in aging in Caenorhabditis elegans, we established sterol depletion conditions by treating worms with azacoprostane, which reduced mean lifespan of adult C. elegans by 35%. Proteomic analyses of egg proteins from treated and un...

  13. Aversive Olfactory Learning and Associative Long-Term Memory in "Caenorhabditis elegans"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amano, Hisayuki; Maruyama, Ichiro N.

    2011-01-01

    The nematode "Caenorhabditis elegans" ("C. elegans") adult hermaphrodite has 302 invariant neurons and is suited for cellular and molecular studies on complex behaviors including learning and memory. Here, we have developed protocols for classical conditioning of worms with 1-propanol, as a conditioned stimulus (CS), and hydrochloride (HCl) (pH…

  14. The Si elegans project at the interface of experimental and computational Caenorhabditis elegans neurobiology and behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrushin, Alexey; Ferrara, Lorenzo; Blau, Axel

    2016-12-01

    Objective. In light of recent progress in mapping neural function to behavior, we briefly and selectively review past and present endeavors to reveal and reconstruct nervous system function in Caenorhabditis elegans through simulation. Approach. Rather than presenting an all-encompassing review on the mathematical modeling of C. elegans, this contribution collects snapshots of pathfinding key works and emerging technologies that recent single- and multi-center simulation initiatives are building on. We thereby point out a few general limitations and problems that these undertakings are faced with and discuss how these may be addressed and overcome. Main results. Lessons learned from past and current computational approaches to deciphering and reconstructing information flow in the C. elegans nervous system corroborate the need of refining neural response models and linking them to intra- and extra-environmental interactions to better reflect and understand the actual biological, biochemical and biophysical events that lead to behavior. Together with single-center research efforts, the Si elegans and OpenWorm projects aim at providing the required, in some cases complementary tools for different hardware architectures to support advancement into this direction. Significance. Despite its seeming simplicity, the nervous system of the hermaphroditic nematode C. elegans with just 302 neurons gives rise to a rich behavioral repertoire. Besides controlling vital functions (feeding, defecation, reproduction), it encodes different stimuli-induced as well as autonomous locomotion modalities (crawling, swimming and jumping). For this dichotomy between system simplicity and behavioral complexity, C. elegans has challenged neurobiologists and computational scientists alike. Understanding the underlying mechanisms that lead to a context-modulated functionality of individual neurons would not only advance our knowledge on nervous system function and its failure in pathological

  15. Analysis of the Caenorhabditis elegans innate immune response to Coxiella burnetii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Battisti, James M; Watson, Lance A; Naung, Myo T; Drobish, Adam M; Voronina, Ekaterina; Minnick, Michael F

    2017-02-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is well established as a system for characterization and discovery of molecular mechanisms mediating microbe-specific inducible innate immune responses to human pathogens. Coxiella burnetii is an obligate intracellular bacterium that causes a flu-like syndrome in humans (Q fever), as well as abortions in domesticated livestock, worldwide. Initially, when wild type C. elegans (N2 strain) was exposed to mCherry-expressing C. burnetii (CCB) a number of overt pathological manifestations resulted, including intestinal distension, deformed anal region and a decreased lifespan. However, nematodes fed autoclave-killed CCB did not exhibit these symptoms. Although vertebrates detect C. burnetii via TLRs, pathologies in tol-1(-) mutant nematodes were indistinguishable from N2, and indicate nematodes do not employ this orthologue for detection of C. burnetii. sek-1(-) MAP kinase mutant nematodes succumbed to infection faster, suggesting that this signaling pathway plays a role in immune activation, as previously shown for orthologues in vertebrates during a C. burnetii infection. C. elegans daf-2(-) mutants are hyper-immune and exhibited significantly reduced pathological consequences during challenge. Collectively, these results demonstrate the utility of C. elegans for studying the innate immune response against C. burnetii and could lead to discovery of novel methods for prevention and treatment of disease in humans and livestock.

  16. Relationship between mitochondrial electron transport chain dysfunction, development, and life extension in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shane L Rea

    2007-10-01

    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

  17. Computer-Assisted Transgenesis of Caenorhabditis elegans for Deep Phenotyping.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilleland, Cody L; Falls, Adam T; Noraky, James; Heiman, Maxwell G; Yanik, Mehmet F

    2015-09-01

    A major goal in the study of human diseases is to assign functions to genes or genetic variants. The model organism Caenorhabditis elegans provides a powerful tool because homologs of many human genes are identifiable, and large collections of genetic vectors and mutant strains are available. However, the delivery of such vector libraries into mutant strains remains a long-standing experimental bottleneck for phenotypic analysis. Here, we present a computer-assisted microinjection platform to streamline the production of transgenic C. elegans with multiple vectors for deep phenotyping. Briefly, animals are immobilized in a temperature-sensitive hydrogel using a standard multiwell platform. Microinjections are then performed under control of an automated microscope using precision robotics driven by customized computer vision algorithms. We demonstrate utility by phenotyping the morphology of 12 neuronal classes in six mutant backgrounds using combinations of neuron-type-specific fluorescent reporters. This technology can industrialize the assignment of in vivo gene function by enabling large-scale transgenic engineering. Copyright © 2015 by the Genetics Society of America.

  18. PRMT-5 converts monomethylarginines into symmetrical dimethylarginines in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanou, Akihiko; Kako, Koichiro; Hirota, Keiko; Fukamizu, Akiyoshi

    2017-02-01

    The transmethylation to arginine residues of proteins is catalyzed by protein arginine methyltransferases (PRMTs) that form monomethylarginine (MMA), asymmetric (ADMA) and symmetric dimethylarginines (SDMA). Although we previously demonstrated that the generation of ADMA residues in whole proteins is driven by PRMT-1 in Caenorhabditis elegans, much less is known about MMA and SDMA in vivo. In this study, we measured the amounts of different methylarginines in whole protein extracts made from wild-type (N2) C. elegans and from prmt-1 and prmt-5 null mutants using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Interestingly, we found that the amounts of MMA and SDMA are about fourfold higher than those of ADMA in N2 protein lysates using acid hydrolysis. We were unable to detect SDMA residues in the prmt-5 null mutant. In comparison with N2, an increase in SDMA and decrease in MMA were observed in prmt-1 mutant worms with no ADMA, but ADMA and MMA levels were unchanged in prmt-5 mutant worms. These results suggest that PRMT-1 contributes, at least in part, to MMA production, but that PRMT-5 catalyzes the symmetric dimethylation of substrates containing MMA residues in vivo.

  19. The ubiquitin proteasome system in Caenorhabditis elegans and its regulation☆

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papaevgeniou, Nikoletta; Chondrogianni, Niki

    2014-01-01

    Protein degradation constitutes a major cellular function that is responsible for maintenance of the normal cellular physiology either through the degradation of normal proteins or through the elimination of damaged proteins. The Ubiquitin–Proteasome System (UPS)1 is one of the main proteolytic systems that orchestrate protein degradation. Given that up- and down- regulation of the UPS system has been shown to occur in various normal (such as ageing) and pathological (such as neurodegenerative diseases) processes, the exogenous modulation of the UPS function and activity holds promise of (a) developing new therapeutic interventions against various diseases and (b) establishing strategies to maintain cellular homeostasis. Since the proteasome genes are evolutionarily conserved, their role can be dissected in simple model organisms, such as the nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans. In this review, we survey findings on the redox regulation of the UPS in C. elegans showing that the nematode is an instrumental tool in the identification of major players in the UPS pathway. Moreover, we specifically discuss UPS-related genes that have been modulated in the nematode and in human cells and have resulted in similar effects thus further exhibiting the value of this model in the study of the UPS. PMID:24563851

  20. Hierarchical sparse coding in the sensory system of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaslaver, Alon; Liani, Idan; Shtangel, Oshrat; Ginzburg, Shira; Yee, Lisa; Sternberg, Paul W

    2015-01-27

    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. This library includes the vast majority of the sensory system in C. elegans. Imaging from individual sensory neurons while subjecting the worms to various stimuli allowed us to compile a comprehensive functional map of the sensory system at single neuron resolution. The functional map reveals that despite the dense wiring, chemosensory neurons represent the environment using sparse codes. Moreover, although anatomically closely connected, chemo- and mechano-sensory neurons are functionally segregated. In addition, the code is hierarchical, where few neurons participate in encoding multiple cues, whereas other sensory neurons are stimulus specific. This encoding strategy may have evolved to mitigate the constraints of a compact sensory system.

  1. Piceatannol extends the lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans via DAF-16.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Peiyi; Yue, Yiren; Sun, Quancai; Kasireddy, Nandita; Kim, Kee-Hong; Park, Yeonhwa

    2017-05-06

    Piceatannol is a natural stilbene with many beneficial effects, such as antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, antiatherogenic activities; however, its role on aging is not known. In this study, we used Caenorhabditis elegans as an animal model to study the effect of piceatannol on its lifespan and investigated the underlying mechanisms. The results showed that 50 and 100 µM piceatannol significantly extended the lifespan of C. elegans without altering the growth rate, worm size and progeny production. Piceatannol delayed the age-related decline of pumping rate and locomotive activity, and protected the worms from heat and oxidative stress. This study further indicated that lifespan extension and enhanced stress resistance induced by piceatannol requires DAF-16. Since DAF-16 is conserved from nematodes to mammals, our study may have important implications in utilizing piceatannol to promote healthy aging and combat age-related disease in humans. © 2016 BioFactors, 43(3):379-387, 2017. © 2017 International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

  2. Anti-aging properties of Ribes fasciculatum in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeon, Hoon; Cha, Dong Seok

    2016-05-01

    The present study investigated the effects and underlying mechanism of ethylacetate fraction of Ribes fasciculatum (ERF) on the lifespan and stress tolerance using a Caenorhabditis elegans model. The longevity activity of ERF was determined by lifespan assay under normal culture condition. The survival rate of nematodes under various stress conditions was assessed to validate the effects of ERF on the stress tolerance. To determine the antioxidant potential of ERF, the superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities and intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels were investigated. The ERF-mediated change in SOD-3 expression was examined using GFP-expressing transgenic strain. The effects of ERF on the aging-related factors were investigated by reproduction assay and pharyngeal pumping assay. The intestinal lipofuscin levels of aged nematodes were also measured. The mechanistic studies were performed using selected mutant strains. Our results indicated that ERF showed potent lifespan extension effects on the wild-type nematode under both normal and various stress conditions. The ERF treatment also enhanced the activity and expression of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and attenuated the intracellular ROS levels. Moreover, ERF-fed nematodes showed decreased lipofuscin accumulation, indicating ERF might affect age-associated changes in C. elegans. The results of mechanistic studies indicated that there was no significant lifespan extension in ERF-treated daf-2, age-1, sir-2.1, and daf-16 null mutants, suggesting that they were involved in ERF-mediated lifespan regulation. In conclusion, R. fasciculatum confers increased longevity and stress resistance in C. elegans via SIR-2.1-mediated DAF-16 activation, dependent on the insulin/IGF signaling pathway. Copyright © 2016 China Pharmaceutical University. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Undulatory locomotion of finite filaments: lessons from Caenorhabditis elegans

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Berman, R S; Kenneth, O; Sznitman, J; Leshansky, A M

    2013-01-01

    Undulatory swimming is a widespread propulsion strategy adopted by many small-scale organisms including various single-cell eukaryotes and nematodes. In this work, we report a comprehensive study of undulatory locomotion of a finite filament using (i) approximate resistive force theory (RFT) assuming a local nature of hydrodynamic interaction between the filament and the surrounding viscous liquid and (ii) particle-based numerical computations taking into account the intra-filament hydrodynamic interaction. Using the ubiquitous model of a propagating sinusoidal waveform, we identify the limit of applicability of the RFT and determine the optimal propulsion gait in terms of (i) swimming distance per period of undulation and (ii) hydrodynamic propulsion efficiency. The occurrence of the optimal swimming gait maximizing hydrodynamic efficiency at finite wavelength in particle-based computations diverges from the prediction of the RFT. To compare the model swimmer powered by sine wave undulations to biological undulatory swimmers, we apply the particle-based approach to study locomotion of the model organism nematode Caenorhabditis elegans using the swimming gait extracted from experiments. The analysis reveals that even though the amplitude and the wavenumber of undulations are similar to those determined for the best performing sinusoidal swimmer, C. elegans overperforms the latter in terms of both displacement and hydrodynamic efficiency. Further comparison with other undulatory microorganisms reveals that many adopt waveforms with characteristics similar to the optimal model swimmer, yet real swimmers still manage to beat the best performing sine-wave swimmer in terms of distance covered per period. Overall our results underline the importance of further waveform optimization, as periodic undulations adopted by C. elegans and other organisms deviate considerably from a simple sine wave. (paper)

  4. Caenorhabditis elegans as a model system to study post-translational modifications of human transthyretin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henze, Andrea; Homann, Thomas; Rohn, Isabelle; Aschner, Michael; Link, Christopher D.; Kleuser, Burkhard; Schweigert, Florian J.; Schwerdtle, Tanja; Bornhorst, Julia

    2016-11-01

    The visceral protein transthyretin (TTR) is frequently affected by oxidative post-translational protein modifications (PTPMs) in various diseases. Thus, better insight into structure-function relationships due to oxidative PTPMs of TTR should contribute to the understanding of pathophysiologic mechanisms. While the in vivo analysis of TTR in mammalian models is complex, time- and resource-consuming, transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans expressing hTTR provide an optimal model for the in vivo identification and characterization of drug-mediated oxidative PTPMs of hTTR by means of matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization - time of flight - mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS). Herein, we demonstrated that hTTR is expressed in all developmental stages of Caenorhabditis elegans, enabling the analysis of hTTR metabolism during the whole life-cycle. The suitability of the applied model was verified by exposing worms to D-penicillamine and menadione. Both drugs induced substantial changes in the oxidative PTPM pattern of hTTR. Additionally, for the first time a covalent binding of both drugs with hTTR was identified and verified by molecular modelling.

  5. In Caenorhabditis elegans nanoparticle-bio-interactions become transparent: silica-nanoparticles induce reproductive senescence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam Pluskota

    Full Text Available While expectations and applications of nanotechnologies grow exponentially, little is known about interactions of engineered nanoparticles with multicellular organisms. Here we propose the transparent roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans as a simple but anatomically and biologically well defined animal model that allows for whole organism analyses of nanoparticle-bio-interactions. Microscopic techniques showed that fluorescently labelled nanoparticles are efficiently taken up by the worms during feeding, and translocate to primary organs such as epithelial cells of the intestine, as well as secondary organs belonging to the reproductive tract. The life span of nanoparticle-fed Caenorhabditis elegans remained unchanged, whereas a reduction of progeny production was observed in silica-nanoparticle exposed worms versus untreated controls. This reduction was accompanied by a significant increase of the 'bag of worms' phenotype that is characterized by failed egg-laying and usually occurs in aged wild type worms. Experimental exclusion of developmental defects suggests that silica-nanoparticles induce an age-related degeneration of reproductive organs, and thus set a research platform for both, detailed elucidation of molecular mechanisms and high throughput screening of different nanomaterials by analyses of progeny production.

  6. Leptotene/zygotene chromosome movement via the SUN/KASH protein bridge in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baudrimont, Antoine; Penkner, Alexandra; Woglar, Alexander; Machacek, Thomas; Wegrostek, Christina; Gloggnitzer, Jiradet; Fridkin, Alexandra; Klein, Franz; Gruenbaum, Yosef; Pasierbek, Pawel; Jantsch, Verena

    2010-11-24

    The Caenorhabditis elegans inner nuclear envelope protein matefin/SUN-1 plays a conserved, pivotal role in the process of genome haploidization. CHK-2-dependent phosphorylation of SUN-1 regulates homologous chromosome pairing and interhomolog recombination in Caenorhabditis elegans. Using time-lapse microscopy, we characterized the movement of matefin/SUN-1::GFP aggregates (the equivalent of chromosomal attachment plaques) and showed that the dynamics of matefin/SUN-1 aggregates remained unchanged throughout leptonene/zygotene, despite the progression of pairing. Movement of SUN-1 aggregates correlated with chromatin polarization. We also analyzed the requirements for the formation of movement-competent matefin/SUN-1 aggregates in the context of chromosome structure and found that chromosome axes were required to produce wild-type numbers of attachment plaques. Abrogation of synapsis led to a deceleration of SUN-1 aggregate movement. Analysis of matefin/SUN-1 in a double-strand break deficient mutant revealed that repair intermediates influenced matefin/SUN-1 aggregate dynamics. Investigation of movement in meiotic regulator mutants substantiated that proper orchestration of the meiotic program and effective repair of DNA double-strand breaks were necessary for the wild-type behavior of matefin/SUN-1 aggregates.

  7. The prevalence of Caenorhabditis elegans across 1.5 years in selected North German locations: the importance of substrate type, abiotic parameters, and Caenorhabditis competitors

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background Although the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a major model organism in diverse biological areas and well studied under laboratory conditions, little is known about its ecology. Therefore, characterization of the species’ natural habitats should provide a new perspective on its otherwise well-studied biology. The currently best characterized populations are in France, demonstrating that C. elegans prefers nutrient- and microorganism-rich substrates such as rotting fruits and decomposing plant matter. In order to extend these findings, we sampled C. elegans continuously across 1.5 years from rotting apples and compost heaps in three North German locations. Results C. elegans was found throughout summer and autumn in both years. It shares its habitat with the related nematode species C. remanei, which could thus represent an important competitor for a similar ecological niche. The two species were isolated from the same site, but rarely the same substrate sample. In fact, C. elegans was mainly found on compost and C. remanei on rotten apples, possibly suggesting niche separation. The occurrence of C. elegans itself was related to environmental humidity and rain, although the correlation was significant for only one sampling site each. Additional associations between nematode prevalence and abiotic parameters could not be established. Conclusions Taken together, our findings vary from the previous results for French C. elegans populations in that the considered German populations always coexisted with the congeneric species C. remanei (rather than C. briggsae as in France) and that C. elegans prevalence can associate with humidity and rain (rather than temperature, as suggested for French populations). Consideration of additional locations and time points is thus essential for full appreciation of the nematode's natural ecology. PMID:24502455

  8. Shigella flexneri Infection in Caenorhabditis elegans: Cytopathological Examination and Identification of Host Responses

    Science.gov (United States)

    George, Divya T.; Behm, Carolyn A.; Hall, David H.; Mathesius, Ulrike; Rug, Melanie; Nguyen, Ken C. Q.; Verma, Naresh K.

    2014-01-01

    The Gram-negative bacterium Shigella flexneri is the causative agent of shigellosis, a diarrhoeal disease also known as bacillary dysentery. S. flexneri infects the colonic and rectal epithelia of its primate host and induces a cascade of inflammatory responses that culminates in the destruction of the host intestinal lining. Molecular characterization of host-pathogen interactions in this infection has been challenging due to the host specificity of S. flexneri strains, as it strictly infects humans and non-human primates. Recent studies have shown that S. flexneri infects the soil dwelling nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, however, the interactions between S. flexneri and C. elegans at the cellular level and the cause of nematode death are unknown. Here we attempt to gain insight into the complex host-pathogen interactions between S. flexneri and C. elegans. Using transmission electron microscopy, we show that live S. flexneri cells accumulate in the nematode intestinal lumen, produce outer membrane vesicles and invade nematode intestinal cells. Using two-dimensional differential in-gel electrophoresis we identified host proteins that are differentially expressed in response to S. flexneri infection. Four of the identified genes, aco-1, cct-2, daf-19 and hsp-60, were knocked down using RNAi and ACO-1, CCT-2 and DAF-19, which were identified as up-regulated in response to S. flexneri infection, were found to be involved in the infection process. aco-1 RNAi worms were more resistant to S. flexneri infection, suggesting S. flexneri-mediated disruption of host iron homeostasis. cct-2 and daf-19 RNAi worms were more susceptible to infection, suggesting that these genes are induced as a protective mechanism by C. elegans. These observations further our understanding of the processes involved in S. flexneri infection of C. elegans, which is immensely beneficial to the routine use of this new in vivo model to study S. flexneri pathogenesis. PMID:25187942

  9. elt-2, a second GATA factor from the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawkins, M G; McGhee, J D

    1995-06-16

    We have previously shown that a tandem pair of (A/T)GATA(A/G) sequences in the promoter region of the Caenorhabditis elegans gut esterase gene (ges-1) controls the tissue specificity of ges-1 expression in vivo. The ges-1 GATA region was used as a probe to screen a C. elegans cDNA expression library, and a gene for a new C. elegans GATA-factor (named elt-2) was isolated. The longest open reading frame in the elt-2 cDNA codes for a protein of M(r) 47,000 with a single zinc finger domain, similar (approximately 75% amino acid identity) to the C-terminal fingers of all other two-fingered GATA factors isolated to date. A similar degree of relatedness is found with the single-finger DNA binding domains of GATA factors identified in invertebrates. An upstream region in the ELT-2 protein with the sequence C-X2-C-X16-C-X2-C has some of the characteristics of a zinc finger domain but is highly diverged from the zinc finger domains of other GATA factors. The elt-2 gene is expressed as an SL1 trans-spliced message, which can be detected at all stages of development except oocytes; however, elt-2 message levels are 5-10-fold higher in embryos than in other stages. The genomic clone for elt-2 has been characterized and mapped near the center of the C. elegans X chromosome, ELT-2 protein, produced by in vitro transcription-translation, binds to ges-1 GATA-containing oligonucleotides similar to a factor previously identified in C. elegans embryo extracts, both as assayed by electrophoretic migration and by competition with wild type and mutant oligonucleotides. However, there is as yet no direct evidence that elt-2 does or does not control ges-1.

  10. Role of DAF-21protein in Caenorhabditis elegans immunity against Proteus mirabilis infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    JebaMercy, Gnanasekaran; Durai, Sellegounder; Prithika, Udayakumar; Marudhupandiyan, Shanmugam; Dasauni, Pushpanjali; Kundu, Suman; Balamurugan, Krishnaswamy

    2016-08-11

    Caenorhabditis elegans is emerging as one of the handy model for proteome related studies due to its simplest system biology. The present study, deals with changes in protein expression in C. elegans infected with Proteus mirabilis. Proteins were separated using two-dimensional differential gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE) and identified using MALDI-TOF. Twelve distinctly regulated proteins identified in the infected worms, included heat shock proteins involved stress pathway (HSP-1 and HSP-6), proteins involved in immune response pathway (DAF-21), enzymes involved in normal cellular process (Eukaryotic translation Elongation Factor, actin family member, S-adenosyl homocysteine hydrolase ortholog, glutamate dehydrogenase and Vacuolar H ATPase family member) and few least characterized proteins (H28O16.1 and H08J11.2). The regulation of selected players at the transcriptional level during Proteus mirabilis infection was analyzed using qPCR. Physiological experiments revealed the ability of P. mirabilis to kill daf-21 mutant C. elegans significantly compared with the wild type. This is the first report studying proteome changes in C. elegans and exploring the involvement of MAP Kinase pathway during P. mirabilis infection. This is the first report studying proteome changes in C. elegans during P. mirabilis infection. The present study explores the role and contribution of MAP Kinase pathway and its regulator protein DAF-21 involvement in the immunity against opportunistic pathogen P. mirabilis infection. Manipulation of this DAF-21 protein in host, may pave the way for new drug development or disease control strategy during opportunistic pathogen infections. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Shigella flexneri infection in Caenorhabditis elegans: cytopathological examination and identification of host responses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Divya T George

    Full Text Available The Gram-negative bacterium Shigella flexneri is the causative agent of shigellosis, a diarrhoeal disease also known as bacillary dysentery. S. flexneri infects the colonic and rectal epithelia of its primate host and induces a cascade of inflammatory responses that culminates in the destruction of the host intestinal lining. Molecular characterization of host-pathogen interactions in this infection has been challenging due to the host specificity of S. flexneri strains, as it strictly infects humans and non-human primates. Recent studies have shown that S. flexneri infects the soil dwelling nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, however, the interactions between S. flexneri and C. elegans at the cellular level and the cause of nematode death are unknown. Here we attempt to gain insight into the complex host-pathogen interactions between S. flexneri and C. elegans. Using transmission electron microscopy, we show that live S. flexneri cells accumulate in the nematode intestinal lumen, produce outer membrane vesicles and invade nematode intestinal cells. Using two-dimensional differential in-gel electrophoresis we identified host proteins that are differentially expressed in response to S. flexneri infection. Four of the identified genes, aco-1, cct-2, daf-19 and hsp-60, were knocked down using RNAi and ACO-1, CCT-2 and DAF-19, which were identified as up-regulated in response to S. flexneri infection, were found to be involved in the infection process. aco-1 RNAi worms were more resistant to S. flexneri infection, suggesting S. flexneri-mediated disruption of host iron homeostasis. cct-2 and daf-19 RNAi worms were more susceptible to infection, suggesting that these genes are induced as a protective mechanism by C. elegans. These observations further our understanding of the processes involved in S. flexneri infection of C. elegans, which is immensely beneficial to the routine use of this new in vivo model to study S. flexneri pathogenesis.

  12. Caenorhabditis elegans Egg-Laying Detection and Behavior Study Using Image Analysis

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    Palm Megan

    2005-01-01

    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.

  13. Metabolome and proteome changes with aging in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Copes, Neil; Edwards, Clare; Chaput, Dale; Saifee, Mariam; Barjuca, Iosif; Nelson, Daniel; Paraggio, Alyssa; Saad, Patrick; Lipps, David; Stevens, Stanley M.; Bradshaw, Patrick C.

    2015-01-01

    To expand the understanding of aging in the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans, global quantification of metabolite and protein levels in young and aged nematodes was performed using mass spectrometry. With age there was a decreased abundance of proteins functioning in transcription termination, mRNA degradation, mRNA stability, protein synthesis, and proteasomal function. Furthermore there was altered S-adenosyl methionine metabolism as well as a decreased abundance of the S-adenosyl methionine synthetase (SAMS-1) protein. Other aging-related changes included alterations in free fatty acid levels and composition, decreased levels of ribosomal proteins, decreased levels of NADP-dependent isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH1), a shift in the cellular redox state, an increase in sorbitol content, alterations in free amino acid levels, and indications of altered muscle function and sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ homeostasis. There were also decreases in pyrimidine and purine metabolite levels, most markedly nitrogenous bases. Supplementing the culture medium with cytidine (a pyrimidine nucleoside) or hypoxanthine (a purine base) increased lifespan slightly, suggesting that aging-induced alterations in ribonucleotide metabolism affect lifespan. An age-related increase in body size, lipotoxicity from ectopic yolk lipoprotein accumulation, a decline in NAD+ levels, and mitochondrial electron transport chain dysfunction may explain many of these changes. In addition, dietary restriction in aged worms resulting from sarcopenia of the pharyngeal pump likely decreases the abundance of SAMS-1, possibly leading to decreased phosphatidylcholine levels, larger lipid droplets, and ER and mitochondrial stress. The complementary use of proteomics and metabolomics yielded unique insights into the molecular processes altered with age in C. elegans. PMID:26390854

  14. Candida albicans infection of Caenorhabditis elegans induces antifungal immune defenses.

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    Read Pukkila-Worley

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Candida albicans yeast cells are found in the intestine of most humans, yet this opportunist can invade host tissues and cause life-threatening infections in susceptible individuals. To better understand the host factors that underlie susceptibility to candidiasis, we developed a new model to study antifungal innate immunity. We demonstrate that the yeast form of C. albicans establishes an intestinal infection in Caenorhabditis elegans, whereas heat-killed yeast are avirulent. Genome-wide, transcription-profiling analysis of C. elegans infected with C. albicans yeast showed that exposure to C. albicans stimulated a rapid host response involving 313 genes (124 upregulated and 189 downregulated, ~1.6% of the genome many of which encode antimicrobial, secreted or detoxification proteins. Interestingly, the host genes affected by C. albicans exposure overlapped only to a small extent with the distinct transcriptional responses to the pathogenic bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa or Staphylococcus aureus, indicating that there is a high degree of immune specificity toward different bacterial species and C. albicans. Furthermore, genes induced by P. aeruginosa and S. aureus were strongly over-represented among the genes downregulated during C. albicans infection, suggesting that in response to fungal pathogens, nematodes selectively repress the transcription of antibacterial immune effectors. A similar phenomenon is well known in the plant immune response, but has not been described previously in metazoans. Finally, 56% of the genes induced by live C. albicans were also upregulated by heat-killed yeast. These data suggest that a large part of the transcriptional response to C. albicans is mediated through "pattern recognition," an ancient immune surveillance mechanism able to detect conserved microbial molecules (so-called pathogen-associated molecular patterns or PAMPs. This study provides new information on the evolution and regulation of the innate

  15. Metabolome and proteome changes with aging in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Copes, Neil; Edwards, Clare; Chaput, Dale; Saifee, Mariam; Barjuca, Iosif; Nelson, Daniel; Paraggio, Alyssa; Saad, Patrick; Lipps, David; Stevens, Stanley M; Bradshaw, Patrick C

    2015-12-01

    To expand the understanding of aging in the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans, global quantification of metabolite and protein levels in young and aged nematodes was performed using mass spectrometry. With age, there was a decreased abundance of proteins functioning in transcription termination, mRNA degradation, mRNA stability, protein synthesis, and proteasomal function. Furthermore, there was altered S-adenosyl methionine metabolism as well as a decreased abundance of the S-adenosyl methionine synthetase (SAMS-1) protein. Other aging-related changes included alterations in free fatty acid levels and composition, decreased levels of ribosomal proteins, decreased levels of NADP-dependent isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH1), a shift in the cellular redox state, an increase in sorbitol content, alterations in free amino acid levels, and indications of altered muscle function and sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+) homeostasis. There were also decreases in pyrimidine and purine metabolite levels, most markedly nitrogenous bases. Supplementing the culture medium with cytidine (a pyrimidine nucleoside) or hypoxanthine (a purine base) increased lifespan slightly, suggesting that aging-induced alterations in ribonucleotide metabolism affect lifespan. An age-related increase in body size, lipotoxicity from ectopic yolk lipoprotein accumulation, a decline in NAD(+) levels, and mitochondrial electron transport chain dysfunction may explain many of these changes. In addition, dietary restriction in aged worms resulting from sarcopenia of the pharyngeal pump likely decreases the abundance of SAMS-1, possibly leading to decreased phosphatidylcholine levels, larger lipid droplets, and ER and mitochondrial stress. The complementary use of proteomics and metabolomics yielded unique insights into the molecular processes altered with age in C. elegans. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Multi-environment model estimation for motility analysis of Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Raphael Sznitman

    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.

  17. Impact of a Complex Food Microbiota on Energy Metabolism in the Model Organism Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Elena Zanni

    2015-01-01

    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.

  18. Caenorhabditis elegans: a model to investigate oxidative stress and metal dyshomeostasis in Parkinson’s disease

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    Patricia Mugure Chege

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Parkinson’s disease is characterized by progressive motor impairment attributed to progressive loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta. Additional clinical manifestations include non-motor symptoms such as insomnia, depression, psychosis and cognitive impairment. Parkinson’s disease patients with mild cognitive impairment have an increased risk of developing dementia. The affected brain regions also show perturbed metal ion levels, primarily iron. These observations have led to speculation that metal ion dyshomeostasis plays a key role in the neuronal death of this disease. However, the mechanisms underlying this metal-associated neurodegeneration have yet to be completely elucidated.Mammalian models have traditionally been used to investigate Parkinson’s disease pathogenesis. However, alternate animal models are also being adopted, bringing to bear their respective experimental advantage. The nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, is one such system that has well-developed genetics, is amenable to transgenesis and has relatively low associated experimental costs. C. elegans has a well characterised neuronal network that includes a simple dopaminergic system. In this review we will discuss mechanisms thought to underlie Parkinson’s disease and the use of C. elegans to investigate these processes.

  19. Response of Caenorhabditis elegans to wireless devices radiation exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fasseas, Michael K; Fragopoulou, Adamantia F; Manta, Areti K; Skouroliakou, Aikaterini; Vekrellis, Konstantinos; Margaritis, Lukas H; Syntichaki, Popi

    2015-03-01

    To examine the impact of electromagnetic radiation, produced by GSM (Global System for Mobile communications) mobile phones, Wi-Fi (Wireless-Fidelity) routers and wireless DECT (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications) phones, on the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We exposed synchronized populations, of different developmental stages, to these wireless devices at E-field levels below ICNIRP's (International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection) guidelines for various lengths of time. WT (wild-type) and aging- or stress-sensitive mutant worms were examined for changes in growth, fertility, lifespan, chemotaxis, short-term memory, increased ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species) production and apoptosis by using fluorescent marker genes or qRT-PCR (quantitative Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction). No statistically significant differences were found between the exposed and the sham/control animals in any of the experiments concerning lifespan, fertility, growth, memory, ROS, apoptosis or gene expression. The worm appears to be robust to this form of (pulsed) radiation, at least under the exposure conditions used.

  20. Caenorhabditis elegans nicotinic acetylcholine receptors are required for nociception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Emiliano; Chatzigeorgiou, Marios; Husson, Steven J; Steuer-Costa, Wagner; Gottschalk, Alexander; Schafer, William R; Treinin, Millet

    2014-03-01

    Polymodal nociceptors sense and integrate information on injurious mechanical, thermal, and chemical stimuli. Chemical signals either activate nociceptors or modulate their responses to other stimuli. One chemical known to activate or modulate responses of nociceptors is acetylcholine (ACh). Across evolution nociceptors express subunits of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) family, a family of ACh-gated ion channels. The roles of ACh and nAChRs in nociceptor function are, however, poorly understood. Caenorhabditis elegans polymodal nociceptors, PVD, express nAChR subunits on their sensory arbor. Here we show that mutations reducing ACh synthesis and mutations in nAChR subunits lead to defects in PVD function and morphology. A likely cause for these defects is a reduction in cytosolic calcium measured in ACh and nAChR mutants. Indeed, overexpression of a calcium pump in PVD mimics defects in PVD function and morphology found in nAChR mutants. Our results demonstrate, for the first time, a central role for nAChRs and ACh in nociceptor function and suggest that calcium permeating via nAChRs facilitates activity of several signaling pathways within this neuron. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Evolution of outcrossing in experimental populations of Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Henrique Teotonio

    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.

  2. Caenorhabditis elegans nicotinic acetylcholine receptors are required for nociception

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Emiliano; Chatzigeorgiou, Marios; Husson, Steven J.; Steuer-Costa, Wagner; Gottschalk, Alexander; Schafer, William R.; Treinin, Millet

    2014-01-01

    Polymodal nociceptors sense and integrate information on injurious mechanical, thermal, and chemical stimuli. Chemical signals either activate nociceptors or modulate their responses to other stimuli. One chemical known to activate or modulate responses of nociceptors is acetylcholine (ACh). Across evolution nociceptors express subunits of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) family, a family of ACh-gated ion channels. The roles of ACh and nAChRs in nociceptor function are, however, poorly understood. Caenorhabditis elegans polymodal nociceptors, PVD, express nAChR subunits on their sensory arbor. Here we show that mutations reducing ACh synthesis and mutations in nAChR subunits lead to defects in PVD function and morphology. A likely cause for these defects is a reduction in cytosolic calcium measured in ACh and nAChR mutants. Indeed, overexpression of a calcium pump in PVD mimics defects in PVD function and morphology found in nAChR mutants. Our results demonstrate, for the first time, a central role for nAChRs and ACh in nociceptor function and suggest that calcium permeating via nAChRs facilitates activity of several signaling pathways within this neuron. PMID:24518198

  3. Genotypic-specific variance in Caenorhabditis elegans lifetime fecundity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diaz, S Anaid; Viney, Mark

    2014-06-01

    Organisms live in heterogeneous environments, so strategies that maximze fitness in such environments will evolve. Variation in traits is important because it is the raw material on which natural selection acts during evolution. Phenotypic variation is usually thought to be due to genetic variation and/or environmentally induced effects. Therefore, genetically identical individuals in a constant environment should have invariant traits. Clearly, genetically identical individuals do differ phenotypically, usually thought to be due to stochastic processes. It is now becoming clear, especially from studies of unicellular species, that phenotypic variance among genetically identical individuals in a constant environment can be genetically controlled and that therefore, in principle, this can be subject to selection. However, there has been little investigation of these phenomena in multicellular species. Here, we have studied the mean lifetime fecundity (thus a trait likely to be relevant to reproductive success), and variance in lifetime fecundity, in recently-wild isolates of the model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We found that these genotypes differed in their variance in lifetime fecundity: some had high variance in fecundity, others very low variance. We find that this variance in lifetime fecundity was negatively related to the mean lifetime fecundity of the lines, and that the variance of the lines was positively correlated between environments. We suggest that the variance in lifetime fecundity may be a bet-hedging strategy used by this species.

  4. Gene pathways that delay Caenorhabditis elegans reproductive senescence.

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    Meng C Wang

    2014-12-01

    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.

  5. Challenging muscle homeostasis uncovers novel chaperone interactions in Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Anna eFrumkin

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Proteome stability is central to cellular function and the lifespan of an organism. This is apparent in muscle cells, where incorrect folding and assembly of the sarcomere contributes to disease and aging. Apart from the myosin-assembly factor UNC-45, the complete network of chaperones involved in assembly and maintenance of muscle tissue is currently unknown. To identify additional factors required for sarcomere quality control, we performed genetic screens based on suppressed or synthetic motility defects in Caenorhabditis elegans. In addition to ethyl methyl sulfonate-based mutagenesis, we employed RNAi-mediated knockdown of candidate chaperones in unc-45 temperature-sensitive mutants and screened for impaired movement at permissive conditions. This approach confirmed the cooperation between UNC-45 and Hsp90. Moreover, the screens identified three novel co-chaperones, CeHop (STI-1, CeAha1 (C01G10.8 and Cep23 (ZC395.10, required for muscle integrity. The specific identification of Hsp90 and Hsp90 co-chaperones highlights the physiological role of Hsp90 in myosin folding. Our work thus provides a clear example of how a combination of mild perturbations to the proteostasis network can uncover specific quality control modules.

  6. Radiation effects on life span in Caenorhabditis elegans

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Johnson, T.E.; Hartman, P.S.

    1988-01-01

    Wild-type and radiation-sensitive (Rad) mutants of Caenorhabditis elegans were irradiated using a 137 Cs source (2.7 krads/min.) at several developmental stages and subsequently monitored for life span. Acute doses of radiation ranged from 1 krad to 300 krads. All stages required doses above 100 krads to reduce mean life span. Dauers and third stage larvae were more sensitive, and 8-day-old adults were the most resistant. Occasional statistically significant but nonrepeatable increases in survival were observed after intermediate levels of irradiation (10-30 krads). Unirradiated rad-4 and rad-7 had life spans similar to wild-type; all others had a significant reduction in survival. The mutants were about as sensitive as wild-type to the effects of ionizing radiation including occasional moderate life span extensions at intermediate doses. We conclude that the moderate life span extensions sometimes observed after irradiation are likely to be mediated by a means other than the induction of DNA repair enzymes

  7. Apoptosis maintains oocyte quality in aging Caenorhabditis elegans females.

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    Sara Andux

    2008-12-01

    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.

  8. A metabolic signature of long life in Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Viney Jonathan M

    2010-02-01

    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

  9. FAMILY OF FLP PEPTIDES IN CAENORHABDITIS ELEGANS AND RELATED NEMATODES

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    Chris eLi

    2014-10-01

    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.

  10. Whole-genome profiling of mutagenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flibotte, Stephane; Edgley, Mark L; Chaudhry, Iasha; Taylor, Jon; Neil, Sarah E; Rogula, Aleksandra; Zapf, Rick; Hirst, Martin; Butterfield, Yaron; Jones, Steven J; Marra, Marco A; Barstead, Robert J; Moerman, Donald G

    2010-06-01

    Deep sequencing offers an unprecedented view of an organism's genome. We describe the spectrum of mutations induced by three commonly used mutagens: ethyl methanesulfonate (EMS), N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU), and ultraviolet trimethylpsoralen (UV/TMP) in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Our analysis confirms the strong GC to AT transition bias of EMS. We found that ENU mainly produces A to T and T to A transversions, but also all possible transitions. We found no bias for any specific transition or transversion in the spectrum of UV/TMP-induced mutations. In 10 mutagenized strains we identified 2723 variants, of which 508 are expected to alter or disrupt gene function, including 21 nonsense mutations and 10 mutations predicted to affect mRNA splicing. This translates to an average of 50 informative mutations per strain. We also present evidence of genetic drift among laboratory wild-type strains derived from the Bristol N2 strain. We make several suggestions for best practice using massively parallel short read sequencing to ensure mutation detection.

  11. Whole-Genome Profiling of Mutagenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flibotte, Stephane; Edgley, Mark L.; Chaudhry, Iasha; Taylor, Jon; Neil, Sarah E.; Rogula, Aleksandra; Zapf, Rick; Hirst, Martin; Butterfield, Yaron; Jones, Steven J.; Marra, Marco A.; Barstead, Robert J.; Moerman, Donald G.

    2010-01-01

    Deep sequencing offers an unprecedented view of an organism's genome. We describe the spectrum of mutations induced by three commonly used mutagens: ethyl methanesulfonate (EMS), N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU), and ultraviolet trimethylpsoralen (UV/TMP) in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Our analysis confirms the strong GC to AT transition bias of EMS. We found that ENU mainly produces A to T and T to A transversions, but also all possible transitions. We found no bias for any specific transition or transversion in the spectrum of UV/TMP-induced mutations. In 10 mutagenized strains we identified 2723 variants, of which 508 are expected to alter or disrupt gene function, including 21 nonsense mutations and 10 mutations predicted to affect mRNA splicing. This translates to an average of 50 informative mutations per strain. We also present evidence of genetic drift among laboratory wild-type strains derived from the Bristol N2 strain. We make several suggestions for best practice using massively parallel short read sequencing to ensure mutation detection. PMID:20439774

  12. Use of Caenorhabditis elegans as a model to study Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander, Adanna G.; Marfil, Vanessa; Li, Chris

    2014-01-01

    Advances in research and technology has increased our quality of life, allowed us to combat diseases, and achieve increased longevity. Unfortunately, increased longevity is accompanied by a rise in the incidences of age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD). AD is the sixth leading cause of death, and one of the leading causes of dementia amongst the aged population in the USA. It is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder, characterized by the prevalence of extracellular Aβ plaques and intracellular neurofibrillary tangles, derived from the proteolysis of the amyloid precursor protein (APP) and the hyperphosphorylation of microtubule-associated protein tau, respectively. Despite years of extensive research, the molecular mechanisms that underlie the pathology of AD remain unclear. Model organisms, such as the nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, present a complementary approach to addressing these questions. C. elegans has many advantages as a model system to study AD and other neurodegenerative diseases. Like their mammalian counterparts, they have complex biochemical pathways, most of which are conserved. Genes in which mutations are correlated with AD have counterparts in C. elegans, including an APP-related gene, apl-1, a tau homolog, ptl-1, and presenilin homologs, such as sel-12 and hop-1. Since the neuronal connectivity in C. elegans has already been established, C. elegans is also advantageous in modeling learning and memory impairments seen during AD. This article addresses the insights C. elegans provide in studying AD and other neurodegenerative diseases. Additionally, we explore the advantages and drawbacks associated with using this model. PMID:25250042

  13. Analysis of a Caenorhabditis elegans Twist homolog identifies conserved and divergent aspects of mesodermal patterning

    OpenAIRE

    Harfe, Brian D.; Gomes, Ana Vaz; Kenyon, Cynthia; Liu, Jun; Krause, Michael; Fire, Andrew

    1998-01-01

    Mesodermal development is a multistep process in which cells become increasingly specialized to form specific tissue types. In Drosophila and mammals, proper segregation and patterning of the mesoderm involves the bHLH factor Twist. We investigated the activity of a Twist-related factor, CeTwist, during Caenorhabditis elegans mesoderm development. Embryonic mesoderm in C. elegans derives from a number of distinct founder cells that are specified during the early lineages; in contrast, a singl...

  14. Serotonin Activates Overall Feeding by Activating Two Separate Neural Pathways in Caenorhabditis elegans

    OpenAIRE

    Song, Bo-mi; Avery, Leon

    2012-01-01

    Food intake in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans requires two distinct feeding motions, pharyngeal pumping and isthmus peristalsis. Bacteria, the natural food of C. elegans, activate both feeding motions (Croll, 1978; Horvitz et al., 1982; Chiang et al., 2006). The mechanisms by which bacteria activate the feeding motions are largely unknown. To understand the process, we studied how serotonin, an endogenous pharyngeal pumping activator whose action is triggered by bacteria, activates feedi...

  15. The Neuropeptides FLP-2 and PDF-1 Act in Concert To Arouse Caenorhabditis elegans Locomotion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Didi; Taylor, Kelsey P; Hall, Qi; Kaplan, Joshua M

    2016-11-01

    During larval molts, Caenorhabditis elegans exhibits a sleep-like state (termed lethargus) that is characterized by the absence of feeding and profound locomotion quiescence. The rhythmic pattern of locomotion quiescence and arousal linked to the molting cycle is mediated by reciprocal changes in sensory responsiveness, whereby arousal is associated with increased responsiveness. Sensory neurons arouse locomotion via release of a neuropeptide (PDF-1) and glutamate. Here we identify a second arousing neuropeptide (FLP-2). We show that FLP-2 acts via an orexin-like receptor (FRPR-18), and that FLP-2 and PDF-1 secretion are regulated by reciprocal positive feedback. These results suggest that the aroused behavioral state is stabilized by positive feedback between two neuropeptides. Copyright © 2016 by the Genetics Society of America.

  16. DAF-16-dependent suppression of immunity during reproduction in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyata, Sachiko; Begun, Jakob; Troemel, Emily R; Ausubel, Frederick M

    2008-02-01

    To further understand how the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans defends itself against pathogen attack, we analyzed enhanced pathogen resistance (epr) mutants obtained from a forward genetic screen. We also examined several well-characterized sterile mutants that exhibit an Epr phenotype. We found that sterility and pathogen resistance are highly correlated and that resistance in both epr and sterile mutants is dependent on DAF-16 activity. Our data indicate that a DAF-16-dependent signaling pathway distinct from previously described pathways is involved in the activation of genes that confer resistance to bacterial pathogens. The timing of DAF-16-dependent gene activation in sterile mutants coincides with the onset of embryonic development in wild-type animals, suggesting that signals from developing embryos normally downregulate the immune response.

  17. The Neuropeptides FLP-2 and PDF-1 Act in Concert To Arouse Caenorhabditis elegans Locomotion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Didi; Taylor, Kelsey P.; Hall, Qi; Kaplan, Joshua M.

    2016-01-01

    During larval molts, Caenorhabditis elegans exhibits a sleep-like state (termed lethargus) that is characterized by the absence of feeding and profound locomotion quiescence. The rhythmic pattern of locomotion quiescence and arousal linked to the molting cycle is mediated by reciprocal changes in sensory responsiveness, whereby arousal is associated with increased responsiveness. Sensory neurons arouse locomotion via release of a neuropeptide (PDF-1) and glutamate. Here we identify a second arousing neuropeptide (FLP-2). We show that FLP-2 acts via an orexin-like receptor (FRPR-18), and that FLP-2 and PDF-1 secretion are regulated by reciprocal positive feedback. These results suggest that the aroused behavioral state is stabilized by positive feedback between two neuropeptides. PMID:27585848

  18. Mesoscopic organization reveals the constraints governing Caenorhabditis elegans nervous system.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  19. Identification of DVA interneuron regulatory sequences in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puckett Robinson, Carmie; Schwarz, Erich M; Sternberg, Paul W

    2013-01-01

    The identity of each neuron is determined by the expression of a distinct group of genes comprising its terminal gene battery. The regulatory sequences that control the expression of such terminal gene batteries in individual neurons is largely unknown. The existence of a complete genome sequence for C. elegans and draft genomes of other nematodes let us use comparative genomics to identify regulatory sequences directing expression in the DVA interneuron. Using phylogenetic comparisons of multiple Caenorhabditis species, we identified conserved non-coding sequences in 3 of 10 genes (fax-1, nmr-1, and twk-16) that direct expression of reporter transgenes in DVA and other neurons. The conserved region and flanking sequences in an 85-bp intronic region of the twk-16 gene directs highly restricted expression in DVA. Mutagenesis of this 85 bp region shows that it has at least four regions. The central 53 bp region contains a 29 bp region that represses expression and a 24 bp region that drives broad neuronal expression. Two short flanking regions restrict expression of the twk-16 gene to DVA. A shared GA-rich motif was identified in three of these genes but had opposite effects on expression when mutated in the nmr-1 and twk-16 DVA regulatory elements. We identified by multi-species conservation regulatory regions within three genes that direct expression in the DVA neuron. We identified four contiguous regions of sequence of the twk-16 gene enhancer with positive and negative effects on expression, which combined to restrict expression to the DVA neuron. For this neuron a single binding site may thus not achieve sufficient specificity for cell specific expression. One of the positive elements, an 8-bp sequence required for expression was identified in silico by sequence comparisons of seven nematode species, demonstrating the potential resolution of expanded multi-species phylogenetic comparisons.

  20. Oxidative Stress in Caenorhabditis elegans: Protective Effects of Spartin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy Truong

    Full Text Available Troyer syndrome is caused by a mutation in the SPG20 gene, which results in complete loss of expression of the protein spartin. We generated a genetic model of Troyer syndrome in worms to explore the locomotor consequences of a null mutation of the Caenorhabditis elegans SPG20 orthologue, F57B10.9, also known as spg-20. Spg-20 mutants showed decreased length, crawling speed, and thrashing frequency, and had a shorter lifespan than wild-type animals. These results suggest an age-dependent decline in motor function in mutant animals. The drug paraquat was used to induce oxidative stress for 4 days in the animals. We measured survival rate and examined locomotion by measuring crawling speed and thrashing frequency. After 4 days of paraquat exposure, 77% of wild-type animals survived, but only 38% of spg-20 mutant animals survived. Conversely, animals overexpressing spg-20 had a survival rate of 95%. We also tested lifespan after a 1 hour exposure to sodium azide. After a 24 hour recovery period, 87% of wild type animals survived, 57% of spg-20 mutant animals survived, and 82% of animals overexpressing spg-20 survived. In the behavioral assays, spg-20 mutant animals showed a significant decrease in both crawling speed and thrashing frequency compared with wild-type animals. Importantly, the locomotor phenotype for both crawling and thrashing was rescued in animals overexpressing spg-20. The animals overexpressing spg-20 had crawling speeds and thrashing frequencies similar to those of wild-type animals. These data suggest that the protein F57B10.9/SPG-20 might have a protective role against oxidative stress.

  1. MicroRNA predictors of longevity in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zachary Pincus

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Neither genetic nor environmental factors fully account for variability in individual longevity: genetically identical invertebrates in homogenous environments often experience no less variability in lifespan than outbred human populations. Such variability is often assumed to result from stochasticity in damage accumulation over time; however, the identification of early-life gene expression states that predict future longevity would suggest that lifespan is least in part epigenetically determined. Such "biomarkers of aging," genetic or otherwise, nevertheless remain rare. In this work, we sought early-life differences in organismal robustness in unperturbed individuals and examined the utility of microRNAs, known regulators of lifespan, development, and robustness, as aging biomarkers. We quantitatively examined Caenorhabditis elegans reared individually in a novel apparatus and observed throughout their lives. Early-to-mid-adulthood measures of homeostatic ability jointly predict 62% of longevity variability. Though correlated, markers of growth/muscle maintenance and of metabolic by-products ("age pigments" report independently on lifespan, suggesting that graceful aging is not a single process. We further identified three microRNAs in which early-adulthood expression patterns individually predict up to 47% of lifespan differences. Though expression of each increases throughout this time, mir-71 and mir-246 correlate with lifespan, while mir-239 anti-correlates. Two of these three microRNA "biomarkers of aging" act upstream in insulin/IGF-1-like signaling (IIS and other known longevity pathways, thus we infer that these microRNAs not only report on but also likely determine longevity. Thus, fluctuations in early-life IIS, due to variation in these microRNAs and from other causes, may determine individual lifespan.

  2. Investigating the biological impacts of nanoengineered materials in Caenorhabditis elegans and in vitro

    Science.gov (United States)

    Contreras, Elizabeth Quevedo

    In nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, the chronic and multi-generational toxicological effects of commercially relevant engineered nanoparticles (ENPs), such as quantum dots (QDs) and silver (AgNP) caused significant changes in a number of physiological endpoints. The increased water-solubility of ENPs in commercial products, for example, makes them increasingly bioavailable to terrestrial organisms exposed to pollution and waste in the soil. Since 2008, attention to the toxicology of nanomaterials in C. elegans continues to grow. Quantitative data on multiple physiological endpoints paired with metal analysis show the uptake of QDs and AgNPs, and their effects on nematode fitness. First, C. elegans were exposed for four generations through feeding to amphiphilic polymer coated CdSe/ZnS (core-shell QDs), CdSe (core QDs), and different sizes of AgNPs. These ENPs were readily ingested. QDs were qualitatively imaged in the digestive tract using a fluorescence microscopy and their and AgNP uptake quantitatively measured using ICP-MS. Each generation was analyzed for changes in lifespan, reproduction, growth and motility using an automated computer vision system. Core-shell QDs had little impact on C. elegans due to its metal shell coating. In contrast, core QDs lacked a metal shell coating, which caused significant changes to nematode physiology. iii In the same way, at high concentrations of 100 ppm, AgNP caused the most adverse effect to lifespan and reproduction related to particle size, but its adverse effect to motility had no correlation to particle size. Using C. elegans as an animal model allowed for a better understanding of the negative impacts of ENPs than with cytotoxicity tests. Lastly, to test the toxicity of water-dispersed fullerene (nanoC60) using human dermal fibroblast cells, this thesis investigated a suite of assays and methods in order to establish a standard set of cytotoxicity tests. Ten assays and methods assessed nanoC60 samples of different

  3. Evolution of host innate defence: insights from Caenorhabditis elegans and primitive invertebrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irazoqui, Javier E; Urbach, Jonathan M; Ausubel, Frederick M

    2010-01-01

    The genetically tractable model organism Caenorhabditis elegans was first used to model bacterial virulence in vivo a decade ago. Since then, great strides have been made in identifying the host response pathways that are involved in its defence against infection. Strikingly, C. elegans seems to detect, and respond to, infection without the involvement of its homologue of Toll-like receptors, in contrast to the well-established role for these proteins in innate immunity in mammals. What, therefore, do we know about host defence mechanisms in C. elegans and what can they tell us about innate immunity in higher organisms?

  4. Chemistry and the worm: Caenorhabditis elegans as a platform for integrating chemical and biological research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hulme, S Elizabeth; Whitesides, George M

    2011-05-16

    This Review discusses the potential usefulness of the worm Caenorhabditis elegans as a model organism for chemists interested in studying living systems. C. elegans, a 1 mm long roundworm, is a popular model organism in almost all areas of modern biology. The worm has several features that make it attractive for biology: it is small (biology, the Review provides examples of current research with C. elegans that is chemically relevant. It also describes tools-biological, chemical, and physical-that are available to researchers studying the worm. Copyright © 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  5. Ascaroside expression in Caenorhabditis elegans is strongly dependent on diet and developmental stage

    Science.gov (United States)

    A group of small signaling molecules called ascarosides, associated with dauer formation, male attraction and social behavior in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, are shown to be regulated by developmental stage and environmental factors. The concentration of dauer-inducing ascaroside, ascr#2, i...

  6. Caenorhabditis elegans utilizes dauer pheromone biosynthesis to dispose of toxic peroxisomal fatty acids for cellular homoeostasis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caenorhabditis elegans secretes a dauer pheromone or daumone composed of ascarylose and a fatty acid side chain, perception of which enables worms to gauge depletion of food or a high worm population density. As a result, worms enter the dauer state, a specific developmental stage capable of surviv...

  7. Analyzing Defects in the "Caenorhabditis Elegans" Nervous System Using Organismal and Cell Biological Approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guziewicz, Megan; Vitullo, Toni; Simmons, Bethany; Kohn, Rebecca Eustance

    2002-01-01

    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…

  8. Requirement of the Caenorhabditis elegans RapGEF pxf-1 and rap-1 for epithelial integrity

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    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.

    2005-01-01

    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

  9. Biological activity of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bacillales: Bacillaceae) chitinase against Caenorhabditis elegans (Rhabditida: Rhabditidae)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Zhang, L.; Yu, J.; Xie, Y.; Lin, H.; Huang, Z.; Xu, L.; Gelbič, Ivan; Guan, X.

    2014-01-01

    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

  10. Studying Human Disease Genes in "Caenorhabditis Elegans": A Molecular Genetics Laboratory Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cox-Paulson, Elisabeth A.; Grana, Theresa M.; Harris, Michelle A.; Batzli, Janet M.

    2012-01-01

    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…

  11. Natural plant hormones cytokinins increase stress resistance and longevity of Caenorhabditis elegans

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kadlecová, Alena; Jirsa, Tomáš; Novák, Ondřej; Kammenga, J.; Strnad, Miroslav; Voller, J.

    2018-01-01

    Roč. 19, č. 2 (2018), s. 109-120 ISSN 1389-5729 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LO1204; GA MŠk(CZ) LO1304 Institutional support: RVO:61389030 Keywords : Aging * Caenorhabditis elegans * Cytokinin * Kinetin * Phytohormones * Topolin * Zeatin Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology OBOR OECD: Plant sciences, botany Impact factor: 3.231, year: 2016

  12. The ETS-5 transcription factor regulates activity states in Caenorhabditis elegans by controlling satiety

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Juozaityte, Vaida; Pladevall-Morera, David; Podolska, Agnieszka

    2017-01-01

    Animal behavior is shaped through interplay among genes, the environment, and previous experience. As in mammals, satiety signals induce quiescence in Caenorhabditis elegans Here we report that the C. elegans transcription factor ETS-5, an ortholog of mammalian FEV/Pet1, controls satiety......-induced quiescence. Nutritional status has a major influence on C. elegans behavior. When foraging, food availability controls behavioral state switching between active (roaming) and sedentary (dwelling) states; however, when provided with high-quality food, C. elegans become sated and enter quiescence. We show......-regulated behavioral state switching. Taken together, our results identify a neuronal mechanism for controlling intestinal fat stores and organismal behavioral states in C. elegans, and establish a paradigm for the elucidation of obesity-relevant mechanisms....

  13. Caenorhabditis elegans as a Model for Toxic Effects of Nanoparticles: Lethality, Growth, and Reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maurer, Laura L; Ryde, Ian T; Yang, Xinyu; Meyer, Joel N

    2015-11-02

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is extensively utilized in toxicity studies. C. elegans offers a high degree of homology with higher organisms, and its ease of use and relatively inexpensive maintenance have made it an attractive complement to mammalian and ecotoxicological models. C. elegans provides multiple benefits, including the opportunity to perform relatively high-throughput assays on whole organisms, a wide range of genetic tools permitting investigation of mechanisms and genetic sensitivity, and transparent bodies that facilitate toxicokinetic studies. This unit describes protocols for three nanotoxicity assays in C. elegans: lethality, growth, and reproduction. This unit focuses on how to use these well-established assays with nanoparticles, which are being produced in ever-increasing volume and exhibit physicochemical properties that require alteration of standard toxicity assays. These assays permit a broad phenotypic assessment of nanotoxicity in C. elegans, and, when used in combination with genetic tools and other assays, also permit mechanistic insight. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

  14. Spatiotemporal localization of D-amino acid oxidase and D-aspartate oxidases during development in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saitoh, Yasuaki; Katane, Masumi; Kawata, Tomonori; Maeda, Kazuhiro; Sekine, Masae; Furuchi, Takemitsu; Kobuna, Hiroyuki; Sakamoto, Taro; Inoue, Takao; Arai, Hiroyuki; Nakagawa, Yasuhito; Homma, Hiroshi

    2012-05-01

    Recent investigations have shown that a variety of D-amino acids are present in living organisms and that they possibly play important roles in physiological functions in the body. D-Amino acid oxidase (DAO) and D-aspartate oxidase (DDO) are degradative enzymes stereospecific for D-amino acids. They have been identified in various organisms, including mammals and the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, although the significance of these enzymes and the relevant functions of D-amino acids remain to be elucidated. In this study, we investigated the spatiotemporal localization of C. elegans DAO and DDOs (DDO-1, DDO-2, and DDO-3) and measured the levels of several D- and L-amino acids in wild-type C. elegans and four mutants in which each gene for DAO and the DDOs was partially deleted and thereby inactivated. Furthermore, several phenotypes of these mutant strains were characterized. The results reported in this study indicate that C. elegans DAO and DDOs are involved in egg-laying events and the early development of C. elegans. In particular, DDOs appear to play important roles in the development and maturation of germ cells. This work provides novel and useful insights into the physiological functions of these enzymes and D-amino acids in multicellular organisms.

  15. The G protein-coupled receptor FSHR-1 is required for the Caenorhabditis elegans innate immune response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, Jennifer R; Kim, Dennis H; Ausubel, Frederick M

    2009-02-24

    Innate immunity is an ancient defense system used by both vertebrates and invertebrates. Previously characterized innate immune responses in plants and animals are triggered by detection of pathogens using specific receptors, which typically use a leucine-rich repeat (LRR) domain to bind molecular patterns associated with infection. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans uses defense pathways conserved with vertebrates; however, the mechanism by which C. elegans detects pathogens is unknown. We screened all LRR-containing transmembrane receptors in C. elegans and identified the G protein-coupled receptor FSHR-1 as an important component of the C. elegans immune response to Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacterial pathogens. FSHR-1 acts in the C. elegans intestine, the primary site of exposure to ingested pathogens. FSHR-1 signals in parallel to the known p38 MAPK pathway but converges to regulate the transcriptional induction of an overlapping but nonidentical set of antimicrobial effectors. FSHR-1 may act generally to boost the nematode immune response, or it may function as a pathogen receptor.

  16. Adverse Effects of Hydroalcoholic Extracts and the Major Components in the Stems of Impatiens balsamina L. on Caenorhabditis elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hong-Fang Jiang

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Impatiens balsamina L. (Balsaminaceae, an annual herb found throughout China, has been extensively used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM. However, our knowledge regarding the adverse effects of I. balsamina in vivo is very limited. In this present study, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans model was employed to fully assess the adverse effects of hydroalcoholic (EtOH 55% extracts of I. balsamina stems (HAEIBS in vivo. After exposure to 10 mg/mL HAEIBS, the major organism-level endpoints of C. elegans of percent survival, frequency of head thrash and body bends, and reproduction had decreased by 24%, 30%, and 25%, respectively. The lifespan of C. elegans was also greatly reduced after HAEIBS exposure compared to the controls. The active compounds in HAEIBS were separated using high speed countercurrent chromatograph (HSCCC and characterized by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR. Two compounds, lawsone and 2-methoxy-1,4-naphthoquinone (MNQ, and their adverse effects were then more thoroughly detailed in this study. It was found that lawsone is the major toxin in HAEIBS with a higher toxicity than MNQ in terms of negative impact on C. elegans mortality, locomotion, reproduction, and lifespan. Our data also suggests that the C. elegans model may be useful for assessing the possible toxicity of other Chinese medicines, plant extracts, and/or compounds.

  17. Differential assembly of alpha- and gamma-filagenins into thick filaments in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, F.; Ortiz, I.; Hutagalung, A.; Bauer, C. C.; Cook, R. G.; Epstein, H. F.

    2000-01-01

    Muscle thick filaments are highly organized supramolecular assemblies of myosin and associated proteins with lengths, diameters and flexural rigidities characteristic of their source. The cores of body wall muscle thick filaments of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans are tubular structures of paramyosin sub-filaments coupled by filagenins and have been proposed to serve as templates for the assembly of native thick filaments. We have characterized alpha- and gamma-filagenins, two novel proteins of the cores with calculated molecular masses of 30,043 and 19,601 and isoelectric points of 10.52 and 11.49, respectively. Western blot and immunoelectron microscopy using affinity-purified antibodies confirmed that the two proteins are core components. Immunoelectron microscopy of the cores revealed that they assemble with different periodicities. Immunofluorescence microscopy showed that alpha-filagenin is localized in the medial regions of the A-bands of body wall muscle cells whereas gamma-filagenin is localized in the flanking regions, and that alpha-filagenin is expressed in 1.5-twofold embryos while gamma-filagenin becomes detectable only in late vermiform embryos. The expression of both proteins continues throughout later stages of development. C. elegans body wall muscle thick filaments of these developmental stages have distinct lengths. Our results suggest that the differential assembly of alpha- and gamma-filagenins into thick filaments of distinct lengths may be developmentally regulated.

  18. Comparing Caenorhabditis elegans gentle and harsh touch response behavior using a multiplexed hydraulic microfluidic device.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McClanahan, Patrick D; Xu, Joyce H; Fang-Yen, Christopher

    2017-10-16

    The roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans is an important model system for understanding the genetics and physiology of touch. Classical assays for C. elegans touch, which involve manually touching the animal with a probe and observing its response, are limited by their low throughput and qualitative nature. We developed a microfluidic device in which several dozen animals are subject to spatially localized mechanical stimuli with variable amplitude. The device contains 64 sinusoidal channels through which worms crawl, and hydraulic valves that deliver touch stimuli to the worms. We used this assay to characterize the behavioral responses to gentle touch stimuli and the less well studied harsh (nociceptive) touch stimuli. First, we measured the relative response thresholds of gentle and harsh touch. Next, we quantified differences in the receptive fields between wild type worms and a mutant with non-functioning posterior touch receptor neurons. We showed that under gentle touch the receptive field of the anterior touch receptor neurons extends into the posterior half of the body. Finally, we found that the behavioral response to gentle touch does not depend on the locomotion of the animal immediately prior to the stimulus, but does depend on the location of the previous touch. Responses to harsh touch, on the other hand, did not depend on either previous velocity or stimulus location. Differences in gentle and harsh touch response characteristics may reflect the different innervation of the respective mechanosensory cells. Our assay will facilitate studies of mechanosensation, sensory adaptation, and nociception.

  19. Network control principles predict neuron function in the Caenorhabditis elegans connectome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Gang; Vértes, Petra E.; Towlson, Emma K.; Chew, Yee Lian; Walker, Denise S.; Schafer, William R.; Barabási, Albert-László

    2017-10-01

    Recent studies on the controllability of complex systems offer a powerful mathematical framework to systematically explore the structure-function relationship in biological, social, and technological networks. Despite theoretical advances, we lack direct experimental proof of the validity of these widely used control principles. Here we fill this gap by applying a control framework to the connectome of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, allowing us to predict the involvement of each C. elegans neuron in locomotor behaviours. We predict that control of the muscles or motor neurons requires 12 neuronal classes, which include neuronal groups previously implicated in locomotion by laser ablation, as well as one previously uncharacterized neuron, PDB. We validate this prediction experimentally, finding that the ablation of PDB leads to a significant loss of dorsoventral polarity in large body bends. Importantly, control principles also allow us to investigate the involvement of individual neurons within each neuronal class. For example, we predict that, within the class of DD motor neurons, only three (DD04, DD05, or DD06) should affect locomotion when ablated individually. This prediction is also confirmed; single cell ablations of DD04 or DD05 specifically affect posterior body movements, whereas ablations of DD02 or DD03 do not. Our predictions are robust to deletions of weak connections, missing connections, and rewired connections in the current connectome, indicating the potential applicability of this analytical framework to larger and less well-characterized connectomes.

  20. Use of the induced gene-expression in the soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as a biomonitor; Nutzung der induzierbaren Genexpression des Nematoden Caenorhabditis elegans als Biomonitor

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Menzel, R.; Reichert, K.; Achazi, R. [Freie Univ. Berlin (Germany). Inst. fuer Biologie - Oekotoxikologie und Biochemie

    2002-07-01

    The soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is one of the simplest animals having the status of a laboratory model. Its already completely sequenced genome contains the remarkable number of 80 cytochrome P450 genes (CYP) and many further genes coding for enzymes involved in biotransformation. In order to study xenobiotically induced gene expression in C. elegans, liquid cultures were exposed to different, well-known xenobiotic inducers. The mRNA expression was detected by two different types of DNA arrays and semi-quantitative RT-PCR. {beta}-naphthoflavone, PCB52 and lansoprazol were the most active and, in particular, induced almost all CYP35 isoforms strongly. In conclusion, the xenobiotic dependent gene expression of C. elegans is a useful tool to reveal defense mechanisms against potential damaging substances as well as for developing a biomonitoring system. (orig.) [German] Der Bodennematode Caenorhabditis elegans gilt als das einfachste mehrzellige Tier mit dem Status eines Labormodels. Basierend auf seinem entschluesselten Genom konnte die bemerkenswerte Zahl von 80 Cytochrom P450 Genen (CYP) und eine Vielzahl weiterer Gene, welche fuer Enzyme der Biotransformation kodieren, identifiziert werden. Die differentielle Genexpression von C. elegans nach Schadstoffzugabe wurde in Fluessigkulturen mit 18 Xenobiotika aus unterschiedlichen Schadstoffgruppen untersucht. Anschliessend wurde die mRNA Expression mit DNA Arrays und semi-quantitativer RT-PCR bestimmt. {beta}-Naphthoflavone, PCB52 and Lansoprazol erwiesen sich dabei als die wirksamsten Induktoren und konnten unter anderen alle CYP 35 Isoformen stark induzieren. Mit diesen Untersuchungen konnte gezeigt werden, dass die schadstoffinduzierte Genexpression in C. elegans ein adaequates System ist, um sowohl Detoxifikationsmechanismen zu untersuchen als auch ein Biomonitorscreening aufzubauen. (orig.)

  1. Solution structure of CEH-37 homeodomain of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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: wlee@spin.yonsei.ac.kr [Structural Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics Lab, Department of Biochemistry, College of Life Science and Biotechnology, Yonsei University, Seoul 120-749 (Korea, Republic of)

    2014-01-10

    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.

  2. The pore-forming protein Cry5B elicits the pathogenicity of Bacillus sp. against Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melanie F Kho

    Full Text Available The soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis is a pathogen of insects and nematodes and is very closely related to, if not the same species as, Bacillus cereus and Bacillus anthracis. The defining characteristic of B. thuringiensis that sets it apart from B. cereus and B. anthracis is the production of crystal (Cry proteins, which are pore-forming toxins or pore-forming proteins (PFPs. Although it is known that PFPs are important virulence factors since their elimination results in reduced virulence of many pathogenic bacteria, the functions by which PFPs promote virulence are incompletely understood. Here we study the effect of Cry proteins in B. thuringiensis pathogenesis of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We find that whereas B. thuringiensis on its own is not able to infect C. elegans, the addition of the PFP Cry protein, Cry5B, results in a robust lethal infection that consumes the nematode host in 1-2 days, leading to a "Bob" or bag-of-bacteria phenotype. Unlike other infections of C. elegans characterized to date, the infection by B. thuringiensis shows dose-dependency based on bacterial inoculum size and based on PFP concentration. Although the infection process takes 1-2 days, the PFP-instigated infection process is irreversibly established within 15 minutes of initial exposure. Remarkably, treatment of C. elegans with Cry5B PFP is able to instigate many other Bacillus species, including B. anthracis and even "non-pathogenic" Bacillus subtilis, to become lethal and infectious agents to C. elegans. Co-culturing of Cry5B-expressing B. thuringiensis with B. anthracis can result in lethal infection of C. elegans by B. anthracis. Our data demonstrate that one potential property of PFPs is to sensitize the host to bacterial infection and further that C. elegans and probably other roundworms can be common hosts for B. cereus-group bacteria, findings with important ecological and research implications.

  3. Population dynamics and habitat sharing of natural populations of Caenorhabditis elegans and C. briggsae

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a major model organism in laboratory biology. Very little is known, however, about its ecology, including where it proliferates. In the past, C. elegans was mainly isolated from human-made compost heaps, where it was overwhelmingly found in the non-feeding dauer diapause stage. Results C. elegans and C. briggsae were found in large, proliferating populations in rotting plant material (fruits and stems) in several locations in mainland France. Both species were found to co-occur in samples isolated from a given plant species. Population counts spanned a range from one to more than 10,000 Caenorhabditis individuals on a single fruit or stem. Some populations with an intermediate census size (10 to 1,000) contained no dauer larvae at all, whereas larger populations always included some larvae in the pre-dauer or dauer stages. We report on associated micro-organisms, including pathogens. We systematically sampled a spatio-temporally structured set of rotting apples in an apple orchard in Orsay over four years. C. elegans and C. briggsae were abundantly found every year, but their temporal distributions did not coincide. C. briggsae was found alone in summer, whereas both species co-occurred in early fall and C. elegans was found alone in late fall. Competition experiments in the laboratory at different temperatures show that C. briggsae out-competes C. elegans at high temperatures, whereas C. elegans out-competes C. briggsae at lower temperatures. Conclusions C. elegans and C. briggsae proliferate in the same rotting vegetal substrates. In contrast to previous surveys of populations in compost heaps, we found fully proliferating populations with no dauer larvae. The temporal sharing of the habitat by the two species coincides with their temperature preference in the laboratory, with C. briggsae populations growing faster than C. elegans at higher temperatures, and vice at lower temperatures. PMID:22731941

  4. Oleanolic acid activates daf-16 to increase lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang, Jiaolong; Lu, Lulu; Zhou, Lijun

    2015-01-01

    Oleanolic acid (OA) is an active ingredient in natural plants. It has been reported to possess a variety of pharmacological activities, but very little is known about its effects of anti-aging. We investigate here whether OA has an impact on longevity in vivo, and more specifically, we have examined effects of OA on the lifespan and stress tolerance in Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans). Our results showed that OA could extend the lifespan, increase its stress resistance and reduce the intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) in wild-type worms. Moreover, we have found that OA-induced longevity may not be associated with the calorie restriction (CR) mechanism. Our mechanistic studies using daf-16 loss-of-function mutant strains (GR1307) indicated that the extension of lifespan by OA requires daf-16. In addition, OA treatment could also modulate the nuclear localization, and the quantitative real-time PCR results revealed that up-regulation of daf-16 target genes such as sod-3, hsp-16.2 and ctl-1 could prolong lifespan and increase stress response in C. elegans. This study overall uncovers the longevity effect of OA and its underpinning mechanisms. - Graphical abstract: Oleanolic acid modulates the activity of DAF-16 to promote longevity and increase stress resistance in Caenorhabditis elegans. - Highlights: • OA extends the lifespan of wild-type Caenorhabditis elegans. • OA improves the stress resistance and reduces the intracellular ROS level in C. elegans. • OA induces lifespan extension may not proceed through the CR mechanism. • OA extends the lifespan in C. elegans is modulated by daf-16.

  5. Oleanolic acid activates daf-16 to increase lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, Jiaolong; Lu, Lulu; Zhou, Lijun, E-mail: lijunzhou@tju.edu.cn

    2015-12-25

    Oleanolic acid (OA) is an active ingredient in natural plants. It has been reported to possess a variety of pharmacological activities, but very little is known about its effects of anti-aging. We investigate here whether OA has an impact on longevity in vivo, and more specifically, we have examined effects of OA on the lifespan and stress tolerance in Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans). Our results showed that OA could extend the lifespan, increase its stress resistance and reduce the intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) in wild-type worms. Moreover, we have found that OA-induced longevity may not be associated with the calorie restriction (CR) mechanism. Our mechanistic studies using daf-16 loss-of-function mutant strains (GR1307) indicated that the extension of lifespan by OA requires daf-16. In addition, OA treatment could also modulate the nuclear localization, and the quantitative real-time PCR results revealed that up-regulation of daf-16 target genes such as sod-3, hsp-16.2 and ctl-1 could prolong lifespan and increase stress response in C. elegans. This study overall uncovers the longevity effect of OA and its underpinning mechanisms. - Graphical abstract: Oleanolic acid modulates the activity of DAF-16 to promote longevity and increase stress resistance in Caenorhabditis elegans. - Highlights: • OA extends the lifespan of wild-type Caenorhabditis elegans. • OA improves the stress resistance and reduces the intracellular ROS level in C. elegans. • OA induces lifespan extension may not proceed through the CR mechanism. • OA extends the lifespan in C. elegans is modulated by daf-16.

  6. Radiation-induced gene expression in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Gregory A.; Jones, Tamako A.; Chesnut, Aaron; Smith, Anna L.

    2002-01-01

    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 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.

  7. Comparative genomics and functional study of lipid metabolic genes in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    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. elegans genome using comparative genomics. Results We built a database containing 471 lipid genes from the C. elegans genome, and then assigned most of lipid genes into 16 different lipid metabolic pathways that were integrated into a network. Over 70% of C. elegans lipid genes have human orthologs, with 237 of 471 C. elegans lipid genes being conserved in humans, mice, rats, and Drosophila, of which 71 genes are specifically related to human metabolic diseases. Moreover, RNA-mediated interference (RNAi) was used to disrupt the expression of 356 of 471 lipid genes with available RNAi clones. We found that 21 genes strongly affect fat storage, development, reproduction, and other visible phenotypes, 6 of which have not previously been implicated in the regulation of fat metabolism and other phenotypes. Conclusions This study provides the first systematic genomic insight into lipid metabolism in C. elegans, supporting the use of C. elegans as an increasingly prominent model in the study of metabolic diseases. PMID:23496871

  8. Selenite protects Caenorhabditis elegans from oxidative stress via DAF-16 and TRXR-1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Wen-Hsuan; Shi, Yeu-Ching; Chang, Chun-Han; Huang, Chi-Wei; Hsiu-Chuan Liao, Vivian

    2014-04-01

    Selenium is an essential micronutrient. In the present study, trace amount of selenite (0.01 μM) was evaluated for oxidative stress resistance and potential associated factors in Caenorhabditis elegans. Selenite-treated C. elegans showed an increased survival under oxidative stress and thermal stress compared to untreated controls. Further studies demonstrated that the significant stress resistance of selenite on C. elegans could be attributed to its in vivo free radical-scavenging ability. We also found that the oxidative and thermal stress resistance phenotypes by selenite were absent from the forkhead transcription factor daf-16 mutant worms. Moreover, selenite influenced the subcellular distribution of DAF-16 in C. elegans. Furthermore, selenite increased mRNA levels of stress-resistance-related proteins, including superoxide dismutase-3 and heat shock protein-16.2. Additionally, selenite (0.01 μM) upregulated expressions of transgenic C. elegans carrying sod-3::green fluorescent protein (GFP) and hsp-16.2::GFP, whereas this effect was abolished by feeding daf-16 RNA interference in C. elegans. Finally, unlike the wild-type N2 worms, the oxidative stress resistance phenotypes by selenite were both absent from the C. elegans selenoprotein trxr-1 mutant worms and trxr-1 mutants feeding with daf-16 RNA interference. These findings suggest that the antioxidant effects of selenite in C. elegans are mediated via DAF-16 and TRXR-1. © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  9. Brief Communication: SIR-2.1-dependent lifespan extension of Caenorhabditis elegans by oxyresveratrol and resveratrol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jiyun; Kwon, Gayeung; Park, Jieun; Kim, Jeong-Keun; Lim, Young-Hee

    2016-10-01

    Resveratrol (RES) has been studied for its effects on the lifespan extension of Caenorhabditis elegans, but controversy still remains on its mechanism related with SIR-2. In this study, longevity assay was performed to confirm SIR-2-dependent lifespan extension of C. elgeans with RES and oxyresveratrol (OXY), an isomer of hydroxylated RES using loss-of-function mutants of C. elegans including sir-2.1 mutant. The results showed that OXY and RES significantly (P elegans compared with the control. OXY and RES also significantly (P elegans by overexpression of SIR-2.1, which is related to lifespan extension through calorie restriction and the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) pathway, although this process is independent of the FOXO/DAF-16 pathway. © 2016 by the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine.

  10. Katz model prediction of Caenorhabditis elegans mutagenesis on STS-42

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cucinotta, Francis A.; Wilson, John W.; Katz, Robert; Badhwar, Gautam D.

    1992-01-01

    Response parameters that describe the production of recessive lethal mutations in C. elegans from ionizing radiation are obtained with the Katz track structure model. The authors used models of the space radiation environment and radiation transport to predict and discuss mutation rates for C. elegans on the IML-1 experiment aboard STS-42.

  11. Characterization of hydroxyurea resistance in C. elegans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brejning, Jeanette

    The soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has become a prominent model organism for studying aging and many age-related diseases. We use C. elegans to study the relationship between cancer and aging. To prevent cancer, cells are equipped with surveillance systems that detect damage and stop cells...... from dividing. These surveillance systems are collectively called cellular checkpoints. We have found that inactivation of certain checkpoint proteins, including p53, also cause resistance to the chemotherapeutic drug hydroxyurea (HU) that stalls replication. We have found that in C. elegans, HU...... inhibits ribonucleotide reductase (RNR). RNR is involved in synthesis of deoxyribonucleotide (dNTP) precursors for DNA replication and repair. Previously we have shown that inactivation of some checkpoint proteins can increase stress resistance and lifespan of C. elegans1. Interestingly, several genes...

  12. The Caenorhabditis elegans RDE-10/RDE-11 complex regulates RNAi by promoting secondary siRNA amplification

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zhang, Chi; Montgomery, Taiowa A; Fischer, Sylvia E J; Garcia, Susana M D A; Riedel, Christian G; Fahlgren, Noah; Sullivan, Christopher M; Carrington, James C; Ruvkun, Gary

    2012-01-01

    BACKGROUND: In nematodes, plants, and fungi, RNAi is remarkably potent and persistent due to the amplification of initial silencing signals by RNA-dependent RNA polymerases (RdRPs). In Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), the interaction between the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC) loaded with

  13. Deficiency of the Caenorhabditis elegans DNA polymerase eta homologue increases sensitivity to UV radiation during germ-line development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohkumo, Tsuyoshi; Masutani, Chikahide; Eki, Toshihiko; Hanaoka, Fumio

    2006-01-01

    Defects in the human XPV/POLH gene result in the variant form of the disease xeroderma pigmentosum (XP-V). The gene encodes DNA polymerase eta (Poleta), which catalyzes translesion synthesis (TLS) past UV-induced cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPDs) and other lesions. To further understand the roles of Poleta in multicellular organisms, we analyzed phenotypes caused by suppression of Caenorhabditis elegans POLH (Ce-POLH) by RNA interference (RNAi). F1 and F2 progeny from worms treated by Ce-POLH-specific RNAi grew normally, but F1 eggs laid by worms treated by RNAi against Ce-POLD, which encodes Poldelta did not hatch. These results suggest that Poldelta but not Poleta is essential for C. elegans embryogenesis. Poleta-targeted embryos UV-irradiated after egg laying were only moderately sensitive. In contrast, Poleta-targeted embryos UV-irradiated prior to egg laying exhibited severe sensitivity, indicating that Poleta contributes significantly to damage tolerance in C. elegans in early embryogenesis but only modestly at later stages. As early embryogenesis is characterized by high levels of DNA replication, Poleta may confer UV resistance in C. elegans, perhaps by catalyzing TLS in early embryogenesis.

  14. H3K23me2 is a new heterochromatic mark in Caenorhabditis elegans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vandamme, Julien; Sidoli, Simone; Mariani, Luca

    2015-01-01

    described in this organism. We used mass spectrometry based middle-down proteomics to analyze histone H3 N-terminal tails from C. elegans embryos for the presence, the relative abundance and the potential cross-talk of co-existing PTMs. This analysis highlighted that the lysine 23 of histone H3 (H3K23......Genome-wide analyses in Caenorhabditis elegans show that post-translational modifications (PTMs) of histones are evolutionary conserved and distributed along functionally distinct genomic domains. However, a global profile of PTMs and their co-occurrence on the same histone tail has not been...

  15. Regulation of Axonal Midline Guidance by Prolyl 4-Hydroxylation in Caenorhabditis elegans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Torpe, Nanna; Pocock, Roger David John

    2014-01-01

    , little is known of its importance in the control of axon guidance. In a screen of prolyl 4-hydroxylase (P4H) mutants, we found that genetic removal of a specific P4H subunit, DPY-18, causes dramatic defects in C. elegans neuroanatomy. In dpy-18 mutant animals, the axons of specific ventral nerve cord......Neuronal wiring during development requires that the growth cones of axons and dendrites are correctly guided to their appropriate targets. As in other animals, axon growth cones in Caenorhabditis elegans integrate information in their extracellular environment via interactions among transiently...

  16. Structure-activity relationship of condensed tannins and synergism with trans-cinnamaldehyde against Caenorhabditis elegans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ropiak, Honorata M; Desrues, Olivier; Williams, Andrew Richard

    2016-01-01

    ). A nonsignificant correlation was evident between the ability of CT fractions to inhibit C. elegans motility and the molar proportion of prodelphinidin subunits in purified CT samples. Synergistic inhibition of motility was achieved by combinations of CT and CIN. Galloylation of procyanidins was also a key factor...... compounds possessing anthelmintic activity against GIN. We investigated the relationship between the chemical structure of contrasting, purified CT and nematocidal effects using Caenorhabditis elegans. We also explored whether the nematocidal activity of CT could synergize with trans-cinnamaldehyde (CIN...

  17. Specific microRNAs Regulate Heat Stress Responses in Caenorhabditis elegans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nehammer, Camilla; Podolska, Agnieszka; Mackowiak, Sebastian D

    2015-01-01

    have identified additional functions for already known players (mir-71 and mir-239) as well as identifying mir-80 and the mir-229 mir-64-66 cluster as important regulators of the heat stress response in C. elegans. These findings uncover an additional layer of complexity to the regulation of stress...... to heat stress in Caenorhabditis elegans and show that a discrete subset of miRNAs is thermoregulated. Using in-depth phenotypic analyses of miRNA deletion mutant strains we reveal multiple developmental and post-developmental survival and behavioral functions for specific miRNAs during heat stress. We...

  18. Identification of novel protein functions and signaling mechanisms by genetics and quantitative phosphoproteomics in Caenorhabditis elegans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fredens, Julius; Engholm-Keller, Kasper; Møller-Jensen, Jakob

    2014-01-01

    knockdown by feeding the nematode on pre-labeled lysine auxotroph Escherichia coli. In this chapter, we describe in details the generation of the E. coli strain, incorporation of heavy isotope-labeled lysine in C. elegans, and the procedure for a comprehensive global phosphoproteomic experiment.......Stable isotope labeling by amino acids combined with mass spectrometry is a widely used methodology for measuring relative changes in protein and phosphorylation levels at a global level. We have applied this method to the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans in combination with RNAi-mediated gene...

  19. Evolutionary perspectives on innate immunity from the study of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Dennis H; Ausubel, Frederick M

    2005-02-01

    Genetic and functional genomic approaches have begun to define the molecular determinants of pathogen resistance in Caenorhabditis elegans. Conserved signal transduction components are required for pathogen resistance, including a Toll/IL-1 receptor domain adaptor protein that functions upstream of a conserved p38 MAP kinase pathway. We suggest that this pathway is an ancestral innate immune signaling pathway present in the common ancestor of nematodes, arthropods and vertebrates, which is likely to predate the involvement of canonical Toll signaling pathways in innate immunity. We anticipate that the study of pathogen resistance in C. elegans will continue to provide evolutionary and mechanistic insights into the signal transduction and physiology of innate immunity.

  20. Lifespan-extending effects of royal jelly and its related substances on the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yoko Honda

    Full Text Available 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.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.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 species and may lead to the development of nutraceutical

  1. Caenorhabditis elegans syndecan (SDN-1) is required for normal egg laying and associates with the nervous system and the vulva.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minniti, Alicia N; Labarca, Mariana; Hurtado, Claudia; Brandan, Enrique

    2004-10-01

    In Caenorhabditis elegans, the identification of many enzymes involved in the synthesis and modification of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), essential components of proteoglycans, has attained special attention in recent years. Mutations in all the genes that encode for GAG biosynthetic enzymes show defects in the development of the vulva, specifically in the invagination of the vulval epithelium. Mutants for certain heparan sulfate modifying enzymes present axonal and cellular guidance defects in specific neuronal classes. Although most of the enzymes involved in the biosynthesis and modification of heparan sulfate have been characterized in C. elegans, little is known regarding the core proteins to which these GAGs covalently bind in proteoglycans. A single syndecan homologue (sdn-1) has been identified in the C. elegans genome through sequence analysis. In the present study, we show that C. elegans synthesizes sulfated proteoglycans, seen as three distinct species in western blot analysis. In the sdn-1 (ok449) deletion mutant allele we observed the lack of one species, which corresponds to a 50 kDa product after heparitinase treatment. The expression of sdn-1 mRNA and sequencing revealed that sdn-1 (ok449) deletion mutants lack two glycosylation sites. Hence, the missing protein in the western blot analysis probably corresponds to SDN-1. In addition, we show that SDN-1 localizes to the C. elegans nerve ring, nerve cords and to the vulva. SDN-1 is found specifically phosphorylated in nerve ring neurons and in the vulva, in both wild-type worms and sdn-1 (ok449) deletion mutants. These mutants show a defective egg-laying phenotype. Our results show for the first time, the identification, localization and some functional aspects of syndecan in the nematode C. elegans.

  2. Adverse Effects from Clenbuterol and Ractopamine on Nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and the Underlying Mechanism

    OpenAIRE

    Zhuang, Ziheng; Zhao, Yunli; Wu, Qiuli; Li, Min; Liu, Haicui; Sun, Lingmei; Gao, Wei; Wang, Dayong

    2014-01-01

    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 ...

  3. Longevity-Determining Genes in Caenorhabditis Elegans: Chromosomal Mapping of Multiple Noninteractive Loci

    OpenAIRE

    Ebert-II, R. H.; Cherkasova, V. A.; Dennis, R. A.; Wu, J. H.; Ruggles, S.; Perrin, T. E.; Shmookler-Reis, R. J.

    1993-01-01

    We have used chromosome mapping with polymorphic markers to define genetic components governing life span in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. A complex recombinant-inbred population was derived from an interstrain cross, yielding >1000 genotypes, each a composite of homozygous segments from the two parental strains. Genotypes were analyzed for the last-surviving 1-5% of worms in aging cohorts, and for young controls, by multiplex polymerase chain reaction using polymorphic markers to dist...

  4. In vivo polarization dependant Second and Third harmonic generation imaging of Caenorhabditis elegans pharyngeal muscles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Filippidis, G.; Troulinaki, K.; Fotakis, C.; Tavernarakis, N.

    2009-07-01

    In this study Second and Third harmonic generation (SHG-THG) imaging measurements were performed to the pharyngeal muscles of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, in vivo with linearly polarized laser beam. Complementary information about the anatomy of the pharynx and the morphology of the anterior part of the worm were extracted. THG signals proved to have no dependence on incident light polarization, while SHG images are highly sensitive to the changes of the incident linearly polarized light.

  5. Daf-2, Daf-16 and Daf-23: Genetically Interacting Genes Controlling Dauer Formation in Caenorhabditis Elegans

    OpenAIRE

    Gottlieb, S.; Ruvkun, G.

    1994-01-01

    Under conditions of high population density and low food, Caenorhabditis elegans forms an alternative third larval stage, called the dauer stage, which is resistant to desiccation and harsh environments. Genetic analysis of some dauer constitutive (Daf-c) and dauer defective (Daf-d) mutants has revealed a complex pathway that is likely to function in particular neurons and/or responding tissues. Here we analyze the genetic interactions between three genes which comprise a branch of the dauer ...

  6. The Caenorhabditis elegans Excretory System: A Model for Tubulogenesis, Cell Fate Specification, and Plasticity

    OpenAIRE

    Sundaram, Meera V.; Buechner, Matthew

    2016-01-01

    The excretory system of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a superb model of tubular organogenesis involving a minimum of cells. The system consists of just three unicellular tubes (canal, duct, and pore), a secretory gland, and two associated neurons. Just as in more complex organs, cells of the excretory system must first adopt specific identities and then coordinate diverse processes to form tubes of appropriate topology, shape, connectivity, and physiological function. The unicellular...

  7. Structure and conserved function of iso-branched sphingoid bases from the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    OpenAIRE

    Hannich, J. Thomas; Mellal, Denia; Feng, Suihan; Zumbuehl, Andreas; Riezman, Howard

    2017-01-01

    Sphingolipids are bio-active metabolites that show structural diversity among eukaryotes. They are essential for growth of all eukaryotic cells but when produced in an uncontrolled manner can lead to cell death and pathologies including auto-immune reactions, cancer, diabetes and neurodegeneration. Caenorhabditis elegans is an important genetic model organism both to find new drug-targets against parasitic nematodes and to study the conserved roles of sphingolipids in animals like their ...

  8. Determination of cell division axes in the early embryogenesis of Caenorhabditis elegans

    OpenAIRE

    1987-01-01

    The establishment of cell division axes was examined in the early embryonic divisions of Caenorhabditis elegans. It has been shown previously that there are two different patterns of cleavage during early embryogenesis. In one set of cells, which undergo predominantly determinative divisions, the division axes are established successively in the same orientation, while division axes in the other set, which divide mainly proliferatively, have an orthogonal pattern of division. We have investig...

  9. Caenorhabditis elegans contains structural homologs of human prk and plk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ouyang, B; Wang, Y; Wei, D

    1999-01-01

    We and others have recently reported cloning and characterization of human prk and plk, members of the polo family of protein serine/threonine kinases that includes the budding yeast cdc5 and Drosophila melanoganster polo. The cdc5 gene is essential for cell cycle progression through mitosis and controls adaptation to the yeast DNA damage checkpoint. Here we report the identification of two new cdc5 homologs from Ceanorhabditis elegans, named plc1 and plc2. The deduced amino acid sequences of Plc1 and Plc2 share strong homology with both human Prk and Plk. plc1 and plc2 genes are closely linked on chromosome III and share 40% residue identity, suggesting that gene duplication followed by independent evolution gives rise to multiple polo homologous genes within a species. Similar to polo family members in other species, two distinct domains are present in Plc1 and Plc2 with the N-terminal half being the putative kinase domain. Interestingly, Plc2, unlike Plc1, contains a less conserved polo box within the C-terminal half of the protein, suggesting a functional division between these two kinases.

  10. The fog-3 gene and regulation of cell fate in the germ line of Caenorhabditis elegans

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ellis, R.; Kimble, J. [Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States)

    1995-02-01

    In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, germ cells normally adopt one of three fates: mitosis, spermatogenesis or oogenesis. We have identified and characterized the gene fog-3, which is required for germ cells to differentiate as sperm rather than as oocytes. Analysis of double mutants suggests that fog-3 is absolutely required for spermatogenesis and acts at the end of the regulatory hierarchy controlling sex determination for the germ line. By contrast, mutations in fog-3 do not alter the sexual identity of other tissues. We also have characterized the null phenotype of fog-1, another gene required for spermatogenesis; we demonstrate that it too controls the sexual identity of germ cells but not of other tissues. Finally, we have studied the same interaction of these two fog genes with gld-1, a gene required for germ cells to undergo oogenesis rather than mitosis. On the basis of these results, we propose that germ-cell fate might be controlled by a set of inhibitory interactions among genes that specify one of three fates: mitosis, spermatogenesis or oogenesis. Such a regulatory network would link the adoption of one germ-cell fate to the suppression of the other two. 68 refs., 7 figs., 6 tabs.

  11. Nitrilase and Fhit homologs are encoded as fusion proteins in Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pekarsky, Yuri; Campiglio, Manuela; Siprashvili, Zurab; Druck, Teresa; Sedkov, Yurii; Tillib, Sergei; Draganescu, Alexandra; Wermuth, Peter; Rothman, Joel H.; Huebner, Kay; Buchberg, Arthur M.; Mazo, Alexander; Brenner, Charles; Croce, Carlo M.

    1998-01-01

    The tumor suppressor gene FHIT encompasses the common human chromosomal fragile site at 3p14.2 and numerous cancer cell biallelic deletions. To study Fhit function we cloned and characterized FHIT genes from Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans. Both genes code for fusion proteins in which the Fhit domain is fused with a novel domain showing homology to bacterial and plant nitrilases; the D. melanogaster fusion protein exhibited diadenosine triphosphate (ApppA) hydrolase activity expected of an authentic Fhit homolog. In human and mouse, the nitrilase homologs and Fhit are encoded by two different genes: FHIT and NIT1, localized on chromosomes 3 and 1 in human, and 14 and 1 in mouse, respectively. We cloned and characterized human and murine NIT1 genes and determined their exon-intron structure, patterns of expression, and alternative processing of their mRNAs. The tissue specificity of expression of murine Fhit and Nit1 genes was nearly identical. Because fusion proteins with dual or triple enzymatic activities have been found to carry out specific steps in a given biochemical or biosynthetic pathway, we postulate that Fhit and Nit1 likewise collaborate in a biochemical or cellular pathway in mammalian cells. PMID:9671749

  12. Data in support of genome-wide identification of lineage-specific genes within Caenorhabditis elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kun Zhou

    2015-09-01

    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 [1].

  13. The neuropeptide NLP-22 regulates a sleep-like state in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Nelson, M D; Trojanowski, N F; George-Raizen, J B; Smith, C J; Yu, C-C; Fang-Yen, C; Raizen, D M

    2013-01-01

    Neuropeptides have central roles in the regulation of homoeostatic behaviours such as sleep and feeding. Caenorhabditis elegans displays sleep-like quiescence of locomotion and feeding during a larval transition stage called lethargus and feeds during active larval and adult stages. Here we show that the neuropeptide NLP-22 is a regulator of Caenorhabditis elegans sleep-like quiescence observed during lethargus. nlp-22 shows cyclical mRNA expression in synchrony with lethargus; it is regulated by LIN-42, an orthologue of the core circadian protein PERIOD; and it is expressed solely in the two RIA interneurons. nlp-22 and the RIA interneurons are required for normal lethargus quiescence, and forced expression of nlp-22 during active stages causes anachronistic locomotion and feeding quiescence. Optogenetic stimulation of the RIA interneurons has a movement-promoting effect, demonstrating functional complexity in a single-neuron type. Our work defines a quiescence-regulating role for NLP-22 and expands our knowledge of the neural circuitry controlling Caenorhabditis elegans behavioural quiescence.

  14. FLP-1 neuropeptides modulate sensory and motor circuits in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buntschuh, Ingrid; Raps, Daniel A; Joseph, Ivor; Reid, Christopher; Chait, Alexander; Totanes, Raubern; Sawh, Michelle; Li, Chris

    2018-01-01

    Parasitic nematodes infect over one quarter of the population worldwide, causing morbidity in over one billion people. Current anthelmintic drugs are beginning to lose effectiveness due to the presence of resistant strains. We are interested in the role of neuropeptides, which regulate behaviors in all organisms, as another possible target for anthelmintic drugs. FMRFamide-related peptides (FaRPs) are a family of neuropeptides that are conserved throughout the animal kingdom. In particular, nematodes contain the largest family of FaRPs identified thus far and many of these FaRPs are identical among different nematode species; FaRPs in nematodes are collectively referred to as FLPs (FMRFamide-like peptides). However, little is known about the function of these FLPs. We are using the non-parasitic nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as a model for examining FLPs in nematodes. C. elegans contains at least 31 flp genes that encode 72 potential FLPs. Among the flp genes, flp-1 is one of the few that is universally found in nematodes. FLP-1 neuropeptides were previously reported to be involved in sensory and motor functions. However, previous alleles of flp-1 also disrupted a neighboring gene, daf-10. To understand the phenotypes of flp-1, new alleles that specifically disrupt flp-1 were characterized. The previously reported locomotory and egg-laying defects were found to be due to loss of flp-1, while the osmolarity defect is due to loss of daf-10. In addition, loss of flp-1 and daf-10 both cause several phenotypes that increase in severity in the double mutants by disrupting different neurons in the neural circuits.

  15. Reliable Screening of Dye Phototoxicity by Using a Caenorhabditis elegans Fast Bioassay.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Javier Ignacio Bianchi

    Full Text Available Phototoxicity consists in the capability of certain innocuous molecules to become toxic when subjected to suitable illumination. In order to discover new photoactive drugs or characterize phototoxic pollutants, it would be advantageous to use simple biological tests of phototoxicy. In this work, we present a pilot screening of 37 dyes to test for phototoxic effects in the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans. Populations of this nematode were treated with different dyes, and subsequently exposed to 30 min of white light. Behavioral outcomes were quantified by recording the global motility using an infrared tracking device (WMicrotracker. Of the tested compounds, 17 dyes were classified as photoactive, being phloxine B, primuline, eosin Y, acridine orange and rose Bengal the most phototoxic. To assess photoactivity after uptake, compounds were retested after washing them out of the medium before light irradiation. Dye uptake into the worms was also analyzed by staining or fluorescence. All the positive drugs were incorporated by animals and produced phototoxic effects after washing. We also tested the stress response being triggered by the treatments through reporter strains. Endoplasmic reticulum stress response (hsp-4::GFP strain was activated by 22% of phototoxic dyes, and mitochondrial stress response (hsp-6::GFP strain was induced by 16% of phototoxic dyes. These results point to a phototoxic perturbation of the protein functionality and an oxidative stress similar to that reported in cell cultures. Our work shows for the first time the feasibility of C. elegans for running phototoxic screenings and underscores its application on photoactive drugs and environmental pollutants assessment.

  16. Dynamic changes of histone H3 marks during Caenorhabditis elegans lifecycle revealed by middle-down proteomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sidoli, Simone; Vandamme, Julien; Salcini, Anna Elisabetta; Jensen, Ole N

    2016-02-01

    We applied a middle-down proteomics strategy for large-scale protein analysis during in vivo development of Caenorhabditis elegans. We characterized PTMs on histone H3 N-terminal tails at eight time points during the C. elegans lifecycle, including embryo, larval stages (L1-L4), dauer, and L1/L4 postdauer. Histones were analyzed by our optimized middle-down protein sequencing platform using high mass accuracy MS/MS. This allows quantification of intact histone tails and detailed characterization of distinct histone tails carrying cooccurring PTMs. We measured temporally distinct combinatorial PTM profiles during C. elegans development. We show that the doubly modified form H3K23me3K27me3, which is rare or nonexistent in mammals, is the most abundant PTM in all stages of C. elegans lifecycle. The abundance of H3K23me3 increased during development and it was mutually exclusive of the active marks H3K18ac, R26me1, and R40me1, suggesting a role for H3K23me3 in silent chromatin. We observed distinct PTM profiles for normal L1 larvae and for L1-postdauer larvae, or L4 and L4 postdauer, suggesting that histone PTMs mediate an epigenetic memory that is transmitted during dauer formation. Collectively, our data describe the dynamics of histone H3 combinatorial code during C. elegans lifecycle and demonstrate the feasibility of using middle-down proteomics to study in vivo development of multicellular organisms. All MS data have been deposited in the ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD002525 (http://proteomecentral.proteomexchange.org/dataset/PXD002525). © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  17. Effect of Caenorhabditis elegans age and genotype on horizontal gene transfer in intestinal bacteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Portal-Celhay, Cynthia; Nehrke, Keith; Blaser, Martin J.

    2013-01-01

    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 thermosensitive conjugative system, we provide evidence that conjugation between two Escherichia coli strains can take place in the intestinal lumen of N2 wild-type worms at a rate of 10−3 and 10−2 per donor. We also show that C. elegans age and genotype are important determinants of the frequency of conjugation. Whereas ∼1 transconjugant for every 100 donor cells could be recovered from the intestine of N2 C. elegans, for the age-1 and tol-1 mutants, the detected rate of transconjugation (10−3 and 10−4 per donor cell, respectively) was significantly lower. This work demonstrates that increased recombination among lumenal microbial populations is a phenotype associated with host aging, and the model provides a framework to study the dynamics of bacterial horizontal gene transfer within the intestinal environment.—Portal-Celhay, C., Nehrke, K., Blaser, M. J. Effect of Caenorhabditis elegans age and genotype on horizontal gene transfer in intestinal bacteria. PMID:23085995

  18. Insights into the Ecotoxicity of Silver Nanoparticles Transferred from Escherichia coli to Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Xun; Xu, Shengmin; Yang, Yaning; Li, Luzhi; Chen, Shaopeng; Xu, An; Wu, Lijun

    2016-11-01

    Previous studies have indicated that engineered nanomaterials can be transferred through the food chain. However, their potential ecotoxicity to the environment is not fully understood. Here, we systematically evaluated the physiological behavior and toxicity of polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP)-coated silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) using a food chain model from Escherichia coli (E. coli) to Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans). Our results demonstrated that AgNPs accumulated in E. coli could be transferred to the C. elegans, and AgNPs were clearly distributed in the gut lumen, subcutaneous tissue and gonad. After being transferred to C. elegans through the food chain, the accumulated AgNPs caused serious toxicity to the higher trophic level (C. elegans), including effects on germ cell death, reproductive integrity and life span. Relative to larger particles (75 nm), small AgNPs (25 nm) more easily accumulated in the food chain and exhibited a stronger toxicity to the higher trophic level. More importantly, both the AgNPs that had accumulated in C. elegans through the food chain and the resulting impairment of germ cells could be transferred to the next generation, indicating that AgNP can cause genetic damage across generations. Our findings highlight that nanomaterials pose potential ecotoxicity to ecosystems via transport through the food chain.

  19. A natural odor attraction between lactic acid bacteria and the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Jae Im; Yoon, Kyoung-Hye; Subbammal Kalichamy, Saraswathi; Yoon, Sung-Sik; Il Lee, Jin

    2016-03-01

    Animal predators can track prey using their keen sense of smell. The bacteriovorous nematode Caenorhabditis elegans employs sensitive olfactory sensory neurons that express vertebrate-like odor receptors to locate bacteria. C. elegans displays odor-related behaviors such as attraction, aversion and adaptation, but the ecological significance of these behaviors is not known. Using a combination of food microbiology and genetics, we elucidate a possible predator-prey relationship between C. elegans and lactic acid bacteria (LAB) in rotting citrus fruit. LAB produces the volatile odor diacetyl as an oxidized by-product of fermentation in the presence of citrate. We show that C. elegans is attracted to LAB when grown on citrate media or Citrus medica L, commonly known as yuzu, a citrus fruit native to East Asia, and this attraction is mediated by the diacetyl odor receptor, ODR-10. We isolated a wild LAB strain and a wild C. elegans-related nematode from rotten yuzu, and demonstrate that the wild nematode was attracted to the diacetyl produced by LAB. These results not only identify an ecological function for a C. elegans olfactory behavior, but contribute to the growing understanding of ecological relationships between the microbial and metazoan worlds.

  20. Physiological and Immunological Regulations in Caenorhabditis elegans Infected with Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sivamaruthi, Bhagavathi Sundaram; Balamurugan, Krishnaswamy

    2014-03-01

    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.

  1. The lifespan-extending effects of Nymphaea hybrid root extract in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhuang, Ziheng; Lv, Ting; Li, Min; Zhang, Yusi; Xue, Ting; Yang, Linsong; Liu, Hui; Zhang, Weiming

    2014-12-01

    Nymphaea hybrid, a water lily from the Nymphaeaceae family, has been found to exhibit some in vivo beneficial effects. In the present study we investigated the lifespan-extending effects of Nymphaea hybrid root extract in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We found that Nymphaea hybrid root extract significantly extended the lifespan of C.elegans and improved its locomotion during aging. Moreover, Nymphaea hybrid root extract increased the resistance of C.elegans to both heat stress and oxidative stress. We found that the ability of Nymphaea hybrid root extract to increase lifespan was independent of its antimicrobial effects and was probably associated with its effects on the reproduction of C.elegans. In addition, the lifespan-extending effects of Nymphaea hybrid root extract were found to be dependent on the insulin/IGF signaling pathway. We also found that total flavones of Nymphaea hybrid could increase survival of C.elegans in both normal and adverse conditions, indicating that total flavones comprise the major fractions with lifespan-extending effects. Therefore, Nymphaea hybrid root extract has lifespan-extending effects in C.elegans and could be developed as a functional food.

  2. Both live and dead Enterococci activate Caenorhabditis elegans host defense via immune and stress pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuen, Grace J; Ausubel, Frederick M

    2018-12-31

    The innate immune response of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has been extensively studied and a variety of Toll-independent immune response pathways have been identified. Surprisingly little, however, is known about how pathogens activate the C. elegans immune response. Enterococcus faecalis and Enterococcus faecium are closely related enterococcal species that exhibit significantly different levels of virulence in C. elegans infection models. Previous work has shown that activation of the C. elegans immune response by Pseudomonas aeruginosa involves P. aeruginosa-mediated host damage. Through ultrastructural imaging, we report that infection with either E. faecalis or E. faecium causes the worm intestine to become distended with proliferating bacteria in the absence of extensive morphological changes and apparent physical damage. Genetic analysis, whole-genome transcriptional profiling, and multiplexed gene expression analysis demonstrate that both enterococcal species, whether live or dead, induce a rapid and similar transcriptional defense response dependent upon previously described immune signaling pathways. The host response to E. faecium shows a stricter dependence upon stress response signaling pathways than the response to E. faecalis. Unexpectedly, we find that E. faecium is a C. elegans pathogen and that an active wild-type host defense response is required to keep an E. faecium infection at bay. These results provide new insights into the mechanisms underlying the C. elegans immune response to pathogen infection.

  3. Monascus-Fermented Dioscorea Enhances Oxidative Stress Resistance via DAF-16/FOXO in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Yeu-Ching; Yu, Chan-Wei; Liao, Vivian Hsiu-Chuan; Pan, Tzu-Ming

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:22745774

  4. Chemically Defined Medium and Caenorhabditis elegans: A Powerful Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szewczyk, N. J.; Kozak, E.; Conley, C. A.

    2003-01-01

    C. elegans has been established as a powerful genetic system. Growth in 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 me in large-scale growth and screening of animals. Here we present our initial results from developing culture systems with CeMM. 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 of 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 defined medium composition. 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.

  5. An Investigation of the Potential Antifungal Properties of CNC-2 inCaenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zehrbach, Angelina M D; Rogers, Alexandra R; Tarr, D Ellen K

    2017-12-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans responds to infections by upregulating specific antimicrobial peptides. The caenacin-2 ( cnc-2 ) gene is consistently upregulated in C. elegans by infection with the filamentous fungus Drechmeria coniospora , but there have been no direct studies of the CNC-2 peptide's in vivo or in vitro role in defending the nematode against this pathogen. We compared infection of wild-type and cnc-2 knockout nematode strains with four potential pathogens: D. coniospora , Candida albicans , Staphylococcus aureus , and Bacillus subtilis . There was no significant difference in survival between strains for any of the pathogens or on the maintenance strain of Escherichia coli . While we were unable to demonstrate definitively that CNC-2 is integral to fungal defenses in C. elegans , we identified possible explanations for these results as well as future work that is needed to investigate CNC-2's potential as a new antifungal treatment.

  6. Selective visualization of fluorescent sterols in Caenorhabditis elegans by bleach-rate-based image segmentation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wüstner, Daniel; Landt Larsen, Ane; Færgeman, Nils J.

    2010-01-01

    to detect DHE selectively, based on its rapid bleaching kinetics compared to cellular autofluorescence. Worms were repeatedly imaged on an ultraviolet-sensitive wide field (UV-WF) microscope, and bleaching kinetics of DHE were fitted on a pixel-basis to mathematical models describing the intensity decay......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....... Bleach-rate constants were determined for DHE in vivo and confirmed in model membranes. Using this method, we could detect enrichment of DHE in specific tissues like the nerve ring, the spermateca and oocytes. We confirm these results in C. elegans gut-granule-loss (glo) mutants with reduced...

  7. Most Caenorhabditis elegans microRNAs are individually not essential for development or viability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric A Miska

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available MicroRNAs (miRNAs, a large class of short noncoding RNAs found in many plants and animals, often act to post-transcriptionally inhibit gene expression. We report the generation of deletion mutations in 87 miRNA genes in Caenorhabditis elegans, expanding the number of mutated miRNA genes to 95, or 83% of known C. elegans miRNAs. We find that the majority of miRNAs are not essential for the viability or development of C. elegans, and mutations in most miRNA genes do not result in grossly abnormal phenotypes. These observations are consistent with the hypothesis that there is significant functional redundancy among miRNAs or among gene pathways regulated by miRNAs. This study represents the first comprehensive genetic analysis of miRNA function in any organism and provides a unique, permanent resource for the systematic study of miRNAs.

  8. Control of neuropeptide expression by parallel activity-dependent pathways in caenorhabditis elegans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rojo Romanos, Teresa; Petersen, Jakob Gramstrup; Pocock, Roger

    2017-01-01

    Monitoring of neuronal activity within circuits facilitates integrated responses and rapid changes in behavior. We have identified a system in Caenorhabditis elegans where neuropeptide expression is dependent on the ability of the BAG neurons to sense carbon dioxide. In C. Elegans, CO 2 sensing...... is predominantly coordinated by the BAG-expressed receptor-type guanylate cyclase GCY-9. GCY-9 binding to CO 2 causes accumulation of cyclic GMP and opening of the cGMP-gated TAX-2/TAX-4 cation channels; provoking an integrated downstream cascade that enables C. Elegans to avoid high CO 2. Here we show that c...... to sense changes in carbon dioxide and CREB transcription factor. Such regulation may be required in particular environmental conditions to enable sophisticated behavioral decisions to be performed....

  9. The worm has turned--microbial virulence modeled in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sifri, Costi D; Begun, Jakob; Ausubel, Frederick M

    2005-03-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is emerging as a facile and economical model host for the study of evolutionarily conserved mechanisms of microbial pathogenesis and innate immunity. A rapidly growing number of human and animal microbial pathogens have been shown to injure and kill nematodes. In many cases, microbial genes known to be important for full virulence in mammalian models have been shown to be similarly required for maximum pathogenicity in nematodes. C. elegans has been used in mutation-based screening systems to identify novel virulence-related microbial genes and immune-related host genes, many of which have been validated in mammalian models of disease. C. elegans-based pathogenesis systems hold the potential to simultaneously explore the molecular genetic determinants of both pathogen virulence and host defense.

  10. Strongyloides stercoralis daf-2 encodes a divergent ortholog of Caenorhabditis elegans DAF-2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Massey, Holman C; Ranjit, Najju; Stoltzfus, Jonathan D; Lok, James B

    2013-06-01

    We hypothesise that developmental arrest in infectious larvae of parasitic nematodes is regulated by signalling pathways homologous to Caenorhabditis elegans DAF (dauer formation) pathways. Alignment of Strongyloides stercoralis (Ss) DAF-2 with DAF-2 of C. elegans and homologs of other species shows that most structural motifs in these insulin-like receptors are conserved. However, the catalytic domain of Ss-DAF-2 contains two substitutions (Q1242 and Q1256), that would result in constitutive dauer formation in C. elegans or diabetes in vertebrate animals. Ss-daf-2 also shows two alternately spliced isoforms, the constitutively expressed Ss-daf-2a, and Ss-daf-2b, which is only expressed in stages leading to parasitism. Copyright © 2013 Australian Society for Parasitology Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. l-Arginine Enhances Resistance against Oxidative Stress and Heat Stress in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heran Ma

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The antioxidant properties of l-arginine (l-Arg in vivo, and its effect on enhancing resistance to oxidative stress and heat stress in Caenorhabditis elegans were investigated. C. elegans, a worm model popularly used in molecular and developmental biology, was used in the present study. Here, we report that l-Arg, at a concentration of 1 mM, prolonged C. elegans life by 26.98% and 37.02% under oxidative and heat stress, respectively. Further experiments indicated that the longevity-extending effects of l-Arg may be exerted by its free radical scavenging capacity and the upregulation of aging-associated gene expression in worms. This work is important in the context of numerous recent studies that concluded that environment stresses are associated with an increased population death rate.

  12. l-Arginine Enhances Resistance against Oxidative Stress and Heat Stress in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Heran; Ma, Yudan; Zhang, Zhixian; Zhao, Ziyuan; Lin, Ran; Zhu, Jinming; Guo, Yi; Xu, Li

    2016-01-01

    The antioxidant properties of l-arginine (l-Arg) in vivo, and its effect on enhancing resistance to oxidative stress and heat stress in Caenorhabditis elegans were investigated. C. elegans, a worm model popularly used in molecular and developmental biology, was used in the present study. Here, we report that l-Arg, at a concentration of 1 mM, prolonged C. elegans life by 26.98% and 37.02% under oxidative and heat stress, respectively. Further experiments indicated that the longevity-extending effects of l-Arg may be exerted by its free radical scavenging capacity and the upregulation of aging-associated gene expression in worms. This work is important in the context of numerous recent studies that concluded that environment stresses are associated with an increased population death rate. PMID:27690079

  13. Revelations from the Nematode Caenorhabditis elegans on the Complex Interplay of Metal Toxicological Mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ebany J. Martinez-Finley

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Metals have been definitively linked to a number of disease states. Due to the widespread existence of metals in our environment from both natural and anthropogenic sources, understanding the mechanisms of their cellular detoxification is of upmost importance. Organisms have evolved cellular detoxification systems including glutathione, metallothioneins, pumps and transporters, and heat shock proteins to regulate intracellular metal levels. The model organism, Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans, contains these systems and provides several advantages for deciphering the mechanisms of metal detoxification. This review provides a brief summary of contemporary literature on the various mechanisms involved in the cellular detoxification of metals, specifically, antimony, arsenic, cadmium, copper, manganese, mercury, and depleted uranium using the C. elegans model system for investigation and analysis.

  14. Bacillus subtilis biofilm extends Caenorhabditis elegans longevity through downregulation of the insulin-like signalling pathway

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donato, Verónica; Ayala, Facundo Rodríguez; Cogliati, Sebastián; Bauman, Carlos; Costa, Juan Gabriel; Leñini, Cecilia; Grau, Roberto

    2017-01-01

    Beneficial bacteria have been shown to affect host longevity, but the molecular mechanisms mediating such effects remain largely unclear. Here we show that formation of Bacillus subtilis biofilms increases Caenorhabditis elegans lifespan. Biofilm-proficient B. subtilis colonizes the C. elegans gut and extends worm lifespan more than biofilm-deficient isogenic strains. Two molecules produced by B. subtilis — the quorum-sensing pentapeptide CSF and nitric oxide (NO) — are sufficient to extend C. elegans longevity. When B. subtilis is cultured under biofilm-supporting conditions, the synthesis of NO and CSF is increased in comparison with their production under planktonic growth conditions. We further show that the prolongevity effect of B. subtilis biofilms depends on the DAF-2/DAF-16/HSF-1 signalling axis and the downregulation of the insulin-like signalling (ILS) pathway. PMID:28134244

  15. Topological cluster analysis reveals the systemic organization of the Caenorhabditis elegans connectome.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yunkyu Sohn

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available 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 as an important cue for proper cluster assignment, we identified anatomical clusters in the C. elegans connectome, including a body-spanning cluster, which correspond to experimentally identified functional circuits. Moreover, the hierarchical organization of the five clusters explains the systemic cooperation (e.g., mechanosensation, chemosensation, and navigation that occurs among the structurally segregated biological circuits to produce higher-order complex behaviors.

  16. Tools to Study SUMO Conjugation in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pelisch, Federico; Hay, Ronald T

    2016-01-01

    The cell biology of sumoylation has mostly been studied using transformed cultured cells and yeast. In recent years, genetic analysis has demonstrated important roles for sumoylation in the biology of C. elegans. Here, we expand the existing set of tools making it possible to address the role of sumoylation in the nematode C. elegans using a combination of genetics, imaging, and biochemistry. Most importantly, the dynamics of SUMO conjugation and deconjugation can be followed very precisely both in space and time within living worms. Additionally, the biochemistry of SUMO conjugation and deconjugation can be addressed using recombinant purified components of the C. elegans sumoylation machinery, including E3 ligases and SUMO proteases. These tools and reagents will be useful to gain insights into the biological role of SUMO in the context of a multicellular organism.

  17. Bayesian Inference of Forces Causing Cytoplasmic Streaming in Caenorhabditis elegans Embryos and Mouse Oocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niwayama, Ritsuya; Nagao, Hiromichi; Kitajima, Tomoya S; Hufnagel, Lars; Shinohara, Kyosuke; Higuchi, Tomoyuki; Ishikawa, Takuji; Kimura, Akatsuki

    2016-01-01

    Cellular structures are hydrodynamically interconnected, such that force generation in one location can move distal structures. One example of this phenomenon is cytoplasmic streaming, whereby active forces at the cell cortex induce streaming of the entire cytoplasm. However, it is not known how the spatial distribution and magnitude of these forces move distant objects within the cell. To address this issue, we developed a computational method that used cytoplasm hydrodynamics to infer the spatial distribution of shear stress at the cell cortex induced by active force generators from experimentally obtained flow field of cytoplasmic streaming. By applying this method, we determined the shear-stress distribution that quantitatively reproduces in vivo flow fields in Caenorhabditis elegans embryos and mouse oocytes during meiosis II. Shear stress in mouse oocytes were predicted to localize to a narrower cortical region than that with a high cortical flow velocity and corresponded with the localization of the cortical actin cap. The predicted patterns of pressure gradient in both species were consistent with species-specific cytoplasmic streaming functions. The shear-stress distribution inferred by our method can contribute to the characterization of active force generation driving biological streaming.

  18. gld-1, a tumor suppressor gene required for oocyte development in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Francis, R.; Schedl, T. [Washington Univ. School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO (United States); Barton, M.K.; Kimble, J. [Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States)

    1995-02-01

    We have characterized 31 mutations in the gld-1 (defective in germline development) gene of Caenorhabditis elegans. In gld-1 (null) hermaphrodites, oogenesis is abolished and a germline tumor forms where oocyte development would normally occur. By contrast, gld-1 (null) males are unaffected. The hermaphrodite germline tumor appears to derive from germ cells that enter the meiotic pathway normally but then exit pachytene and return to the mitotic cycle. Certain gld-1 partial loss-of-function mutations also abolish oogenesis, but germ cells arrest in pachytene rather than returning to mitosis. Our results indicate that gld-1 is a tumor suppressor gene required for oocyte development. The tumorous phenotype suggests that gld-1(+) may function to negatively regulate proliferation during meiotic prophase and/or act to direct progression through meiotic prophase. We also show that gld-1(+) has an additional nonessential role in germline sex determination: promotion of hermaphrodite spermatogenesis. This function of gld-1 is inferred from a haplo-insufficient phenotype and from the properties of gain-of-function gld-1 mutations that cause alterations in the sexual identity of germ cells. 69 refs., 10 figs., 8 tabs.

  19. Caenorhabditis elegans NONO-1: Insights into DBHS protein structure, architecture, and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knott, Gavin J; Lee, Mihwa; Passon, Daniel M; Fox, Archa H; Bond, Charles S

    2015-12-01

    Members of the Drosophila behavior/human splicing (DBHS) protein family have been characterized in the vertebrates Homo sapiens and Mus musculus, and the invertebrates Drosophila melanogaster and Chironomus tentans. Collectively, both vertebrate and invertebrate DBHS proteins function throughout gene regulation, largely but not always, within the nucleus. In this study, we report a structural and bioinformatic analysis of the DBHS protein family to guide future studies into DBHS protein function. To explore the structural plasticity of the family, we describe the 2.4 Å crystal structure of Caenorhabditis elegans non-POU domain-containing octamer-binding protein 1 (NONO-1). The structure is dimeric, with a domain arrangement consistent with mammalian DBHS proteins. Comparison with the DBHS structures available from H. sapiens reveals that there is inherent domain flexibility within the homologous DBHS region. Mapping amino acid similarity within the family to the NONO-1 dimer highlights the dimer interface, coiled-coil oligomerization motif, and putative RNA binding surfaces. Surprisingly, the interior surface of RNA recognition motif 2 (RRM2) that faces a large internal void is highly variable, but the external β2-β3 loops of RRM2 show remarkable preservation. Overall, the DBHS region is under strong purifying selection, whereas the sequences N- and C-terminal to the DBHS region are less constrained. The findings described in this study provide a molecular basis for further investigation into the mechanistic function of the DBHS protein family in biology. © 2015 The Protein Society.

  20. The Caenorhabditis elegans Elongator complex regulates neuronal alpha-tubulin acetylation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jachen A Solinger

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Although acetylated alpha-tubulin is known to be a marker of stable microtubules in neurons, precise factors that regulate alpha-tubulin acetylation are, to date, largely unknown. Therefore, a genetic screen was employed in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans that identified the Elongator complex as a possible regulator of alpha-tubulin acetylation. Detailed characterization of mutant animals revealed that the acetyltransferase activity of the Elongator is indeed required for correct acetylation of microtubules and for neuronal development. Moreover, the velocity of vesicles on microtubules was affected by mutations in Elongator. Elongator mutants also displayed defects in neurotransmitter levels. Furthermore, acetylation of alpha-tubulin was shown to act as a novel signal for the fine-tuning of microtubules dynamics by modulating alpha-tubulin turnover, which in turn affected neuronal shape. Given that mutations in the acetyltransferase subunit of the Elongator (Elp3 and in a scaffold subunit (Elp1 have previously been linked to human neurodegenerative diseases, namely Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Familial Dysautonomia respectively highlights the importance of this work and offers new insights to understand their etiology.

  1. Imaging lipid metabolism in live Caenorhabditis elegans using fingerprint vibrations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Ping; Liu, Bin; Zhang, Delong; Belew, Micah Y; Tissenbaum, Heidi A; Cheng, Ji-Xin

    2014-10-27

    Quantitation of lipid storage, unsaturation, and oxidation in live C. elegans has been a long-standing obstacle. The combination of hyperspectral stimulated Raman scattering imaging and multivariate analysis in the fingerprint vibration region represents a platform that allows the quantitative mapping of fat distribution, degree of fat unsaturation, lipid oxidation, and cholesterol storage in vivo in the whole worm. Our results reveal for the first time that lysosome-related organelles in intestinal cells are sites for storage of cholesterol in C. elegans. © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  2. Lactobacillus casei stimulates phase-II detoxification system and rescues malathion-induced physiological impairments in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamaladevi, Arumugam; Ganguli, Abhijit; Balamurugan, Krishnaswamy

    2016-01-01

    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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. A design of experiment approach for efficient multi-parametric drug testing using a Caenorhabditis elegans model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Letizia, M C; Cornaglia, M; Tranchida, G; Trouillon, R; Gijs, M A M

    2018-01-22

    When studying the drug effectiveness towards a target model, one should distinguish the effects of the drug itself and of all the other factors that could influence the screening outcome. This comprehensive knowledge is crucial, especially when model organisms are used to study the drug effect at a systemic level, as a higher number of factors can influence the drug-testing outcome. Covering the entire experimental domain and studying the effect of the simultaneous change in several factors would require numerous experiments, which are costly and time-consuming. Therefore, a design of experiment (DoE) approach in drug-testing is emerging as a robust and efficient method to reduce the use of resources, while maximizing the knowledge of the process. Here, we used a 3-factor-Doehlert DoE to characterize the concentration-dependent effect of the drug doxycycline on the development duration of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. To cover the experimental space, 13 experiments were designed and performed, where different doxycycline concentrations were tested, while also varying the temperature and the food amount, which are known to influence the duration of C. elegans development. A microfluidic platform was designed to isolate and culture C. elegans larvae, while testing the doxycycline effect with full control of temperature and feeding over the entire development. Our approach allowed predicting the doxycycline effect on C. elegans development in the complete drug concentration/temperature/feeding experimental space, maximizing the understanding of the effect of this antibiotic on the C. elegans development and paving the way towards a standardized and optimized drug-testing process.

  4. Isolating genes involved with genotoxic drug response in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans using genome-wide RNAi screening

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schøler, Lone Vedel; Møller, Tine Hørning; Nørgaard, Steffen

    2012-01-01

    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...

  5. Cell fate determination in the Caenorhabditis elegans epidermal lineages

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Soete, G.A.J.

    2007-01-01

    The starting point for this work was to use the hypodermal seam of C. elegans as a model system to study cell fate determination. Even though the seam is a relatively simple developmental system, the mechanisms that control cell fate determination in the seam lineages are connected in a highly

  6. The protein kinase MBK-1 contributes to lifespan extension in daf-2 mutant and germline-deficient Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mack, Hildegard I D; Zhang, Peichuan; Fonslow, Bryan R; Yates, John R

    2017-05-25

    In Caenorhabditis elegans , reduction of insulin/IGF-1 like signaling and loss of germline stem cells both increase lifespan by activating the conserved transcription factor DAF-16 (FOXO). While the mechanisms that regulate DAF-16 nuclear localization in response to insulin/IGF-1 like signaling are well characterized, the molecular pathways that act in parallel to regulate DAF-16 transcriptional activity, and the pathways that couple DAF-16 activity to germline status, are not fully understood at present. Here, we report that inactivation of MBK-1, the C. elegans ortholog of the human FOXO1-kinase DYRK1A substantially shortens the prolonged lifespan of daf-2 and glp-1 mutant animals while decreasing wild-type lifespan to a lesser extent. On the other hand, lifespan-reduction by mutation of the MBK-1-related kinase HPK-1 was not preferential for long-lived mutants. Interestingly, mbk-1 loss still allowed for DAF-16 nuclear accumulation but reduced expression of certain DAF-16 target genes in germline-less, but not in daf-2 mutant animals. These findings indicate that mbk-1 and daf-16 functionally interact in the germline- but not in the daf-2 pathway. Together, our data suggest mbk-1 as a novel regulator of C. elegans longevity upon both, germline ablation and DAF-2 inhibition, and provide evidence for mbk-1 regulating DAF-16 activity in germline-deficient animals.

  7. The Fat-like cadherin CDH-4 controls axon fasciculation, cell migration and hypodermis and pharynx development in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitz, Caroline; Wacker, Irene; Hutter, Harald

    2008-04-15

    Cadherins are one of the major families of adhesion molecules with diverse functions during embryonic development. Fat-like cadherins form an evolutionarily conserved subgroup characterized by an unusually large number of cadherin repeats in the extracellular domain. Here we describe the role of the Fat-like cadherin CDH-4 in Caenorhabditis elegans development. Cdh-4 mutants are characterized by hypodermal defects leading to incompletely penetrant embryonic or larval lethality with variable morphogenetic defects. Independently of the morphogenetic defects cdh-4 mutant animals also exhibit fasciculation defects in the ventral and dorsal cord, the major longitudinal axon tracts, as well as migration defects of the Q neuroblasts. In addition CDH-4 is essential for establishing and maintaining the attachment between the buccal cavity and the pharynx. Cdh-4 is expressed widely in most affected cells and tissues during embryogenesis suggesting that CDH-4 functions to ensure that proper cell contacts are made and maintained during development.

  8. Regulatory elements of Caenorhabditis elegans ribosomal protein genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sleumer Monica C

    2012-08-01

    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

  9. DNA Strand Breaks in Mitotic Germ Cells of Caenorhabditis elegans Evaluated by Comet Assay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Sojin; Choi, Seoyun; Ahn, Byungchan

    2016-03-01

    DNA damage responses are important for the maintenance of genome stability and the survival of organisms. Such responses are activated in the presence of DNA damage and lead to cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, and DNA repair. In Caenorhabditis elegans, double-strand breaks induced by DNA damaging agents have been detected indirectly by antibodies against DSB recognizing proteins. In this study we used a comet assay to detect DNA strand breaks and to measure the elimination of DNA strand breaks in mitotic germline nuclei of C. elegans. We found that C. elegans brc-1 mutants were more sensitive to ionizing radiation and camptothecin than the N2 wild-type strain and repaired DNA strand breaks less efficiently than N2. This study is the first demonstration of direct measurement of DNA strand breaks in mitotic germline nuclei of C. elegans. This newly developed assay can be applied to detect DNA strand breaks in different C. elegans mutants that are sensitive to DNA damaging agents.

  10. Inducible and titratable silencing of Caenorhabditis elegans neurons in vivo with histamine-gated chloride channels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pokala, Navin; Liu, Qiang; Gordus, Andrew; Bargmann, Cornelia I.

    2014-01-01

    Recent progress in neuroscience has been facilitated by tools for neuronal activation and inactivation that are orthogonal to endogenous signaling systems. We describe here a chemical-genetic approach for inducible silencing of Caenorhabditis elegans neurons in intact animals, using the histamine-gated chloride channel HisCl1 from Drosophila and exogenous histamine. Administering histamine to freely moving C. elegans that express HisCl1 transgenes in neurons leads to rapid and potent inhibition of neural activity within minutes, as assessed by behavior, functional calcium imaging, and electrophysiology of neurons expressing HisCl1. C. elegans does not use histamine as an endogenous neurotransmitter, and exogenous histamine has little apparent effect on wild-type C. elegans behavior. HisCl1-histamine silencing of sensory neurons, interneurons, and motor neurons leads to behavioral effects matching their known functions. In addition, the HisCl1-histamine system can be used to titrate the level of neural activity, revealing quantitative relationships between neural activity and behavioral output. We use these methods to dissect escape circuits, define interneurons that regulate locomotion speed (AVA, AIB) and escape-related omega turns (AIB), and demonstrate graded control of reversal length by AVA interneurons and DA/VA motor neurons. The histamine-HisCl1 system is effective, robust, compatible with standard behavioral assays, and easily combined with optogenetic tools, properties that should make it a useful addition to C. elegans neurotechnology. PMID:24550306

  11. PKA/KIN-1 mediates innate immune responses to bacterial pathogens in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Yi; Liu, Fang; Zhao, Pei-Ji; Zou, Cheng-Gang; Zhang, Ke-Qin

    2017-11-01

    The genetically tractable organism Caenorhabditis elegans is a powerful model animal for the study of host innate immunity. Although the intestine and the epidermis of C. elegans that is in contact with pathogens are likely to function as sites for the immune function, recent studies indicate that the nervous system could control innate immunity in C. elegans. In this report, we demonstrated that protein kinase A (PKA)/KIN-1 in the neurons contributes to resistance against Salmonella enterica infection in C. elegans. Microarray analysis revealed that PKA/KIN-1 regulates the expression of a set of antimicrobial effectors in the non-neuron tissues, which are required for innate immune responses to S. enterica. Furthermore, PKA/KIN-1 regulated the expression of lysosomal genes during S. enterica infection. Our results suggest that the lysosomal signaling molecules are involved in autophagy by controlling autophagic flux, rather than formation of autophagosomes. As autophagy is crucial for host defense against S. enterica infection in a metazoan, the lysosomal pathway also acts as a downstream effector of the PKA/KIN-1 signaling for innate immunity. Our data indicate that the PKA pathway contributes to innate immunity in C. elegans by signaling from the nervous system to periphery tissues to protect the host against pathogens.

  12. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as a model of organophosphate-induced mammalian neurotoxicity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cole, Russell D.; Anderson, Gary L.; Williams, Phillip L.

    2004-01-01

    Fifteen organic phosphate pesticides were tested by computer tracking for their acute behavioral toxicity with the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Thirteen of these 15 chemicals are used as insecticides and are anticholesterase agents. The other two chemicals are used as herbicides. EC50 values for each chemical were compared to the corresponding LD50 acute lethality value in rats and mice. Order of toxicity was found to be significantly correlated in comparisons of C. elegans to both rats and mice. Mechanistic investigations were conducted by assaying 8 of the 15 chemicals for anticholinesterase activity in C. elegans. Significant cholinesterase inhibition was confirmed for five chemicals that had displayed high behavioral toxicity, while three chemicals of low behavioral toxicity showed no significant decrease in cholinesterase activity. Toxicity for two chemicals that do not inhibit cholinesterase in mammals was linked to pH effects. Detailed comparison of individual chemicals and metabolic issues are discussed. These results have positive implications for the use of C. elegans as a mammalian neurological model and support the use of C. elegans in early rounds of chemical toxicity screening

  13. A highly accurate inclusive cancer screening test using Caenorhabditis elegans scent detection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takaaki Hirotsu

    Full Text Available Early detection and treatment are of vital importance to the successful eradication of various cancers, and development of economical and non-invasive novel cancer screening systems is critical. Previous reports using canine scent detection demonstrated the existence of cancer-specific odours. However, it is difficult to introduce canine scent recognition into clinical practice because of the need to maintain accuracy. In this study, we developed a Nematode Scent Detection Test (NSDT using Caenorhabditis elegans to provide a novel highly accurate cancer detection system that is economical, painless, rapid and convenient. We demonstrated wild-type C. elegans displayed attractive chemotaxis towards human cancer cell secretions, cancer tissues and urine from cancer patients but avoided control urine; in parallel, the response of the olfactory neurons of C. elegans to the urine from cancer patients was significantly stronger than to control urine. In contrast, G protein α mutants and olfactory neurons-ablated animals were not attracted to cancer patient urine, suggesting that C. elegans senses odours in urine. We tested 242 samples to measure the performance of the NSDT, and found the sensitivity was 95.8%; this is markedly higher than that of other existing tumour markers. Furthermore, the specificity was 95.0%. Importantly, this test was able to diagnose various cancer types tested at the early stage (stage 0 or 1. To conclude, C. elegans scent-based analyses might provide a new strategy to detect and study disease-associated scents.

  14. A highly accurate inclusive cancer screening test using Caenorhabditis elegans scent detection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirotsu, Takaaki; Sonoda, Hideto; Uozumi, Takayuki; Shinden, Yoshiaki; Mimori, Koshi; Maehara, Yoshihiko; Ueda, Naoko; Hamakawa, Masayuki

    2015-01-01

    Early detection and treatment are of vital importance to the successful eradication of various cancers, and development of economical and non-invasive novel cancer screening systems is critical. Previous reports using canine scent detection demonstrated the existence of cancer-specific odours. However, it is difficult to introduce canine scent recognition into clinical practice because of the need to maintain accuracy. In this study, we developed a Nematode Scent Detection Test (NSDT) using Caenorhabditis elegans to provide a novel highly accurate cancer detection system that is economical, painless, rapid and convenient. We demonstrated wild-type C. elegans displayed attractive chemotaxis towards human cancer cell secretions, cancer tissues and urine from cancer patients but avoided control urine; in parallel, the response of the olfactory neurons of C. elegans to the urine from cancer patients was significantly stronger than to control urine. In contrast, G protein α mutants and olfactory neurons-ablated animals were not attracted to cancer patient urine, suggesting that C. elegans senses odours in urine. We tested 242 samples to measure the performance of the NSDT, and found the sensitivity was 95.8%; this is markedly higher than that of other existing tumour markers. Furthermore, the specificity was 95.0%. Importantly, this test was able to diagnose various cancer types tested at the early stage (stage 0 or 1). To conclude, C. elegans scent-based analyses might provide a new strategy to detect and study disease-associated scents.

  15. A heritable antiviral RNAi response limits Orsay virus infection in Caenorhabditis elegans N2.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark G Sterken

    Full Text Available Orsay virus (OrV is the first virus known to be able to complete a full infection cycle in the model nematode species Caenorhabditis elegans. OrV is transmitted horizontally and its infection is limited by antiviral RNA interference (RNAi. However, we have no insight into the kinetics of OrV replication in C. elegans. We developed an assay that infects worms in liquid, allowing precise monitoring of the infection. The assay revealed a dual role for the RNAi response in limiting Orsay virus infection in C. elegans. Firstly, it limits the progression of the initial infection at the step of recognition of dsRNA. Secondly, it provides an inherited protection against infection in the offspring. This establishes the heritable RNAi response as anti-viral mechanism during OrV infections in C. elegans. Our results further illustrate that the inheritance of the anti-viral response is important in controlling the infection in the canonical wild type Bristol N2. The OrV replication kinetics were established throughout the worm life-cycle, setting a standard for further quantitative assays with the OrV-C. elegans infection model.

  16. Ammonium-acetate is sensed by gustatory and olfactory neurons in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Frøkjaer-Jensen

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Caenorhabditis elegans chemosensation has been successfully studied using behavioral assays that treat detection of volatile and water soluble chemicals as separate senses, analogous to smell and taste. However, considerable ambiguity has been associated with the attractive properties of the compound ammonium-acetate (NH(4Ac. NH(4Ac has been used in behavioral assays both as a chemosensory neutral compound and as an attractant.Here we show that over a range of concentrations NH(4Ac can be detected both as a water soluble attractant and as an odorant, and that ammonia and acetic acid individually act as olfactory attractants. We use genetic analysis to show that NaCl and NH(4Ac sensation are mediated by separate pathways and that ammonium sensation depends on the cyclic nucleotide gated ion channel TAX-2/TAX-4, but acetate sensation does not. Furthermore we show that sodium-acetate (NaAc and ammonium-chloride (NH(4Cl are not detected as Na(+ and Cl(- specific stimuli, respectively.These findings clarify the behavioral response of C. elegans to NH(4Ac. The results should have an impact on the design and interpretation of chemosensory experiments studying detection and adaptation to soluble compounds in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

  17. Comparative Study of Several Behaviors in Caenorhabditis Elegans Following High-Let Radiation Exposure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakashita, Tetsuya

    Learning and behavioral impairments following ionizing radiation exposure are an important potential risk in manned space missions. We previously reported the effects of γ-ray exposure on olfactory adaptation [1], salt chemotaxis learning [2], and locomotion - learning behavior relationship [3] in Caenorhabditis elegans. However, little is known about the effects of high linear energy transfer (LET) radiation. We investigated various behavioral responses of wellfed adult Caenorhabditis elegans exposed to accelerated carbon ions (1 2C, 18.3M eV /u, LET = 113.3keV /µm). Following carbon-ion irradiation, locomotion, basal slowing response and salt chemotaxis learning were not significantly affected, whereas chemosensation to NaCl of animals during learning was altered. These results suggest that sensitivity of the C. elegans nervous system to high-LET heavy ions differs with the types of behaviors. References: [1] Sakashita et al., Biol. Sci. Space 21, 117-20 (2007), [2] Sakashita et al., FASEB J 22, 713-20 (2008), [3] Sakashita et al., J. Radiat. Res. 49, in press (2008).

  18. Appetitive Olfactory Learning and Long-Term Associative Memory in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ichiro N. Maruyama

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Because of the relative simplicity of its nervous system, Caenorhabditis elegans is a useful model organism to study learning and memory at cellular and molecular levels. For appetitive conditioning in C. elegans, food has exclusively been used as an unconditioned stimulus (US. It may be difficult to analyze neuronal circuits for associative memory since food is a multimodal combination of olfactory, gustatory, and mechanical stimuli. Here, we report classical appetitive conditioning and associative memory in C. elegans, using 1-nonanol as a conditioned stimulus (CS, and potassium chloride (KCl as a US. Before conditioning, C. elegans innately avoided 1-nonanol, an aversive olfactory stimulus, and was attracted by KCl, an appetitive gustatory stimulus, on assay agar plates. Both massed training without an intertrial interval (ITI and spaced training with a 10-min ITI induced significant levels of memory of association regarding the two chemicals. Memory induced by massed training decayed within 6 h, while that induced by spaced training was retained for more than 6 h. Animals treated with inhibitors of transcription or translation formed the memory induced by spaced training less efficiently than untreated animals, whereas the memory induced by massed training was not significantly affected by such treatments. By definition, therefore, memories induced by massed training and spaced training are classified as short-term memory (STM and long-term memory (LTM, respectively. When animals conditioned by spaced training were exposed to 1-nonanol alone, their learning index was lower than that of untreated animals, suggesting that extinction learning occurs in C. elegans. In support of these results, C. elegans mutants defective in nmr-1, encoding an NMDA receptor subunit, formed both STM and LTM less efficiently than wild-type animals, while mutations in crh-1, encoding a ubiquitous transcription factor CREB required for memory consolidation, affected

  19. A microfluidic device for the continuous culture and analysis of Caenorhabditis elegans in a toxic aqueous environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jung, Jaehoon; Nakajima, Masahiro; Tajima, Hirotaka; Huang, Qiang; Fukuda, Toshio

    2013-08-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) receives attention as a bioindicator, and the C. elegans condition has been recently analyzed using microfluidic devices equipped with an imaging system. To establish a method without an imaging system, we have proposed a novel microfluidic device with which to analyze the condition of C. elegans from the capacitance change using a pair of micro-electrodes. The device was designed to culture C. elegans, to expose C. elegans to an external stimulus, such as a chemical or toxicant, and to measure the capacitance change which indicates the condition of C. elegans. In this study, to demonstrate the capability of our device in a toxic aqueous environment, the device was applied to examine the effect of cadmium on C. elegans. Thirty L4 larval stage C. elegans were divided into three groups. One group was a control group and the other groups were exposed to cadmium solutions with concentrations of 5% and 10% LC50 for 24 h. The capacitance change and the body volume of C. elegans as a reference were measured four times and we confirmed the correlation between them. It shows that our device can analyze the condition of C. elegans without an imaging system.

  20. The longevity effect of cranberry extract in Caenorhabditis elegans is modulated by daf-16 and osr-1

    OpenAIRE

    Guha, Sujay; Cao, Min; Kane, Ryan M.; Savino, Anthony M.; Zou, Sige; Dong, Yuqing

    2012-01-01

    Nutraceuticals are known to have numerous health and disease preventing properties. Recent studies suggest that extracts containing cranberry may have anti-aging benefits. However, little is known about whether and how cranberry by itself promotes longevity and healthspan in any organism. Here we examined the effect of a cranberry only extract on lifespan and healthspan in Caenorhabditis elegans. Supplementation of the diet with cranberry extract (CBE) increased the lifespan in C. elegans in ...

  1. Fourier-Based Diffraction Analysis of Live Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magnes, Jenny; Hastings, Harold M; Raley-Susman, Kathleen M; Alivisatos, Clara; Warner, Adam; Hulsey-Vincent, Miranda

    2017-09-13

    This manuscript describes how to classify nematodes using temporal far-field diffraction signatures. A single C. elegans is suspended in a water column inside an optical cuvette. A 632 nm continuous wave HeNe laser is directed through the cuvette using front surface mirrors. A significant distance of at least 20-30 cm traveled after the light passes through the cuvette ensures a useful far-field (Fraunhofer) diffraction pattern. The diffraction pattern changes in real time as the nematode swims within the laser beam. The photodiode is placed off-center in the diffraction pattern. The voltage signal from the photodiode is observed in real time and recorded using a digital oscilloscope. This process is repeated for 139 wild type and 108 "roller" C. elegans. Wild type worms exhibit a rapid oscillation pattern in solution. The "roller" worms have a mutation in a key component of the cuticle that interferes with smooth locomotion. Time intervals that are not free of saturation and inactivity are discarded. It is practical to divide each average by its maximum to compare relative intensities. The signal for each worm is Fourier transformed so that the frequency pattern for each worm emerges. The signal for each type of worm is averaged. The averaged Fourier spectra for the wild type and the "roller" C. elegans are distinctly different and reveal that the dynamic worm shapes of the two different worm strains can be distinguished using Fourier analysis. The Fourier spectra of each worm strain match an approximate model using two different binary worm shapes that correspond to locomotory moments. The envelope of the averaged frequency distribution for actual and modeled worms confirms the model matches the data. This method can serve as a baseline for Fourier analysis for many microscopic species, as every microorganism will have its unique Fourier spectrum.

  2. Immune defense mechanisms in the Caenorhabditis elegans intestinal epithelium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pukkila-Worley, Read; Ausubel, Frederick M

    2012-02-01

    Intestinal epithelial cells provide an essential line of defense for Caernohabditis 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 studies of pathogenesis that use this simple model system, we hope to illustrate some of the basic principles of epithelial immunity that may also be of relevance in higher order hosts. Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  3. Mitochondrial oxidative stress alters a pathway in Caenorhabditis elegans strongly resembling that of bile acid biosynthesis and secretion in vertebrates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ju-Ling Liu

    Full Text Available Mammalian bile acids (BAs are oxidized metabolites of cholesterol whose amphiphilic properties serve in lipid and cholesterol uptake. BAs also act as hormone-like substances that regulate metabolism. The Caenorhabditis elegans clk-1 mutants sustain elevated mitochondrial oxidative stress and display a slow defecation phenotype that is sensitive to the level of dietary cholesterol. We found that: 1 The defecation phenotype of clk-1 mutants is suppressed by mutations in tat-2 identified in a previous unbiased screen for suppressors of clk-1. TAT-2 is homologous to ATP8B1, a flippase required for normal BA secretion in mammals. 2 The phenotype is suppressed by cholestyramine, a resin that binds BAs. 3 The phenotype is suppressed by the knock-down of C. elegans homologues of BA-biosynthetic enzymes. 4 The phenotype is enhanced by treatment with BAs. 5 Lipid extracts from C. elegans contain an activity that mimics the effect of BAs on clk-1, and the activity is more abundant in clk-1 extracts. 6 clk-1 and clk-1;tat-2 double mutants show altered cholesterol content. 7 The clk-1 phenotype is enhanced by high dietary cholesterol and this requires TAT-2. 8 Suppression of clk-1 by tat-2 is rescued by BAs, and this requires dietary cholesterol. 9 The clk-1 phenotype, including the level of activity in lipid extracts, is suppressed by antioxidants and enhanced by depletion of mitochondrial superoxide dismutases. These observations suggest that C. elegans synthesizes and secretes molecules with properties and functions resembling those of BAs. These molecules act in cholesterol uptake, and their level of synthesis is up-regulated by mitochondrial oxidative stress. Future investigations should reveal whether these molecules are in fact BAs, which would suggest the unexplored possibility that the elevated oxidative stress that characterizes the metabolic syndrome might participate in disease processes by affecting the regulation of metabolism by BAs.

  4. Anti-inflammatory Lactobacillus rhamnosus CNCM I-3690 strain protects against oxidative stress and increases lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gianfranco Grompone

    Full Text Available Numerous studies have shown that resistance to oxidative stress is crucial to stay healthy and to reduce the adverse effects of aging. Accordingly, nutritional interventions using antioxidant food-grade compounds or food products are currently an interesting option to help improve health and quality of life in the elderly. Live lactic acid bacteria (LAB administered in food, such as probiotics, may be good antioxidant candidates. Nevertheless, information about LAB-induced oxidative stress protection is scarce. To identify and characterize new potential antioxidant probiotic strains, we have developed a new functional screening method using the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as host. C. elegans were fed on different LAB strains (78 in total and nematode viability was assessed after oxidative stress (3 mM and 5 mM H(2O(2. One strain, identified as Lactobacillus rhamnosus CNCM I-3690, protected worms by increasing their viability by 30% and, also, increased average worm lifespan by 20%. Moreover, transcriptomic analysis of C. elegans fed with this strain showed that increased lifespan is correlated with differential expression of the DAF-16/insulin-like pathway, which is highly conserved in humans. This strain also had a clear anti-inflammatory profile when co-cultured with HT-29 cells, stimulated by pro-inflammatory cytokines, and co-culture systems with HT-29 cells and DC in the presence of LPS. Finally, this Lactobacillus strain reduced inflammation in a murine model of colitis. This work suggests that C. elegans is a fast, predictive and convenient screening tool to identify new potential antioxidant probiotic strains for subsequent use in humans.

  5. Genome-wide identification of Pseudomonas aeruginosa virulence-related genes using a Caenorhabditis elegans infection model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rhonda L Feinbaum

    Full Text Available Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain PA14 is an opportunistic human pathogen capable of infecting a wide range of organisms including the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We used a non-redundant transposon mutant library consisting of 5,850 clones corresponding to 75% of the total and approximately 80% of the non-essential PA14 ORFs to carry out a genome-wide screen for attenuation of PA14 virulence in C. elegans. We defined a functionally diverse 180 mutant set (representing 170 unique genes necessary for normal levels of virulence that included both known and novel virulence factors. Seven previously uncharacterized virulence genes (ABC transporters PchH and PchI, aminopeptidase PepP, ATPase/molecular chaperone ClpA, cold shock domain protein PA0456, putative enoyl-CoA hydratase/isomerase PA0745, and putative transcriptional regulator PA14_27700 were characterized with respect to pigment production and motility and all but one of these mutants exhibited pleiotropic defects in addition to their avirulent phenotype. We examined the collection of genes required for normal levels of PA14 virulence with respect to occurrence in P. aeruginosa strain-specific genomic regions, location on putative and known genomic islands, and phylogenetic distribution across prokaryotes. Genes predominantly contributing to virulence in C. elegans showed neither a bias for strain-specific regions of the P. aeruginosa genome nor for putatively horizontally transferred genomic islands. Instead, within the collection of virulence-related PA14 genes, there was an overrepresentation of genes with a broad phylogenetic distribution that also occur with high frequency in many prokaryotic clades, suggesting that in aggregate the genes required for PA14 virulence in C. elegans are biased towards evolutionarily conserved genes.

  6. Genome-wide identification of Pseudomonas aeruginosa virulence-related genes using a Caenorhabditis elegans infection model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feinbaum, Rhonda L; Urbach, Jonathan M; Liberati, Nicole T; Djonovic, Slavica; Adonizio, Allison; Carvunis, Anne-Ruxandra; Ausubel, Frederick M

    2012-01-01

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain PA14 is an opportunistic human pathogen capable of infecting a wide range of organisms including the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We used a non-redundant transposon mutant library consisting of 5,850 clones corresponding to 75% of the total and approximately 80% of the non-essential PA14 ORFs to carry out a genome-wide screen for attenuation of PA14 virulence in C. elegans. We defined a functionally diverse 180 mutant set (representing 170 unique genes) necessary for normal levels of virulence that included both known and novel virulence factors. Seven previously uncharacterized virulence genes (ABC transporters PchH and PchI, aminopeptidase PepP, ATPase/molecular chaperone ClpA, cold shock domain protein PA0456, putative enoyl-CoA hydratase/isomerase PA0745, and putative transcriptional regulator PA14_27700) were characterized with respect to pigment production and motility and all but one of these mutants exhibited pleiotropic defects in addition to their avirulent phenotype. We examined the collection of genes required for normal levels of PA14 virulence with respect to occurrence in P. aeruginosa strain-specific genomic regions, location on putative and known genomic islands, and phylogenetic distribution across prokaryotes. Genes predominantly contributing to virulence in C. elegans showed neither a bias for strain-specific regions of the P. aeruginosa genome nor for putatively horizontally transferred genomic islands. Instead, within the collection of virulence-related PA14 genes, there was an overrepresentation of genes with a broad phylogenetic distribution that also occur with high frequency in many prokaryotic clades, suggesting that in aggregate the genes required for PA14 virulence in C. elegans are biased towards evolutionarily conserved genes.

  7. LIN-32/Atonal Controls Oxygen Sensing Neuron Development in Caenorhabditis elegans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Romanos, Teresa Rojo; Pladevall-Morera, David; Langebeck-Jensen, Kasper

    2017-01-01

    Development of complex nervous systems requires precisely controlled neurogenesis. The generation and specification of neurons occur through the transcriptional and post-Transcriptional control of complex regulatory networks. In vertebrates and invertebrates, the proneural basic-helix-loop-helix (b......HLH) family of transcription factors has multiple functions in neurogenesis. Here, we identified the LIN-32/Atonal bHLH transcription factor as a key regulator of URXL/R oxygen-sensing neuron development in Caenorhabditis elegans. When LIN-32/Atonal expression is lost, the expression of URX specification...

  8. Computer assisted assembly of connectomes from electron micrographs: application to Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meng Xu

    Full Text Available A rate-limiting step in determining a connectome, the set of all synaptic connections in a nervous system, is extraction of the relevant information from serial electron micrographs. Here we introduce a software application, Elegance, that speeds acquisition of the minimal dataset necessary, allowing the discovery of new connectomes. We have used Elegance to obtain new connectivity data in the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans. We analyze the accuracy that can be obtained, which is limited by unresolvable ambiguities at some locations in electron microscopic images. Elegance is useful for reconstructing connectivity in any region of neuropil of sufficiently small size.

  9. Caenorhabditis elegans mutants having altered preference of chemotaxis behavior during simultaneous presentation of two chemoattractants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Lin; Wakabayashi, Tokumitsu; Oikawa, Tomohiro; Sato, Tsutomu; Ogurusu, Tarou; Shingai, Ryuzo

    2006-11-01

    Upon presentation of two distinct chemoattractants such as sodium acetate and diacetyl simultaneously, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans was preferentially attracted by one of these chemoattractants. We isolated two mutants having altered preference of chemotaxis behavior toward simultaneous presentation of sodium acetate and diacetyl. The chep-1(qr1) (CHEmosensory Preference) mutant preferred sodium acetate to diacetyl, while the chep-2(qr2) mutant preferred diacetyl to sodium acetate in simultaneous presentation of these chemoattractants. The chemotaxis behavior of chep-2(qr2) mutant in simultaneous presentation suggests a function of chep-2 gene products within the chemosensory informational integration pathway as well as in the chemosensory pathway.

  10. A conserved p38 MAP kinase pathway in Caenorhabditis elegans innate immunity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Dennis H; Feinbaum, Rhonda; Alloing, Geneviève; Emerson, Fred E; Garsin, Danielle A; Inoue, Hideki; Tanaka-Hino, Miho; Hisamoto, Naoki; Matsumoto, Kunihiro; Tan, Man-Wah; Ausubel, Frederick M

    2002-07-26

    A genetic screen for Caenorhabditis elegans mutants with enhanced susceptibility to killing by Pseudomonas aeruginosa led to the identification of two genes required for pathogen resistance: sek-1, which encodes a mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase kinase, and nsy-1, which encodes a MAP kinase kinase kinase. RNA interference assays and biochemical analysis established that a p38 ortholog, pmk-1, functions as the downstream MAP kinase required for pathogen defense. These data suggest that this MAP kinase signaling cassette represents an ancient feature of innate immune responses in evolutionarily diverse species.

  11. Evidence for Parallel Processing of Sensory Information Controlling Dauer Formation in Caenorhabditis Elegans

    OpenAIRE

    Thomas, J. H.; Birnby, D. A.; Vowels, J. J.

    1993-01-01

    Dauer formation in Caenorhabditis elegans is induced by chemosensation of high levels of a constitutively secreted pheromone. Seven genes defined by mutations that confer a dauer-formation constitutive phenotype (Daf-c) can be congruently divided into two groups by any of three criteria. Group 1 genes (daf-11 and daf-21) are (1) strongly synergistic with group 2 genes for their Daf-c phenotype, (2) incompletely suppressed by dauer-formation defective (Daf-d) mutations in the genes daf-3 and d...

  12. Multi-Toxic Endpoints of the Foodborne Mycotoxins in Nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    OpenAIRE

    Yang, Zhendong; Xue, Kathy S.; Sun, Xiulan; Tang, Lili; Wang, Jia-Sheng

    2015-01-01

    Aflatoxins B1 (AFB1), deoxynivalenol (DON), fumonisin B1 (FB1), T-2 toxin (T-2), and zearalenone (ZEA) are the major foodborne mycotoxins of public health concerns. In the present study, the multiple toxic endpoints of these naturally-occurring mycotoxins were evaluated in Caenorhabditis elegans model for their lethality, toxic effects on growth and reproduction, as well as influence on lifespan. We found that the lethality endpoint was more sensitive for T-2 toxicity with the EC50 at 1.38 mg...

  13. Quantitative Assessment of Fat Levels in Caenorhabditis elegans Using Dark Field Microscopy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anthony D. Fouad

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans is widely used as a model for studying conserved pathways for fat storage, aging, and metabolism. The most broadly used methods for imaging fat in C. elegans require fixing and staining the animal. Here, we show that dark field images acquired through an ordinary light microscope can be used to estimate fat levels in worms. We define a metric based on the amount of light scattered per area, and show that this light scattering metric is strongly correlated with worm fat levels as measured by Oil Red O (ORO staining across a wide variety of genetic backgrounds and feeding conditions. Dark field imaging requires no exogenous agents or chemical fixation, making it compatible with live worm imaging. Using our method, we track fat storage with high temporal resolution in developing larvae, and show that fat storage in the intestine increases in at least one burst during development.

  14. Developmental wiring of specific neurons is regulated by RET-1/Nogo-A in Caenorhabditis elegans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Torpe, Nanna; Nørgaard, Steffen; Høye, Anette M.

    2017-01-01

    Nogo-A is a membrane-bound protein that functions to inhibit neuronal migration, adhesion, and neurite outgrowth during development. In the mature nervous system, Nogo-A stabilizes neuronal wiring to inhibit neuronal plasticity and regeneration after injury. Here, we show that RET-1, the sole Nog...... present a previously unidentified function for RET-1 in the nervous system of C. elegans.......-A homolog in Caenorhabditis elegans, is required to control developmental wiring of a specific subset of neurons. In ret-1 deletion mutant animals, specific ventral nerve cord axons are misguided where they fail to respect the ventral midline boundary. We found that ret-1 is expressed in multiple neurons...

  15. crm-1 facilitates BMP signaling to control body size in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fung, Wong Yan; Fat, Ko Frankie Chi; Eng, Cheah Kathryn Song; Lau, Chow King

    2007-11-01

    We have identified in Caenorhabditis elegans a homologue of the vertebrate Crim1, crm-1, which encodes a putative transmembrane protein with multiple cysteine-rich (CR) domains known to have bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) binding activity. Using the body morphology of C. elegans as an indicator, we showed that attenuation of crm-1 activity leads to a small body phenotype reminiscent of that of BMP pathway mutants. We showed that the crm-1 loss-of-function phenotype can be rescued by constitutive supply of sma-4 activity. crm-1 can enhance BMP signaling and this activity is dependent on the presence of the DBL-1 ligand and its receptors. crm-1 is expressed in neurons at the ventral nerve cord, where the DBL-1 ligand is produced. However, ectopic expression experiments reveal that crm-1 gene products act outside the DBL-1 producing cells and function non-autonomously to facilitate dbl/sma pathway signaling to control body size.

  16. Staphylococcus aureus virulence factors identified by using a high-throughput Caenorhabditis elegans-killing model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Begun, Jakob; Sifri, Costi D; Goldman, Samuel; Calderwood, Stephen B; Ausubel, Frederick M

    2005-02-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is an important human pathogen that is also able to kill the model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We constructed a 2,950-member Tn917 transposon insertion library in S. aureus strain NCTC 8325. Twenty-one of these insertions exhibited attenuated C. elegans killing, and of these, 12 contained insertions in different genes or chromosomal locations. Ten of these 12 insertions showed attenuated killing phenotypes when transduced into two different S. aureus strains, and 5 of the 10 mutants correspond to genes that have not been previously identified in signature-tagged mutagenesis studies. These latter five mutants were tested in a murine renal abscess model, and one mutant harboring an insertion in nagD exhibited attenuated virulence. Interestingly, Tn917 was shown to have a very strong bias for insertions near the terminus of DNA replication.

  17. The longevity effect of echinacoside in Caenorhabditis elegans mediated through daf-16.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xue; Zhang, Jiaolong; Lu, Lulu; Zhou, Lijun

    2015-01-01

    Echinacoside (ECH), a natural polyphenolic compound, has been reported to possess important pharmacological activities. However, very little is known about whether or how ECH affects longevity in vivo. We have examined the effects of ECH on the life span and stress tolerance in Caenorhabditis elegans. Our studies demonstrate that the life span of wild-type worms could be extended in the presence of ECH. Furthermore, ECH was found to increase tolerance of worms to heat shock and oxidative stress, while not exerting any influence on pharyngeal pumping rate and progeny production. Our mechanistic studies indicate that supplementation of ECH increases the transcript level of daf-16. ECH treatment also modulates the nuclear localization and transcriptional activities of daf-16, thus fine tunes the expression of daf-16 target genes to promote longevity and increases stress response in C. elegans. Overall, this work reveals the longevity effect of ECH and elucidates the underpinning mechanisms.

  18. Sexual Dimorphism and Sex Differences inCaenorhabditis elegansNeuronal Development and Behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barr, Maureen M; García, L Rene; Portman, Douglas S

    2018-03-01

    As fundamental features of nearly all animal species, sexual dimorphisms and sex differences have particular relevance for the development and function of the nervous system. The unique advantages of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans have allowed the neurobiology of sex to be studied at unprecedented scale, linking ultrastructure, molecular genetics, cell biology, development, neural circuit function, and behavior. Sex differences in the C . elegans nervous system encompass prominent anatomical dimorphisms as well as differences in physiology and connectivity. The influence of sex on behavior is just as diverse, with biological sex programming innate sex-specific behaviors and modifying many other aspects of neural circuit function. The study of these differences has provided important insights into mechanisms of neurogenesis, cell fate specification, and differentiation; synaptogenesis and connectivity; principles of circuit function, plasticity, and behavior; social communication; and many other areas of modern neurobiology. Copyright © 2018 by the Genetics Society of America.

  19. NAD+ Is a Food Component That Promotes Exit from Dauer Diapause in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mykola Mylenko

    Full Text Available The free-living soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans adapts its development to the availability of food. When food is scarce and population density is high, worms enter a developmentally arrested non-feeding diapause stage specialized for long-term survival called the dauer larva. When food becomes available, they exit from the dauer stage, resume growth and reproduction. It has been postulated that compound(s present in food, referred to as the "food signal", promote exit from the dauer stage. In this study, we have identified NAD+ as a component of bacterial extract that promotes dauer exit. NAD+, when dissolved in alkaline medium, causes opening of the mouth and ingestion of food. We also show that to initiate exit from the dauer stage in response to NAD+ worms require production of serotonin. Thus, C. elegans can use redox cofactors produced by dietary organisms to sense food.

  20. Pollution by metals and toxicity assessment using Caenorhabditis elegans in sediments from the Magdalena River, Colombia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tejeda-Benitez, Lesly; Flegal, Russell; Odigie, Kingsley; Olivero-Verbel, Jesus

    2016-01-01

    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. - Highlights: • The Magdalena River has high levels of some metals such as Cd, Cu, and Ni. • Most sediment extracts affected lethality, growth, and locomotion of C. elegans. • Sediment extracts induced expression changes in mtl-2, sod-4, and gst-1. • Sediment toxicity was primarily associated with Cd and Pb. • Highest toxicity was observed for samples collected in mining and industrial areas. - In Magdalena River sediments, Cd and Pb were associated with toxicity in Caenorhabditis elegans and expression of stress response genes were related to

  1. Heat-killed Lactobacillus spp. cells enhance survivals of Caenorhabditis elegans against Salmonella and Yersinia infections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, J; Choe, J; Kim, J; Oh, S; Park, S; Kim, S; Kim, Y

    2015-12-01

    This study examined the effect of feeding heat-killed Lactobacillus cells on the survival of Caenorhabditis elegans nematodes after Salmonella Typhimurium and Yersinia enterocolitica infection. The feeding of heat-killed Lactobacillus plantarum 133 (LP133) and Lactobacillus fermentum 21 (LP21) cells to nematodes was shown to significantly increase the survival rate as well as stimulate the expression of pmk-1 gene that key factor for C. elegans immunity upon infection compared with control nematodes that were only fed Escherichia coli OP50 (OP50) cells. These results suggest that heat-killed LP133 and LF21 cells exert preventive or protective effects against the Gram-negative bacteria Salm. Typhimurium and Y. enterocolitica. To better understand the mechanisms underlying the LF21-mediated and LP133-mediated protection against bacterial infection in nematodes, transcriptional profiling was performed for each experimental group. These experiments showed that genes related to energy generation and ageing, regulators of insulin/IGF-1-like signalling, DAF genes, oxidation and reduction processes, the defence response and/or the innate immune response, and neurological processes were upregulated in nematodes that had been fed heat-killed Lactobacillus cells compared with nematodes that had been fed E. coli cells. In this study, the feeding of heat-killed Lactobacillus bacteria to Caenorhabditis elegans nematodes was shown to decrease infection by Gram-negative bacteria and increase the host lifespan. C. elegans has a small, well-organized genome and is an excellent in vivo model organism; thus, these results will potentially shed light on important Lactobacillus-host interactions. © 2015 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

  2. In Vivo Detection of Reactive Oxygen Species and Redox Status in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smolders, Arne; Back, Patricia; De Henau, Sasha

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Significance: Due to its large families of redox-active enzymes, genetic amenability, and complete transparency, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has the potential to become an important model for the in vivo study of redox biology. Recent Advances: The recent development of several genetically encoded ratiometric reactive oxygen species (ROS) and redox sensors has revolutionized the quantification and precise localization of ROS and redox signals in living organisms. Only few exploratory studies have applied these sensors in C. elegans and undoubtedly much remains to be discovered in this model. As a follow-up to our recent findings that the C. elegans somatic gonad uses superoxide and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) signals to communicate with the germline, we here analyze the patterns of H2O2 inside the C. elegans germline. Critical Issues: Despite the advantages of genetically encoded ROS and redox sensors over classic chemical sensors, still several general as well as C. elegans-specific issues need to be addressed. The major concerns for the application of these sensors in C. elegans are (i) decreased vitality of some reporter strains, (ii) interference of autofluorescent compartments with the sensor signal, and (iii) the use of immobilization methods that do not influence the worm's redox physiology. Future Directions: We propose that several of the current issues may be solved by designing reporter strains carrying single copies of codon-optimized sensors. Preferably, these sensors should have their emission wavelengths in the red region, where autofluorescence is absent. Worm analysis could be optimized using four-dimensional ratiometric fluorescence microscopy of worms immobilized in microfluidic chips. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 25, 577–592. PMID:27306519

  3. Effects of sequential infections of Caenorhabditis elegans with Staphylococcus aureus and Proteus mirabilis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    JebaMercy, Gnanasekaran; Balamurugan, Krishnaswamy

    2012-12-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans can be used to study the dynamics of polymicrobial infections, specifically those between Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. With C. elegans, Proteus mirabilis acts as an opportunistic pathogen and does not kill this host. Hence, in the present study, C. elegans was immunochallenged by pre-infecting it with the pathogen Staphylococcus aureus in order to study the subsequent effect of P. mirabilis on the host. It was found that 12 hrs of S. aureus and 80 hrs of subsequent P. mirabilis infection significantly reduced the life span of exposed C. elegans by 80%. However, preinfection with S. aureus for 8 and 4 hrs reduced the life span of C. elegans by only 60 and 30%, respectively. Further, there was greater production of reactive oxygen species in the sequentially infected samples than in the S. aureus and P. mirabilis controls. Real time PCR analysis indicated regulation of candidate immune regulatory genes, lysozyme (lys-7), CUB-like proteins (F08G5.6), neuropeptide-like factors (nlp-29), transcription factors of mitogen-activated protein kinase (ATF-7) and daf-2-daf-16 (daf-16), insulin-like signaling pathways and C-type lectin (clec-60 and clec-87) family members during S. aureus and subsequent P. mirabilis-mediated infections, indicating possible roles of, and contributions by, the above factors during host immune responses against these sequential infections. The present findings demonstrate that S. aureus infections increase the vulnerability of the C. elegans host by subverting its immune system, which then permits the opportunistic pathogen P. mirabilis to be pathogenic to this host. © 2012 The Societies and Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

  4. Angiostrongylus cantonensis daf-2 regulates dauer, longevity and stress in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Baolong; Sun, Weiwei; Shi, Xiaomeng; Huang, Liyang; Chen, Lingzi; Wang, Suhua; Yan, Lanzhu; Liang, Shaohui; Huang, Huicong

    2017-06-15

    The insulin-like signaling (IIS) pathway is considered to be significant in regulating fat metabolism, dauer formation, stress response and longevity in Caenorhabditis elegans. "Dauer hypothesis" indicates that similar IIS transduction mechanism regulates dauer development in free-living nematode C. elegans and the development of infective third-stage larvae (iL3) in parasitic nematodes, and this is bolstered by a few researches on structures and functions of the homologous genes in the IIS pathway cloned from several parasitic nematodes. In this study, we identified the insulin-like receptor encoding gene, Acan-daf-2, from the parasitic nematode Angiostrongylus cantonensis, and determined the genomic structures, transcripts and functions far more thorough in longevity, stress resistance and dauer formation. The sequence of Acan-DAF-2, consisting of 1413 amino acids, contained all of the characteristic domains of insulin-like receptors from other taxa. The expression patterns of Acan-daf-2 in the C. elegans surrogate system showed that pAcan-daf-2:gfp was only expressed in intestine, compared with the orthologue in C. elegans, Ce-daf-2 in both intestine and neurons. In addition to the similar genomic organization to Ce-daf-2, Acan-DAF-2 could also negatively regulate Ce-DAF-16A through nuclear/cytosolic translocation and partially restore the C. elegans daf-2(e1370) mutation in longevity, dauer formation and stress resistance. These findings provided further evidence of the functional conservation of DAF-2 between parasitic nematodes and the free-living nematode C. elegans, and might be significant in understanding the developmental biology of nematode parasites, particularly in the infective process and the host-specificity. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  5. Targeted genome editing in Caenorhabditis elegans using CRISPR/Cas9.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farboud, Behnom

    2017-11-01

    Utilization of programmable nucleases to generate DNA lesions at precise endogenous sequences has transformed the ability to edit genomes from microbes to plants and animals. This is especially true in organisms that previously lacked the means to engineer precise genomic changes, like Caenorhabditis elegans. C. elegans is a 1 mm long free-living, nonparasitic, nematode worm, which is easily cultivated in a laboratory. Its detailed genetic map and relatively compact genome (~100 megabases) helped make it the first metazoan to have its entire genome sequenced. With detailed sequence information came development of numerous molecular tools to dissect gene function. Initially absent from this toolbox, however, were methods to make precise edits at chosen endogenous loci. Adapting site-specific nucleases for use in C. elegans, revolutionized studies of C. elegans biology. Zinc-finger nucleases (ZFNs), transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs), and then CRISPR-associated protein 9 (Cas9) were used to target specific endogenous DNA sequences to make double-strand DNA breaks (DSBs). Precise changes could be engineered by providing repair templates targeting the DSB in trans. The ease of programming Cas9 to bind and cleave DNA sequences with few limitations has led to its widespread use in C. elegans research and sped the development of strategies to facilitate mutant recovery. Numerous innovative CRISPR/Cas9 methodologies are now primed for use in C. elegans. WIREs Dev Biol 2017, 6:e287. doi: 10.1002/wdev.287 For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Humidity sensation requires both mechanosensory and thermosensory pathways in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russell, Joshua; Vidal-Gadea, Andrés G; Makay, Alex; Lanam, Carolyn; Pierce-Shimomura, Jonathan T

    2014-06-03

    All terrestrial animals must find a proper level of moisture to ensure their health and survival. The cellular-molecular basis for sensing humidity is unknown in most animals, however. We used the model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to uncover a mechanism for sensing humidity. We found that whereas C. elegans showed no obvious preference for humidity levels under standard culture conditions, worms displayed a strong preference after pairing starvation with different humidity levels, orienting to gradients as shallow as 0.03% relative humidity per millimeter. Cell-specific ablation and rescue experiments demonstrate that orientation to humidity in C. elegans requires the obligatory combination of distinct mechanosensitive and thermosensitive pathways. The mechanosensitive pathway requires a conserved DEG/ENaC/ASIC mechanoreceptor complex in the FLP neuron pair. Because humidity levels influence the hydration of the worm's cuticle, our results suggest that FLP may convey humidity information by reporting the degree that subcuticular dendritic sensory branches of FLP neurons are stretched by hydration. The thermosensitive pathway requires cGMP-gated channels in the AFD neuron pair. Because humidity levels affect evaporative cooling, AFD may convey humidity information by reporting thermal flux. Thus, humidity sensation arises as a metamodality in C. elegans that requires the integration of parallel mechanosensory and thermosensory pathways. This hygrosensation strategy, first proposed by Thunberg more than 100 y ago, may be conserved because the underlying pathways have cellular and molecular equivalents across a wide range of species, including insects and humans.

  7. Modulation of Caenorhabditis elegans immune response and modification of Shigella endotoxin upon interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kesika, Periyanaina; Prasanth, Mani Iyer; Balamurugan, Krishnaswamy

    2015-04-01

    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. © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  8. Changes in Caenorhabditis elegans life span and selective innate immune genes during Staphylococcus aureus infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    JebaMercy, Gnanasekaran; Pandian, Shunmugiah Karutha; Balamurugan, Krishnaswamy

    2011-09-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans has been increasingly used to study the innate immunity and for the screening of microbe/host-specific pathogenic factors. Staphylococcus aureus-mediated infections with live C. elegans were performed on solid (full-lawn) and liquid assays. S. aureus required 90 ± 10 h for the complete killing of C. elegans, but the infection was started only after 32 h of exposure with 20% inoculum of S. aureus. The short time exposure studies revealed that, in 20% of inoculum, continuous exposure to the pathogen was required for the killing of nematode. In 100% of inoculum, only 8 h of exposure was sufficient to kill the C. elegans. To evaluate kinetically at the innate immune level, the regulation of representative candidate antimicrobial genes was investigated. Both semi-quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and real-time PCR analyses indicated the regulation of candidate immune regulatory genes of lysozyme (lys-7), cysteine protease (cpr-2), and C-type lectin (clec-60 and clec-87) family members during the course of S. aureus infections, indicating the possible contribution of the above players during the host immune response against S. aureus exposures.

  9. IMPACT OF FOOD AND FOLATE SUPPLEMENTATION DURING Salmonella TYPHI INFECTION IN Caenorhabditis elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bhagavathi Sundaram Sivamaruthi

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Caenorhabditis elegans is an instructive and suitable model for studying pathogenesis of almost all human pathogens. Salmonella Typhi is gram-negative facultative intracellular anaerobe that causes several pathetic infections. Necessary enriched nutrient ingestion during pathological conditions may reduce the harshness of the infection. We investigated the impact of folate and food supplementation during S. Typhi infection on the model system, C. elegans. Our data indicated that folate supplementation (10 µg increases the lifespan of S. Typhi infected C. elegans up to 20%. In combination with laboratory food source E. coli OP50, folate increases the infected the worm’s lifespan to 40%. The wild type C. elegans infected by S. Typhi died with the LT50 of 60 ± 12 h. The LT50 of S. Typhi infected folt-1 mutant strain VC959 was 96 ± 6 h. However, the folate supplemented mutant worms exhibited an extended life with LT50 of 120 ± 6 h. The short time exposure and pharyngeal pumping studies confirmed that folt-1 mutant worm exhibited increased survival rate during pathogenic course at significant level when compared to wild-type. Our data revealed that folt-1 plays a significant role in host defense system against S. Typhi infection and the folate supplementation in combination with food increases the host survival during S. Typhi infection.

  10. Description of International Caenorhabditis elegans Experiment first flight (ICE-FIRST)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szewczyk, N. J.; Tillman, J.; Conley, C. A.; Granger, L.; Segalat, L.; Higashitani, A.; Honda, S.; Honda, Y.; Kagawa, H.; Adachi, R.; Higashibata, A.; Fujimoto, N.; Kuriyama, K.; Ishioka, N.; Fukui, K.; Baillie, D.; Rose, A.; Gasset, G.; Eche, B.; Chaput, D.; Viso, M.

    2008-09-01

    Traveling, living and working in space is now a reality. The number of people and length of time in space is increasing. With new horizons for exploration it becomes more important to fully understand and provide countermeasures to the effects of the space environment on the human body. In addition, space provides a unique laboratory to study how life and physiologic functions adapt from the cellular level to that of the entire organism. Caenorhabditis elegans is a genetic model organism used to study physiology on Earth. Here we provide a description of the rationale, design, methods, and space culture validation of the ICE-FIRST payload, which engaged C. elegans researchers from four nations. Here we also show C. elegans growth and development proceeds essentially normally in a chemically defined liquid medium on board the International Space Station (10.9 day round trip). By setting flight constraints first and bringing together established C. elegans researchers second, we were able to use minimal stowage space to successfully return a total of 53 independent samples, each containing more than a hundred individual animals, to investigators within one year of experiment concept. We believe that in the future, bringing together individuals with knowledge of flight experiment operations, flight hardware, space biology, and genetic model organisms should yield similarly successful payloads.

  11. Enhanced protection of pathogenic Escherichia coli ingested by a soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans against sanitizer treatments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Mi Ri; Oh, Sangnam; Yun, Hyun Sun; Kim, Soon Han; Ko, Young Ho; Ryu, Jee-Hoon; Rhee, Min Suk; Shin, Ok Sarah; Kim, Younghoon

    2014-01-01

    We employed Caenorhabditis elegans as a model to study the effectiveness of sanitizers in killing pathogenic Escherichia coli strains ingested by free-living nematodes. Adult worms that had fed on six pathogenic E. coli strains (highly persistent in the nematode intestine) were treated with three chemical solutions. In planktonic cells, none of the H2O2 and acetic acid treatments influenced the survival of the pathogenic E. coli strains, whereas sodium hypochlorite critically decreased the viability of the strains. Importantly, the survival of the E. coli strains was dramatically increased by persistence in the C. elegans gut under 0.1% sodium hypochlorite, and several strains could survive at a concentration of 0.5%. In addition, all pathogenic E. coli strains in the C. elegans gut survived on the lettuce for 5 days even though they were washed with 0.1% sodium hypochlorite. Taken together, our results indicate that pathogenic E. coli ingested by C. elegans may be protected against washing treatment with commercial sanitizers on raw food materials.

  12. Antimicrobial effectors in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans: an outgroup to the Arthropoda.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dierking, Katja; Yang, Wentao; Schulenburg, Hinrich

    2016-05-26

    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'. © 2016 The Author(s).

  13. Essential oil alloaromadendrene from mixed-type Cinnamomum osmophloeum leaves prolongs the lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Chan-Wei; Li, Wen-Hsuan; Hsu, Fu-Lan; Yen, Pei-Ling; Chang, Shang-Tzen; Liao, Vivian Hsiu-Chuan

    2014-07-02

    Cinnamomum osmophloeum Kaneh. is an indigenous tree species in Taiwan. The present study investigates phytochemical characteristics, antioxidant activities, and longevity of the essential oils from the leaves of the mixed-type C. osmophloeum tree. We demonstrate that the essential oils from leaves of mixed-type C. osmophloeum exerted in vivo antioxidant activities on Caenorhabditis elegans. In addition, minor (alloaromadendrene, 5.0%) but not major chemical components from the leaves of mixed-type C. osmophloeum have a key role against juglone-induced oxidative stress in C. elegans. Additionally, alloaromadendrene not only acts protective against oxidative stress but also prolongs the lifespan of C. elegans. Moreover, mechanistic studies show that DAF-16 is required for alloaromadendrene-mediated oxidative stress resistance and longevity in C. elegans. The results in the present study indicate that the leaves of mixed-type C. osmophloeum and essential oil alloaromadendrene have the potential for use as a source for antioxidants or treatments to delay aging.

  14. Transmission electron microscope studies of the nuclear envelope in Caenorhabditis elegans embryos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Merav; Tzur, Yonatan B; Neufeld, Esther; Feinstein, Naomi; Delannoy, Michael R; Wilson, Katherine L; Gruenbaum, Yosef

    2002-01-01

    Nuclear membranes and nuclear pore complexes (NPCs) are conserved in both animals and plants. However, the lamina composition and the dimensions of NPCs vary between plants, yeast, and vertebrates. In this study, we established a protocol that preserves the structure of Caenorhabditis elegans embryonic cells for high-resolution studies with thin-section transmission electron microscopy (TEM). We show that the NPCs are bigger in C. elegans embryos than in yeast, with dimensions similar to those in higher eukaryotes. We also localized the C. elegans nuclear envelope proteins Ce-lamin and Ce-emerin by pre-embedding gold labeling immunoelectron microscopy. Both proteins are present at or near the inner nuclear membrane. A fraction of Ce-lamin, but not Ce-emerin, is present in the nuclear interior. Removing the nuclear membranes leaves both Ce-lamin and Ce-emerin associated with the chromatin. Eliminating the single lamin protein caused cell death as visualized by characteristic changes in nuclear architecture including condensation of chromatin, clustering of NPCs, membrane blebbing, and the presence of vesicles inside the nucleus. Taken together, these results show evolutionarily conserved protein localization, interactions, and functions of the C. elegans nuclear envelope.

  15. Specific alpha- and beta-tubulin isotypes optimize the functions of sensory Cilia in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hurd, Daryl D; Miller, Renee M; Núñez, Lizbeth; Portman, Douglas S

    2010-07-01

    Primary cilia have essential roles in transducing signals in eukaryotes. At their core is the ciliary axoneme, a microtubule-based structure that defines cilium morphology and provides a substrate for intraflagellar transport. However, the extent to which axonemal microtubules are specialized for sensory cilium function is unknown. In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, primary cilia are present at the dendritic ends of most sensory neurons, where they provide a specialized environment for the transduction of particular stimuli. Here, we find that three tubulin isotypes--the alpha-tubulins TBA-6 and TBA-9 and the beta-tubulin TBB-4--are specifically expressed in overlapping sets of C. elegans sensory neurons and localize to the sensory cilia of these cells. Although cilia still form in mutants lacking tba-6, tba-9, and tbb-4, ciliary function is often compromised: these mutants exhibit a variety of sensory deficits as well as the mislocalization of signaling components. In at least one case, that of the CEM cephalic sensory neurons, cilium architecture is disrupted in mutants lacking specific ciliary tubulins. While there is likely to be some functional redundancy among C. elegans tubulin genes, our results indicate that specific tubulins optimize the functional properties of C. elegans sensory cilia.

  16. An Evolutionarily Conserved Pathway Essential for Orsay Virus Infection of Caenorhabditis elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hongbing Jiang

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Many fundamental biological discoveries have been made in Caenorhabditis elegans. The discovery of Orsay virus has enabled studies of host-virus interactions in this model organism. To identify host factors critical for Orsay virus infection, we designed a forward genetic screen that utilizes a virally induced green fluorescent protein (GFP reporter. Following chemical mutagenesis, two Viro (virus induced reporter off mutants that failed to express GFP were mapped to sid-3, a nonreceptor tyrosine kinase, and B0280.13 (renamed viro-2, an ortholog of human Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASP. Both mutants yielded Orsay virus RNA levels comparable to that of the residual input virus, suggesting that they are not permissive for Orsay virus replication. In addition, we demonstrated that both genes affect an early prereplication stage of Orsay virus infection. Furthermore, it is known that the human ortholog of SID-3, activated CDC42-associated kinase (ACK1/TNK2, is capable of phosphorylating human WASP, suggesting that VIRO-2 may be a substrate for SID-3 in C. elegans. A targeted RNA interference (RNAi knockdown screen further identified the C. elegans gene nck-1, which has a human ortholog that interacts with TNK2 and WASP, as required for Orsay virus infection. Thus, genetic screening in C. elegans identified critical roles in virus infection for evolutionarily conserved genes in a known human pathway.

  17. Physiological response of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans exposed to binary mixture of uranium and cadmium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Margerit, A.; Gilbin, R. [French Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety - IRSN (France); Gomez, E. [Universite Montpellier 1 (France)

    2014-07-01

    Both uranium (U) and cadmium (Cd) are natural ubiquitous substances whose occurrence may be magnified in the vicinity of some Nuclear Fuel Cycle Facility (NFCF) (e.g. uranium mining area) or intensive farming areas. Natural U is a mainly chemo-toxic radioelement, with a slight radio-toxic activity, while Cd is a fully chemo-toxic trace metal. Due to their possible co-occurrence, the study of their combined effects on ecosystems may be of interest in a risk assessment perspective. MixTox tool is a simple descriptive model commonly used to study the effects of chemical mixtures. It relies on dose response, concentration addition and response addition concepts to describe combined toxicant effects and identify possible Synergistic/Antagonistic - Constant/Dose-level/Dose ratio dependent - interactions. In the present study, toxicity of binary mixture of U and Cd was assessed on physiological parameters, maximal length and brood size, in the soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. A 49 condition fractional factorial design was used with U and Cd concentrations ranging from 0.95 to 1.3 mM and 0.006 to 0.04 mM, respectively. Dose response curves obtained for U and Cd on maximal length and brood size were consistent with published data. Using MixTox tool, the best description of these endpoints was met with the response addition concept and the dose-ratio dependent interaction model. A significant antagonism was identified when Cd toxicity is preponderant in the mixture and was confirmed with experimental observations. On the other hand, no significant interaction could be identified when U toxicity was preponderant in the mixture. Interaction between the two chemicals may occur during the exposure, the toxicokinetics and/or during the toxico-dynamic phases. Based on the results of this study, a probable hypothesis would be that U, whose toxicity is in the mM range, reduces bioaccumulation of Cd, whose toxicity is in the range of 10 μM. A bioaccumulation assay of U and Cd

  18. Role of pleiotropy in the evolution of a cryptic developmental variation in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabien Duveau

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Robust biological systems are expected to accumulate cryptic genetic variation that does not affect the system output in standard conditions yet may play an evolutionary role once phenotypically expressed under a strong perturbation. Genetic variation that is cryptic relative to a robust trait may accumulate neutrally as it does not change the phenotype, yet it could also evolve under selection if it affects traits related to fitness in addition to its cryptic effect. Cryptic variation affecting the vulval intercellular signaling network was previously uncovered among wild isolates of Caenorhabditis elegans. Using a quantitative genetic approach, we identify a non-synonymous polymorphism of the previously uncharacterized nath-10 gene that affects the vulval phenotype when the system is sensitized with different mutations, but not in wild-type strains. nath-10 is an essential protein acetyltransferase gene and the homolog of human NAT10. The nath-10 polymorphism also presents non-cryptic effects on life history traits. The nath-10 allele carried by the N2 reference strain leads to a subtle increase in the egg laying rate and in the total number of sperm, a trait affecting the trade-off between fertility and minimal generation time in hermaphrodite individuals. We show that this allele appeared during early laboratory culture of N2, which allowed us to test whether it may have evolved under selection in this novel environment. The derived allele indeed strongly outcompetes the ancestral allele in laboratory conditions. In conclusion, we identified the molecular nature of a cryptic genetic variation and characterized its evolutionary history. These results show that cryptic genetic variation does not necessarily accumulate neutrally at the whole-organism level, but may evolve through selection for pleiotropic effects that alter fitness. In addition, cultivation in the laboratory has led to adaptive evolution of the reference strain N2 to the

  19. Flow-Based Network Analysis of the Caenorhabditis elegans Connectome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bacik, Karol A; Schaub, Michael T; Beguerisse-Díaz, Mariano; Billeh, Yazan N; Barahona, Mauricio

    2016-08-01

    We exploit flow propagation on the directed neuronal network of the nematode C. elegans to reveal dynamically relevant features of its connectome. We find flow-based groupings of neurons at different levels of granularity, which we relate to functional and anatomical constituents of its nervous system. A systematic in silico evaluation of the full set of single and double neuron ablations is used to identify deletions that induce the most severe disruptions of the multi-resolution flow structure. Such ablations are linked to functionally relevant neurons, and suggest potential candidates for further in vivo investigation. In addition, we use the directional patterns of incoming and outgoing network flows at all scales to identify flow profiles for the neurons in the connectome, without pre-imposing a priori categories. The four flow roles identified are linked to signal propagation motivated by biological input-response scenarios.

  20. Crossover suppressors and balanced recessive lethals in Caenorhabditis elegans

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Herman, R.K.

    1978-01-01

    Two dominant suppressors of crossing over have been identified following x-ray treatment of the small nematode C. elegans. They suppress crossing over in linkage group II (LGII) about 100-fold and 50-fold and are both tightly linked to LGII markers. One, called C1, segregates independently of all other linkage groups and is homozygous fertile. The other is a translocation involving LGII and X. The translocation also suppresses crossing over along the right half of X and is homozygous lethal. C1 has been used as a balancer of LGII recessive lethal and sterile mutations induced by EMS. The frequencies of occurrence of lethals and steriles were approximately equal. Fourteen mutations were assigned to complementation groups and mapped. They tended to map in the same region where LGII visibles are clustered

  1. Changes of Protein Turnover in Aging Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dhondt, Ineke; Petyuk, Vladislav A; Bauer, Sophie; Brewer, Heather M; Smith, Richard D; Depuydt, Geert; Braeckman, Bart P

    2017-09-01

    Protein turnover rates severely decline in aging organisms, including C. elegans However, limited information is available on turnover dynamics at the individual protein level during aging. We followed changes in protein turnover at one-day resolution using a multiple-pulse 15 N-labeling and accurate mass spectrometry approach. Forty percent of the proteome shows gradual slowdown in turnover with age, whereas only few proteins show increased turnover. Decrease in protein turnover was consistent for only a minority of functionally related protein subsets, including tubulins and vitellogenins, whereas randomly diverging turnover patterns with age were the norm. Our data suggests increased heterogeneity of protein turnover of the translation machinery, whereas protein turnover of ubiquitin-proteasome and antioxidant systems are well-preserved over time. Hence, we presume that maintenance of quality control mechanisms is a protective strategy in aging worms, although the ultimate proteome collapse is inescapable. © 2017 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  2. Malate and fumarate extend lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clare B Edwards

    Full Text Available Malate, the tricarboxylic acid (TCA cycle metabolite, increased lifespan and thermotolerance in the nematode C. elegans. Malate can be synthesized from fumarate by the enzyme fumarase and further oxidized to oxaloacetate by malate dehydrogenase with the accompanying reduction of NAD. Addition of fumarate also extended lifespan, but succinate addition did not, although all three intermediates activated nuclear translocation of the cytoprotective DAF-16/FOXO transcription factor and protected from paraquat-induced oxidative stress. The glyoxylate shunt, an anabolic pathway linked to lifespan extension in C. elegans, reversibly converts isocitrate and acetyl-CoA to succinate, malate, and CoA. The increased longevity provided by malate addition did not occur in fumarase (fum-1, glyoxylate shunt (gei-7, succinate dehydrogenase flavoprotein (sdha-2, or soluble fumarate reductase F48E8.3 RNAi knockdown worms. Therefore, to increase lifespan, malate must be first converted to fumarate, then fumarate must be reduced to succinate by soluble fumarate reductase and the mitochondrial electron transport chain complex II. Reduction of fumarate to succinate is coupled with the oxidation of FADH2 to FAD. Lifespan extension induced by malate depended upon the longevity regulators DAF-16 and SIR-2.1. Malate supplementation did not extend the lifespan of long-lived eat-2 mutant worms, a model of dietary restriction. Malate and fumarate addition increased oxygen consumption, but decreased ATP levels and mitochondrial membrane potential suggesting a mild uncoupling of oxidative phosphorylation. Malate also increased NADPH, NAD, and the NAD/NADH ratio. Fumarate reduction, glyoxylate shunt activity, and mild mitochondrial uncoupling likely contribute to the lifespan extension induced by malate and fumarate by increasing the amount of oxidized NAD and FAD cofactors.

  3. Application of physiologically based modelling and transciptomics to probe the systems toxicology of aldicarb for Caenorhabditis elegans (maupas 1900).

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wren, J.F.; Kille, P.; Spurgeon, D.; Swain, S.; Sturzenbaum, S.R.; Jager, T.

    2011-01-01

    The toxicity of aldicarb on movement, life cycle, population growth rate and resource allocation, and the gene expression changes underpinning these effects, were investigated for Caenorhabditis elegans. A clear effect of aldicarb on nematode movement was found suggesting that this pesticide acts as

  4. Nano-silver induces dose-response effects on the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ellegaard-Jensen, Lea; Jensen, Keld Alstrup; Johansen, Anders

    2012-01-01

    Toxicity of nano-formulated silver to eukaryotes was assessed by exposing nematodes (Caenorhabditis elegans) to two types of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs): with average primary particle diameters of 1 nm (AgNP1) and 28 nm (AgNP28, PVP coated), respectively. Tests were performed with and without...

  5. A consistent muscle activation strategy underlies crawling and swimming in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butler, Victoria J.; Branicky, Robyn; Yemini, Eviatar; Liewald, Jana F.; Gottschalk, Alexander; Kerr, Rex A.; Chklovskii, Dmitri B.; Schafer, William R.

    2015-01-01

    Although undulatory swimming is observed in many organisms, the neuromuscular basis for undulatory movement patterns is not well understood. To better understand the basis for the generation of these movement patterns, we studied muscle activity in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Caenorhabditis elegans exhibits a range of locomotion patterns: in low viscosity fluids the undulation has a wavelength longer than the body and propagates rapidly, while in high viscosity fluids or on agar media the undulatory waves are shorter and slower. Theoretical treatment of observed behaviour has suggested a large change in force–posture relationships at different viscosities, but analysis of bend propagation suggests that short-range proprioceptive feedback is used to control and generate body bends. How muscles could be activated in a way consistent with both these results is unclear. We therefore combined automated worm tracking with calcium imaging to determine muscle activation strategy in a variety of external substrates. Remarkably, we observed that across locomotion patterns spanning a threefold change in wavelength, peak muscle activation occurs approximately 45° (1/8th of a cycle) ahead of peak midline curvature. Although the location of peak force is predicted to vary widely, the activation pattern is consistent with required force in a model incorporating putative length- and velocity-dependence of muscle strength. Furthermore, a linear combination of local curvature and velocity can match the pattern of activation. This suggests that proprioception can enable the worm to swim effectively while working within the limitations of muscle biomechanics and neural control. PMID:25551155

  6. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans survives subfreezing temperatures in an isochoric system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mikus, Hannah; Miller, Alexander [Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Nastase, Gabriel, E-mail: traznasa@gmail.com [Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Department of Building Services, Transilvania University of Brasov, Brasov, 500036 (Romania); Serban, Alexandru [Department of Building Services, Transilvania University of Brasov, Brasov, 500036 (Romania); Shapira, Michael [Department of Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Rubinsky, Boris, E-mail: rubinsky@berkeley.edu [Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States)

    2016-08-26

    This study is the first experimental evidence showing that a living multicellular organism, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, can survive subfreezing temperatures in an isochoric (constant volume) thermodynamic system, while immersed in a simple isotonic solution, without the addition of cryoprotectants. Some of the test conditions were more extreme than those found at the ice/water interface of the Antarctic subglacial Vostok lake. On earth, life takes place in an isobaric (constant pressure) environment. In isobaric systems, subfreezing temperature survival of organisms in nature and subfreezing temperature preservation of living material for biotechnology and medicine, is made possible by use of cryoprotective chemicals additives. Our theoretical thermodynamic studies suggested that in an isochoric system, living biological material could survive subfreezing temperatures, without any cryoprotective chemicals. By confirming the theoretical predictions, this paper suggests a new technology for subfreezing preservation of cells, organs and organisms of possible value for biotechnology and medicine as well as new possible mechanisms of living organism survival in nature. - Highlights: • Preservation of biological materials at, subfreezing temperatures, in an isochoric system, is demonstrated. • Experiments were performed with Caenorhabditis elegans to pressures of 65 MPa and temperatures of −6 °C. • Isochoric subfreezing temperature is a new preservation method that does not require the use of cryoprotectants.

  7. A mitochondrial superoxide signal triggers increased longevity in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Wen Yang

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available The nuo-6 and isp-1 genes of C. elegans encode, respectively, subunits of complex I and III of the mitochondrial respiratory chain. Partial loss-of-function mutations in these genes decrease electron transport and greatly increase the longevity of C. elegans by a mechanism that is distinct from that induced by reducing their level of expression by RNAi. Electron transport is a major source of the superoxide anion (O(⋅ (-, which in turn generates several types of toxic reactive oxygen species (ROS, and aging is accompanied by increased oxidative stress, which is an imbalance between the generation and detoxification of ROS. These observations have suggested that the longevity of such mitochondrial mutants might result from a reduction in ROS generation, which would be consistent with the mitochondrial oxidative stress theory of aging. It is difficult to measure ROS directly in living animals, and this has held back progress in determining their function in aging. Here we have adapted a technique of flow cytometry to directly measure ROS levels in isolated mitochondria to show that the generation of superoxide is elevated in the nuo-6 and isp-1 mitochondrial mutants, although overall ROS levels are not, and oxidative stress is low. Furthermore, we show that this elevation is necessary and sufficient to increase longevity, as it is abolished by the antioxidants NAC and vitamin C, and phenocopied by mild treatment with the prooxidant paraquat. Furthermore, the absence of effect of NAC and the additivity of the effect of paraquat on a variety of long- and short-lived mutants suggest that the pathway triggered by mitochondrial superoxide is distinct from previously studied mechanisms, including insulin signaling, dietary restriction, ubiquinone deficiency, the hypoxic response, and hormesis. These findings are not consistent with the mitochondrial oxidative stress theory of aging. Instead they show that increased superoxide generation acts as a

  8. The alkaloid compound harmane increases the lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans during bacterial infection, by modulating the nematode's innate immune response

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jakobsen, Henrik; Bojer, Martin Saxtorph; Marinus, Martin G.

    2013-01-01

    pathway; however, intriguingly the lifespan extension resulting from Harmane was higher in p38 MAPK-deficient nematodes. This indicates that Harmane has a complex effect on the innate immune system of C. elegans. Harmane could therefore be a useful tool in the further research into C. elegans immunity....... Since the innate immunity of C. elegans has a high degree of evolutionary conservation, drugs such as Harmane could also be possible alternatives to classic antibiotics. The C. elegans model could prove to be useful for selection and development of such drugs.......The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has in recent years been proven to be a powerful in vivo model for testing antimicrobial compounds. We report here that the alkaloid compound Harmane (2-methyl-β-carboline) increases the lifespan of nematodes infected with a human pathogen, the Shiga toxin...

  9. Caenorhabditis elegans as a Model to Study the Molecular and Genetic Mechanisms of Drug Addiction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engleman, Eric A; Katner, Simon N; Neal-Beliveau, Bethany S

    2016-01-01

    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

  10. TRY-5 is a sperm-activating protease in Caenorhabditis elegans seminal fluid.

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    Joseph R Smith

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Seminal fluid proteins have been shown to play important roles in male reproductive success, but the mechanisms for this regulation remain largely unknown. In Caenorhabditis elegans, sperm differentiate from immature spermatids into mature, motile spermatozoa during a process termed sperm activation. For C. elegans males, sperm activation occurs during insemination of the hermaphrodite and is thought to be mediated by seminal fluid, but the molecular nature of this activity has not been previously identified. Here we show that TRY-5 is a seminal fluid protease that is required in C. elegans for male-mediated sperm activation. We observed that TRY-5::GFP is expressed in the male somatic gonad and is transferred along with sperm to hermaphrodites during mating. In the absence of TRY-5, male seminal fluid loses its potency to transactivate hermaphrodite sperm. However, TRY-5 is not required for either hermaphrodite or male fertility, suggesting that hermaphrodite sperm are normally activated by a distinct hermaphrodite-specific activator to which male sperm are also competent to respond. Within males, TRY-5::GFP localization within the seminal vesicle is antagonized by the protease inhibitor SWM-1. Together, these data suggest that TRY-5 functions as an extracellular activator of C. elegans sperm. The presence of TRY-5 within the seminal fluid couples the timing of sperm activation to that of transfer of sperm into the hermaphrodite uterus, where motility must be rapidly acquired. Our results provide insight into how C. elegans has adopted sex-specific regulation of sperm motility to accommodate its male-hermaphrodite mode of reproduction.

  11. Analysis of Shigella flexneri-mediated infections in model organism Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Kesika, Periyanaina; Karutha Pandian, Shunmugiah; Balamurugan, Krishnaswamy

    2011-04-01

    Shigella flexneri is the causative agent of bacillary dysentery and generates a significant global disease burden. The aim of this study was to analyze the pathogenesis and host immune response, at both the physiological and molecular level, using the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans, in response to S. flexneri. C. elegans is a nematode that responds to infection with a simple innate immune system, key aspects of which have been shown to be conserved. S. flexneri-mediated infection of C. elegans was performed in both solid and liquid assays. The expression and subsequent regulation of host candidate antimicrobial genes such as lysozymes, C-type lectins and pathogen virulence genes were kinetically analyzed in the S. flexneri-exposed nematode. In solid assays, worms fed with S. flexneri showed complete killing at 153 ± 9 h. The kinetic studies showed that S. flexneri killed the worms upon continuous exposure at 41 ± 1.7 h. However, short-time exposure of the host to S. flexneri indicated that 14 h of exposure resulted in a loss of progeny, and death occurred after 46 h. Semi-quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis revealed that mRNA levels of host candidate antimicrobial genes and pathogen virulence genes varied significantly at the time of early infection. The killing of C. elegans requires live bacteria, and a minimal exposure time is sufficient for S. flexneri to have a lethal effect. The candidate antimicrobial genes and virulence genes are kinetically regulated within C. elegans during S. flexneri-mediated infections, thereby exhibiting their role and contribution in the host innate immune system.

  12. Deltamethrin increases the fat accumulation in 3T3-L1 adipocytes and Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Peiyi; Hsieh, Tsung-Hsiu; Yue, Yiren; Sun, Quancai; Clark, John M; Park, Yeonhwa

    2017-03-01

    Research has shown that permethrin, a Type-I pyrethroid, increases triglyceride (fat) accumulation in adipocytes. Little is known, however, about any similar effect of deltamethrin, a Type-II pyrethroid, which produces a distinct syndrome of poisoning in mammals compared with permethrin. This study was therefore aimed to explore the role of deltamethrin on fat accumulation in 3T3-L1 adipocytes and Caenorhabditis elegans. Deltamethrin (10 μM) significantly increased the fat accumulation in 3T3-L1 adipocytes and wild type C. elegans compared to respective controls. Deltamethrin decreased the ratio of phosphorylated AMP-activated kinase (pAMPKα) over AMPKα and phosphorylated acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC) over ACC, while it increased expression of CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein (C/EBPα) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPARγ) in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Similarly, deltamethrin potentiated fat accumulation in C. elegans without affecting growth or pharyngeal pumping rate. Moreover, deltamethrin significantly reduced the total progeny number and locomotive activities in C. elegans in a dose-dependent manner. Deltamethrin increased fat accumulation via aak-2 (an ortholog of AMPKα) and nhr-49 (a homolog of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-α and also downstream target of aak-2) mediated mechanisms. The current work is the first report of the effects of deltamethrin on increased fat storage by 3T3- L1 adipocytes and C. elegans via aak-2 (AMPKα ortholog)-mediated mechanism. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Longevity effect of a polysaccharide from Chlorophytum borivilianum on Caenorhabditis elegans and Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pannakal, Steve Thomas; Jäger, Sibylle; Duranton, Albert; Tewari, Amit; Saha, Subarna; Radhakrishnan, Aneesha; Roy, Nita; Kuntz, Jean François; Fermas, Soraya; James, Darryl; Mellor, Jane; Misra, Namita; Breton, Lionel

    2017-01-01

    The traditional Indian medicine, Ayurveda, provides insights and practical solutions towards a healthy life style. Rasayana is a branch of Ayurveda known for preserving and promoting health, enhancing the quality of life and delaying the aging process. In the traditional knowledge, the Rasayana herb, Chlorophytum borivilianum (C. borivilanum) is regarded as a general health promoting tonic that delays aging and increases lifespan, cognitive function and physical strength. Aging is a complex and multifactorial physiological phenomenon that manifests itself over a wide range of biological systems, tissues, and functions. Longevity is an obvious marker of physiological aging. Simple model systems such as the single-cell budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae (S. cerevisiae) and the nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) are widely used to study the aging process and longevity. Here, we show that a polysaccharide fraction obtained from C. borivilianum increases the lifespan of S. cerevisiae and C. elegans, using an automated screening platform (ChronoscreenTM). Chemical analysis of this extract revealed a low molecular weight polysaccharide of 1000 Da, predominantly comprising Glu1→6Glu linkage. This polysaccharide showed significant dose-dependent extension of the median lifespan of S. cerevisiae by up to 41% and of the median lifespan of C. elegans by up to 10%. Taking cue from these results and the traditionally described benefits of Rasayanas on skin rejuvenation, we tested in vitro the polysaccharide for potential skin benefits. In a keratinocyte culture, we observed that this polysaccharide increased cell proliferation significantly, and induced synthesis of hyaluronic acid (HA), a well-known extracellular matrix component. Furthermore, when added to culture medium of human reconstructed epidermis, we observed an enhanced production of epidermal markers, e.g. CD44 and HA that are otherwise diminished in aged skin. Together, these results suggest that in

  14. Longevity effect of a polysaccharide from Chlorophytum borivilianum on Caenorhabditis elegans and Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steve Thomas Pannakal

    Full Text Available The traditional Indian medicine, Ayurveda, provides insights and practical solutions towards a healthy life style. Rasayana is a branch of Ayurveda known for preserving and promoting health, enhancing the quality of life and delaying the aging process. In the traditional knowledge, the Rasayana herb, Chlorophytum borivilianum (C. borivilanum is regarded as a general health promoting tonic that delays aging and increases lifespan, cognitive function and physical strength. Aging is a complex and multifactorial physiological phenomenon that manifests itself over a wide range of biological systems, tissues, and functions. Longevity is an obvious marker of physiological aging. Simple model systems such as the single-cell budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae (S. cerevisiae and the nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans are widely used to study the aging process and longevity. Here, we show that a polysaccharide fraction obtained from C. borivilianum increases the lifespan of S. cerevisiae and C. elegans, using an automated screening platform (ChronoscreenTM. Chemical analysis of this extract revealed a low molecular weight polysaccharide of 1000 Da, predominantly comprising Glu1→6Glu linkage. This polysaccharide showed significant dose-dependent extension of the median lifespan of S. cerevisiae by up to 41% and of the median lifespan of C. elegans by up to 10%. Taking cue from these results and the traditionally described benefits of Rasayanas on skin rejuvenation, we tested in vitro the polysaccharide for potential skin benefits. In a keratinocyte culture, we observed that this polysaccharide increased cell proliferation significantly, and induced synthesis of hyaluronic acid (HA, a well-known extracellular matrix component. Furthermore, when added to culture medium of human reconstructed epidermis, we observed an enhanced production of epidermal markers, e.g. CD44 and HA that are otherwise diminished in aged skin. Together, these results

  15. Longevity effect of a polysaccharide from Chlorophytum borivilianum on Caenorhabditis elegans and Saccharomyces cerevisiae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pannakal, Steve Thomas; Jäger, Sibylle; Duranton, Albert; Tewari, Amit; Saha, Subarna; Radhakrishnan, Aneesha; Roy, Nita; Kuntz, Jean François; Fermas, Soraya; Mellor, Jane; Breton, Lionel

    2017-01-01

    The traditional Indian medicine, Ayurveda, provides insights and practical solutions towards a healthy life style. Rasayana is a branch of Ayurveda known for preserving and promoting health, enhancing the quality of life and delaying the aging process. In the traditional knowledge, the Rasayana herb, Chlorophytum borivilianum (C. borivilanum) is regarded as a general health promoting tonic that delays aging and increases lifespan, cognitive function and physical strength. Aging is a complex and multifactorial physiological phenomenon that manifests itself over a wide range of biological systems, tissues, and functions. Longevity is an obvious marker of physiological aging. Simple model systems such as the single-cell budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae (S. cerevisiae) and the nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) are widely used to study the aging process and longevity. Here, we show that a polysaccharide fraction obtained from C. borivilianum increases the lifespan of S. cerevisiae and C. elegans, using an automated screening platform (ChronoscreenTM). Chemical analysis of this extract revealed a low molecular weight polysaccharide of 1000 Da, predominantly comprising Glu1→6Glu linkage. This polysaccharide showed significant dose-dependent extension of the median lifespan of S. cerevisiae by up to 41% and of the median lifespan of C. elegans by up to 10%. Taking cue from these results and the traditionally described benefits of Rasayanas on skin rejuvenation, we tested in vitro the polysaccharide for potential skin benefits. In a keratinocyte culture, we observed that this polysaccharide increased cell proliferation significantly, and induced synthesis of hyaluronic acid (HA), a well-known extracellular matrix component. Furthermore, when added to culture medium of human reconstructed epidermis, we observed an enhanced production of epidermal markers, e.g. CD44 and HA that are otherwise diminished in aged skin. Together, these results suggest that in

  16. Genome-wide analysis reveals novel genes essential for heme homeostasis in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Scott Severance

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Heme is a cofactor in proteins that function in almost all sub-cellular compartments and in many diverse biological processes. Heme is produced by a conserved biosynthetic pathway that is highly regulated to prevent the accumulation of heme--a cytotoxic, hydrophobic tetrapyrrole. Caenorhabditis elegans and related parasitic nematodes do not synthesize heme, but instead require environmental heme to grow and develop. Heme homeostasis in these auxotrophs is, therefore, regulated in accordance with available dietary heme. We have capitalized on this auxotrophy in C. elegans to study gene expression changes associated with precisely controlled dietary heme concentrations. RNA was isolated from cultures containing 4, 20, or 500 microM heme; derived cDNA probes were hybridized to Affymetrix C. elegans expression arrays. We identified 288 heme-responsive genes (hrgs that were differentially expressed under these conditions. Of these genes, 42% had putative homologs in humans, while genomes of medically relevant heme auxotrophs revealed homologs for 12% in both Trypanosoma and Leishmania and 24% in parasitic nematodes. Depletion of each of the 288 hrgs by RNA-mediated interference (RNAi in a transgenic heme-sensor worm strain identified six genes that regulated heme homeostasis. In addition, seven membrane-spanning transporters involved in heme uptake were identified by RNAi knockdown studies using a toxic heme analog. Comparison of genes that were positive in both of the RNAi screens resulted in the identification of three genes in common that were vital for organismal heme homeostasis in C. elegans. Collectively, our results provide a catalog of genes that are essential for metazoan heme homeostasis and demonstrate the power of C. elegans as a genetic animal model to dissect the regulatory circuits which mediate heme trafficking in both vertebrate hosts and their parasites, which depend on environmental heme for survival.

  17. A proteomic view of Caenorhabditis elegans caused by short-term hypoxic stress

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    Wu Yonghong

    2010-09-01

    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.

  18. A novel molecular solution for ultraviolet light detection in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Stacey L Edwards

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available For many organisms the ability to transduce light into cellular signals is crucial for survival. Light stimulates DNA repair and metabolism changes in bacteria, avoidance responses in single-cell organisms, attraction responses in plants, and both visual and nonvisual perception in animals. Despite these widely differing responses, in all of nature there are only six known families of proteins that can transduce light. Although the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans has none of the known light transduction systems, we show here that C. elegans strongly accelerates its locomotion in response to blue or shorter wavelengths of light, with maximal responsiveness to ultraviolet light. Our data suggest that C. elegans uses this light response to escape the lethal doses of sunlight that permeate its habitat. Short-wavelength light drives locomotion by bypassing two critical signals, cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP and diacylglycerol (DAG, that neurons use to shape and control behaviors. C. elegans mutants lacking these signals are paralyzed and unresponsive to harsh physical stimuli in ambient light, but short-wavelength light rapidly rescues their paralysis and restores normal levels of coordinated locomotion. This light response is mediated by LITE-1, a novel ultraviolet light receptor that acts in neurons and is a member of the invertebrate Gustatory receptor (Gr family. Heterologous expression of the receptor in muscle cells is sufficient to confer light responsiveness on cells that are normally unresponsive to light. Our results reveal a novel molecular solution for ultraviolet light detection and an unusual sensory modality in C. elegans that is unlike any previously described light response in any organism.

  19. Impact of cigarette smoke exposure on innate immunity: a Caenorhabditis elegans model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Rebecca M; Gally, Fabienne; Keeney, Jonathon G; Alper, Scott; Gao, Bifeng; Han, Min; Martin, Richard J; Weinberger, Andrew R; Case, Stephanie R; Minor, Maisha N; Chu, Hong Wei

    2009-08-31

    Cigarette smoking is the major cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer. Respiratory bacterial infections have been shown to be involved in the development of COPD along with impaired airway innate immunity. To address the in vivo impact of cigarette smoke (CS) exclusively on host innate defense mechanisms, we took advantage of Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), which has an innate immune system but lacks adaptive immune function. Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA) clearance from intestines of C. elegans was dampened by CS. Microarray analysis identified 6 candidate genes with a 2-fold or greater reduction after CS exposure, that have a human orthologue, and that may participate in innate immunity. To confirm a role of CS-down-regulated genes in the innate immune response to PA, RNA interference (RNAi) by feeding was carried out in C. elegans to inhibit the gene of interest, followed by PA infection to determine if the gene affected innate immunity. Inhibition of lbp-7, which encodes a lipid binding protein, resulted in increased levels of intestinal PA. Primary human bronchial epithelial cells were shown to express mRNA of human Fatty Acid Binding Protein 5 (FABP-5), the human orthologue of lpb-7. Interestingly, FABP-5 mRNA levels from human smokers with COPD were significantly lower (p = 0.036) than those from smokers without COPD. Furthermore, FABP-5 mRNA levels were up-regulated (7-fold) after bacterial (i.e., Mycoplasma pneumoniae) infection in primary human bronchial epithelial cell culture (air-liquid interface culture). Our results suggest that the C. elegans model offers a novel in vivo approach to specifically study innate immune deficiencies resulting from exposure to cigarette smoke, and that results from the nematode may provide insight into human airway epithelial cell biology and cigarette smoke exposure.

  20. Impact of cigarette smoke exposure on innate immunity: a Caenorhabditis elegans model.

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    Rebecca M Green

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Cigarette smoking is the major cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD and lung cancer. Respiratory bacterial infections have been shown to be involved in the development of COPD along with impaired airway innate immunity. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: To address the in vivo impact of cigarette smoke (CS exclusively on host innate defense mechanisms, we took advantage of Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans, which has an innate immune system but lacks adaptive immune function. Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA clearance from intestines of C. elegans was dampened by CS. Microarray analysis identified 6 candidate genes with a 2-fold or greater reduction after CS exposure, that have a human orthologue, and that may participate in innate immunity. To confirm a role of CS-down-regulated genes in the innate immune response to PA, RNA interference (RNAi by feeding was carried out in C. elegans to inhibit the gene of interest, followed by PA infection to determine if the gene affected innate immunity. Inhibition of lbp-7, which encodes a lipid binding protein, resulted in increased levels of intestinal PA. Primary human bronchial epithelial cells were shown to express mRNA of human Fatty Acid Binding Protein 5 (FABP-5, the human orthologue of lpb-7. Interestingly, FABP-5 mRNA levels from human smokers with COPD were significantly lower (p = 0.036 than those from smokers without COPD. Furthermore, FABP-5 mRNA levels were up-regulated (7-fold after bacterial (i.e., Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection in primary human bronchial epithelial cell culture (air-liquid interface culture. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that the C. elegans model offers a novel in vivo approach to specifically study innate immune deficiencies resulting from exposure to cigarette smoke, and that results from the nematode may provide insight into human airway epithelial cell biology and cigarette smoke exposure.

  1. Feeding behaviour of Caenorhabditis elegans is an indicator of Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 virulence

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    Shawn Lewenza

    2014-08-01

    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.

  2. VHA-19 is essential in Caenorhabditis elegans oocytes for embryogenesis and is involved in trafficking in oocytes.

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    Alison J Knight

    Full Text Available There is an urgent need to develop new drugs against parasitic nematodes, which are a significant burden on human health and agriculture. Information about the function of essential nematode-specific genes provides insight to key nematode-specific processes that could be targeted with drugs. We have characterized the function of a novel, nematode-specific Caenorhabditis elegans protein, VHA-19, and show that VHA-19 is essential in the germline and, specifically, the oocytes, for the completion of embryogenesis. VHA-19 is also involved in trafficking the oocyte receptor RME-2 to the oocyte plasma membrane and is essential for osmoregulation in the embryo, probably because VHA-19 is required for proper eggshell formation via exocytosis of cortical granules or other essential components of the eggshell. VHA-19 may also have a role in cytokinesis, either directly or as an indirect effect of its role in osmoregulation. Critically, VHA-19 is expressed in the excretory cell in both larvae and adults, suggesting that it may have a role in osmoregulation in C. elegans more generally, probably in trafficking or secretion pathways. This is the first time a role for VHA-19 has been described.

  3. Calycophyllum spruceanum (Benth., the Amazonian “Tree of Youth” Prolongs Longevity and Enhances Stress Resistance in Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Herbenya Peixoto

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available The tree popularly known in Brazil as mulateiro or pau-mulato (Calycophyllum spruceanum (Benth. K. Schum. is deeply embedded in the herbal medicine of the Amazon region. Different preparations of the bark are claimed to have anti-aging, antioxidant, antimicrobial, emollient, wound healing, hemostatic, contraceptive, stimulant, and anti-diabetic properties. The current study aims to provide the first step towards a science-based evidence of the beneficial effects of C. spruceanum in the promotion of longevity and in the modulation of age-related markers. For this investigation, we used the model system Caenorhabditis elegans to evaluate in vivo antioxidant and anti-aging activity of a water extract from C. spruceanum. To chemically characterize the extract, HPLC MS (High Performance Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry/MS analyses were performed. Five secondary metabolites were identified in the extract, namely gardenoside, 5-hydroxymorin, cyanidin, taxifolin, and 5-hydroxy-6-methoxycoumarin-7-glucoside. C. spruceanum extract was able to enhance stress resistance and to extend lifespan along with attenuation of aging-associated markers in C. elegans. The demonstrated bioactivities apparently depend on the DAF-16/FOXO pathway. The data might support the popular claims of mulateiro as the “tree of youth”, however more studies are needed to clarify its putative benefits to human health.

  4. Virulence variations in Shigella and enteroinvasive Escherichia coli using the Caenorhabditis elegans model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fung, Crystal Ching; Octavia, Sophie; Mooney, Anne-Marie; Lan, Ruiting

    2015-01-01

    Shigella species and enteroinvasive Escherichia coli (EIEC) belong to the same species genetically, with remarkable phenotypic and genomic similarities. Shigella is the main cause of bacillary dysentery with around 160 million annual cases, while EIEC generally induces a milder disease compared to Shigella. This study aimed to determine virulence variations between Shigella and EIEC using the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as a model host. Caenorhabditis elegans killing- and bacterial colonization assays were performed to examine the potential difference in virulence between Shigella and EIEC strains. Statistically significant difference in the survival rates of nematodes was demonstrated, with Shigella causing death at 88.24 ± 1.20% and EIEC at 94.37 ± 0.70%. The intestinal load of bacteria in the nematodes was found to be 7.65 × 10(4) ± 8.83 × 10(3) and 2.92 × 10(4) ± 6.26 × 10(3) CFU ml(-1) per nematode for Shigella and EIEC, respectively. Shigella dysenteriae serotype 1 which carries the Shiga toxin showed the lowest nematode survival rate at 82.6 ± 3.97% and highest bacterial colonization of 1.75 × 10(5) ± 8.17 × 10(4) CFU ml(-1), whereas a virulence plasmid-negative Shigella strain demonstrated 100 ± 0% nematode survival and lowest bacterial accumulation of 1.02 × 10(4) ± 7.23 × 10(2) CFU ml(-1). This study demonstrates C. elegans as an effective model for examining and comparing Shigella and EIEC virulence variation. © FEMS 2014. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  5. Inhibition of Fat Accumulation by Hesperidin in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Peng, Huimin; Wei, Zhaohan; Luo, Hujie; Yang, Yiting; Wu, Zhengxing; Gan, Lu; Yang, Xiangliang

    2016-06-29

    Hesperidin, abundant in citrus fruits, has a wide range of pharmacological effects, including anticarcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, radioprotective, and antiviral activities. However, relatively few studies on the effects of hesperidin on lipid metabolism have been reported. Here, using Caenorhaditis elegans as a model animal, we found that 100 μM hesperidin significantly decreased fat accumulation in both high-fat worms cultured in nematode growth medium containing 10 mM glucose (83.5 ± 1.2% versus control by Sudan Black B staining and 87.6 ± 2.0% versus control by Oil Red O staining; p < 0.001) and daf-2 mutant worms (87.8 ± 1.4% versus control by Oil Red O staining; p < 0.001). Furthermore, 50 μM hesperidin decreased the ratio of oleic acid/stearic acid (C18:1Δ9/C18:0) (p < 0.05), and supplementation of oleic acid could restore the inhibitory effect of hesperidin on fat accumulation. Hesperidin significantly downregulated the expression of stearoyl-CoA desaturase, fat-6, and fat-7 (p < 0.05), and mutation of fat-6 and fat-7 reversed fat accumulation inhibited by hesperidin. In addition, hesperidin decreased the expression of other genes involved in lipid metabolism, including pod-2, mdt-15, acs-2, and kat-1 (p < 0.05). These results suggested that hesperidin reduced fat accumulation by affecting several lipid metabolism pathways, such as fat-6 and fat-7. This study provided new insights into elucidating the mechanism underlying the regulation of lipid metabolism by hesperidin.

  6. Residual ground-water levels of the neonicotinoid thiacloprid perturb chemosensing of Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Hopewell, Hannah; Floyd, Kieran G; Burnell, Daniel; Hancock, John T; Allainguillaume, Joel; Ladomery, Michael R; Wilson, Ian D

    2017-09-01

    This study investigated the neurological effects of residual ground-water levels of thiacloprid on the non-target organism Caenorhabditis elegans. Nematodes treated with thiacloprid showed a dose-dependent and significantly increased twitch response at concentrations above 50 ng mL -1 that disabled their forward locomotion in liquid culture. In comparison with untreated controls, 10 ng mL -1 thiacloprid perturbed the chemosensory ability of C. elegans such that the nematodes no longer demonstrated positive chemotaxis towards a NaCl chemo-attractant, reducing their chemotaxis index from +0.48 to near to zero. Nematodes also exhibited a locomotion characteristic of those devoid of chemo-attraction, making significantly more pirouetting turns of ≥90° than the untreated controls. Compared to the untreated controls, expression of the endocytosis-associated gene, Rab-10, was also increased in C. elegans that had developed to adulthood in the presence of 10 ng mL -1 thiacloprid, suggesting their active engagement in increased recycling of affected cellular components, such as their nAChRs. Thus, even residual, low levels of this less potent neonicotinoid that may be found in field ground-water had measurable effects on a beneficial soil organism which may have environmental and ecological implications that are currently poorly understood.

  7. The Genetic Basis of Natural Variation in Caenorhabditis elegans Telomere Length.

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    Cook, Daniel E; Zdraljevic, Stefan; Tanny, Robyn E; Seo, Beomseok; Riccardi, David D; Noble, Luke M; Rockman, Matthew V; Alkema, Mark J; Braendle, Christian; Kammenga, Jan E; Wang, John; Kruglyak, Leonid; Félix, Marie-Anne; Lee, Junho; Andersen, Erik C

    2016-09-01

    Telomeres are involved in the maintenance of chromosomes and the prevention of genome instability. Despite this central importance, significant variation in telomere length has been observed in a variety of organisms. The genetic determinants of telomere-length variation and their effects on organismal fitness are largely unexplored. Here, we describe natural variation in telomere length across the Caenorhabditis elegans species. We identify a large-effect variant that contributes to differences in telomere length. The variant alters the conserved oligonucleotide/oligosaccharide-binding fold of protection of telomeres 2 (POT-2), a homolog of a human telomere-capping shelterin complex subunit. Mutations within this domain likely reduce the ability of POT-2 to bind telomeric DNA, thereby increasing telomere length. We find that telomere-length variation does not correlate with offspring production or longevity in C. elegans wild isolates, suggesting that naturally long telomeres play a limited role in modifying fitness phenotypes in C. elegans. Copyright © 2016 by the Genetics Society of America.

  8. Using Caenorhabditis elegans to Uncover Conserved Functions of Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watts, Jennifer L.

    2016-01-01

    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 and in neurons, however, specific roles for either omega-3 or omega-6 fatty acids are beginning to emerge. Recent findings with importance to human health include the identification of a conserved Cox-independent prostaglandin synthesis pathway, critical functions for cytochrome P450 derivatives of polyunsaturated fatty acids, the requirements for omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in sensory neurons, and the importance of fatty acid desaturation for long lifespan. Furthermore, the ability of C. elegans to interconvert omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids using the FAT-1 omega-3 desaturase has been exploited in mammalian studies and biotechnology approaches to generate mammals capable of exogenous generation of omega-3 fatty acids. PMID:26848697

  9. Thermotaxis is a robust mechanism for thermoregulation in Caenorhabditis elegans nematodes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramot, Daniel; MacInnis, Bronwyn L; Lee, Hau-Chen; Goodman, Miriam B

    2008-11-19

    Many biochemical networks are robust to variations in network or stimulus parameters. Although robustness is considered an important design principle of such networks, it is not known whether this principle also applies to higher-level biological processes such as animal behavior. In thermal gradients, Caenorhabditis elegans uses thermotaxis to bias its movement along the direction of the gradient. Here we develop a detailed, quantitative map of C. elegans thermotaxis and use these data to derive a computational model of thermotaxis in the soil, a natural environment of C. elegans. This computational analysis indicates that thermotaxis enables animals to avoid temperatures at which they cannot reproduce, to limit excursions from their adapted temperature, and to remain relatively close to the surface of the soil, where oxygen is abundant. Furthermore, our analysis reveals that this mechanism is robust to large variations in the parameters governing both worm locomotion and temperature fluctuations in the soil. We suggest that, similar to biochemical networks, animals evolve behavioral strategies that are robust, rather than strategies that rely on fine tuning of specific behavioral parameters.

  10. Zinc Levels Modulate Lifespan through Multiple Longevity Pathways in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Jitendra; Barhydt, Tracy; Awasthi, Anjali; Lithgow, Gordon J.; Killilea, David W.; Kapahi, Pankaj

    2016-01-01

    Zinc is an essential trace metal that has integral roles in numerous biological processes, including enzymatic function, protein structure, and cell signaling pathways. Both excess and deficiency of zinc can lead to detrimental effects on development and metabolism, resulting in abnormalities and disease. We altered the zinc balance within Caenorhabditis elegans to examine how changes in zinc burden affect longevity and healthspan in an invertebrate animal model. We found that increasing zinc levels in vivo with excess dietary zinc supplementation decreased the mean and maximum lifespan, whereas reducing zinc levels in vivo with a zinc-selective chelator increased the mean and maximum lifespan in C. elegans. We determined that the lifespan shortening effects of excess zinc required expression of DAF-16, HSF-1 and SKN-1 proteins, whereas the lifespan lengthening effects of the reduced zinc may be partially dependent upon this set of proteins. Furthermore, reducing zinc levels led to greater nuclear localization of DAF-16 and enhanced dauer formation compared to controls, suggesting that the lifespan effects of zinc are mediated in part by the insulin/IGF-1 pathway. Additionally, zinc status correlated with several markers of healthspan in worms, including proteostasis, locomotion and thermotolerance, with reduced zinc levels always associated with improvements in function. Taken together, these data support a role for zinc in regulating both development and lifespan in C. elegans, and that suggest that regulation of zinc homeostasis in the worm may be an example of antagonistic pleiotropy. PMID:27078872

  11. Nickel sulfate induces numerous defects in Caenorhabditis elegans that can also be transferred to progeny

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang Dayong; Wang Yang

    2008-01-01

    Whether the multiple biological toxicities from nickel exposure could be transferred to progeny has not been clarified. In this report, we explored the Caenorhabditis elegans to analyze the multiple toxicities of nickel and their possibly transferable properties. The nickel toxicity caused multiple biological defects in a concentration-dependent manner. Moreover, most of these toxicities could be transferred and could be only partially rescued in progeny. Some specific phenotypes in progeny were also found to exhibit no obvious rescue phenotypes or to show even more severe defects than their parents. The defects caused by nickel exposure could be classified into four groups according to their transferring properties. That is, the defects caused by nickel exposure could be largely, or partially, or unable to be rescued, or became even more severe in progeny animals. Therefore, most of the nickel exposure-caused defects can be transferred from parents to their progeny to different degrees in C. elegans. - Nickel exposure can cause multi-biological toxicities and these defects can be transferred from parents to their progeny in C. elegans

  12. XRN2 Autoregulation and Control of Polycistronic Gene Expresssion in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Takashi S Miki

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available XRN2 is a conserved 5'→3' exoribonuclease that complexes with proteins that contain XRN2-binding domains (XTBDs. In Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans, the XTBD-protein PAXT-1 stabilizes XRN2 to retain its activity. XRN2 activity is also promoted by 3'(2',5'-bisphosphate nucleotidase 1 (BPNT1 through hydrolysis of an endogenous XRN inhibitor 3'-phosphoadenosine-5'-phosphate (PAP. Here, we find through unbiased screening that loss of bpnt-1 function suppresses lethality caused by paxt-1 deletion. This unexpected finding is explained by XRN2 autoregulation, which occurs through repression of a cryptic promoter activity and destabilization of the xrn-2 transcript. De-repression appears to be triggered such that more robust XRN2 perturbation, by elimination of both PAXT-1 and BPNT1, is less detrimental to worm viability than absence of PAXT-1 alone. Indeed, we find that two distinct XRN2 repression mechanisms are alleviated at different thresholds of XRN2 inactivation. Like more than 15% of C. elegans genes, xrn-2 occurs in an operon, and we identify additional operons under its control, consistent with a broader function of XRN2 in polycistronic gene regulation. Regulation occurs through intercistronic regions that link genes in an operon, but a part of the mechanisms may allow XRN2 to operate on monocistronic genes in organisms lacking operons.

  13. Coexpressed D1- and D2-Like Dopamine Receptors Antagonistically Modulate Acetylcholine Release in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Andrew T.; Maher, Kathryn N.; Wani, Khursheed A.; Betts, Katherine E.; Chase, Daniel L.

    2011-01-01

    Dopamine acts through two classes of G protein-coupled receptor (D1-like and D2-like) to modulate neuron activity in the brain. While subtypes of D1- and D2-like receptors are coexpressed in many neurons of the mammalian brain, it is unclear how signaling by these coexpressed receptors interacts to modulate the activity of the neuron in which they are expressed. D1- and D2-like dopamine receptors are also coexpressed in the cholinergic ventral-cord motor neurons of Caenorhabditis elegans. To begin to understand how coexpressed dopamine receptors interact to modulate neuron activity, we performed a genetic screen in C. elegans and isolated mutants defective in dopamine response. These mutants were also defective in behaviors mediated by endogenous dopamine signaling, including basal slowing and swimming-induced paralysis. We used transgene rescue experiments to show that defects in these dopamine-specific behaviors were caused by abnormal signaling in the cholinergic motor neurons. To investigate the interaction between the D1- and D2-like receptors specifically in these cholinergic motor neurons, we measured the sensitivity of dopamine-signaling mutants and transgenic animals to the acetylcholinesterase inhibitor aldicarb. We found that D2 signaling inhibited acetylcholine release from the cholinergic motor neurons while D1 signaling stimulated release from these same cells. Thus, coexpressed D1- and D2-like dopamine receptors act antagonistically in vivo to modulate acetylcholine release from the cholinergic motor neurons of C. elegans. PMID:21515580

  14. Specific expression of channelrhodopsin-2 in single neurons of Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Cornelia Schmitt

    Full Text Available Optogenetic approaches using light-activated proteins like Channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2 enable investigating the function of populations of neurons in live Caenorhabditis elegans (and other animals, as ChR2 expression can be targeted to these cells using specific promoters. Sub-populations of these neurons, or even single cells, can be further addressed by restricting the illumination to the cell of interest. However, this is technically demanding, particularly in free moving animals. Thus, it would be helpful if expression of ChR2 could be restricted to single neurons or neuron pairs, as even wide-field illumination would photostimulate only this particular cell. To this end we adopted the use of Cre or FLP recombinases and conditional ChR2 expression at the intersection of two promoter expression domains, i.e. in the cell of interest only. Success of this method depends on precise knowledge of the individual promoters' expression patterns and on relative expression levels of recombinase and ChR2. A bicistronic expression cassette with GFP helps to identify the correct expression pattern. Here we show specific expression in the AVA reverse command neurons and the aversive polymodal sensory ASH neurons. This approach shall enable to generate strains for optogenetic manipulation of each of the 302 C. elegans neurons. This may eventually allow to model the C. elegans nervous system in its entirety, based on functional data for each neuron.

  15. Prowashonupana barley dietary fibre reduces body fat and increases insulin sensitivity in Caenorhabditis elegans model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Chenfei; King, Michael L.; Fitzpatrick, Zachary L.; Wei, Wenqian; King, Jason F.; Wang, Mingming; Greenway, Frank L.; Finley, John W.; Burton, Jeffrey H.; Johnson, William D.; Keenan, Michael J.; Enright, Frederick M.; Martin, Roy J.; Zheng, Jolene

    2016-01-01

    Prowashonupana barley (PWB) is high in β-glucan with moderate content of resistant starch. PWB reduced intestinal fat deposition (IFD) in wild type Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans, N2), and in sir-2.1 or daf-16 null mutants, and sustained a surrogate marker of lifespan, pharyngeal pumping rate (PPR), in N2, sir-2.1, daf-16, or daf-16/daf-2 mutants. Hyperglycaemia (2% glucose) reversed or reduced the PWB effect on IFD in N2 or daf-16/daf-2 mutants with a sustained PPR. mRNA expression of cpt-1, cpt-2, ckr-1, and gcy-8 were dose-dependently reduced in N2 or daf-16 mutants, elevated in daf-16/daf-2 mutants with reduction in cpt-1, and unchanged in sir-2.1 mutants. mRNA expressions were increased by hyperglycaemia in N2 or daf-16/daf-2 mutants, while reduced in sir-2.1 or daf-16 mutants. The effects of PWB in the C. elegans model appeared to be primarily mediated via sir-2.1, daf-16, and daf-16/daf-2. These data suggest that PWB and β-glucans may benefit hyperglycaemia-impaired lipid metabolism. PMID:27721901

  16. Elemental bioimaging of Cisplatin in Caenorhabditis elegans by LA-ICP-MS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crone, Barbara; Aschner, Michael; Schwerdtle, Tanja; Karst, Uwe; Bornhorst, Julia

    2015-01-01

    Cis-diamminedichloroplatinum(II) (Cisplatin) is one of the most important and frequently used cytostatic drugs for the treatment of various solid tumors. Herein, a laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) method incorporating a fast and simple sample preparation protocol was developed for the elemental mapping of Cisplatin in the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans). The method allows imaging of the spatially-resolved elemental distribution of platinum in the whole organism with respect to the anatomic structure in L4 stage worms at a lateral resolution of 5 µm. In addition, a dose- and time-dependent Cisplatin uptake was corroborated quantitatively by a total reflection X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (TXRF) method, and the elemental mapping indicated that Cisplatin is located in the intestine and in the head of the worms. Better understanding of the distribution of Cisplatin in this well-established model organism will be instrumental in deciphering Cisplatin toxicity and pharmacokinetics. Since the cytostatic effect of Cisplatin is based on binding the DNA by forming intra- and interstrand crosslinks, the response of poly(ADP-ribose)metabolism enzyme 1 (pme-1) deletion mutants to Cisplatin was also examined. Loss of pme-1, which is the C. elegans ortholog of human poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 (PARP-1) led to disturbed DNA damage response. With respect to survival and brood size, pme-1 deletion mutants were more sensitive to Cisplatin as compared to wildtype worms, while Cisplatin uptake was indistinguishable. PMID:25996669

  17. Prowashonupana barley dietary fibre reduces body fat and increases insulin sensitivity in Caenorhabditis elegans model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Chenfei; King, Michael L; Fitzpatrick, Zachary L; Wei, Wenqian; King, Jason F; Wang, Mingming; Greenway, Frank L; Finley, John W; Burton, Jeffrey H; Johnson, William D; Keenan, Michael J; Enright, Frederick M; Martin, Roy J; Zheng, Jolene

    2015-10-01

    Prowashonupana barley (PWB) is high in β-glucan with moderate content of resistant starch. PWB reduced intestinal fat deposition (IFD) in wild type Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans , N2), and in sir-2.1 or daf-16 null mutants, and sustained a surrogate marker of lifespan, pharyngeal pumping rate (PPR), in N2, sir-2.1, daf-16 , or daf-16/daf-2 mutants. Hyperglycaemia (2% glucose) reversed or reduced the PWB effect on IFD in N2 or daf-16/daf-2 mutants with a sustained PPR. mRNA expression of cpt-1, cpt-2, ckr-1 , and gcy-8 were dose-dependently reduced in N2 or daf-16 mutants, elevated in daf-16/daf-2 mutants with reduction in cpt-1 , and unchanged in sir-2.1 mutants. mRNA expressions were increased by hyperglycaemia in N2 or daf-16/daf-2 mutants, while reduced in sir-2.1 or daf-16 mutants. The effects of PWB in the C. elegans model appeared to be primarily mediated via sir-2.1, daf-16 , and daf-16/daf-2 . These data suggest that PWB and β-glucans may benefit hyperglycaemia-impaired lipid metabolism.

  18. Selection of reliable reference genes in Caenorhabditis elegans for analysis of nanotoxicity.

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    Yanqiong Zhang

    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.

  19. Selection of reliable reference genes in Caenorhabditis elegans for analysis of nanotoxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yanqiong; Chen, Dongliang; Smith, Michael A; Zhang, Baohong; Pan, Xiaoping

    2012-01-01

    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.

  20. Bioactivity of nanosilver in Caenorhabditis elegans: Effects of size, coat, and shape

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    Piper Reid Hunt

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The in vivo toxicity to eukaryotes of nanosilver (AgNP spheres and plates in two sizes each was assessed using the simple model organism Caenorhabditis elegans. For each shape, smaller AgNP size correlated with higher toxicity, as indicated by reduced larval growth. Smaller size also correlated with significant increases in silver uptake for silver nanospheres. Citrate coated silver spheres of 20 nm diameter induced an innate immune response that increased or held steady over 24 h, while regulation of genes involved in metal metabolism peaked at 4 h and subsequently decreased. For AgNP spheres, coating altered bioactivity, with a toxicity ranking of polyethylene glycol (PEG > polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP ≅ branched polyethyleneimine (BPEI > citrate, but silver uptake ranking of PEG > PVP > citrate > BPEI. Our findings in C. elegans correlate well with findings in rodents for AgNP size vs. uptake and toxicity, as well as for induction of immune effectors, while using methods that are faster and far less expensive, supporting the use of C. elegans as an alternative model for early toxicity screening.

  1. Pseudomonas aeruginosa disrupts Caenorhabditis elegans iron homeostasis, causing a hypoxic response and death.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirienko, Natalia V; Kirienko, Daniel R; Larkins-Ford, Jonah; Wählby, Carolina; Ruvkun, Gary; Ausubel, Frederick M

    2013-04-17

    The opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa causes serious human infections, but effective treatments and the mechanisms mediating pathogenesis remain elusive. Caenorhabditis elegans shares innate immune pathways with humans, making it invaluable to investigate infection. To determine how P. aeruginosa disrupts host biology, we studied how P. aeruginosa kills C. elegans in a liquid-based pathogenesis model. We found that P. aeruginosa-mediated killing does not require quorum-sensing pathways or host colonization. A chemical genetic screen revealed that iron chelators alleviate P. aeruginosa-mediated killing. Consistent with a role for iron in P. aeruginosa pathogenesis, the bacterial siderophore pyoverdin was required for virulence and was sufficient to induce a hypoxic response and death in the absence of bacteria. Loss of the C. elegans hypoxia-inducing factor HIF-1, which regulates iron homeostasis, exacerbated P. aeruginosa pathogenesis, further linking hypoxia and killing. As pyoverdin is indispensable for virulence in mice, pyoverdin-mediated hypoxia is likely to be relevant in human pathogenesis. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Host translational inhibition by Pseudomonas aeruginosa Exotoxin A Triggers an immune response in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McEwan, Deborah L; Kirienko, Natalia V; Ausubel, Frederick M

    2012-04-19

    Intestinal epithelial cells are exposed to both innocuous and pathogenic microbes, which need to be distinguished to mount an effective immune response. To understand the mechanisms underlying pathogen recognition, we investigated how Pseudomonas aeruginosa triggers intestinal innate immunity in Caenorhabditis elegans, a process independent of Toll-like pattern recognition receptors. We show that the P. aeruginosa translational inhibitor Exotoxin A (ToxA), which ribosylates elongation factor 2 (EF2), upregulates a significant subset of genes normally induced by P. aeruginosa. Moreover, immune pathways involving the ATF-7 and ZIP-2 transcription factors, which protect C. elegans from P. aeruginosa, are required for preventing ToxA-mediated lethality. ToxA-responsive genes are not induced by enzymatically inactive ToxA protein but can be upregulated independently of ToxA by disruption of host protein translation. Thus, C. elegans has a surveillance mechanism to recognize ToxA through its effect on protein translation rather than by direct recognition of either ToxA or ribosylated EF2. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Pathogen-nematode interaction: Nitrogen supply of Listeria monocytogenes during growth in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kern, Tanja; Kutzner, Erika; Eisenreich, Wolfgang; Fuchs, Thilo M

    2016-02-01

    Listeria monocytogenes is a Gram-positive facultatively intracellular human pathogen. Due to its saprophytic lifestyle, L. monocytogenes is assumed to infect and proliferate within soil organisms such as Caenorhabditis elegans. However, little is known about the nutrient usages and metabolite fluxes in this bacterium-nematode interaction. Here, we established a nematode colonization model for L. monocytogenes and a method for the efficient separation of the pathogen from the nematodal gut. Following (15)N labelling of C. elegans and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry-based (15)N isotopologue analysis, we detected a high basal metabolic rate of the nematode, and observed a significant metabolic flux from nitrogenous compounds of the nematode to listerial proteins during proliferation of the pathogen in the worm's intestine. For comparison, we also measured the N fluxes from the gut content into listerial proteins using completely (15)N-labelled Escherichia coli OP50 as food for C. elegans. In both settings, L. monocytogenes prefers the direct incorporation of histidine, arginine and lysine over their de novo biosynthesis. Our data suggest that colonization of nematodes is a strategy of L. monocytogenes to increase its access to N-rich nutrients. © 2015 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  4. Effects of ionizing radiation on locomotory behavior and mechanosensation in Caenorhabditis elegans

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Suzuki, Michiyo; Sakashita, Tetsuya; Kikuchi, Masahiro; Ohba, Hirofumi; Hamada, Nobuyuki; Funayama, Tomoo; Fukamoto, Kana; Kobayashi, Yasuhiko; Yanase, Sumino; Higashitani, Atsushi; Tsuji, Toshio

    2009-01-01

    Locomotory behavior (motility) and mechanosensation are of vital importance in animals. We examined the effects of ionizing radiation (IR) on locomotory behavior and mechanosensation using a model organism, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Bacterial mechanosensation in C. elegans induces the dopamine-mediated slowing of locomotion in the presence of bacteria (food), known as the basal slowing response. We previously reported an IR-induced reduction of locomotory rate in the absence of food. In the present study, we observed a similar IR-induced reduction of locomotory rate in the cat-2 mutant, which is defective in bacterial mechanosensation. The dose response pattern of the locomotory rate in the presence of food was relatively flat in wild-type animals, but not in cat-2 mutants. This suggests that the dopamine system, which is related to bacterial mechanosensation in C. elegans, might have a dominant effect on locomotory rate in the presence of food, which masks the effects of other stimuli. Moreover, we found that the behavioral responses of hydrogen peroxide-exposed wild-type animals are similar to those of IR-exposed animals. Our findings suggest that the IR-induced reduction of locomotory rate in the absence of food is mediated by a different pathway from that for bacterial mechanosensation, at least partially through IR-produced hydrogen peroxide. (author)

  5. Carqueja (Baccharis trimera Protects against Oxidative Stress and β-Amyloid-Induced Toxicity in Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Franciny Aparecida Paiva

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Carqueja (Baccharis trimera is a native plant found throughout South America. Several studies have shown that Carqueja has antioxidant activity in vitro, as well as anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, analgesic, antihepatotoxic, and antimutagenic properties. However, studies regarding its antioxidant potential in vivo are limited. In this study, we used Caenorhabditis elegans as a model to examine the antioxidant effects of a Carqueja hydroalcoholic extract (CHE on stress resistance and lifespan and to investigate whether CHE has a protective effect in a C. elegans model for Alzheimer's disease. Here, we show for the first time, using in vivo assays, that CHE treatment improved oxidative stress resistance by increasing survival rate and by reducing ROS levels under oxidative stress conditions independently of the stress-related signaling pathways (p38, JNK, and ERK and transcription factors (SKN-1/Nrf and DAF-16/Foxo tested here. CHE treatment also increased the defenses against β-amyloid toxicity in C. elegans, in part by increasing proteasome activity and the expression of two heat shock protein genes. Our findings suggest a potential neuroprotective use for Carqueja, supporting the idea that dietary antioxidants are a promising approach to boost the defensive systems against stress and neurodegeneration.

  6. Isoamyl alcohol odor promotes longevity and stress tolerance via DAF-16 in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Kurino, Chiho; Furuhashi, Tsubasa; Sudoh, Kaori; Sakamoto, Kazuichi

    2017-04-01

    The possibility that odor plays a role in lifespan regulation through effects on the nervous system is indicated by research on Caenorhabditis elegans. In fact, ablation of AWA and AWC, which are suggested as olfactory neurons, has been shown to extend lifespan via DAF-16, a homolog of FoxO. However, the effects of odor stimuli on the lifespan still remain unclear. Thus, we here aimed to clarify the effect of attractive and repulsive odors on longevity and stress tolerance in C. elegans and to analyze the pathways thereof. We used isoamyl alcohol as an attractive odor, and acetic acid as a repellent component, as identified by chemotaxis assay. We found that isoamyl alcohol stimulus promoted longevity in a DAF-16-dependent manner. On the other hand, acetic acid stimulus promoted thermotolerance through mechanisms independent of DAF-16. Above all, our results indicate that odor stimuli affect the lifespan and stress tolerance of C. elegans, with attractive and repulsive odors exerting their effects through different mechanisms, and that longevity is induced by both activation and inactivation of olfactory neurons. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. FoxO/Daf-16 restored thrashing movement reduced by heat stress in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Furuhashi, Tsubasa; Sakamoto, Kazuichi

    2014-04-01

    Many studies on thermotolerance have been done in Caenorhabditis elegans in order to extend survival under heat stress; Daf-16, a homolog of FoxO in C. elegans, was detected as the key factor in thermotolerance. However, the recovery process from heat stress damage has been seldom discussed. In this study, we analyzed the roles of FoxO/Daf-16 on the recovery from heat stress damage by monitoring thrashing movement. Heat shock reduced the movement, which was restored by culturing at 20°C. Thrashing movement was not restored in the daf-16 mutant, which suggests that Daf-16 is one of the essential factors in repairing the damage. Movement restoration was promoted in the daf-2 mutant, a homolog of insulin/IGF-1-like receptor, in a daf-16-dependent manner. In addition, heat stress decreased the expression of daf-28 and ins-7, agonists of Daf-2. Taken together, these results revealed that FoxO/Daf-16 removes heat stress damage and restores movement via inhibition of the insulin-like signaling pathway in C. elegans, suggesting that FoxO/Daf-16 plays a critical role in thermotolerance. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Zinc Levels Modulate Lifespan through Multiple Longevity Pathways in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Jitendra Kumar

    Full Text Available Zinc is an essential trace metal that has integral roles in numerous biological processes, including enzymatic function, protein structure, and cell signaling pathways. Both excess and deficiency of zinc can lead to detrimental effects on development and metabolism, resulting in abnormalities and disease. We altered the zinc balance within Caenorhabditis elegans to examine how changes in zinc burden affect longevity and healthspan in an invertebrate animal model. We found that increasing zinc levels in vivo with excess dietary zinc supplementation decreased the mean and maximum lifespan, whereas reducing zinc levels in vivo with a zinc-selective chelator increased the mean and maximum lifespan in C. elegans. We determined that the lifespan shortening effects of excess zinc required expression of DAF-16, HSF-1 and SKN-1 proteins, whereas the lifespan lengthening effects of the reduced zinc may be partially dependent upon this set of proteins. Furthermore, reducing zinc levels led to greater nuclear localization of DAF-16 and enhanced dauer formation compared to controls, suggesting that the lifespan effects of zinc are mediated in part by the insulin/IGF-1 pathway. Additionally, zinc status correlated with several markers of healthspan in worms, including proteostasis, locomotion and thermotolerance, with reduced zinc levels always associated with improvements in function. Taken together, these data support a role for zinc in regulating both development and lifespan in C. elegans, and that suggest that regulation of zinc homeostasis in the worm may be an example of antagonistic pleiotropy.

  9. Oleanolic acid activates daf-16 to increase lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Zhang, Jiaolong; Lu, Lulu; Zhou, Lijun

    2015-12-25

    Oleanolic acid (OA) is an active ingredient in natural plants. It has been reported to possess a variety of pharmacological activities, but very little is known about its effects of anti-aging. We investigate here whether OA has an impact on longevity in vivo, and more specifically, we have examined effects of OA on the lifespan and stress tolerance in Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans). Our results showed that OA could extend the lifespan, increase its stress resistance and reduce the intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) in wild-type worms. Moreover, we have found that OA-induced longevity may not be associated with the calorie restriction (CR) mechanism. Our mechanistic studies using daf-16 loss-of-function mutant strains (GR1307) indicated that the extension of lifespan by OA requires daf-16. In addition, OA treatment could also modulate the nuclear localization, and the quantitative real-time PCR results revealed that up-regulation of daf-16 target genes such as sod-3, hsp-16.2 and ctl-1 could prolong lifespan and increase stress response in C. elegans. This study overall uncovers the longevity effect of OA and its underpinning mechanisms. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. CAMKII and calcineurin regulate the lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans through the FOXO transcription factor DAF-16.

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    Tao, Li; Xie, Qi; Ding, Yue-He; Li, Shang-Tong; Peng, Shengyi; Zhang, Yan-Ping; Tan, Dan; Yuan, Zengqiang; Dong, Meng-Qiu

    2013-06-25

    The insulin-like signaling pathway maintains a relatively short wild-type lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans by phosphorylating and inactivating DAF-16, the ortholog of the FOXO transcription factors of mammalian cells. DAF-16 is phosphorylated by the AKT kinases, preventing its nuclear translocation. Calcineurin (PP2B phosphatase) also limits the lifespan of C. elegans, but the mechanism through which it does so is unknown. Herein, we show that TAX-6•CNB-1 and UNC-43, the C. elegans Calcineurin and Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent kinase type II (CAMKII) orthologs, respectively, also regulate lifespan through DAF-16. Moreover, UNC-43 regulates DAF-16 in response to various stress conditions, including starvation, heat or oxidative stress, and cooperatively contributes to lifespan regulation by insulin signaling. However, unlike insulin signaling, UNC-43 phosphorylates and activates DAF-16, thus promoting its nuclear localization. The phosphorylation of DAF-16 at S286 by UNC-43 is removed by TAX-6•CNB-1, leading to DAF-16 inactivation. Mammalian FOXO3 is also regulated by CAMKIIA and Calcineurin. DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.00518.001.

  11. The application of CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Suhong

    2015-08-20

    Genome editing using the Cas9 endonuclease of Streptococcus pyogenes has demonstrated unparalleled efficacy and facility for modifying genomes in a wide variety of organisms. Caenorhabditis elegans is one of the most convenient multicellular organisms for genetic analysis, and the application of this novel genome editing technique to this organism promises to revolutionize analysis of gene function in the future. CRISPR-Cas9 has been successfully used to generate imprecise insertions and deletions via non-homologous end-joining mechanisms and to create precise mutations by homology-directed repair from donor templates. Key variables are the methods used to deliver the Cas9 endonuclease and the efficiency of the single guide RNAs. CRISPR-Cas9-mediated editing appears to be highly specific in C. elegans, with no reported off-target effects. In this review, I briefly summarize recent progress in CRISPR-Cas9-based genome editing in C. elegans, highlighting technical improvements in mutagenesis and mutation detection, and discuss potential future applications of this technique. Copyright © 2015 Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Genetics Society of China. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Tenebrio molitor Extracts Modulate the Response to Environmental Stressors and Extend Lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Won, Seong-Min; Cha, Hye-Uk; Yi, Sun Shin; Kim, Sung-Jo; Park, Sang-Kyu

    2016-09-08

    Tenebrio molitor are large insects and their larvae are consumed as food in many countries. The nutritional composition of T. molitor has been studied and contains high amounts of proteins, unsaturated fatty acids, and valuable minerals. However, the bioactivity of T. molitor has not been fully understood. We examined the effects of T. molitor extracts on resistance to oxidative stress and organism's lifespan using Caenorhabditis elegans as a model system. The response to heat shock and ultraviolet (UV) irradiation was monitored in vivo. The extracts from T. molitor showed significant effects on resistance to oxidative stress and UV irradiation and extend both mean and maximum lifespan of C. elegans. The number of progeny produced significantly increased in animals supplemented with T. molitor extracts. In addition, the expression of hsp-16.2 and sod-3 was markedly upregulated by supplementation with T. molitor extracts. These findings suggest that T. molitor extracts can increase response to stressors and extend lifespan by the induction of longevity assurance genes in C. elegans.

  13. Apoptosis-mediated in vivo toxicity of hydroxylated fullerene nanoparticles in soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Cha, Yun Jeong; Lee, Jaesang; Choi, Shin Sik

    2012-03-01

    Although a number of manufactured nanoparticles are applied for the medical and clinical purposes, the understanding of interaction between nanomaterials and biological systems are still insufficient. Using nematode Caenorhabditis elegans model organism, we here investigated the in vivo toxicity or safety of hydroxylated fullerene nanoparticles known to detoxify anti-cancer drug-induced oxidative damages in mammals. The survival ratio of C. elegans rapidly decreased by the uptake of nanoparticles from their L4 larval stage with resulting in shortened lifespan (20 d). Both reproduction rate and body size of C. elegans were also reduced after exposure to 100 μg mL(-1) of fullerol. We found ectopic cell corpses caused by apoptotic cell death in the adult worms grown with fullerol nanoparticles. By the mutation of core pro-apoptotic regulator genes, ced-3 and ced-4, these nanoparticle-induced cell death were significantly suppressed, and the viability of animals consequently increased despite of nanoparticle uptake. The apoptosis-mediated toxicity of nanoparticles particularly led to the disorder of digestion system in the animals containing a large number of undigested foods in their intestine. These results demonstrated that the water-soluble fullerol nanoparticles widely used in medicinal applications have a potential for inducing apoptotic cell death in multicellular organisms despite of their antioxidative detoxifying property. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Diversity and specificity in the interaction between Caenorhabditis elegans and the pathogen Serratia marcescens

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    Ewbank Jonathan J

    2004-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Co-evolutionary arms races between parasites and hosts are considered to be of immense importance in the evolution of living organisms, potentially leading to highly dynamic life-history changes. The outcome of such arms races is in many cases thought to be determined by frequency dependent selection, which relies on genetic variation in host susceptibility and parasite virulence, and also genotype-specific interactions between host and parasite. Empirical evidence for these two prerequisites is scarce, however, especially for invertebrate hosts. We addressed this topic by analysing the interaction between natural isolates of the soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and the pathogenic soil bacterium Serratia marcescens. Results Our analysis reveals the presence of i significant variation in host susceptibility, ii significant variation in pathogen virulence, and iii significant strain- and genotype-specific interactions between the two species. Conclusions The results obtained support the previous notion that highly specific interactions between parasites and animal hosts are generally widespread. At least for C. elegans, the high specificity is observed among isolates from the same population, such that it may provide a basis for and/or represent the outcome of co-evolutionary adaptations under natural conditions. Since both C. elegans and S. marcescens permit comprehensive molecular analyses, these two species provide a promising model system for inference of the molecular basis of such highly specific interactions, which are as yet unexplored in invertebrate hosts.

  15. Spermatogenesis-specific features of the meiotic program in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Diane C Shakes

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available In most sexually reproducing organisms, the fundamental process of meiosis is implemented concurrently with two differentiation programs that occur at different rates and generate distinct cell types, sperm and oocytes. However, little is known about how the meiotic program is influenced by such contrasting developmental programs. Here we present a detailed timeline of late meiotic prophase during spermatogenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans using cytological and molecular landmarks to interrelate changes in chromosome dynamics with germ cell cellularization, spindle formation, and cell cycle transitions. This analysis expands our understanding C. elegans spermatogenesis, as it identifies multiple spermatogenesis-specific features of the meiotic program and provides a framework for comparative studies. Post-pachytene chromatin of spermatocytes is distinct from that of oocytes in both composition and morphology. Strikingly, C. elegans spermatogenesis includes a previously undescribed karyosome stage, a common but poorly understood feature of meiosis in many organisms. We find that karyosome formation, in which chromosomes form a constricted mass within an intact nuclear envelope, follows desynapsis, involves a global down-regulation of transcription, and may support the sequential activation of multiple kinases that prepare spermatocytes for meiotic divisions. In spermatocytes, the presence of centrioles alters both the relative timing of meiotic spindle assembly and its ultimate structure. These microtubule differences are accompanied by differences in kinetochores, which connect microtubules to chromosomes. The sperm-specific features of meiosis revealed here illuminate how the underlying molecular machinery required for meiosis is differentially regulated in each sex.

  16. Elemental bioimaging of Cisplatin in Caenorhabditis elegans by LA-ICP-MS.

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    Crone, Barbara; Aschner, Michael; Schwerdtle, Tanja; Karst, Uwe; Bornhorst, Julia

    2015-07-01

    cis-Diamminedichloroplatinum(II) (Cisplatin) is one of the most important and frequently used cytostatic drugs for the treatment of various solid tumors. Herein, a laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) method incorporating a fast and simple sample preparation protocol was developed for the elemental mapping of Cisplatin in the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans). The method allows imaging of the spatially-resolved elemental distribution of platinum in the whole organism with respect to the anatomic structure in L4 stage worms at a lateral resolution of 5 μm. In addition, a dose- and time-dependent Cisplatin uptake was corroborated quantitatively by a total reflection X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (TXRF) method, and the elemental mapping indicated that Cisplatin is located in the intestine and in the head of the worms. Better understanding of the distribution of Cisplatin in this well-established model organism will be instrumental in deciphering Cisplatin toxicity and pharmacokinetics. Since the cytostatic effect of Cisplatin is based on binding the DNA by forming intra- and interstrand crosslinks, the response of poly(ADP-ribose)metabolism enzyme 1 (pme-1) deletion mutants to Cisplatin was also examined. Loss of pme-1, which is the C. elegans ortholog of human poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 (PARP-1) led to disturbed DNA damage response. With respect to survival and brood size, pme-1 deletion mutants were more sensitive to Cisplatin as compared to wildtype worms, while Cisplatin uptake was indistinguishable.

  17. Myricetin-Mediated Lifespan Extension in Caenorhabditis elegans Is Modulated by DAF-16

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    Wim Wätjen

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Myricetin is a naturally occurring flavonol found in many plant based food sources. It increases the lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans, but the molecular mechanisms are not yet fully understood. We have investigated the impact of this flavonoid on the transcription factors DAF-16 (C. elegans FoxO homologue and SKN-1 (Nrf2 homologue, which have crucial functions in the regulation of ageing. Myricetin is rapidly assimilated by the nematode, causes a nuclear translocation of DAF-16 but not of SKN-1, and finally prolongs the mean adult lifespan of C. elegans by 32.9%. The lifespan prolongation was associated with a decrease in the accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS detected by DCF. Myricetin also decreases the formation of lipofuscin, a pigment consisting of highly oxidized and cross-linked proteins that is considered as a biomarker of ageing in diverse species. The lifespan extension was completely abolished in a daf-16 loss-of-function mutant strain (CF1038. Consistently with this result, myricetin was also not able to diminish stress-induced ROS accumulation in the mutant. These results strongly indicate that the pro-longevity effect of myricetin is dependent on DAF-16 and not on direct anti-oxidative effects of the flavonoid.

  18. The Annona muricata leaf ethanol extract affects mobility and reproduction in mutant strain NB327 Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Bustos, A V Gualteros; Jiménez, M Gómez; Mora, R M Sánchez

    2017-07-01

    The C. elegans NB327 mutant strain is characterized for the knockdown of the dic-1 gene. The dic-1 gene is homologous to the dice-1 gene in humans, encoding the protein DICE-1 as a tumor suppressor. Absence or under-regulation of the dice-1 gene can be reflected in lung and prostate cancer [17], [18]. This study evaluated the effect of EEAML on the C. elegans NB327 mutant strain. Phenotypic aspects such as morphology, body length, locomotion, and reproductive behaviour were analyzed. It is important to emphasize that the strain presents a phenotype characteristic with respect to egg laying and hatching. Reported studies showed that Annona muricata extract and its active components evidence anti-cancer and anti-tumor effects, through experimentation in vivo and in vitro models. However, neurotoxicity has been reported as a side effect. The results showed that the mutant strain NB327 was exposed to EEAML (5 mg/ml) concentration, it showed a significant decrease in average locomotion, resulting in 13 undulations in 30 s. This contrasts with the control strain's 17.5 undulations in 30 s. Similarly, the number of progenies was reduced from 188 progenies (control strain) to 114 and 92 progenies at the dose of (1 mg/ml and 5 mg/m) EEAML. The results of this study suggest that EEAML has a possible neurotoxic effect in concentrations equal to or greater than 5 mg/ml. Also, it does not have positive effects on the mutant strain of Caenorhabditis elegans NB327 phenotype.

  19. The Annona muricata leaf ethanol extract affects mobility and reproduction in mutant strain NB327 Caenorhabditis elegans

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    A.V. Gualteros Bustos

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available The C. elegans NB327 mutant strain is characterized for the knockdown of the dic-1 gene. The dic-1 gene is homologous to the dice-1 gene in humans, encoding the protein DICE-1 as a tumor suppressor. Absence or under-regulation of the dice-1 gene can be reflected in lung and prostate cancer [17,18]. This study evaluated the effect of EEAML on the C. elegans NB327 mutant strain. Phenotypic aspects such as morphology, body length, locomotion, and reproductive behaviour were analyzed. It is important to emphasize that the strain presents a phenotype characteristic with respect to egg laying and hatching. Reported studies showed that Annona muricata extract and its active components evidence anti-cancer and anti-tumor effects, through experimentation in vivo and in vitro models. However, neurotoxicity has been reported as a side effect. The results showed that the mutant strain NB327 was exposed to EEAML (5 mg/ml concentration, it showed a significant decrease in average locomotion, resulting in 13 undulations in 30 s. This contrasts with the control strain's 17.5 undulations in 30 s. Similarly, the number of progenies was reduced from 188 progenies (control strain to 114 and 92 progenies at the dose of (1 mg/ml and 5 mg/m EEAML. The results of this study suggest that EEAML has a possible neurotoxic effect in concentrations equal to or greater than 5 mg/ml. Also, it does not have positive effects on the mutant strain of Caenorhabditis elegans NB327 phenotype.

  20. Application of a mathematical model to describe the effects of chlorpyrifos on Caenorhabditis elegans development.

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    Windy A Boyd

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is being assessed as an alternative model organism as part of an interagency effort to develop better means to test potentially toxic substances. As part of this effort, assays that use the COPAS Biosort flow sorting technology to record optical measurements (time of flight (TOF and extinction (EXT of individual nematodes under various chemical exposure conditions are being developed. A mathematical model has been created that uses Biosort data to quantitatively and qualitatively describe C. elegans growth, and link changes in growth rates to biological events. Chlorpyrifos, an organophosphate pesticide known to cause developmental delays and malformations in mammals, was used as a model toxicant to test the applicability of the growth model for in vivo toxicological testing.L1 larval nematodes were exposed to a range of sub-lethal chlorpyrifos concentrations (0-75 microM and measured every 12 h. In the absence of toxicant, C. elegans matured from L1s to gravid adults by 60 h. A mathematical model was used to estimate nematode size distributions at various times. Mathematical modeling of the distributions allowed the number of measured nematodes and log(EXT and log(TOF growth rates to be estimated. The model revealed three distinct growth phases. The points at which estimated growth rates changed (change points were constant across the ten chlorpyrifos concentrations. Concentration response curves with respect to several model-estimated quantities (numbers of measured nematodes, mean log(TOF and log(EXT, growth rates, and time to reach change points showed a significant decrease in C. elegans growth with increasing chlorpyrifos concentration.Effects of chlorpyrifos on C. elegans growth and development were mathematically modeled. Statistical tests confirmed a significant concentration effect on several model endpoints. This confirmed that chlorpyrifos affects C. elegans development in a concentration dependent

  1. Aging in Caenorhabditis elegans; the role of Wnt signalling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lezzerini, M.

    2015-01-01

    Aging is a universal biological process, broadly characterized by the gradual decline of a multitude of physiological functions, ultimately resulting in organismal death. Wnt signaling is a major and highly conserved developmental pathway that guides many important events during organismal

  2. Comparative functional characterization of the CSR-1 22G-RNA pathway in Caenorhabditis nematodes.

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    Tu, Shikui; Wu, Monica Z; Wang, Jie; Cutter, Asher D; Weng, Zhiping; Claycomb, Julie M

    2015-01-01

    As a champion of small RNA research for two decades, Caenorhabditis elegans has revealed the essential Argonaute CSR-1 to play key nuclear roles in modulating chromatin, chromosome segregation and germline gene expression via 22G-small RNAs. Despite CSR-1 being preserved among diverse nematodes, the conservation and divergence in function of the targets of small RNA pathways remains poorly resolved. Here we apply comparative functional genomic analysis between C. elegans and Caenorhabditis briggsae to characterize the CSR-1 pathway, its targets and their evolution. C. briggsae CSR-1-associated small RNAs that we identified by immunoprecipitation-small RNA sequencing overlap with 22G-RNAs depleted in cbr-csr-1 RNAi-treated worms. By comparing 22G-RNAs and target genes between species, we defined a set of CSR-1 target genes with conserved germline expression, enrichment in operons and more slowly evolving coding sequences than other genes, along with a small group of evolutionarily labile targets. We demonstrate that the association of CSR-1 with chromatin is preserved, and show that depletion of cbr-csr-1 leads to chromosome segregation defects and embryonic lethality. This first comparative characterization of a small RNA pathway in Caenorhabditis establishes a conserved nuclear role for CSR-1 and highlights its key role in germline gene regulation across multiple animal species. © The Author(s) 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

  3. The Genetics of Axon Guidance and Axon Regeneration in Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Chisholm, Andrew D.; Hutter, Harald; Jin, Yishi; Wadsworth, William G.

    2016-01-01

    The correct wiring of neuronal circuits depends on outgrowth and guidance of neuronal processes during development. In the past two decades, great progress has been made in understanding the molecular basis of axon outgrowth and guidance. Genetic analysis in Caenorhabditis elegans has played a key role in elucidating conserved pathways regulating axon guidance, including Netrin signaling, the slit Slit/Robo pathway, Wnt signaling, and others. Axon guidance factors were first identified by screens for mutations affecting animal behavior, and by direct visual screens for axon guidance defects. Genetic analysis of these pathways has revealed the complex and combinatorial nature of guidance cues, and has delineated how cues guide growth cones via receptor activity and cytoskeletal rearrangement. Several axon guidance pathways also affect directed migrations of non-neuronal cells in C. elegans, with implications for normal and pathological cell migrations in situations such as tumor metastasis. The small number of neurons and highly stereotyped axonal architecture of the C. elegans nervous system allow analysis of axon guidance at the level of single identified axons, and permit in vivo tests of prevailing models of axon guidance. C. elegans axons also have a robust capacity to undergo regenerative regrowth after precise laser injury (axotomy). Although such axon regrowth shares some similarities with developmental axon outgrowth, screens for regrowth mutants have revealed regeneration-specific pathways and factors that were not identified in developmental screens. Several areas remain poorly understood, including how major axon tracts are formed in the embryo, and the function of axon regeneration in the natural environment. PMID:28114100

  4. Caenorhabditis elegans orthologs of human genes differentially expressed with age are enriched for determinants of longevity.

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    Sutphin, George L; Backer, Grant; Sheehan, Susan; Bean, Shannon; Corban, Caroline; Liu, Teresa; Peters, Marjolein J; van Meurs, Joyce B J; Murabito, Joanne M; Johnson, Andrew D; Korstanje, Ron

    2017-08-01

    We report a systematic RNAi longevity screen of 82 Caenorhabditis elegans genes selected based on orthology to human genes differentially expressed with age. We find substantial enrichment in genes for which knockdown increased lifespan. This enrichment is markedly higher than published genomewide longevity screens in C. elegans and similar to screens that preselected candidates based on longevity-correlated metrics (e.g., stress resistance). Of the 50 genes that affected lifespan, 46 were previously unreported. The five genes with the greatest impact on lifespan (>20% extension) encode the enzyme kynureninase (kynu-1), a neuronal leucine-rich repeat protein (iglr-1), a tetraspanin (tsp-3), a regulator of calcineurin (rcan-1), and a voltage-gated calcium channel subunit (unc-36). Knockdown of each gene extended healthspan without impairing reproduction. kynu-1(RNAi) alone delayed pathology in C. elegans models of Alzheimer's disease and Huntington's disease. Each gene displayed a distinct pattern of interaction with known aging pathways. In the context of published work, kynu-1, tsp-3, and rcan-1 are of particular interest for immediate follow-up. kynu-1 is an understudied member of the kynurenine metabolic pathway with a mechanistically distinct impact on lifespan. Our data suggest that tsp-3 is a novel modulator of hypoxic signaling and rcan-1 is a context-specific calcineurin regulator. Our results validate C. elegans as a comparative tool for prioritizing human candidate aging genes, confirm age-associated gene expression data as valuable source of novel longevity determinants, and prioritize select genes for mechanistic follow-up. © 2017 The Authors. Aging Cell published by the Anatomical Society and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Natural lignans from Arctium lappa as antiaging agents in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Su, Shan; Wink, Michael

    2015-09-01

    Arctium lappa is a well-known traditional medicinal plant in China (TCM) and Europe that has been used for thousands of years to treat arthritis, baldness or cancer. The plant produces lignans as secondary metabolites, which have a wide range of bioactivities. Yet, their antiaging potential has not been explored. In this study, we isolated six lignans from A. lappa seeds, namely arctigenin, matairesinol, arctiin, (iso)lappaol A, lappaol C, and lappaol F. The antioxidant and antiaging properties of the isolated lignans were studied using Caenorhabditis elegans as a relevant animal model. All lignans at concentrations of 10 and 100 μM significantly extended the mean life span of C. elegans. The strongest effect was observed with matairesinol, which at a concentration of 100 μM extended the life span of worms by 25%. Additionally, we observed that five lignans are strong free radical-scavengers in vitro and in vivo and all lignans can improve survival of C. elegans under oxidative stress. Furthermore, the lignans can induce the nuclear translocation of the transcription factor DAF-16 and up-regulate its expression, suggesting that a possible underlying mechanism of the observed longevity-promoting activity of lignans depends on DAF-16 mediated signaling pathway. All lignans up-regulated the expression of jnk-1, indicating that lignans may promote the C. elegans longevity and stress resistance through a JNK-1-DAF-16 cascade. Our study reports new antiaging activities of lignans, which might be candidates for developing antiaging agents. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Divergent gene expression in the conserved dauer stage of the nematodes Pristionchus pacificus and Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Sinha Amit

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background An organism can respond to changing environmental conditions by adjusting gene regulation and by forming alternative phenotypes. In nematodes, these mechanisms are coupled because many species will form dauer larvae, a stress-resistant and non-aging developmental stage, when exposed to unfavorable environmental conditions, and execute gene expression programs that have been selected for the survival of the animal in the wild. These dauer larvae represent an environmentally induced, homologous developmental stage across many nematode species, sharing conserved morphological and physiological properties. Hence it can be expected that some core components of the associated transcriptional program would be conserved across species, while others might diverge over the course of evolution. However, transcriptional and metabolic analysis of dauer development has been largely restricted to Caenorhabditis elegans. Here, we use a transcriptomic approach to compare the dauer stage in the evolutionary model system Pristionchus pacificus with the dauer stage in C. elegans. Results We have employed Agilent microarrays, which represent 20,446 P. pacificus and 20,143 C. elegans genes to show an unexpected divergence in the expression profiles of these two nematodes in dauer and dauer exit samples. P. pacificus and C. elegans differ in the dynamics and function of genes that are differentially expressed. We find that only a small number of orthologous gene pairs show similar expression pattern in the dauers of the two species, while the non-orthologous fraction of genes is a major contributor to the active transcriptome in dauers. Interestingly, many of the genes acquired by horizontal gene transfer and orphan genes in P. pacificus, are differentially expressed suggesting that these genes are of evolutionary and functional importance. Conclusion Our data set provides a catalog for future functional investigations and indicates novel insight

  7. Caenorhabditis elegans DAF-2 as a Model for Human Insulin Receptoropathies.

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    Bulger, David A; Fukushige, Tetsunari; Yun, Sijung; Semple, Robert K; Hanover, John A; Krause, Michael W

    2017-01-05

    Human exome sequencing has dramatically increased the rate of identification of disease-associated polymorphisms. However, examining the functional consequences of those variants has created an analytic bottleneck. Insulin-like signaling in Caenorhabditis elegans has long provided a model to assess consequences of human insulin signaling mutations, but this has not been evaluated in the context of current genetic tools. We have exploited strains derived from the Million Mutation Project (MMP) and gene editing to explore further the evolutionary relationships and conservation between the human and C. elegans insulin receptors. Of 40 MMP alleles analyzed in the C. elegans insulin-like receptor gene DAF-2, 35 exhibited insulin-like signaling indistinguishable from wild-type animals, indicating tolerated mutations. Five MMP alleles proved to be novel dauer-enhancing mutations, including one new allele in the previously uncharacterized C-terminus of DAF-2 CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing was used to confirm the phenotypic consequence of six of these DAF-2 mutations and to replicate an allelic series of known human disease mutations in a highly conserved tyrosine kinase active site residue, demonstrating the utility of C. elegans for directly modeling human disease. Our results illustrate the challenges associated with prediction of the phenotypic consequences of amino acid substitutions, the value of assaying mutant isoform function in vivo, and how recently developed tools and resources afford the opportunity to expand our understanding even of highly conserved regulatory modules such as insulin signaling. This approach may prove generally useful for modeling phenotypic consequences of candidate human pathogenic mutations in conserved signaling and developmental pathways. Copyright © 2017 Bulger et al.

  8. WormScan: a technique for high-throughput phenotypic analysis of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark D Mathew

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: There are four main phenotypes that are assessed in whole organism studies of Caenorhabditis elegans; mortality, movement, fecundity and size. Procedures have been developed that focus on the digital analysis of some, but not all of these phenotypes and may be limited by expense and limited throughput. We have developed WormScan, an automated image acquisition system that allows quantitative analysis of each of these four phenotypes on standard NGM plates seeded with E. coli. This system is very easy to implement and has the capacity to be used in high-throughput analysis. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Our system employs a readily available consumer grade flatbed scanner. The method uses light stimulus from the scanner rather than physical stimulus to induce movement. With two sequential scans it is possible to quantify the induced phototactic response. To demonstrate the utility of the method, we measured the phenotypic response of C. elegans to phosphine gas exposure. We found that stimulation of movement by the light of the scanner was equivalent to physical stimulation for the determination of mortality. WormScan also provided a quantitative assessment of health for the survivors. Habituation from light stimulation of continuous scans was similar to habituation caused by physical stimulus. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: There are existing systems for the automated phenotypic data collection of C. elegans. The specific advantages of our method over existing systems are high-throughput assessment of a greater range of phenotypic endpoints including determination of mortality and quantification of the mobility of survivors. Our system is also inexpensive and very easy to implement. Even though we have focused on demonstrating the usefulness of WormScan in toxicology, it can be used in a wide range of additional C. elegans studies including lifespan determination, development, pathology and behavior. Moreover, we have even adapted the

  9. Shifts in the distribution of mass densities is a signature of caloric restriction in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alfonso Reina

    Full Text Available Although the starvation response of the model multicellular organism Caenorhabditis elegans is a subject of much research, there is no convenient phenotypic readout of caloric restriction that can be applicable to large numbers of worms. This paper describes the distribution of mass densities of populations of C. elegans, from larval stages up to day one of adulthood, using isopycnic centrifugation, and finds that density is a convenient, if complex, phenotypic readout in C. elegans. The density of worms in synchronized populations of wildtype N2 C. elegans grown under standard solid-phase culture conditions was normally distributed, with distributions peaked sharply at a mean of 1.091 g/cm(3 for L1, L2 and L3 larvae, 1.087 g/cm(3 for L4 larvae, 1.081 g/cm(3 for newly molted adults, and 1.074 g/cm(3 at 24 hours of adulthood. The density of adult worms under starvation stress fell well outside this range, falling to a mean value of 1.054 g/cm(3 after eight hours of starvation. This decrease in density correlated with the consumption of stored glycogen in the food-deprived worms. The density of the worms increased when deprived of food for longer durations, corresponding to a shift in the response of the worms: worms sacrifice their bodies by retaining larvae, which consume the adults from within. Density-based screens with the drug Ivermectin on worms cultured on single plates resulted in a clear bimodal (double-peaked distribution of densities corresponding to drug exposed and non-exposed worms. Thus, measurements of changes in density could be used to conduct screens on the effects of drugs on several populations of worms cultured on single plates.

  10. A rolling circle replication mechanism produces multimeric lariats of mitochondrial DNA in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Samantha C Lewis

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA encodes respiratory complex subunits essential to almost all eukaryotes; hence respiratory competence requires faithful duplication of this molecule. However, the mechanism(s of its synthesis remain hotly debated. Here we have developed Caenorhabditis elegans as a convenient animal model for the study of metazoan mtDNA synthesis. We demonstrate that C. elegans mtDNA replicates exclusively by a phage-like mechanism, in which multimeric molecules are synthesized from a circular template. In contrast to previous mammalian studies, we found that mtDNA synthesis in the C. elegans gonad produces branched-circular lariat structures with multimeric DNA tails; we were able to detect multimers up to four mtDNA genome unit lengths. Further, we did not detect elongation from a displacement-loop or analogue of 7S DNA, suggesting a clear difference from human mtDNA in regard to the site(s of replication initiation. We also identified cruciform mtDNA species that are sensitive to cleavage by the resolvase RusA; we suggest these four-way junctions may have a role in concatemer-to-monomer resolution. Overall these results indicate that mtDNA synthesis in C. elegans does not conform to any previously documented metazoan mtDNA replication mechanism, but instead are strongly suggestive of rolling circle replication, as employed by bacteriophages. As several components of the metazoan mitochondrial DNA replisome are likely phage-derived, these findings raise the possibility that the rolling circle mtDNA replication mechanism may be ancestral among metazoans.

  11. Caenorhabditis elegans DAF-2 as a Model for Human Insulin Receptoropathies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David A. Bulger

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Human exome sequencing has dramatically increased the rate of identification of disease-associated polymorphisms. However, examining the functional consequences of those variants has created an analytic bottleneck. Insulin-like signaling in Caenorhabditis elegans has long provided a model to assess consequences of human insulin signaling mutations, but this has not been evaluated in the context of current genetic tools. We have exploited strains derived from the Million Mutation Project (MMP and gene editing to explore further the evolutionary relationships and conservation between the human and C. elegans insulin receptors. Of 40 MMP alleles analyzed in the C. elegans insulin-like receptor gene DAF-2, 35 exhibited insulin-like signaling indistinguishable from wild-type animals, indicating tolerated mutations. Five MMP alleles proved to be novel dauer-enhancing mutations, including one new allele in the previously uncharacterized C-terminus of DAF-2. CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing was used to confirm the phenotypic consequence of six of these DAF-2 mutations and to replicate an allelic series of known human disease mutations in a highly conserved tyrosine kinase active site residue, demonstrating the utility of C. elegans for directly modeling human disease. Our results illustrate the challenges associated with prediction of the phenotypic consequences of amino acid substitutions, the value of assaying mutant isoform function in vivo, and how recently developed tools and resources afford the opportunity to expand our understanding even of highly conserved regulatory modules such as insulin signaling. This approach may prove generally useful for modeling phenotypic consequences of candidate human pathogenic mutations in conserved signaling and developmental pathways.

  12. In vivo testing of gold nanoparticles using the Caenorhabditis elegans model organism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez-Moragas, Laura; Berto, Pascal; Vilches, Clara; Quidant, Romain; Kolovou, Androniki; Santarella-Mellwig, Rachel; Schwab, Yannick; Stürzenbaum, Stephen; Roig, Anna; Laromaine, Anna

    2017-04-15

    Gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) are present in many man-made products and cosmetics and are also used by the food and medical industries. Tight regulations regarding the use of mammalian animals for product testing can hamper the study of the specific interactions between engineered nanoparticles and biological systems. Invertebrate models, such as the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), can offer alternative approaches during the early phases of nanoparticle discovery. Here, we thoroughly evaluated the biodistribution of 11-nm and 150-nm citrate-capped AuNPs in the model organism C. elegans at multiple scales, moving from micrometric to nanometric resolution and from the organismal to cellular level. We confirmed that the nanoparticles were not able to cross the intestinal and dermal barriers. We investigated the effect of AuNPs on the survival and reproductive performance of C. elegans, and correlated these effects with the uptake of AuNPs in terms of their number, surface area, and metal mass. In general, exposure to 11-nm AuNPs resulted in a higher toxicity than the larger 150-nm AuNPs. NP aggregation inside C. elegans was determined using absorbance microspectroscopy, which allowed the plasmonic properties of AuNPs to be correlated with their confinement inside the intestinal lumen, where anatomical traits, acidic pH and the presence of biomolecules play an essential role on NP aggregation. Finally, quantitative PCR of selected molecular markers indicated that exposure to AuNPs did not significantly affect endocytosis and intestinal barrier integrity. This work highlights how the simple, yet information-rich, animal model C. elegans is ideally suited for preliminary screening of nanoparticles or chemicals mitigating most of the difficulties associated with mammalian animal models, namely the ethical issues, the high cost, and time constraints. This is of particular relevance to the cosmetic, food, and pharmaceutical industries, which all have to justify

  13. Life cycle and population growth rate of Caenorhabditis elegans studied by a new method

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    Schroeder Fabian

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available 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, age-specific fecundity/mortality, total reproduction, mean and maximum lifespan, and intrinsic population growth rates. However, we found that in life-cycle experiments care is needed regarding protocol design. Here, we test a recently developed method that overcomes some problems associated with traditional cultivation techniques. In this fast and yet precise approach, single individuals are maintained within hanging drops of semi-fluid culture medium, allowing the simultaneous investigation of various life-history traits at any desired degree of accuracy. Here, the life cycles of wild-type C. elegans strains N2 (Bristol, UK and MY6 (Münster, Germany were compared at 20°C with 5 × 109 Escherichia coli ml-1 as food source. Results High-resolution life tables and fecundity schedules of the two strains are presented. Though isolated 700 km and 60 years apart from each other, the two strains barely differed in life-cycle parameters. For strain N2 (n = 69, the intrinsic rate of natural increase (rmd-1, calculated according to the Lotka equation, was 1.375, the net reproductive rate (R0 291, the mean generation time (T 90 h, and the minimum generation time (Tmin 73.0 h. The corresponding values for strain MY6 (n = 72 were rm = 1.460, R0 = 289, T = 84 h, and Tmin = 67.3 h. Peak egg-laying rates in both strains exceeded 140 eggs d-1. Juvenile and early adulthood mortality was negligible. Strain N2 lived, on average, for 16.7 d, while strain MY6 died 2 days

  14. Radiobiological studies with the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Genetic and developmental effects of high LET radiation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, G. A.; Schubert, W. W.; Marshall, T. M.

    1992-01-01

    The biological effects of heavy charged particle (HZE) radiation are of particular interest to travellers and planners for long-duration space flights where exposure levels represent a potential health hazard. The unique feature of HZE radiation is the structured pattern of its energy deposition in targets. There are many consequences of this feature to biological endpoints when compared with effects of ionizing photons. Dose vs response and dose-rate kinetics may be modified, DNA and cellular repair systems may be altered in their abilities to cope with damage, and the qualitative features of damage may be unique for different ions. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is being used to address these and related questions associated with exposure to radiation. HZE-induced mutation, chromosome aberration, cell inactivation and altered organogenesis are discussed along with plans for radiobiological experiments in space.

  15. Transgenerational effects of proton beam irradiation on Caenorhabditis elegans germline apoptosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Min, Hyemin; Sung, Minhee; Son, Miseol; Kawasaki, Ichiro; Shim, Yhong-Hee

    2017-08-26

    When treating cancer using radiation therapy, it is critical to increase patient survival rates and to reduce side effects. In this respect, proton beam radiation treatment performs better than other radiation treatments because of its high target specificity. However, complications still remain after proton beam radiation treatment. Among them, the risk to progeny after irradiation of their parents is a major concern. In this study, we analyzed the transgenerational effects of proton beam irradiation using the model organism Caenorhabditis. elegans. We found that germline apoptosis increased after proton beam irradiation and its effects were sustained transgenerationally. Moreover, we identified that a germline-specific histone methyltransferase component, SET-2, has a critical role in transmitting the transgenerational effect on germline apoptosis to the next generation after proton beam irradiation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Facilitation of Endosomal Recycling by an IRG Protein Homolog Maintains Apical Tubule Structure in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grussendorf, Kelly A.; Trezza, Christopher J.; Salem, Alexander T.; Al-Hashimi, Hikmat; Mattingly, Brendan C.; Kampmeyer, Drew E.; Khan, Liakot A.; Hall, David H.; Göbel, Verena; Ackley, Brian D.; Buechner, Matthew

    2016-01-01

    Determination of luminal diameter is critical to the function of small single-celled tubes. A series of EXC proteins, including EXC-1, prevent swelling of the tubular excretory canals in Caenorhabditis elegans. In this study, cloning of exc-1 reveals it to encode a homolog of mammalian IRG proteins, which play roles in immune response and autophagy and are associated with Crohn’s disease. Mutants in exc-1 accumulate early endosomes, lack recycling endosomes, and exhibit abnormal apical cytoskeletal structure in regions of enlarged tubules. EXC-1 interacts genetically with two other EXC proteins that also affect endosomal trafficking. In yeast two-hybrid assays, wild-type and putative constitutively active EXC-1 binds to the LIM-domain protein EXC-9, whose homolog, cysteine-rich intestinal protein, is enriched in mammalian intestine. These results suggest a model for IRG function in forming and maintaining apical tubule structure via regulation of endosomal recycling. PMID:27334269

  17. Synaptonemal Complex Components Are Required for Meiotic Checkpoint Function in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bohr, Tisha; Ashley, Guinevere; Eggleston, Evan; Firestone, Kyra; Bhalla, Needhi

    2016-01-01

    Synapsis involves the assembly of a proteinaceous structure, the synaptonemal complex (SC), between paired homologous chromosomes, and is essential for proper meiotic chromosome segregation. In Caenorhabditis elegans, the synapsis checkpoint selectively removes nuclei with unsynapsed chromosomes by inducing apoptosis. This checkpoint depends on pairing centers (PCs), cis-acting sites that promote pairing and synapsis. We have hypothesized that the stability of homolog pairing at PCs is monitored by this checkpoint. Here, we report that SC components SYP-3, HTP-3, HIM-3, and HTP-1 are required for a functional synapsis checkpoint. Mutation of these components does not abolish PC function, demonstrating they are bona fide checkpoint components. Further, we identify mutant backgrounds in which the instability of homolog pairing at PCs does not correlate with the synapsis checkpoint response. Altogether, these data suggest that, in addition to homolog pairing, SC assembly may be monitored by the synapsis checkpoint. PMID:27605049

  18. Caenorhabditis elegans as a Model System for Studying Drug Induced Mitochondrial Toxicity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard de Boer

    Full Text Available Today HIV-1 infection is recognized as a chronic disease with obligatory lifelong treatment to keep viral titers below detectable levels. The continuous intake of antiretroviral drugs however, leads to severe and even life-threatening side effects, supposedly by the deleterious impact of nucleoside-analogue type compounds on the functioning of the mitochondrial DNA polymerase. For detailed investigation of the yet partially understood underlying mechanisms, the availability of a versatile model system is crucial. We therefore set out to develop the use of Caenorhabditis elegans to study drug induced mitochondrial toxicity. Using a combination of molecular-biological and functional assays, combined with a quantitative analysis of mitochondrial network morphology, we conclude that anti-retroviral drugs with similar working mechanisms can be classified into distinct groups based on their effects on mitochondrial morphology and biochemistry. Additionally we show that mitochondrial toxicity of antiretroviral drugs cannot be exclusively attributed to interference with the mitochondrial DNA polymerase.

  19. skn-1 is required for interneuron sensory integration and foraging behavior in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Mark A; Iser, Wendy B; Son, Tae Gen; Logie, Anne; Cabral-Costa, Joao V; Mattson, Mark P; Camandola, Simonetta

    2017-01-01

    Nrf2/skn-1, a transcription factor known to mediate adaptive responses of cells to stress, also regulates energy metabolism in response to changes in nutrient availability. The ability to locate food sources depends upon chemosensation. Here we show that Nrf2/skn-1 is expressed in olfactory interneurons, and is required for proper integration of multiple food-related sensory cues in Caenorhabditis elegans. Compared to wild type worms, skn-1 mutants fail to perceive that food density is limiting, and display altered chemo- and thermotactic responses. These behavioral deficits are associated with aberrant AIY interneuron morphology and migration in skn-1 mutants. Both skn-1-dependent AIY autonomous and non-autonomous mechanisms regulate the neural circuitry underlying multisensory integration of environmental cues related to energy acquisition.

  20. Comparative active-site mutation study of human and Caenorhabditis elegans thymidine kinase 1

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Skovgaard, Tine; Uhlin, Ulla; Munch-Petersen, Birgitte

    2012-01-01

    ligands. To improve our understanding of TK1 substrate specificity, we performed a detailed, mutation-based comparative structure-function study of the active sites of two thymidine kinases: HuTK1 and Caenorhabditis elegans TK1 (CeTK1). Specifically, mutations were introduced into the hydrophobic pocket......'-deoxythymidine (AZT) compared with the natural substrate thymidine. The crystal structure of the T163S-mutated HuTK1 reveals a less ordered conformation of the ligand thymidine triphosphate compared with the wild-type structure but the cause of the changed specificity towards AZT is not obvious. Based on its...... highly increased AZT activity relative to thymidine activity this TK1 mutant could be suitable for suicide gene therapy....

  1. Diverse Regulation of Temperature Sensation by Trimeric G-Protein Signaling in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Tomoyo Ujisawa

    Full Text Available Temperature sensation by the nervous system is essential for life and proliferation of animals. The molecular-physiological mechanisms underlying temperature signaling have not been fully elucidated. We show here that diverse regulatory machinery underlies temperature sensation through trimeric G-protein signaling in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Molecular-genetic studies demonstrated that cold tolerance is regulated by additive functions of three Gα proteins in a temperature-sensing neuron, ASJ, which is also known to be a light-sensing neuron. Optical recording of calcium concentration in ASJ upon temperature-changes demonstrated that three Gα proteins act in different aspects of temperature signaling. Calcium concentration changes in ASJ upon temperature change were unexpectedly decreased in a mutant defective in phosphodiesterase, which is well known as a negative regulator of calcium increase. Together, these data demonstrate commonalities and differences in the molecular components concerned with light and temperature signaling in a single sensory neuron.

  2. Diverse Regulation of Temperature Sensation by Trimeric G-Protein Signaling in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ujisawa, Tomoyo; Ohta, Akane; Uda-Yagi, Misato

    2016-01-01

    Temperature sensation by the nervous system is essential for life and proliferation of animals. The molecular-physiological mechanisms underlying temperature signaling have not been fully elucidated. We show here that diverse regulatory machinery underlies temperature sensation through trimeric G-protein signaling in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Molecular-genetic studies demonstrated that cold tolerance is regulated by additive functions of three Gα proteins in a temperature-sensing neuron, ASJ, which is also known to be a light-sensing neuron. Optical recording of calcium concentration in ASJ upon temperature-changes demonstrated that three Gα proteins act in different aspects of temperature signaling. Calcium concentration changes in ASJ upon temperature change were unexpectedly decreased in a mutant defective in phosphodiesterase, which is well known as a negative regulator of calcium increase. Together, these data demonstrate commonalities and differences in the molecular components concerned with light and temperature signaling in a single sensory neuron. PMID:27788246

  3. Dopamine Signaling Regulates Fat Content through β-Oxidation in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barros, Alexandre Guimarães de Almeida; Bridi, Jessika Cristina; de Souza, Bruno Rezende; de Castro Júnior, Célio; de Lima Torres, Karen Cecília; Malard, Leandro; Jorio, Ado; de Miranda, Débora Marques; Ashrafi, Kaveh; Romano-Silva, Marco Aurélio

    2014-01-01

    The regulation of energy balance involves an intricate interplay between neural mechanisms that respond to internal and external cues of energy demand and food availability. Compelling data have implicated the neurotransmitter dopamine as an important part of body weight regulation. However, the precise mechanisms through which dopamine regulates energy homeostasis remain poorly understood. Here, we investigate mechanisms through which dopamine modulates energy storage. We showed that dopamine signaling regulates fat reservoirs in Caenorhabditis elegans. We found that the fat reducing effects of dopamine were dependent on dopaminergic receptors and a set of fat oxidation enzymes. Our findings reveal an ancient role for dopaminergic regulation of fat and suggest that dopamine signaling elicits this outcome through cascades that ultimately mobilize peripheral fat depots. PMID:24465759

  4. Integrative Analysis of the Caenorhabditis elegans Genome by the modENCODE Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.; Feng, Xin; Leng, Jing; Vielle, Anne; Niu, Wei; Rhrissorrakrai, Kahn; Agarwal, Ashish; Alexander, Roger P.; Barber, Galt; Brdlik, Cathleen M.; Brennan, Jennifer; Brouillet, Jeremy Jean; Carr, Adrian; Cheung, Ming-Sin; Clawson, Hiram; Contrino, Sergio; Dannenberg, Luke O.; Dernburg, Abby F.; Desai, Arshad; Dick, Lindsay; Dosé, Andréa C.; Du, Jiang; Egelhofer, Thea; Ercan, Sevinc; Euskirchen, Ghia; Ewing, Brent; Feingold, Elise A.; Gassmann, Reto; Good, Peter J.; Green, Phil; Gullier, Francois; Gutwein, Michelle; Guyer, Mark S.; Habegger, Lukas; Han, Ting; Henikoff, Jorja G.; Henz, Stefan R.; Hinrichs, Angie; Holster, Heather; Hyman, Tony; Iniguez, A. Leo; Janette, Judith; Jensen, Morten; Kato, Masaomi; Kent, W. James; Kephart, Ellen; Khivansara, Vishal; Khurana, Ekta; Kim, John K.; Kolasinska-Zwierz, Paulina; Lai, Eric C.; Latorre, Isabel; Leahey, Amber; Lewis, Suzanna; Lloyd, Paul; Lochovsky, Lucas; Lowdon, Rebecca F.; Lubling, Yaniv; Lyne, Rachel; MacCoss, Michael; Mackowiak, Sebastian D.; Mangone, Marco; McKay, Sheldon; Mecenas, Desirea; Merrihew, Gennifer; Miller, David M.; Muroyama, Andrew; Murray, John I.; Ooi, Siew-Loon; Pham, Hoang; Phippen, Taryn; Preston, Elicia A.; Rajewsky, Nikolaus; Rätsch, Gunnar; Rosenbaum, Heidi; Rozowsky, Joel; Rutherford, Kim; Ruzanov, Peter; Sarov, Mihail; Sasidharan, Rajkumar; Sboner, Andrea; Scheid, Paul; Segal, Eran; Shin, Hyunjin; Shou, Chong; Slack, Frank J.; Slightam, Cindie; Smith, Richard; Spencer, William C.; Stinson, E. O.; Taing, Scott; Takasaki, Teruaki; Vafeados, Dionne; Voronina, Ksenia; Wang, Guilin; Washington, Nicole L.; Whittle, Christina M.; Wu, Beijing; Yan, Koon-Kiu; Zeller, Georg; Zha, Zheng; Zhong, Mei; Zhou, Xingliang; Ahringer, Julie; Strome, Susan; Gunsalus, Kristin C.; Micklem, Gos; Liu, X. Shirley; Reinke, Valerie; Kim, Stuart K.; Hillier, LaDeana W.; Henikoff, Steven; Piano, Fabio; Snyder, Michael; Stein, Lincoln; Lieb, Jason D.; Waterston, Robert H.

    2011-01-01

    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 transcription factor–binding and microRNA interactions and discovered chromosomal locations bound by an unusually large number of transcription factors. Different patterns of chromatin composition and histone modification were revealed between chromosome arms and centers, with similarly prominent differences between autosomes and the X chromosome. Integrating data types, we built statistical models relating chromatin, transcription factor binding, and gene expression. Overall, our analyses ascribed putative functions to most of the conserved genome. PMID:21177976

  5. Microfluidic devices for analysis of spatial orientation behaviors in semi-restrained Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kathryn E McCormick

    Full Text Available This article describes the fabrication and use of microfluidic devices for investigating spatial orientation behaviors in nematode worms (Caenorhabditis elegans. Until now, spatial orientation has been studied in freely moving nematodes in which the frequency and nature of encounters with the gradient are uncontrolled experimental variables. In the new devices, the nematode is held in place by a restraint that aligns the longitudinal axis of the body with the border between two laminar fluid streams, leaving the animal's head and tail free to move. The content of the fluid streams can be manipulated to deliver step gradients in space or time. We demonstrate the utility of the device by identifying previously uncharacterized aspects of the behavioral mechanisms underlying chemotaxis, osmotic avoidance, and thermotaxis in this organism. The new devices are readily adaptable to behavioral and imaging studies involving fluid borne stimuli in a wide range of sensory modalities.

  6. The Caenorhabditis elegans epidermis as a model skin. II: differentiation and physiological roles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chisholm, Andrew D; Xu, Suhong

    2012-01-01

    The Caenorhabditis elegans epidermis forms one of the principal barrier epithelia of the animal. Differentiation of the epidermis begins in mid embryogenesis and involves apical-basal polarization of the cytoskeletal and secretory systems as well as cellular junction formation. Secretion of the external cuticle layers is one of the major developmental and physiological specializations of the epidermal epithelium. The four post-embryonic larval stages are separated by periodic moults, in which the epidermis generates a new cuticle with stage-specific characteristics. The differentiated epidermis also plays key roles in endocrine signaling, fat storage, and ionic homeostasis. The epidermis is intimately associated with the development and function of the nervous system, and may have glial-like roles in modulating neuronal function. The epidermis provides passive and active defenses against skin-penetrating pathogens and can repair small wounds. Finally, age-dependent deterioration of the epidermis is a prominent feature of aging and may affect organismal aging and lifespan.

  7. Identification of nonviable genes affecting touch sensitivity in Caenorhabditis elegans using neuronally enhanced feeding RNA interference.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Xiaoyin; Cuadros, Margarete Diaz; Chalfie, Martin

    2015-01-09

    Caenorhabditis elegans senses gentle touch along the body via six touch receptor neurons. Although genetic screens and microarray analyses have identified several genes needed for touch sensitivity, these methods miss pleiotropic genes that are essential for the viability, movement, or fertility of the animals. We used neuronally enhanced feeding RNA interference to screen genes that cause lethality or paralysis when mutated, and we identified 61 such genes affecting touch sensitivity, including five positive controls. We confirmed 18 genes by using available alleles, and further studied one of them, tag-170, now renamed txdc-9. txdc-9 preferentially affects anterior touch response but is needed for tubulin acetylation and microtubule formation in both the anterior and posterior touch receptor neurons. Our results indicate that neuronally enhanced feeding RNA interference screens complement traditional mutageneses by identifying additional nonviable genes needed for specific neuronal functions. Copyright © 2015 Chen et al.

  8. Lipocalin signaling controls unicellular tube development in the Caenorhabditis elegans excretory system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stone, Craig E; Hall, David H; Sundaram, Meera V

    2009-05-15

    Unicellular tubes or capillaries composed of individual cells with a hollow lumen perform important physiological functions including fluid or gas transport and exchange. These tubes are thought to build intracellular lumina by polarized trafficking of apical membrane components, but the molecular signals that promote luminal growth and luminal connectivity between cells are poorly understood. Here we show that the lipocalin LPR-1 is required for luminal connectivity between two unicellular tubes in the Caenorhabditis elegans excretory (renal) system, the excretory duct cell and pore cell. Lipocalins are a large family of secreted proteins that transport lipophilic cargos and participate in intercellular signaling. lpr-1 is required at a time of rapid luminal growth, it is expressed by the duct, pore and surrounding cells, and it can function cell non-autonomously. These results reveal a novel signaling mechanism that controls unicellular tube formation, and provide a genetic model system for dissecting lipocalin signaling pathways.

  9. Effects of chronic gamma irradiation: a multigenerational study using Caenorhabditis elegans

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buisset-Goussen, Adeline; Goussen, Benoit; Della-Vedova, Claire; Galas, Simon; Adam-Guillermin, Christelle; Lecomte-Pradines, Catherine

    2014-01-01

    The effects of chronic exposure to 137 Cs gamma radiation (dose rate ranging from 6.6 to 42.7 mGy h −1 ) on growth and reproductive ability were carried out over three generations of Caenorhabditis elegans (F0, F1, and F2). Exposure began at the egg stage for the first generation and was stopped at the end of laying of third-generation eggs (F2). At the same time, the two subsequent generations from parental exposure were returned to the control conditions (F1’ and F2’). There was no radiation-induced significant effect on growth, hatchability, and cumulative number of larvae within generations. Moreover, no significant differences were found in growth parameters (hatching length, maximal length, and a constant related to growth rate) among the generations. However, a decrease in the cumulative number of larvae across exposed generations was observed between F0 and F2 at the highest dose rate (238.8 ± 15.4 and 171.2 ± 13.1 number of larvae per individual, respectively). Besides, the F1′ generation was found to lay significantly fewer eggs than the F1 generation for tested dose rates 6.6, 8.1, 19.4, and 28.1 mGy h −1 . Our results confirmed that reproduction (here, cumulative number of larvae) is the most sensitive endpoint affected by chronic exposure to ionizing radiation. The results obtained revealed transgenerational effects from parental exposure in the second generation, and the second non-exposed generation was indeed more affected than the second exposed generation. - Highlights: • Chronic exposure to γ-radiation is studied using 3 generations of Caenorhabditis elegans. • Reproduction is the most sensitive endpoint affected by exposure to gamma radiation. • The results obtained revealed transgenerational effects from parental exposure

  10. A Caenorhabditis elegans Host Model Correlates with Invasive Disease Caused by Staphylococcus aureus Recovered during an Outbreak in Neonatal Intensive Care

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    Kaiyu Wu

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Caenorhabditis elegans has previously been used as a host model to determine the virulence of clinical methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus isolates. In the present study, methicillin-susceptible S aureus (MSSA strains associated with an outbreak in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU were investigated using the C elegans model.

  11. EGL-13/SoxD Specifies Distinct O2 and CO2 Sensory Neuron Fates in Caenorhabditis elegans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gramstrup Petersen, Jakob; Rojo Romanos, Teresa; Juozaityte, Vaida

    2013-01-01

    that EGL-13 is sufficient to induce O2- and CO2-sensing cell fates in some cellular contexts. Thus, the same core regulatory factor, egl-13, is required and sufficient to specify the distinct fates of O2- and CO2-sensing neurons in C. elegans. These findings extend our understanding of mechanisms......Animals harbor specialized neuronal systems that are used for sensing and coordinating responses to changes in oxygen (O2) and carbon dioxide (CO2). In Caenorhabditis elegans, the O2/CO2 sensory system comprises functionally and morphologically distinct sensory neurons that mediate rapid behavioral...

  12. Adverse effects from clenbuterol and ractopamine on nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and the underlying mechanism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhuang, Ziheng; Zhao, Yunli; Wu, Qiuli; Li, Min; Liu, Haicui; Sun, Lingmei; Gao, Wei; Wang, Dayong

    2014-01-01

    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.

  13. Adverse effects from clenbuterol and ractopamine on nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and the underlying mechanism.

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    Ziheng Zhuang

    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.

  14. An SMC-like protein binds and regulates Caenorhabditis elegans condensins.

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    Chao, Lucy Fang-I; Singh, Meha; Thompson, James; Yates, John R; Hagstrom, Kirsten A

    2017-03-01

    Structural Maintenance of Chromosomes (SMC) family proteins participate in multisubunit complexes that govern chromosome structure and dynamics. SMC-containing condensin complexes create chromosome topologies essential for mitosis/meiosis, gene expression, recombination, and repair. Many eukaryotes have two condensin complexes (I and II); C. elegans has three (I, II, and the X-chromosome specialized condensin IDC) and their regulation is poorly understood. Here we identify a novel SMC-like protein, SMCL-1, that binds to C. elegans condensin SMC subunits, and modulates condensin functions. Consistent with a possible role as a negative regulator, loss of SMCL-1 partially rescued the lethal and sterile phenotypes of a hypomorphic condensin mutant, while over-expression of SMCL-1 caused lethality, chromosome mis-segregation, and disruption of condensin IDC localization on X chromosomes. Unlike canonical SMC proteins, SMCL-1 lacks hinge and coil domains, and its ATPase domain lacks conserved amino acids required for ATP hydrolysis, leading to the speculation that it may inhibit condensin ATPase activity. SMCL-1 homologs are apparent only in the subset of Caenorhabditis species in which the condensin I and II subunit SMC-4 duplicated to create the condensin IDC- specific subunit DPY-27, suggesting that SMCL-1 helps this lineage cope with the regulatory challenges imposed by evolution of a third condensin complex. Our findings uncover a new regulator of condensins and highlight how the duplication and divergence of SMC complex components in various lineages has created new proteins with diverse functions in chromosome dynamics.

  15. Activation of the Caenorhabditis elegans Degenerin Channel by Shear Stress Requires the MEC-10 Subunit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Shujie; Luke, Cliff J; Miedel, Mark T; Silverman, Gary A; Kleyman, Thomas R

    2016-07-01

    Mechanotransduction in Caenorhabditis elegans touch receptor neurons is mediated by an ion channel formed by MEC-4, MEC-10, and accessory proteins. To define the role of these subunits in the channel's response to mechanical force, we expressed degenerin channels comprising MEC-4 and MEC-10 in Xenopus oocytes and examined their response to laminar shear stress (LSS). Shear stress evoked a rapid increase in whole cell currents in oocytes expressing degenerin channels as well as channels with a MEC-4 degenerin mutation (MEC-4d), suggesting that C. elegans degenerin channels are sensitive to LSS. MEC-10 is required for a robust LSS response as the response was largely blunted in oocytes expressing homomeric MEC-4 or MEC-4d channels. We examined a series of MEC-10/MEC-4 chimeras to identify specific domains (amino terminus, first transmembrane domain, and extracellular domain) and sites (residues 130-132 and 134-137) within MEC-10 that are required for a robust response to shear stress. In addition, the LSS response was largely abolished by MEC-10 mutations encoded by a touch-insensitive mec-10 allele, providing a correlation between the channel's responses to two different mechanical forces. Our findings suggest that MEC-10 has an important role in the channel's response to mechanical forces. © 2016 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  16. MGL-1 on AIY neurons translates starvation to reproductive plasticity via neuropeptide signaling in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeong, Haelim; Paik, Young-Ki

    2017-10-01

    Reproductive plasticity is the ability of an animal to modulate its reproductive functions in response to environmental changes. For example, Caenorhabditis elegans, a free-living nematode, can adjust the onsets of oogenesis and embryogenesis under harsh environmental conditions, including starvation. However, the molecular mechanisms used to perceive and translate environmental signals into reproductive functional adjustments remain largely uncharacterized. We discovered that in C. elegans, the glutamate receptor homolog MGL-1 initiated reproductive plasticity in response to starvation. A genetic analysis of the mutant gene, mgl-1(tm1811), suggested that starvation delayed the onsets of oogenesis and embryogenesis via MGL-1. Cell-specific rescues of mgl-1 deletion mutants, which used transgenic lines designed to express MGL-1 in different neurons (e.g., RMD, AIA, AIY, and NSM), suggested that only AIY-rescued animals exhibited normal delays in oogenesis and embryogenesis equivalent to those of wild-type animals, suggesting recovery. Furthermore, in AIY neurons, MGL-1 appears to use neuropeptide signaling, rather than glutamate, to translate starvation stimuli into delayed oogenesis and embryogenesis. Our findings, which reveal molecular linkages between starvation signals and reproductive alterations, may provide a basis for understanding energy reallocation mechanisms, as the mgl-1 deletion mutant exhibited more severe reductions in lifespan and fat accumulation than did wild-type animals under starvation conditions. Taken together, MGL-1 is the molecular driver underlying the translation of starvation signals to reproduction plasticity in an AIY neuron-specific manner. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Establishment of Time- and Cell-Specific RNAi in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamakawa, Masayuki; Hirotsu, Takaaki

    2017-01-01

    The nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans, in which loss-of-function mutants and RNA interference (RNAi) models are available, is a model organism useful for analyzing effects of genes on various life phenomena. In particular, RNAi is a powerful tool that enables time- or cell-specific knockdown via heat shock-inducible RNAi or cell-specific RNAi. However, the conventional RNAi methods are insufficient for investigating pleiotropic genes with various sites of action and life stage-dependent functions. To investigate the temporal- and cell-specific profiles of multifunctional genes, we established a new RNAi method that enables simultaneous time- and cell-specific knockdown (T.C.RNAi) in C. elegans. In this method, one RNA strand is expressed by a cell-specific promoter and the other by a heat shock promoter, resulting in only expression of double-stranded RNA in the target cell when heat shock is induced. We confirmed the effect of T.C.RNAi by the knockdown of GFP and the odr-3 gene which encodes Gα and is essential for olfaction. Further, this technique revealed that the control of glutamate receptors GLR-1 localization in RMD motor neurons requires Ras at the adult stage to regulate locomotion behavior.

  18. Aflatoxin B₁-Induced Developmental and DNA Damage in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Wei-Hong; Xue, Kathy S; Tang, Lili; Williams, Phillip L; Wang, Jia-Sheng

    2016-12-26

    Aflatoxin B₁ (AFB₁) is a ubiquitous mycotoxin produced by toxicogenic Aspergillus species. AFB₁ has been reported to cause serious adverse health effects, such as cancers and abnormal development and reproduction, in animals and humans. AFB₁ is also a potent genotoxic mutagen that causes DNA damage in vitro and in vivo. However, the link between DNA damage and abnormal development and reproduction is unclear. To address this issue, we examined the DNA damage, germline apoptosis, growth, and reproductive toxicity following exposure to AFB₁, using Caenorhabditis elegans as a study model. Results found that AFB₁ induced DNA damage and germline apoptosis, and significantly inhibited growth and reproduction of the nematodes in a concentration-dependent manner. Exposure to AFB₁ inhibited growth or reproduction more potently in the DNA repair-deficient xpa-1 nematodes than the wild-type N2 strain. According to the relative expression level of pathway-related genes measured by real-time PCR, the DNA damage response (DDR) pathway was found to be associated with AFB₁-induced germline apoptosis, which further played an essential role in the dysfunction of growth and reproduction in C. elegans .

  19. Developmental Wiring of Specific Neurons Is Regulated by RET-1/Nogo-A in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torpe, Nanna; Nørgaard, Steffen; Høye, Anette M; Pocock, Roger

    2017-01-01

    Nogo-A is a membrane-bound protein that functions to inhibit neuronal migration, adhesion, and neurite outgrowth during development. In the mature nervous system, Nogo-A stabilizes neuronal wiring to inhibit neuronal plasticity and regeneration after injury. Here, we show that RET-1, the sole Nogo-A homolog in Caenorhabditis elegans, is required to control developmental wiring of a specific subset of neurons. In ret-1 deletion mutant animals, specific ventral nerve cord axons are misguided where they fail to respect the ventral midline boundary. We found that ret-1 is expressed in multiple neurons during development, and, through mosaic analysis, showed that ret-1 controls axon guidance in a cell-autonomous manner. Finally, as in mammals, ret-1 regulates ephrin expression, and dysregulation of the ephrin ligand VAB-2 is partially responsible for the ret-1 mutant axonal defects. Together, our data present a previously unidentified function for RET-1 in the nervous system of C. elegans. Copyright © 2017 by the Genetics Society of America.

  20. Sorbitol treatment extends lifespan and induces the osmotic stress response in Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Devon eChandler-Brown

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The response to osmotic stress is a highly conserved process for adapting to changing environmental conditions. Prior studies have shown that hyperosmolarity by addition of sorbitol to the growth medium is sufficient to increase both chronological and replicative lifespan in the budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Here we report a similar phenomenon in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Addition of sorbitol to the nematode growth medium induces an adaptive osmotic response and increases C. elegans lifespan by about 35%. Lifespan extension from 5% sorbitol behaves similarly to dietary restriction in a variety of genetic backgrounds, increasing lifespan additively with mutation of daf-2(e1370 and independently of daf-16(mu86, sir-2.1(ok434, aak-2(ok524, and hif-1(ia04. Dietary restriction by bacterial deprivation or mutation of eat-2(ad1113 fails to further extend lifespan in the presence of 5% sorbitol. Two mutants with constitutive activation of the osmotic response, osm-5(p813 and osm-7(n1515, were found to be long-lived, and lifespan extension from sorbitol required the glycerol biosynthetic enzymes GPDH-1 and GPDH-2. Taken together, these observations demonstrate that exposure to sorbitol at levels sufficient to induce an adaptive osmotic response extends lifespan in worms and define the osmotic stress response pathway as a longevity pathway conserved between yeast and nematodes.

  1. Toxic Effects of Bisphenol A, Propyl Paraben, and Triclosan on Caenorhabditis elegans

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    María Cecilia García-Espiñeira

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Bisphenol A (BPA is a ubiquitous plasticizer which is absorbed by ingestion and dermal contact; propyl paraben (PPB inhibits the microbiome and extends the shelf life of many personal care products, whereas triclosan (TCS is commonly found in antiseptics, disinfectants, or additives. In this work, Caenorhabditis elegans was used as a biological model to assess the toxic effects of BPA, PPB, and TCS. The wild type strain, Bristol N2, was used in bioassays with the endpoints of lethality, growth, and reproduction; green fluorescent protein (GFP transgenic strains with the hsp-3, hsp-4, hsp-16.2, hsp-70, sod-1, sod-4, cyp-35A4, cyp-29A2, and skn-1 genes were evaluated for their mRNA expression through fluorescence measurement; and quick Oil Red O (q ORO was utilized to stain lipid deposits. Lethality was concentration-dependent, while TCS and PPB showed more toxicity than BPA. BPA augmented worm length, while PPB reduced it. All toxicants moderately increased the width and the width–length ratio. BPA and PPB promoted reproduction, in contrast to TCS, which diminished it. All toxicants affected the mRNA expression of genes related to cellular stress, control of reactive oxygen species, and nuclear receptor activation. Lipid accumulation occurred in exposed worms. In conclusion, BPA, PPB, and TCS alter the physiology of growth, lipid accumulation, and reproduction in C. elegans, most likely through oxidative stress mechanisms.

  2. Pollution breaks down the genetic architecture of life history traits in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dutilleul, Morgan; Goussen, Benoit; Bonzom, Jean-Marc; Galas, Simon; Réale, Denis

    2015-01-01

    When pollution occurs in an environment, populations present suffer numerous negative and immediate effects on their life history traits. Their evolutionary potential to live in a highly stressful environment will depend on the selection pressure strengths and on the genetic structure, the trait heritability, and the genetic correlations between them. If expression of this structure changes in a stressful environment, it becomes necessary to quantify these changes to estimate the evolutionary potential of the population in this new environment. We studied the genetic structure for survival, fecundity, and early and late growth in isogenic lines of a Caenorhabditis elegans population subject to three different environments: a control environment, an environment polluted with uranium, and a high salt concentration environment. We found a heritability decrease in the polluted environments for fecundity and early growth, two traits that were the most heritable in the control environment. The genetic structure of the traits was particularly affected in the uranium polluted environment, probably due to generally low heritability in this environment. This could prevent selection from acting on traits despite the strong selection pressures exerted on them. Moreover, phenotypic traits were more strongly affected in the salt than in the uranium environment and the heritabilities were also lower in the latter environment. Consequently the decrease in heritability was not proportional to the population fitness reduction in the polluted environments. Our results suggest that pollution can alter the genetic structure of a C. elegans population, and thus modify its evolutionary potential.

  3. Postcopulatory sexual selection reduces genetic diversity in experimental populations of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    LaMunyon, Craig W; Bouban, Oussama; Cutter, Asher D

    2007-01-01

    Postcopulatory sexual selection affects the evolution of numerous features ranging from mating behavior to seminal fluid toxicity to the size of gametes. In an earlier study of the effect of sperm competition risk on sperm size evolution, experimental populations of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans were maintained either by outcrossing (sperm competition present) or by selfing (no sperm competition), and after 60 generations, significantly larger sperm had evolved in the outcrossing populations. To determine the effects of this selection on population genetic variation, we assessed genetic diversity in a large number of loci using random amplification of polymorphic DNA-PCR. Nearly 80% of the alleles present in parental strain populations persisted in the 6 experimental populations after the 60 generations and, despite a 2.2-fold difference in expected heterozygosity, the resulting levels of genetic variation were equivalent between the outcrossing and selfing experimental populations. By inference, we conclude that genetic hitchhiking due to sexual selection in the experimental populations dramatically reduced genetic diversity. We use the levels of variation in the selfing populations as a control for the effects of drift, and estimate the strength of sexual selection to be strong in obligatorily outcrossing populations. Although sequential hermaphrodites like C. elegans probably experience little sexual selection in nature, these data suggest that sexual selection can profoundly affect diversity in outcrossing taxa.

  4. A new Caenorhabditis elegans model of human huntingtin 513 aggregation and toxicity in body wall muscles.

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    Amy L Lee

    Full Text Available Expanded polyglutamine repeats in different proteins are the known determinants of at least nine progressive neurodegenerative disorders whose symptoms include cognitive and motor impairment that worsen as patients age. One such disorder is Huntington's Disease (HD that is caused by a polyglutamine expansion in the human huntingtin protein (htt. The polyglutamine expansion destabilizes htt leading to protein misfolding, which in turn triggers neurodegeneration and the disruption of energy metabolism in muscle cells. However, the molecular mechanisms that underlie htt proteotoxicity have been somewhat elusive, and the muscle phenotypes have not been well studied. To generate tools to elucidate the basis for muscle dysfunction, we engineered Caenorhabditis elegans to express a disease-associated 513 amino acid fragment of human htt in body wall muscle cells. We show that this htt fragment aggregates in C. elegans in a polyglutamine length-dependent manner and is toxic. Toxicity manifests as motor impairment and a shortened lifespan. Compared to previous models, the data suggest that the protein context in which a polyglutamine tract is embedded alters aggregation propensity and toxicity, likely by affecting interactions with the muscle cell environment.

  5. Pollution breaks down the genetic architecture of life history traits in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Morgan Dutilleul

    Full Text Available When pollution occurs in an environment, populations present suffer numerous negative and immediate effects on their life history traits. Their evolutionary potential to live in a highly stressful environment will depend on the selection pressure strengths and on the genetic structure, the trait heritability, and the genetic correlations between them. If expression of this structure changes in a stressful environment, it becomes necessary to quantify these changes to estimate the evolutionary potential of the population in this new environment. We studied the genetic structure for survival, fecundity, and early and late growth in isogenic lines of a Caenorhabditis elegans population subject to three different environments: a control environment, an environment polluted with uranium, and a high salt concentration environment. We found a heritability decrease in the polluted environments for fecundity and early growth, two traits that were the most heritable in the control environment. The genetic structure of the traits was particularly affected in the uranium polluted environment, probably due to generally low heritability in this environment. This could prevent selection from acting on traits despite the strong selection pressures exerted on them. Moreover, phenotypic traits were more strongly affected in the salt than in the uranium environment and the heritabilities were also lower in the latter environment. Consequently the decrease in heritability was not proportional to the population fitness reduction in the polluted environments. Our results suggest that pollution can alter the genetic structure of a C. elegans population, and thus modify its evolutionary potential.

  6. Analyzing the locomotory gaitprint of Caenorhabditis elegans on the basis of empirical mode decomposition.

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    Li-Chun Lin

    Full Text Available The locomotory gait analysis of the microswimmer, Caenorhabditis elegans, is a commonly adopted approach for strain recognition and examination of phenotypic defects. Gait is also a visible behavioral expression of worms under external stimuli. This study developed an adaptive data analysis method based on empirical mode decomposition (EMD to reveal the biological cues behind intricate motion. The method was used to classify the strains of worms according to their gaitprints (i.e., phenotypic traits of locomotion. First, a norm of the locomotory pattern was created from the worm of interest. The body curvature of the worm was decomposed into four intrinsic mode functions (IMFs. A radar chart showing correlations between the predefined database and measured worm was then obtained by dividing each IMF into three parts, namely, head, mid-body, and tail. A comprehensive resemblance score was estimated after k-means clustering. Simulated data that use sinusoidal waves were generated to assess the feasibility of the algorithm. Results suggested that temporal frequency is the major factor in the process. In practice, five worm strains, including wild-type N2, TJ356 (zIs356, CL2070 (dvIs70, CB0061 (dpy-5, and CL2120 (dvIs14, were investigated. The overall classification accuracy of the gaitprint analyses of all the strains reached nearly 89%. The method can also be extended to classify some motor neuron-related locomotory defects of C. elegans in the same fashion.

  7. Dopamine modulates acetylcholine release via octopamine and CREB signaling in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Satoshi Suo

    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.

  8. UGT-29 protein expression and localization during bacterial infection in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Rui-Rui; Lee, Song-Hua; Nathan, Sheila

    2014-09-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is routinely used as an animal model to delineate complex molecular mechanisms involved in the host response to pathogen infection. Following up on an earlier study on host-pathogen interaction, we constructed a ugt-29::GFP transcriptional fusion transgenic worm strain to examine UGT-29 protein expression and localization upon bacterial infection. UGT-29 orthologs can be found in higher organisms including humans and is proposed as a member of the UDP-Glucoronosyl Transferase family of proteins which are involved in phase II detoxification of compounds detrimental to the host organism. Under uninfected conditions, UGT-29::GFP fusion protein was highly expressed in the C. elegans anterior pharynx and intestine, two major organs involved in detoxification. We further evaluated the localization of the enzyme in worms infected with the bacterial pathogen, Burkholderia pseudomallei. The infected ugt-29::GFP transgenic strain exhibited increased fluorescence in the pharynx and intestine with pronounced fluorescence also extending to body wall muscle. This transcriptional fusion GFP transgenic worm is a convenient and direct tool to provide information on UGT detoxification enzyme gene expression and could be a useful tool for a number of diverse applications.

  9. Winter Aconite (Eranthis hyemalis Lectin as a cytotoxic effector in the lifecycle of Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Marie-Therese McConnell

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The lectin found in the tubers of the Winter Aconite (Eranthis hyemalis plant is an N-acetyl-D-galactosamine specific Type II Ribosome Inactivating Protein (RIP; Type II RIPs have shown anti-cancer properties, and hence have potential as therapeutic agents. Here we present a modified protocol for the extraction and purification of the E. hyemalis lectin (EHL using affinity chromatography. De novo amino acid sequencing of EHL confirms its classification as a Type II Ribosome Inactivating Protein. The biocidal properties of EHL have been investigated against the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Arrested first stage larvae treated with EHL have shown some direct mortality, with surviving larvae subsequently showing a range of phenotypes including food avoidance, reduced fecundity, developmental delay and constitutive dauer larvae formation. Both inappropriate dauer larvae development and failure to locate to bacterial food source are consistent with the disruption of chemosensory function and the ablation of amphid neurons. Further investigation indicates that mutations that disrupt normal amphid formation can block the EHL-induced dauer larvae formation. In combination, these phenotypes indicate that EHL is cytotoxic and suggest a cell specific activity against the amphid neurons of C. elegans.

  10. Computational and experimental identification of mirtrons in Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chung, Wei-Jen; Agius, Phaedra; Westholm, Jakub O.; Chen, Michael; Okamura, Katsutomo; Robine, Nicolas; Leslie, Christina S.; Lai, Eric C.

    2011-01-01

    Mirtrons are intronic hairpin substrates of the dicing machinery that generate functional microRNAs. In this study, we describe experimental assays that defined the essential requirements for entry of introns into the mirtron pathway. These data informed a bioinformatic screen that effectively identified functional mirtrons from the Drosophila melanogaster transcriptome. These included 17 known and six confident novel mirtrons among the top 51 candidates, and additional candidates had limited read evidence in available small RNA data. Our computational model also proved effective on Caenorhabditis elegans, for which the identification of 14 cloned mirtrons among the top 22 candidates more than tripled the number of validated mirtrons in this species. A few low-scoring introns generated mirtron-like read patterns from atypical RNA structures, but their paucity suggests that relatively few such loci were not captured by our model. Unexpectedly, we uncovered examples of clustered mirtrons in both fly and worm genomes, including a <8-kb region in C. elegans harboring eight distinct mirtrons. Altogether, we demonstrate that discovery of functional mirtrons, unlike canonical miRNAs, is amenable to computational methods independent of evolutionary constraint. PMID:21177960

  11. RACK-1 Directs Dynactin-dependent RAB-11 Endosomal Recycling during Mitosis in Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Ai, Erkang; Poole, Daniel S.

    2009-01-01

    Membrane trafficking pathways are necessary for the addition and removal of membrane during cytokinesis. In animal cells, recycling endosomes act as a major source of the additional membranes during furrow progression and abscission. However, the mechanisms and factors that regulate recycling endosomes during the cell cycle remain poorly understood. Here, we show that the Caenorhabditis elegans Receptor of Activated C Kinase 1 (RACK-1) is required for cytokinesis, germline membrane organization, and the recruitment of RAB-11–labeled recycling endosomes to the pericentrosomal region and spindle. RACK-1 is also required for proper chromosome separation and astral microtubule length. RACK-1 localizes to the centrosomes, kinetochores, the midbody, and nuclear envelopes during the cell cycle. We found that RACK-1 directly binds to DNC-2, the C. elegans p50/dynamitin subunit of the dynactin complex. Last, RACK-1 may facilitate the sequestration of recycling endosomes by targeting DNC-2 to centrosomes and the spindle. Our findings suggest a mechanism by which RACK-1 directs the dynactin-dependent redistribution of recycling endosomes during the cell cycle, thus ensuring proper membrane trafficking events during cytokinesis. PMID:19158384

  12. Cell-Nonautonomous Signaling of FOXO/DAF-16 to the Stem Cells of Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, Wenjing; Huang, Xu; Neumann-Haefelin, Elke; Schulze, Ekkehard; Baumeister, Ralf

    2012-01-01

    In Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), the promotion of longevity by the transcription factor DAF-16 requires reduced insulin/IGF receptor (IIR) signaling or the ablation of the germline, although the reason for the negative impact of germ cells is unknown. FOXO/DAF-16 activity inhibits germline proliferation in both daf-2 mutants and gld-1 tumors. In contrast to its function as a germline tumor suppressor, we now provide evidence that somatic DAF-16 in the presence of IIR signaling can also result in tumorigenic activity, which counteracts robust lifespan extension. In contrast to the cell-autonomous IIR signaling, which is required for larval germline proliferation, activation of DAF-16 in the hypodermis results in hyperplasia of the germline and disruption of the surrounding basement membrane. SHC-1 adaptor protein and AKT-1 kinase antagonize, whereas AKT-2 and SGK-1 kinases promote, this cell-nonautonomous DAF-16 function. Our data suggest that a functional balance of DAF-16 activities in different tissues determines longevity and reveals a novel, cell-nonautonomous role of FOXO/DAF-16 to affect stem cells. PMID:22916022

  13. Bioactive Peptides from Angelica sinensis Protein Hydrolyzate Delay Senescence in Caenorhabditis elegans through Antioxidant Activities

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    Qiangqiang Wang

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Since excessive reactive oxygen species (ROS is known to be associated with aging and age-related diseases, strategies modulating ROS level and antioxidant defense systems may contribute to the delay of senescence. Here we show that the protein hydrolyzate from Angelica sinensis was capable of increasing oxidative survival of the model animal Caenorhabditis elegans intoxicated by paraquat. The hydrolyzate was then fractionated by ultrafiltration, and the antioxidant fraction (<3 kDa was purified by gel filtration to obtain the antioxidant A. sinensis peptides (AsiPeps, which were mostly composed of peptides with <20 amino acid residues. Further studies demonstrate that AsiPeps were able to reduce the endogenous ROS level, increase the activities of the antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase and catalase, and decrease the content of the lipid peroxidation product malondialdehyde in nematodes treated with paraquat or undergoing senescence. AsiPeps were also shown to reduce age pigments accumulation and extend lifespan but did not affect the food-intake behavior of the nematodes. Taken together, our results demonstrate that A. sinensis peptides (AsiPeps are able to delay aging process in C. elegans through antioxidant activities independent of dietary restriction.

  14. Ultraviolet-A triggers photoaging in model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans in a DAF-16 dependent pathway.

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    Prasanth, Mani Iyer; Santoshram, Gunasekaran Santhi; Bhaskar, James Prabhanand; Balamurugan, Krishnaswamy

    2016-02-01

    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.

  15. Rescue of ATXN3 neuronal toxicity in Caenorhabditis elegans by chemical modification of endoplasmic reticulum stress

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    Yasmin Fardghassemi

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Polyglutamine expansion diseases are a group of hereditary neurodegenerative disorders that develop when a CAG repeat in the causative genes is unstably expanded above a certain threshold. The expansion of trinucleotide CAG repeats causes hereditary adult-onset neurodegenerative disorders, such as Huntington's disease, dentatorubral–pallidoluysian atrophy, spinobulbar muscular atrophy and multiple forms of spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA. The most common dominantly inherited SCA is the type 3 (SCA3, also known as Machado–Joseph disease (MJD, which is an autosomal dominant, progressive neurological disorder. The gene causatively associated with MJD is ATXN3. Recent studies have shown that this gene modulates endoplasmic reticulum (ER stress. We generated transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans strains expressing human ATXN3 genes in motoneurons, and animals expressing mutant ATXN3-CAG89 alleles showed decreased lifespan, impaired movement, and rates of neurodegeneration greater than wild-type ATXN3-CAG10 controls. We tested three neuroprotective compounds (Methylene Blue, guanabenz and salubrinal believed to modulate ER stress and observed that these molecules rescued ATXN3-CAG89 phenotypes. Furthermore, these compounds required specific branches of the ER unfolded protein response (UPRER, reduced global ER and oxidative stress, and polyglutamine aggregation. We introduce new C. elegans models for MJD based on the expression of full-length ATXN3 in a limited number of neurons. Using these models, we discovered that chemical modulation of the UPRER reduced neurodegeneration and warrants investigation in mammalian models of MJD.

  16. Feeding status and serotonin rapidly and reversibly modulate a Caenorhabditis elegans chemosensory circuit

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    Chao, Michael Y.; Komatsu, Hidetoshi; Fukuto, Hana S.; Dionne, Heather M.; Hart, Anne C.

    2004-10-01

    Serotonin (5-HT) modulates synaptic efficacy in the nervous system of vertebrates and invertebrates. In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, many behaviors are regulated by 5-HT levels, which are in turn regulated by the presence or absence of food. Here, we show that both food and 5-HT signaling modulate chemosensory avoidance response of octanol in C. elegans, and that this modulation is both rapid and reversible. Sensitivity to octanol is decreased when animals are off food or when 5-HT levels are decreased; conversely, sensitivity is increased when animals are on food or have increased 5-HT signaling. Laser microsurgery and behavioral experiments reveal that sensory input from different subsets of octanol-sensing neurons is selectively used, depending on stimulus strength, feeding status, and 5-HT levels. 5-HT directly targets at least one pair of sensory neurons, and 5-HT signaling requires the G protein GPA-11. Glutamatergic signaling is required for response to octanol, and the GLR-1 glutamate receptor plays an important role in behavioral response off food but not on food. Our results demonstrate that 5-HT modulation of neuronal activity via G protein signaling underlies behavioral plasticity by rapidly altering the functional circuitry of a chemosensory circuit.

  17. Caenorhabditis elegans NDX-4 is a MutT-type enzyme that contributes to genomic stability.

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    Arczewska, Katarzyna D; Baumeier, Christian; Kassahun, Henok; Sengupta, Tanima; Bjørås, Magnar; Kuśmierek, Jarosław T; Nilsen, Hilde

    2011-02-07

    MutT enzymes prevent DNA damage by hydrolysis of 8-oxodGTP, an oxidized substrate for DNA synthesis and antimutagenic, anticarcinogenic, and antineurodegenerative functions of MutT enzymes are well established. MutT has been found in almost all kingdoms of life, including many bacterial species, yeasts, plants and mammals. However, a Caenorhabditis elegans MutT homologue was not previously identified. Here, we demonstrate that NDX-4 exhibits both hallmarks of a MutT-type enzyme with an ability to hydrolyze 8-oxodGTP and suppress the Escherichia coli mutT mutator phenotype. Moreover, we show that NDX-4 contributes to genomic stability in vivo in C. elegans. Phenotypic analyses of an ndx-4 mutant reveal that loss of NDX-4 leads to upregulation of key stress responsive genes that likely compensate for the in vivo role of NDX-4 in protection against deleterious consequences of oxidative stress. This discovery will enable us to use this extremely robust genetic model for further research into the contribution of oxidative DNA damage to phenotypes associated with oxidative stress. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Adverse Effects from Clenbuterol and Ractopamine on Nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and the Underlying Mechanism

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    Liu, Haicui; Sun, Lingmei; Gao, Wei; Wang, Dayong

    2014-01-01

    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

  19. Vibrio cholerae hemolysin is required for lethality, developmental delay, and intestinal vacuolation in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Hediye Nese Cinar

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Cholera toxin (CT and toxin-co-regulated pili (TCP are the major virulence factors of Vibrio cholerae O1 and O139 strains that contribute to the pathogenesis of disease during devastating cholera pandemics. However, CT and TCP negative V. cholerae strains are still able to cause severe diarrheal disease in humans through mechanisms that are not well understood. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: To determine the role of other virulence factors in V. cholerae pathogenesis, we used a CT and TCP independent infection model in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and identified the hemolysin A (hlyA gene as a factor responsible for animal death and developmental delay. We demonstrated a correlation between the severity of infection in the nematode and the level of hemolytic activity in the V. cholerae biotypes. At the cellular level, V. cholerae infection induces formation of vacuoles in the intestinal cells in a hlyA dependent manner, consistent with the previous in vitro observations. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our data strongly suggest that HlyA is a virulence factor in C. elegans infection leading to lethality and developmental delay presumably through intestinal cytopathic changes.

  20. A regulated response to impaired respiration slows behavioral rates and increases lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    David Cristina

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available When mitochondrial respiration or ubiquinone production is inhibited in Caenorhabditis elegans, behavioral rates are slowed and lifespan is extended. Here, we show that these perturbations increase the expression of cell-protective and metabolic genes and the abundance of mitochondrial DNA. This response is similar to the response triggered by inhibiting respiration in yeast and mammalian cells, termed the "retrograde response". As in yeast, genes switched on in C. elegans mitochondrial mutants extend lifespan, suggesting an underlying evolutionary conservation of mechanism. Inhibition of fstr-1, a potential signaling gene that is up-regulated in clk-1 (ubiquinone-defective mutants, and its close homolog fstr-2 prevents the expression of many retrograde-response genes and accelerates clk-1 behavioral and aging rates. Thus, clk-1 mutants live in "slow motion" because of a fstr-1/2-dependent pathway that responds to ubiquinone. Loss of fstr-1/2 does not suppress the phenotypes of all long-lived mitochondrial mutants. Thus, although different mitochondrial perturbations activate similar transcriptional and physiological responses, they do so in different ways.

  1. Rapid high resolution single nucleotide polymorphism-comparative genome hybridization mapping in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Flibotte, Stephane; Edgley, Mark L; Maydan, Jason; Taylor, Jon; Zapf, Rick; Waterston, Robert; Moerman, Donald G

    2009-01-01

    We have developed a significantly improved and simplified method for high-resolution mapping of phenotypic traits in Caenorhabditis elegans using a combination of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and oligo array comparative genome hybridization (array CGH). We designed a custom oligonucleotide array using a subset of confirmed SNPs between the canonical wild-type Bristol strain N2 and the Hawaiian isolate CB4856, populated with densely overlapping 50-mer probes corresponding to both N2 and CB4856 SNP sequences. Using this method a mutation can be mapped to a resolution of approximately 200 kb in a single genetic cross. Six mutations representing each of the C. elegans chromosomes were detected unambiguously and at high resolution using genomic DNA from populations derived from as few as 100 homozygous mutant segregants of mutant N2/CB4856 heterozygotes. Our method completely dispenses with the PCR, restriction digest, and gel analysis of standard SNP mapping and should be easy to extend to any organism with interbreeding strains. This method will be particularly powerful when applied to difficult or hard-to-map low-penetrance phenotypes. It should also be possible to map polygenic traits using this method.

  2. Hierarchical compression of Caenorhabditis elegans locomotion reveals phenotypic differences in the organization of behaviour.

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    Gomez-Marin, Alex; Stephens, Greg J; Brown, André E X

    2016-08-01

    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. © 2016 The Authors.

  3. The Energy Metabolism in Caenorhabditis elegans under The Extremely Low-Frequency Electromagnetic Field Exposure

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    Shi, Zhenhua; Yu, Hui; Sun, Yongyan; Yang, Chuanjun; Lian, Huiyong; Cai, Peng

    2015-02-01

    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 enzyme activity of GAPDH was increased (P < 0.01), whereas the total intracellular ATP level was decreased. While no significant difference in lifespan, hatching rate and reproduction, worms exposed to ELF-EMF exhibited less food consumption compared with that of the control (P < 0.01). In conclusion, C. elegans exposed to ELF-EMF have enhanced energy metabolism and restricted dietary, which might contribute to the resistance against exogenous ELF-EMF stress.

  4. An SMC-like protein binds and regulates Caenorhabditis elegans condensins.

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    Lucy Fang-I Chao

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Structural Maintenance of Chromosomes (SMC family proteins participate in multisubunit complexes that govern chromosome structure and dynamics. SMC-containing condensin complexes create chromosome topologies essential for mitosis/meiosis, gene expression, recombination, and repair. Many eukaryotes have two condensin complexes (I and II; C. elegans has three (I, II, and the X-chromosome specialized condensin IDC and their regulation is poorly understood. Here we identify a novel SMC-like protein, SMCL-1, that binds to C. elegans condensin SMC subunits, and modulates condensin functions. Consistent with a possible role as a negative regulator, loss of SMCL-1 partially rescued the lethal and sterile phenotypes of a hypomorphic condensin mutant, while over-expression of SMCL-1 caused lethality, chromosome mis-segregation, and disruption of condensin IDC localization on X chromosomes. Unlike canonical SMC proteins, SMCL-1 lacks hinge and coil domains, and its ATPase domain lacks conserved amino acids required for ATP hydrolysis, leading to the speculation that it may inhibit condensin ATPase activity. SMCL-1 homologs are apparent only in the subset of Caenorhabditis species in which the condensin I and II subunit SMC-4 duplicated to create the condensin IDC- specific subunit DPY-27, suggesting that SMCL-1 helps this lineage cope with the regulatory challenges imposed by evolution of a third condensin complex. Our findings uncover a new regulator of condensins and highlight how the duplication and divergence of SMC complex components in various lineages has created new proteins with diverse functions in chromosome dynamics.

  5. Multi-Toxic Endpoints of the Foodborne Mycotoxins in Nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Zhendong Yang

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Aflatoxins B1 (AFB1, deoxynivalenol (DON, fumonisin B1 (FB1, T-2 toxin (T-2, and zearalenone (ZEA are the major foodborne mycotoxins of public health concerns. In the present study, the multiple toxic endpoints of these naturally-occurring mycotoxins were evaluated in Caenorhabditis elegans model for their lethality, toxic effects on growth and reproduction, as well as influence on lifespan. We found that the lethality endpoint was more sensitive for T-2 toxicity with the EC50 at 1.38 mg/L, the growth endpoint was relatively sensitive for AFB1 toxic effects, and the reproduction endpoint was more sensitive for toxicities of AFB1, FB1, and ZEA. Moreover, the lifespan endpoint was sensitive to toxic effects of all five tested mycotoxins. Data obtained from this study may serve as an important contribution to knowledge on assessment of mycotoxin toxic effects, especially for assessing developmental and reproductive toxic effects, using the C. elegans model.

  6. Cell-nonautonomous signaling of FOXO/DAF-16 to the stem cells of Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Wenjing Qi

    Full Text Available In Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans, the promotion of longevity by the transcription factor DAF-16 requires reduced insulin/IGF receptor (IIR signaling or the ablation of the germline, although the reason for the negative impact of germ cells is unknown. FOXO/DAF-16 activity inhibits germline proliferation in both daf-2 mutants and gld-1 tumors. In contrast to its function as a germline tumor suppressor, we now provide evidence that somatic DAF-16 in the presence of IIR signaling can also result in tumorigenic activity, which counteracts robust lifespan extension. In contrast to the cell-autonomous IIR signaling, which is required for larval germline proliferation, activation of DAF-16 in the hypodermis results in hyperplasia of the germline and disruption of the surrounding basement membrane. SHC-1 adaptor protein and AKT-1 kinase antagonize, whereas AKT-2 and SGK-1 kinases promote, this cell-nonautonomous DAF-16 function. Our data suggest that a functional balance of DAF-16 activities in different tissues determines longevity and reveals a novel, cell-nonautonomous role of FOXO/DAF-16 to affect stem cells.

  7. An antidiabetic polyherbal phytomedicine confers stress resistance and extends lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Rathor, Laxmi; Pant, Aakanksha; Awasthi, Harshika; Mani, Dayanandan; Pandey, Rakesh

    2017-02-01

    An Ayurvedic polyherbal extract (PHE) comprising six herbs viz. Berberis aristata, Cyperus rotundus, Cedrus deodara, Emblica officinalis, Terminalia chebula and Terminalia bellirica is mentioned as an effective anti-hyperglycemic agent in 'Charaka Samhita', the classical text of Ayurveda. Previously, antidiabetic drug metformin was found to elicit antiaging effects and PHE was also found to exhibit antidiabetic effects in humans. Therefore, we screened it for its in vivo antioxidant antiaging effect on stress and lifespan using human homologous Caenorhabditis elegans model system. The effect on aging is evaluated by studying effect of PHE on mean survival in worms. The stress modulatory potential was assessed by quantification of intracellular ROS level, autofluorescent age pigment lipofuscin, oxidative and thermal stress assays. Additionally, stress response was quantified using gene reporter assays. The 0.01 µg/ml dose of PHE was able to enhance mean lifespan by 16.09% (P elegans. Furthermore, PHE treated worms demonstrated oxidative stress resistance in both wild type and stress hypersensitive mev-1 mutant along with upregulation of stress response genes sod-3 and gst-4. The delayed aging under stress can be attributed to its direct reactive oxygen species-scavenging activity and regulation of some age associated genes like daf-2, daf-16, skn-1, sod-3 and gst-4 in wild-type worms. Additonally, PHE delayed age related paralysis phenotype in CL4176 transgenic worms. Altogether, our results suggest PHE significantly improves the oxidative stress and life span in C. elegans. Overall the present study suggests this polyherbal formulation might play important role in regultaing aging and related complications like diabetes.

  8. Meiotic HORMA domain proteins prevent untimely centriole disengagement during Caenorhabditis elegans spermatocyte meiosis.

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    Schvarzstein, Mara; Pattabiraman, Divya; Bembenek, Joshua N; Villeneuve, Anne M

    2013-03-05

    In many species where oocytes lack centrosomes, sperm contribute both genetic material and centriole(s) to the zygote. Correct centriole organization during male meiosis is critical to guarantee a normal bipolar mitotic spindle in the zygote. During Caenorhabditis elegans male meiosis, centrioles normally undergo two rounds of duplication, resulting in haploid sperm each containing a single tightly engaged centriole pair. Here we identify an unanticipated role for C. elegans HORMA (Hop1/Rev7/Mad2) domain proteins HTP-1/2 and HIM-3 in regulating centriole disengagement during spermatocyte meiosis. In him-3 and htp-1 htp-2 mutants, centrioles separate inappropriately during meiosis II, resulting in spermatids with disengaged centrioles. Moreover, extra centrosomes are detected in a subset of zygotes. Together, these data implicate HIM-3 and HTP-1/2 in preventing centriole disengagement during meiosis II. We showed previously that HTP-1/2 prevents premature loss of sister chromatid cohesion during the meiotic divisions by inhibiting removal of meiotic cohesin complexes containing the REC-8 subunit. Worms lacking REC-8, or expressing a mutant separase protein with elevated local concentration at centrosomes and in sperm, likewise exhibit inappropriate centriole separation during spermatocyte meiosis. These observations are consistent with HIM-3 and HTP-1/2 preventing centriole disengagement by inhibiting separase-dependent cohesin removal. Our data suggest that the same specialized meiotic mechanisms that function to prevent premature release of sister chromatid cohesion during meiosis I in C. elegans also function to inhibit centriole separation at meiosis II, thereby ensuring that the zygote inherits the appropriate complement of chromosomes and centrioles.

  9. A tissue-specific approach to the analysis of metabolic changes in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Jürgen Hench

    Full Text Available The majority of metabolic principles are evolutionarily conserved from nematodes to humans. Caenorhabditis elegans has widely accelerated the discovery of new genes important to maintain organismic metabolic homeostasis. Various methods exist to assess the metabolic state in worms, yet they often require large animal numbers and tend to be performed as bulk analyses of whole worm homogenates, thereby largely precluding a detailed studies of metabolic changes in specific worm tissues. Here, we have adapted well-established histochemical methods for the use on C. elegans fresh frozen sections and demonstrate their validity for analyses of morphological and metabolic changes on tissue level in wild type and various mutant strains. We show how the worm presents on hematoxylin and eosin (H&E stained sections and demonstrate their usefulness in monitoring and the identification of morphological abnormalities. In addition, we demonstrate how Oil-Red-O staining on frozen worm cross-sections permits quantification of lipid storage, avoiding the artifact-prone fixation and permeabilization procedures of traditional whole-mount protocols. We also adjusted standard enzymatic stains for respiratory chain subunits (NADH, SDH, and COX to monitor metabolic states of various C. elegans tissues. In summary, the protocols presented here provide technical guidance to obtain robust, reproducible and quantifiable tissue-specific data on worm morphology as well as carbohydrate, lipid and mitochondrial energy metabolism that cannot be obtained through traditional biochemical bulk analyses of worm homogenates. Furthermore, analysis of worm cross-sections overcomes the common problem with quantification in three-dimensional whole-mount specimens.

  10. Interplay between structure-specific endonucleases for crossover control during Caenorhabditis elegans meiosis.

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    Takamune T Saito

    Full Text Available The number and distribution of crossover events are tightly regulated at prophase of meiosis I. The resolution of Holliday junctions by structure-specific endonucleases, including MUS-81, SLX-1, XPF-1 and GEN-1, is one of the main mechanisms proposed for crossover formation. However, how these nucleases coordinately resolve Holliday junctions is still unclear. Here we identify both the functional overlap and differences between these four nucleases regarding their roles in crossover formation and control in the Caenorhabditis elegans germline. We show that MUS-81, XPF-1 and SLX-1, but not GEN-1, can bind to HIM-18/SLX4, a key scaffold for nucleases. Analysis of synthetic mitotic defects revealed that MUS-81 and SLX-1, but not XPF-1 and GEN-1, have overlapping roles with the Bloom syndrome helicase ortholog, HIM-6, supporting their in vivo roles in processing recombination intermediates. Taking advantage of the ease of genetic analysis and high-resolution imaging afforded by C. elegans, we examined crossover designation, frequency, distribution and chromosomal morphology in single, double, triple and quadruple mutants of the structure-specific endonucleases. This revealed that XPF-1 functions redundantly with MUS-81 and SLX-1 in executing crossover formation during meiotic double-strand break repair. Analysis of crossover distribution revealed that SLX-1 is required for crossover suppression at the center region of the autosomes. Finally, analysis of chromosome morphology in oocytes at late meiosis I stages uncovered that SLX-1 and XPF-1 promote meiotic chromosomal stability by preventing formation of chromosomal abnormalities. We propose a model in which coordinate action between structure-specific nucleases at different chromosome domains, namely MUS-81, SLX-1 and XPF-1 at the arms and SLX-1 at the center region, exerts positive and negative regulatory roles, respectively, for crossover control during C. elegans meiosis.

  11. A Marine Actinomycete Rescues Caenorhabditis elegans from Pseudomonas aeruginosa Infection through Restitution of Lysozyme 7

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    Siti N. Fatin

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The resistance of Pseudomonas aeruginosa to conventional antimicrobial treatment is a major scourge in healthcare. Therefore, it is crucial that novel potent anti-infectives are discovered. The aim of the present study is to screen marine actinomycetes for chemical entities capable of overcoming P. aeruginosa infection through mechanisms involving anti-virulence or host immunity activities. A total of 18 actinomycetes isolates were sampled from marine sediment of Songsong Island, Kedah, Malaysia. Upon confirming that the methanolic crude extract of these isolates do not display direct bactericidal activities, they were tested for capacity to rescue Caenorhabditis elegans infected with P. aeruginosa strain PA14. A hexane partition of the extract from one isolate, designated as Streptomyces sp. CCB-PSK207, could promote the survival of PA14 infected worms by more than 60%. Partial 16S sequence analysis on this isolate showed identity of 99.79% with Streptomyces sundarbansensis. This partition did not impair feeding behavior of C. elegans worms. Tested on PA14, the partition also did not affect bacterial growth or its ability to colonize host gut. The production of biofilm, protease, and pyocyanin in PA14 were uninterrupted, although there was an increase in elastase production. In lys-7::GFP worms, this partition was shown to induce the expression of lysozyme 7, an important innate immunity defense molecule that was repressed during PA14 infection. GC-MS analysis of the bioactive fraction of Streptomyces sp. CCB-PSK207 revealed the presence of methyl esters of branched saturated fatty acids. In conclusion, this is the first report of a marine actinomycete producing metabolites capable of rescuing C. elegans from PA14 through a lys-7 mediated activity.

  12. Studies on Shigella boydii infection in Caenorhabditis elegans and bioinformatics analysis of immune regulatory protein interactions.

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    Kesika, Periyanaina; Balamurugan, Krishnaswamy

    2012-12-01

    Shigella boydii causes bacillary dysentery or shigellosis and generates a significant burden in the developing nations. S. boydii-mediated infection assays were performed at both physiological and molecular levels using Caenorhabditis elegans as a host. Continuous exposure of worms to S. boydii showed a reduced life span indicating the pathogenicity of Shigella. Quantitative Real-Time PCR analysis was performed to analyze the expression and regulation of host specific candidate-antimicrobial genes (clec-60, clec-87, lys-7), which were expressed significantly during early infection, but weakened during the latter hours. Increased mortality of mutant RB1285 by S. boydii and Shigella flexneri indicated the role of lys-7 during Shigella infection. Protein-protein interactions (PPIs) database was used to analyze the interaction of immune proteins in both C. elegans and humans. In addition, the expression and regulation were revealed about immune genes (clec-61, clec-62, clec-63, F54D5.3 and ZK1320.2), which encode several intermediate immune protein partners (CLEC-61, CLEC-62, CLEC-63, F54D5.3, ZK1320.2, W03D2.6 and THN-2) that interact with LYS-7 and CLEC-60 and were found to play a role in C. elegans immune defense against S. boydii infections. Similarly, the immune genes that are specific to the human defense system, which encode IGHV4-39, A2M, LTF, and CD79A, were predicted to be expressed with LYZ and MBL2, thus indicating their regulation during Shigella infections. Our results using the lowest eukaryotic model system and human database indicated that the major players involved in immunity-related processes appear to be common in cases of Shigella sp. mediated immune responses. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Computational Methods for Protein Interaction and Structural Prediction. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Stochastic blockmodeling of the modules and core of the Caenorhabditis elegans connectome.

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    Dragana M Pavlovic

    Full Text Available Recently, there has been much interest in the community structure or mesoscale organization of complex networks. This structure is characterised either as a set of sparsely inter-connected modules or as a highly connected core with a sparsely connected periphery. However, it is often difficult to disambiguate these two types of mesoscale structure or, indeed, to summarise the full network in terms of the relationships between its mesoscale constituents. Here, we estimate a community structure with a stochastic blockmodel approach, the Erdős-Rényi Mixture Model, and compare it to the much more widely used deterministic methods, such as the Louvain and Spectral algorithms. We used the Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans nervous system (connectome as a model system in which biological knowledge about each node or neuron can be used to validate the functional relevance of the communities obtained. The deterministic algorithms derived communities with 4-5 modules, defined by sparse inter-connectivity between all modules. In contrast, the stochastic Erdős-Rényi Mixture Model estimated a community with 9 blocks or groups which comprised a similar set of modules but also included a clearly defined core, made of 2 small groups. We show that the "core-in-modules" decomposition of the worm brain network, estimated by the Erdős-Rényi Mixture Model, is more compatible with prior biological knowledge about the C. elegans nervous system than the purely modular decomposition defined deterministically. We also show that the blockmodel can be used both to generate stochastic realisations (simulations of the biological connectome, and to compress network into a small number of super-nodes and their connectivity. We expect that the Erdős-Rényi Mixture Model may be useful for investigating the complex community structures in other (nervous systems.

  14. The Evaluation of Geroprotective Effects of Selected Flavonoids in Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ekaterina Lashmanova

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Flavonoids is an intensively studied group of natural compounds with antioxidant, antineoplastic, antihyperglycemic, cardioprotective, and neuroprotective properties. The present study intends to investigate the geroprotective action of three selected flavonoids (naringin, luteolin, chrysin in two model organisms, Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila melanogaster. Luteolin and chrysin were shown to improve lifespan parameters when administered to both model organisms. The observed positive effects of these flavonoids in D. melanogaster were limited to females and were not associated with reduced fecundity or locomotor impairment. The life-extending effects of flavonoids were observed in N2 wild-type worms but absent in aak-2(gt33 mutants implying that these effects can be associated with AMP-activated protein kinase activity. Naringin improved lifespan parameters of C. elegans, but had no effect on D. melanogaster females; in some cases, naringin was found to decrease the lifespan of males. Compared to chrysin and luteolin, however, naringin more effectively activates Nrf2 target genes (particularly, GstD1 under oxidative stress. Then we compared molecular mechanisms of studied compounds and a well-known geroprotector rapamycin, using software tool GeroScope. There are no transcriptomic data on luteolin or chrysin provided by LINCS Project database. The bioinformatics comparison of transcriptomics data for A549 and MCF7 human cell lines treated with rapamycin or naringin revealed that these compounds share just a few common signaling pathways and quite distinct in their geroprotective action. Thus, based on C. elegans effects of naringin, luteolin, chrysin on lifespan we have revealed new potential geroprotectors.

  15. Legionella-protozoa-nematode interactions in aquatic biofilms and influence of Mip on Caenorhabditis elegans colonization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasch, Janine; Krüger, Stefanie; Fontvieille, Dominique; Ünal, Can M; Michel, Rolf; Labrosse, Aurélie; Steinert, Michael

    2016-09-01

    Legionella pneumophila, the causative agent of Legionnaireś disease, is naturally found in aquatic habitats. The intracellular life cycle within protozoa pre-adapted the "accidental" human pathogen to also infect human professional phagocytes like alveolar macrophages. Previous studies employing the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans suggest that also nematodes might serve as a natural host for L. pneumophila. Here, we report for the first time from a natural co-habitation of L. pneumophila and environmental nematode species within biofilms of a warm water spring. In addition, we identified the protozoan species Oxytricha bifaria, Stylonychia mytilus, Ciliophrya sp. which have never been described as potential interaction partners of L. pneumophila before. Modeling and dissection of the Legionella-protozoa-nematode interaction revealed that C. elegans ruptures Legionella-infected amoebal cells and by this means incorporate the pathogen. Further infection studies revealed that the macrophage infectivity potentiator (Mip) protein of L. pneumophila, which is known to bind collagen IV during human lung infection, promotes the colonization of the intestinal tract of L4 larvae of C. elegans and negatively influences the life span of the worms. The Mip-negative L. pneumophila mutant exhibited a 32-fold reduced colonization rate of the nematodes after 48h when compared to the wild-type strain. Taken together, these studies suggest that nematodes may serve as natural hosts for L. pneumophila, promote their persistence and dissemination in the environment, and co-evolutionarily pre-adapt the pathogen for interactions with extracellular constituents of human lung tissue. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  16. Chromosome-biased binding and gene regulation by the Caenorhabditis elegans DRM complex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tabuchi, Tomoko M; Deplancke, Bart; Osato, Naoki; Zhu, Lihua J; Barrasa, M Inmaculada; Harrison, Melissa M; Horvitz, H Robert; Walhout, Albertha J M; Hagstrom, Kirsten A

    2011-05-01

    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.

  17. Struktur-Wirkungs-Beziehungen ausgewählter Flavonoide auf Alterungsprozesse und Stressresistenz in Caenorhabditis elegans

    OpenAIRE

    Grünz, Gregor

    2017-01-01

    Flavonoids in foods represent a major subgroup of secondary plant compounds with a broad spectrum of attributed biochemical properties. The model organism Caenorhabditis elegans was used to elucidate the structure-function relationship of four related flavonoids with respect to their effects on stress-resistance and lifespan in the animals. There were modest effects with a lifespan extension and an increased stress-resistance that could be related to the antioxidant actions of the compounds. ...

  18. Nuclear receptor NHR-25 is required for cell-shape dynamics during epidermal differentiation in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Šilhánková, Marie; Jindra, Marek; Asahina, Masako

    2005-01-01

    Roč. 118, č. 1 (2005), s. 223-232 ISSN 0021-9533 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR KJB5022303; GA ČR GD524/03/H133 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60220518 Keywords : Caenorhabditis elegans * nuclear receptor * epidermal stem cells Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 6.543, year: 2005

  19. A Physiological Approach to the Study of Pseudopod Extension in the Amoeboid Sperm of the Nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    OpenAIRE

    Fraire-Zamora, Juan Jose

    2009-01-01

    Fertilization is the process in which both the spermatozoon and the oocyte must undergo a myriad of physiological changes resulting in successful fusion to produce progeny. Spermatozoa are highly motile cells that must reach the oocyte in the environment where fertilization takes place and in this regard the study of acquisition of motility in sperm cells is important to understand sperm-egg interactions. In the case of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, fertilization takes place in the her...

  20. The Mediator complex of Caenorhabditis elegans: insights into the developmental and physiological roles of a conserved transcriptional coregulator

    OpenAIRE

    Grants, Jennifer M.; Goh, Grace?Y. S.; Taubert, Stefan

    2015-01-01

    The Mediator multiprotein complex (?Mediator?) is an important transcriptional coregulator that is evolutionarily conserved throughout eukaryotes. Although some Mediator subunits are essential for the transcription of all protein-coding genes, others influence the expression of only subsets of genes and participate selectively in cellular signaling pathways. Here, we review the current knowledge of Mediator subunit function in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, a metazoan in which establish...

  1. New Role for DCR-1/Dicer in Caenorhabditis elegans Innate Immunity against the Highly Virulent Bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis DB27

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iatsenko, Igor; Sinha, Amit; Rödelsperger, Christian

    2013-01-01

    Bacillus thuringiensis produces toxins that target invertebrates, including Caenorhabditis elegans. Virulence of Bacillus strains is often highly specific, such that B. thuringiensis strain DB27 is highly pathogenic to C. elegans but shows no virulence for another model nematode, Pristionchus pacificus. To uncover the underlying mechanisms of the differential responses of the two nematodes to B. thuringiensis DB27 and to reveal the C. elegans defense mechanisms against this pathogen, we conducted a genetic screen for C. elegans mutants resistant to B. thuringiensis DB27. Here, we describe a B. thuringiensis DB27-resistant C. elegans mutant that is identical to nasp-1, which encodes the C. elegans homolog of the nuclear-autoantigenic-sperm protein. Gene expression analysis indicated a substantial overlap between the genes downregulated in the nasp-1 mutant and targets of C. elegans dcr-1/Dicer, suggesting that dcr-1 is repressed in nasp-1 mutants, which was confirmed by quantitative PCR. Consistent with this, the nasp-1 mutant exhibits RNA interference (RNAi) deficiency and reduced longevity similar to those of a dcr-1 mutant. Building on these surprising findings, we further explored a potential role for dcr-1 in C. elegans innate immunity. We show that dcr-1 mutant alleles deficient in microRNA (miRNA) processing, but not those deficient only in RNAi, are resistant to B. thuringiensis DB27. Furthermore, dcr-1 overexpression rescues the nasp-1 mutant's resistance, suggesting that repression of dcr-1 determines the nasp-1 mutant's resistance. Additionally, we identified the collagen-encoding gene col-92 as one of the downstream effectors of nasp-1 that play an important role in resistance to DB27. Taken together, these results uncover a previously unknown role for DCR-1/Dicer in C. elegans antibacterial immunity that is largely associated with miRNA processing. PMID:23918784

  2. Bacillus licheniformis Isolated from Traditional Korean Food Resources Enhances the Longevity of Caenorhabditis elegans through Serotonin Signaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

    2015-12-02

    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.

  3. ins-7 Gene expression is partially regulated by the DAF-16/IIS signaling pathway in Caenorhabditis elegans under celecoxib intervention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Shanqing; Liao, Sentai; Zou, Yuxiao; Qu, Zhi; Liu, Fan

    2014-01-01

    DAF-16 target genes are employed as reporters of the insulin/IGF-1 like signal pathway (IIS), and this is notably true when Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) is used to study the action of anti-aging compounds on IIS activity. However, some of these genes may not be specific to DAF-16, even if their expression levels are altered when DAF-16 is activated. Celecoxib was reported to extend the lifespan of C. elegans through activation of DAF-16. Our results confirmed the function of celecoxib on aging; however, we found that the expression of ins-7, a DAF-16 target gene, was abnormally regulated by celecoxib. ins-7 plays an important role in regulating aging, and its expression is suppressed in C. elegans when DAF-16 is activated. However, we found that celecoxib upregulated the expression of ins-7 in contrast to its role in DAF-16 activation. Our subsequent analysis indicated that the expression level of ins-7 in C. elegans was negatively regulated by DAF-16 activity. Additionally, its expression was also positively regulated by DAF-16-independent mechanisms, at least following external pharmacological intervention. Our study suggests that ins-7 is not a specific target gene of DAF-16, and should not be chosen as a reporter for IIS activity. This conclusion is important in the study of INSs on aging in C. elegans, especially under the circumstance of drug intervention.

  4. Role for β-catenin and HOX transcription factors in Caenorhabditis elegans and mammalian host epithelial-pathogen interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irazoqui, Javier E.; Ng, Aylwin; Xavier, Ramnik J.; Ausubel, Frederick M.

    2008-01-01

    We used the model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans infected with the human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus to identify components of epithelial immunity. Transcriptional profiling and reverse genetic analysis revealed that mutation of the C. elegans β-catenin homolog bar-1 or the downstream homeobox gene egl-5 results in a defective response and hypersensitivity to S. aureus infection. Epistasis analysis showed that bar-1 and egl-5 function in parallel to previously described C. elegans immune-response pathways. Overexpression of human homologs of egl-5 modulated NF-κB-dependent TLR2 signaling in epithelial cells. These data suggest that β-catenin and homeobox genes play an important and conserved role in innate immune defense. PMID:18981407

  5. Role for beta-catenin and HOX transcription factors in Caenorhabditis elegans and mammalian host epithelial-pathogen interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irazoqui, Javier E; Ng, Aylwin; Xavier, Ramnik J; Ausubel, Frederick M

    2008-11-11

    We used the model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans infected with the human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus to identify components of epithelial immunity. Transcriptional profiling and reverse genetic analysis revealed that mutation of the C. elegans beta-catenin homolog bar-1 or the downstream homeobox gene egl-5 results in a defective response and hypersensitivity to S. aureus infection. Epistasis analysis showed that bar-1 and egl-5 function in parallel to previously described C. elegans immune-response pathways. Overexpression of human homologs of egl-5 modulated NF-kappaB-dependent TLR2 signaling in epithelial cells. These data suggest that beta-catenin and homeobox genes play an important and conserved role in innate immune defense.

  6. Phase-dependent preference of thermosensation and chemosensation during simultaneous presentation assay in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shingai Ryuzo

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Multi-sensory integration is necessary for organisms to discriminate different environmental stimuli and thus determine behavior. Caenorhabditis elegans has 12 pairs of amphid sensory neurons, which are involved in generating behaviors such as thermotaxis toward cultivation temperature, and chemotaxis toward chemical stimuli. This arrangement of known sensory neurons and measurable behavioral output makes C. elegans suitable for addressing questions of multi-sensory integration in the nervous system. Previous studies have suggested that C. elegans can process different chemoattractants simultaneously. However, little is known about how these organisms can integrate information from stimuli of different modality, such as thermal and chemical stimuli. Results We studied the behavior of a population of C. elegans during simultaneous presentation of thermal and chemical stimuli. First, we examined thermotaxis within the radial temperature gradient produced by a feedback-controlled thermoregulator. Separately, we examined chemotaxis toward sodium chloride or isoamyl alcohol. Then, assays for simultaneous presentations of 15°C (colder temperature than 20°C room temperature and chemoattractant were performed with 15°C-cultivated wild-type worms. Unlike the sum of behavioral indices for each separate behavior, simultaneous presentation resulted in a biased migration to cold regions in the first 10 min of the assay, and sodium chloride-regions in the last 40 min. However, when sodium chloride was replaced with isoamyl alcohol in the simultaneous presentation, the behavioral index was very similar to the sum of separate single presentation indices. We then recorded tracks of single worms and analyzed their behavior. For behavior toward sodium chloride, frequencies of forward and backward movements in simultaneous presentation were significantly different from those in single presentation. Also, migration toward 15°C in simultaneous

  7. Ascaroside expression in Caenorhabditis elegans is strongly dependent on diet and developmental stage.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fatma Kaplan

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available The ascarosides form a family of small molecules that have been isolated from cultures of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. They are often referred to as "dauer pheromones" because most of them induce formation of long-lived and highly stress resistant dauer larvae. More recent studies have shown that ascarosides serve additional functions as social signals and mating pheromones. Thus, ascarosides have multiple functions. Until now, it has been generally assumed that ascarosides are constitutively expressed during nematode development.Cultures of C. elegans were developmentally synchronized on controlled diets. Ascarosides released into the media, as well as stored internally, were quantified by LC/MS. We found that ascaroside biosynthesis and release were strongly dependent on developmental stage and diet. The male attracting pheromone was verified to be a blend of at least four ascarosides, and peak production of the two most potent mating pheromone components, ascr#3 and asc#8 immediately preceded or coincided with the temporal window for mating. The concentration of ascr#2 increased under starvation conditions and peaked during dauer formation, strongly supporting ascr#2 as the main population density signal (dauer pheromone. After dauer formation, ascaroside production largely ceased and dauer larvae did not release any ascarosides. These findings show that both total ascaroside production and the relative proportions of individual ascarosides strongly correlate with these compounds' stage-specific biological functions.Ascaroside expression changes with development and environmental conditions. This is consistent with multiple functions of these signaling molecules. Knowledge of such differential regulation will make it possible to associate ascaroside production to gene expression profiles (transcript, protein or enzyme activity and help to determine genetic pathways that control ascaroside biosynthesis. In conjunction with findings

  8. The V0-ATPase mediates apical secretion of exosomes containing Hedgehog-related proteins in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liégeois, Samuel; Benedetto, Alexandre; Garnier, Jean-Marie; Schwab, Yannick; Labouesse, Michel

    2006-01-01

    Polarized intracellular trafficking in epithelia is critical in development, immunity, and physiology to deliver morphogens, defensins, or ion pumps to the appropriate membrane domain. The mechanisms that control apical trafficking remain poorly defined. Using Caenorhabditis elegans, we characterize a novel apical secretion pathway involving multivesicularbodies and the release of exosomes at the apical plasma membrane. By means of two different genetic approaches, we show that the membrane-bound V0 sector of the vacuolar H+-ATPase (V-ATPase) acts in this pathway, independent of its contribution to the V-ATPase proton pump activity. Specifically, we identified mutations in the V0 “a” subunit VHA-5 that affect either the V0-specific function or the V0+V1 function of the V-ATPase. These mutations allowed us to establish that the V0 sector mediates secretion of Hedgehog-related proteins. Our data raise the possibility that the V0 sector mediates exosome and morphogen release in mammals. PMID:16785323

  9. Intricate and Cell Type-Specific Populations of Endogenous Circular DNA (eccDNA) in Caenorhabditis elegans and Homo sapiens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shoura, Massa J; Gabdank, Idan; Hansen, Loren; Merker, Jason; Gotlib, Jason; Levene, Stephen D; Fire, Andrew Z

    2017-10-05

    Investigations aimed at defining the 3D configuration of eukaryotic chromosomes have consistently encountered an endogenous population of chromosome-derived circular genomic DNA, referred to as extrachromosomal circular DNA (eccDNA). While the production, distribution, and activities of eccDNAs remain understudied, eccDNA formation from specific regions of the linear genome has profound consequences on the regulatory and coding capabilities for these regions. Here, we define eccDNA distributions in Caenorhabditis elegans and in three human cell types, utilizing a set of DNA topology-dependent approaches for enrichment and characterization. The use of parallel biophysical, enzymatic, and informatic approaches provides a comprehensive profiling of eccDNA robust to isolation and analysis methodology. Results in human and nematode systems provide quantitative analysis of the eccDNA loci at both unique and repetitive regions. Our studies converge on and support a consistent picture, in which endogenous genomic DNA circles are present in normal physiological states, and in which the circles come from both coding and noncoding genomic regions. Prominent among the coding regions generating DNA circles are several genes known to produce a diversity of protein isoforms, with mucin proteins and titin as specific examples. Copyright © 2017 Shoura et al.

  10. A longitudinal study of Caenorhabditis elegans larvae reveals a novel locomotion switch, regulated by Gαs signaling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagy, Stanislav; Wright, Charles; Tramm, Nora; Labello, Nicholas; Burov, Stanislav; Biron, David

    2013-01-01

    Despite their simplicity, longitudinal studies of invertebrate models are rare. We thus sought to characterize behavioral trends of Caenorhabditis elegans, from the mid fourth larval stage through the mid young adult stage. We found that, outside of lethargus, animals exhibited abrupt switching between two distinct behavioral states: active wakefulness and quiet wakefulness. The durations of epochs of active wakefulness exhibited non-Poisson statistics. Increased Gαs signaling stabilized the active wakefulness state before, during and after lethargus. In contrast, decreased Gαs signaling, decreased neuropeptide release, or decreased CREB activity destabilized active wakefulness outside of, but not during, lethargus. Taken together, our findings support a model in which protein kinase A (PKA) stabilizes active wakefulness, at least in part through two of its downstream targets: neuropeptide release and CREB. However, during lethargus, when active wakefulness is strongly suppressed, the native role of PKA signaling in modulating locomotion and quiescence may be minor. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.00782.001 PMID:23840929

  11. Chromoanasynthetic Genomic Rearrangement Identified in a N-Ethyl-N-Nitrosourea (ENU) Mutagenesis Screen in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Itani, Omar A; Flibotte, Stephane; Dumas, Kathleen J; Moerman, Donald G; Hu, Patrick J

    2015-12-01

    Chromoanasynthesis is a recently discovered phenomenon in humans with congenital diseases that is characterized by complex genomic rearrangements (CGRs) resulting from aberrant repair of catastrophic chromosomal damage. How these CGRs are induced is not known. Here, we describe the structure and function of dpDp667, a causative CGR that emerged from a Caenorhabditis elegans dauer suppressor screen in which animals were treated with the point mutagen N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU). dpDp667 comprises nearly 3 Mb of sequence on the right arm of the X chromosome, contains three duplications and one triplication, and is devoid of deletions. Sequences from three out of the four breakpoint junctions in dpDp667 reveal microhomologies that are hallmarks of chromoanasynthetic CGRs. Our findings suggest that environmental insults and physiological processes that cause point mutations may give rise to chromoanasynthetic rearrangements associated with congenital disease. The relatively subtle phenotype of animals harboring dpDp667 suggests that the prevalence of CGRs in the genomes of mutant and/or phenotypically unremarkable animals may be grossly underestimated. Copyright © 2016 Itani et al.

  12. Chromoanasynthetic Genomic Rearrangement Identified in a N-Ethyl-N-Nitrosourea (ENU Mutagenesis Screen in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Omar A. Itani

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Chromoanasynthesis is a recently discovered phenomenon in humans with congenital diseases that is characterized by complex genomic rearrangements (CGRs resulting from aberrant repair of catastrophic chromosomal damage. How these CGRs are induced is not known. Here, we describe the structure and function of dpDp667, a causative CGR that emerged from a Caenorhabditis elegans dauer suppressor screen in which animals were treated with the point mutagen N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU. dpDp667 comprises nearly 3 Mb of sequence on the right arm of the X chromosome, contains three duplications and one triplication, and is devoid of deletions. Sequences from three out of the four breakpoint junctions in dpDp667 reveal microhomologies that are hallmarks of chromoanasynthetic CGRs. Our findings suggest that environmental insults and physiological processes that cause point mutations may give rise to chromoanasynthetic rearrangements associated with congenital disease. The relatively subtle phenotype of animals harboring dpDp667 suggests that the prevalence of CGRs in the genomes of mutant and/or phenotypically unremarkable animals may be grossly underestimated.

  13. Chromoanasynthetic Genomic Rearrangement Identified in a N-Ethyl-N-Nitrosourea (ENU) Mutagenesis Screen in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Itani, Omar A.; Flibotte, Stephane; Dumas, Kathleen J.; Moerman, Donald G.; Hu, Patrick J.

    2015-01-01

    Chromoanasynthesis is a recently discovered phenomenon in humans with congenital diseases that is characterized by complex genomic rearrangements (CGRs) resulting from aberrant repair of catastrophic chromosomal damage. How these CGRs are induced is not known. Here, we describe the structure and function of dpDp667, a causative CGR that emerged from a Caenorhabditis elegans dauer suppressor screen in which animals were treated with the point mutagen N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU). dpDp667 comprises nearly 3 Mb of sequence on the right arm of the X chromosome, contains three duplications and one triplication, and is devoid of deletions. Sequences from three out of the four breakpoint junctions in dpDp667 reveal microhomologies that are hallmarks of chromoanasynthetic CGRs. Our findings suggest that environmental insults and physiological processes that cause point mutations may give rise to chromoanasynthetic rearrangements associated with congenital disease. The relatively subtle phenotype of animals harboring dpDp667 suggests that the prevalence of CGRs in the genomes of mutant and/or phenotypically unremarkable animals may be grossly underestimated. PMID:26628482

  14. SLX-1 is required for maintaining genomic integrity and promoting meiotic noncrossovers in the Caenorhabditis elegans germline.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takamune T Saito

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Although the SLX4 complex, which includes structure-specific nucleases such as XPF, MUS81, and SLX1, plays important roles in the repair of several kinds of DNA damage, the function of SLX1 in the germline remains unknown. Here we characterized the endonuclease activities of the Caenorhabditis elegans SLX-1-HIM-18/SLX-4 complex co-purified from human 293T cells and determined SLX-1 germline function via analysis of slx-1(tm2644 mutants. SLX-1 shows a HIM-18/SLX-4-dependent endonuclease activity toward replication forks, 5'-flaps, and Holliday junctions. slx-1 mutants exhibit hypersensitivity to UV, nitrogen mustard, and camptothecin, but not gamma irradiation. Consistent with a role in DNA repair, recombination intermediates accumulate in both mitotic and meiotic germ cells in slx-1 mutants. Importantly, meiotic crossover distribution, but not crossover frequency, is altered on chromosomes in slx-1 mutants compared to wild type. This alteration is not due to changes in either the levels or distribution of double-strand breaks (DSBs along chromosomes. We propose that SLX-1 is required for repair at stalled or collapsed replication forks, interstrand crosslink repair, and nucleotide excision repair during mitosis. Moreover, we hypothesize that SLX-1 regulates the crossover landscape during meiosis by acting as a noncrossover-promoting factor in a subset of DSBs.

  15. Deep Conservation of Genes Required for Both Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans Sleep Includes a Role for Dopaminergic Signaling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Komudi; Ju, Jennifer Y.; Walsh, Melissa B.; DiIorio, Michael A.; Hart, Anne C.

    2014-01-01

    Objectives: Cross-species conservation of sleep-like behaviors predicts the presence of conserved molecular mechanisms underlying sleep. However, limited experimental evidence of conservation exists. Here, this prediction is tested directly. Measurements and Results: During lethargus, Caenorhabditis elegans spontaneously sleep in short bouts that are interspersed with bouts of spontaneous locomotion. We identified 26 genes required for Drosophila melanogaster sleep. Twenty orthologous C. elegans genes were selected based on similarity. Their effect on C. elegans sleep and arousal during the last larval lethargus was assessed. The 20 most similar genes altered both the quantity of sleep and arousal thresholds. In 18 cases, the direction of change was concordant with Drosophila studies published previously. Additionally, we delineated a conserved genetic pathway by which dopamine regulates sleep and arousal. In C. elegans neurons, G-alpha S, adenylyl cyclase, and protein kinase A act downstream of D1 dopamine receptors to regulate these behaviors. Finally, a quantitative analysis of genes examined herein revealed that C. elegans arousal thresholds were directly correlated with amount of sleep during lethargus. However, bout duration varies little and was not correlated with arousal thresholds. Conclusions: The comprehensive analysis presented here suggests that conserved genes and pathways are required for sleep in invertebrates and, likely, across the entire animal kingdom. The genetic pathway delineated in this study implicates G-alpha S and previously known genes downstream of dopamine signaling in sleep. Quantitative analysis of various components of quiescence suggests that interdependent or identical cellular and molecular mechanisms are likely to regulate both arousal and sleep entry. Citation: Singh K, Ju JY, Walsh MB, Dilorio MA, Hart AC. Deep conservation of genes required for both Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans sleep includes a role for

  16. Deltamethrin affects the expression of voltage-gated calcium channel α1 subunits and the locomotion, egg-laying, foraging behavior of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeng, Rune; Yu, Xing; Tan, Xing; Ye, Shan; Ding, Zhong

    2017-05-01

    Deltamethrin belongs to the class of synthetic pyrethroids, which are being widely used as insecticides in agricultural practices. Voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSCs) are the primary targets of these chemicals for toxicity to insects. Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) does not have VGSCs but is susceptible to deltamethrin. Recent findings have suggested that pyrethroids can affect voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs). However, it remains elusive whether deltamethrin induces toxicity to C. elegans via modulating the activity of VGCCs. To identify the potential target of deltamethrin, we exposed C. elegans to different concentrations of deltamethrin and Ca 2+ channel blockers for different times, characterized the behavioral toxicity of deltamethrin on C. elegans, and determined the expression of egl-19, unc-2, and cca-1, which encode the α1-subunit of the L-, R/N/P/Q-, and T-type VGCC, respectively. We found that deltamethrin inhibited the locomotion, egg-laying and foraging ability of C. elegans in a concentration dependent manner. We also showed that body length of worms on agar plates containing 200mgL -1 deltamethrin for 12h was not significantly different from controls, whereas the cholinesterase inhibitor carbofuran caused hypercontraction which is a characteristic of organophosphates and carbamates, suggesting that deltamethrin's mode of action is distinct from those nematicides. In addition, unc-2 was significantly up-regulated following 0.05mgL -1 deltamethrin exposure for 24h; while egl-19 and cca-1 were significantly up-regulated following 5 and 50mgL -1 deltamethrin exposure for 24h. Further tests of worms' sensitivity and expression of three α1-subunits of VGCC to Ca 2+ channel blockers indicate that deltamethrin may induce toxic behavior C. elegans via modulation of the expression of the α1-subunits of VGCC. This study provides insights into the linkage between deltamethrin-induced toxic behavior and the regulation of α1-subunits of VGCC in C

  17. Combining Human Epigenetics and Sleep Studies in Caenorhabditis elegans: A Cross-Species Approach for Finding Conserved Genes Regulating Sleep.

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    Huang, Huiyan; Zhu, Yong; Eliot, Melissa N; Knopik, Valerie S; McGeary, John E; Carskadon, Mary A; Hart, Anne C

    2017-06-01

    We aimed to test a combined approach to identify conserved genes regulating sleep and to explore the association between DNA methylation and sleep length. We identified candidate genes associated with shorter versus longer sleep duration in college students based on DNA methylation using Illumina Infinium HumanMethylation450 BeadChip arrays. Orthologous genes in Caenorhabditis elegans were identified, and we examined whether their loss of function affected C. elegans sleep. For genes whose perturbation affected C. elegans sleep, we subsequently undertook a small pilot study to re-examine DNA methylation in an independent set of human participants with shorter versus longer sleep durations. Eighty-seven out of 485,577 CpG sites had significant differential methylation in young adults with shorter versus longer sleep duration, corresponding to 52 candidate genes. We identified 34 C. elegans orthologs, including NPY/flp-18 and flp-21, which are known to affect sleep. Loss of five additional genes alters developmentally timed C. elegans sleep (B4GALT6/bre-4, DOCK180/ced-5, GNB2L1/rack-1, PTPRN2/ida-1, ZFYVE28/lst-2). For one of these genes, ZFYVE28 (also known as hLst2), the pilot replication study again found decreased DNA methylation associated with shorter sleep duration at the same two CpG sites in the first intron of ZFYVE28. Using an approach that combines human epigenetics and C. elegans sleep studies, we identified five genes that play previously unidentified roles in C. elegans sleep. We suggest sleep duration in humans may be associated with differential DNA methylation at specific sites and that the conserved genes identified here likely play roles in C. elegans sleep and in other species. © Sleep Research Society 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Sleep Research Society. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail journals.permissions@oup.com.

  18. Muscle type-specific responses to NAD+ salvage biosynthesis promote muscle function in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Vrablik, Tracy L; Wang, Wenqing; Upadhyay, Awani; Hanna-Rose, Wendy

    2011-01-15

    Salvage biosynthesis of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD(+)) from nicotinamide (NAM) lowers NAM levels and replenishes the critical molecule NAD(+) after it is hydrolyzed. This pathway is emerging as a regulator of multiple biological processes. Here we probe the contribution of the NAM-NAD(+) salvage pathway to muscle development and function using Caenorhabditis elegans. C. elegans males with mutations in the nicotinamidase pnc-1, which catalyzes the first step of this NAD(+) salvage pathway, cannot mate due to a spicule muscle defect. Multiple muscle types are impaired in the hermaphrodites, including body wall muscles, pharyngeal muscles and vulval muscles. An active NAD(+) salvage pathway is required for optimal function of each muscle cell type. However, we found surprising muscle-cell-type specificity in terms of both the timing and relative sensitivity to perturbation of NAD(+) production or NAM levels. Active NAD(+) biosynthesis during development is critical for function of the male spicule protractor muscles during adulthood, but these muscles can surprisingly do without salvage biosynthesis in adulthood under the conditions examined. The body wall muscles require ongoing NAD(+) salvage biosynthesis both during development and adulthood for maximum function. The vulval muscles do not function in the presence of elevated NAM concentrations, but NAM supplementation is only slightly deleterious to body wall muscles during development or upon acute application in adults. Thus, the pathway plays distinct roles in different tissues. As NAM-NAD(+) biosynthesis also impacts muscle differentiation in vertebrates, we propose that similar complexities may be found among vertebrate muscle cell types. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Distinct roles of the two VPS33 proteins in the endolysosomal system in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Gengyo-Ando, Keiko; Kage-Nakadai, Eriko; Yoshina, Sawako; Otori, Muneyoshi; Kagawa-Nagamura, Yuko; Nakai, Junichi; Mitani, Shohei

    2016-11-01

    Sec1/Munc-18 (SM) family proteins are essential regulators in intracellular transport in eukaryotic cells. The SM protein Vps33 functions as a core subunit of two tethering complexes, class C core vacuole/endosome tethering (CORVET) and homotypic fusion and vacuole protein sorting (HOPS) in the endocytic pathway in yeast. Metazoan cells possess two Vps33 proteins, VPS33A and VPS33B, but their precise roles remain unknown. Here, we present a comparative analysis of Caenorhabditis elegans null mutants for these proteins. We found that the vps-33.1 (VPS33A) mutants exhibited severe defects in both endocytic function and endolysosomal biogenesis in scavenger cells. Furthermore, vps-33.1 mutations caused endocytosis defects in other tissues, and the loss of maternal and zygotic VPS-33.1 resulted in embryonic lethality. By contrast, vps-33.2 mutants were viable but sterile, with terminally arrested spermatocytes. The spermatogenesis phenotype suggests that VPS33.2 is involved in the formation of a sperm-specific organelle. The endocytosis defect in the vps-33.1 mutant was not restored by the expression of VPS-33.2, which indicates that these proteins have nonredundant functions. Together, our data suggest that VPS-33.1 shares most of the general functions of yeast Vps33 in terms of tethering complexes in the endolysosomal system, whereas VPS-33.2 has tissue/organelle specific functions in C. elegans. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. Neurons Refine the Caenorhabditis elegans Body Plan by Directing Axial Patterning by Wnts

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    Modzelewska, Katarzyna; Lauritzen, Amara; Hasenoeder, Stefan; Brown, Louise; Georgiou, John; Moghal, Nadeem

    2013-01-01

    Metazoans display remarkable conservation of gene families, including growth factors, yet somehow these genes are used in different ways to generate tremendous morphological diversity. While variations in the magnitude and spatio-temporal aspects of signaling by a growth factor can generate different body patterns, how these signaling variations are organized and coordinated during development is unclear. Basic body plans are organized by the end of gastrulation and are refined as limbs, organs, and nervous systems co-develop. Despite their proximity to developing tissues, neurons are primarily thought to act after development, on behavior. Here, we show that in Caenorhabditis elegans, the axonal projections of neurons regulate tissue progenitor responses to Wnts so that certain organs develop with the correct morphology at the right axial positions. We find that foreshortening of the posteriorly directed axons of the two canal-associated neurons (CANs) disrupts mid-body vulval morphology, and produces ectopic vulval tissue in the posterior epidermis, in a Wnt-dependent manner. We also provide evidence that suggests that the posterior CAN axons modulate the location and strength of Wnt signaling along the anterior–posterior axis by employing a Ror family Wnt receptor to bind posteriorly derived Wnts, and hence, refine their distributions. Surprisingly, despite high levels of Ror expression in many other cells, these cells cannot substitute for the CAN axons in patterning the epidermis, nor can cells expressing a secreted Wnt inhibitor, SFRP-1. Thus, unmyelinated axon tracts are critical for patterning the C. elegans body. Our findings suggest that the evolution of neurons not only improved metazoans by increasing behavioral complexity, but also by expanding the diversity of developmental patterns generated by growth factors such as Wnts. PMID:23319891

  1. Deletion of the mitochondrial superoxide dismutase sod-2 extends lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Jeremy M Van Raamsdonk

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available The oxidative stress theory of aging postulates that aging results from the accumulation of molecular damage caused by reactive oxygen species (ROS generated during normal metabolism. Superoxide dismutases (SODs counteract this process by detoxifying superoxide. It has previously been shown that elimination of either cytoplasmic or mitochondrial SOD in yeast, flies, and mice results in decreased lifespan. In this experiment, we examine the effect of eliminating each of the five individual sod genes present in Caenorhabditis elegans. In contrast to what is observed in other model organisms, none of the sod deletion mutants shows decreased lifespan compared to wild-type worms, despite a clear increase in sensitivity to paraquat- and juglone-induced oxidative stress. In fact, even mutants lacking combinations of two or three sod genes survive at least as long as wild-type worms. Examination of gene expression in these mutants reveals mild compensatory up-regulation of other sod genes. Interestingly, we find that sod-2 mutants are long-lived despite a significant increase in oxidatively damaged proteins. Testing the effect of sod-2 deletion on known pathways of lifespan extension reveals a clear interaction with genes that affect mitochondrial function: sod-2 deletion markedly increases lifespan in clk-1 worms while clearly decreasing the lifespan of isp-1 worms. Combined with the mitochondrial localization of SOD-2 and the fact that sod-2 mutant worms exhibit phenotypes that are characteristic of long-lived mitochondrial mutants-including slow development, low brood size, and slow defecation-this suggests that deletion of sod-2 extends lifespan through a similar mechanism. This conclusion is supported by our demonstration of decreased oxygen consumption in sod-2 mutant worms. Overall, we show that increased oxidative stress caused by deletion of sod genes does not result in decreased lifespan in C. elegans and that deletion of sod-2 extends worm

  2. Manipulation of behavioral decline in Caenorhabditis elegans with the Rag GTPase raga-1.

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    Matthew A Schreiber

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Normal aging leads to an inexorable decline in motor performance, contributing to medical morbidity and decreased quality of life. While much has been discovered about genetic determinants of lifespan, less is known about modifiers of age-related behavioral decline and whether new gene targets may be found which extend vigorous activity, with or without extending lifespan. Using Caenorhabditis elegans, we have developed a model of declining neuromuscular function and conducted a screen for increased behavioral activity in aged animals. In this model, behavioral function suffers from profound reductions in locomotory frequency, but coordination is strikingly preserved until very old age. By screening for enhancers of locomotion at advanced ages we identified the ras-related Rag GTPase raga-1 as a novel modifier of behavioral aging. raga-1 loss of function mutants showed vigorous swimming late in life. Genetic manipulations revealed that a gain of function raga-1 curtailed behavioral vitality and shortened lifespan, while a dominant negative raga-1 lengthened lifespan. Dietary restriction results indicated that a raga-1 mutant is relatively protected from the life-shortening effects of highly concentrated food, while RNAi experiments suggested that raga-1 acts in the highly conserved target of rapamycin (TOR pathway in C. elegans. Rag GTPases were recently shown to mediate nutrient-dependent activation of TOR. This is the first demonstration of their dramatic effects on behavior and aging. This work indicates that novel modulators of behavioral function can be identified in screens, with implications for future study of the clinical amelioration of age-related decline.

  3. Glucose-rich diet aggravates monocrotophos-induced dopaminergic neuronal dysfunction in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Salim, Chinnu; Rajini, P S

    2017-06-01

    The present study aimed to obtain insights into the mechanism(s) by which glucose-rich diet aggravates monocrotophos (MCP)-induced dopaminergic neuronal dysfunction in Caenorhabditis elegans. In this study, we exposed three different strains of worms (wild-type N2, CB1112 (cat-2(e1112)II, tyrosine hydroxylase-deficient mutant, catecholamine absent) and the transgenic BZ555 (egls1-dat-1p::green fluorescent protein [GFP]) (in which bright GFP is tagged to the dopamine neuronal soma and processes) grown and maintained in normal nematode growth medium or 2% glucose enriched-nematode growth medium to MCP (0.75 mm) for 48 h. After the exposure, dopamine-mediated behaviors such as repulsion to nonanone, chemotaxis index and basal slowing response were determined in worms. Dopamine, 3,4-dihydroxy phenyl acetic acid and homovanillic acid content were quantified in N2 worms. The extent of neurodegeneration was visualized and quantified in dat-1::GFP worms. Basal slowing response study clearly indicated that cat-2 worms exposed to MCP and glucose were less affected compared to N2 of the same treatment. Learning and memory were affected by MCP and glucose. While MCP-treated worms showed lesser repulsion to nonanone compared to control worms, MCP-treated, glucose-fed worms showed a greater reduction in repulsion to nonanone. Further, MCP-treated, glucose-fed worms exhibited a marked reduction in dopamine content and an increase in 3,4-dihydroxy phenyl acetic acid and homovanillic acid levels compared to that in control. Dat-1::GFP showed a significant degeneration of dopaminergic neurons when exposed to glucose and MCP. Thus, our results clearly demonstrate that glucose-rich diet aggravates the dopaminergic neuronal dysfunction induced by MCP in C. elegans. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  4. Rictor/TORC2 regulates Caenorhabditis elegans fat storage, body size, and development through sgk-1.

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    Kevin T Jones

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available The target of rapamycin (TOR kinase coordinately regulates fundamental metabolic and cellular processes to support growth, proliferation, survival, and differentiation, and consequently it has been proposed as a therapeutic target for the treatment of cancer, metabolic disease, and aging. The TOR kinase is found in two biochemically and functionally distinct complexes, termed TORC1 and TORC2. Aided by the compound rapamycin, which specifically inhibits TORC1, the role of TORC1 in regulating translation and cellular growth has been extensively studied. The physiological roles of TORC2 have remained largely elusive due to the lack of pharmacological inhibitors and its genetic lethality in mammals. Among potential targets of TORC2, the pro-survival kinase AKT has garnered much attention. Within the context of intact animals, however, the physiological consequences of phosphorylation of AKT by TORC2 remain poorly understood. Here we describe viable loss-of-function mutants in the Caenorhabditis elegans homolog of the TORC2-specific component, Rictor (CeRictor. These mutants display a mild developmental delay and decreased body size, but have increased lipid storage. These functions of CeRictor are not mediated through the regulation of AKT kinases or their major downstream target, the insulin-regulated FOXO transcription factor DAF-16. We found that loss of sgk-1, a homolog of the serum- and glucocorticoid-induced kinase, mimics the developmental, growth, and metabolic phenotypes of CeRictor mutants, while a novel, gain-of-function mutation in sgk-1 suppresses these phenotypes, indicating that SGK-1 is a mediator of CeRictor activity. These findings identify new physiological roles for TORC2, mediated by SGK, in regulation of C. elegans lipid accumulation and growth, and they challenge the notion that AKT is the primary effector of TORC2 function.

  5. Heat-Induced Calcium Leakage Causes Mitochondrial Damage inCaenorhabditis elegansBody-Wall Muscles.

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    Momma, Kenta; Homma, Takashi; Isaka, Ruri; Sudevan, Surabhi; Higashitani, Atsushi

    2017-08-01

    Acute onset of organ failure in heatstroke is triggered by rhabdomyolysis of skeletal muscle. Here, we showed that elevated temperature increases free cytosolic Ca 2+ [Ca 2+ ]f from RYR (ryanodine receptor)/UNC-68 in vivo in the muscles of an experimental model animal, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans This subsequently leads to mitochondrial fragmentation and dysfunction, and breakdown of myofilaments similar to rhabdomyolysis. In addition, treatment with an inhibitor of RYR (dantrolene) or activation of FoxO (Forkhead box O)/DAF-16 is effective against heat-induced muscle damage. Acute onset of organ failure in heatstroke is triggered by rhabdomyolysis of skeletal muscle. To gain insight into heat-induced muscle breakdown, we investigated alterations of Ca 2+ homeostasis and mitochondrial morphology in vivo in body-wall muscles of C. elegans exposed to elevated temperature. Heat stress for 3 hr at 35° increased the concentration of [Ca 2+ ]f, and led to mitochondrial fragmentation and subsequent dysfunction in the muscle cells. A similar mitochondrial fragmentation phenotype is induced in the absence of heat stress by treatment with a calcium ionophore, ionomycin. Mutation of the unc-68 gene, which encodes the ryanodine receptor that is linked to Ca 2+ release from the sarcoplasmic reticulum, could suppress the mitochondrial dysfunction, muscle degeneration, and reduced mobility and life span induced by heat stress. In addition, in a daf-2 mutant, in which the DAF-16/FoxO transcription factor is activated, resistance to calcium overload, mitochondrial fragmentation, and dysfunction was observed. These findings reveal that heat-induced Ca 2+ accumulation causes mitochondrial damage and consequently induces muscle breakdown. Copyright © 2017 Momma et al.

  6. Filamin and phospholipase C-ε are required for calcium signaling in the Caenorhabditis elegans spermatheca.

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    Ismar Kovacevic

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available The Caenorhabditis elegans spermatheca is a myoepithelial tube that stores sperm and undergoes cycles of stretching and constriction as oocytes enter, are fertilized, and exit into the uterus. FLN-1/filamin, a stretch-sensitive structural and signaling scaffold, and PLC-1/phospholipase C-ε, an enzyme that generates the second messenger IP3, are required for embryos to exit normally after fertilization. Using GCaMP, a genetically encoded calcium indicator, we show that entry of an oocyte into the spermatheca initiates a distinctive series of IP3-dependent calcium oscillations that propagate across the tissue via gap junctions and lead to constriction of the spermatheca. PLC-1 is required for the calcium release mechanism triggered by oocyte entry, and FLN-1 is required for timely initiation of the calcium oscillations. INX-12, a gap junction subunit, coordinates propagation of the calcium transients across the spermatheca. Gain-of-function mutations in ITR-1/IP3R, an IP3-dependent calcium channel, and loss-of-function mutations in LFE-2, a negative regulator of IP3 signaling, increase calcium release and suppress the exit defect in filamin-deficient animals. We further demonstrate that a regulatory cassette consisting of MEL-11/myosin phosphatase and NMY-1/non-muscle myosin is required for coordinated contraction of the spermatheca. In summary, this study answers long-standing questions concerning calcium signaling dynamics in the C. elegans spermatheca and suggests FLN-1 is needed in response to oocyte entry to trigger calcium release and coordinated contraction of the spermathecal tissue.

  7. Long-lived mitochondrial (Mit) mutants of Caenorhabditis elegans utilize a novel metabolism.

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    Butler, Jeffrey A; Ventura, Natascia; Johnson, Thomas E; Rea, Shane L

    2010-12-01

    The Caenorhabditis elegans mitochondrial (Mit) mutants have disrupted mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC) functionality, yet, surprisingly, they are long lived. We have previously proposed that Mit mutants supplement their energy needs by exploiting alternate energy production pathways normally used by wild-type animals only when exposed to hypoxic conditions. We have also proposed that longevity in the Mit mutants arises as a property of their new metabolic state. If longevity does arise as a function of metabolic state, we would expect to find a common metabolic signature among these animals. To test these predictions, we established a novel approach monitoring the C. elegans exometabolism as a surrogate marker for internal metabolic events. Using HPLC-ultraviolet-based metabolomics and multivariate analyses, we show that long-lived clk-1(qm30) and isp-1(qm150) Mit mutants have a common metabolic profile that is distinct from that of aerobically cultured wild-type animals and, unexpectedly, wild-type animals cultured under severe oxygen deprivation. Moreover, we show that 2 short-lived mitochondrial ETC mutants, mev-1(kn1) and ucr-2.3(pk732), also share a common metabolic signature that is unique. We show that removal of soluble fumarate reductase unexpectedly increases health span in several genetically defined Mit mutants, identifying at least 1 alternate energy production pathway, malate dismutation, that is operative in these animals. Our study suggests long-lived, genetically specified Mit mutants employ a novel metabolism and that life span may well arise as a function of metabolic state.

  8. QuantWorm: a comprehensive software package for Caenorhabditis elegans phenotypic assays.

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    Jung, Sang-Kyu; Aleman-Meza, Boanerges; Riepe, Celeste; Zhong, Weiwei

    2014-01-01

    Phenotypic assays are crucial in genetics; however, traditional methods that rely on human observation are unsuitable for quantitative, large-scale experiments. Furthermore, there is an increasing need for comprehensive analyses of multiple phenotypes to provide multidimensional information. Here we developed an automated, high-throughput computer imaging system for quantifying multiple Caenorhabditis elegans phenotypes. Our imaging system is composed of a microscope equipped with a digital camera and a motorized stage connected to a computer running the QuantWorm software package. Currently, the software package contains one data acquisition module and four image analysis programs: WormLifespan, WormLocomotion, WormLength, and WormEgg. The data acquisition module collects images and videos. The WormLifespan software counts the number of moving worms by using two time-lapse images; the WormLocomotion software computes the velocity of moving worms; the WormLength software measures worm body size; and the WormEgg software counts the number of eggs. To evaluate the performance of our software, we compared the results of our software with manual measurements. We then demonstrated the application of the QuantWorm software in a drug assay and a genetic assay. Overall, the QuantWorm software provided accurate measurements at a high speed. Software source code, executable programs, and sample images are available at www.quantworm.org. Our software package has several advantages over current imaging systems for C. elegans. It is an all-in-one package for quantifying multiple phenotypes. The QuantWorm software is written in Java and its source code is freely available, so it does not require use of commercial software or libraries. It can be run on multiple platforms and easily customized to cope with new methods and requirements.

  9. Loss of Caenorhabditis elegans BRCA1 Promotes Genome Stability During Replication in smc-5 Mutants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolters, Stefanie; Ermolaeva, Maria A.; Bickel, Jeremy S.; Fingerhut, Jaclyn M.; Khanikar, Jayshree; Chan, Raymond C.; Schumacher, Björn

    2014-01-01

    DNA damage by ultraviolet (UV) light poses a risk for mutagenesis and a potential hindrance for cell cycle progression. Cells cope with UV-induced DNA damage through two general strategies to repair the damaged nucleotides and to promote cell cycle progression in the presence of UV-damaged DNA. Defining the genetic pathways and understanding how they function together to enable effective tolerance to UV remains an important area of research. The structural maintenance of chromosomes (SMC) proteins form distinct complexes that maintain genome stability during chromosome segregation, homologous recombination, and DNA replication. Using a forward genetic screen, we identified two alleles of smc-5 that exacerbate UV sensitivity in Caenorhabditis elegans. Germ cells of smc-5-defective animals show reduced proliferation, sensitivity to perturbed replication, chromatin bridge formation, and accumulation of RAD-51 foci that indicate the activation of homologous recombination at DNA double-strand breaks. Mutations in the translesion synthesis polymerase polh-1 act synergistically with smc-5 mutations in provoking genome instability after UV-induced DNA damage. In contrast, the DNA damage accumulation and sensitivity of smc-5 mutant strains to replication impediments are suppressed by mutations in the C. elegans BRCA1/BARD1 homologs, brc-1 and brd-1. We propose that SMC-5/6 promotes replication fork stability and facilitates recombination-dependent repair when the BRC-1/BRD-1 complex initiates homologous recombination at stalled replication forks. Our data suggest that BRC-1/BRD-1 can both promote and antagonize genome stability depending on whether homologous recombination is initiated during DNA double-strand break repair or during replication stalling. PMID:24424777

  10. Evaluation of head movement periodicity and irregularity during locomotion of Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Ryuzo eShingai

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Caenorhabditis elegans is suitable for studying the nervous system, which controls behavior. C. elegans shows sinusoidal locomotion on an agar plate. The head moves not only sinusoidally but also more complexly, which reflects regulation of the head muscles by the nervous system. The head movement becomes more irregular with senescence. To date, the head movement complexity has not been quantitatively analyzed. We propose two simple methods for evaluation of the head movement regularity on an agar plate using image analysis. The methods calculate metrics that are a measure of how the head end movement is correlated with body movement. In the first method, the length along the trace of the head end on the agar plate between adjacent intersecting points of the head trace and the quasi-midline of the head trace, which was made by sliding an averaging window of 1/2 the body wavelength, was obtained. Histograms of the lengths showed periodic movement of the head and deviation from it. In the second method, the intersections between the trace of the head end and the trace of the 5 (near the pharynx or 50% (the mid-body point from the head end in the centerline length of the worm image were marked. The length of the head trace between adjacent intersections was measured, and a histogram of the lengths was produced. The histogram for the 5% point showed deviation of the head end movement from the movement near the pharynx. The histogram for the 50% point showed deviation of the head movement from the sinusoidal movement of the body center. Application of these methods to wild type and several mutant strains enabled evaluation of their head movement periodicity and irregularity, and revealed a difference in the age-dependence of head movement irregularity between the strains. A set of five parameters obtained from the histograms reliably identifies differences in head movement between strains.

  11. Loss of Sphingosine Kinase Alters Life History Traits and Locomotor Function inCaenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Jason P; Brown, Jaylene; Hark, Brandon; Nolan, Abby; Servello, Dustin; Hrobuchak, Hannah; Staab, Trisha A

    2017-01-01

    Sphingolipid metabolism is important to balance the abundance of bioactive lipid molecules involved in cell signaling, neuronal function, and survival. Specifically, the sphingolipid sphingosine mediates cell death signaling, whereas its phosphorylated form, sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P), mediates cell survival signaling. The enzyme sphingosine kinase produces S1P, and the activity of sphingosine kinase impacts the ability of cells to survive under stress and challenges. To examine the influence of sphingolipid metabolism, particularly enzymes regulating sphingosine and S1P, in mediating aging, neuronal function and stress response, we examined life history traits, locomotor capacities and heat stress responses of young and old animals using the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans . We found that C. elegans sphk-1 mutants, which lack sphingosine kinase, had shorter lifespans, reduced brood sizes, and smaller body sizes compared to wild type animals. By analyzing a panel of young and old animals with genetic mutations in the sphingolipid signaling pathway, we showed that aged sphk-1 mutants exhibited a greater decline in neuromuscular function and locomotor behavior. In addition, aged animals lacking sphk-1 were more susceptible to death induced by acute and prolonged heat exposure. On the other hand, older animals with loss of function mutations in ceramide synthase ( hyl-1 ), which converts sphingosine to ceramide, showed improved neuromuscular function and stress response with age. This phenotype was dependent on sphk-1 . Together, our data show that loss of sphingosine kinase contributes to poor animal health span, suggesting that sphingolipid signaling may be important for healthy neuronal function and animal stress response during aging.

  12. Neurons refine the Caenorhabditis elegans body plan by directing axial patterning by Wnts.

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    Katarzyna Modzelewska

    Full Text Available Metazoans display remarkable conservation of gene families, including growth factors, yet somehow these genes are used in different ways to generate tremendous morphological diversity. While variations in the magnitude and spatio-temporal aspects of signaling by a growth factor can generate different body patterns, how these signaling variations are organized and coordinated during development is unclear. Basic body plans are organized by the end of gastrulation and are refined as limbs, organs, and nervous systems co-develop. Despite their proximity to developing tissues, neurons are primarily thought to act after development, on behavior. Here, we show that in Caenorhabditis elegans, the axonal projections of neurons regulate tissue progenitor responses to Wnts so that certain organs develop with the correct morphology at the right axial positions. We find that foreshortening of the posteriorly directed axons of the two canal-associated neurons (CANs disrupts mid-body vulval morphology, and produces ectopic vulval tissue in the posterior epidermis, in a Wnt-dependent manner. We also provide evidence that suggests that the posterior CAN axons modulate the location and strength of Wnt signaling along the anterior-posterior axis by employing a Ror family Wnt receptor to bind posteriorly derived Wnts, and hence, refine their distributions. Surprisingly, despite high levels of Ror expression in many other cells, these cells cannot substitute for the CAN axons in patterning the epidermis, nor can cells expressing a secreted Wnt inhibitor, SFRP-1. Thus, unmyelinated axon tracts are critical for patterning the C. elegans body. Our findings suggest that the evolution of neurons not only improved metazoans by increasing behavioral complexity, but also by expanding the diversity of developmental patterns generated by growth factors such as Wnts.

  13. Serotonin activates overall feeding by activating two separate neural pathways in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Bo-mi; Avery, Leon

    2012-02-08

    Food intake in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans requires two distinct feeding motions, pharyngeal pumping and isthmus peristalsis. Bacteria, the natural food of C. elegans, activate both feeding motions (Croll, 1978; Horvitz et al., 1982; Chiang et al., 2006). The mechanisms by which bacteria activate the feeding motions are largely unknown. To understand the process, we studied how serotonin, an endogenous pharyngeal pumping activator whose action is triggered by bacteria, activates feeding motions. Here, we show that serotonin, like bacteria, activates overall feeding by activating isthmus peristalsis as well as pharyngeal pumping. During active feeding, the frequencies and the timing of onset of the two motions were distinct, but each isthmus peristalsis was coupled to the preceding pump. We found that serotonin activates the two feeding motions mainly by activating two separate neural pathways in response to bacteria. For activating pumping, the SER-7 serotonin receptor in the MC motor neurons in the feeding organ activated cholinergic transmission from MC to the pharyngeal muscles by activating the Gsα signaling pathway. For activating isthmus peristalsis, SER-7 in the M4 (and possibly M2) motor neuron in the feeding organ activated the G(12)α signaling pathway in a cell-autonomous manner, which presumably activates neurotransmission from M4 to the pharyngeal muscles. Based on our results and previous calcium imaging of pharyngeal muscles (Shimozono et al., 2004), we propose a model that explains how the two feeding motions are separately regulated yet coupled. The feeding organ may have evolved this way to support efficient feeding.

  14. Loss of Sphingosine Kinase Alters Life History Traits and Locomotor Function in Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Jason P. Chan

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Sphingolipid metabolism is important to balance the abundance of bioactive lipid molecules involved in cell signaling, neuronal function, and survival. Specifically, the sphingolipid sphingosine mediates cell death signaling, whereas its phosphorylated form, sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P, mediates cell survival signaling. The enzyme sphingosine kinase produces S1P, and the activity of sphingosine kinase impacts the ability of cells to survive under stress and challenges. To examine the influence of sphingolipid metabolism, particularly enzymes regulating sphingosine and S1P, in mediating aging, neuronal function and stress response, we examined life history traits, locomotor capacities and heat stress responses of young and old animals using the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans. We found that C. elegans sphk-1 mutants, which lack sphingosine kinase, had shorter lifespans, reduced brood sizes, and smaller body sizes compared to wild type animals. By analyzing a panel of young and old animals with genetic mutations in the sphingolipid signaling pathway, we showed that aged sphk-1 mutants exhibited a greater decline in neuromuscular function and locomotor behavior. In addition, aged animals lacking sphk-1 were more susceptible to death induced by acute and prolonged heat exposure. On the other hand, older animals with loss of function mutations in ceramide synthase (hyl-1, which converts sphingosine to ceramide, showed improved neuromuscular function and stress response with age. This phenotype was dependent on sphk-1. Together, our data show that loss of sphingosine kinase contributes to poor animal health span, suggesting that sphingolipid signaling may be important for healthy neuronal function and animal stress response during aging.

  15. Organic carbon source in formulated sediments influences life traits and gene expression of Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Franzen, Julia; Menzel, Ralph; Höss, Sebastian; Claus, Evelyn; Steinberg, Christian E W

    2012-03-01

    River water quality is strongly influenced by their sediments and their associated pollutants. To assess the toxic potential of sediments, sediment toxicity tests require reliable control sediments, potentially including formulated control sediments as one major option. Although some standardization has been carried out, one critical issue still remains the quality of sediment organic matter (SOM). Organic carbon not only binds hydrophobic contaminants, but may be a source of mild toxicity, even if the SOM is essentially uncontaminated. We tested two different sources of organic carbon and the mixture of both (Sphagnum peat (P) and one commercial humic substances preparation-HuminFeed(®), HF) in terms of life trait variables and expression profiles of selected life performance and stress genes of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. In synchronous cultures, gene expression profiling was done after 6 and 48 h, respectively. The uncontaminated Sphagnum P reduced growth, but increased numbers of offspring, whereas HF did not significantly alter life trait variables. The 6 h expression profile showed most of the studied stress genes repressed, except for slight to strong induction in cyp-35B1 (all exposures), gst-38 (only mixture), and small hsp-16 genes (all exposures). After 48 h, the expression of almost all studied genes increased, particularly genes coding for antioxidative defense, multiple xenobiotic resistance, vitellogenin-like proteins, and genes regulating lifespan. Overall, even essentially uncontaminated SOM may induce several modes of action on the molecular level in C. elegans which may lead to false results if testing synthetic xenobiotics. This contribution is a plea for a strict standardization of the SOM quality in formulated sediments and to check for corresponding effects in other model sediment organisms, especially if using molecular toxicity endpoints.

  16. A neuronal acetylcholine receptor regulates the balance of muscle excitation and inhibition in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Maelle Jospin

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, cholinergic motor neurons stimulate muscle contraction as well as activate GABAergic motor neurons that inhibit contraction of the contralateral muscles. Here, we describe the composition of an ionotropic acetylcholine receptor that is required to maintain excitation of the cholinergic motor neurons. We identified a gain-of-function mutation that leads to spontaneous muscle convulsions. The mutation is in the pore domain of the ACR-2 acetylcholine receptor subunit and is identical to a hyperactivating mutation in the muscle receptor of patients with myasthenia gravis. Screens for suppressors of the convulsion phenotype led to the identification of other receptor subunits. Cell-specific rescue experiments indicate that these subunits function in the cholinergic motor neurons. Expression of these subunits in Xenopus oocytes demonstrates that the functional receptor is comprised of three alpha-subunits, UNC-38, UNC-63 and ACR-12, and two non-alpha-subunits, ACR-2 and ACR-3. Although this receptor exhibits a partially overlapping subunit composition with the C. elegans muscle acetylcholine receptor, it shows distinct pharmacology. Recordings from intact animals demonstrate that loss-of-function mutations in acr-2 reduce the excitability of the cholinergic motor neurons. By contrast, the acr-2(gf mutation leads to a hyperactivation of cholinergic motor neurons and an inactivation of downstream GABAergic motor neurons in a calcium dependent manner. Presumably, this imbalance between excitatory and inhibitory input into muscles leads to convulsions. These data indicate that the ACR-2 receptor is important for the coordinated excitation and inhibition of body muscles underlying sinusoidal movement.

  17. The Molecular Chaperone HSP90 Promotes Notch Signaling in the Germline ofCaenorhabditis elegans.

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    Lissemore, James L; Connors, Elyse; Liu, Ying; Qiao, Li; Yang, Bing; Edgley, Mark L; Flibotte, Stephane; Taylor, Jon; Au, Vinci; Moerman, Donald G; Maine, Eleanor M

    2018-03-05

    In a genetic screen to identify genes that promote GLP-1/Notch signaling in Caenorhabditis elegans germline stem cells, we found a single mutation, om40 , defining a gene called ego-3. ego-3(om40) causes several defects in the soma and the germline, including paralysis during larval development, sterility, delayed proliferation of germline stem cells, and ectopic germline stem cell proliferation. Whole genome sequencing identified om40 as an allele of hsp-90 , previously known as daf-21 , which encodes the C. elegans ortholog of the cytosolic form of HSP90 . This protein is a molecular chaperone with a central position in the protein homeostasis network, which is responsible for proper folding, structural maintenance, and degradation of proteins. In addition to its essential role in cellular function, HSP90 plays an important role in stem cell maintenance and renewal. Complementation analysis using a deletion allele of hsp-90 confirmed that ego-3 is the same gene. hsp-90(om40) is an I→N conservative missense mutation of a highly conserved residue in the middle domain of HSP-90. RNA interference-mediated knockdown of hsp-90 expression partially phenocopied hsp-90(om40) , confirming the loss-of-function nature of hsp-90(om40) Furthermore, reduced HSP-90 activity enhanced the effect of reduced function of both the GLP-1 receptor and the downstream LAG-1 transcription factor. Taken together, our results provide the first experimental evidence of an essential role for HSP90 in Notch signaling in development. Copyright © 2018, G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics.

  18. Transcriptome analysis for Caenorhabditis elegans based on novel expressed sequence tags

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    Moerman Donald G

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background We have applied a high-throughput pyrosequencing technology for transcriptome profiling of Caenorhabditis elegans in its first larval stage. Using this approach, we have generated a large amount of data for expressed sequence tags, which provides an opportunity for the discovery of putative novel transcripts and alternative splice variants that could be developmentally specific to the first larval stage. This work also demonstrates the successful and efficient application of a next generation sequencing methodology. Results We have genera