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Sample records for caenorhabditis elegans genes

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Biolistic transformation of Caenorhabditis elegans

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Isik, M.; Berezikov, E.

    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

  4. Regulatory elements of Caenorhabditis elegans ribosomal protein genes

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    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

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

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    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.

  6. A Novel Dominant Transformer Allele of the Sex-Determining Gene Her-1 of Caenorhabditis Elegans

    OpenAIRE

    Trent, C.; Wood, W. B.; Horvitz, H. R.

    1988-01-01

    We have characterized a novel dominant allele of the sex-determining gene her-1 of Caenorhabditis elegans. This allele, called n695, results in the incomplete transformation of XX animals into phenotypic males. Previously characterized recessive her-1 alleles transform XO animals into phenotypic hermaphrodites. We have identified five new recessive her-1 mutations as intragenic suppressors of n695. Three of these suppressors are weak, temperature-sensitive alleles. We show that the recessive ...

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

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    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

  8. Gene expression changes of Caenorhabditis elegans larvae during molting and sleep-like lethargus.

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    Michal Turek

    Full Text Available During their development, Caenorhabditis elegans larvae go through four developmental stages. At the end of each larval stage, nematodes molt. They synthesize a new cuticle and shed the old cuticle. During the molt, larvae display a sleep-like behavior that is called lethargus. We wanted to determine how gene expression changes during the C. elegans molting cycle. We performed transcriptional profiling of C. elegans by selecting larvae displaying either sleep-like behavior during the molt or wake behavior during the intermolt to identify genes that oscillate with the molting-cycle. We found that expression changed during the molt and we identified 520 genes that oscillated with the molting cycle. 138 of these genes were not previously reported to oscillate. The majority of genes that had oscillating expression levels appear to be involved in molting, indicating that the majority of transcriptional changes serve to resynthesize the cuticle. Identification of genes that control sleep-like behavior during lethargus is difficult but may be possible by looking at genes that are expressed in neurons. 22 of the oscillating genes were expressed in neurons. One of these genes, the dopamine transporter gene dat-1, was previously shown in mammals and in C. elegans to control sleep. Taken together, we provide a dataset of genes that oscillate with the molting and sleep-wake cycle, which will be useful to investigate molting and possibly also sleep-like behavior during lethargus.

  9. Insight into transcription factor gene duplication from Caenorhabditis elegans Promoterome-driven expression patterns

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    Vidal Marc

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The C. elegans Promoterome is a powerful resource for revealing the regulatory mechanisms by which transcription is controlled pan-genomically. Transcription factors will form the core of any systems biology model of genome control and therefore the promoter activity of Promoterome inserts for C. elegans transcription factor genes was examined, in vivo, with a reporter gene approach. Results Transgenic C. elegans strains were generated for 366 transcription factor promoter/gfp reporter gene fusions. GFP distributions were determined, and then summarized with reference to developmental stage and cell type. Reliability of these data was demonstrated by comparison to previously described gene product distributions. A detailed consideration of the results for one C. elegans transcription factor gene family, the Six family, comprising ceh-32, ceh-33, ceh-34 and unc-39 illustrates the value of these analyses. The high proportion of Promoterome reporter fusions that drove GFP expression, compared to previous studies, led to the hypothesis that transcription factor genes might be involved in local gene duplication events less frequently than other genes. Comparison of transcription factor genes of C. elegans and Caenorhabditis briggsae was therefore carried out and revealed very few examples of functional gene duplication since the divergence of these species for most, but not all, transcription factor gene families. Conclusion Examining reporter expression patterns for hundreds of promoters informs, and thereby improves, interpretation of this data type. Genes encoding transcription factors involved in intrinsic developmental control processes appear acutely sensitive to changes in gene dosage through local gene duplication, on an evolutionary time scale.

  10. A novel dominant transformer allele of the sex-determining gene her-1 of Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Trent, C; Wood, W B; Horvitz, H R

    1988-09-01

    We have characterized a novel dominant allele of the sex-determining gene her-1 of Caenorhabditis elegans. This allele, called n695, results in the incomplete transformation of XX animals into phenotypic males. Previously characterized recessive her-1 alleles transform XO animals into phenotypic hermaphrodites. We have identified five new recessive her-1 mutations as intragenic suppressors of n695. Three of these suppressors are weak, temperature-sensitive alleles. We show that the recessive her-1 mutations are loss-of-function alleles, and that the her-1(n695) mutation results in a gain-of-function at the her-1 locus. The existence of dominant and recessive alleles that cause opposite phenotypic transformations demonstrates that the her-1 gene acts to control sexual identity in C. elegans.

  11. The Caenorhabditis elegans rsd-2 and rsd-6 Genes Are Required for Chromosome Functions During Exposure to Unfavorable Environments

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    Han, Wang; Sundaram, Prema; Kenjale, Himanshu; Grantham, James; Timmons, Lisa

    2008-01-01

    In Caenorhabditis elegans, exogenous dsRNA can elicit systemic RNAi, a process that requires the function of many genes. Considering that the activities of many of these genes are also required for normal development, it is surprising that exposure to high concentrations of dsRNA does not elicit adverse consequences to animals. Here, we report inducible phenotypes in attenuated C. elegans strains reared in environments that include nonspecific dsRNA and elevated temperature. Under these condi...

  12. Effects of lithium on growth, maturation, reproduction and gene expression in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Inokuchi, Ayako; Yamamoto, Ryoko; Morita, Fumiyo; Takumi, Shota; Matsusaki, Hiromi; Ishibashi, Hiroshi; Tominaga, Nobuaki; Arizono, Koji

    2015-09-01

    Lithium (Li) has been widely used to treat bipolar disorder, and industrial use of Li has been increasing; thus, environmental pollution and ecological impacts of Li have become a concern. This study was conducted to clarify the potential biological effects of LiCl and Li(2)CO(3) on a nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans as a model system for evaluating soil contaminated with Li. Exposure of C. elegans to LiCl and Li(2)CO(3) decreased growth/maturation and reproduction. The lowest observed effect concentrations for growth, maturation and reproduction were 1250, 313 and 10 000 µm, respectively, for LiCl and 750, 750 and 3000 µm, respectively, for Li(2)CO(3). We also investigated the physiological function of LiCl and LiCO(3) in C. elegans using DNA microarray analysis as an eco-toxicogenomic approach. Among approximately 300 unique genes, including metabolic genes, the exposure to 78 µm LiCl downregulated the expression of 36 cytochrome P450, 16 ABC transporter, 10 glutathione S-transferase, 16 lipid metabolism and two vitellogenin genes. On the other hand, exposure to 375 µm Li(2)CO(3) downregulated the expression of 11 cytochrome P450, 13 ABC transporter, 13 lipid metabolism and one vitellogenin genes. No gene was upregulated by LiCl or Li(2)CO(3). These results suggest that LiCl and Li(2)CO(3) potentially affect the biological and physiological function in C. elegans associated with alteration of the gene expression such as metabolic genes. Our data also provide experimental support for the utility of toxicogenomics by integrating gene expression profiling into a toxicological study of an environmentally important organism such as C. elegans. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  13. 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.

  14. 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...... relatively easily be performed in a genome-wide fashion. In this chapter we give a protocol for using genome-wide RNAi screening to identify genes involved with the response to genotoxic stress...

  15. 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.

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

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

    2013-02-01

    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.

  17. [On the role of gene of SER-4 serotonin receptor in thermotolerance of Caenorhabditis elegans behavior].

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    Kalinnikova, T B; Kolsanova, R R; Shagidullin, R R; Osipova, E B; Gaĭnutdinov, M Kh

    2013-03-01

    Serotonin reduces the behavior tolerance of Caenorhabditis elegans of the N2 wild-type strain (swimming induced by the mechanical stimulus) to a temperature of 36 degrees C. The sensitivity to the serotonin influence on the behavior thermotolerance remains intact in strains with null mutations of mod-1 (ok103) and ser-1 (ok345) serotonin receptor genes, and is almost completely lost in the ser-4 (ok512) strain with null mutation in the gene of the SER-4 serotonin receptor, which is a homologue of 5-HT1 mammalian serotonin receptor. In addition, nematodes of the ser-4 (ok512) strain have high behavior thermotolerance in the absence of the exogenous serotonin compared to the N2 strain. These data indicate the involvement of the ser-4 gene in the serotonin regulation of the tolerance of C. elegance nervous system functions to hyperthermia.

  18. Functional analysis of the aquaporin gene family in Caenorhabditis elegans

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Chunyi George Huang; Todd Lamitina; Peter Agre; Kevin Strange

    .... Eight canonical aquaporin-encoding genes (aqp) are present in the worm genome. Expression of aqp-2, aqp-3, aqp-4, aqp-6, or aqp-7 in Xenopus oocytes increased water permeability five- to sevenfold...

  19. Global analysis of dauer gene expression in Caenorhabditis elegans

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    John Wang; Stuart K. Kim

    2003-01-01

    .... We have used DNA microarrays to profile gene expression differences during the transition from the dauer state to the non-dauer state and after feeding of starved L1 animals, and have identified 1984...

  20. Imaging metals in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    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).

  1. Survival assays using Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Park, Hae-Eun H; Jung, Yoonji; Lee, Seung-Jae V

    2017-02-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans is an important model organism with many useful features, including rapid development and aging, easy cultivation, and genetic tractability. Survival assays using C. elegans are powerful methods for studying physiological processes. In this review, we describe diverse types of C. elegans survival assays and discuss the aims, uses, and advantages of specific assays. C. elegans survival assays have played key roles in identifying novel genetic factors that regulate many aspects of animal physiology, such as aging and lifespan, stress response, and immunity against pathogens. Because many genetic factors discovered using C. elegans are evolutionarily conserved, survival assays can provide insights into mechanisms underlying physiological processes in mammals, including humans.

  2. Using expression profiles of Caenorhabditis elegans neurons to identify genes that mediate synaptic connectivity.

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    Leehod Baruch

    Full Text Available Synaptic wiring of neurons in Caenorhabditis elegans is largely invariable between animals. It has been suggested that this feature stems from genetically encoded molecular markers that guide the neurons in the final stage of synaptic formation. Identifying these markers and unraveling the logic by which they direct synapse formation is a key challenge. Here, we address this task by constructing a probabilistic model that attempts to explain the neuronal connectivity diagram of C. elegans as a function of the expression patterns of its neurons. By only considering neuron pairs that are known to be connected by chemical or electrical synapses, we focus on the final stage of synapse formation, in which neurons identify their designated partners. Our results show that for many neurons the neuronal expression map of C. elegans can be used to accurately predict the subset of adjacent neurons that will be chosen as its postsynaptic partners. Notably, these predictions can be achieved using the expression patterns of only a small number of specific genes that interact in a combinatorial fashion.

  3. Promoter Structure of the RNA Polymerase II Large Subunit Gene in Caenorhabditis elegans and C. briggsae.

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    Bird, D M; Kaloshian, I; Molinari, S

    1997-06-01

    The 5'-end of the Caenorhabditis elegans ama-1 gene transcript, which encodes the largest subunit of RNA polymerase II, was cloned. Sequencing revealed that the message is trans-spliced. To characterize the Ce-ama-1 promoter, DNA sequence spanning 3 kb upstream from the initiation codon was determined. Typical elements, such as TATA and Spl sites, were absent. The homologue of ama-1 in C. briggsae, Cb-ama-1, was isolated and its 5' flanking sequence compared with that of Ce-ama-1, revealing only limited similarity, although both sequences included a potential initiator-class transcriptional regulator and phased repeats of an ATC motif. The latter elements are postulated to facilitate DNA bending and may play a role in transcription regulation.

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

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    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…

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Deep Conservation of Genes Required for Both Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans Sleep Includes a Role for Dopaminergic Signaling

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    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

  8. Proteomic analysis of Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Proteomic studies of the free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans have recently received great attention because this animal is a useful model platform for the in vivo study of various biological problems relevant to human disease. In general, proteomic analysis is performed in order to address a...

  9. The Caenorhabditis Elegans Gene Sdc-2 Controls Sex Determination and Dosage Compensation in Xx Animals

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    Nusbaum, C.; Meyer, B. J.

    1989-01-01

    We have identified a new X-linked gene, sdc-2, that controls the hermaphrodite (XX) modes of both sex determination and X chromosome dosage compensation in Caenorhabditis elegans. Mutations in sdc-2 cause phenotypes that appear to result from a shift of both the sex determination and dosage compensation processes in XX animals to the XO modes of expression. Twenty-eight independent sdc-2 mutations have no apparent effect in XO animals, but cause two distinct phenotypes in XX animals: masculinization, reflecting a defect in sex determination, and lethality or dumpiness, reflecting a disruption in dosage compensation. The dosage compensation defect can be demonstrated directly by showing that sdc-2 mutations cause elevated levels of several X-linked transcripts in XX but not XO animals. While the masculinization is blocked by mutations in sex determining genes required for male development (her-1 and fem-3), the lethality, dumpiness and overexpression of X-linked genes are not, indicating that the effect of sdc-2 mutations on sex determination and dosage compensation are ultimately implemented by two independent pathways. We propose a model in which sdc-2 is involved in the coordinate control of both sex determination and dosage compensation in XX animals and acts in the regulatory hierarchy at a step prior to the divergence of the two pathways. PMID:2759421

  10. 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.

  11. Virulence of Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates harboring bla KPC-2 carbapenemase gene in a Caenorhabditis elegans model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Philippe Lavigne

    Full Text Available Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC is a carbapenemase increasingly reported worldwide in Enterobacteriaceae. The aim of this study was to analyze the virulence of several KPC-2-producing K. pneumoniae isolates. The studied strains were (i five KPC-2 clinical strains from different geographical origins, belonging to different ST-types and possessing plasmids of different incompatibility groups; (ii seven transformants obtained after electroporation of either these natural KPC plasmids or a recombinant plasmid harboring only the bla KPC-2 gene into reference strains K. pneumoniae ATCC10031/CIP53153; and (iii five clinical strains cured of plasmids. The virulence of K. pneumoniae isolates was evaluated in the Caenorhabditis elegans model. The clinical KPC producers and transformants were significantly less virulent (LT50: 5.5 days than K. pneumoniae reference strain (LT50: 4.3 days (p<0.01. However, the worldwide spread KPC-2 positive K. pneumoniae ST258 strains and reference strains containing plasmids extracted from K. pneumoniae ST258 strains had a higher virulence than KPC-2 strains belonging to other ST types (LT50: 5 days vs. 6 days, p<0.01. The increased virulence observed in cured strains confirmed this trend. The bla KPC-2 gene itself was not associated to increased virulence.

  12. The R148.3 Gene Modulates Caenorhabditis elegans Lifespan and Fat Metabolism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine Roy-Bellavance

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Despite many advances, the molecular links between energy metabolism and longevity are not well understood. Here, we have used the nematode model Caenorhabditis elegans to study the role of the yet-uncharacterized gene R148.3 in fat accumulation and lifespan. In wild-type worms, a R148.3p::GFP reporter showed enhanced expression throughout life in the pharynx, in neurons, and in muscles. Functionally, a protein fusing a predicted 22 amino acid N-terminal signal sequence (SS of R148.3 to mCherry displayed robust accumulation in coelomyocytes, indicating that R148.3 is a secreted protein. Systematic depletion of R148.3 by RNA interference (RNAi at L1 but not at young-adult stage enhanced triglyceride accumulation, which was associated with increased food uptake and lower expression of genes involved in lipid oxidation. However, RNAi of R148.3 at both L1 and young-adult stages robustly diminished mean and maximal lifespan of wild-type worms, and also abolished the long-lived phenotypes of eat-2 and daf-2/InsR mutants. Based on these data, we propose that R148.3 is an SS that modulates fat mass and longevity in an independent manner.

  13. The R148.3 Gene Modulates Caenorhabditis elegans Lifespan and Fat Metabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy-Bellavance, Catherine; Grants, Jennifer M; Miard, Stéphanie; Lee, Kayoung; Rondeau, Évelyne; Guillemette, Chantal; Simard, Martin J; Taubert, Stefan; Picard, Frédéric

    2017-08-07

    Despite many advances, the molecular links between energy metabolism and longevity are not well understood. Here, we have used the nematode model Caenorhabditis elegans to study the role of the yet-uncharacterized gene R148.3 in fat accumulation and lifespan. In wild-type worms, a R148.3p::GFP reporter showed enhanced expression throughout life in the pharynx, in neurons, and in muscles. Functionally, a protein fusing a predicted 22 amino acid N-terminal signal sequence (SS) of R148.3 to mCherry displayed robust accumulation in coelomyocytes, indicating that R148.3 is a secreted protein. Systematic depletion of R148.3 by RNA interference (RNAi) at L1 but not at young-adult stage enhanced triglyceride accumulation, which was associated with increased food uptake and lower expression of genes involved in lipid oxidation. However, RNAi of R148.3 at both L1 and young-adult stages robustly diminished mean and maximal lifespan of wild-type worms, and also abolished the long-lived phenotypes of eat-2 and daf-2/InsR mutants. Based on these data, we propose that R148.3 is an SS that modulates fat mass and longevity in an independent manner. Copyright © 2017 Roy-Bellavance et al.

  14. The role of the presenilin-1 homologue gene sel-12 of Caenorhabditis elegans in apoptotic activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kitagawa, Naoyuki; Shimohama, Shun; Oeda, Tomoko; Uemura, Kengo; Kohno, Ryuichi; Kuzuya, Akira; Shibasaki, Hiroshi; Ishii, Naoaki

    2003-04-04

    Many cases of autosomal dominant early onset familial Alzheimer's disease result from mutations in presenilin-1 (PS1). In this study, we examined the role of the PS1 homologue gene sel-12 of Caenorhabditis elegans under oxidative stress and clarified the sel-12-induced apoptosis. A genetic null allele mutant, sel-12(ar171), showed resistance to oxidative stress and prevented mitochondrial dysfunction-induced apoptosis. On the other hand, another allele mutant, sel-12(ar131), that carries a missense mutation showed a proapoptotic activity, which may be the result of a gain of function property. Also, sel-12(ar131)-induced apoptosis was ced-3- and ced-4-dependent. Dantrolene, which specifically inhibits Ca(2+) release from endoplasmic reticulum stores, prevents sel-12(ar131)-induced apoptosis. SEL-12, which is localized in the endoplasmic reticulum, may induce apoptosis through abnormal calcium release from the endoplasmic reticulum. Together, with the previous finding that human PS1 could substitute for SEL-12, these results suggest the similar involvement of PS1-inducing apoptosis under oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction in the Alzheimer's Disease brain.

  15. Role of the Caenorhabditis elegans multidrug resistance gene, mrp-4, in gut granule differentiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Currie, Erin; King, Brian; Lawrenson, Andrea L; Schroeder, Lena K; Kershner, Aaron M; Hermann, Greg J

    2007-11-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans gut granules are lysosome-related organelles with birefringent contents. mrp-4, which encodes an ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter homologous to mammalian multidrug resistance proteins, functions in the formation of gut granule birefringence. mrp-4(-) embryos show a delayed appearance of birefringent material in the gut granule but otherwise appear to form gut granules properly. mrp-4(+) activity is required for the extracellular mislocalization of birefringent material, body-length retraction, and NaCl sensitivity, phenotypes associated with defective gut granule biogenesis exhibited by embryos lacking the activity of GLO-1/Rab38, a putative GLO-1 guanine nucleotide exchange factor GLO-4, and the AP-3 complex. Multidrug resistance protein (MRP)-4 localizes to the gut granule membrane, consistent with it playing a direct role in the transport of molecules that compose and/or facilitate the formation of birefringent crystals within the gut granule. However, MRP-4 is also present in oocytes and early embryos, and our genetic analyses indicate that its site of action in the formation of birefringent material may not be limited to just the gut granule in embryos. In a search for genes that function similarly to mrp-4(+), we identified WHT-2, another ABC transporter that acts in parallel to MRP-4 for the formation of birefringent material in the gut granule.

  16. Evidence for multiple promoter elements orchestrating male-specific regulation of the her-1 gene in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    OpenAIRE

    Li, W; Streit, A; Robertson, B; Wood, W B

    1999-01-01

    The sex-determining gene her-1 is required for male development in Caenorhabditis elegans. In XO males, two her-1 mRNAs, her-1a and her-1b, are transcribed from two separate promoters: P1, located in the 5'-flanking region, and P2, located in the large second intron. In XX hermaphrodites, accumulation of both her-1 transcripts is repressed by the sdc genes, which in turn are negatively regulated by the xol-1 gene. When introduced into a xol-1(y9) background, transgenic arrays, including 3.4 k...

  17. Novel Mutations in Synaptic Transmission Genes Suppress Neuronal Hyperexcitation in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katherine A. McCulloch

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Acetylcholine (ACh receptors (AChR regulate neural circuit activity in multiple contexts. In humans, mutations in ionotropic acetylcholine receptor (iAChR genes can cause neurological disorders, including myasthenia gravis and epilepsy. In Caenorhabditis elegans, iAChRs play multiple roles in the locomotor circuit. The cholinergic motor neurons express an ACR-2-containing pentameric AChR (ACR-2R comprised of ACR-2, ACR-3, ACR-12, UNC-38, and UNC-63 subunits. A gain-of-function mutation in the non-α subunit gene acr-2 [acr-2(gf] causes defective locomotion as well as spontaneous convulsions. Previous studies of genetic suppressors of acr-2(gf have provided insights into ACR-2R composition and assembly. Here, to further understand how the ACR-2R regulates neuronal activity, we expanded the suppressor screen for acr-2(gf-induced convulsions. The majority of these suppressor mutations affect genes that play critical roles in synaptic transmission, including two novel mutations in the vesicular ACh transporter unc-17. In addition, we identified a role for a conserved major facilitator superfamily domain (MFSD protein, mfsd-6, in regulating neural circuit activity. We further defined a role for the sphingosine (SPH kinase (Sphk sphk-1 in cholinergic neuron activity, independent of previously known signaling pathways. Overall, the genes identified in our study suggest that optimal modulation of synaptic activity is balanced by the differential activities of multiple pathways, and the novel alleles provide valuable reagents to further dissect neuronal mechanisms regulating the locomotor circuit.

  18. The Homeobox Genes of Caenorhabditis elegans and Insights into Their Spatio-Temporal Expression Dynamics during Embryogenesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abou-Zied, Akram M.; Lüppert, Martin; Dethlefsen, Johan; Mukherjee, Krishanu; Tong, Yong Guang; Tang, Lois; Gangishetti, Umesh; Baillie, David L.; Bürglin, Thomas R.

    2015-01-01

    Homeobox genes play crucial roles for the development of multicellular eukaryotes. We have generated a revised list of all homeobox genes for Caenorhabditis elegans and provide a nomenclature for the previously unnamed ones. We show that, out of 103 homeobox genes, 70 are co-orthologous to human homeobox genes. 14 are highly divergent, lacking an obvious ortholog even in other Caenorhabditis species. One of these homeobox genes encodes 12 homeodomains, while three other highly divergent homeobox genes encode a novel type of double homeodomain, termed HOCHOB. To understand how transcription factors regulate cell fate during development, precise spatio-temporal expression data need to be obtained. Using a new imaging framework that we developed, Endrov, we have generated spatio-temporal expression profiles during embryogenesis of over 60 homeobox genes, as well as a number of other developmental control genes using GFP reporters. We used dynamic feedback during recording to automatically adjust the camera exposure time in order to increase the dynamic range beyond the limitations of the camera. We have applied the new framework to examine homeobox gene expression patterns and provide an analysis of these patterns. The methods we developed to analyze and quantify expression data are not only suitable for C. elegans, but can be applied to other model systems or even to tissue culture systems. PMID:26024448

  19. 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

  20. Homologs of the Caenorhabditis elegans masculinizing gene her-1 in C. briggsae and the filarial parasite Brugia malayi.

    OpenAIRE

    Streit, A; Li, W; Robertson, B; Schein, J; Kamal, I H; Marra, M; Wood, W B

    1999-01-01

    The masculinizing gene her-1 in Caenorhabditis elegans (Ce-her-1) encodes a novel protein, HER-1A, which is required for male development. To identify conserved elements in her-1 we have cloned and characterized two homologous nematode genes: one by synteny from the closely related free-living species C. briggsae (Cb-her-1) and the other, starting with a fortuitously identified expressed sequence tag, from the distantly related parasite Brugia malayi (Bm-her-1). The overall sequence identitie...

  1. Distinct patterns of gene and protein expression elicited by organophosphorus pesticides in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dennis William E

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The wide use of organophosphorus (OP pesticides makes them an important public health concern. Persistent effects of exposure and the mechanism of neuronal degeneration are continuing issues in OP toxicology. To elucidate early steps in the mechanisms of OP toxicity, we studied alterations in global gene and protein expression in Caenorhabditis elegans exposed to OPs using microarrays and mass spectrometry. We tested two structurally distinct OPs (dichlorvos and fenamiphos and employed a mechanistically different third neurotoxicant, mefloquine, as an out-group for analysis. Treatment levels used concentrations of chemical sufficient to prevent the development of 10%, 50% or 90% of mid-vulval L4 larvae into early gravid adults (EGA at 24 h after exposure in a defined, bacteria-free medium. Results After 8 h of exposure, the expression of 87 genes responded specifically to OP treatment. The abundance of 34 proteins also changed in OP-exposed worms. Many of the genes and proteins affected by the OPs are expressed in neuronal and muscle tissues and are involved in lipid metabolism, cell adhesion, apoptosis/cell death, and detoxification. Twenty-two genes were differentially affected by the two OPs; a large proportion of these genes encode cytochrome P450s, UDP-glucuronosyl/UDP-glucosyltransferases, or P-glycoproteins. The abundance of transcripts and the proteins they encode were well correlated. Conclusion Exposure to OPs elicits a pattern of changes in gene expression in exposed worms distinct from that of the unrelated neurotoxicant, mefloquine. The functional roles and the tissue location of the genes and proteins whose expression is modulated in response to exposure is consistent with the known effects of OPs, including damage to muscle due to persistent hypercontraction, neuronal cell death, and phase I and phase II detoxification. Further, the two different OPs evoked distinguishable changes in gene expression; about half

  2. The glia of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oikonomou, Grigorios; Shaham, Shai

    2011-09-01

    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, whereas 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. Copyright © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  3. Homologs of genes expressed in Caenorhabditis elegans GABAergic neurons are also found in the developing mouse forebrain

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    Earls Laurie R

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In an effort to identify genes that specify the mammalian forebrain, we used a comparative approach to identify mouse homologs of transcription factors expressed in developing Caenorhabditis elegans GABAergic neurons. A cell-specific microarray profiling study revealed a set of transcription factors that are highly expressed in embryonic C. elegans GABAergic neurons. Results Bioinformatic analyses identified mouse protein homologs of these selected transcripts and their expression pattern was mapped in the mouse embryonic forebrain by in situ hybridization. A review of human homologs indicates several of these genes are potential candidates in neurodevelopmental disorders. Conclusions Our comparative approach has revealed several novel candidates that may serve as future targets for studies of mammalian forebrain development.

  4. Genome-Wide Temporal Expression Profiling in Caenorhabditis elegans Identifies a Core Gene Set Related to Long-Term Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freytag, Virginie; Probst, Sabine; Hadziselimovic, Nils; Boglari, Csaba; Hauser, Yannick; Peter, Fabian; Gabor Fenyves, Bank; Milnik, Annette; Demougin, Philippe; Vukojevic, Vanja; de Quervain, Dominique J-F; Papassotiropoulos, Andreas; Stetak, Attila

    2017-07-12

    The identification of genes related to encoding, storage, and retrieval of memories is a major interest in neuroscience. In the current study, we analyzed the temporal gene expression changes in a neuronal mRNA pool during an olfactory long-term associative memory (LTAM) in Caenorhabditis elegans hermaphrodites. Here, we identified a core set of 712 (538 upregulated and 174 downregulated) genes that follows three distinct temporal peaks demonstrating multiple gene regulation waves in LTAM. Compared with the previously published positive LTAM gene set (Lakhina et al., 2015), 50% of the identified upregulated genes here overlap with the previous dataset, possibly representing stimulus-independent memory-related genes. On the other hand, the remaining genes were not previously identified in positive associative memory and may specifically regulate aversive LTAM. Our results suggest a multistep gene activation process during the formation and retrieval of long-term memory and define general memory-implicated genes as well as conditioning-type-dependent gene sets.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The identification of genes regulating different steps of memory is of major interest in neuroscience. Identification of common memory genes across different learning paradigms and the temporal activation of the genes are poorly studied. Here, we investigated the temporal aspects of Caenorhabditis elegans gene expression changes using aversive olfactory associative long-term memory (LTAM) and identified three major gene activation waves. Like in previous studies, aversive LTAM is also CREB dependent, and CREB activity is necessary immediately after training. Finally, we define a list of memory paradigm-independent core gene sets as well as conditioning-dependent genes. Copyright © 2017 the authors 0270-6474/17/376661-12$15.00/0.

  5. 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...

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Comparative Analysis of Stress Induced Gene Expression in Caenorhabditis elegans following Exposure to Environmental and Lab Reconstituted Complex Metal Mixture.

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    Ranjeet Kumar

    Full Text Available Metals are essential for many physiological processes and are ubiquitously present in the environment. However, high metal concentrations can be harmful to organisms and lead to physiological stress and diseases. The accumulation of transition metals in the environment due to either natural processes or anthropogenic activities such as mining results in the contamination of water and soil environments. The present study used Caenorhabditis elegans to evaluate gene expression as an indicator of physiological response, following exposure to water collected from three different locations downstream of a Swedish mining site and a lab reconstituted metal mixture. Our results indicated that the reconstituted metal mixture exerted a direct stress response in C. elegans whereas the environmental waters elicited either a diminished or abrogated response. This suggests that it is not sufficient to use the biological effects observed from laboratory mixtures to extrapolate the effects observed in complex aquatic environments and apply this to risk assessment and intervention.

  9. 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. PMID:22911607

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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. Copyright © 2017 by the Genetics Society of America.

  13. Homologs of the Caenorhabditis elegans masculinizing gene her-1 in C. briggsae and the filarial parasite Brugia malayi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Streit, A; Li, W; Robertson, B; Schein, J; Kamal, I H; Marra, M; Wood, W B

    1999-08-01

    The masculinizing gene her-1 in Caenorhabditis elegans (Ce-her-1) encodes a novel protein, HER-1A, which is required for male development. To identify conserved elements in her-1 we have cloned and characterized two homologous nematode genes: one by synteny from the closely related free-living species C. briggsae (Cb-her-1) and the other, starting with a fortuitously identified expressed sequence tag, from the distantly related parasite Brugia malayi (Bm-her-1). The overall sequence identities of the predicted gene products with Ce-HER-1A are only 57% for Cb-HER-1, which is considerably lower than has been found for most homologous briggsae genes, and 35% for Bm-HER-1. However, conserved residues are found throughout both proteins, and like Ce-HER-1A, both have putative N-terminal signal sequences. Ce-her-1 produces a larger masculinizing transcript (her-1a) and a smaller transcript of unknown function (her-1b); both are present essentially only in males. By contrast, Cb-her-1 appears to produce only one transcript, corresponding to her-1a; it is enriched in males but present also in hermaphrodites. Injection of dsRNA transcribed from Cb-her-1 into C. briggsae hermaphrodites (RNA interference) caused XO animals to develop into partially fertile hermaphrodites. Introducing a Cb-her-1 construct as a transgene under control of the C. elegans unc-54 myosin heavy chain promoter caused strong masculinization of both C. briggsae and C. elegans hermaphrodites. Introduction of a similar Bm-her-1 construct into C. elegans caused only very weak, if any, masculinization. We conclude that in spite of considerable divergence the Cb gene is likely to be a functional ortholog of Ce-her-1, while the function of the distantly related Bm gene remains uncertain.

  14. Microfluidic Devices in Advanced Caenorhabditis elegans Research

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    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.

  15. A Systematic RNAi Screen of Neuroprotective Genes Identifies Novel Modulators of Alpha-Synuclein-Associated Effects in Transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Jadiya, Pooja; Fatima, Soobiya; Baghel, Tanvi; Mir, Snober S; Nazir, Aamir

    2016-11-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most common progressive neurodegenerative disorder, defined clinically by degeneration of dopaminergic neurons and the development of neuronal Lewy bodies. Current treatments of PD are inadequate due to a limited understanding of molecular events of the disease, thus calling for intense research efforts towards identification of novel therapeutic targets. We carried out the present studies towards identifying novel genetic modulators of PD-associated effects employing a transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans model expressing human alpha-synuclein. Employing a systematic RNA interference (RNAi)-based screening approach, we studied a set of neuroprotective genes of C. elegans with an aim of identifying genes that exhibit protective function under alpha-synuclein expression conditions. Our results reveal a novel set of alpha-synuclein effector genes that modulate alpha-synuclein aggregation and associated effects. The identified genes include those from various gene families including histone demethylase, lactate dehydrogenase, small ribosomal subunit SA protein, cytoskeletal protein, collapsin response mediator protein, and choline kinase. The functional characterization of these genes reveals involvement of signaling mechanisms such as Daf-16 and acetylcholine signaling. Further elucidation of mechanistic pathways associated with these genes will yield additional insights into mediators of alpha-synuclein-induced cytotoxicity and cell death, thereby helping in the identification of potential therapeutic targets for PD.

  16. Cathepsin B-like cysteine proteases and Caenorhabditis elegans homologues dominate gene products expressed in adult Haemonchus contortus intestine.

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    Jasmer, D P; Roth, J; Myler, P J

    2001-09-03

    Proteins expressed by nematode intestinal cells are potential targets for parasite control by immune or chemical based strategies. To expand our knowledge on nematode intestinal proteins, expressed sequence tags were generated for 131 cDNA clones from the intestine of adult female Haemonchus contortus. An estimated 55 distinct protein genes or gene families were identified. Predicted proteins represented diverse functions. Several predicted polypeptides were related to H. contortus proteins implicated in inducing protective immunity against challenge infections of this parasite. The dominant intestinal transcripts were represented by cathepsin B-like cysteine protease genes (cbl) (17% of protein coding expressed sequence tags (ESTs) analyzed). An estimated 11 previously undescribed cbl genes were identified, doubling the recognized members of this gene family. Multiple C-type lectin sequences were identified. Other notable sequences included a predicted Y-box binding protein, serine/threonine kinases and a cyclin E-like sequence. Predicted protein homologues were found in Caenorhabditis elegans for all but one H. contortus sequence (99%), while fewer homologues from other parasitic nematodes were found. Many of the proteases, lipase and C-type lectin homologues in C. elegans had apparent signal peptides, suggesting that they are secreted. Several gene products had no obvious similarity outside the phylum Nematoda. The ESTs identified intestinal genes with potential application to immune control, understanding of basic intestinal regulatory processes and refinement of nematode genomic resources.

  17. New genes tied to endocrine, metabolic, and dietary regulation of lifespan from a Caenorhabditis elegans genomic RNAi screen.

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    Malene Hansen

    2005-07-01

    Full Text Available Most of our knowledge about the regulation of aging comes from mutants originally isolated for other phenotypes. To ask whether our current view of aging has been affected by selection bias, and to deepen our understanding of known longevity pathways, we screened a genomic Caenorhabditis elegans RNAi library for clones that extend lifespan. We identified 23 new longevity genes affecting signal transduction, the stress response, gene expression, and metabolism and assigned these genes to specific longevity pathways. Our most important findings are (i that dietary restriction extends C. elegans' lifespan by down-regulating expression of key genes, including a gene required for methylation of many macromolecules, (ii that integrin signaling is likely to play a general, evolutionarily conserved role in lifespan regulation, and (iii that specific lipophilic hormones may influence lifespan in a DAF-16/FOXO-dependent fashion. Surprisingly, of the new genes that have conserved sequence domains, only one could not be associated with a known longevity pathway. Thus, our current view of the genetics of aging has probably not been distorted substantially by selection bias.

  18. New Genes Tied to Endocrine, Metabolic, and Dietary Regulation of Lifespan from a Caenorhabditis elegans Genomic RNAi Screen.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    2005-07-01

    Full Text Available Most of our knowledge about the regulation of aging comes from mutants originally isolated for other phenotypes. To ask whether our current view of aging has been affected by selection bias, and to deepen our understanding of known longevity pathways, we screened a genomic Caenorhabditis elegans RNAi library for clones that extend lifespan. We identified 23 new longevity genes affecting signal transduction, the stress response, gene expression, and metabolism and assigned these genes to specific longevity pathways. Our most important findings are (i that dietary restriction extends C. elegans' lifespan by down-regulating expression of key genes, including a gene required for methylation of many macromolecules, (ii that integrin signaling is likely to play a general, evolutionarily conserved role in lifespan regulation, and (iii that specific lipophilic hormones may influence lifespan in a DAF-16/FOXO-dependent fashion. Surprisingly, of the new genes that have conserved sequence domains, only one could not be associated with a known longevity pathway. Thus, our current view of the genetics of aging has probably not been distorted substantially by selection bias.

  19. Efficient target-selected mutagenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans : toward a knockout for every gene

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cuppen, Edwin; Gort, Eelke; Hazendonk, Esther; Mudde, Josine; van de Belt, José; Nijman, Isaäc J; Guryev, Victor; Plasterk, Ronald H A

    Reverse genetic or gene-driven knockout approaches have contributed significantly to the success of model organisms for fundamental and biomedical research. Although various technologies are available for C. elegans, none of them scale very well for genome-wide application. To address this, we

  20. The transcriptional response of Caenorhabditis elegans to Ivermectin exposure identifies novel genes involved in the response to reduced food intake.

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    Steven T Laing

    Full Text Available We have examined the transcriptional response of Caenorhabditis elegans following exposure to the anthelmintic drug ivermectin (IVM using whole genome microarrays and real-time QPCR. Our original aim was to identify candidate molecules involved in IVM metabolism and/or excretion. For this reason the IVM tolerant strain, DA1316, was used to minimise transcriptomic changes related to the phenotype of drug exposure. However, unlike equivalent work with benzimidazole drugs, very few of the induced genes were members of xenobiotic metabolising enzyme families. Instead, the transcriptional response was dominated by genes associated with fat mobilization and fatty acid metabolism including catalase, esterase, and fatty acid CoA synthetase genes. This is consistent with the reduction in pharyngeal pumping, and consequential reduction in food intake, upon exposure of DA1316 worms to IVM. Genes with the highest fold change in response to IVM exposure, cyp-37B1, mtl-1 and scl-2, were comparably up-regulated in response to short-term food withdrawal (4 hr independent of IVM exposure, and GFP reporter constructs confirm their expression in tissues associated with fat storage (intestine and hypodermis. These experiments have serendipitously identified novel genes involved in an early response of C. elegans to reduced food intake and may provide insight into similar processes in higher organisms.

  1. Contrasting invertebrate immune defense behaviors caused by a single gene, the Caenorhabditis elegans neuropeptide receptor gene npr-1.

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    Nakad, Rania; Snoek, L Basten; Yang, Wentao; Ellendt, Sunna; Schneider, Franziska; Mohr, Timm G; Rösingh, Lone; Masche, Anna C; Rosenstiel, Philip C; Dierking, Katja; Kammenga, Jan E; Schulenburg, Hinrich

    2016-04-11

    The invertebrate immune system comprises physiological mechanisms, physical barriers and also behavioral responses. It is generally related to the vertebrate innate immune system and widely believed to provide nonspecific defense against pathogens, whereby the response to different pathogen types is usually mediated by distinct signalling cascades. Recent work suggests that invertebrate immune defense can be more specific at least at the phenotypic level. The underlying genetic mechanisms are as yet poorly understood. We demonstrate in the model invertebrate Caenorhabditis elegans that a single gene, a homolog of the mammalian neuropeptide Y receptor gene, npr-1, mediates contrasting defense phenotypes towards two distinct pathogens, the Gram-positive Bacillus thuringiensis and the Gram-negative Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Our findings are based on combining quantitative trait loci (QTLs) analysis with functional genetic analysis and RNAseq-based transcriptomics. The QTL analysis focused on behavioral immune defense against B. thuringiensis, using recombinant inbred lines (RILs) and introgression lines (ILs). It revealed several defense QTLs, including one on chromosome X comprising the npr-1 gene. The wildtype N2 allele for the latter QTL was associated with reduced defense against B. thuringiensis and thus produced an opposite phenotype to that previously reported for the N2 npr-1 allele against P. aeruginosa. Analysis of npr-1 mutants confirmed these contrasting immune phenotypes for both avoidance behavior and nematode survival. Subsequent transcriptional profiling of C. elegans wildtype and npr-1 mutant suggested that npr-1 mediates defense against both pathogens through p38 MAPK signaling, insulin-like signaling, and C-type lectins. Importantly, increased defense towards P. aeruginosa seems to be additionally influenced through the induction of oxidative stress genes and activation of GATA transcription factors, while the repression of oxidative stress genes

  2. The microRNA machinery regulates fasting-induced changes in gene expression and longevity inCaenorhabditis elegans.

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    Kogure, Akiko; Uno, Masaharu; Ikeda, Takako; Nishida, Eisuke

    2017-07-07

    Intermittent fasting (IF) is a dietary restriction regimen that extends the lifespans of Caenorhabditis elegans and mammals by inducing changes in gene expression. However, how IF induces these changes and promotes longevity remains unclear. One proposed mechanism involves gene regulation by microRNAs (miRNAs), small non-coding RNAs (∼22 nucleotides) that repress gene expression and whose expression can be altered by fasting. To test this proposition, we examined the role of the miRNA machinery in fasting-induced transcriptional changes and longevity in C. elegans We revealed that fasting up-regulated the expression of the miRNA-induced silencing complex (miRISC) components, including Argonaute and GW182, and the miRNA-processing enzyme DRSH-1 (the ortholog of the Drosophila Drosha enzyme). Our lifespan measurements demonstrated that IF-induced longevity was suppressed by knock-out or knockdown of miRISC components and was completely inhibited by drsh-1 ablation. Remarkably, drsh-1 ablation inhibited the fasting-induced changes in the expression of the target genes of DAF-16, the insulin/IGF-1 signaling effector in C. elegans Fasting-induced transcriptome alterations were substantially and modestly suppressed in the drsh-1 null mutant and the null mutant of ain-1 , a gene encoding GW182, respectively. Moreover, miRNA array analyses revealed that the expression levels of numerous miRNAs changed after 2 days of fasting. These results indicate that components of the miRNA machinery, especially the miRNA-processing enzyme DRSH-1, play an important role in mediating IF-induced longevity via the regulation of fasting-induced changes in gene expression. © 2017 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  3. Novel roles of Caenorhabditis elegans heterochromatin protein HP1 and linker histone in the regulation of innate immune gene expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Studencka, Maja; Konzer, Anne; Moneron, Gael; Wenzel, Dirk; Opitz, Lennart; Salinas-Riester, Gabriela; Bedet, Cecile; Krüger, Marcus; Hell, Stefan W; Wisniewski, Jacek R; Schmidt, Henning; Palladino, Francesca; Schulze, Ekkehard; Jedrusik-Bode, Monika

    2012-01-01

    Linker histone (H1) and heterochromatin protein 1 (HP1) are essential components of heterochromatin which contribute to the transcriptional repression of genes. It has been shown that the methylation mark of vertebrate histone H1 is specifically recognized by the chromodomain of HP1. However, the exact biological role of linker histone binding to HP1 has not been determined. Here, we investigate the function of the Caenorhabditis elegans H1 variant HIS-24 and the HP1-like proteins HPL-1 and HPL-2 in the cooperative transcriptional regulation of immune-relevant genes. We provide the first evidence that HPL-1 interacts with HIS-24 monomethylated at lysine 14 (HIS-24K14me1) and associates in vivo with promoters of genes involved in antimicrobial response. We also report an increase in overall cellular levels and alterations in the distribution of HIS-24K14me1 after infection with pathogenic bacteria. HIS-24K14me1 localization changes from being mostly nuclear to both nuclear and cytoplasmic in the intestinal cells of infected animals. Our results highlight an antimicrobial role of HIS-24K14me1 and suggest a functional link between epigenetic regulation by an HP1/H1 complex and the innate immune system in C. elegans.

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

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    Reifferscheid Georg

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract 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.

  5. Molecular characterization of the her-1 gene suggests a direct role in cell signaling during Caenorhabditis elegans sex determination.

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    Perry, M D; Li, W; Trent, C; Robertson, B; Fire, A; Hageman, J M; Wood, W B

    1993-02-01

    We have characterized two transcripts from the male-determining her-1 locus in Caenorhabditis elegans. The larger transcript, which appears more important for male development, is predicted to encode a novel 175-amino-acid, cysteine-rich polypeptide with an apparent amino-terminal signal sequence and potential cleavage and glycosylation sites. Expression of a full-length cDNA construct for the larger transcript driven by a body-wall-myosin promoter causes extensive masculinization of all sexually dimorphic tissues in XX (normally hermaphrodite) animals. This activity is dependent on the presence of the her-1 signal sequence or a substitute synthetic signal sequence in the encoded polypeptide. These results suggest that a secreted product of the her-1 gene dictates male development.

  6. Programmed Cell Death During Caenorhabditis elegans Development

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27516615

  7. 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.

  8. The Caenorhabditis elegans rsd-2 and rsd-6 genes are required for chromosome functions during exposure to unfavorable environments.

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    Han, Wang; Sundaram, Prema; Kenjale, Himanshu; Grantham, James; Timmons, Lisa

    2008-04-01

    In Caenorhabditis elegans, exogenous dsRNA can elicit systemic RNAi, a process that requires the function of many genes. Considering that the activities of many of these genes are also required for normal development, it is surprising that exposure to high concentrations of dsRNA does not elicit adverse consequences to animals. Here, we report inducible phenotypes in attenuated C. elegans strains reared in environments that include nonspecific dsRNA and elevated temperature. Under these conditions, chromosome integrity is compromised in RNAi-defective strains harboring mutations in rsd-2 or rsd-6. Specifically, rsd-2 mutants display defects in transposon silencing, while meiotic chromosome disjunction is affected in rsd-6 mutants. RSD-2 proteins localize to multiple cellular compartments, including the nucleolus and cytoplasmic compartments that, in part, are congruent with calreticulin and HAF-6. We considered that the RNAi defects in rsd-2 mutants might have relevance to membrane-associated functions; however, endomembrane compartmentalization and endocytosis/exocytosis markers in rsd-2 and rsd-6 mutants appear normal. The mutants also possess environmentally sensitive defects in cell-autonomous RNAi elicited from transgene-delivered dsRNAs. Thus, the ultimate functions of rsd-2 and rsd-6 in systemic RNAi are remarkably complex and environmentally responsive.

  9. Genes that act downstream of sensory neurons to influence longevity, dauer formation, and pathogen responses in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Marta M Gaglia

    Full Text Available The sensory systems of multicellular organisms are designed to provide information about the environment and thus elicit appropriate changes in physiology and behavior. In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, sensory neurons affect the decision to arrest during development in a diapause state, the dauer larva, and modulate the lifespan of the animals in adulthood. However, the mechanisms underlying these effects are incompletely understood. Using whole-genome microarray analysis, we identified transcripts whose levels are altered by mutations in the intraflagellar transport protein daf-10, which result in impaired development and function of many sensory neurons in C. elegans. In agreement with existing genetic data, the expression of genes regulated by the transcription factor DAF-16/FOXO was affected by daf-10 mutations. In addition, we found altered expression of transcriptional targets of the DAF-12/nuclear hormone receptor in the daf-10 mutants and showed that this pathway influences specifically the dauer formation phenotype of these animals. Unexpectedly, pathogen-responsive genes were repressed in daf-10 mutant animals, and these sensory mutants exhibited altered susceptibility to and behavioral avoidance of bacterial pathogens. Moreover, we found that a solute transporter gene mct-1/2, which was induced by daf-10 mutations, was necessary and sufficient for longevity. Thus, sensory input seems to influence an extensive transcriptional network that modulates basic biological processes in C. elegans. This situation is reminiscent of the complex regulation of physiology by the mammalian hypothalamus, which also receives innervations from sensory systems, most notably the visual and olfactory systems.

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

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    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.

  11. Lactobacillus zeae Protects Caenorhabditis elegans from Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli-Caused Death by Inhibiting Enterotoxin Gene Expression of the Pathogen

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    Zhou, Mengzhou; Yu, Hai; Yin, Xianhua; Sabour, Parviz M.; Chen, Wei; Gong, Joshua

    2014-01-01

    Background The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has become increasingly used for screening antimicrobials and probiotics for pathogen control. It also provides a useful tool for studying microbe-host interactions. This study has established a C. elegans life-span assay to preselect probiotic bacteria for controlling K88+ enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC), a pathogen causing pig diarrhea, and has determined a potential mechanism underlying the protection provided by Lactobacillus. Methodology/Principal Findings Life-span of C. elegans was used to measure the response of worms to ETEC infection and protection provided by lactic acid-producing bacteria (LAB). Among 13 LAB isolates that varied in their ability to protect C. elegans from death induced by ETEC strain JG280, Lactobacillus zeae LB1 offered the highest level of protection (86%). The treatment with Lactobacillus did not reduce ETEC JG280 colonization in the nematode intestine. Feeding E. coli strain JFF4 (K88+ but lacking enterotoxin genes of estA, estB, and elt) did not cause death of worms. There was a significant increase in gene expression of estA, estB, and elt during ETEC JG280 infection, which was remarkably inhibited by isolate LB1. The clone with either estA or estB expressed in E. coli DH5α was as effective as ETEC JG280 in killing the nematode. However, the elt clone killed only approximately 40% of worms. The killing by the clones could also be prevented by isolate LB1. The same isolate only partially inhibited the gene expression of enterotoxins in both ETEC JG280 and E. coli DH5α in-vitro. Conclusions/Significance The established life-span assay can be used for studies of probiotics to control ETEC (for effective selection and mechanistic studies). Heat-stable enterotoxins appeared to be the main factors responsible for the death of C. elegans. Inhibition of ETEC enterotoxin production, rather than interference of its intestinal colonization, appears to be the mechanism of protection

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

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    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…

  13. MRG-1, an autosome-associated protein, silences X-linked genes and protects germline immortality in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Takasaki, Teruaki; Liu, Zheng; Habara, Yasuaki; Nishiwaki, Kiyoji; Nakayama, Jun-Ichi; Inoue, Kunio; Sakamoto, Hiroshi; Strome, Susan

    2007-02-01

    MRG15, a mammalian protein related to the mortality factor MORF4, is required for cell proliferation and embryo survival. Our genetic analysis has revealed that the Caenorhabditis elegans ortholog MRG-1 serves similar roles. Maternal MRG-1 promotes embryo survival and is required for proliferation and immortality of the primordial germ cells (PGCs). As expected of a chromodomain protein, MRG-1 associates with chromatin. Unexpectedly, it is concentrated on the autosomes and not detectable on the X chromosomes. This association is not dependent on the autosome-enriched protein MES-4. Focusing on possible roles of MRG-1 in regulating gene expression, we determined that MRG-1 is required to maintain repression in the maternal germ line of transgenes on extrachromosomal arrays, and of several X-linked genes previously shown to depend on MES-4 for repression. MRG-1 is not required for PGCs to acquire transcriptional competence or for the turn-on of expression of several PGC-expressed genes (pgl-1, glh-1, glh-4 and nos-1). By contrast to this result in PGCs, MRG-1 is required for ectopic expression of those germline genes in somatic cells lacking the NuRD complex component MEP-1. We discuss how an autosome-enriched protein might repress genes on the X chromosome, promote PGC proliferation and survival, and influence the germ versus soma distinction.

  14. Neither maternal nor zygotic med-1/med-2 genes play a major role in specifying the Caenorhabditis elegans endoderm.

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    Captan, Vasile V; Goszczynski, Barbara; McGhee, James D

    2007-02-01

    The med-1 and med-2 genes encode small, highly similar proteins related to GATA-type transcription factors and have been proposed as necessary for specification of both the mesoderm and the endoderm of Caenorhabditis elegans. However, we have previously presented evidence that neither maternal nor zygotic expression of the med-1/2 genes is necessary to specify the C. elegans endoderm. Contradicting our conclusions, a recent report presented evidence, based on presumed transgene-induced cosuppression, that the med-1/2 genes do indeed show an endoderm-specifying maternal effect. In this article, we reinvestigate med-2(-); med-1(-) embryos using a med-2- specific null allele instead of the chromosomal deficiences used previously and confirm our previous results: the large majority (approximately 84%) of med-2(-); med-1(-) embryos express gut granules. We also reinvestigate the possibility of a maternal med-1/2 effect by direct injection of med dsRNA into sensitized (med-deficient) hermaphrodites using the standard protocol known to be effective in ablating maternal transcripts, but again find no evidence for any significant maternal med-1/2 effect. We do, however, show that expression of gut granules in med-1/2-deficient embryos is exquisitely sensitive to RNAi against the vacuolar ATPase-encoding unc-32 gene [present on the same multicopy med-1(+)-containing transgenic balancer used in support of the maternal med-1/2 effect]. We thus suggest that the experimental evidence for a maternal med-1/2 effect should be reexamined and may instead reflect cosuppression caused by multiple transgenic unc-32 sequences, not med sequences.

  15. Regulation of Caenorhabditis elegans body size and male tail development by the novel gene lon-8

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Korswagen Hendrik C

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In C. elegans and other nematode species, body size is determined by the composition of the extracellular cuticle as well as by the nuclear DNA content of the underlying hypodermis. Mutants that are defective in these processes can exhibit either a short or a long body size phenotype. Several mutations that give a long body size (Lon phenotype have been characterized and found to be regulated by the DBL-1/TGF-β pathway, that controls post-embryonic growth and male tail development. Results Here we characterize a novel gene affecting body size. lon-8 encodes a secreted product of the hypodermis that is highly conserved in Rhabditid nematodes. lon-8 regulates larval elongation as well as male tail development. In both processes, lon-8 appears to function independently of the Sma/Mab pathway. Rather, lon-8 genetically interacts with dpy-11 and dpy-18, which encode cuticle collagen modifying enzymes. Conclusion The novel gene lon-8 encodes a secreted product of the hypodermis that controls body size and male ray morphology in C. elegans. lon-8 genetically interacts with enzymes that affect the composition of the cuticle.

  16. [CRISPR-Cas9 mediated genome editing in Caenorhabditis elegans].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meng, Xi'nan; Zhou, Hengda; Xu, Suhong

    2017-10-25

    The development of genome editing techniques based on CRISPR (Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats)-Cas9 system has revolutionized biomedical researches. It can be utilized to edit genome sequence in almost any organisms including Caenorhabditis elegans, one of the most convenient and classic genetic model animals. The application of CRISPR-Cas9 mediated genome editing in C. elegans promotes the functional analysis of gene and proteins under many physiological conditions. In this mini-review, we summarized the development of CRISPR-Cas9-based genome editing in C. elegans.

  17. Functional phenotypic rescue of Caenorhabditis elegans neuroligin-deficient mutants by the human and rat NLGN1 genes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernando Calahorro

    Full Text Available Neuroligins are cell adhesion proteins that interact with neurexins at the synapse. This interaction may contribute to differentiation, plasticity and specificity of synapses. In humans, single mutations in neuroligin encoding genes lead to autism spectrum disorder and/or mental retardation. Caenorhabditis elegans mutants deficient in nlg-1, an orthologue of human neuroligin genes, have defects in different behaviors. Here we show that the expression of human NLGN1 or rat Nlgn1 cDNAs in C. elegans nlg-1 mutants rescues the fructose osmotic strength avoidance and gentle touch response phenotypes. Two specific point mutations in NLGN3 and NLGN4 genes, involved in autistic spectrum disorder, were further characterized in this experimental system. The R451C allele described in NLGN3, was analyzed with both human NLGN1 (R453C and worm NLG-1 (R437C proteins, and both were not functional in rescuing the osmotic avoidance behavior and the gentle touch response phenotype. The D396X allele described in NLGN4, which produces a truncated protein, was studied with human NLGN1 (D432X and they did not rescue any of the behavioral phenotypes analyzed. In addition, RNAi feeding experiments measuring gentle touch response in wild type strain and worms expressing SID-1 in neurons (which increases the response to dsRNA, both fed with bacteria expressing dsRNA for nlg-1, provided evidence for a postsynaptic in vivo function of neuroligins both in muscle cells and neurons, equivalent to that proposed in mammals. This finding was further confirmed generating transgenic nlg-1 deficient mutants expressing NLG-1 under pan-neuronal (nrx-1 or pan-muscular (myo-3 specific promoters. All these results suggest that the nematode could be used as an in vivo model for studying particular synaptic mechanisms with proteins orthologues of humans involved in pervasive developmental disorders.

  18. Sequenced alleles of the Caenorhabditis elegans sex-determining gene her-1 include a novel class of conditional promoter mutations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perry, M D; Trent, C; Robertson, B; Chamblin, C; Wood, W B

    1994-10-01

    In the control of Caenorhabditis elegans sex determination, the her-1 gene must normally be activated to allow male development of XO animals and deactivated to allow hermaphrodite development of XX animals. The gene is regulated at the transcriptional level and has two nested male-specific transcripts. The larger of these encodes a small, novel, cysteine-rich protein responsible for masculinizing activity. Of the 32 extant mutant alleles, 30 cause partial or complete loss of masculinizing function (lf), while 2 are gain-of-function (gf) alleles resulting in abnormal masculinization of XX animals. We have identified the DNA sequence changes in each of these 32 alleles. Most affect the protein coding functions of the gene, but six are in the promoter region, including the two gf mutations. These two mutations may define a binding site for negative regulators of her-1. Three of the four remaining promoter mutations are single base changes that cause, surprisingly, temperature-sensitive loss of her-1 function. Such conditional promoter mutations have previously not been found among either prokaryotic or eukaryotic mutants analyzed at the molecular level.

  19. Molecular mechanisms of Caenorhabditis elegans - Bacillus interactions

    OpenAIRE

    Iatsenko, Igor

    2014-01-01

    Pathogens represent strong evolutionary forces driving the complexity of the host defense system. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has been widely used as a genetically amenable invertebrate for studying host-pathogen interactions. While the C. elegans model provided invaluable insights into innate defense pathways against infections, it remains to be discovered what the role of these pathways is in other nematodes and how they shape the evolution of bacterial pathogenicity. The nematode P...

  20. Dietary choice behavior in Caenorhabditis elegans

    OpenAIRE

    Shtonda, Boris Borisovich; Avery, Leon

    2006-01-01

    Animals have evolved diverse behaviors that serve the purpose of finding food in the environment. We investigated the food seeking strategy of the soil bacteria-eating nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. C. elegans bacterial food varies in quality: some species are easy to eat and support worm growth well, while others do not. We show that worms exhibit dietary choice: they hunt for high quality food and leave hard-to-eat bacteria. This food seeking behavior is enhanced in animals that have alre...

  1. elt-1, a gene encoding a Caenorhabditis elegans GATA transcription factor, is highly expressed in the germ lines with msp genes as the potential targets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shim, Y H

    1999-10-31

    The Caenorhabditis elegans ELT-1 protein, a homolog of the vertebrate GATA transcription factor family, is a transcription activator that can recognize the GATA motif. We previously showed that the elt-1 mRNA was primarily expressed in C. elegans embryos. To examine whether the elt-1 mRNA in embryos is maternal, paternal or zygotic, Northern blot analysis was performed with RNA isolated from the C. elegans germ-line mutant strains, fem-2 (b245)lf, fem-3 (q20)gf, him-8 (e1489), and glp-4 (bn2). This analysis revealed that the high level of elt-1 mRNA in the C. elegans embryos resulted from either the maternal or the paternal transcription, rather than from the zygotic expression. These results further demonstrated that elt-1 was highly expressed in the germ-line of both sexes. To investigate the possible target genes for the ELT-1 protein in the germ line, the ELT-1 protein was expressed and tested for its binding specificity to the GATA motif that is present in the promoter region of the C. elegans major sperm protein genes. It was found that two conserved cis-elements, AGATCT and AGATAA, in the proximal promoter region of the msp-113 gene provided the best recognition site for ELT-1. Mutational analysis showed that the GATC core sequence was necessary for strong transactivation of the reporter gene, and that the combination of GATC and GATA motif resulted in a stronger transactivation by ELT-1 than either the duplicated GATC or GATA motif. These results suggest that the potential target for the ELT-1 protein in the germ-line may be one of the major sperm protein gene family.

  2. The Caenorhabditis elegans synthetic multivulva genes prevent ras pathway activation by tightly repressing global ectopic expression of lin-3 EGF.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saffer, Adam M; Kim, Dong Hyun; van Oudenaarden, Alexander; Horvitz, H Robert

    2011-12-01

    The Caenorhabditis elegans class A and B synthetic multivulva (synMuv) genes redundantly antagonize an EGF/Ras pathway to prevent ectopic vulval induction. We identify a class A synMuv mutation in the promoter of the lin-3 EGF gene, establishing that lin-3 is the key biological target of the class A synMuv genes in vulval development and that the repressive activities of the class A and B synMuv pathways are integrated at the level of lin-3 expression. Using FISH with single mRNA molecule resolution, we find that lin-3 EGF expression is tightly restricted to only a few tissues in wild-type animals, including the germline. In synMuv double mutants, lin-3 EGF is ectopically expressed at low levels throughout the animal. Our findings reveal that the widespread ectopic expression of a growth factor mRNA at concentrations much lower than that in the normal domain of expression can abnormally activate the Ras pathway and alter cell fates. These results suggest hypotheses for the mechanistic basis of the functional redundancy between the tumor-suppressor-like class A and B synMuv genes: the class A synMuv genes either directly or indirectly specifically repress ectopic lin-3 expression; while the class B synMuv genes might function similarly, but alternatively might act to repress lin-3 as a consequence of their role in preventing cells from adopting a germline-like fate. Analogous genes in mammals might function as tumor suppressors by preventing broad ectopic expression of EGF-like ligands.

  3. Genetic kidney diseases: Caenorhabditis elegans as model system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganner, Athina; Neumann-Haefelin, Elke

    2017-07-01

    Despite its apparent simplicity, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has a high rating as a model in molecular and developmental biology and biomedical research. C. elegans has no excretory system comparable with the mammalian kidney but many of the genes and molecular pathways involved in human kidney diseases are conserved in C. elegans. The plethora of genetic, molecular and imaging tools available in C. elegans has enabled major discoveries in renal research and advanced our understanding of the pathogenesis of genetic kidney diseases. In particular, studies in C. elegans have pioneered the fundamental role of cilia for cystic kidney diseases. In addition, proteins of the glomerular filtration barrier and podocytes are critical for cell recognition, assembly of functional neuronal circuits, mechanosensation and signal transduction in C. elegans. C. elegans has also proved tremendously valuable for aging research and the Von Hippel-Lindau tumor suppressor gene has been shown to modulate lifespan in the nematode. Further, studies of the excretory canal, membrane transport and ion channel function in C. elegans have provided insights into mechanisms of tubulogenesis and cellular homeostasis. This review recounts the way that C. elegans can be used to investigate various aspects of genetic and molecular nephrology. This model system opens up an exciting and new area of study of renal development and diseases.

  4. Untangling the Contributions of Sex-Specific Gene Regulation and X-Chromosome Dosage to Sex-Biased Gene Expression in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kramer, Maxwell; Rao, Prashant; Ercan, Sevinc

    2016-09-01

    Dosage compensation mechanisms equalize the level of X chromosome expression between sexes. Yet the X chromosome is often enriched for genes exhibiting sex-biased, i.e., imbalanced expression. The relationship between X chromosome dosage compensation and sex-biased gene expression remains largely unexplored. Most studies determine sex-biased gene expression without distinguishing between contributions from X chromosome copy number (dose) and the animal's sex. Here, we uncoupled X chromosome dose from sex-specific gene regulation in Caenorhabditis elegans to determine the effect of each on X expression. In early embryogenesis, when dosage compensation is not yet fully active, X chromosome dose drives the hermaphrodite-biased expression of many X-linked genes, including several genes that were shown to be responsible for hermaphrodite fate. A similar effect is seen in the C. elegans germline, where X chromosome dose contributes to higher hermaphrodite X expression, suggesting that lack of dosage compensation in the germline may have a role in supporting higher expression of X chromosomal genes with female-biased functions in the gonad. In the soma, dosage compensation effectively balances X expression between the sexes. As a result, somatic sex-biased expression is almost entirely due to sex-specific gene regulation. These results suggest that lack of dosage compensation in different tissues and developmental stages allow X chromosome copy number to contribute to sex-biased gene expression and function. Copyright © 2016 by the Genetics Society of America.

  5. The RNAi Inheritance Machinery of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spracklin, George; Fields, Brandon; Wan, Gang; Becker, Diveena; Wallig, Ashley; Shukla, Aditi; Kennedy, Scott

    2017-07-01

    Gene silencing mediated by dsRNA (RNAi) can persist for multiple generations in Caenorhabditis elegans (termed RNAi inheritance). Here we describe the results of a forward genetic screen in C. elegans that has identified six factors required for RNAi inheritance: GLH-1/VASA, PUP-1/CDE-1, MORC-1, SET-32, and two novel nematode-specific factors that we term here (heritable RNAi defective) HRDE-2 and HRDE-4 The new RNAi inheritance factors exhibit mortal germline (Mrt) phenotypes, which we show is likely caused by epigenetic deregulation in germ cells. We also show that HRDE-2 contributes to RNAi inheritance by facilitating the binding of small RNAs to the inheritance Argonaute (Ago) HRDE-1 Together, our results identify additional components of the RNAi inheritance machinery whose conservation provides insights into the molecular mechanism of RNAi inheritance, further our understanding of how the RNAi inheritance machinery promotes germline immortality, and show that HRDE-2 couples the inheritance Ago HRDE-1 with the small RNAs it needs to direct RNAi inheritance and germline immortality. Copyright © 2017 by the Genetics Society of America.

  6. Evidence for multiple promoter elements orchestrating male-specific regulation of the her-1 gene in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, W; Streit, A; Robertson, B; Wood, W B

    1999-05-01

    The sex-determining gene her-1 is required for male development in Caenorhabditis elegans. In XO males, two her-1 mRNAs, her-1a and her-1b, are transcribed from two separate promoters: P1, located in the 5'-flanking region, and P2, located in the large second intron. In XX hermaphrodites, accumulation of both her-1 transcripts is repressed by the sdc genes, which in turn are negatively regulated by the xol-1 gene. When introduced into a xol-1(y9) background, transgenic arrays, including 3.4 kb of her-1 intron 2 sequence (P2), result in phenotypes that mimic those of sdc(lf) mutants, including suppression of XO lethality and masculinization of both XX and XO animals. The masculinization, but not the suppression of XO lethality, is dependent on endogenous her-1 activity. These effects could therefore result from sequestration (titration) of sdc gene products by sequences in the arrays, causing derepression of her-1 (masculinizing effect) and disruption of the dosage compensation machinery (allowing survival of XO animals). We used these effects as an assay in a deletion analysis of the two her-1 promoter regions to define potential cis-regulatory sites required for the putative titration. Several regions in P2 contributed to these effects. P1 was effective only in combination with certain P2 sequences and only if a particular P1 site previously implicated in her-1 repression was intact. These results suggest that normal repression of transcription from P1 in XX animals may involve cooperative interaction with sequences in the P2 region. In experiments to test for a possible role of the her-1b transcript in regulation of sdc genes, no significant effects could be demonstrated.

  7. Caenorhabditis elegans: A Genetic Guide to Parasitic Nematode Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bird, D M; Opperman, C H

    1998-09-01

    The advent of parasite genome sequencing projects, as well as an increase in biology-directed gene discovery, promises to reveal genes encoding many of the key molecules required for nematode-host interactions. However, distinguishing parasitism genes from those merely required for nematode viability remains a substantial challenge. Although this will ultimately require a functional test in the host or parasite, the free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans can be exploited as a heterologous system to determine function of candidate parasitism genes. Studies of C. elegans also have revealed genetic networks, such as the dauer pathway, that may also be important adaptations for parasitism. As a more directed means of identifying parasitism traits, we developed classical genetics for Heterodera glycines and have used this approach to map genes conferring host resistance-breaking phenotypes. It is likely that the C. elegans and H. glycines genomes will be at least partially syntenic, thus permitting predictive physical mapping of H. glycines genes of interest.

  8. DAF-16 and Δ9 desaturase genes promote cold tolerance in long-lived Caenorhabditis elegans age-1 mutants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fiona R Savory

    Full Text Available In Caenorhabditis elegans, mutants of the conserved insulin/IGF-1 signalling (IIS pathway are long-lived and stress resistant due to the altered expression of DAF-16 target genes such as those involved in cellular defence and metabolism. The three Δ(9 desaturase genes, fat-5, fat-6 and fat-7, are included amongst these DAF-16 targets, and it is well established that Δ(9 desaturase enzymes play an important role in survival at low temperatures. However, no assessment of cold tolerance has previously been reported for IIS mutants. We demonstrate that long-lived age-1(hx546 mutants are remarkably resilient to low temperature stress relative to wild type worms, and that this is dependent upon daf-16. We also show that cold tolerance following direct transfer to low temperatures is increased in wild type worms during the facultative, daf-16 dependent, dauer stage. Although the cold tolerant phenotype of age-1(hx546 mutants is predominantly due to the Δ(9 desaturase genes, additional transcriptional targets of DAF-16 are also involved. Surprisingly, survival of wild type adults following a rapid temperature decline is not dependent upon functional daf-16, and cellular distributions of a DAF-16::GFP fusion protein indicate that DAF-16 is not activated during low temperature stress. This suggests that cold-induced physiological defences are not specifically regulated by the IIS pathway and DAF-16, but expression of DAF-16 target genes in IIS mutants and dauers is sufficient to promote cross tolerance to low temperatures in addition to other forms of stress.

  9. The model Caenorhabditis elegans in diabetes mellitus and Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morcos, Michael; Hutter, Harald

    2009-01-01

    Diabetes mellitus, with its complications, and Alzheimer's disease (AD) share many similarities. Both are age-related and associated with enhanced formation of advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs) and oxidative stress, factors that can be observed during the normal aging process as well. AGE deposits can be found in areas of atherosclerotic lesions in diabetes and in senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in AD. A classical model organism in aging research is the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans). Though C. elegans lacks a vascular system, it has been introduced in diabetes and AD research since it shares many similarities at the molecular level to pathological processes found in humans. AGEs accumulate in C. elegans, and increased AGE-formation and mitochondrial AGE-modification are responsible for increased oxidative stress and limiting life span. Moreover, C. elegans has an accessible and well characterized nervous system and features several genes homologous to human genes implicated in AD like amyloid-beta protein precursor, presenilins and tau. In addition, human genes linked to AD, such as amyloid-beta or tau, can be expressed and studied in C. elegans. So far, C. elegans research has contributed to a better understanding of the function of AD-related genes and the development of this disease.

  10. Structural properties of the Caenorhabditis elegans neuronal network

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Varshney, Lav R; Chen, Beth L; Paniagua, Eric; Hall, David H; Chklovskii, Dmitri B

    2011-01-01

    .... Even for Caenorhabditis elegans, whose neuronal network is relatively small and stereotypical from animal to animal, published wiring diagrams are neither accurate nor complete and self-consistent...

  11. 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).

  12. The Caenorhabditis elegans ing-3 gene regulates ionizing radiation-induced germ-cell apoptosis in a p53-associated pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Jingjing; Shah, Sitar; Riabowol, Karl; Mains, Paul E

    2009-02-01

    The inhibitor of growth (ING) family of type II tumor suppressors are encoded by five genes in mammals and by three genes in Caenorhabditis elegans. All ING proteins contain a highly conserved plant homeodomain (PHD) zinc finger. ING proteins are activated by stresses, including ionizing radiation, leading to the activation of p53. ING proteins in mammals and yeast have recently been shown to read the histone code in a methylation-sensitive manner to regulate gene expression. Here we identify and characterize ing-3, the C. elegans gene with the highest sequence identity to the human ING3 gene. ING-3 colocalizes with chromatin in embryos, the germline, and somatic cells. The ing-3 gene is part of an operon but is also transcribed from its own promoter. Both ing-3(RNAi) and ing-3 mutant strains demonstrate that the gene likely functions in concert with the C. elegans p53 homolog, cep-1, to induce germ-cell apoptosis in response to ionizing radiation. Somatically, the ing-3 mutant has a weak kinker uncoordinated (kinker Unc) phenotype, indicating a possible neuronal function.

  13. Mainstreaming Caenorhabditis elegans in experimental evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gray, Jeremy C; Cutter, Asher D

    2014-03-07

    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.

  14. 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

  15. The Caenorhabditis chemoreceptor gene families

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robertson Hugh M

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Chemoreceptor proteins mediate the first step in the transduction of environmental chemical stimuli, defining the breadth of detection and conferring stimulus specificity. Animal genomes contain families of genes encoding chemoreceptors that mediate taste, olfaction, and pheromone responses. The size and diversity of these families reflect the biology of chemoperception in specific species. Results Based on manual curation and sequence comparisons among putative G-protein-coupled chemoreceptor genes in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, we identified approximately 1300 genes and 400 pseudogenes in the 19 largest gene families, most of which fall into larger superfamilies. In the related species C. briggsae and C. remanei, we identified most or all genes in each of the 19 families. For most families, C. elegans has the largest number of genes and C. briggsae the smallest number, suggesting changes in the importance of chemoperception among the species. Protein trees reveal family-specific and species-specific patterns of gene duplication and gene loss. The frequency of strict orthologs varies among the families, from just over 50% in two families to less than 5% in three families. Several families include large species-specific expansions, mostly in C. elegans and C. remanei. Conclusion Chemoreceptor gene families in Caenorhabditis species are large and evolutionarily dynamic as a result of gene duplication and gene loss. These dynamics shape the chemoreceptor gene complements in Caenorhabditis species and define the receptor space available for chemosensory responses. To explain these patterns, we propose the gray pawn hypothesis: individual genes are of little significance, but the aggregate of a large number of diverse genes is required to cover a large phenotype space.

  16. Systems biology approach to late-onset Alzheimer's disease genome-wide association study identifies novel candidate genes validated using brain expression data and Caenorhabditis elegans experiments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukherjee, Shubhabrata; Russell, Joshua C; Carr, Daniel T; Burgess, Jeremy D; Allen, Mariet; Serie, Daniel J; Boehme, Kevin L; Kauwe, John S K; Naj, Adam C; Fardo, David W; Dickson, Dennis W; Montine, Thomas J; Ertekin-Taner, Nilufer; Kaeberlein, Matt R; Crane, Paul K

    2017-10-01

    We sought to determine whether a systems biology approach may identify novel late-onset Alzheimer's disease (LOAD) loci. We performed gene-wide association analyses and integrated results with human protein-protein interaction data using network analyses. We performed functional validation on novel genes using a transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans Aβ proteotoxicity model and evaluated novel genes using brain expression data from people with LOAD and other neurodegenerative conditions. We identified 13 novel candidate LOAD genes outside chromosome 19. Of those, RNA interference knockdowns of the C. elegans orthologs of UBC, NDUFS3, EGR1, and ATP5H were associated with Aβ toxicity, and NDUFS3, SLC25A11, ATP5H, and APP were differentially expressed in the temporal cortex. Network analyses identified novel LOAD candidate genes. We demonstrated a functional role for four of these in a C. elegans model and found enrichment of differentially expressed genes in the temporal cortex. Copyright © 2017 the Alzheimer's Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Gustatory Behaviour in Caenorhabditis elegans

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    R.K. Hukema (Renate)

    2006-01-01

    textabstractThe nematode C. elegans is an ideal model-organism to study the genetics of behaviour (Brenner, 1974). It is capable of sensing salts and we discriminate three different responses: it is attracted to low salt concentrations (Ward, 1973; Dusenbery et al., 1974), it avoids high salt

  18. Effects of simulated microgravity on gene expression and biological phenotypes of a single generation Caenorhabditis elegans cultured on 2 different media

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tee, Ling Fei; Neoh, Hui-min; Then, Sue Mian; Murad, Nor Azian; Asillam, Mohd Fairos; Hashim, Mohd Helmy; Nathan, Sheila; Jamal, Rahman

    2017-11-01

    Studies of multigenerational Caenorhabditis elegans exposed to long-term spaceflight have revealed expression changes of genes involved in longevity, DNA repair, and locomotion. However, results from spaceflight experiments are difficult to reproduce as space missions are costly and opportunities are rather limited for researchers. In addition, multigenerational cultures of C. elegans used in previous studies contribute to mixture of gene expression profiles from both larvae and adult worms, which were recently reported to be different. Usage of different culture media during microgravity simulation experiments might also give rise to differences in the gene expression and biological phenotypes of the worms. In this study, we investigated the effects of simulated microgravity on the gene expression and biological phenotype profiles of a single generation of C. elegans worms cultured on 2 different culture media. A desktop Random Positioning Machine (RPM) was used to simulate microgravity on the worms for approximately 52 to 54 h. Gene expression profile was analysed using the Affymetrix GeneChip® C. elegans 1.0 ST Array. Only one gene (R01H2.2) was found to be downregulated in nematode growth medium (NGM)-cultured worms exposed to simulated microgravity. On the other hand, eight genes were differentially expressed for C. elegans Maintenance Medium (CeMM)-cultured worms in microgravity; six were upregulated, while two were downregulated. Five of the upregulated genes (C07E3.15, C34H3.21, C32D5.16, F35H8.9 and C34F11.17) encode non-coding RNAs. In terms of biological phenotype, we observed that microgravity-simulated worms experienced minimal changes in terms of lifespan, locomotion and reproductive capabilities in comparison with the ground controls. Taking it all together, simulated microgravity on a single generation of C. elegans did not confer major changes to their gene expression and biological phenotype. Nevertheless, exposure of the worms to microgravity

  19. 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

    Alternative splicing (AS) is an important contributor to proteome diversity and is regarded as an explanatory factor for the relatively low number of human genes compared with less complex animals. To assess the evolutionary conservation of AS and its developmental regulation, we have investigated...... the qualitative and quantitative expression of 21 orthologous alternative splice events through the development of 2 nematode species separated by 85-110 Myr of evolutionary time. We demonstrate that most of these alternative splice events present in Caenorhabditis elegans are conserved in 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...

  20. 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

  1. 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 ......-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....

  2. 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.

  3. Gene Expression Modifications by Temperature-Toxicants Interactions in Caenorhabditis elegans

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vinuela Rodriguez, A.; Snoek, L.B.; Riksen, J.A.G.; Kammenga, J.E.

    2011-01-01

    Although organophosphorus pesticides (OP) share a common mode of action, there is increased awareness that they elicit a diverse range of gene expression responses. As yet however, there is no clear understanding of these responses and how they interact with ambient environmental conditions. In the

  4. Single Cell Quantification of Reporter Gene Expression in Live Adult Caenorhabditis elegans Reveals Reproducible Cell-Specific Expression Patterns and Underlying Biological Variation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander R Mendenhall

    Full Text Available In multicellular organisms such as Caenorhabditis elegans, differences in complex phenotypes such as lifespan correlate with the level of expression of particular engineered reporter genes. In single celled organisms, quantitative understanding of responses to extracellular signals and of cell-to-cell variation in responses has depended on precise measurement of reporter gene expression. Here, we developed microscope-based methods to quantify reporter gene expression in cells of Caenorhabditis elegans with low measurement error. We then quantified expression in strains that carried different configurations of Phsp-16.2-fluorescent-protein reporters, in whole animals, and in all 20 cells of the intestine tissue, which is responsible for most of the fluorescent signal. Some animals bore more recently developed single copy Phsp-16.2 reporters integrated at defined chromosomal sites, others, "classical" multicopy reporter gene arrays integrated at random sites. At the level of whole animals, variation in gene expression was similar: strains with single copy reporters showed the same amount of animal-to-animal variation as strains with multicopy reporters. At the level of cells, in animals with single copy reporters, the pattern of expression in cells within the tissue was highly stereotyped. In animals with multicopy reporters, the cell-specific expression pattern was also stereotyped, but distinct, and somewhat more variable. Our methods are rapid and gentle enough to allow quantification of expression in the same cells of an animal at different times during adult life. They should allow investigators to use changes in reporter expression in single cells in tissues as quantitative phenotypes, and link those to molecular differences. Moreover, by diminishing measurement error, they should make possible dissection of the causes of the remaining, real, variation in expression. Understanding such variation should help reveal its contribution to

  5. Genes required for the functions of olfactory AWA neuron regulate the longevity of Caenorhabditis elegans in an insulin/IGF signaling-dependent fashion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Lu-Lu; Du, Min; Lin, Xing-Feng; Cai, Ting; Wang, Da-Yong

    2010-04-01

    To investigate the interaction between the genes required for the functions of AWA olfactory neuron and insulin/IGF signaling in regulating the longevity of nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans). The mutants that had loss-of-function mutation of the genes required for AWA, AWC, ASE, and AFD sensory neurons were employed. Lifespan, the speed of pharynx pumping, the intestinal autofluorescence, the dauer formation, and the brood size were examined. Rescue experiments were performed to confirm the role of the genes required for the functions of AWA neuron in regulating lifespan. Moreover, genetic interactions between genes required for the functions of AWA neuron and insulin/IGF signaling were investigated. Mutations of odr-7, odr-2, and odr-3 genes required for the functions of AWA neuron significantly increased the mean lifespan of nematodes and slowed the accumulation of intestinal autofluorescence. Besides, these mutations were closely associated with higher pumping rates during aging. However, mutation of odr-7, odr-2, or odr-3 did not obviously affect the brood size or the dauer formation, and the regulation of longevity by odr-7, odr-2, and odr-3 was temperature-independent. In contrast, mutations of genes required for the functions of ASE, AWC, and AFD sensory neurons did not influence the nematode lifespan. Moreover, expression of odr-7, odr-2 and odr-3 in AWA neuron could completely or largely restore the altered lifespan in odr-7, odr-2 and odr-3 mutants. Furthermore, genetic interaction assay demonstrated that the extended lifespan in odr-7 mutant could be suppressed by daf-16 mutation and enhanced by daf-2 or age-1 mutation, whereas mev-1 and pha-4 were not required for the long lifespan of odr-7 mutant. The genes required for the function of AWA sensory neuron could regulate the nematode longevity in an insulin/IGF signaling-dependent fashion in C. elegans.

  6. Approaches for Studying Autophagy in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yanfang; Scarcelli, Vincent; Legouis, Renaud

    2017-01-01

    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. PMID:28867808

  7. 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.

  8. Germline expression influences operon organization in the Caenorhabditis elegans genome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reinke, Valerie; Cutter, Asher D

    2009-04-01

    Operons are found across multiple kingdoms and phyla, from prokaryotes to chordates. In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, the genome contains >1000 operons that compose approximately 15% of the protein-coding genes. However, determination of the force(s) promoting the origin and maintenance of operons in C. elegans has proved elusive. Compared to bacterial operons, genes within a C. elegans operon often show poor coexpression and only sometimes encode proteins with related functions. Using analysis of microarray and large-scale in situ hybridization data, we demonstrate that almost all operon-encoded genes are expressed in germline tissue. However, genes expressed during spermatogenesis are excluded from operons. Operons group together along chromosomes in local clusters that also contain monocistronic germline-expressed genes. Additionally, germline expression of genes in operons is largely independent of the molecular function of the encoded proteins. These analyses demonstrate that mechanisms governing germline gene expression influence operon origination and/or maintenance. Thus, gene expression in a specific tissue can have profound effects on the evolution of genome organization.

  9. Identification and analysis of internal promoters in Caenorhabditis elegans operons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Peiming; Pleasance, Erin D; Maydan, Jason S; Hunt-Newbury, Rebecca; O'Neil, Nigel J; Mah, Allan; Baillie, David L; Marra, Marco A; Moerman, Donald G; Jones, Steven J M

    2007-10-01

    The current Caenorhabditis elegans genomic annotation has many genes organized in operons. Using directionally stitched promoterGFP methodology, we have conducted the largest survey to date on the regulatory regions of annotated C. elegans operons and identified 65, over 25% of those studied, with internal promoters. We have termed these operons "hybrid operons." GFP expression patterns driven from internal promoters differ in tissue specificity from expression of operon promoters, and serial analysis of gene expression data reveals that there is a lack of expression correlation between genes in many hybrid operons. The average length of intergenic regions with putative promoter activity in hybrid operons is larger than previous estimates for operons as a whole. Genes with internal promoters are more commonly involved in gene duplications and have a significantly lower incidence of alternative splicing than genes without internal promoters, although we have observed almost all trans-splicing patterns in these two distinct groups. Finally, internal promoter constructs are able to rescue lethal knockout phenotypes, demonstrating their necessity in gene regulation and survival. Our work suggests that hybrid operons are common in the C. elegans genome and that internal promoters influence not only gene organization and expression but also operon evolution.

  10. Biotin starvation with adequate glucose provision causes paradoxical changes in fuel metabolism gene expression similar in rat (Rattus norvegicus), nematode (Caenorhabditis elegans) and yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortega-Cuellar, D; Hernandez-Mendoza, A; Moreno-Arriola, E; Carvajal-Aguilera, K; Perez-Vazquez, V; Gonzalez-Alvarez, R; Velazquez-Arellano, A

    2010-01-01

    Biotin affects the genetic expression of several glucose metabolism enzymes, besides being a cofactor of carboxylases. To explore how extensively biotin affects the expression of carbon metabolism genes, we studied the effects of biotin starvation and replenishment in 3 distantly related eukaryotes: yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and rat Rattus norvegicus. Biotin starvation was produced in Wistar rats, in C. elegans N2 and S. cerevisiae W303A fed with abundant glucose. High-density oligonucleotide microarrays were used to find gene expression changes. Glucose consumption, lactate and ethanol were measured by conventional tests. In spite of abundant glucose provision, the expression of fatty oxidation and gluconeogenic genes was augmented, and the transcripts for glucose utilization and lipogenesis were diminished in biotin starvation. These results were associated with diminished glucose consumption and glycolysis products (lactate and ethanol in yeast), which was consistent across 3 very different eukaryotes. The results point toward a strongly selected role of biotin in the control of carbon metabolism, and in adaptations to variable availability of carbon, conceivably mediated by signal transduction including soluble guanylate cyclase, cGMP and a cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG) and/or biotin-dependent processes. Copyright © 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  11. Down-regulation of tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle genes blocks progression through the first mitotic division in Caenorhabditis elegans embryos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahman, Mohammad M; Rosu, Simona; Joseph-Strauss, Daphna; Cohen-Fix, Orna

    2014-02-18

    The cell cycle is a highly regulated process that enables the accurate transmission of chromosomes to daughter cells. Here we uncover a previously unknown link between the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle and cell cycle progression in the Caenorhabditis elegans early embryo. We found that down-regulation of TCA cycle components, including citrate synthase, malate dehydrogenase, and aconitase, resulted in a one-cell stage arrest before entry into mitosis: pronuclear meeting occurred normally, but nuclear envelope breakdown, centrosome separation, and chromosome condensation did not take place. Mitotic entry is controlled by the cyclin B-cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (Cdk1) complex, and the inhibitory phosphorylation of Cdk1 must be removed in order for the complex to be active. We found that following down-regulation of the TCA cycle, cyclin B levels were normal but CDK-1 remained inhibitory-phosphorylated in one-cell stage-arrested embryos, indicative of a G2-like arrest. Moreover, this was not due to an indirect effect caused by checkpoint activation by DNA damage or replication defects. These observations suggest that CDK-1 activation in the C. elegans one-cell embryo is sensitive to the metabolic state of the cell, and that down-regulation of the TCA cycle prevents the removal of CDK-1 inhibitory phosphorylation. The TCA cycle was previously shown to be necessary for the development of the early embryo in mammals, but the molecular processes affected were not known. Our study demonstrates a link between the TCA cycle and a specific cell cycle transition in the one-cell stage embryo.

  12. 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

  13. 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 ...

  14. 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...

  15. Caenorhabditis elegans semi-automated liquid screen reveals a specialized role for the chemotaxis gene cheB2 in Pseudomonas aeruginosa virulence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven Garvis

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic human pathogen that causes infections in a variety of animal and plant hosts. Caenorhabditis elegans is a simple model with which one can identify bacterial virulence genes. Previous studies with C. elegans have shown that depending on the growth medium, P. aeruginosa provokes different pathologies: slow or fast killing, lethal paralysis and red death. In this study, we developed a high-throughput semi-automated liquid-based assay such that an entire genome can readily be scanned for virulence genes in a short time period. We screened a 2,200-member STM mutant library generated in a cystic fibrosis airway P. aeruginosa isolate, TBCF10839. Twelve mutants were isolated each showing at least 70% attenuation in C. elegans killing. The selected mutants had insertions in regulatory genes, such as a histidine kinase sensor of two-component systems and a member of the AraC family, or in genes involved in adherence or chemotaxis. One mutant had an insertion in a cheB gene homologue, encoding a methylesterase involved in chemotaxis (CheB2. The cheB2 mutant was tested in a murine lung infection model and found to have a highly attenuated virulence. The cheB2 gene is part of the chemotactic gene cluster II, which was shown to be required for an optimal mobility in vitro. In P. aeruginosa, the main player in chemotaxis and mobility is the chemotactic gene cluster I, including cheB1. We show that, in contrast to the cheB2 mutant, a cheB1 mutant is not attenuated for virulence in C. elegans whereas in vitro motility and chemotaxis are severely impaired. We conclude that the virulence defect of the cheB2 mutant is not linked with a global motility defect but that instead the cheB2 gene is involved in a specific chemotactic response, which takes place during infection and is required for P. aeruginosa pathogenicity.

  16. Fucoxanthin increases lifespan of Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lashmanova, Ekaterina; Proshkina, Ekaterina; Zhikrivetskaya, Svetlana; Shevchenko, Oksana; Marusich, Elena; Leonov, Sergey; Melerzanov, Alex; Zhavoronkov, Alex; Moskalev, Alexey

    2015-10-01

    The pharmacological activation of stress-defense mechanisms is one of the perspective ways to increase human lifespan. The goal of the present study was to study the effects on lifespan of Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans of two carotenoids: ß-carotene and fucoxanthin, which are bioactive natural substances in human diet. In addition, the effects of carotenoids on the flies survival were studied under stress conditions, including starvation, thermal stress (35°C), oxidative stress (20 mM paraquat), as well as locomotor activity, fecundity, and genes expression level. Our results demonstrated lifespan extension of flies by both carotenoids. However, the positive effects on the lifespan of C. elegans were revealed only for fucoxanthin. In presence of carotenoids decreased flies' fecundity, increased spontaneous locomotor activity and resistance to oxidative stress were detected. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Noncanonical cell death in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kinet, Maxime J; Shaham, Shai

    2014-01-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has served as a fruitful setting for cell death research for over three decades. A conserved pathway of four genes, egl-1/BH3-only, ced-9/Bcl-2, ced-4/Apaf-1, and ced-3/caspase, coordinates most developmental cell deaths in C. elegans. However, other cell death forms, programmed and pathological, have also been described in this animal. Some of these share morphological and/or molecular similarities with the canonical apoptotic pathway, while others do not. Indeed, recent studies suggest the existence of an entirely novel mode of programmed developmental cell destruction that may also be conserved beyond nematodes. Here, we review evidence for these noncanonical pathways. We propose that different cell death modalities can function as backup mechanisms for apoptosis, or as tailor-made programs that allow specific dying cells to be efficiently cleared from the animal. © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. The Natural Biotic Environment of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulenburg, Hinrich; Félix, Marie-Anne

    2017-05-01

    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. Copyright © 2017 by the Genetics Society of America.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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...

  2. Growth of Caenorhabditis elegans in Defined Media Is Dependent on Presence of Particulate Matter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flavel, Matthew R; Mechler, Adam; Shahmiri, Mahdi; Mathews, Elizabeth R; Franks, Ashley E; Chen, Weisan; Zanker, Damien; Xian, Bo; Gao, Shan; Luo, Jing; Tegegne, Surafel; Doneski, Christian; Jois, Markandeya

    2018-02-02

    Caenorhabditis elegans are typically cultured in a monoxenic medium consisting of live bacteria. However, this introduces a secondary organism to experiments, and restricts the manipulation of the nutritional environment. Due to the intricate link between genes and environment, greater control and understanding of nutritional factors are required to push the C. elegans field into new areas. For decades, attempts to develop a chemically defined, axenic medium as an alternative for culturing C. elegans have been made. However, the mechanism by which the filter feeder C. elegans obtains nutrients from these liquid media is not known. Using a fluorescence-activated cell sorting based approach, we demonstrate growth in all past axenic C. elegans media to be dependent on the presence of previously unknown particles. This particle requirement of C. elegans led to development of liposome-based, nanoparticle culturing that allows full control of nutrients delivered to C. elegans. Copyright © 2018 Flavel et al.

  3. Precision Electrophile Tagging in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, Marcus J C; Urul, Daniel A; Chawla, Shivansh; Lin, Hong-Yu; Zhao, Yi; Haegele, Joseph A; Wang, Yiran; Aye, Yimon

    2018-01-16

    Adduction of an electrophile to privileged sensor proteins and the resulting phenotypically dominant responses are increasingly appreciated as being essential for metazoan health. Functional similarities between the biological electrophiles and electrophilic pharmacophores commonly found in covalent drugs further fortify the translational relevance of these small-molecule signals. Genetically encodable or small-molecule-based fluorescent reporters and redox proteomics have revolutionized the observation and profiling of cellular redox states and electrophile-sensor proteins, respectively. However, precision mapping between specific redox-modified targets and specific responses has only recently begun to be addressed, and systems tractable to both genetic manipulation and on-target redox signaling in vivo remain largely limited. Here we engineer transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans expressing functional HaloTagged fusion proteins and use this system to develop a generalizable light-controlled approach to tagging a prototypical electrophile-sensor protein with native electrophiles in vivo. The method circumvents issues associated with low uptake/distribution and toxicity/promiscuity. Given the validated success of C. elegans in aging studies, this optimized platform offers a new lens with which to scrutinize how on-target electrophile signaling influences redox-dependent life span regulation.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  7. Genomic analysis of stress response against arsenic in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Surasri N Sahu

    Full Text Available Arsenic, a known human carcinogen, is widely distributed around the world and found in particularly high concentrations in certain regions including Southwestern US, Eastern Europe, India, China, Taiwan and Mexico. Chronic arsenic poisoning affects millions of people worldwide and is associated with increased risk of many diseases including arthrosclerosis, diabetes and cancer. In this study, we explored genome level global responses to high and low levels of arsenic exposure in Caenorhabditis elegans using Affymetrix expression microarrays. This experimental design allows us to do microarray analysis of dose-response relationships of global gene expression patterns. High dose (0.03% exposure caused stronger global gene expression changes in comparison with low dose (0.003% exposure, suggesting a positive dose-response correlation. Biological processes such as oxidative stress, and iron metabolism, which were previously reported to be involved in arsenic toxicity studies using cultured cells, experimental animals, and humans, were found to be affected in C. elegans. We performed genome-wide gene expression comparisons between our microarray data and publicly available C. elegans microarray datasets of cadmium, and sediment exposure samples of German rivers Rhine and Elbe. Bioinformatics analysis of arsenic-responsive regulatory networks were done using FastMEDUSA program. FastMEDUSA analysis identified cancer-related genes, particularly genes associated with leukemia, such as dnj-11, which encodes a protein orthologous to the mammalian ZRF1/MIDA1/MPP11/DNAJC2 family of ribosome-associated molecular chaperones. We analyzed the protective functions of several of the identified genes using RNAi. Our study indicates that C. elegans could be a substitute model to study the mechanism of metal toxicity using high-throughput expression data and bioinformatics tools such as FastMEDUSA.

  8. Improving the Caenorhabditis elegans genome annotation using machine learning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gunnar Rätsch

    2007-02-01

    Full Text Available For modern biology, precise genome annotations are of prime importance, as they allow the accurate definition of genic regions. We employ state-of-the-art machine learning methods to assay and improve the accuracy of the genome annotation of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. The proposed machine learning system is trained to recognize exons and introns on the unspliced mRNA, utilizing recent advances in support vector machines and label sequence learning. In 87% (coding and untranslated regions and 95% (coding regions only of all genes tested in several out-of-sample evaluations, our method correctly identified all exons and introns. Notably, only 37% and 50%, respectively, of the presently unconfirmed genes in the C. elegans genome annotation agree with our predictions, thus we hypothesize that a sizable fraction of those genes are not correctly annotated. A retrospective evaluation of the Wormbase WS120 annotation [] of C. elegans reveals that splice form predictions on unconfirmed genes in WS120 are inaccurate in about 18% of the considered cases, while our predictions deviate from the truth only in 10%-13%. We experimentally analyzed 20 controversial genes on which our system and the annotation disagree, confirming the superiority of our predictions. While our method correctly predicted 75% of those cases, the standard annotation was never completely correct. The accuracy of our system is further corroborated by a comparison with two other recently proposed systems that can be used for splice form prediction: SNAP and ExonHunter. We conclude that the genome annotation of C. elegans and other organisms can be greatly enhanced using modern machine learning technology.

  9. A conserved checkpoint monitors meiotic chromosome synapsis inCaenorhabditis elegans

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bhalla, Needhi; Dernburg, Abby F.

    2005-07-14

    We report the discovery of a checkpoint that monitorssynapsis between homologous chromosomes to ensure accurate meioticsegregation. Oocytes containing unsynapsed chromosomes selectivelyundergo apoptosis even if agermline DNA damage checkpoint is inactivated.This culling mechanism isspecifically activated by unsynapsed pairingcenters, cis-acting chromosomesites that are also required to promotesynapsis in Caenorhabditis elegans. Apoptosis due to synaptic failurealso requires the C. elegans homolog of PCH2,a budding yeast pachytenecheckpoint gene, which suggests that this surveillance mechanism iswidely conserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  11. Association between the agr locus and the presence of virulence genes and pathogenesis in Staphylococcus aureus using a Caenorhabditis elegans model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Terissa A; Brown, Paul D

    2017-01-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is a commensal pathogen with a virulon that is under agr control. agr dysfunction has been seen in clinical strains that do not respond positively to treatment. This study aimed to establish the association between the genes in the virulon and the presence of agr and to determine the relationship between the presence or absence of agr and pathogenicity. PCR was used to identify the presence of the agr operon in 101 clinical S. aureus strains. δ-Haemolysin screening was conducted on all agr-positive strains using the blood agar assay. Singleplex and/or multiplex PCR was used to determine the presence of 31 virulence genes in the strains. Caenorhabditis elegans infectivity and lifespan assays were conducted using 30 CF512 nematodes per strain in triplicate. Significance associated with the carriage of virulence and agr genes was determined using the Chi-square test. Nematode survival was measured using Kaplan-Meier survival estimates and differences in survival were assessed using the log-rank test. The frequency of agr-negative strains was 20%. All groups of virulence genes were significantly associated with agr-positive strains: enterotoxin (paureus. Further, agr-positive strains were more pathogenic than agr-negative strains, suggesting a correlation between the presence of agr, carriage of virulence determinants, and pathogenicity. Copyright © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  12. Mutations in genes involved in nonsense mediated decay ameliorate the phenotype of sel-12 mutants with amber stop mutations in Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Aubert Sylvie

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Presenilin proteins are part of a complex of proteins that can cleave many type I transmembrane proteins, including Notch Receptors and the Amyloid Precursor Protein, in the middle of the transmembrane domain. Dominant mutations in the human presenilin genes PS1 and PS2 lead to Familial Alzheimer's disease. Mutations in the Caenorhabditis elegans sel-12 presenilin gene cause a highly penetrant egg-laying defect due to reduction of signalling through the lin-12/Notch receptor. Mutations in six spr genes (for suppressor of presenilin are known to strongly suppress sel-12. Mutations in most strong spr genes suppress sel-12 by de-repressing the transcription of the largely functionally equivalent hop-1 presenilin gene. However, how mutations in the spr-2 gene suppress sel-12 is unknown. Results We show that spr-2 mutations increase the levels of sel-12 transcripts with Premature translation Termination Codons (PTCs in embryos and L1 larvae. mRNA transcripts from sel-12 alleles with PTCs undergo degradation by a process known as Nonsense Mediated Decay (NMD. However, spr-2 mutations do not appear to affect NMD. Mutations in the smg genes, which are required for NMD, can restore sel-12(PTC transcript levels and ameliorate the phenotype of sel-12 mutants with amber PTCs. However, the phenotypic suppression of sel-12 by smg genes is nowhere near as strong as the effect of previously characterized spr mutations including spr-2. Consistent with this, we have identified only two mutations in smg genes among the more than 100 spr mutations recovered in genetic screens. Conclusion spr-2 mutations do not suppress sel-12 by affecting NMD of sel-12(PTC transcripts and appear to have a novel mechanism of suppression. The fact that mutations in smg genes can ameliorate the phenotype of sel-12 alleles with amber PTCs suggests that some read-through of sel-12(amber alleles occurs in smg backgrounds.

  13. Mutations in genes involved in nonsense mediated decay ameliorate the phenotype of sel-12 mutants with amber stop mutations in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gontijo, Alisson M; Aubert, Sylvie; Roelens, Ingele; Lakowski, Bernard

    2009-03-20

    Presenilin proteins are part of a complex of proteins that can cleave many type I transmembrane proteins, including Notch Receptors and the Amyloid Precursor Protein, in the middle of the transmembrane domain. Dominant mutations in the human presenilin genes PS1 and PS2 lead to Familial Alzheimer's disease. Mutations in the Caenorhabditis elegans sel-12 presenilin gene cause a highly penetrant egg-laying defect due to reduction of signalling through the lin-12/Notch receptor. Mutations in six spr genes (for suppressor of presenilin) are known to strongly suppress sel-12. Mutations in most strong spr genes suppress sel-12 by de-repressing the transcription of the largely functionally equivalent hop-1 presenilin gene. However, how mutations in the spr-2 gene suppress sel-12 is unknown. We show that spr-2 mutations increase the levels of sel-12 transcripts with Premature translation Termination Codons (PTCs) in embryos and L1 larvae. mRNA transcripts from sel-12 alleles with PTCs undergo degradation by a process known as Nonsense Mediated Decay (NMD). However, spr-2 mutations do not appear to affect NMD. Mutations in the smg genes, which are required for NMD, can restore sel-12(PTC) transcript levels and ameliorate the phenotype of sel-12 mutants with amber PTCs. However, the phenotypic suppression of sel-12 by smg genes is nowhere near as strong as the effect of previously characterized spr mutations including spr-2. Consistent with this, we have identified only two mutations in smg genes among the more than 100 spr mutations recovered in genetic screens. spr-2 mutations do not suppress sel-12 by affecting NMD of sel-12(PTC) transcripts and appear to have a novel mechanism of suppression. The fact that mutations in smg genes can ameliorate the phenotype of sel-12 alleles with amber PTCs suggests that some read-through of sel-12(amber) alleles occurs in smg backgrounds.

  14. Gene interactions in Caenorhabditis elegans define DPY-31 as a candidate procollagen C-proteinase and SQT-3/ROL-4 as its predicted major target.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novelli, Jacopo; Ahmed, Shawn; Hodgkin, Jonathan

    2004-11-01

    Zinc metalloproteases of the BMP-1/TOLLOID family (also known as astacins) are extracellular enzymes involved in important developmental processes in metazoans. We report the characterization of the Caenorhabditis elegans gene dpy-31, which encodes the first essential astacin metalloprotease identified in this organism. Loss-of-function mutations in dpy-31 result in cuticle defects, abnormal morphology, and embryonic lethality, indicating that dpy-31 is required for formation of the collagenous exoskeleton. DPY-31 is widely expressed in the hypodermal cells, which are responsible for cuticle secretion. We have investigated the dpy-31 function through reversion analysis. While complete reversion can be obtained only by intragenic suppressors, reversion of the Dpy-31 lethal phenotype also can be caused by dominant extragenic suppressors. Nine extragenic suppressors carry mutations in the uniquely essential collagen gene sqt-3, which we show is the same gene as rol-4. Most mutations exhibit the unusual property of exclusively dominant suppression and all affect the sequence of the SQT-3 collagen C terminus. This suggests that DPY-31 is responsible for C-terminal proteolytic processing of collagen trimers and is therefore a structural and functional homolog of vertebrate BMP-1. The results also demonstrate the critical importance of the collagen C-terminal sequence, which is highly conserved among all 49 members of the SQT-3 subfamily.

  15. 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,

  16. Specific RNA Interference in Caenorhabditis elegans by Ingested dsRNA Expressed in Bacillus subtilis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lezzerini, M.; van de Ven, K.; Veerman, M.; Brul, S.; Budovskaya, Y.V.

    2015-01-01

    In nematodes, genome-wide RNAi-screening has been widely used as a rapid and efficient method to identify genes involved in the aging processes. By far the easiest way of inducing RNA interference (RNAi) in Caenorhabditis elegans is by feeding Escherichia coli that expresses specific double stranded

  17. A comparison of mutations induced by accelerated iron particles versus those induced by low earth orbit space radiation in the FEM-3 gene of Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartman, P. S.; Hlavacek, A.; Wilde, H.; Lewicki, D.; Schubert, W.; Kern, R. G.; Kazarians, G. A.; Benton, E. V.; Benton, E. R.; Nelson, G. A.

    2001-01-01

    The fem-3 gene of Caenorhabditis elegans was employed to determine the mutation frequency as well as the nature of mutations induced by low earth orbit space radiation ambient to Space Shuttle flight STS-76. Recovered mutations were compared to those induced by accelerated iron ions generated by the AGS synchrotron accelerator at Brookhaven National Laboratory. For logistical reasons, dauer larvae were prepared at TCU, transported to either Kennedy Space Center or Brookhaven National Laboratory, flown in space or irradiated, returned to TCU and screened for mutants. A total of 25 fem-3 mutants were recovered after the shuttle flight and yielded a mutation frequency of 2.1x10(-5), roughly 3.3-fold higher than the spontaneous rate of 6.3x10(-6). Four of the mutations were homozygous inviable, suggesting that they were large deletions encompassing fem-3 as well as neighboring, essential genes. Southern blot analyses revealed that one of the 25 contained a polymorphism in fem-3, further evidence that space radiation can induce deletions. While no polymorphisms were detected among the iron ion-induced mutations, three of the 15 mutants were homozygous inviable, which is in keeping with previous observations that high LET iron particles generate deficiencies. These data provide evidence, albeit indirect, that an important mutagenic component of ambient space radiation is high LET charged particles such as iron ions.

  18. Two very long chain fatty acid acyl-CoA synthetase genes, acs-20 and acs-22, have roles in the cuticle surface barrier in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Eriko Kage-Nakadai

    Full Text Available In multicellular organisms, the surface barrier is essential for maintaining the internal environment. In mammals, the barrier is the stratum corneum. Fatty acid transport protein 4 (FATP4 is a key factor involved in forming the stratum corneum barrier. Mice lacking Fatp4 display early neonatal lethality with features such as tight, thick, and shiny skin, and a defective skin barrier. These symptoms are strikingly similar to those of a human skin disease called restrictive dermopathy. FATP4 is a member of the FATP family that possesses acyl-CoA synthetase activity for very long chain fatty acids. How Fatp4 contributes to skin barrier function, however, remains to be elucidated. In the present study, we characterized two Caenorhabditis elegans genes, acs-20 and acs-22, that are homologous to mammalian FATPs. Animals with mutant acs-20 exhibited defects in the cuticle barrier, which normally prevents the penetration of small molecules. acs-20 mutant animals also exhibited abnormalities in the cuticle structure, but not in epidermal cell fate or cell integrity. The acs-22 mutants rarely showed a barrier defect, whereas acs-20;acs-22 double mutants had severely disrupted barrier function. Moreover, the barrier defects of acs-20 and acs-20;acs-22 mutants were rescued by acs-20, acs-22, or human Fatp4 transgenes. We further demonstrated that the incorporation of exogenous very long chain fatty acids into sphingomyelin was reduced in acs-20 and acs-22 mutants. These findings indicate that C. elegans Fatp4 homologue(s have a crucial role in the surface barrier function and this model might be useful for studying the fundamental molecular mechanisms underlying human skin barrier and relevant diseases.

  19. Caenorhabditis elegans neuromuscular junction: GABA receptors and ivermectin action.

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    Guillermina Hernando

    Full Text Available The prevalence of human and animal helminth infections remains staggeringly high, thus urging the need for concerted efforts towards this area of research. GABA receptors, encoded by the unc-49 gene, mediate body muscle inhibition in Caenorhabditis elegans and parasitic nematodes and are targets of anthelmintic drugs. Thus, the characterization of nematode GABA receptors provides a foundation for rational anti-parasitic drug design. We therefore explored UNC-49 channels from C. elegans muscle cultured cells of the first larval stage at the electrophysiological and behavioral levels. Whole-cell recordings reveal that GABA, muscimol and the anthelmintic piperazine elicit macroscopic currents from UNC-49 receptors that decay in their sustained presence, indicating full desensitization. Single-channel recordings show that all drugs elicit openings of ∼2.5 pA (+100 mV, which appear either as brief isolated events or in short bursts. The comparison of the lowest concentration required for detectable channel opening, the frequency of openings and the amplitude of macroscopic currents suggest that piperazine is the least efficacious of the three drugs. Macroscopic and single-channel GABA-activated currents are profoundly and apparently irreversibly inhibited by ivermectin. To gain further insight into ivermectin action at C. elegans muscle, we analyzed its effect on single-channel activity of the levamisol-sensitive nicotinic receptor (L-AChR, the excitatory receptor involved in neuromuscular transmission. Ivermectin produces a profound inhibition of the frequency of channel opening without significant changes in channel properties. By revealing that ivermectin inhibits C. elegans muscle GABA and L-AChR receptors, our study adds two receptors to the already known ivermectin targets, thus contributing to the elucidation of its pleiotropic effects. Behavioral assays in worms show that ivermectin potentiates piperazine-induced paralysis, thus suggesting

  20. A Genetic Analysis of the Caenorhabditis elegans Detoxification Response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fukushige, Tetsunari; Smith, Harold E; Miwa, Johji; Krause, Michael W; Hanover, John A

    2017-06-01

    Oxidative damage contributes to human diseases of aging including diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disorders. Reactive oxygen species resulting from xenobiotic and endogenous metabolites are sensed by a poorly understood process, triggering a cascade of regulatory factors and leading to the activation of the transcription factor Nrf2 (Nuclear factor-erythroid-related factor 2, SKN-1 in Caenorhabditis elegans). Nrf2/SKN-1 activation promotes the induction of the phase II detoxification system that serves to limit oxidative stress. We have extended a previous C. elegans genetic approach to explore the mechanisms by which a phase II enzyme is induced by endogenous and exogenous oxidants. The xrep (xenobiotics response pathway) mutants were isolated as defective in their ability to properly regulate the induction of a glutathione S-transferase (GST) reporter. The xrep-1 gene was previously identified as wdr-23, which encodes a C. elegans homolog of the mammalian β-propeller repeat-containing protein WDR-23 Here, we identify and confirm the mutations in xrep-2, xrep-3, and xrep-4 The xrep-2 gene is alh-6, an ortholog of a human gene mutated in familial hyperprolinemia. The xrep-3 mutation is a gain-of-function allele of skn-1 The xrep-4 gene is F46F11.6, which encodes a F-box-containing protein. We demonstrate that xrep-4 alters the stability of WDR-23 (xrep-1), a key regulator of SKN-1 (xrep-3). Epistatic relationships among the xrep mutants and their interacting partners allow us to propose an ordered genetic pathway by which endogenous and exogenous stressors induce the phase II detoxification response. Copyright © 2017 by the Genetics Society of America.

  1. Molecular control of memory in nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    OpenAIRE

    Ye, Hua-Yue; Ye, Bo-Ping; Wang, Da-Yong

    2008-01-01

    Model invertebrate organism Caenorhabditis elegans has become an ideal model to unravel the complex processes of memory. C. elegans has three simple forms of memory: memory for thermosensation, memory for chemosensation, and memory for mechanosensation. In the form of memory for mechanosensation, short-term memory, intermediate-term memory, and long-term memory have been extensively studied. The short-term memory and intermediate-term memory may occur in the presynaptic sensory neurons, where...

  2. Counting mutagenized genomes and optimizing genetic screens in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaham, Shai

    2007-11-07

    In genetic screens, the number of mutagenized gametes examined is an important parameter for evaluating screen progress, the number of genes of a given mutable phenotype, gene size, cost, and labor. Since genetic screens often entail examination of thousands or tens of thousands of animals, strategies for optimizing genetics screens are important for minimizing effort while maximizing the number of mutagenized gametes examined. To date, such strategies have not been described for genetic screens in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Here we review general principles of genetic screens in C. elegans, and use a modified binomial strategy to obtain a general expression for the number of mutagenized gametes examined in a genetic screen. We use this expression to calculate optimal screening parameters for a large range of genetic screen types. In addition, we developed a simple online genetic-screen-optimization tool that can be used independently of this paper. Our results demonstrate that choosing the optimal F2-to-F1 screening ratio can significantly improve screen efficiency.

  3. Counting mutagenized genomes and optimizing genetic screens in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shai Shaham

    Full Text Available In genetic screens, the number of mutagenized gametes examined is an important parameter for evaluating screen progress, the number of genes of a given mutable phenotype, gene size, cost, and labor. Since genetic screens often entail examination of thousands or tens of thousands of animals, strategies for optimizing genetics screens are important for minimizing effort while maximizing the number of mutagenized gametes examined. To date, such strategies have not been described for genetic screens in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Here we review general principles of genetic screens in C. elegans, and use a modified binomial strategy to obtain a general expression for the number of mutagenized gametes examined in a genetic screen. We use this expression to calculate optimal screening parameters for a large range of genetic screen types. In addition, we developed a simple online genetic-screen-optimization tool that can be used independently of this paper. Our results demonstrate that choosing the optimal F2-to-F1 screening ratio can significantly improve screen efficiency.

  4. 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

  5. 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

    -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......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......-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....

  6. 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.

  7. 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…

  8. Antagonistic sensory cues generate gustatory plasticity in Caenorhabditis elegans

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    R.K. Hukema (Renate); S. Rademakers (Suzanne); M.P.J. Dekkers (Martijn); J.A. Burghoorn (Jan); G. Jansen (Gert)

    2006-01-01

    textabstractCaenorhabditis elegans shows chemoattraction to 0.1-200 mM NaCl, avoidance of higher NaCl concentrations, and avoidance of otherwise attractive NaCl concentrations after prolonged exposure to NaCl (gustatory plasticity). Previous studies have shown that the ASE and ASH sensory neurons

  9. 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...

  10. Regulation of Fat Storage and Reproduction by Krüppel-Like Transcription Factor KLF3 and Fat-Associated Genes in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jun; Bakheet, Razan; Parhar, Ranjit S.; Huang, Cheng-Han; Hussain, M. Mahmood; Pan, Xiaoyue; Siddiqui, Shahid S.; Hashmi, Sarwar

    2015-01-01

    Coordinated regulation of fat storage and utilization is essential for energy homeostasis, and its disruption is associated with metabolic syndrome and atherosclerosis in humans. Across species, Krüppel-like transcription factors (KLFs) have been identified as key components of adipogenesis. In humans, KLF14 acts as a master transregulator of adipose gene expression in type 2 diabetes and cis-acting expression quantitative trait locus associated with high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Herein we report that, in Caenorhabditis elegans, mutants in klf-3 accumulate large fat droplets rich in neutral lipids in the intestine; this lipid accumulation is associated with an increase in triglyceride levels. The klf-3 mutants show normal pharyngeal pumping; however, they are sterile or semisterile. We explored important genetic interactions of klf-3 with the genes encoding enzymes involved in fatty acid (FA) β-oxidation in mitochondria or peroxisomes and FA synthesis in the cytosol, namely acyl-CoA synthetase (acs-1 and acs-2), acyl-CoA oxidase (F08A8.1 and F08A8.2), and stearoyl-CoA desaturase (fat-7). We show that mutations or RNA interference in these genes increases fat deposits in the intestine of acs-1, acs-2, F08A8.1, and F08A8 animals. We further show that acs-1 and F08A8.1 influence larval development and fertility, respectively. Thus, KLF3 may regulate FA utilization in the intestine and reproductive tissue. We demonstrate that depletion of F08A8.1 activity, but not of acs-1, acs-2, F08A8.2, or fat-7 activity, enhances the fat phenotype of the klf-3 mutant. Taken together, these results suggest that klf-3 regulates lipid metabolism, along with acs-1, acs-2, F08A8.1, and F08A8.2, by promoting FA β-oxidation and,in parallel, may contribute to normal reproductive behavior and fecundity in C.elegans. PMID:21704635

  11. Mutations in the Caenorhabditis elegans orthologs of human genes required for mitochondrial tRNA modification cause similar electron transport chain defects but different nuclear responses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmen Navarro-González

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Several oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS diseases are caused by defects in the post-transcriptional modification of mitochondrial tRNAs (mt-tRNAs. Mutations in MTO1 or GTPBP3 impair the modification of the wobble uridine at position 5 of the pyrimidine ring and cause heart failure. Mutations in TRMU affect modification at position 2 and cause liver disease. Presently, the molecular basis of the diseases and why mutations in the different genes lead to such different clinical symptoms is poorly understood. Here we use Caenorhabditis elegans as a model organism to investigate how defects in the TRMU, GTPBP3 and MTO1 orthologues (designated as mttu-1, mtcu-1, and mtcu-2, respectively exert their effects. We found that whereas the inactivation of each C. elegans gene is associated with a mild OXPHOS dysfunction, mutations in mtcu-1 or mtcu-2 cause changes in the expression of metabolic and mitochondrial stress response genes that are quite different from those caused by mttu-1 mutations. Our data suggest that retrograde signaling promotes defect-specific metabolic reprogramming, which is able to rescue the OXPHOS dysfunction in the single mutants by stimulating the oxidative tricarboxylic acid cycle flux through complex II. This adaptive response, however, appears to be associated with a biological cost since the single mutant worms exhibit thermosensitivity and decreased fertility and, in the case of mttu-1, longer reproductive cycle. Notably, mttu-1 worms also exhibit increased lifespan. We further show that mtcu-1; mttu-1 and mtcu-2; mttu-1 double mutants display severe growth defects and sterility. The animal models presented here support the idea that the pathological states in humans may initially develop not as a direct consequence of a bioenergetic defect, but from the cell's maladaptive response to the hypomodification status of mt-tRNAs. Our work highlights the important association of the defect-specific metabolic rewiring with the

  12. Selenium induces cholinergic motor neuron degeneration in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estevez, Annette O; Mueller, Catherine L; Morgan, Kathleen L; Szewczyk, Nathaniel J; Teece, Luke; Miranda-Vizuete, Antonio; Estevez, Miguel

    2012-10-01

    Selenium is an essential micronutrient required for cellular antioxidant systems, yet at higher doses it induces oxidative stress. Additionally, in vertebrates environmental exposures to toxic levels of selenium can cause paralysis and death. Here we show that selenium-induced oxidative stress leads to decreased cholinergic signaling and degeneration of cholinergic neurons required for movement and egg-laying in Caenorhabditis elegans. Exposure to high levels of selenium leads to proteolysis of a soluble muscle protein through mechanisms suppressible by two pharmacological agents, levamisole and aldicarb which enhance cholinergic signaling in muscle. In addition, animals with reduction-of-function mutations in genes encoding post-synaptic levamisole-sensitive acetylcholine receptor subunits or the vesicular acetylcholine transporter developed impaired forward movement faster during selenium-exposure than normal animals, again confirming that selenium reduces cholinergic signaling. Finally, the antioxidant reduced glutathione, inhibits selenium-induced reductions in egg-laying through a cellular protective mechanism dependent on the C. elegans glutaredoxin, GLRX-21. These studies provide evidence that the environmental toxicant selenium induces neurodegeneration of cholinergic neurons through depletion of glutathione, a mechanism linked to the neuropathology of Alzheimer's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Parkinson's disease. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Transcription factors GATA/ELT-2 and forkhead/HNF-3/PHA-4 regulate the tropomyosin gene expression in the pharynx and intestine of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anokye-Danso, Frederick; Anyanful, Akwasi; Sakube, Yasuji; Kagawa, Hiroaki

    2008-05-30

    Gene regulation during development is an important biological activity that leads to synthesis of biomolecules at specific locations and specific times. The single tropomyosin gene of Caenorhabditis elegans, tmy-1/lev-11, produces four isoforms of protein: two from the external promoter and two from the internal promoter. We investigated the internal promoter of tropomyosin to identify sequences that regulate expression of tmy-1 in the pharynx and intestine. By promoter deletion of tmy-1 reporters as well as by database analyses, a 100-bp fragment that contained binding sequences for a GATA factor, for a chicken CdxA homolog, and for a forkhead factor was identified. Both the forkhead and CdxA binding sequences contributed to pharyngeal and intestinal expression. In addition, the GATA site also influenced intestinal expression of tmy-1 reporter. We showed that ELT-2 and PHA-4 proteins interact directly with the GATA and forkhead binding sequences, respectively, in gel mobility shift assays. RNA interference knockdown of elt-2 diminished tmy-1::gfp expression in the intestine. In contrast to RNA interference knockdown of pha-4, expression of tmy-1::gfp in pha-4;smg-1 mutants was slightly weaker than that of the wild type. Ectopic expression of PHA-4 and ELT-2 by heat shock was sufficient to elicit widespread expression of tmy-1::lacZ reporter in embryos. We found no indication of a synergistic relation between ELT-2 and PHA-4. Based on our data, PHA-4 and CdxA function as general transcription factors for pharyngeal and intestinal regulation of tmy-1. We present models by which ELT-2, PHA-4, and CdxA orchestrate expression from the internal promoter of tmy-1.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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. Phospholipase C-epsilon regulates epidermal morphogenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Rafael P Vázquez-Manrique

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available Migration of cells within epithelial sheets is an important feature of embryogenesis and other biological processes. Previous work has demonstrated a role for inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP(3-mediated calcium signalling in the rearrangement of epidermal cells (also known as hypodermal cells during embryonic morphogenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans. However the mechanism by which IP(3 production is stimulated is unknown. IP(3 is produced by the action of phospholipase C (PLC. We therefore surveyed the PLC family of C. elegans using RNAi and mutant strains, and found that depletion of PLC-1/PLC-epsilon produced substantial embryonic lethality. We used the epithelial cell marker ajm-1::gfp to follow the behaviour of epidermal cells and found that 96% of the arrested embryos have morphogenetic defects. These defects include defective ventral enclosure and aberrant dorsal intercalation. Using time-lapse confocal microscopy we show that the migration of the ventral epidermal cells, especially of the leading cells, is slower and often fails in plc-1(tm753 embryos. As a consequence plc-1 loss of function results in ruptured embryos with a Gex phenotype (gut on exterior and lumpy larvae. Thus PLC-1 is involved in the regulation of morphogenesis. Genetic studies using gain- and loss-of-function alleles of itr-1, the gene encoding the IP(3 receptor in C. elegans, demonstrate that PLC-1 acts through ITR-1. Using RNAi and double mutants to deplete the other PLCs in a plc-1 background, we show that PLC-3/PLC-gamma and EGL-8/PLC-beta can compensate for reduced PLC-1 activity. Our work places PLC-epsilon into a pathway controlling epidermal cell migration, thus establishing a novel role for PLC-epsilon.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily R Troemel

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available For decades the soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has been an important model system for biology, but little is known about its natural ecology. Recently, C. elegans has become the focus of studies of innate immunity and several pathogens have been shown to cause lethal intestinal infections in C. elegans. However none of these pathogens has been shown to invade nematode intestinal cells, and no pathogen has been isolated from wild-caught C. elegans. Here we describe an intracellular pathogen isolated from wild-caught C. elegans that we show is a new species of microsporidia. Microsporidia comprise a large class of eukaryotic intracellular parasites that are medically and agriculturally important, but poorly understood. We show that microsporidian infection of the C. elegans intestine proceeds through distinct stages and is transmitted horizontally. Disruption of a conserved cytoskeletal structure in the intestine called the terminal web correlates with the release of microsporidian spores from infected cells, and appears to be part of a novel mechanism by which intracellular pathogens exit from infected cells. Unlike in bacterial intestinal infections, the p38 MAPK and insulin/insulin-like growth factor (IGF signaling pathways do not appear to play substantial roles in resistance to microsporidian infection in C. elegans. We found microsporidia in multiple wild-caught isolates of Caenorhabditis nematodes from diverse geographic locations. These results indicate that microsporidia are common parasites of C. elegans in the wild. In addition, the interaction between C. elegans and its natural microsporidian parasites provides a system in which to dissect intracellular intestinal infection in vivo and insight into the diversity of pathogenic mechanisms used by intracellular microbes.

  19. Genetic analysis of the spindle checkpoint genes san-1, mdf-2, bub-3 and the CENP-F homologues hcp-1 and hcp-2 in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moore Landon L

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The spindle checkpoint delays the onset of anaphase until all sister chromatids are aligned properly at the metaphase plate. To investigate the role san-1, the MAD3 homologue, has in Caenorhabditis elegans embryos we used RNA interference (RNAi to identify genes synthetic lethal with the viable san-1(ok1580 deletion mutant. Results The san-1(ok1580 animal has low penetrating phenotypes including an increased incidence of males, larvae arrest, slow growth, protruding vulva, and defects in vulva morphogenesis. We found that the viability of san-1(ok1580 embryos is significantly reduced when HCP-1 (CENP-F homologue, MDF-1 (MAD-1 homologue, MDF-2 (MAD-2 homologue or BUB-3 (predicted BUB-3 homologue are reduced by RNAi. Interestingly, the viability of san-1(ok1580 embryos is not significantly reduced when the paralog of HCP-1, HCP-2, is reduced. The phenotype of san-1(ok1580;hcp-1(RNAi embryos includes embryonic and larval lethality, abnormal organ development, and an increase in abnormal chromosome segregation (aberrant mitotic nuclei, anaphase bridging. Several of the san-1(ok1580;hcp-1(RNAi animals displayed abnormal kinetochore (detected by MPM-2 and microtubule structure. The survival of mdf-2(RNAi;hcp-1(RNAi embryos but not bub-3(RNAi;hcp-1(RNAi embryos was also compromised. Finally, we found that san-1(ok1580 and bub-3(RNAi, but not hcp-1(RNAi embryos, were sensitive to anoxia, suggesting that like SAN-1, BUB-3 has a functional role as a spindle checkpoint protein. Conclusion Together, these data suggest that in the C. elegans embryo, HCP-1 interacts with a subset of the spindle checkpoint pathway. Furthermore, the fact that san-1(ok1580;hcp-1(RNAi animals had a severe viability defect whereas in the san-1(ok1580;hcp-2(RNAi and san-1(ok1580;hcp-2(ok1757 animals the viability defect was not as severe suggesting that hcp-1 and hcp-2 are not completely redundant.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Effects of sterols on the development and aging of caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Because Caenorhabditis elegans lacks several components of the de novo sterol biosynthesis pathway, it requires sterols as essential nutrients. Supplemented cholesterol undergoes extensive enzymatic modification in C. elegans to form other sterols of unknown function. Because sterol metabolism in ...

  6. 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.

  7. A Caenorhabditis elegans Glycolipid-binding Galectin Functions in Host Defense against Bacterial Infection*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ideo, Hiroko; Fukushima, Keiko; Gengyo-Ando, Keiko; Mitani, Shohei; Dejima, Katsufumi; Nomura, Kazuya; Yamashita, Katsuko

    2009-01-01

    Galectins are a family of β-galactoside-binding proteins that are widely found among animal species and that regulate diverse biological phenomena. To study the biological function of glycolipid-binding galectins, we purified recombinant Caenorhabditis elegans galectins (LEC-1–11) and studied their binding to C. elegans glycolipids. We found that LEC-8 binds to glycolipids in C. elegans through carbohydrate recognition. It has been reported that Cry5B-producing Bacillus thuringiensis strains can infect C. elegans and that the C. elegans Cry5B receptor molecules are glycolipids. We found that Cry5B and LEC-8 bound to C. elegans glycolipid-coated plates in a dose-dependent manner and that Cry5B binding to glycolipids was inhibited by the addition of LEC-8. LEC-8 is usually expressed strongly in the pharyngeal-intestinal valve and intestinal-rectal valve and is expressed weakly in intestine. However, when C. elegans were fed Escherichia coli expressing Cry5B, intestinal LEC-8::EGFP protein levels increased markedly. In contrast, LEC-8::EGFP expression triggered by Cry5B was reduced in toxin-resistant C. elegans mutants, which had mutations in genes involved in biosynthesis of glycolipids. Moreover, the LEC-8-deficient mutant was more susceptible to Cry5B than wild-type worms. These results suggest that the glycolipid-binding lectin LEC-8 contributes to host defense against bacterial infection by competitive binding to target glycolipid molecules. PMID:19635802

  8. A Caenorhabditis elegans glycolipid-binding galectin functions in host defense against bacterial infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ideo, Hiroko; Fukushima, Keiko; Gengyo-Ando, Keiko; Mitani, Shohei; Dejima, Katsufumi; Nomura, Kazuya; Yamashita, Katsuko

    2009-09-25

    Galectins are a family of beta-galactoside-binding proteins that are widely found among animal species and that regulate diverse biological phenomena. To study the biological function of glycolipid-binding galectins, we purified recombinant Caenorhabditis elegans galectins (LEC-1-11) and studied their binding to C. elegans glycolipids. We found that LEC-8 binds to glycolipids in C. elegans through carbohydrate recognition. It has been reported that Cry5B-producing Bacillus thuringiensis strains can infect C. elegans and that the C. elegans Cry5B receptor molecules are glycolipids. We found that Cry5B and LEC-8 bound to C. elegans glycolipid-coated plates in a dose-dependent manner and that Cry5B binding to glycolipids was inhibited by the addition of LEC-8. LEC-8 is usually expressed strongly in the pharyngeal-intestinal valve and intestinal-rectal valve and is expressed weakly in intestine. However, when C. elegans were fed Escherichia coli expressing Cry5B, intestinal LEC-8::EGFP protein levels increased markedly. In contrast, LEC-8::EGFP expression triggered by Cry5B was reduced in toxin-resistant C. elegans mutants, which had mutations in genes involved in biosynthesis of glycolipids. Moreover, the LEC-8-deficient mutant was more susceptible to Cry5B than wild-type worms. These results suggest that the glycolipid-binding lectin LEC-8 contributes to host defense against bacterial infection by competitive binding to target glycolipid molecules.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

    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...... 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....

  11. More Sex-Determination Mutants of CAENORHABDITIS ELEGANS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hodgkin, Jonathan

    1980-01-01

    Sex determination in Caenorhabditis elegans is controlled by the X chromosome: autosome ratio, i.e. 2A;XX animals are hermaphrodite, and 2A;XO animals are male. A procedure for isolating 2A;XO animals that are transformed into hermaphrodites has been developed. Nine mutations causing this transformation have been obtained: eight are recessive, and all of these fall into a new autosomal complementation group, her-1 V. The remaining mutation (her-2) is dominant and has a genetic map location similar to that of tra-1 III. Recessive mutations of tra-1 cause the reverse transformation, transforming 2A;XX animals into males. Therefore, the her-2 mutation may result in constitutive expression of tra-1. Mutations in her-1 are without effect on XX animals, but the her-2 mutation prevents sperm production in both XX and XO animals, in addition to its effect on the sexual phenotype of XO animals. The epistatic relationships between tra and her genes are used to deduce a model for the action of these genes in controlling sex determination. PMID:7262542

  12. AMPK blocks starvation-inducible transgenerational defects in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demoinet, Emilie; Li, Shaolin; Roy, Richard

    2017-01-01

    Life history events, such as traumatic stress, illness, or starvation, can influence us through molecular changes that are recorded in a pattern of characteristic chromatin modifications. These modifications are often associated with adaptive adjustments in gene expression that can persist throughout the lifetime of the organism, or even span multiple generations. Although these adaptations may confer some selective advantage, if they are not appropriately regulated they can also be maladaptive in a context-dependent manner. We show here that during periods of acute starvation in Caenorhabditis elegans larvae, the master metabolic regulator AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) plays a critical role in blocking modifications to the chromatin landscape. This ensures that gene expression remains inactive in the germ-line precursors during adverse conditions. In its absence, critical chromatin modifications occur in the primordial germ cells (PGCs) of emergent starved L1 larvae that correlate with compromised reproductive fitness of the generation that experienced the stress, but also in the subsequent generations that never experienced the initial event. Our findings suggest that AMPK regulates the activity of the chromatin modifying COMPASS complex (complex proteins associated with Set1) to ensure that chromatin marks are not established until nutrient/energy contingencies are satisfied. Our study provides molecular insight that links metabolic adaptation to transgenerational epigenetic modification in response to acute periods of starvation. PMID:28289190

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

    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....

  14. A Disease Model of Muscle Necrosis Caused by Aeromonas dhakensis Infection in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Po-Lin; Chen, Yi-Wei; Ou, Chun-Chun; Lee, Tzer-Min; Wu, Chi-Jung; Ko, Wen-Chien; Chen, Chang-Shi

    2016-01-01

    A variety of bacterial infections cause muscle necrosis in humans. Caenorhabditis elegans has epidermis and bands of muscle that resemble soft-tissue structures in mammals and humans. Here, we developed a muscle necrosis model caused by Aeromonas dhakensis infection in C. elegans. Our data showed that A. dhakensis infected and killed C. elegans rapidly. Characteristic muscle damage in C. elegans induced by A. dhakensis was demonstrated in vivo. Relative expression levels of host necrosis-associated genes, asp-3, asp-4, and crt-1 increased significantly after A. dhakensis infection. The RNAi sensitive NL2099 rrf-3 (pk1426) worms with knockdown of necrosis genes of crt-1 and asp-4 by RNAi showed prolonged survival after A. dhakensis infection. Specifically knockdown of crt-1 and asp-4 by RNAi in WM118 worms, which restricted RNAi only to the muscle cells, conferred significant resistance to A. dhakensis infection. In contrast, the severity of muscle damage and toxicity produced by the A. dhakensis hemolysin-deletion mutant is attenuated. In another example, shiga-like toxin-producing enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) known to elicit toxicity to C. elegans with concomitant enteropathogenicty, did not cause muscle necrosis as A. dhakensis did. Taken together, these results show that Aeromonas infection induces muscle necrosis and rapid death of infected C. elegans, which are similar to muscle necrosis in humans, and then validate the value of the C. elegans model with A. dhakensis infection in studying Aeromonas pathogenicity.

  15. CELF family RNA-binding protein UNC-75 regulates two sets of mutually exclusive exons of the unc-32 gene in neuron-specific manners in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Hidehito Kuroyanagi

    Full Text Available An enormous number of alternative pre-mRNA splicing patterns in multicellular organisms are coordinately defined by a limited number of regulatory proteins and cis elements. Mutually exclusive alternative splicing should be strictly regulated and is a challenging model for elucidating regulation mechanisms. Here we provide models of the regulation of two sets of mutually exclusive exons, 4a-4c and 7a-7b, of the Caenorhabditis elegans uncoordinated (unc-32 gene, encoding the a subunit of V0 complex of vacuolar-type H(+-ATPases. We visualize selection patterns of exon 4 and exon 7 in vivo by utilizing a trio and a pair of symmetric fluorescence splicing reporter minigenes, respectively, to demonstrate that they are regulated in tissue-specific manners. Genetic analyses reveal that RBFOX family RNA-binding proteins ASD-1 and FOX-1 and a UGCAUG stretch in intron 7b are involved in the neuron-specific selection of exon 7a. Through further forward genetic screening, we identify UNC-75, a neuron-specific CELF family RNA-binding protein of unknown function, as an essential regulator for the exon 7a selection. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays specify a short fragment in intron 7a as the recognition site for UNC-75 and demonstrate that UNC-75 specifically binds via its three RNA recognition motifs to the element including a UUGUUGUGUUGU stretch. The UUGUUGUGUUGU stretch in the reporter minigenes is actually required for the selection of exon 7a in the nervous system. We compare the amounts of partially spliced RNAs in the wild-type and unc-75 mutant backgrounds and raise a model for the mutually exclusive selection of unc-32 exon 7 by the RBFOX family and UNC-75. The neuron-specific selection of unc-32 exon 4b is also regulated by UNC-75 and the unc-75 mutation suppresses the Unc phenotype of the exon-4b-specific allele of unc-32 mutants. Taken together, UNC-75 is the neuron-specific splicing factor and regulates both sets of the mutually exclusive

  16. CELF Family RNA–Binding Protein UNC-75 Regulates Two Sets of Mutually Exclusive Exons of the unc-32 Gene in Neuron-Specific Manners in Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Kuroyanagi, Hidehito; Watanabe, Yohei; Hagiwara, Masatoshi

    2013-01-01

    An enormous number of alternative pre–mRNA splicing patterns in multicellular organisms are coordinately defined by a limited number of regulatory proteins and cis elements. Mutually exclusive alternative splicing should be strictly regulated and is a challenging model for elucidating regulation mechanisms. Here we provide models of the regulation of two sets of mutually exclusive exons, 4a–4c and 7a–7b, of the Caenorhabditis elegans uncoordinated (unc)-32 gene, encoding the a subunit of V0 complex of vacuolar-type H+-ATPases. We visualize selection patterns of exon 4 and exon 7 in vivo by utilizing a trio and a pair of symmetric fluorescence splicing reporter minigenes, respectively, to demonstrate that they are regulated in tissue-specific manners. Genetic analyses reveal that RBFOX family RNA–binding proteins ASD-1 and FOX-1 and a UGCAUG stretch in intron 7b are involved in the neuron-specific selection of exon 7a. Through further forward genetic screening, we identify UNC-75, a neuron-specific CELF family RNA–binding protein of unknown function, as an essential regulator for the exon 7a selection. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays specify a short fragment in intron 7a as the recognition site for UNC-75 and demonstrate that UNC-75 specifically binds via its three RNA recognition motifs to the element including a UUGUUGUGUUGU stretch. The UUGUUGUGUUGU stretch in the reporter minigenes is actually required for the selection of exon 7a in the nervous system. We compare the amounts of partially spliced RNAs in the wild-type and unc-75 mutant backgrounds and raise a model for the mutually exclusive selection of unc-32 exon 7 by the RBFOX family and UNC-75. The neuron-specific selection of unc-32 exon 4b is also regulated by UNC-75 and the unc-75 mutation suppresses the Unc phenotype of the exon-4b-specific allele of unc-32 mutants. Taken together, UNC-75 is the neuron-specific splicing factor and regulates both sets of the mutually exclusive exons of

  17. CELF family RNA-binding protein UNC-75 regulates two sets of mutually exclusive exons of the unc-32 gene in neuron-specific manners in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuroyanagi, Hidehito; Watanabe, Yohei; Hagiwara, Masatoshi

    2013-01-01

    An enormous number of alternative pre-mRNA splicing patterns in multicellular organisms are coordinately defined by a limited number of regulatory proteins and cis elements. Mutually exclusive alternative splicing should be strictly regulated and is a challenging model for elucidating regulation mechanisms. Here we provide models of the regulation of two sets of mutually exclusive exons, 4a-4c and 7a-7b, of the Caenorhabditis elegans uncoordinated (unc)-32 gene, encoding the a subunit of V0 complex of vacuolar-type H(+)-ATPases. We visualize selection patterns of exon 4 and exon 7 in vivo by utilizing a trio and a pair of symmetric fluorescence splicing reporter minigenes, respectively, to demonstrate that they are regulated in tissue-specific manners. Genetic analyses reveal that RBFOX family RNA-binding proteins ASD-1 and FOX-1 and a UGCAUG stretch in intron 7b are involved in the neuron-specific selection of exon 7a. Through further forward genetic screening, we identify UNC-75, a neuron-specific CELF family RNA-binding protein of unknown function, as an essential regulator for the exon 7a selection. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays specify a short fragment in intron 7a as the recognition site for UNC-75 and demonstrate that UNC-75 specifically binds via its three RNA recognition motifs to the element including a UUGUUGUGUUGU stretch. The UUGUUGUGUUGU stretch in the reporter minigenes is actually required for the selection of exon 7a in the nervous system. We compare the amounts of partially spliced RNAs in the wild-type and unc-75 mutant backgrounds and raise a model for the mutually exclusive selection of unc-32 exon 7 by the RBFOX family and UNC-75. The neuron-specific selection of unc-32 exon 4b is also regulated by UNC-75 and the unc-75 mutation suppresses the Unc phenotype of the exon-4b-specific allele of unc-32 mutants. Taken together, UNC-75 is the neuron-specific splicing factor and regulates both sets of the mutually exclusive exons of the unc-32

  18. An atlas of Caenorhabditis elegans chemoreceptor expression

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    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

  19. 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.

  20. Calcineurin Antagonizes AMPK to Regulate Lipolysis in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yanli; Xie, Cangsang; Diao, Zhiqing; Liang, Bin

    2017-06-26

    Calcineurin is a calcium- and calmodulin-dependent serine/threonine protein phosphatase, and the target of immunosuppressive agent tacrolimus (TAC). The dysfunction of calcineurin, or clinical applications of tacrolimus, have been reported to be associated with dyslipidemia. The underlying mechanisms of calcineurin and tacrolimus in lipid metabolism are largely unknown. Here, we showed that mutations of tax-6 and cnb-1, which respectively encode the catalytic subunit and the regulatory subunit of calcineurin, together with tacrolimus treatment, consistently led to decreased fat accumulation and delayed growth in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. In contrast, disruption of the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) encoded by aak-1 and aak-2 reversed the above effects in worms. Moreover, calcineurin deficiency and tacrolimus treatment consistently activated the transcriptional expression of the lipolytic gene atgl-1, encoding triglyceride lipase. Furthermore, RNAi knockdown of atgl-1 recovered the decreased fat accumulation in both calcineurin deficient and tacrolimus treated worms. Collectively, our results reveal that immunosuppressive agent tacrolimus and their target calcineurin may antagonize AMPK to regulate ATGL and lipolysis, thereby providing potential therapy for the application of immunosuppressive agents.

  1. Calcineurin Antagonizes AMPK to Regulate Lipolysis in Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Yanli Wang

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Calcineurin is a calcium- and calmodulin-dependent serine/threonine protein phosphatase, and the target of immunosuppressive agent tacrolimus (TAC. The dysfunction of calcineurin, or clinical applications of tacrolimus, have been reported to be associated with dyslipidemia. The underlying mechanisms of calcineurin and tacrolimus in lipid metabolism are largely unknown. Here, we showed that mutations of tax-6 and cnb-1, which respectively encode the catalytic subunit and the regulatory subunit of calcineurin, together with tacrolimus treatment, consistently led to decreased fat accumulation and delayed growth in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. In contrast, disruption of the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK encoded by aak-1 and aak-2 reversed the above effects in worms. Moreover, calcineurin deficiency and tacrolimus treatment consistently activated the transcriptional expression of the lipolytic gene atgl-1, encoding triglyceride lipase. Furthermore, RNAi knockdown of atgl-1 recovered the decreased fat accumulation in both calcineurin deficient and tacrolimus treated worms. Collectively, our results reveal that immunosuppressive agent tacrolimus and their target calcineurin may antagonize AMPK to regulate ATGL and lipolysis, thereby providing potential therapy for the application of immunosuppressive agents.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-01

    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. Copyright © 2015 Corsi, Wightman, and Chalfie.

  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. 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

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

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    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.

  9. Formation and Regulation of Adaptive Response in Nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Y.-L. Zhao

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available All organisms respond to environmental stresses (e.g., heavy metal, heat, UV irradiation, hyperoxia, food limitation, etc. with coordinated adjustments in order to deal with the consequences and/or injuries caused by the severe stress. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans often exerts adaptive responses if preconditioned with low concentrations of agents or stressor. In C. elegans, three types of adaptive responses can be formed: hormesis, cross-adaptation, and dietary restriction. Several factors influence the formation of adaptive responses in nematodes, and some mechanisms can explain their response formation. In particular, antioxidation system, heat-shock proteins, metallothioneins, glutathione, signaling transduction, and metabolic signals may play important roles in regulating the formation of adaptive responses. In this paper, we summarize the published evidence demonstrating that several types of adaptive responses have converged in C. elegans and discussed some possible alternative theories explaining the adaptive response control.

  10. 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.

  11. Cis- and trans-regulatory mechanisms of gene expression in the ASJ sensory neuron of Caenorhabditis elegans

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M. González-Barrios (María); J.C. Fierro-González (Juan Carlos); E. Krpelanova (Eva); J.A. Mora-Lorca (José Antonio); J. Rafael Pedrajas (José); X. Peñate (Xenia); S. Chavez (Sebastián); P. Swoboda (Peter); G. Jansen (Gert); A. Miranda-Vizuet (Antonio)

    2015-01-01

    textabstractThe identity of a given cell type is determined by the expression of a set of genes sharing common cis-regulatory motifs and being regulated by shared transcription factors. Here, we identify cis and trans regulatory elements that drive gene expression in the bilateral sensory neuron

  12. 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.

  13. The Remarkably Diverse Family of T-Box Factors in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okkema, P G

    2017-01-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a simple metazoan animal that is widely used as a model to understand the genetic control of development. The completely sequenced C. elegans genome contains 22 T-box genes, and they encode factors that show remarkable diversity in sequence, DNA-binding specificity, and function. Only three of the C. elegans T-box factors can be grouped into the conserved subfamilies found in other organisms, while the remaining factors are significantly diverged and unlike those in most other animals. While some of the C. elegans factors can bind canonical T-box binding elements, others bind and regulate target gene expression through distinct sequences. The nine genetically characterized T-box factors have varied functions in development and morphogenesis of muscle, hypodermal tissues, and neurons, as well as in early blastomere fate specification, cell migration, apoptosis, and sex determination, but the functions of most of the C. elegans T-box factors have not yet been extensively characterized. Like T-box factors in other animals, interaction with a Groucho-family corepressor and posttranslational SUMOylation have been shown to affect C. elegans T-box factor activity, and it is likely that additional mechanisms affecting T-box factor activity will be discovered using the effective genetic approaches in this organism. © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Untangling Longevity, Dauer, and Healthspan in Caenorhabditis elegans Insulin/IGF-1-Signalling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ewald, Collin Yvès; Castillo-Quan, Jorge Iván; Blackwell, T Keith

    2017-09-22

    The groundbreaking discovery that lower levels of insulin/IGF-1 signaling (IIS) can induce lifespan extension was reported 24 years ago in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. In this organism, mutations in the insulin/IGF-1 receptor gene daf-2 or other genes in this pathway can double lifespan. Subsequent work has revealed that reduced IIS (rIIS) extends lifespan across diverse species, possibly including humans. In C. elegans, IIS also regulates development into the diapause state known as dauer, a quiescent larval form that enables C. elegans to endure harsh environments through morphological adaptation, improved cellular repair, and slowed metabolism. Considerable progress has been made uncovering mechanisms that are affected by C. elegans rIIS. However, from the beginning it has remained unclear to what extent rIIS extends C. elegans lifespan by mobilizing dauer-associated mechanisms in adults. As we discuss, recent work has shed light on this question by determining that rIIS can extend C. elegans lifespan comparably through downstream processes that are either dauer-related or -independent. Importantly, these two lifespan extension programs can be distinguished genetically. It will now be critical to tease apart these programs, because each may involve different longevity-promoting mechanisms that may be relevant to higher organisms. A recent analysis of organismal "healthspan" has questioned the value of C. elegans rIIS as a paradigm for understanding healthy aging, as opposed to simply extending life. We discuss other work that argues strongly that C. elegans rIIS is indeed an invaluable model and consider the likely possibility that dauer-related processes affect parameters associated with health under rIIS conditions. Together, these studies indicate that C. elegans and analyses of rIIS in this organism will continue to provide unexpected and exciting results, and new paradigms that will be valuable for understanding healthy aging in humans. © 2017 S

  15. Nucleotide Excision Repair in Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Hannes Lans

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Nucleotide excision repair (NER plays an essential role in many organisms across life domains to preserve and faithfully transmit DNA to the next generation. In humans, NER is essential to prevent DNA damage-induced mutation accumulation and cell death leading to cancer and aging. NER is a versatile DNA repair pathway that repairs many types of DNA damage which distort the DNA helix, such as those induced by solar UV light. A detailed molecular model of the NER pathway has emerged from in vitro and live cell experiments, particularly using model systems such as bacteria, yeast, and mammalian cell cultures. In recent years, the versatility of the nematode C. elegans to study DNA damage response (DDR mechanisms including NER has become increasingly clear. In particular, C. elegans seems to be a convenient tool to study NER during the UV response in vivo, to analyze this process in the context of a developing and multicellular organism, and to perform genetic screening. Here, we will discuss current knowledge gained from the use of C. elegans to study NER and the response to UV-induced DNA damage.

  16. 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.

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

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    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.

  18. RNA Binding Protein Vigilin Collaborates with miRNAs To Regulate Gene Expression for Caenorhabditis elegans Larval Development

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    Rebecca A. Zabinsky

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Extensive studies have suggested that most miRNA functions are executed through complex miRNA-target interaction networks, and such networks function semiredundantly with other regulatory systems to shape gene expression dynamics for proper physiological functions. We found that knocking down vgln-1, which encodes a conserved RNA-binding protein associated with diverse functions, causes severe larval arrest at the early L1 stage in animals with compromised miRISC functions (an ain-2/GW182 mutant. Through an enhancer screen, we identified five specific miRNAs, and miRNA families, that act semiredundantly with VGLN-1 to regulate larval development. By RIP-Seq analysis, we identified mRNAs that are directly bound by VGLN-1, and highly enriched for miRNA binding sites, leading to a hypothesis that VGLN-1 may share common targets with miRNAs to regulate gene expression dynamics for development.

  19. Genomic analysis of immune response against Vibrio cholerae hemolysin in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Surasri N Sahu

    Full Text Available Vibrio cholerae cytolysin (VCC is among the accessory V. cholerae virulence factors that may contribute to disease pathogenesis in humans. VCC, encoded by hlyA gene, belongs to the most common class of bacterial toxins, known as pore-forming toxins (PFTs. V. cholerae infects and kills Caenorhabditis elegans via cholerae toxin independent manner. VCC is required for the lethality, growth retardation and intestinal cell vacuolation during the infection. However, little is known about the host gene expression responses against VCC. To address this question we performed a microarray study in C. elegans exposed to V. cholerae strains with intact and deleted hlyA genes.Many of the VCC regulated genes identified, including C-type lectins, Prion-like (glutamine [Q]/asparagine [N]-rich-domain containing genes, genes regulated by insulin/IGF-1-mediated signaling (IIS pathway, were previously reported as mediators of innate immune response against other bacteria in C. elegans. Protective function of the subset of the genes up-regulated by VCC was confirmed using RNAi. By means of a machine learning algorithm called FastMEDUSA, we identified several putative VCC induced immune regulatory transcriptional factors and transcription factor binding motifs. Our results suggest that VCC is a major virulence factor, which induces a wide variety of immune response- related genes during V. cholerae infection in C. elegans.

  20. Angiotensin Converting Enzyme (ACE Inhibitor Extends Caenorhabditis elegans Life Span.

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    Sandeep Kumar

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Animal aging is characterized by progressive, degenerative changes in many organ systems. Because age-related degeneration is a major contributor to disability and death in humans, treatments that delay age-related degeneration are desirable. However, no drugs that delay normal human aging are currently available. To identify drugs that delay age-related degeneration, we used the powerful Caenorhabditis elegans model system to screen for FDA-approved drugs that can extend the adult lifespan of worms. Here we show that captopril extended mean lifespan. Captopril is an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE inhibitor used to treat high blood pressure in humans. To explore the mechanism of captopril, we analyzed the acn-1 gene that encodes the C. elegans homolog of ACE. Reducing the activity of acn-1 extended the mean life span. Furthermore, reducing the activity of acn-1 delayed age-related degenerative changes and increased stress resistance, indicating that acn-1 influences aging. Captopril could not further extend the lifespan of animals with reduced acn-1, suggesting they function in the same pathway; we propose that captopril inhibits acn-1 to extend lifespan. To define the relationship with previously characterized longevity pathways, we analyzed mutant animals. The lifespan extension caused by reducing the activity of acn-1 was additive with caloric restriction and mitochondrial insufficiency, and did not require sir-2.1, hsf-1 or rict-1, suggesting that acn-1 functions by a distinct mechanism. The interactions with the insulin/IGF-1 pathway were complex, since the lifespan extensions caused by captopril and reducing acn-1 activity were additive with daf-2 and age-1 but required daf-16. Captopril treatment and reducing acn-1 activity caused similar effects in a wide range of genetic backgrounds, consistent with the model that they act by the same mechanism. These results identify a new drug and a new gene that can extend the lifespan of worms

  1. Levamisole resistance resolved at the single-channel level in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qian, Hai; Robertson, Alan P.; Powell-Coffman, Jo Anne; Martin, Richard J.

    2008-01-01

    Sydney Brenner promoted Caenorhabditis elegans as a model organism, and subsequent investigations pursued resistance to the nicotinic anthelmintic drug levamisole in C. elegans at a genetic level. These studies have advanced our understanding of genes associated with neuromuscular transmission and resistance to the antinematodal drug. In lev-8 and lev-1 mutant C. elegans, levamisole resistance is associated with reductions in levamisole-activated whole muscle cell currents. Although lev-8 and lev-1 are known to code for nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunits, an explanation for why these currents get smaller is not available. In wild-type adults, nAChRs aggregate at neuromuscular junctions and are not accessible for single-channel recording. Here we describe a use of LEV-10 knockouts, in which aggregation is lost, to make in situ recordings of nAChR channel currents. Our observations provide an explanation for levamisole resistance produced by LEV-8 and LEV-1 mutants at the single-channel level.—Qian, H., Robertson, A. P., Powell-Coffman, J. A., and Martin, R. J. Levamisole resistance resolved at the single-channel level in Caenorhabditis elegans. PMID:18519804

  2. Nucleotide excision repair genes are expressed at low levels and are not detectably inducible in Caenorhabditis elegans somatic tissues, but their function is required for normal adult life after UVC exposure

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    Boyd, Windy A. [Biomolecular Screening Branch, National Toxicology Program, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH, Research Triangle Park, NC (United States); Crocker, Tracey L. [Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708 (United States); Rodriguez, Ana M. [Laboratory of Molecular Genetics, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH, Research Triangle Park, NC (United States); Leung, Maxwell C.K. [Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708 (United States); Wade Lehmann, D. [Laboratory of Molecular Genetics, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH, Research Triangle Park, NC (United States); Freedman, Jonathan H. [Laboratory of Molecular Toxicology, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH, Research Triangle Park, NC (United States); Van Houten, Ben [Laboratory of Molecular Genetics, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH, Research Triangle Park, NC (United States); Meyer, Joel N., E-mail: joel.meyer@duke.edu [Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708 (United States)

    2010-01-05

    We performed experiments to characterize the inducibility of nucleotide excision repair (NER) in Caenorhabditis elegans, and to examine global gene expression in NER-deficient and -proficient strains as well as germline vs. somatic tissues, with and without genotoxic stress. We also carried out experiments to elucidate the importance of NER in the adult life of C. elegans under genotoxin-stressed and control conditions. Adult lifespan was not detectably different between wild-type and NER-deficient xpa-1 nematodes under control conditions. However, exposure to 6 J/m{sup 2}/day of ultraviolet C radiation (UVC) decreased lifespan in xpa-1 nematodes more than a dose of 100 J/m{sup 2}/day in wild-type. Similar differential sensitivities were observed for adult size and feeding. Remarkably, global gene expression was nearly identical in young adult wild-type and xpa-1 nematodes, both in control conditions and 3 h after exposure to 50 J/m{sup 2} UVC. Neither NER genes nor repair activity were detectably inducible in young adults that lacked germ cells and developing embryos (glp-1 strain). However, expression levels of dozens of NER and other DNA damage response genes were much (5-30-fold) lower in adults lacking germ cells and developing embryos, suggesting that somatic and post-mitotic cells have a much lower DNA repair ability. Finally, we describe a refinement of our DNA damage assay that allows damage measurement in single nematodes.

  3. 5'-AMP-Activated Protein Kinase Signaling in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmadi, Moloud; Roy, Richard

    AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is one of the central regulators of cellular and organismal metabolism in eukaryotes. Once activated by decreased energy levels, it induces ATP production by promoting catabolic pathways while conserving ATP by inhibiting anabolic pathways. AMPK plays a crucial role in various aspects of cellular function such as regulating growth, reprogramming metabolism, autophagy, and cell polarity. In this chapter, we focus on how recent breakthroughs made using the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans have contributed to our understanding of AMPK function and how it can be utilized in the future to elucidate hitherto unknown aspects of AMPK signaling.

  4. 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.

  5. Mortality Rates in a Genetically Heterogeneous Population of Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, Anne; Lithgow, Gordon J.; Johnson, Thomas E.

    1994-02-01

    Age-specific mortality rates in isogenic populations of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans increase exponentially throughout life. In genetically heterogeneous populations, age-specific mortality increases exponentially until about 17 days and then remains constant until the last death occurs at about 60 days. This period of constant age-specific mortality results from genetic heterogeneity. Subpopulations differ in mean life-span, but they all exhibit near exponential, albeit different, rates of increase in age-specific mortality. Thus, much of the observed heterogeneity in mortality rates later in life could result from genetic heterogeneity and not from an inherent effect of aging.

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

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    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.

  7. Pathogenic bacteria induce aversive olfactory learning in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yun; Lu, Hang; Bargmann, Cornelia I

    2005-11-10

    Food can be hazardous, either through toxicity or through bacterial infections that follow the ingestion of a tainted food source. Because learning about food quality enhances survival, one of the most robust forms of olfactory learning is conditioned avoidance of tastes associated with visceral malaise. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans feeds on bacteria but is susceptible to infection by pathogenic bacteria in its natural environment. Here we show that C. elegans modifies its olfactory preferences after exposure to pathogenic bacteria, avoiding odours from the pathogen and increasing its attraction to odours from familiar nonpathogenic bacteria. Particular bacteria elicit specific changes in olfactory preferences that are suggestive of associative learning. Exposure to pathogenic bacteria increases serotonin in ADF chemosensory neurons by transcriptional and post-transcriptional mechanisms. Serotonin functions through MOD-1, a serotonin-gated chloride channel expressed in sensory interneurons, to promote aversive learning. An increase in serotonin may represent the negative reinforcing stimulus in pathogenic infection.

  8. Identifying Regulators of Morphogenesis Common to Vertebrate Neural Tube Closure and Caenorhabditis elegans Gastrulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sullivan-Brown, Jessica L; Tandon, Panna; Bird, Kim E; Dickinson, Daniel J; Tintori, Sophia C; Heppert, Jennifer K; Meserve, Joy H; Trogden, Kathryn P; Orlowski, Sara K; Conlon, Frank L; Goldstein, Bob

    2016-01-01

    Neural tube defects including spina bifida are common and severe congenital disorders. In mice, mutations in more than 200 genes can result in neural tube defects. We hypothesized that this large gene set might include genes whose homologs contribute to morphogenesis in diverse animals. To test this hypothesis, we screened a set of Caenorhabditis elegans homologs for roles in gastrulation, a topologically similar process to vertebrate neural tube closure. Both C. elegans gastrulation and vertebrate neural tube closure involve the internalization of surface cells, requiring tissue-specific gene regulation, actomyosin-driven apical constriction, and establishment and maintenance of adhesions between specific cells. Our screen identified several neural tube defect gene homologs that are required for gastrulation in C. elegans, including the transcription factor sptf-3. Disruption of sptf-3 in C. elegans reduced the expression of early endodermally expressed genes as well as genes expressed in other early cell lineages, establishing sptf-3 as a key contributor to multiple well-studied C. elegans cell fate specification pathways. We also identified members of the actin regulatory WAVE complex (wve-1, gex-2, gex-3, abi-1, and nuo-3a). Disruption of WAVE complex members reduced the narrowing of endodermal cells' apical surfaces. Although WAVE complex members are expressed broadly in C. elegans, we found that expression of a vertebrate WAVE complex member, nckap1, is enriched in the developing neural tube of Xenopus. We show that nckap1 contributes to neural tube closure in Xenopus. This work identifies in vivo roles for homologs of mammalian neural tube defect genes in two manipulable genetic model systems. Copyright © 2016 by the Genetics Society of America.

  9. MicroRNA predictors of longevity in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    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.

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

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    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.

  11. 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.

  12. ROS in Aging Caenorhabditis elegans: Damage or Signaling?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Back, Patricia; Braeckman, Bart P.; Matthijssens, Filip

    2012-01-01

    Many insights into the mechanisms and signaling pathways underlying aging have resulted from research on the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. In this paper, we discuss the recent findings that emerged using this model organism concerning the role of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the aging process. The accrual of oxidative stress and damage has been the predominant mechanistic explanation for the process of aging for many years, but reviewing the recent studies in C. elegans calls this theory into question. Thus, it becomes more and more evident that ROS are not merely toxic byproducts of the oxidative metabolism. Rather it seems more likely that tightly controlled concentrations of ROS and fluctuations in redox potential are important mediators of signaling processes. We therefore discuss some theories that explain how redox signaling may be involved in aging and provide some examples of ROS functions and signaling in C. elegans metabolism. To understand the role of ROS and the redox status in physiology, stress response, development, and aging, there is a rising need for accurate and reversible in vivo detection. Therefore, we comment on some methods of ROS and redox detection with emphasis on the implementation of genetically encoded biosensors in C. elegans. PMID:22966416

  13. 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.

  14. 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. PMID:23300454

  15. ROS in Aging Caenorhabditis elegans: Damage or Signaling?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia Back

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Many insights into the mechanisms and signaling pathways underlying aging have resulted from research on the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. In this paper, we discuss the recent findings that emerged using this model organism concerning the role of reactive oxygen species (ROS in the aging process. The accrual of oxidative stress and damage has been the predominant mechanistic explanation for the process of aging for many years, but reviewing the recent studies in C. elegans calls this theory into question. Thus, it becomes more and more evident that ROS are not merely toxic byproducts of the oxidative metabolism. Rather it seems more likely that tightly controlled concentrations of ROS and fluctuations in redox potential are important mediators of signaling processes. We therefore discuss some theories that explain how redox signaling may be involved in aging and provide some examples of ROS functions and signaling in C. elegans metabolism. To understand the role of ROS and the redox status in physiology, stress response, development, and aging, there is a rising need for accurate and reversible in vivo detection. Therefore, we comment on some methods of ROS and redox detection with emphasis on the implementation of genetically encoded biosensors in C. elegans.

  16. trt-1 is the Caenorhabditis elegans catalytic subunit of telomerase.

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    Bettina Meier

    2006-02-01

    Full Text Available Mutants of trt-1, the Caenorhabditis elegans telomerase reverse transcriptase, reproduce normally for several generations but eventually become sterile as a consequence of telomere erosion and end-to-end chromosome fusions. Telomere erosion and uncapping do not cause an increase in apoptosis in the germlines of trt-1 mutants. Instead, late-generation trt-1 mutants display chromosome segregation defects that are likely to be the direct cause of sterility. trt-1 functions in the same telomere replication pathway as mrt-2, a component of the Rad9/Rad1/Hus1 (9-1-1 proliferating cell nuclear antigen-like sliding clamp. Thus, the 9-1-1 complex may be required for telomerase to act at chromosome ends in C. elegans. Although telomere erosion limits replicative life span in human somatic cells, neither trt-1 nor telomere shortening affects postmitotic aging in C. elegans. These findings illustrate effects of telomere dysfunction in C. elegans mutants lacking the catalytic subunit of telomerase, trt-1.

  17. Longitudinal imaging of Caenorhabditis elegans in a microfabricated device reveals variation in behavioral decline during aging

    OpenAIRE

    Churgin, Matthew A.; Jung, Sang-Kyu; Yu, Chih-Chieh; Chen, Xiangmei; Raizen, David M.; Fang-Yen, Christopher

    2017-01-01

    eLife digest Aging affects almost all living things, yet little is known about the biological changes that occur as we get older. Scientists often study aging in the microscopic roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans because it reproduces quickly and its lifespan is short (about 2?3 weeks on average). To date, investigations have helped to reveal genes that affect overall lifespan. However, it is not known how much these genes also affect the animal?s healthy lifespan or ?healthspan?, that is to sa...

  18. A pre- and co-knockdown of RNAseT enzyme, Eri-1, enhances the efficiency of RNAi induced gene silencing in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Pooja Jadiya

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The approach of RNAi mediated gene knockdown, employing exogenous dsRNA, is being beneficially exploited in various fields of functional genomics. The immense utility of the approach came to fore from studies with model system C. elegans, but quickly became applicable with varied research models ranging from in vitro to various in vivo systems. Previously, there have been reports on the refractoriness of the neuronal cells to RNAi mediated gene silencing following which several modulators like eri-1 and lin-15 were described in C. elegans which, when present, would negatively impact the gene knockdown. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Taking a clue from these findings, we went on to screen hypothesis-driven- methodologies towards exploring the efficiency in the process of RNAi under various experimental conditions, wherein these genes would be knocked down preceding to, or concurrently with, the knocking down of a gene of interest. For determining the efficiency of gene knockdown, we chose to study visually stark phenotypes of uncoordinated movement, dumpy body morphology and blistered cuticle obtained by knocking down of genes unc-73, dpy-9 and bli-3 respectively, employing the RNAi-by-feeding protocol in model system C. elegans. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our studies led to a very interesting outcome as the results reveal that amongst various methods tested, pre-incubation with eri-1 dsRNA synthesizing bacteria followed by co-incubation with eri-1 and gene-of-interest dsRNA synthesizing bacteria leads to the most efficient gene silencing as observed by the analysis of marker phenotypes. This provides an approach for effectively employing RNAi induced gene silencing while working with different genetic backgrounds including transgenic and mutant strains.

  19. Generation of an external guide sequence library for a reverse genetic screen in Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Yin Changxin

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A method for inhibiting the expression of particular genes using external guide sequences (EGSs has been developed in bacteria, mammalian cells and maize cells. Results To examine whether EGS technology can be used to down-regulate gene expression in Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans, we generated EGS-Ngfp-lacZ and EGS-Mtgfp that are targeted against Ngfp-lacZ and Mtgfp mRNA, respectively. These EGSs were introduced, both separately and together, into the C. elegans strain PD4251, which contains Ngfp-lacZ and Mtgfp. Consequently, the expression levels of Ngfp-lacZ and Mtgfp were affected by EGS-Ngfp-lacZ and EGS-Mtgfp, respectively. We further generated an EGS library that contains a randomized antisense domain of tRNA-derived EGS ("3/4 EGS". Examination of the composition of the EGS library showed that there was no obvious bias in the cloning of certain EGSs. A subset of EGSs was randomly chosen for screening in the C. elegans strain N2. About 6% of these EGSs induced abnormal phenotypes such as P0 slow postembryonic growth, P0 larval arrest, P0 larval lethality and P0 sterility. Of these, EGS-35 and EGS-83 caused the greatest phenotype changes, and their target mRNAs were identified as ZK858.7 mRNA and Lin-13 mRNA, respectively. Conclusion EGS technology can be used to down-regulate gene expression in C. elegans. The EGS library is a research tool for reverse genetic screening in C. elegans. These observations are potentially of great importance to further our understanding and use of C. elegans genomics.

  20. Generation of an external guide sequence library for a reverse genetic screen in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Qitao; Zhao, Rui; Zheng, Wenlin; Yin, Changxin; Zhang, Bao; Ma, Wenli

    2009-05-20

    A method for inhibiting the expression of particular genes using external guide sequences (EGSs) has been developed in bacteria, mammalian cells and maize cells. To examine whether EGS technology can be used to down-regulate gene expression in Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), we generated EGS-Ngfp-lacZ and EGS-Mtgfp that are targeted against Ngfp-lacZ and Mtgfp mRNA, respectively. These EGSs were introduced, both separately and together, into the C. elegans strain PD4251, which contains Ngfp-lacZ and Mtgfp. Consequently, the expression levels of Ngfp-lacZ and Mtgfp were affected by EGS-Ngfp-lacZ and EGS-Mtgfp, respectively. We further generated an EGS library that contains a randomized antisense domain of tRNA-derived EGS ("3/4 EGS"). Examination of the composition of the EGS library showed that there was no obvious bias in the cloning of certain EGSs. A subset of EGSs was randomly chosen for screening in the C. elegans strain N2. About 6% of these EGSs induced abnormal phenotypes such as P0 slow postembryonic growth, P0 larval arrest, P0 larval lethality and P0 sterility. Of these, EGS-35 and EGS-83 caused the greatest phenotype changes, and their target mRNAs were identified as ZK858.7 mRNA and Lin-13 mRNA, respectively. EGS technology can be used to down-regulate gene expression in C. elegans. The EGS library is a research tool for reverse genetic screening in C. elegans. These observations are potentially of great importance to further our understanding and use of C. elegans genomics.

  1. Caenorhabditis elegans, a model organism for kidney research: from cilia to mechanosensation and longevity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, Roman-Ulrich; Zank, Sibylle; Fabretti, Francesca; Benzing, Thomas

    2011-07-01

    The introduction of Caenorhabditis elegans by Sydney Brenner to study 'how genes might specify the complex structures found in higher organisms' revolutionized molecular and developmental biology and pioneered a new research area to study organ development and cellular differentiation with this model organism. Here, we review the role of the nematode in renal research and discuss future perspectives for its use in molecular nephrology. Although C. elegans does not possess an excretory system comparable with the mammalian kidney, various studies have demonstrated the conserved functional role of kidney disease genes in C. elegans. The finding that cystic kidney diseases can be considered ciliopathies is based to a great extent on research studying their homologues in the nematode's ciliated neurons. Moreover, proteins of the kidney filtration barrier play important roles in both correct synapse formation, mechanosensation and signal transduction in the nematode. Intriguingly, the renal cell carcinoma disease gene product von-Hippel-Lindau protein was shown to regulate lifespan in the nematode. Last but not least, the worm's excretory system itself expresses genes involved in electrolyte and osmotic homeostasis and may serve as a valuable tool to study these processes on a molecular level. C. elegans has proven to be an incredibly powerful tool in studying various aspects of renal function, development and disease and will certainly continue to do so in the future.

  2. 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.

  3. Effects of Microcystin-LR Exposure on Spermiogenesis in Nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yunhui; Zhang, Minhui; Chen, Pan; Liu, Ran; Liang, Geyu; Yin, Lihong; Pu, Yuepu

    2015-09-22

    Little is known about the effect on spermiogenesis induced by microcystin-leucine arginine (MC-LR), even though such data are very important to better elucidate reproductive health. In the current work, with the aid of nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) as an animal model, we investigated the defects on spermiogenesis induced by MC-LR. Our results showed that MC-LR exposure induced sperm morphology abnormality and caused severe defects of sperm activation, trans-activation, sperm behavior and competition. Additionally, the expression levels of spe-15 were significantly decreased in C. elegans exposed to MC-LR lower than 16.0 μg/L, while the expression levels of spe-10 and fer-1 could be significantly lowered in C. elegans even exposed to 1.0 μg/L of MC-LR. Therefore, the present study reveals that MC-LR can induce adverse effects on spermiogenesis, and those defects of sperm functions may be induced by the decreases of spe-10, spe-15 and fer-1 gene expressions in C. elegans.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Undulatory locomotion of Caenorhabditis elegans on wet surfaces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, X N; Sznitman, J; Krajacic, P; Lamitina, T; Arratia, P E

    2012-06-20

    The physical and biomechanical principles that govern undulatory movement on wet surfaces have important applications in physiology, physics, and engineering. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, with its highly stereotypical and functionally distinct sinusoidal locomotory gaits, is an excellent system in which to dissect these properties. Measurements of the main forces governing the C. elegans crawling gait on lubricated surfaces have been scarce, primarily due to difficulties in estimating the physical features at the nematode-gel interface. Using kinematic data and a hydrodynamic model based on lubrication theory, we calculate both the surface drag forces and the nematode's bending force while crawling on the surface of agar gels within a preexisting groove. We find that the normal and tangential surface drag coefficients during crawling are ∼222 and 22, respectively, and the drag coefficient ratio is ∼10. During crawling, the calculated internal bending force is time-periodic and spatially complex, exhibiting a phase lag with respect to the nematode's body bending curvature. This phase lag is largely due to viscous drag forces, which are higher during crawling as compared to swimming in an aqueous buffer solution. The spatial patterns of bending force generated during either swimming or crawling correlate well with previously described gait-specific features of calcium signals in muscle. Further, our analysis indicates that one may be able to control the motility gait of C. elegans by judiciously adjusting the magnitude of the surface drag coefficients. Copyright © 2012 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Tomosyn inhibits synaptic vesicle priming in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena O Gracheva

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available Caenorhabditis elegans TOM-1 is orthologous to vertebrate tomosyn, a cytosolic syntaxin-binding protein implicated in the modulation of both constitutive and regulated exocytosis. To investigate how TOM-1 regulates exocytosis of synaptic vesicles in vivo, we analyzed C. elegans tom-1 mutants. Our electrophysiological analysis indicates that evoked postsynaptic responses at tom-1 mutant synapses are prolonged leading to a two-fold increase in total charge transfer. The enhanced response in tom-1 mutants is not associated with any detectable changes in postsynaptic response kinetics, neuronal outgrowth, or synaptogenesis. However, at the ultrastructural level, we observe a concomitant increase in the number of plasma membrane-contacting vesicles in tom-1 mutant synapses, a phenotype reversed by neuronal expression of TOM-1. Priming defective unc-13 mutants show a dramatic reduction in plasma membrane-contacting vesicles, suggesting these vesicles largely represent the primed vesicle pool at the C. elegans neuromuscular junction. Consistent with this conclusion, hyperosmotic responses in tom-1 mutants are enhanced, indicating the primed vesicle pool is enhanced. Furthermore, the synaptic defects of unc-13 mutants are partially suppressed in tom-1 unc-13 double mutants. These data indicate that in the intact nervous system, TOM-1 negatively regulates synaptic vesicle priming.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  9. Isotopic ratio outlier analysis global metabolomics of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stupp, Gregory S; Clendinen, Chaevien S; Ajredini, Ramadan; Szewc, Mark A; Garrett, Timothy; Menger, Robert F; Yost, Richard A; Beecher, Chris; Edison, Arthur S

    2013-12-17

    We demonstrate the global metabolic analysis of Caenorhabditis elegans stress responses using a mass-spectrometry-based technique called isotopic ratio outlier analysis (IROA). In an IROA protocol, control and experimental samples are isotopically labeled with 95 and 5% (13)C, and the two sample populations are mixed together for uniform extraction, sample preparation, and LC-MS analysis. This labeling strategy provides several advantages over conventional approaches: (1) compounds arising from biosynthesis are easily distinguished from artifacts, (2) errors from sample extraction and preparation are minimized because the control and experiment are combined into a single sample, (3) measurement of both the molecular weight and the exact number of carbon atoms in each molecule provides extremely accurate molecular formulas, and (4) relative concentrations of all metabolites are easily determined. A heat-shock perturbation was conducted on C. elegans to demonstrate this approach. We identified many compounds that significantly changed upon heat shock, including several from the purine metabolism pathway. The metabolomic response information by IROA may be interpreted in the context of a wealth of genetic and proteomic information available for C. elegans . Furthermore, the IROA protocol can be applied to any organism that can be isotopically labeled, making it a powerful new tool in a global metabolomics pipeline.

  10. PCH-2 regulates Caenorhabditis elegans lifespan

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Qian, Hong; Xu, Xiangru; Niklason, Laura E

    2015-01-01

    Components or downstream targets of many signaling pathways such as Insulin/IGF-1 and TOR, as well as genes involved in cellular metabolism and bioenergetics can extend worm lifespan 20% or more. The...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

    GMP regulation by GCY-9 and the PDE-1 phosphodiesterase controls BAG expression of a FMRFamide-related neuropeptide FLP-19 reporter (flp-19::GFP). This regulation is specific for CO 2 -sensing function of the BAG neurons, as loss of oxygen sensing function does not affect flp-19::GFP expression. We also found...... that expression of flp-19::GFP is controlled in parallel to GCY-9 by the activity-dependent transcription factor CREB (CRH-1) and the cAMP-dependent protein kinase (KIN-2) signaling pathway. We therefore show that two parallel pathways regulate neuropeptide gene expression in the BAG sensory neurons: the ability......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...

  14. 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).

  15. A co-CRISPR strategy for efficient genome editing in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Heesun; Ishidate, Takao; Ghanta, Krishna S; Seth, Meetu; Conte, Darryl; Shirayama, Masaki; Mello, Craig C

    2014-08-01

    Genome editing based on CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats)-associated nuclease (Cas9) has been successfully applied in dozens of diverse plant and animal species, including the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. The rapid life cycle and easy access to the ovary by micro-injection make C. elegans an ideal organism both for applying CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing technology and for optimizing genome-editing protocols. Here we report efficient and straightforward CRISPR-Cas9 genome-editing methods for C. elegans, including a Co-CRISPR strategy that facilitates detection of genome-editing events. We describe methods for detecting homologous recombination (HR) events, including direct screening methods as well as new selection/counterselection strategies. Our findings reveal a surprisingly high frequency of HR-mediated gene conversion, making it possible to rapidly and precisely edit the C. elegans genome both with and without the use of co-inserted marker genes. Copyright © 2014 by the Genetics Society of America.

  16. 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.

  17. Stage-Specific Timing of the microRNA Regulation of lin-28 by the Heterochronic Gene lin-14 in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsialikas, Jennifer; Romens, Mitchell A; Abbott, Allison; Moss, Eric G

    2017-01-01

    In normal development, the order and synchrony of diverse developmental events must be explicitly controlled. In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, the timing of larval events is regulated by hierarchy of proteins and microRNAs (miRNAs) known as the heterochronic pathway. These regulators are organized in feedforward and feedback interactions to form a robust mechanism for specifying the timing and execution of cell fates at successive stages. One member of this pathway is the RNA binding protein LIN-28, which promotes pluripotency and cell fate decisions in successive stages. Two genetic circuits control LIN-28 abundance: it is negatively regulated by the miRNA lin-4, and positively regulated by the transcription factor LIN-14 through a mechanism that was previously unknown. In this report, we used animals that lack lin-4 to elucidate LIN-14's activity in this circuit. We demonstrate that three let-7 family miRNAs-miR-48, miR-84, and miR-241-inhibit lin-28 expression. Furthermore, we show genetically that these miRNAs act between lin-14 and lin-28, and that they comprise the pathway by which lin-14 positively regulates lin-28 We also show that the lin-4 family member mir-237, also regulates early cell fates. Finally, we show that the expression of these miRNAs is directly inhibited by lin-14 activity, making them the first known targets of lin-14 that act in the heterochronic pathway. Copyright © 2017 by the Genetics Society of America.

  18. 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

  19. Potential Nematode Alarm Pheromone Induces Acute Avoidance in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Ying; Loeza-Cabrera, Mario; Liu, Zheng; Aleman-Meza, Boanerges; Nguyen, Julie K; Jung, Sang-Kyu; Choi, Yuna; Shou, Qingyao; Butcher, Rebecca A; Zhong, Weiwei

    2017-07-01

    It is crucial for animal survival to detect dangers such as predators. A good indicator of dangers is injury of conspecifics. Here we show that fluids released from injured conspecifics invoke acute avoidance in both free-living and parasitic nematodes. Caenorhabditis elegans avoids extracts from closely related nematode species but not fruit fly larvae. The worm extracts have no impact on animal lifespan, suggesting that the worm extract may function as an alarm instead of inflicting physical harm. Avoidance of the worm extract requires the function of a cGMP signaling pathway that includes the cGMP-gated channel TAX-2/TAX-4 in the amphid sensory neurons ASI and ASK. Genetic evidence indicates that the avoidance behavior is modulated by the neurotransmitters GABA and serotonin, two common targets of anxiolytic drugs. Together, these data support a model that nematodes use a nematode-specific alarm pheromone to detect conspecific injury. Copyright © 2017 by the Genetics Society of America.

  20. Evaluation of pesticide toxicities with differing mechanisms using Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruan, Qin-Li; Ju, Jing-Juan; Li, Yun-Hui; Liu, Ran; Pu, Yue-Pu; Yin, Li-Hong; Wang, Da-Yong

    2009-01-01

    The aim of this study was to (1) determine whether model organism Caenorhabditis elegans was sensitive to pesticides at the maximum concentration limits regulated by national agency standards, and (2) examine the multi-biological toxicities occurring as a result of exposure to pesticides. Five pesticides, namely, chlorpyrifos, imibacloprid, buprofezin, cyhalothrin, and glyphosate, with four different mechanisms of action were selected for the investigation. In accordance with national agency requirements, 4 exposed groups were used for each tested pesticide with the concentration scales ranging from 1.0 x 10(-3) to 1 mg/L. L4 larvae were exposed for 24 and 72 h, respectively. Endpoints of locomotion, propagation, and development were selected for the assay as parameters of toxicity. After exposure for 24 h, both the body bend frequency and head thrash frequency of nematodes exposed to chlorpyrifos, imibacloprid, and cyhalothrin decreased in a concentration-dependent manner, and there were significant differences between exposed groups at maximum concentration level (MCL) compared to control. The generation time of nematodes exposed to buprofezin 24 h significantly increased in a concentration-dependent manner in the highest exposed group. When exposed for 72 h, the body bend frequency and head thrash frequency of nematodes exposed to cyhalothrin markedly decreased at MCL. The generation time and brood size of nematodes exposed to buprofezin were reduced in a concentration-dependent manner. The behavior of nematodes was sensitive to pesticides with neurotoxic properties, while pesticides affecting insect growth modified the reproductive system. The effects of pesticides on nematodes exposed for 24 h appeared more sensitive than with exposure for 72 h. Caenorhabditis elegans may thus be used for assessing the adverse effects of pesticide residues in aquatic environment.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  2. 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.

  3. Mutations in the Caenorhabditis elegans serotonin reuptake transporter MOD-5 reveal serotonin-dependent and -independent activities of fluoxetine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ranganathan, R; Sawin, E R; Trent, C; Horvitz, H R

    2001-08-15

    We isolated two mutants defective in the uptake of exogenous serotonin (5-HT) into the neurosecretory motor neurons of Caenorhabditis elegans. These mutants were hypersensitive to exogenous 5-HT and hyper-responsive in the experience-dependent enhanced slowing response to food modulated by 5-HT. The two allelic mutations defined the gene mod-5 (modulation of locomotion defective), which encodes the only serotonin reuptake transporter (SERT) in C. elegans. The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor fluoxetine (Prozac) potentiated the enhanced slowing response, and this potentiation required mod-5 function, establishing a 5-HT- and SERT-dependent behavioral effect of fluoxetine in C. elegans. By contrast, other responses of C. elegans to fluoxetine were independent of MOD-5 SERT and 5-HT. Further analysis of the MOD-5-independent behavioral effects of fluoxetine could lead to the identification of novel targets of fluoxetine and could facilitate the development of more specific human pharmaceuticals.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. FMRFamide related peptide ligands activate the Caenorhabditis elegans orphan GPCR Y59H11AL.1

    Science.gov (United States)

    G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) are ancient molecules that sense environmental and physiological signals. Currently, the majority of the predicted Caenorhabditis elegans GPCRs are orphan. Here, we describe the characterization of such an orphan C. elegans GPCR, which is categorized in the tachyk...

  7. Multiple sensory G proteins in the olfactory, gustatory and nociceptive neurons modulate longevity in Caenorhabditis elegans

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    H. Lans (Hannes); G. Jansen (Gert)

    2007-01-01

    textabstractThe life span of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is under control of sensory signals detected by the amphid neurons. In these neurons, C. elegans expresses at least 13 Galpha subunits and a Ggamma subunit, which are involved in the transduction and modulation of sensory signals.

  8. 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...

  9. 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…

  10. 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...

  11. 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…

  12. Fluorodeoxyuridine improves Caenorhabditis elegans proteostasis independent of reproduction onset.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naama Feldman

    Full Text Available Protein homeostasis (proteostasis networks are dynamic throughout the lifespan of an organism. During Caenorhabditis elegans adulthood, the maintenance of metastable proteins and the activation of stress responses are inversely associated with germline stem cell proliferation. Here, we employed the thymidylate synthase inhibitor 5-fluoro-2'-deoxyuridine (FUdR to chemically inhibit reproduction, thus allowing for examination of the interplay between reproduction and somatic proteostasis. We found that treatment with FUdR modulates proteostasis decline both before and after reproduction onset, such that effective induction of the heat shock response was maintained during adulthood and that metastable temperature-sensitive mutant phenotypes were rescued under restrictive conditions. However, FUdR treatment also improved the folding capacity of germline- and gonadogenesis-defective mutants, suggesting that proteostasis modulation by FUdR is independent of germline stem cell proliferation or inhibition of reproduction. Our data, therefore, indicate that FUdR converges on alternative regulatory signals that modulate C. elegans proteostasis capacity during development and adulthood.

  13. Spatiotemporal regulation of autophagy during Caenorhabditis elegans aging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Jessica T; Kumsta, Caroline; Hellman, Andrew B; Adams, Linnea M; Hansen, Malene

    2017-01-01

    Autophagy has been linked to longevity in many species, but the underlying mechanisms are unclear. Using a GFP-tagged and a new tandem-tagged Atg8/LGG-1 reporter, we quantified autophagic vesicles and performed autophagic flux assays in multiple tissues of wild-type Caenorhabditis elegans and long-lived daf-2/insulin/IGF-1 and glp-1/Notch mutants throughout adulthood. Our data are consistent with an age-related decline in autophagic activity in the intestine, body-wall muscle, pharynx, and neurons of wild-type animals. In contrast, daf-2 and glp-1 mutants displayed unique age- and tissue-specific changes in autophagic activity, indicating that the two longevity paradigms have distinct effects on autophagy during aging. Although autophagy appeared active in the intestine of both long-lived mutants, inhibition of intestinal autophagy significantly abrogated lifespan extension only in glp-1 mutants. Collectively, our data suggest that autophagic activity normally decreases with age in C. elegans, whereas daf-2 and glp-1 long-lived mutants regulate autophagy in distinct spatiotemporal-specific manners to extend lifespan. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.18459.001 PMID:28675140

  14. Farming and public goods production in Caenorhabditis elegans populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thutupalli, Shashi; Uppaluri, Sravanti; Constable, George W A; Levin, Simon A; Stone, Howard A; Tarnita, Corina E; Brangwynne, Clifford P

    2017-02-28

    The ecological and evolutionary dynamics of populations are shaped by the strategies they use to produce and use resources. However, our understanding of the interplay between the genetic, behavioral, and environmental factors driving these strategies is limited. Here, we report on a Caenorhabditis elegans-Escherichia coli (worm-bacteria) experimental system in which the worm-foraging behavior leads to a redistribution of the bacterial food source, resulting in a growth advantage for both organisms, similar to that achieved via farming. We show experimentally and theoretically that the increased resource growth represents a public good that can benefit all other consumers, regardless of whether or not they are producers. Mutant worms that cannot farm bacteria benefit from farming by other worms in direct proportion to the fraction of farmers in the worm population. The farming behavior can therefore be exploited if it is associated with either energetic or survival costs. However, when the individuals compete for resources with their own type, these costs can result in an increased population density. Altogether, our findings reveal a previously unrecognized mechanism of public good production resulting from the foraging behavior of C. elegans, which has important population-level consequences. This powerful system may provide broad insight into exploration-exploitation tradeoffs, the resultant ecoevolutionary dynamics, and the underlying genetic and neurobehavioral driving forces of multispecies interactions.

  15. Differential Toxicities of Nickel Salts to the Nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Dean; Birdsey, Jennifer M; Wendolowski, Mark A; Dobbin, Kevin K; Williams, Phillip L

    2016-08-01

    This study focused on assessing whether nickel (Ni) toxicity to the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans was affected by the molecular structure of the Ni salt used. Nematodes were exposed to seven Ni salts [Ni sulfate hexahydrate (NiSO4·6H2O), Ni chloride hexahydrate (NiCl2·6H2O), Ni acetate tetrahydrate (Ni(OCOCH3)2·4H2O), Ni nitrate hexahydrate (N2NiO6·6H2O), anhydrous Ni iodide (NiI2), Ni sulfamate hydrate (Ni(SO3NH2)2·H2O), and Ni fluoride tetrahydrate (NiF2·4H2O)] in an aquatic medium for 24 h, and lethality curves were generated and analyzed. Ni fluoride, Ni iodide, and Ni chloride were most toxic to C. elegans, followed by Ni nitrate, Ni sulfamate, Ni acetate, and Ni sulfate. The LC50 values of the halogen-containing salts were statistically different from the corresponding value of the least toxic salt, Ni sulfate. This finding is consistent with the expected high bioavailability of free Ni ions in halide solutions. We recommend that the halide salts be used in future Ni testing involving aquatic invertebrates.

  16. 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.

  17. Mitoflash frequency in early adulthood predicts lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, En-Zhi; Song, Chun-Qing; Lin, Yuan; Zhang, Wen-Hong; Su, Pei-Fang; Liu, Wen-Yuan; Zhang, Pan; Xu, Jiejia; Lin, Na; Zhan, Cheng; Wang, Xianhua; Shyr, Yu; Cheng, Heping; Dong, Meng-Qiu

    2014-04-01

    It has been theorized for decades that mitochondria act as the biological clock of ageing, but the evidence is incomplete. Here we show a strong coupling between mitochondrial function and ageing by in vivo visualization of the mitochondrial flash (mitoflash), a frequency-coded optical readout reflecting free-radical production and energy metabolism at the single-mitochondrion level. Mitoflash activity in Caenorhabditis elegans pharyngeal muscles peaked on adult day 3 during active reproduction and on day 9 when animals started to die off. A plethora of genetic mutations and environmental factors inversely modified the lifespan and the day-3 mitoflash frequency. Even within an isogenic population, the day-3 mitoflash frequency was negatively correlated with the lifespan of individual animals. Furthermore, enhanced activity of the glyoxylate cycle contributed to the decreased day-3 mitoflash frequency and the longevity of daf-2 mutant animals. These results demonstrate that the day-3 mitoflash frequency is a powerful predictor of C. elegans lifespan across genetic, environmental and stochastic factors. They also support the notion that the rate of ageing, although adjustable in later life, has been set to a considerable degree before reproduction ceases.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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. Activation of Hypodermal Differentiation in the Caenorhabditis elegans Embryo by GATA Transcription Factors ELT-1 and ELT-3

    OpenAIRE

    Gilleard, J. S.; McGhee, J. D.

    2001-01-01

    The Caenorhabditis elegans GATA transcription factor genes elt-1 and elt-3 are expressed in the embryonic hypodermis (also called the epidermis). elt-1 is expressed in precursor cells and is essential for the production of most hypodermal cells (22). elt-3 is expressed in all of the major hypodermal cells except the lateral seam cells, and expression is initiated immediately after the terminal division of precursor lineages (13). Although this expression pattern suggests a role for ELT-3 in h...

  3. Proteome changes of Caenorhabditis elegans upon a Staphylococcus aureus infection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schoofs Liliane

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The success of invertebrates throughout evolution is an excellent illustration of the efficiency of their defence strategies. Caenorhabditis elegans has proven to be an appropriate model for transcriptome studies of host-pathogen interactions. The aim of this paper is to complement this knowledge by investigating the worm's response to a Staphylococcus aureus infection through a 2-dimensional differential proteomics approach. Results Different types of growth media in combination with either E. coli OP50 or Staphylococcus aureus were tested for an effect on the worm's lifespan. LB agar was chosen and C. elegans samples were collected 1 h, 4 h, 8 h and 24 h post S. aureus infection or E. coli incubation. Proteomics analyses resulted in the identification of 130 spots corresponding to a total of 108 differentially expressed proteins. Conclusions Exploring four time-points discloses a dynamic insight of the reaction against a gram-positive infection at the level of the whole organism. The remarkable upregulation after 8 h and 24 h of many enzymes involved in the citric acid cycle might illustrate the cost of fighting off an infection. Intriguing is the downregulation of chaperone molecules, which are presumed to serve a protective role. A comparison with a similar experiment in which C. elegans was infected with the gram-negative Aeromonas hydrophila reveals that merely 9% of the identified spots, some of which even exhibiting an opposite regulation, are present in both studies. Hence, our findings emphasise the complexity and pathogen-specificity of the worm's immune response and form a firm basis for future functional research. Reviewers This article was reviewed by Itai Yanai, Dieter Wolf and Torben Luebke (nominated by Walter Lutz.

  4. Cas9 Variants Expand the Target Repertoire in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

    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. Copyright © 2016 by the Genetics Society of America.

  5. 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

  6. Forces applied during classical touch assays for Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam L Nekimken

    Full Text Available For decades, Caenorhabditis elegans roundworms have been used to study the sense of touch, and this work has been facilitated by a simple behavioral assay for touch sensation. To perform this classical assay, an experimenter uses an eyebrow hair to gently touch a moving worm and observes whether or not the worm reverses direction. We used two experimental approaches to determine the manner and moment of contact between the eyebrow hair tool and freely moving animals and the forces delivered by the classical assay. Using high-speed video (2500 frames/second, we found that typical stimulus delivery events include a brief moment when the hair is contact with the worm's body and not the agar substrate. To measure the applied forces, we measured forces generated by volunteers mimicking the classical touch assay by touching a calibrated microcantilever. The mean (61 μN and median forces (26 μN were more than ten times higher than the 2-μN force known to saturate the probability of evoking a reversal in adult C. elegans. We also considered the eyebrow hairs as an additional source of variation. The stiffness of the sampled eyebrow hairs varied between 0.07 and 0.41 N/m and was correlated with the free length of hair. Collectively, this work establishes that the classical touch assay applies enough force to saturate the probability of evoking reversals in adult C. elegans in spite of its variability among trials and experimenters and that increasing the free length of the hair can decrease the applied force.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Structural properties of the Caenorhabditis elegans neuronal network.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lav R Varshney

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Despite recent interest in reconstructing neuronal networks, complete wiring diagrams on the level of individual synapses remain scarce and the insights into function they can provide remain unclear. Even for Caenorhabditis elegans, whose neuronal network is relatively small and stereotypical from animal to animal, published wiring diagrams are neither accurate nor complete and self-consistent. Using materials from White et al. and new electron micrographs we assemble whole, self-consistent gap junction and chemical synapse networks of hermaphrodite C. elegans. We propose a method to visualize the wiring diagram, which reflects network signal flow. We calculate statistical and topological properties of the network, such as degree distributions, synaptic multiplicities, and small-world properties, that help in understanding network signal propagation. We identify neurons that may play central roles in information processing, and network motifs that could serve as functional modules of the network. We explore propagation of neuronal activity in response to sensory or artificial stimulation using linear systems theory and find several activity patterns that could serve as substrates of previously described behaviors. Finally, we analyze the interaction between the gap junction and the chemical synapse networks. Since several statistical properties of the C. elegans network, such as multiplicity and motif distributions are similar to those found in mammalian neocortex, they likely point to general principles of neuronal networks. The wiring diagram reported here can help in understanding the mechanistic basis of behavior by generating predictions about future experiments involving genetic perturbations, laser ablations, or monitoring propagation of neuronal activity in response to stimulation.

  10. Shifts in the Distribution of Mass Densities Is a Signature of Caloric Restriction in Caenorhabditis elegans

    OpenAIRE

    Alfonso Reina; Anand Bala Subramaniam; Anna Laromaine; Aravinthan D T Samuel; Whitesides, George M.

    2013-01-01

    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 dens...

  11. Using RNAi in C. "elegans" to Demonstrate Gene Knockdown Phenotypes in the Undergraduate Biology Lab Setting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy, Nicole M.

    2013-01-01

    RNA interference (RNAi) is a powerful technology used to knock down genes in basic research and medicine. In 2006 RNAi technology using "Caenorhabditis elegans" ("C. elegans") was awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine and thus students graduating in the biological sciences should have experience with this technology. However,…

  12. Genetics, life span, health span, and the aging process in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tissenbaum, Heidi A

    2012-05-01

    As a tool for measuring the aging process, life span has been invaluable in dissecting the genes that modulate longevity. Studies over the past few decades have identified several hundred genes that can modify life span in model organisms such as yeast, worms, and flies. Yet, despite this vast amount of research, we still do not fully understand how the genes that affect life span influence how an organism ages. How does modulation of the genes that affect life span contribute to the aging process? Does life-span extension result in extension of healthy aging? Here, we will focus primarily on the insulin/IGF-1 signaling pathway in Caenorhabditis elegans because members of this pathway have been shown to be associated with extended life span across phylogeny, from worms to humans. I discuss how this connects to the aging process, age-associated disease, and the potential to increase healthy aging in addition to lengthening life span.

  13. The SEL-12 presenilin mediates induction of the Caenorhabditis elegans uterine pi cell fate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cinar, H N; Sweet, K L; Hosemann, K E; Earley, K; Newman, A P

    2001-09-01

    During Caenorhabditis elegans hermaphrodite development, the anchor cell induces the vulva and the uterine pi cells whose daughters connect to the vulva, thereby organizing the uterine-vulval connection. Both the initial selection of a single anchor cell during the anchor cell vs. ventral uterine precursor cell decision and the subsequent induction of the pi cell fate by the anchor cell are mediated by the lin-12 gene. Members of the presenilin gene family can cause early onset Alzheimer's disease when mutated and are also required for LIN-12/Notch signaling during development. We have shown that, in C. elegans, mutation of the sel-12-encoded presenilin results in pi cell induction defects. By contrast, other lin-12-mediated cell fate decisions occur normally in sel-12 mutants due to the redundant function of a second C. elegans presenilin called HOP-1. We found that the sel-12 egg-laying defect was partially rescued by expression of the sel-12 gene in the pi cells. sel-12-mediated pi cell fate specification provides a useful system for the analysis of presenilin function at single cell resolution. Copyright 2001 Academic Press.

  14. 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

  15. Mating behavior, male sensory cilia, and polycystins in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Hagan, Robert; Wang, Juan; Barr, Maureen M

    2014-09-01

    The investigation of Caenorhabditis elegans males and the male-specific sensory neurons required for mating behaviors has provided insight into the molecular function of polycystins and mechanisms that are needed for polycystin ciliary localization. In humans, polycystin 1 and polycystin 2 are needed for kidney function; loss of polycystin function leads to autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD). Polycystins localize to cilia in C. elegans and mammals, a finding that has guided research into ADPKD. The discovery that the polycystins form ciliary receptors in male-specific neurons needed for mating behaviors has also helped to unlock insights into two additional exciting new areas: the secretion of extracellular vesicles; and mechanisms of ciliary specialization. First, we will summarize the studies done in C. elegans regarding the expression, localization, and function of the polycystin 1 and 2 homologs, LOV-1 and PKD-2, and discuss insights gained from this basic research. Molecules that are co-expressed with the polycystins in the male-specific neurons may identify evolutionarily conserved molecular mechanisms for polycystin function and localization. We will discuss the finding that polycystins are secreted in extracellular vesicles that evoke behavioral change in males, suggesting that such vesicles provide a novel form of communication to conspecifics in the environment. In humans, polycystin-containing extracellular vesicles are secreted in urine and can be taken up by cilia, and quickly internalized. Therefore, communication by polycystin-containing extracellular vesicles may also use mechanisms that are evolutionarily conserved from nematode to human. Lastly, different cilia display structural and functional differences that specialize them for particular tasks, despite the fact that virtually all cilia are built by a conserved intraflagellar transport (IFT) mechanism and share some basic structural features. Comparative analysis of the male

  16. 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.

  17. The glutathione reductase GSR-1 determines stress tolerance and longevity in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kai Lüersen

    Full Text Available Glutathione (GSH and GSH-dependent enzymes play a key role in cellular detoxification processes that enable organism to cope with various internal and environmental stressors. However, it is often not clear, which components of the complex GSH-metabolism are required for tolerance towards a certain stressor. To address this question, a small scale RNAi-screen was carried out in Caenorhabditis elegans where GSH-related genes were systematically knocked down and worms were subsequently analysed for their survival rate under sub-lethal concentrations of arsenite and the redox cycler juglone. While the knockdown of γ-glutamylcysteine synthetase led to a diminished survival rate under arsenite stress conditions, GSR-1 (glutathione reductase was shown to be essential for survival under juglone stress conditions. gsr-1 is the sole GSR encoding gene found in C. elegans. Knockdown of GSR-1 hardly affected total glutathione levels nor reduced glutathione/glutathione disulphide (GSH/GSSG ratio under normal laboratory conditions. Nevertheless, when GSSG recycling was impaired by gsr-1(RNAi, GSH synthesis was induced, but not vice versa. Moreover, the impact of GSSG recycling was potentiated under oxidative stress conditions, explaining the enormous effect gsr-1(RNAi knockdown had on juglone tolerance. Accordingly, overexpression of GSR-1 was capable of increasing stress tolerance. Furthermore, expression levels of SKN-1-regulated GSR-1 also affected life span of C. elegans, emphasising the crucial role the GSH redox state plays in both processes.

  18. Antiviral RNA Interference against Orsay Virus Is neither Systemic nor Transgenerational in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashe, Alyson; Sarkies, Peter; Le Pen, Jérémie; Tanguy, Mélanie; Miska, Eric A

    2015-12-01

    Antiviral RNA-mediated silencing (RNA interference [RNAi]) acts as a powerful innate immunity defense in plants, invertebrates, and mammals. In Caenorhabditis elegans, RNAi is systemic; i.e., RNAi silencing signals can move between cells and tissues. Furthermore, RNAi effects can be inherited transgenerationally and may last for many generations. Neither the biological relevance of systemic RNAi nor transgenerational RNAi is currently understood. Here we examined the role of both pathways in the protection of C. elegans from viral infection. We studied the Orsay virus, a positive-strand RNA virus related to Nodaviridae and the first and only virus known to infect C. elegans. Immunity to Orsay virus infection requires the RNAi pathway. Surprisingly, we found that genes required for systemic or transgenerational RNAi did not have a role in antiviral defense. Furthermore, we found that Orsay virus infection did not elicit a systemic RNAi response even when a target for RNAi was provided by using transgenes. Finally, we show that viral siRNAs, the effectors of RNAi, are not inherited to a level that provides any significant resistance to viral infection in the next generation. We conclude that systemic or transgenerational RNAi does not play a role in the defense against natural Orsay virus infection. Furthermore, our data suggest that there is a qualitative difference between experimental RNAi and antiviral RNAi. Our data are consistent with a model of systemic and transgenerational RNAi that requires a nuclear or germ line component that is lacking in almost all RNA virus infections. Since its discovery in Caenorhabditis elegans, RNAi has proven a valuable scientific tool in many organisms. In C. elegans, exogenous RNAi spreads throughout the organism and can be passed between generations; however, there has been controversy as to the endogenous role(s) that the RNAi pathway plays. One endogenous role for which spreading both within the infected organism and between

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  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; Sommer, Ralf J

    2013-10-01

    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.

  2. 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

  3. Sequence signatures of nucleosome positioning in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Kaifu; Wang, Lei; Yang, Meng; Liu, Jiucheng; Xin, Chengqi; Hu, Songnian; Yu, Jun

    2010-06-01

    Our recent investigation in the protist Trichomonas vaginalis suggested a DNA sequence periodicity with a unit length of 120.9 nt, which represents a sequence signature for nucleosome positioning. We now extended our observation in higher eukaryotes and identified a similar periodicity of 175 nt in length in Caenorhabditis elegans. In the process of defining the sequence compositional characteristics, we found that the 10.5-nt periodicity, the sequence signature of DNA double helix, may not be sufficient for cross-nucleosome positioning but provides essential guiding rails to facilitate positioning. We further dissected nucleosome-protected sequences and identified a strong positive purine (AG) gradient from the 5'-end to the 3'-end, and also learnt that the nucleosome-enriched regions are GC-rich as compared to the nucleosome-free sequences as purine content is positively correlated with GC content. Sequence characterization allowed us to develop a hidden Markov model (HMM) algorithm for decoding nucleosome positioning computationally, and based on a set of training data from the fifth chromosome of C. elegans, our algorithm predicted 60%-70% of the well-positioned nucleosomes, which is 15%-20% higher than random positioning. We concluded that nucleosomes are not randomly positioned on DNA sequences and yet bind to different genome regions with variable stability, well-positioned nucleosomes leave sequence signatures on DNA, and statistical positioning of nucleosomes across genome can be decoded computationally based on these sequence signatures. Copyright 2010 Beijing Genomics Institute. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Caenorhabditis elegans expressing the Saccharomyces cerevisiae NADH alternative dehydrogenase Ndi1p, as a tool to identify new genes involved in complex I related diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raynald eCossard

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Isolated complex I deficiencies are one of the most commonly observed biochemical features in patients suffering from mitochondrial disorders. In the majority of these clinical cases the molecular bases of the diseases remain unknown suggesting the involvement of unidentified factors that are critical for complex I function.The Saccharomyces cerevisiae NDI1 gene, encoding the mitochondrial internal NADH dehydrogenase was previously shown to complement a complex I deficient strain in Caenorhabitis elegans with notable improvements in reproduction, whole organism respiration. These features indicate that Ndi1p can functionally integrate the respiratory chain, allowing complex I deficiency complementation. Taking into account the Ndi1p ability to bypass complex I, we evaluate the possibility to extend the range of defects/mutations causing complex I deficiencies that can be alleviated by NDI1 expression.We report here that NDI1 expressing animals unexpectedly exhibit a slightly shortened lifespan, a reduction in the progeny and a depletion of the mitochondrial genome. However, Ndi1p is expressed and targeted to the mitochondria as a functional protein that confers rotenone resistance to those animals and without affecting their respiration rate and ATP content.We show that the severe embryonic lethality level caused by the RNAi knockdowns of complex I structural subunit encoding genes (e.g. NDUFV1, NDUFS1, NDUFS6, NDUFS8 or GRIM-19 human orthologs in wild type animals is significantly reduced in the Ndi1p expressing worm.All together these results open up the perspective to identify new genes involved in complex I function, assembly or regulation by screening an RNAi library of genes leading to embryonic lethality that should be rescued by NDI1 expression.

  7. Modulation of Locomotion and Reproduction by FLP Neuropeptides in the Nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Yan-Jung; Burton, Tina; Ha, Lawrence; Huang, Zi; Olajubelo, Adewale; Li, Chris

    2015-01-01

    Neuropeptides function in animals to modulate most, if not all, complex behaviors. In invertebrates, neuropeptides can function as the primary neurotransmitter of a neuron, but more generally they co-localize with a small molecule neurotransmitter, as is commonly seen in vertebrates. Because a single neuron can express multiple neuropeptides and because neuropeptides can bind to multiple G protein-coupled receptors, neuropeptide actions increase the complexity by which the neural connectome can be activated or inhibited. Humans are estimated to have 90 plus neuropeptide genes; by contrast, nematodes, a relatively simple organism, have a slightly larger complement of neuropeptide genes. For instance, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has over 100 neuropeptide-encoding genes, of which at least 31 genes encode peptides of the FMRFamide family. To understand the function of this large FMRFamide peptide family, we isolated knockouts of different FMRFamide-encoding genes and generated transgenic animals in which the peptides are overexpressed. We assayed these animals on two basic behaviors: locomotion and reproduction. Modulating levels of different neuropeptides have strong as well as subtle effects on these behaviors. These data suggest that neuropeptides play critical roles in C. elegans to fine tune neural circuits controlling locomotion and reproduction.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. Control of nonapoptotic developmental cell death in Caenorhabditis elegans by a polyglutamine-repeat protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blum, Elyse S; Abraham, Mary C; Yoshimura, Satoshi; Lu, Yun; Shaham, Shai

    2012-02-24

    Death is a vital developmental cell fate. In Caenorhabditis elegans, programmed death of the linker cell, which leads gonadal elongation, proceeds independently of caspases and apoptotic effectors. To identify genes promoting linker-cell death, we performed a genome-wide RNA interference screen. We show that linker-cell death requires the gene pqn-41, encoding an endogenous polyglutamine-repeat protein. pqn-41 functions cell-autonomously and is expressed at the onset of linker-cell death. pqn-41 expression is controlled by the mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase SEK-1, which functions in parallel to the zinc-finger protein LIN-29 to promote cellular demise. Linker-cell death is morphologically similar to cell death associated with normal vertebrate development and polyglutamine-induced neurodegeneration. Our results may therefore provide molecular inroads to understanding nonapoptotic cell death in metazoan development and disease.

  11. Lipid droplet protein LID-1 mediates ATGL-1-dependent lipolysis during fasting in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jung Hyun; Kong, Jinuk; Jang, Ju Yeon; Han, Ji Seul; Ji, Yul; Lee, Junho; Kim, Jae Bum

    2014-11-15

    Lipolysis is a delicate process involving complex signaling cascades and sequential enzymatic activations. In Caenorhabditis elegans, fasting induces various physiological changes, including a dramatic decrease in lipid contents through lipolysis. Interestingly, C. elegans lacks perilipin family genes which play a crucial role in the regulation of lipid homeostasis in other species. Here, we demonstrate that in the intestinal cells of C. elegans, a newly identified protein, lipid droplet protein 1 (C25A1.12; LID-1), modulates lipolysis by binding to adipose triglyceride lipase 1 (C05D11.7; ATGL-1) during nutritional deprivation. In fasted worms, lipid droplets were decreased in intestinal cells, whereas suppression of ATGL-1 via RNA interference (RNAi) resulted in retention of stored lipid droplets. Overexpression of ATGL-1 markedly decreased lipid droplets, whereas depletion of LID-1 via RNAi prevented the effect of overexpressed ATGL-1 on lipolysis. In adult worms, short-term fasting increased cyclic AMP (cAMP) levels, which activated protein kinase A (PKA) to stimulate lipolysis via ATGL-1 and LID-1. Moreover, ATGL-1 protein stability and LID-1 binding were augmented by PKA activation, eventually leading to increased lipolysis. These data suggest the importance of the concerted action of lipase and lipid droplet protein in the response to fasting signals via PKA to maintain lipid homeostasis. Copyright © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Control of intestinal bacterial proliferation in regulation of lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Portal-Celhay Cynthia

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A powerful approach to understanding complex processes such as aging is to use model organisms amenable to genetic manipulation, and to seek relevant phenotypes to measure. Caenorhabditis elegans is particularly suited to studies of aging, since numerous single-gene mutations have been identified that affect its lifespan; it possesses an innate immune system employing evolutionarily conserved signaling pathways affecting longevity. As worms age, bacteria accumulate in the intestinal tract. However, quantitative relationships between worm genotype, lifespan, and intestinal lumen bacterial load have not been examined. We hypothesized that gut immunity is less efficient in older animals, leading to enhanced bacterial accumulation, reducing longevity. To address this question, we evaluated the ability of worms to control bacterial accumulation as a functional marker of intestinal immunity. Results We show that as adult worms age, several C. elegans genotypes show diminished capacity to control intestinal bacterial accumulation. We provide evidence that intestinal bacterial load, regulated by gut immunity, is an important causative factor of lifespan determination; the effects are specified by bacterial strain, worm genotype, and biologic age, all acting in concert. Conclusions In total, these studies focus attention on the worm intestine as a locus that influences longevity in the presence of an accumulating bacterial population. Further studies defining the interplay between bacterial species and host immunity in C. elegans may provide insights into the general mechanisms of aging and age-related diseases.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

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    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

  19. ELT-3: A Caenorhabditis elegans GATA factor expressed in the embryonic epidermis during morphogenesis.

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    Gilleard, J S; Shafi, Y; Barry, J D; McGhee, J D

    1999-04-15

    We have identified a gene encoding a new member of the Caenorhabditis elegans GATA transcription factor family, elt-3. The predicted ELT-3 polypeptide contains a single GATA-type zinc finger (C-X2-C-X17-C-X2-C) along with a conserved adjacent basic region. elt-3 mRNA is present in all stages of C. elegans development but is most abundant in embryos. Reporter gene analysis and antibody staining show that elt-3 is first expressed in the dorsal and ventral hypodermal cells, and in hypodermal cells of the head and tail, immediately after the final embryonic cell division that gives rise to these cells. No expression is seen in the lateral hypodermal (seam) cells. elt-3 expression is maintained at a constant level in the epidermis until the 2(1/2)-fold stage of development, after which reporter gene expression declines to a low level and endogenous protein can no longer be detected by specific antibody. A second phase of elt-3 expression in cells immediately anterior and posterior to the gut begins in pretzel-stage embryos. elt-1 and lin-26 are two genes known to be important in specification and maintenance of hypodermal cell fates. We have found that elt-1 is required for the formation of most, but not all, elt-3-expressing cells. In contrast, lin-26 function does not appear necessary for elt-3 expression. Finally, we have characterised the candidate homologue of elt-3 in the nematode Caenorhabditis briggsae. Many features of the elt-3 genomic and transcript structure are conserved between the two species, suggesting that elt-3 is likely to perform an evolutionarily significant function during development. Copyright 1999 Academic Press.

  20. IL-17 is a neuromodulator of Caenorhabditis elegans sensory responses.

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    Chen, Changchun; Itakura, Eisuke; Nelson, Geoffrey M; Sheng, Ming; Laurent, Patrick; Fenk, Lorenz A; Butcher, Rebecca A; Hegde, Ramanujan S; de Bono, Mario

    2017-02-02

    Interleukin-17 (IL-17) is a major pro-inflammatory cytokine: it mediates responses to pathogens or tissue damage, and drives autoimmune diseases. Little is known about its role in the nervous system. Here we show that IL-17 has neuromodulator-like properties in Caenorhabditis elegans. IL-17 can act directly on neurons to alter their response properties and contribution to behaviour. Using unbiased genetic screens, we delineate an IL-17 signalling pathway and show that it acts in the RMG hub interneurons. Disrupting IL-17 signalling reduces RMG responsiveness to input from oxygen sensors, and renders sustained escape from 21% oxygen transient and contingent on additional stimuli. Over-activating IL-17 receptors abnormally heightens responses to 21% oxygen in RMG neurons and whole animals. IL-17 deficiency can be bypassed by optogenetic stimulation of RMG. Inducing IL-17 expression in adults can rescue mutant defects within 6 h. These findings reveal a non-immunological role of IL-17 modulating circuit function and behaviour.

  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. Arbutin increases Caenorhabditis elegans longevity and stress resistance

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    Lin Zhou

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Arbutin (p-hydroxyphenyl-β-D-glucopyranoside, a well-known tyrosinase inhibitor, has been widely used as a cosmetic whitening agent. Although its natural role is to scavenge free radicals within cells, it has also exhibited useful activities for the treatment of diuresis, bacterial infections and cancer, as well as anti-inflammatory and anti-tussive activities. Because function of free radical scavenging is also related to antioxidant and the effects of arbutin on longevity and stress resistance in animals have not yet been confirmed, here the effects of arbutin on Caenorhabditis elegans were investigated. The results demonstrated that optimal concentrations of arbutin could extend lifespan and enhance resistance to oxidative stress. The underlying molecular mechanism for these effects involves decreased levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS, improvement of daf-16 nuclear localization, and up-regulated expression of daf-16 and its downstream targets, including sod-3 and hsp16.2. In this work the roles of arbutin in lifespan and health are studied and the results support that arbutin is an antioxidant for maintaining overall health.

  3. Evolutionarily conserved TRH neuropeptide pathway regulates growth in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Van Sinay, Elien; Mirabeau, Olivier; Depuydt, Geert; Van Hiel, Matthias Boris; Peymen, Katleen; Watteyne, Jan; Zels, Sven; Schoofs, Liliane; Beets, Isabel

    2017-05-16

    In vertebrates thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) is a highly conserved neuropeptide that exerts the hormonal control of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels as well as neuromodulatory functions. However, a functional equivalent in protostomian animals remains unknown, although TRH receptors are conserved in proto- and deuterostomians. Here we identify a TRH-like neuropeptide precursor in Caenorhabditis elegans that belongs to a bilaterian family of TRH precursors. Using CRISPR/Cas9 and RNAi reverse genetics, we show that TRH-like neuropeptides, through the activation of their receptor TRHR-1, promote growth in Celegans TRH-like peptides from pharyngeal motor neurons are required for normal body size, and knockdown of their receptor in pharyngeal muscle cells reduces growth. Mutants deficient for TRH signaling have no defects in pharyngeal pumping or isthmus peristalsis rates, but their growth defect depends on the bacterial diet. In addition to the decrease in growth, trh-1 mutants have a reduced number of offspring. Our study suggests that TRH is an evolutionarily ancient neuropeptide, having its origin before the divergence of protostomes and deuterostomes, and may ancestrally have been involved in the control of postembryonic growth and reproduction.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Ras/MAPK Modifier Loci Revealed by eQTL in Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Mark G. Sterken

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The oncogenic Ras/MAPK pathway is evolutionarily conserved across metazoans. Yet, almost all our knowledge on this pathway comes from studies using single genetic backgrounds, whereas mutational effects can be highly background dependent. Therefore, we lack insight in the interplay between genetic backgrounds and the Ras/MAPK-signaling pathway. Here, we used a Caenorhabditis elegans RIL population containing a gain-of-function mutation in the Ras/MAPK-pathway gene let-60 and measured how gene expression regulation is affected by this mutation. We mapped eQTL and found that the majority (∼73% of the 1516 detected cis-eQTL were not specific for the let-60 mutation, whereas most (∼76% of the 898 detected trans-eQTL were associated with the let-60 mutation. We detected six eQTL trans-bands specific for the interaction between the genetic background and the mutation, one of which colocalized with the polymorphic Ras/MAPK modifier amx-2. Comparison between transgenic lines expressing allelic variants of amx-2 showed the involvement of amx-2 in 79% of the trans-eQTL for genes mapping to this trans-band. Together, our results have revealed hidden loci affecting Ras/MAPK signaling using sensitized backgrounds in C. elegans. These loci harbor putative polymorphic modifier genes that would not have been detected using mutant screens in single genetic backgrounds.

  7. Alternative Polyadenylation Directs Tissue-Specific miRNA Targeting in Caenorhabditis elegans Somatic Tissues.

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    Blazie, Stephen M; Geissel, Heather C; Wilky, Henry; Joshi, Rajan; Newbern, Jason; Mangone, Marco

    2017-06-01

    mRNA expression dynamics promote and maintain the identity of somatic tissues in living organisms; however, their impact in post-transcriptional gene regulation in these processes is not fully understood. Here, we applied the PAT-Seq approach to systematically isolate, sequence, and map tissue-specific mRNA from five highly studied Caenorhabditis elegans somatic tissues: GABAergic and NMDA neurons, arcade and intestinal valve cells, seam cells, and hypodermal tissues, and studied their mRNA expression dynamics. The integration of these datasets with previously profiled transcriptomes of intestine, pharynx, and body muscle tissues, precisely assigns tissue-specific expression dynamics for 60% of all annotated C. elegans protein-coding genes, providing an important resource for the scientific community. The mapping of 15,956 unique high-quality tissue-specific polyA sites in all eight somatic tissues reveals extensive tissue-specific 3'untranslated region (3'UTR) isoform switching through alternative polyadenylation (APA) . Almost all ubiquitously transcribed genes use APA and harbor miRNA targets in their 3'UTRs, which are commonly lost in a tissue-specific manner, suggesting widespread usage of post-transcriptional gene regulation modulated through APA to fine tune tissue-specific protein expression. Within this pool, the human disease gene C. elegans orthologs rack-1 and tct-1 use APA to switch to shorter 3'UTR isoforms in order to evade miRNA regulation in the body muscle tissue, resulting in increased protein expression needed for proper body muscle function. Our results highlight a major positive regulatory role for APA, allowing genes to counteract miRNA regulation on a tissue-specific basis. Copyright © 2017 Blazie et al.

  8. DHS-21, a dicarbonyl/L-xylulose reductase (DCXR) ortholog, regulates longevity and reproduction in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Son, Le Tho; Ko, Kyung-Min; Cho, Jeong Hoon; Singaravelu, Gunasekaran; Chatterjee, Indrani; Choi, Tae-Woo; Song, Hyun-Ok; Yu, Jae-Ran; Park, Byung-Jae; Lee, Sun-Kyung; Ahnn, Joohong

    2011-05-06

    Dicarbonyl/L-xylulose reductase (DCXR) converts l-xylulose into xylitol, and reduces various α-dicarbonyl compounds, thus performing a dual role in carbohydrate metabolism and detoxification. In this study, we identified DHS-21 as the only DCXR ortholog in Caenorhabditis elegans. The dhs-21 gene is expressed in various tissues including the intestine, gonadal sheath cells, uterine seam (utse) cells, the spermathecal-uterus (sp-ut) valve and on the plasma membrane of spermatids. Recombinant DHS-21 was shown to convert L-xylulose to xylitol using NADPH as a cofactor. Dhs-21 null mutants of C. elegans show defects in longevity, reproduction and egg-laying. Knock-down of daf-16 and elt-2 transcription factors affected dhs-21 expression. These results suggest that DHS-21 is a bona fide DCXR of C. elegans, essential for normal life span and reproduction. Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  9. Caenorhabditis elegans DAF-2 as a Model for Human Insulin Receptoropathies

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    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.

  10. The Substrates of Nonsense-Mediated mRNA Decay in Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Virginia S. Muir

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD is a conserved pathway that strongly influences eukaryotic gene expression. Inactivating or inhibiting NMD affects the abundance of a substantial fraction of the transcriptome in numerous species. Transcripts whose abundance is altered in NMD-deficient cells may represent either direct substrates of NMD or indirect effects of inhibiting NMD. We present a genome-wide investigation of the direct substrates of NMD in Caenorhabditis elegans. Our goals were (i to identify mRNA substrates of NMD and (ii to distinguish those mRNAs from others whose abundance is indirectly influenced by the absence of NMD. We previously demonstrated that Upf1p/SMG-2, the central effector of NMD in all studied eukaryotes, preferentially associates with mRNAs that contain premature translation termination codons. We used this preferential association to distinguish direct from indirect effects by coupling immunopurification of Upf1/SMG-2 with high-throughput mRNA sequencing of NMD-deficient mutants and NMD-proficient controls. We identify 680 substrates of NMD, 171 of which contain novel spliced forms that (i include sequences of annotated introns and (ii have not been previously documented in the C. elegans transcriptome. NMD degrades unproductively spliced mRNAs with sufficient efficiency in NMD-proficient strains that such mRNAs were not previously known. Two classes of genes are enriched among the identified NMD substrates: (i mRNAs of expressed pseudogenes and (ii mRNAs of gene families whose gene number has recently expanded in the C. elegans genome. Our results identify novel NMD substrates and provide a context for understanding NMD’s role in normal gene expression and genome evolution.

  11. Bacillus licheniformis Isolated from Traditional Korean Food Resources Enhances the Longevity of Caenorhabditis elegans through Serotonin Signaling.

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    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.

  12. 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.

  13. Functional Redundancy of the B9 Proteins and Nephrocystins in Caenorhabditis elegans Ciliogenesis

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    Williams, Corey [University of Alabama, Birmingham; Winkelbauer, Marlene [Yale University; Schafer, Jenny [Vanderbilt University; Michaud III, Edward J [ORNL; Yoder, Bradley [University of Alabama, Birmingham

    2008-01-01

    Meckel-Gruber syndrome (MKS), nephronophthisis (NPHP), and Joubert syndrome (JBTS) are a group of heterogeneous cystic kidney disorders with partially overlapping loci. Many of the proteins associated with these diseases interact and localize to cilia and/or basal bodies. One of these proteins is MKS1, which is disrupted in some MKS patients and contains a B9 motif of unknown function that is found in two other mammalian proteins, B9D2 and B9D1. Caenorhabditis elegans also has three B9 proteins: XBX-7 (MKS1), TZA-1 (B9D2), and TZA-2 (B9D1). Herein, we report that the C. elegans B9 proteins form a complex that localizes to the base of cilia. Mutations in the B9 genes do not overtly affect cilia formation unless they are in combination with a mutation in nph-1 or nph-4, the homologues of human genes (NPHP1 and NPHP4, respectively) that are mutated in some NPHP patients. Our data indicate that the B9 proteins function redundantly with the nephrocystins to regulate the formation and/or maintenance of cilia and dendrites in the amphid and phasmid ciliated sensory neurons. Together, these data suggest that the human homologues of the novel B9 genes B9D2 and B9D1 will be strong candidate loci for pathologies in human MKS, NPHP, and JBTS.

  14. Lysosome biogenesis mediated by vps-18 affects apoptotic cell degradation in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Xiao, Hui; Chen, Didi; Fang, Zhou; Xu, Jing; Sun, Xiaojuan; Song, Song; Liu, Jiajia; Yang, Chonglin

    2009-01-01

    Appropriate clearance of apoptotic cells (cell corpses) is an important step of programmed cell death. Although genetic and biochemical studies have identified several genes that regulate the engulfment of cell corpses, how these are degraded after being internalized in engulfing cell remains elusive. Here, we show that VPS-18, the Caenorhabditis elegans homologue of yeast Vps18p, is critical to cell corpse degradation. VPS-18 is expressed and functions in engulfing cells. Deletion of vps-18 leads to significant accumulation of cell corpses that are not degraded properly. Furthermore, vps-18 mutation causes strong defects in the biogenesis of endosomes and lysosomes, thus affecting endosomal/lysosomal protein degradation. Importantly, we demonstrate that phagosomes containing internalized cell corpses are unable to fuse with lysosomes in vps-18 mutants. Our findings thus provide direct evidence for the important role of endosomal/lysosomal degradation in proper clearance of apoptotic cells during programmed cell death.

  15. 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...... and terminal differentiation genes is abrogated. As such, lin-32 mutant animals are unable to respond to increases in environmental oxygen. The URX neurons are generated from a branch of the cell lineage that also produces the CEPDL/R and URADL/R neurons. We found development of these neurons is also defective...

  16. Characterization of microsporidia-induced developmental arrest and a transmembrane leucine-rich repeat protein in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert J Luallen

    Full Text Available Microsporidia comprise a highly diverged phylum of intracellular, eukaryotic pathogens, with some species able to cause life-threatening illnesses in immunocompromised patients. To better understand microsporidian infection in animals, we study infection of the genetic model organism Caenorhabditis elegans and a species of microsporidia, Nematocida parisii, which infects Caenorhabditis nematodes in the wild. We conducted a targeted RNAi screen for host C. elegans genes important for infection and growth of N. parisii, using nematode larval arrest as an assay for infection. Here, we present the results of this RNAi screen, and our analyses on one of the RNAi hits from the screen that was ultimately not corroborated by loss of function mutants. This hit was an RNAi clone against F56A8.3, a conserved gene that encodes a transmembrane protein containing leucine-rich repeats (LRRs, a domain found in numerous pathogen receptors from other systems. This RNAi clone caused C. elegans to be resistant to infection by N. parisii, leading to reduced larval arrest and lower pathogen load. Characterization of the endogenous F56A8.3 protein revealed that it is expressed in the intestine, localized to the membrane around lysosome-related organelles (LROs, and exists in two different protein isoforms in C. elegans. We used the CRISPR-Cas9 system to edit the F56A8.3 locus and created both a frameshift mutant resulting in a truncated protein and a complete knockout mutant. Neither of these mutants was able to recapitulate the infection phenotypes of the RNAi clone, indicating that the RNAi-mediated phenotypes are due to an off-target effect of the RNAi clone. Nevertheless, this study describes microsporidia-induced developmental arrest in C. elegans, presents results from an RNAi screen for host genes important for microsporidian infection, and characterizes aspects of the conserved F56A8.3 gene and its protein product.

  17. Arsenite exposure accelerates aging process regulated by the transcription factor DAF-16/FOXO in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Chan-Wei; How, Chun Ming; Liao, Vivian Hsiu-Chuan

    2016-05-01

    Arsenic is a known human carcinogen and high levels of arsenic contamination in food, soils, water, and air are of toxicology concerns. Nowadays, arsenic is still a contaminant of emerging interest, yet the effects of arsenic on aging process have received little attention. In this study, we investigated the effects and the underlying mechanisms of chronic arsenite exposure on the aging process in Caenorhabditis elegans. The results showed that prolonged arsenite exposure caused significantly decreased lifespan compared to non-exposed ones. In addition, arsenite exposure (100 μM) caused significant changes of age-dependent biomarkers, including a decrease of defecation frequency, accumulations of intestinal lipofuscin and lipid peroxidation in an age-dependent manner in C. elegans. Further evidence revealed that intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) level was significantly increased in an age-dependent manner upon 100 μM arsenite exposure. Moreover, the mRNA levels of transcriptional makers of aging (hsp-16.1, hsp-16.49, and hsp-70) were increased in aged worms under arsenite exposure (100 μM). Finally, we showed that daf-16 mutant worms were more sensitive to arsenite exposure (100 μM) on lifespan and failed to induce the expression of its target gene sod-3 in aged daf-16 mutant under arsenite exposure (100 μM). Our study demonstrated that chronic arsenite exposure resulted in accelerated aging process in C. elegans. The overproduction of intracellular ROS and the transcription factor DAF-16/FOXO play roles in mediating the accelerated aging process by arsenite exposure in C. elegans. This study implicates a potential ecotoxicological and health risk of arsenic in the environment. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. The TRA-1 transcription factor binds TRA-2 to regulate sexual fates in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Shanping; Kimble, Judith

    2001-01-01

    The tra-1 and tra-2 sex-determining genes promote female fates in Caenorhabditis elegans. Classical genetic studies placed tra-1 as the terminal regulator of the pathway with tra-2 acting upstream as a regulator of regulators of tra-1. Here we report the surprising result that the TRA-1 transcription factor binds the intracellular domain of the TRA-2 membrane protein. This binding is dependent on the MX regulatory domain, a region of the TRA-2 intracellular domain shown previously to be critical for the onset of hermaphrodite spermatogenesis. The functional importance of the TRA-1–TRA-2 physical interaction is supported by genetic interactions between tra-1(0) and tra-2(mx) mutations: a reduction of tra-1 gene dose from two copies to one copy enhances the tra-2(mx) feminization phenotype, but has no apparent somatic effect. In Caenorhabditis briggsae, we also find an MX-dependent interaction between Cb-TRA-1 and Cb-TRA-2, but intriguingly, no cross-species interactions are seen. The conservation of the TRA-1– TRA-2 interaction underscores its importance in sex determination. PMID:11250902

  19. 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

    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...... homologues of Niemann-Pick C disease proteins. Our approach is generally useful for identifying fluorescent probes in the presence of high cellular autofluorescence....

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

    OpenAIRE

    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 a...

  1. Caenorhabditis elegans as a model to study renal development and disease: sexy cilia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barr, Maureen M

    2005-02-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has no kidney per se, yet "the worm" has proved to be an excellent model to study renal-related issues, including tubulogenesis of the excretory canal, membrane transport and ion channel function, and human genetic diseases including autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD). The goal of this review is to explain how C. elegans has provided insight into cilia development, cilia function, and human cystic kidney diseases.

  2. Somatic sex determination in Caenorhabditis elegans is modulated by SUP-26 repression of tra-2 translation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mapes, James; Chen, Jeng-Ting; Yu, Jau-Song; Xue, Ding

    2010-10-19

    Translational repression mediated by RNA-binding proteins or micro RNAs has emerged as a major regulatory mechanism for fine-tuning important biological processes. In Caenorhabditis elegans, translational repression of the key sex-determination gene tra-2 (tra, transformer) is controlled by a 28-nucleotide repeat element, the TRA-2/GLI element (TGE), located in its 3' untranslated region (UTR). Mutations that disrupt TGE or the germline-specific TGE-binding factor GLD-1 increase TRA-2 protein expression and inhibit sperm production in hermaphrodites. Here we report the characterization of the sup-26 gene, which regulates sex determination in the soma and encodes an RNA recognition motif (RRM)-containing protein. We show that SUP-26 regulates the level of the TRA-2 protein through TGE in vivo and binds directly to TGE in vitro through its RRM domain. Interestingly, SUP-26 associates with poly(A)-binding protein 1 (PAB-1) in vivo and may repress tra-2 expression by inhibiting the translation-stimulating activity of PAB-1. Taken together, our results provide further insight into how mRNA-binding factors repress translation and modulate sexual development in different tissues of C. elegans.

  3. The Energy Metabolism in Caenorhabditis elegans under The Extremely Low-Frequency Electromagnetic Field Exposure

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 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. Sensory organ remodeling in Caenorhabditis elegans requires the zinc-finger protein ZTF-16.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Procko, Carl; Lu, Yun; Shaham, Shai

    2012-04-01

    Neurons and glia display remarkable morphological plasticity, and remodeling of glia may facilitate neuronal shape changes. The molecular basis and control of glial shape changes is not well understood. In response to environmental stress, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans enters an alternative developmental state, called dauer, in which glia and neurons of the amphid sensory organ remodel. Here, we describe a genetic screen aimed at identifying genes required for amphid glia remodeling. We previously demonstrated that remodeling requires the Otx-type transcription factor TTX-1 and its direct target, the receptor tyrosine kinase gene ver-1. We now find that the hunchback/Ikaros-like C2H2 zinc-finger factor ztf-16 is also required. We show that ztf-16 mutants exhibit pronounced remodeling defects, which are explained, at least in part, by defects in the expression of ver-1. Expression and cell-specific rescue studies suggest that ztf-16, like ttx-1, functions within glia; however, promoter deletion studies show that ztf-16 acts through a site on the ver-1 promoter that is independent of ttx-1. Our studies identify an important component of glia remodeling and suggest that transcriptional changes may underlie glial morphological plasticity in the sensory organs of C. elegans.

  5. Toxicity evaluation of boron nitride nanospheres and water-soluble boron nitride in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Ning; Wang, Hui; Tang, Chengchun; Lei, Shijun; Shen, Wanqing; Wang, Cong; Wang, Guobin; Wang, Zheng; Wang, Lin

    2017-01-01

    Boron nitride (BN) nanomaterials have been increasingly explored for potential biological applications. However, their toxicity remains poorly understood. Using Caenorhabditis elegans as a whole-animal model for toxicity analysis of two representative types of BN nanomaterials - BN nanospheres (BNNSs) and highly water-soluble BN nanomaterial (named BN-800-2) - we found that BNNSs overall toxicity was less than soluble BN-800-2 with irregular shapes. The concentration thresholds for BNNSs and BN-800-2 were 100 µg·mL-1 and 10 µg·mL-1, respectively. Above this concentration, both delayed growth, decreased life span, reduced progeny, retarded locomotion behavior, and changed the expression of phenotype-related genes to various extents. BNNSs and BN-800-2 increased oxidative stress levels in C. elegans by promoting reactive oxygen species production. Our results further showed that oxidative stress response and MAPK signaling-related genes, such as GAS1, SOD2, SOD3, MEK1, and PMK1, might be key factors for reactive oxygen species production and toxic responses to BNNSs and BN-800-2 exposure. Together, our results suggest that when concentrations are lower than 10 µg·mL-1, BNNSs are more biocompatible than BN-800-2 and are potentially biocompatible material.

  6. The development of sexual dimorphism: studies of the Caenorhabditis elegans male.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emmons, Scott W

    2014-01-01

    Studies of the development of the Caenorhabditis elegans male have been carried out with the aim of understanding the basis of sexual dimorphism. Postembryonic development of the two C. elegans sexes differs extensively. Development along either the hermaphrodite or male pathway is specified initially by the X to autosome ratio. The regulatory events initiated by this ratio include a male-determining paracrine intercellular signal. Expression of this signal leads to different consequences in three regions of the body: the nongonadal soma, the somatic parts of the gonad, and the germ line. In the nongonadal soma, activity of the key Zn-finger transcription factor TRA-1 determines hermaphrodite development; in its absence, the male pathway is followed. Only a few genes directly regulated by TRA-1 are currently known, including members of the evolutionarily conserved, male-determining DM domain Zn-finger transcription factors. In the somatic parts of the gonad and germ line, absence of TRA-1 activity is not sufficient for full expression of the male pathway. Several additional transcription factors involved have been identified. In the germ line, regulatory genes for sperm development that act at the level of RNA in the cytoplasm play a prominent role. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. 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

  8. An antidiabetic polyherbal phytomedicine confers stress resistance and extends lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  9. Oxidation resistance 1 is essential for protection against oxidative stress and participates in the regulation of aging in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanada, Y; Asai, S; Ikemoto, A; Moriwaki, T; Nakamura, N; Miyaji, M; Zhang-Akiyama, Q-M

    2014-08-01

    Human oxidation resistance 1 (OXR1) functions in protection against oxidative damage and its homologs are highly conserved in eukaryotes examined so far, but its function still remains uncertain. In this study, we identified a homolog (LMD-3) of human OXR1 in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans). The expressed LMD-3 was able to suppress the mutator phenotypes of E. coli mutMmutY and mutT mutants. Purified LMD-3 did not have enzymatic activity against 8-oxoG, superoxide dismutase (SOD), or catalase activities. Interestingly, the expression of LMD-3 was able to suppress the methyl viologen or menadione sodium bisulfite-induced expression of soxS and sodA genes in E. coli. The sensitivity of the C. elegans lmd-3 mutant to oxidative and heat stress was markedly higher than that of the wild-type strain N2. These results suggest that LMD-3 protects cells against oxidative stress. Furthermore, we found that the lifespan of the C. elegans lmd-3 mutant was significantly reduced compared with that of the N2, which was resulted from the acceleration of aging. We further examined the effects of deletions in other oxidative defense genes on the properties of the lmd-3 mutant. The deletion of sod-2 and sod-3, which are mitochondrial SODs, extended the lifespan of the lmd-3 mutant. These results indicate that, in cooperation with mitochondrial SODs, LMD-3 contributes to the protection against oxidative stress and aging in C. elegans.

  10. An RIG-I-Like RNA helicase mediates antiviral RNAi downstream of viral siRNA biogenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rui Lu

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Dicer ribonucleases of plants and invertebrate animals including Caenorhabditis elegans recognize and process a viral RNA trigger into virus-derived small interfering RNAs (siRNAs to guide specific viral immunity by Argonaute-dependent RNA interference (RNAi. C. elegans also encodes three Dicer-related helicase (drh genes closely related to the RIG-I-like RNA helicase receptors which initiate broad-spectrum innate immunity against RNA viruses in mammals. Here we developed a transgenic C. elegans strain that expressed intense green fluorescence from a chromosomally integrated flock house virus replicon only after knockdown or knockout of a gene required for antiviral RNAi. Use of the reporter nematode strain in a feeding RNAi screen identified drh-1 as an essential component of the antiviral RNAi pathway. However, RNAi induced by either exogenous dsRNA or the viral replicon was enhanced in drh-2 mutant nematodes, whereas exogenous RNAi was essentially unaltered in drh-1 mutant nematodes, indicating that exogenous and antiviral RNAi pathways are genetically distinct. Genetic epistatic analysis shows that drh-1 acts downstream of virus sensing and viral siRNA biogenesis to mediate specific antiviral RNAi. Notably, we found that two members of the substantially expanded subfamily of Argonautes specific to C. elegans control parallel antiviral RNAi pathways. These findings demonstrate both conserved and unique strategies of C. elegans in antiviral defense.

  11. 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?

  12. 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.

  13. Deep SAGE analysis of the Caenorhabditis elegans transcriptome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruzanov, Peter; Riddle, Donald L

    2010-06-01

    We employed the Tag-seq technique to generate global transcription profiles for different strains and life stages of the nematode C. elegans. Tag-seq generates cDNA tags as does Serial Analysis of Gene Expression (SAGE), but the method yields a much larger number of tags, generating much larger data sets than SAGE. We examined differences in the performance of SAGE and Tag-seq by comparing gene expression data for 13 pairs of libraries. We identified genes for which expression was consistently changed in long-lived worms. Additional genes emerged in the deeper Tag-seq profiles, including several 'signature' genes found among those zup-regulated in long-lived dauer larvae (cki-1, aak-2 and daf-16). Fifty to sixty percent of the genes differentially expressed in daf-2(-) versus daf-2(+) adults had fragmentary or no functional annotation, suggesting the involvement of as yet unstudied pathways in aging. We were able to distinguish between changes in gene expression associated with altered genotype or altered growth conditions. We found 62 cases of possible mRNA isoform switching in the 13 Tag-seq libraries, whereas the 13 SAGE libraries allowed detection of only 15 such occurrences. We observed strong expression of anti-sense transcripts for several mitochondrial genes, but nuclear anti-sense transcripts were neither abundant nor consistently expressed among the libraries.

  14. Microgravity increases DNA damage response in Caenorhabditis elegans during Shenzhou-8 spaceflight

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Ying; Sun, Yeqing; Xu, Dan; Zhao, Lei; Xu, Jiamin

    DNA damage response (DDR) plays an important role in genome maintenance through cell cycle arrest followed by DNA repair and/or apoptosis. Perturbing DDR may elicit genomic instability, carcinogenesis, even cell death. Space radiation and microgravity both have been reported to cause DDR in mammal cells while, in the space environment, the interaction of space radiation and microgravity on DDR is still controversial. To clarify the interaction, dauer larva of Caenorhabditis elegans were employed in Shenzhou-8 space mission and suffered space synthetic environment (RM) and space radiation (R) during 16.5-day spaceflight. mRNA microarray, qPCR and miRNA microarray were performed individually to detect the differences of transcriptome and microRNome affected by two environments. The results showed that, two fold genes were regulated more significantly by RM than by R. These regulated genes were involved in different physiological activities from each environment, which mainly involve in protein metabolic and modification processes in RM, and energy metabolic process in R. 21 of 500 DDR genes were extracted as significantly different expression in two space environments. DNA repair and apoptosis were enhanced by microgravity, since 18 of 21 genes were altered by RM specifically, including six “Response to DNA damage stimulus” genes, four “DNA repair” genes and eight “apoptosis process” genes. miRNAome also showed changes in response to microgravity. miRNA-81, 82, 124 and 795 were predicted to respond to RM and regulate DDR in C.elegans for the first time. These results suggest that microgravity increases the physiological activities to the space environment, especially enhance DNA damage response on transcription and post-transcriptional regulation in metazoan. We expect the finding provides new informations on synergetic effects between microgravity and radiation, and may be helpful for space risk assessment.

  15. Regulation of Intraflagellar Transport in the sensory cilia of Caenorhabditis Elegans

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    J.A. Burghoorn (Jan)

    2006-01-01

    textabstractCilia zijn kleine uitstulpingen op het celoppervlakte. Ze zijn belangrijk bij de beweging van cellen, zoals bijvoorbeeld bij sperma cellen, maar hebben daarnaast ook een sensorische functie. Wij hebben voor ons cilia onderzoek gekozen voor het model organisme Caenorhabditis elegans,

  16. Forward and reverse genetics approaches to uncover metabolic aging pathways in Caenorhabditis elegans

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gao, Arwen W.; Bos, uit de Jelmi; Sterken, Mark G.; Kammenga, Jan E.; Smith, Reuben L.; Houtkooper, Riekelt H.

    2017-01-01

    The biological mechanisms of aging have been studied in depth and prominent findings in this field promote the development of new therapies for age-associated disorders. Various model organisms are used for research on aging; among these, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has been widely used and

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. A blend of small molecules regulates both mating and development in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    In many organisms, population density sensing and sexual attraction rely on small molecule-based signaling systems. In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, population density is monitored via specific glycosides of the dideoxysugar ascarylose that promote entry into an alternate larval stage, the no...

  20. Cerium oxide nanoparticle aggregates affect stress response and function in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven Rogers

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Objective: The continual increase in production and disposal of nanomaterials raises concerns regarding the safety of nanoparticles on the environmental and human health. Recent studies suggest that cerium oxide (CeO2 nanoparticles may possess both harmful and beneficial effects on biological processes. The primary objective of this study is to evaluate how exposure to different concentrations (0.17–17.21 µg/mL of aggregated CeO2 nanoparticles affects indices of whole animal stress and survivability in Caenorhabditis elegans. Methods: Caenorhabditis elegans were exposed to different concentrations of CeO2 nanoparticles and evaluated. Results: Our findings demonstrate that chronic exposure of CeO2 nanoparticle aggregates is associated with increased levels of reactive oxygen species and heat shock stress response (HSP-4 in Caenorhabditis elegans, but not mortality. Conversely, CeO2 aggregates promoted strain-dependent decreases in animal fertility, a decline in stress resistance as measured by thermotolerance, and shortened worm length. Conclusion: The data obtained from this study reveal the sublethal toxic effects of CeO2 nanoparticle aggregates in Caenorhabditis elegans and contribute to our understanding of how exposure to CeO2 may affect the environment.

  1. 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

  2. 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…

  3. Specific microRNAs Regulate Heat Stress Responses in Caenorhabditis elegans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

    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...

  4. Effects and mechanisms of prolongevity induced by Lactobacillus gasseri SBT2055 in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakagawa, Hisako; Shiozaki, Takuya; Kobatake, Eiji; Hosoya, Tomohiro; Moriya, Tomohiro; Sakai, Fumihiko; Taru, Hidenori; Miyazaki, Tadaaki

    2016-04-01

    Lactic-acid bacteria are widely recognized beneficial host associated groups of the microbiota of humans and animals. Some lactic-acid bacteria have the ability to extend the lifespan of the model animals. The mechanisms behind the probiotic effects of bacteria are not entirely understood. Recently, we reported the benefit effects of Lactobacillus gasseriSBT2055 (LG2055) on animal and human health, such as preventing influenza A virus, and augmentation of IgA production. Therefore, it was preconceived that LG2055 has the beneficial effects on longevity and/or aging. We examined the effects of LG2055 on lifespan and aging of Caenorhabditis elegans and analyzed the mechanism of prolongevity. Our results demonstrated that LG2055 has the beneficial effects on longevity and anti-aging of C. elegans. Feeding with LG2055 upregulated the expression of the skn-1 gene and the target genes of SKN-1, encoding the antioxidant proteins enhancing antioxidant defense responses. We found that feeding with LG2055 directly activated SKN-1 activity via p38 MAPK pathway signaling. The oxidative stress response is elicited by mitochondrial dysfunction in aging, and we examined the influence of LG2055 feeding on the membrane potential of mitochondria. Here, the amounts of mitochondria were significantly increased by LG2055 feeding in comparison with the control. Our result suggests that feeding with LG2055 is effective to the extend lifespan in C. elegans by a strengthening of the resistance to oxidative stress and by stimulating the innate immune response signaling including p38MAPK signaling pathway and others. © 2015 The Authors. Aging Cell published by the Anatomical Society and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. The C-terminal binding protein (CTBP-1) regulates dorsal SMD axonal morphology in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reid, A; Sherry, T J; Yücel, D; Llamosas, E; Nicholas, H R

    2015-12-17

    C-terminal binding proteins (CtBPs) are transcriptional co-repressors which cooperate with a variety of transcription factors to repress gene expression. Caenorhabditis elegans CTBP-1 expression has been observed in the nervous system and hypodermis. In C. elegans, CTBP-1 regulates several processes including Acute Functional Tolerance to ethanol and functions in the nervous system to modulate both lifespan and expression of a lipase gene called lips-7. Incorrect structure and/or function of the nervous system can lead to behavioral changes. Here, we demonstrate reduced exploration behavior in ctbp-1 mutants. Our examination of a subset of neurons involved in regulating locomotion revealed that the axonal morphology of dorsal SMD (SMDD) neurons is altered in ctbp-1 mutants at the fourth larval (L4) stage. Expressing CTBP-1 under the control of the endogenous ctbp-1 promoter rescued both the exploration behavior phenotype and defective SMDD axon structure in ctbp-1 mutants at the L4 stage. Interestingly, the pre-synaptic marker RAB-3 was found to localize to the mispositioned portion of SMDD axons in a ctbp-1 mutant. Further analysis of SMDD axonal morphology at days 1, 3 and 5 of adulthood revealed that the number of ctbp-1 mutants showing an SMDD axonal morphology defect increases in early adulthood and the observed defect appears to be qualitatively more severe. CTBP-1 is prominently expressed in the nervous system with weak expression detected in the hypodermis. Surprisingly, solely expressing CTBP-1a in the nervous system or hypodermis did not restore correct SMDD axonal structure in a ctbp-1 mutant. Our results demonstrate a role for CTBP-1 in exploration behavior and the regulation of SMDD axonal morphology in C. elegans. Copyright © 2015 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Uncovering the mechanisms of Caenorhabditis elegans ageing from global quantification of the underlying landscape.

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    Zhao, Lei; Wang, Jin

    2016-11-01

    Recent studies on Caenorhabditis elegans reveal that gene manipulations can extend its lifespan several fold. However, how the genes work together to determine longevity is still an open question. Here we construct a gene regulatory network for worm ageing and quantify its underlying potential and flux landscape. We found ageing and rejuvenation states can emerge as basins of attraction at certain gene expression levels. The system state can switch from one attractor to another driven by the intrinsic or external perturbations through genetics or the environment. Furthermore, we simulated gene silencing experiments and found that the silencing of longevity-promoting or lifespan-limiting genes leads to ageing or rejuvenation domination, respectively. This indicates that the difference in depths between ageing and the rejuvenation attractor is highly correlated with worm longevity. We further uncovered some key genes and regulations which have a strong influence on landscape basin stability. A dynamic landscape model is proposed to describe the whole process of ageing: the ageing attractor dominates when senescence progresses. We also uncovered the oscillation dynamics, and a similar behaviour was observed in the long-lived creature Turritopsis dohrnii Our landscape theory provides a global and physical approach to explore the underlying mechanisms of ageing. © 2016 The Author(s).

  7. Systematic Functional Characterization of Human 21st Chromosome Orthologs in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-24

    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 protein 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 ten 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, G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics.

  8. Uncoupling of pathways that promote postmitotic life span and apoptosis from replicative immortality of Caenorhabditis elegans germ cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmed, Shawn

    2006-12-01

    A dichotomy exists between germ and somatic cells in most organisms, such that somatic cell lineages proliferate for a single generation, whereas the germ cell lineage has the capacity to proliferate from one generation to the next, indefinitely. Several theories have been proposed to explain the unlimited replicative life span of germ cells, including the elimination of damaged germ cells by apoptosis or expression of high levels of gene products that prevent aging in somatic cells. These theories were tested in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans by examining the consequences of eliminating either apoptosis or the daf-16, daf-18 or sir-2.1 genes that promote longevity of postmitotic somatic cells. However, germ cells of strains deficient for these activities displayed an unlimited proliferative capacity. Thus, C. elegans germ cells retain their youthful character via alternative pathways that prevent or eliminate damage that accumulates as a consequence of cell proliferation.

  9. AceTree: a tool for visual analysis of Caenorhabditis elegans embryogenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Araya Carlos L

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The invariant lineage of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has potential as a powerful tool for the description of mutant phenotypes and gene expression patterns. We previously described procedures for the imaging and automatic extraction of the cell lineage from C. elegans embryos. That method uses time-lapse confocal imaging of a strain expressing histone-GFP fusions and a software package, StarryNite, processes the thousands of images and produces output files that describe the location and lineage relationship of each nucleus at each time point. Results We have developed a companion software package, AceTree, which links the images and the annotations using tree representations of the lineage. This facilitates curation and editing of the lineage. AceTree also contains powerful visualization and interpretive tools, such as space filling models and tree-based expression patterning, that can be used to extract biological significance from the data. Conclusion By pairing a fast lineaging program written in C with a user interface program written in Java we have produced a powerful software suite for exploring embryonic development.

  10. Astragalus Polysaccharide Suppresses 6-Hydroxydopamine-Induced Neurotoxicity in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haifeng Li

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Astragalus membranaceus is a medicinal plant traditionally used in China for a variety of conditions, including inflammatory and neural diseases. Astragalus polysaccharides are shown to reduce the adverse effect of levodopa which is used to treat Parkinson’s disease (PD. However, the neuroprotective effect of Astragalus polysaccharides per se in PD is lacking. Using Caenorhabditis elegans models, we investigated the protective effect of astragalan, an acidic polysaccharide isolated from A. membranaceus, against the neurotoxicity of 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA, a neurotoxin that can induce parkinsonism. We show that 6-OHDA is able to degenerate dopaminergic neurons and lead to the deficiency of food-sensing behavior and a shorter lifespan in C. elegans. Interestingly, these degenerative symptoms can be attenuated by astragalan treatment. Astragalan is also shown to alleviate oxidative stress through reducing reactive oxygen species level and malondialdehyde content and increasing superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase activities and reduce the expression of proapoptotic gene egl-1 in 6-OHDA-intoxicated nematodes. Further studies reveal that astragalan is capable of elevating the decreased acetylcholinesterase activity induced by 6-OHDA. Together, our results demonstrate that the protective effect of astragalan against 6-OHDA neurotoxicity is likely due to the alleviation of oxidative stress and regulation of apoptosis pathway and cholinergic system and thus provide an important insight into the therapeutic potential of Astragalus polysaccharide in neurodegeneration.

  11. 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.

  12. Astragalus Polysaccharide Suppresses 6-Hydroxydopamine-Induced Neurotoxicity in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Haifeng; Ding, Fei; Wang, Hongyu; Han, Wenjing; Ma, Fangli; Hu, Minghua; Ma, Chung Wah

    2016-01-01

    Astragalus membranaceus is a medicinal plant traditionally used in China for a variety of conditions, including inflammatory and neural diseases. Astragalus polysaccharides are shown to reduce the adverse effect of levodopa which is used to treat Parkinson's disease (PD). However, the neuroprotective effect of Astragalus polysaccharides per se in PD is lacking. Using Caenorhabditis elegans models, we investigated the protective effect of astragalan, an acidic polysaccharide isolated from A. membranaceus, against the neurotoxicity of 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA), a neurotoxin that can induce parkinsonism. We show that 6-OHDA is able to degenerate dopaminergic neurons and lead to the deficiency of food-sensing behavior and a shorter lifespan in C. elegans. Interestingly, these degenerative symptoms can be attenuated by astragalan treatment. Astragalan is also shown to alleviate oxidative stress through reducing reactive oxygen species level and malondialdehyde content and increasing superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase activities and reduce the expression of proapoptotic gene egl-1 in 6-OHDA-intoxicated nematodes. Further studies reveal that astragalan is capable of elevating the decreased acetylcholinesterase activity induced by 6-OHDA. Together, our results demonstrate that the protective effect of astragalan against 6-OHDA neurotoxicity is likely due to the alleviation of oxidative stress and regulation of apoptosis pathway and cholinergic system and thus provide an important insight into the therapeutic potential of Astragalus polysaccharide in neurodegeneration. PMID:27885333

  13. Hierarchical compression of Caenorhabditis elegans locomotion reveals phenotypic differences in the organization of behaviour

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27581484

  14. Comparative Lipidomics of Caenorhabditis elegans Metabolic Disease Models by SWATH Non-Targeted Tandem Mass Spectrometry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeevan K. Prasain

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS with Sequential Window Acquisition of all Theoretical (SWATH mass spectra generates a comprehensive archive of lipid species within an extract for retrospective, quantitative MS/MS analysis. Here we apply this new technology in Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans to identify potential lipid mediators and pathways. The DAF-1 type I TGF-β and DAF-2 insulin receptors transmit endocrine signals that couple metabolic status to fertility and lifespan. Mutations in daf-1 and daf-2 reduce prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase (i.e., Cox-independent prostaglandin synthesis, increase triacylglyceride storage, and alter transcription of numerous lipid metabolism genes. However, the extent to which DAF-1 and DAF-2 signaling modulate lipid metabolism and the underlying mechanisms are not well understood. MS/MSALL with SWATH analysis across the groups identified significant changes in numerous lipids, including specific triacylglycerols, diacylglycerols, and phosphatidylinositols. Examples are provided, using retrospective neutral loss and precursor ion scans as well as MS/MS spectra, to help identify annotated lipids and search libraries for lipids of interest. As proof of principle, we used comparative lipidomics to investigate the prostaglandin metabolism pathway. SWATH data support an unanticipated model: Cox-independent prostaglandin synthesis may involve lysophosphatidylcholine and other lyso glycerophospholipids. This study showcases the power of comprehensive, retrospectively searchable lipid archives as a systems approach for biological discovery in genetic animal models.

  15. Vibrio cholerae hemolysin is required for lethality, developmental delay, and intestinal vacuolation in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  16. TRX-1 Regulates SKN-1 Nuclear Localization Cell Non-autonomously in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCallum, Katie C; Liu, Bin; Fierro-González, Juan Carlos; Swoboda, Peter; Arur, Swathi; Miranda-Vizuete, Antonio; Garsin, Danielle A

    2016-05-01

    The Caenorhabditis elegans oxidative stress response transcription factor, SKN-1, is essential for the maintenance of redox homeostasis and is a functional ortholog of the Nrf family of transcription factors. The numerous levels of regulation that govern these transcription factors underscore their importance. Here, we add a thioredoxin, encoded by trx-1, to the expansive list of SKN-1 regulators. We report that loss of trx-1 promotes nuclear localization of intestinal SKN-1 in a redox-independent, cell non-autonomous fashion from the ASJ neurons. Furthermore, this regulation is not general to the thioredoxin family, as two other C. elegans thioredoxins, TRX-2 and TRX-3, do not play a role in this process. Moreover, TRX-1-dependent regulation requires signaling from the p38 MAPK-signaling pathway. However, while TRX-1 regulates SKN-1 nuclear localization, classical SKN-1 transcriptional activity associated with stress response remains largely unaffected. Interestingly, RNA-Seq analysis revealed that loss of trx-1 elicits a general, organism-wide down-regulation of several classes of genes; those encoding for collagens and lipid transport being most prevalent. Together, these results uncover a novel role for a thioredoxin in regulating intestinal SKN-1 nuclear localization in a cell non-autonomous manner, thereby contributing to the understanding of the processes involved in maintaining redox homeostasis throughout an organism. Copyright © 2016 by the Genetics Society of America.

  17. 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.

  18. Endogenous RNAi Pathways Are Required in Neurons for Dauer Formation in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bharadwaj, Pallavi S; Hall, Sarah E

    2017-04-01

    Animals can adapt to unfavorable environments through changes in physiology or behavior. In the nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, environmental conditions perceived early in development determine whether the animal enters either the reproductive cycle, or enters into an alternative diapause stage named dauer. Here, we show that endogenous RNAi pathways play a role in dauer formation in crowding (high pheromone), starvation, and high temperature conditions. Disruption of the Mutator proteins or the nuclear Argonaute CSR-1 result in differential dauer-deficient phenotypes that are dependent upon the experienced environmental stress. We provide evidence that the RNAi pathways function in chemosensory neurons for dauer formation, upstream of the TGF-β and insulin signaling pathways. In addition, we show that Mutator MUT-16 expression in a subset of individual pheromone-sensing neurons is sufficient for dauer formation in high pheromone conditions, but not in starvation or high temperature conditions. Furthermore, we also show that MUT-16 and CSR-1 are required for expression of a subset of G proteins with functions in the detection of pheromone components. Together, our data suggest a model where Mutator-amplified siRNAs that associate with the CSR-1 pathway promote expression of genes required for the detection and signaling of environmental conditions to regulate development and behavior in C. elegans This study highlights a mechanism whereby RNAi pathways mediate the link between environmental stress and adaptive phenotypic plasticity in animals. Copyright © 2017 by the Genetics Society of America.

  19. An SMC-like protein binds and regulates Caenorhabditis elegans condensins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  20. Dopamine modulates acetylcholine release via octopamine and CREB signaling in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  1. Hierarchical compression of Caenorhabditis elegans locomotion reveals phenotypic differences in the organization of behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  2. 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.

  3. TRX-1 Regulates SKN-1 Nuclear Localization Cell Non-autonomously in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCallum, Katie C.; Liu, Bin; Fierro-González, Juan Carlos; Swoboda, Peter; Arur, Swathi; Miranda-Vizuete, Antonio; Garsin, Danielle A.

    2016-01-01

    The Caenorhabditis elegans oxidative stress response transcription factor, SKN-1, is essential for the maintenance of redox homeostasis and is a functional ortholog of the Nrf family of transcription factors. The numerous levels of regulation that govern these transcription factors underscore their importance. Here, we add a thioredoxin, encoded by trx-1, to the expansive list of SKN-1 regulators. We report that loss of trx-1 promotes nuclear localization of intestinal SKN-1 in a redox-independent, cell non-autonomous fashion from the ASJ neurons. Furthermore, this regulation is not general to the thioredoxin family, as two other C. elegans thioredoxins, TRX-2 and TRX-3, do not play a role in this process. Moreover, TRX-1-dependent regulation requires signaling from the p38 MAPK-signaling pathway. However, while TRX-1 regulates SKN-1 nuclear localization, classical SKN-1 transcriptional activity associated with stress response remains largely unaffected. Interestingly, RNA-Seq analysis revealed that loss of trx-1 elicits a general, organism-wide down-regulation of several classes of genes; those encoding for collagens and lipid transport being most prevalent. Together, these results uncover a novel role for a thioredoxin in regulating intestinal SKN-1 nuclear localization in a cell non-autonomous manner, thereby contributing to the understanding of the processes involved in maintaining redox homeostasis throughout an organism. PMID:26920757

  4. 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.

  5. The GATA-factor elt-2 is essential for formation of the Caenorhabditis elegans intestine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fukushige, T; Hawkins, M G; McGhee, J D

    1998-06-15

    The Caenorhabditis elegans elt-2 gene encodes a single-finger GATA factor, previously cloned by virtue of its binding to a tandem pair of GATA sites that control the gut-specific ges-1 esterase gene. In the present paper, we show that elt-2 expression is completely gut specific, beginning when the embryonic gut has only two cells (one cell cycle prior to ges-1 expression) and continuing in every cell of the gut throughout the life of the worm. When elt-2 is expressed ectopically using a transgenic heat-shock construct, the endogenous ges-1 gene is now expressed in most if not all cells of the embryo; several other gut markers (including a transgenic elt-2-promoter::lacZ reporter construct designed to test for elt-2 autoregulation) are also expressed ectopically in the same experiment. These effects are specific in that two other C. elegans GATA factors (elt-1 and elt-3) do not cause ectopic gut gene expression. An imprecise transposon excision was identified that removes the entire elt-2 coding region. Homozygous elt-2 null mutants die at the L1 larval stage with an apparent malformation or degeneration of gut cells. Although the loss of elt-2 function has major consequences for later gut morphogenesis and function, mutant embryos still express ges-1. We suggest that elt-2 is part of a redundant network of genes that controls embryonic gut development; other factors may be able to compensate for elt-2 loss in the earlier stages of gut development but not in later stages. We discuss whether elements of this regulatory network may be conserved in all metazoa.

  6. The Evaluation of Geroprotective Effects of Selected Flavonoids in Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans

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    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.

  7. Visualization and Dissemination of Multidimensional Proteomics Data Comparing Protein Abundance During Caenorhabditis elegans Development

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    Riffle, Michael; Merrihew, Gennifer E.; Jaschob, Daniel; Sharma, Vagisha; Davis, Trisha N.; Noble, William S.; MacCoss, Michael J.

    2015-11-01

    Regulation of protein abundance is a critical aspect of cellular function, organism development, and aging. Alternative splicing may give rise to multiple possible proteoforms of gene products where the abundance of each proteoform is independently regulated. Understanding how the abundances of these distinct gene products change is essential to understanding the underlying mechanisms of many biological processes. Bottom-up proteomics mass spectrometry techniques may be used to estimate protein abundance indirectly by sequencing and quantifying peptides that are later mapped to proteins based on sequence. However, quantifying the abundance of distinct gene products is routinely confounded by peptides that map to multiple possible proteoforms. In this work, we describe a technique that may be used to help mitigate the effects of confounding ambiguous peptides and multiple proteoforms when quantifying proteins. We have applied this technique to visualize the distribution of distinct gene products for the whole proteome across 11 developmental stages of the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans. The result is a large multidimensional dataset for which web-based tools were developed for visualizing how translated gene products change during development and identifying possible proteoforms. The underlying instrument raw files and tandem mass spectra may also be downloaded. The data resource is freely available on the web at http://www.yeastrc.org/wormpes/.

  8. Mitochondrial respiratory chain deficiency in Caenorhabditis elegans results in developmental arrest and increased life span.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsang, W Y; Sayles, L C; Grad, L I; Pilgrim, D B; Lemire, B D

    2001-08-24

    The growth and development of Caenorhabditis elegans are energy-dependent and rely on the mitochondrial respiratory chain (MRC) as the major source of ATP. The MRC is composed of approximately 70 nuclear and 12 mitochondrial gene products. Complexes I and V are multisubunit proteins of the MRC. The nuo-1 gene encodes the NADH- and FMN-binding subunit of complex I, the NADH-ubiquinone oxidoreductase. The atp-2 gene encodes the active-site subunit of complex V, the ATP synthase. The nuo-1(ua1) and atp-2(ua2) mutations are both lethal. They result in developmental arrest at the third larval stage (L3), arrest of gonad development at the second larval stage (L2), and impaired mobility, pharyngeal pumping, and defecation. Surprisingly, the nuo-1 and atp-2 mutations significantly lengthen the life spans of the arrested animals. When MRC biogenesis is blocked by chloramphenicol or doxycycline (inhibitors of mitochondrial translation), a quantitative and homogeneous developmental arrest as L3 larvae also results. The common phenotype induced by the mutations and drugs suggests that the L3-to-L4 transition may involve an energy-sensing developmental checkpoint. Since approximately 200 gene products are needed for MRC assembly and mtDNA replication, transcription, and translation, we predict that L3 arrest will be characteristic of mutations in these genes.

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

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    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.

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

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    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

  11. 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

  12. A MAP Kinase pathway in Caenorhabditis elegans is required for defense against infection by opportunistic Proteus species.

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    JebaMercy, Gnanasekaran; Vigneshwari, Loganathan; Balamurugan, Krishnaswamy

    2013-01-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans innate immunity requires a conserved mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway that regulates the basal and pathogen-induced expression of immune effectors. Being in the group of opportunistic pathogens, Proteus spp. cause large number of nosocomial infections. Since, Proteus spp. do not cause death in wild type C. elegans, to understand the role and contribution of MAP Kinase pathway, the mutants (sek-1 and pmk-1) of this pathway were employed. Physiological experiments revealed that the Proteus spp. were able to kill MAP Kinase pathway mutant's C. elegans significantly. To understand the involvement of innate immune pathways specific players at the mRNA level, the regulation of few candidate antimicrobial genes were kinetically investigated during Proteus spp. infections. Real-time PCR analysis indicated a regulation of few candidate immune regulatory genes (F08G5.6, lys-7, nlp-29, ATF-7 and daf-16) during the course of Proteus spp. infections. In addition, the lipopolysaccharides (LPS) isolated from Proteus mirabilis upon exposure to mutant C. elegans showed modifications at their functional regions suggesting that the pathogen modifies its internal machinery according to the specific host for effective pathogenesis. Copyright © 2013 Institut Pasteur. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

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

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    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.

  14. Involvement of heat shock proteins on Mn-induced toxicity in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avila, Daiana Silva; Benedetto, Alexandre; Au, Catherine; Bornhorst, Julia; Aschner, Michael

    2016-11-02

    All living cells display a rapid molecular response to adverse environmental conditions, and the heat shock protein family reflects one such example. Hence, failing to activate heat shock proteins can impair the cellular response. In the present study, we evaluated whether the loss of different isoforms of heat shock protein (hsp) genes in Caenorhabditis elegans would affect their vulnerability to Manganese (Mn) toxicity. We exposed wild type and selected hsp mutant worms to Mn (30 min) and next evaluated further the most susceptible strains. We analyzed survival, protein carbonylation (as a marker of oxidative stress) and Parkinson's disease related gene expression immediately after Mn exposure. Lastly, we observed dopaminergic neurons in wild type worms and in hsp-70 mutants following Mn treatment. Analysis of the data was performed by one-way or two way ANOVA, depending on the case, followed by post-hoc Bonferroni test if the overall p value was less than 0.05. We verified that the loss of hsp-70, hsp-3 and chn-1 increased the vulnerability to Mn, as exposed mutant worms showed lower survival rate and increased protein oxidation. The importance of hsp-70 against Mn toxicity was then corroborated in dopaminergic neurons, where Mn neurotoxicity was aggravated. The lack of hsp-70 also blocked the transcriptional upregulation of pink1, a gene that has been linked to Parkinson's disease. Taken together, our data suggest that Mn exposure modulates heat shock protein expression, particularly HSP-70, in C. elegans. Furthermore, loss of hsp-70 increases protein oxidation and dopaminergic neuronal degeneration following manganese exposure, which is associated with the inhibition of pink1 increased expression, thus potentially exacerbating the vulnerability to this metal.

  15. 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.

  16. Mode of bacterial pathogenesis determines phenotype in elt-2 and elt-7 RNAi Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elliott, Samantha L; Sturgeon, Craig R; Travers, Deborah M; Montgomery, Madeline C

    2011-05-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans has become a useful model for studying innate immunity. ELT-2, which is homologous to human GATA-4, -5 and -6, is considered the primary GATA transcription factor controlling intestinal immunity in C. elegans. In this study, we characterize the timeline of intestinal distension in nematodes where ELT-2 and another intestinal GATA transcription factor, ELT-7, are abrogated by RNAi using two different models: colonization and toxin-based infections by Pseudomonas aeruginosa. We show that both ELT-2 and ELT-7 are important for survival of C. elegans exposed to P. aeruginosa. Intestinal distension is accelerated in elt-2 RNAi nematodes, and is observed in colonization but not toxin-based Pseudomonas infection. Upon onset of intestinal distension, nematodes die within 24 h, regardless of experimental treatment. These data provide new insight into the role of ELT-2 and ELT-7 in protecting C. elegans against P. aeruginosa infection. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. 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.

  18. The neural circuits and sensory channels mediating harsh touch sensation in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Wei; Kang, Lijun; Piggott, Beverly J; Feng, Zhaoyang; Xu, X Z Shawn

    2011-01-01

    Most animals can distinguish two distinct types of touch stimuli: gentle (innocuous) and harsh (noxious/painful) touch, however, the underlying mechanisms are not well understood. Caenorhabditis elegans is a useful model for the study of gentle touch sensation. However, little is known about harsh touch sensation in this organism. Here we characterize harsh touch sensation in C. elegans. We show that C. elegans exhibits differential behavioural responses to harsh touch and gentle touch. Laser ablations identify distinct sets of sensory neurons and interneurons required for harsh touch sensation at different body segments. Optogenetic stimulation of the circuitry can drive behaviour. Patch-clamp recordings reveal that TRP family and amiloride-sensitive Na(+) channels mediate touch-evoked currents in different sensory neurons. Our work identifies the neural circuits and characterizes the sensory channels mediating harsh touch sensation in C. elegans, establishing it as a genetic model for studying this sensory modality.

  19. Conserved RNA-binding proteins required for dendrite morphogenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans sensory neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antonacci, Simona; Forand, Daniel; Wolf, Margaret; Tyus, Courtney; Barney, Julia; Kellogg, Leah; Simon, Margo A; Kerr, Genevieve; Wells, Kristen L; Younes, Serena; Mortimer, Nathan T; Olesnicky, Eugenia C; Killian, Darrell J

    2015-02-10

    The regulation of dendritic branching is critical for sensory reception, cell-cell communication within the nervous system, learning, memory, and behavior. Defects in dendrite morphology are associated with several neurologic disorders; thus, an understanding of the molecular mechanisms that govern dendrite morphogenesis is important. Recent investigations of dendrite morphogenesis have highlighted the importance of gene regulation at the posttranscriptional level. Because RNA-binding proteins mediate many posttranscriptional mechanisms, we decided to investigate the extent to which conserved RNA-binding proteins contribute to dendrite morphogenesis across phyla. Here we identify a core set of RNA-binding proteins that are important for dendrite morphogenesis in the PVD multidendritic sensory neuron in Caenorhabditis elegans. Homologs of each of these genes were previously identified as important in the Drosophila melanogaster dendritic arborization sensory neurons. Our results suggest that RNA processing, mRNA localization, mRNA stability, and translational control are all important mechanisms that contribute to dendrite morphogenesis, and we present a conserved set of RNA-binding proteins that regulate these processes in diverse animal species. Furthermore, homologs of these genes are expressed in the human brain, suggesting that these RNA-binding proteins are candidate regulators of dendrite development in humans. Copyright © 2015 Antonacci et al.

  20. Wnt Ligands Differentially Regulate Toxicity and Translocation of Graphene Oxide through Different Mechanisms in Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Zhi, Lingtong; Ren, Mingxia; Qu, Man; Zhang, Hanyu; Wang, Dayong

    2016-12-01

    In this study, we investigated the possible involvement of Wnt signals in the control of graphene oxide (GO) toxicity using the in vivo assay system of Caenorhabditis elegans. In nematodes, the Wnt ligands, CWN-1, CWN-2, and LIN-44, were found to be involved in the control of GO toxicity. Mutation of cwn-1 or lin-44 gene induced a resistant property to GO toxicity and resulted in the decreased accumulation of GO in the body of nematodes, whereas mutation of cwn-2 gene induces a susceptible property to GO toxicity and an enhanced accumulation of GO in the body of nematodes. Genetic interaction assays demonstrated that mutation of cwn-1 or lin-44 was able to suppress the susceptibility to GO toxicity shown in the cwn-2 mutants. Loss-of-function mutations in all three of these Wnt ligand genes resulted in the resistance of nematodes to GO toxicity. Moreover, the Wnt ligands might differentially regulate the toxicity and translocation of GO through different mechanisms. These findings could be important in understanding the function of Wnt signals in the regulation of toxicity from environmental nanomaterials.

  1. A mir-231-Regulated Protection Mechanism against the Toxicity of Graphene Oxide in Nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Ruilong; Ren, Mingxia; Rui, Qi; Wang, Dayong

    2016-08-01

    Recently, several dysregulated microRNAs (miRNAs) have been identified in organisms exposed to graphene oxide (GO). However, their biological functions and mechanisms of the action are still largely unknown. Here, we investigated the molecular mechanism of mir-231 in the regulation of GO toxicity using in vivo assay system of Caenorhabditis elegans. We found that GO exposure inhibited the expression of mir-231::GFP in multiple tissues, in particular in the intestine. mir-231 acted in intestine to regulate the GO toxicity, and overexpression of mir-231 in intestine caused a susceptible property of nematodes to GO toxicity. smk-1 encoding a homologue to mammalian SMEK functioned as a targeted gene for mir-231, and was also involved in the intestinal regulation of GO toxicity. Mutation of smk-1 gene induced a susceptible property to GO toxicity, whereas the intestinal overexpression of smk-1 resulted in a resistant property to GO toxicity. Moreover, mutation of smk-1 gene suppressed the resistant property of mir-231 mutant to GO toxicity. In nematodes, SMK-1 further acted upstream of the transcriptional factor DAF-16/FOXO in insulin signaling pathway to regulate GO toxicity. Therefore, mir-231 may encode a GO-responsive protection mechanism against the GO toxicity by suppressing the function of the SMK-1 - DAF-16 signaling cascade in nematodes.

  2. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, stress and aging: Identifying the complex interplay of genetic pathways following the treatment with humic substances

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    Ralph eMenzel

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Low concentrations of the dissolved leonardite humic acid HuminFeed® (HF prolonged the lifespan and enhanced the thermal stress resistance of the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans. However, growth was impaired and reproduction delayed, effects which have also been identified in response to other polyphenolic monomers, including Tannic acid, Rosmarinic acid, and Caffeic acid. Moreover, a chemical modification of HF, which increases its phenolic/quinonoid moieties, magnified the biological impact on C. elegans. To gain a deep insight into the molecular basis of these effects, we performed global transcriptomics on young adult (3 d and old adult (11 d nematodes exposed to two different concentrations of HF. We also studied several C. elegans mutant strains in respect to HF derived longevity and compared all results with data obtained for the chemically modified HF. The gene expression pattern of young HF treated nematodes displayed a significant overlap to other conditions known to provoke longevity, including various plant polyphenol monomers. Besides the regulation of parts of the metabolism, TGF- signaling and Insulin-like signaling, lysosomal activities seem to contribute most to HF’s and modified HF’s lifespan prolonging action. These results support the notion that the phenolic/quinonoid moieties of humic substances are major building blocks that drive the physiological effects observed in C. elegans.

  3. Peptides from sesame cake extend healthspan of Caenorhabditis elegans via upregulation of skn-1 and inhibition of intracellular ROS levels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zhuanhua; Ma, Xiaoli; Li, Jiao; Cui, Xiaodong

    2016-09-01

    The peptides from sesame cake (PSC) which are the main by-product of agricultural processing of sesame were prepared. To evaluate benefits of PSC for health and longevity, antioxidant activity and anti-aging effects were studied in vitro and in a Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) model system. PSC exhibited antioxidant activity in vitro, and induced beneficial effects on lifespan and several health parameters of C.elegans, including pharyngeal pumping rate, locomotion and lipofuscin accumulation. In a mev-1 mutant, PSC increased lifespan, and it enhanced oxidative stress tolerance in wild-type nematodes. After treatment with PSC, SOD activity, GSH content, and GSH/GSSG ratio were increased, leading to low intracellular ROS levels in C. elegans. PSC up-regulated skn-1 mRNA, and its target gene gcs-1, and abolished the extension of lifespan in skn-1 mutant, indicating that PSC-mediated longevity is dependent on activation of the skn-1/Nrf-2 transcription factor. Current results warrant research into the use of PSC as nutraceuticals for overall health improvement. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. rBmαTX14 Increases the Life Span and Promotes the Locomotion of Caenorhabditis Elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Jie; Wan, Lu; Teng, Kaixuan; Xiang, Jin; Zhang, Rui; Huang, Zebo; Liu, Yongmei; Li, Wenhua; Liu, Xin

    2016-01-01

    The scorpion has been extensively used in various pharmacological profiles or as food supplies. The exploration of scorpion venom has been reported due to the presence of recombinant peptides. rBmαTX14 is an α-neurotoxin extracted from the venom gland of the East Asian scorpion Buthus martensii Karsch and can affect ion channel conductance. Here, we investigated the functions of rBmαTX14 using the Caenorhabditis elegans model. Using western blot analysis, rBmαTX14 was shown to be expressed both in the cytoplasm and inclusion bodies in the E.coli Rosetta (DE3) strain. Circular dichroism spectroscopy analysis demonstrated that purified rBmαTX14 retained its biological structures. Next, feeding nematodes with E.coli Rosetta (DE3) expressing rBmαTX14 caused extension of the life span and promoted the locomotion of the nematodes. In addition, we identified several genes that play various roles in the life span and locomotion of C. elegans through microarray analysis and quantitative real-time PCR. Furthermore, if the amino acid site H15 of rBmαTX14 was mutated, rBmαTX14 no longer promoted the C. elegans life span. In conclusion, the results not only demonstrated the functions and mechanism of rBmαTX14 in C. elegans, but also provided the new sight in the utility of recombinant peptides from scorpion venom. PMID:27611314

  5. Benzimidazole derivative M084 extends the lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans in a DAF-16/FOXO-dependent way.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Ai-Jun; Wu, Gui-Sheng; Tang, Bin; Hong, Xuechuan; Zhu, Michael X; Luo, Huai-Rong

    2017-02-01

    With the growth of aging population, there is increasing demand to develop strategy to improve the aging process and aging-related diseases. Benzimidazole and its derivatives are crucial heterocyclic backbone of many drugs and compounds with diverse therapeutic applications, including alleviation of aging-related diseases. Here, we investigate if the benzimidazole derivative n-butyl-[1H]-benzimidazol-2-amine (M084), a novel inhibitor of TRPC4 and TRPC5 channels and antidepressant, could affect the lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans). Our results showed that M084 could extend the lifespan of C. elegans, delay age-related decline of phenotypes, and improve stress resistance. M084 could not extend the lifespan of the loss-of-function mutants of daf-16, daf-2, pdk-1, aak-2, clk-1, isp-1, sir-2.1, and skn-1. M084 could decrease the ATP level and increase the gene expression of mitochondrial unfolded protein response factors. Thus, M084 might inhibit the mitochondrial respiration, activate mitochondrial unfolded protein response and AMPK, recruite SIR-2.1 and SKN-1, and finally through the transcription factor DAF-16, delay the aging process of C. elegans. Our findings reveal the new pharmaceutical potential of benzimidazole derivatives and provide clue for developing novel anti-aging agents.

  6. Dynamically-expressed prion-like proteins form a cuticle in the pharynx of Caenorhabditis elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julia B. George-Raizen

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available In molting animals, a cuticular extracellular matrix forms the first barrier to infection and other environmental insults. In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans there are two types of cuticle: a well-studied collagenous cuticle lines the body, and a poorly-understood chitinous cuticle lines the pharynx. In the posterior end of the pharynx is the grinder, a tooth-like cuticular specialization that crushes food prior to transport to the intestine for digestion. We here show that the grinder increases in size only during the molt. To gain molecular insight into the structure of the grinder and pharyngeal cuticle, we performed a microarray analysis to identify mRNAs increased during the molt. We found strong transcriptional induction during the molt of 12 of 15 previously identified abu genes encoding Prion-like (P glutamine (Q and asparagine (N rich PQN proteins, as well as 15 additional genes encoding closely related PQN proteins. abu/pqn genes, which we name the abu/pqn paralog group (APPG genes, were expressed in pharyngeal cells and the proteins encoded by two APPG genes we tested localized to the pharyngeal cuticle. Deleting the APPG gene abu-14 caused abnormal pharyngeal cuticular structures and knocking down other APPG genes resulted in abnormal cuticular function. We propose that APPG proteins promote the assembly and function of a unique cuticular structure. The strong developmental regulation of the APPG genes raises the possibility that such genes would be identified in transcriptional profiling experiments in which the animals' developmental stage is not precisely staged.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. A map of terminal regulators of neuronal identity in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    Our present day understanding of nervous system development is an amalgam of insights gained from studying different aspects and stages of nervous system development in a variety of invertebrate and vertebrate model systems, with each model system making its own distinctive set of contributions. One aspect of nervous system development that has been among the most extensively studied in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is the nature of the gene regulatory programs that specify hardwired, terminal cellular identities. I first summarize a number of maps (anatomical, functional, and molecular) that describe the terminal identity of individual neurons in the C. elegans nervous system. I then provide a comprehensive summary of regulatory factors that specify terminal identities in the nervous system, synthesizing these past studies into a regulatory map of cellular identities in the C. elegans nervous system. This map shows that for three quarters of all neurons in the C. elegans nervous system, regulatory factors that control terminal identity features are known. In‐depth studies of specific neuron types have revealed that regulatory factors rarely act alone, but rather act cooperatively in neuron‐type specific combinations. In most cases examined so far, distinct, biochemically unlinked terminal identity features are coregulated via cooperatively acting transcription factors, termed terminal selectors, but there are also cases in which distinct identity features are controlled in a piecemeal fashion by independent regulatory inputs. The regulatory map also illustrates that identity‐defining transcription factors are reemployed in distinct combinations in different neuron types. However, the same transcription factor can drive terminal differentiation in neurons that are unrelated by lineage, unrelated by function, connectivity and neurotransmitter deployment. Lastly, the regulatory map illustrates the preponderance of homeodomain transcription factors in the

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

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    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

  11. Chlorpyrifos exposure reduces reproductive capacity owing to a damaging effect on gametogenesis in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruan, Qin-Li; Ju, Jing-Juan; Li, Yun-Hui; Li, Xiao-Bo; Liu, Ran; Liang, Ge-Yu; Zhang, Juan; Pu, Yue-Pu; Wang, Da-Yong; Yin, Li-Hong

    2012-07-01

    Previous studies have revealed that chlorpyrifos exposure adversely affects the reproductive capacity of male rodents. The present study investigated the reproductive toxicity of chlorpyrifos exposure and possible related mechanisms using the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. L4 nematode larvae were exposed to chlorpyrifos at concentrations of 0.003, 0.03, 0.3 and 3.0 mg l(-1) for different durations. In addition to decreased brood size, reduced spermatid size, increased percentage of abnormal spermatids, suppressed spermatid activation and motility of sperm, damaged oocyte morphology, increased numbers of apoptotic cells and unfertilized oocytes were observed in nematodes exposed to various concentrations of chlorpyrifos. Moreover, expression patterns of the genes spe-10, spe-15, fer-1, prg-1, glp-1, mlh-1, cyb-3, ced-3, ced-4 and ced-9 (which are associated with spermatid size, spermatid activation and morphology, oocyte morphology, oocyte function, and apoptosis) were altered after chlorpyrifos exposure. Therefore, chlorpyrifos exposure may adversely affect fertility in nematodes by influencing both spermatogenesis and oogenesis. Alterations in the expression patterns of genes involved in gametogenesis may explain the corresponding changes in gametogenesis in nematodes exposed to chlorpyrifos. Hence, the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans is recommended for assessment of reproductive toxicity relating to gametogenesis. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  12. Effect of Bisphenol A on the Feeding Behavior of Caenorhabditis elegans

    OpenAIRE

    Kohra, Shinya; Kuwahara, Kazuko; Takao, Yuji; Ishibashi, Yasuhiro; Lee, Ho Chul; Arizono, Koji; Tominaga, Nobuaki

    2002-01-01

    We observed and evaluated the feeding behavior of the free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) after exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) and nonylphenol (NP). Exposed organisms were transferred to chemical-free culture medium and their attainment levels (the number of worms reaching the food source divided by the total number of worms on the Petri plate) were recorded after 2, 4, 6, 8, and 24 hr. Results showed a significant decrease in the attainment level of worms exposed to 10 μM...

  13. A Large Collection of Novel Nematode-Infecting Microsporidia and Their Diverse Interactions with Caenorhabditis elegans and Other Related Nematodes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Gaotian; Sachse, Martin; Prevost, Marie-Christine; Troemel, Emily R.; Félix, Marie-Anne

    2016-01-01

    Microsporidia are fungi-related intracellular pathogens that may infect virtually all animals, but are poorly understood. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has recently become a model host for studying microsporidia through the identification of its natural microsporidian pathogen Nematocida parisii. However, it was unclear how widespread and diverse microsporidia infections are in C. elegans or other related nematodes in the wild. Here we describe the isolation and culture of 47 nematodes with microsporidian infections. N. parisii is found to be the most common microsporidia infecting C. elegans in the wild. In addition, we further describe and name six new species in the Nematocida genus. Our sampling and phylogenetic analysis further identify two subclades that are genetically distinct from Nematocida, and we name them Enteropsectra and Pancytospora. Interestingly, unlike Nematocida, these two genera belong to the main clade of microsporidia that includes human pathogens. All of these microsporidia are horizontally transmitted and most specifically infect intestinal cells, except Pancytospora epiphaga that replicates mostly in the epidermis of its Caenorhabditis host. At the subcellular level in the infected host cell, spores of the novel genus Enteropsectra show a characteristic apical distribution and exit via budding off of the plasma membrane, instead of exiting via exocytosis as spores of Nematocida. Host specificity is broad for some microsporidia, narrow for others: indeed, some microsporidia can infect Oscheius tipulae but not its sister species Oscheius sp. 3, and conversely some microsporidia found infecting Oscheius sp. 3 do not infect O. tipulae. We also show that N. ausubeli fails to strongly induce in C. elegans the transcription of genes that are induced by other Nematocida species, suggesting it has evolved mechanisms to prevent induction of this host response. Altogether, these newly isolated species illustrate the diversity and ubiquity of

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 hesperidin decreased the ratio of oleic acid/stearic acid (C18:1Δ9/C18:0) (p hesperidin on fat accumulation. Hesperidin significantly downregulated the expression of stearoyl-CoA desaturase, fat-6, and fat-7 (p 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 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.

  16. GATA transcription factor as a likely key regulator of the Caenorhabditis elegans innate immune response against gut pathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Wentao; Dierking, Katja; Rosenstiel, Philip C; Schulenburg, Hinrich

    2016-08-01

    Invertebrate defence against pathogens exclusively relies on components of the innate immune system. Comprehensive information has been collected over the last years on the molecular components of invertebrate immunity and the involved signalling processes, especially for the main invertebrate model species, the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster and the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Yet, the exact regulation of general and specific defences is still not well understood. In the current study, we take advantage of a recently established database, WormExp, which combines all available gene expression studies for C. elegans, in order to explore commonalities and differences in the regulation of nematode immune defence against a large variety of pathogens versus food microbes. We identified significant overlaps in the transcriptional response towards microbes, especially pathogenic bacteria. We also found that the GATA motif is overrepresented in many microbe-induced gene sets and in targets of other previously identified regulators of worm immunity. Moreover, the activated targets of one of the known C. elegans GATA transcription factors, ELT-2, are significantly enriched in the gene sets, which are differentially regulated by gut-infecting pathogens. These findings strongly suggest that GATA transcription factors and particularly ELT-2 play a central role in regulating the C. elegans immune response against gut pathogens. More specific responses to distinct pathogens may be mediated by additional transcription factors, either acting alone or jointly with GATA transcription factors. Taken together, our analysis of the worm's transcriptional response to microbes provides a new perspective on the C. elegans immune system, which we propose to be coordinated by GATA transcription factor ELT-2 in the gut. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier GmbH.. All rights reserved.

  17. Caenorhabditis elegans atx-2 promotes germline proliferation and the oocyte fate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maine, Eleanor M; Hansen, Dave; Springer, Deborah; Vought, Valarie E

    2004-10-01

    In the Caenorhabditis elegans germline, proliferation is induced by Notch-type signaling. Entry of germ cells into meiosis is triggered by activity of the GLD-1 and GLD-2 pathways, which function redundantly to promote meiosis and/or inhibit proliferation. Activation of the germline Notch-type receptor, GLP-1, ultimately inhibits the activities of the GLD-1 and GLD-2 pathways. We previously identified several ego (enhancer of glp-1) genes that promote germline proliferation and interact genetically with the GLP-1 signaling pathway. Here, we show that atx-2 is an ego gene. Our data suggest that ATX-2 is not a positive regulator of the GLP-1 signaling pathway and GLP-1 signaling is not the sole positive regulator of ATX-2 activity. Moreover, our data indicate that GLP-1 must have an additional function, which may be to repress activity of a third meiotic entry pathway that would work in parallel with the GLD-1 and GLD-2 pathways. In addition to its role in proliferation, ATX-2 acts downstream of FOG-2 to promote the female germline fate.

  18. Characterization of the Caenorhabditis elegans HIM-6/BLM helicase: unwinding recombination intermediates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hana Jung

    Full Text Available Mutations in three human RecQ genes are implicated in heritable human syndromes. Mutations in BLM, a RecQ gene, cause Bloom syndrome (BS, which is characterized by short stature, cancer predisposition, and sensitivity to sunlight. BLM is a RecQ DNA helicase that, with interacting proteins, is able to dissolve various DNA structures including double Holliday junctions. A BLM ortholog, him-6, has been identified in Caenorhabditis elegans, but little is known about its enzymatic activities or its in vivo roles. By purifying recombinant HIM-6 and performing biochemical assays, we determined that the HIM-6 has DNA-dependent ATPase activity HIM-6 and helicase activity that proceeds in the 3'-5' direction and needs at least five 3' overhanging nucleotides. HIM-6 is also able to unwind DNA structures including D-loops and Holliday junctions. Worms with him-6 mutations were defective in recovering the cell cycle arrest after HU treatment. These activities strongly support in vivo roles for HIM-6 in processing recombination intermediates.

  19. Chronic Exposure to Perfluorooctane Sulfonate Reduces Lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans Through Insulin/IGF-1 Signaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Tiantian; Li, Ping; Wu, Siyu; Li, Dan; Wu, Jingxuan; Raley-Susman, Kathleen M; He, Defu

    2016-07-01

    Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) is a persistent organic pollutant. Although multiple adverse effects of PFOS have been demonstrated, whether PFOS can accelerate aging and affect animal longevity remains unknown. In Caenorhabditis elegans, we found that a 50 h exposure to 0.2-200 µM PFOS reduced lifespan in a concentration dependent manner. In transgenic nematodes, lifespans are affected by mutations of daf-16, daf-2 or age-1 genes, which are related to the Insulin/IGF-1 Signaling pathway (IIS). PFOS exposure caused an additional reduction in average lifespan in daf-2(e1370) and daf-16b(KO) nematodes. In contrast, daf-16(mu86) nematodes showed no additional reduction with PFOS exposure and age-1(hx546) mutants did not exhibit a reduction in lifespan with PFOS exposure, compared with wildtype nematodes. Overall, our findings demonstrate that PFOS exposure accelerates aging and shortens longevity of animals. The PFOS-induced effect may involve genes of the IIS pathway, particularly daf-16 and age-1.

  20. Graphene Oxide Dysregulates Neuroligin/NLG-1-Mediated Molecular Signaling in Interneurons in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, He; Li, Huirong; Wang, Dayong

    2017-01-01

    Graphene oxide (GO) can be potentially used in many medical and industrial fields. Using assay system of Caenorhabditis elegans, we identified the NLG-1/Neuroligin-mediated neuronal signaling dysregulated by GO exposure. In nematodes, GO exposure significantly decreased the expression of NLG-1, a postsynaptic cell adhesion protein. Loss-of-function mutation of nlg-1 gene resulted in a susceptible property of nematodes to GO toxicity. Rescue experiments suggested that NLG-1 could act in AIY interneurons to regulate the response to GO exposure. In the AIY interneurons, PKC-1, a serine/threonine protein kinase C (PKC) protein, was identified as the downstream target for NLG-1 in the regulation of response to GO exposure. LIN-45, a Raf protein in ERK signaling pathway, was further identified as the downstream target for PKC-1 in the regulation of response to GO exposure. Therefore, GO may dysregulate NLG-1-mediated molecular signaling in the interneurons, and a neuronal signaling cascade of NLG-1-PKC-1-LIN-45 was raised to be required for the control of response to GO exposure. More importantly, intestinal RNAi knockdown of daf-16 gene encoding a FOXO transcriptional factor in insulin signaling pathway suppressed the resistant property of nematodes overexpressing NLG-1 to GO toxicity, suggesting the possible link between neuronal NLG-1 signaling and intestinal insulin signaling in the regulation of response to GO exposure.

  1. Functional and Genetic Analysis of VAB-10 Spectraplakin in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gally, Christelle; Zhang, Huimin; Labouesse, Michel

    2016-01-01

    Intermediate filaments (IFs) are involved in multiple cellular processes that are essential for the maintenance of cell and tissue integrity. To achieve this crucial function, IFs have to be organized as long and resistant filaments across the cells and to be tightly anchored at the cell periphery. This anchoring takes place at the level desmosomes and hemidesmosomes through proteins belonging to the spectraplakin family. Here, we focus on the sole nematode Caenorhabditis elegans spectraplakin locus vab-10 that is essential to connect the epidermis to the cuticle apically and to the muscles basally. After briefly reviewing the structure of the gene, we first present the genetic tools available to study this gene as well as the reagents to examine the distribution of its translation products. We discuss the functional assays that enable examining their function. Finally, we detail a genetic method to identify spectraplakin functional partners through RNAi screens, and a biochemical method to examine the phosphorylation status of IFs. © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Expression of Caenorhabditis elegans antimicrobial peptide NLP-31 in Escherichia coli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, Mei-Perng; Nathan, Sheila

    2014-09-01

    Burkholderia pseudomallei is the causative agent of melioidosis, a fulminant disease endemic in Southeast Asia and Northern Australia. The standardized form of therapy is antibiotics treatment; however, the bacterium has become increasingly resistant to these antibiotics. This has spurred the need to search for alternative therapeutic agents. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are small proteins that possess broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity. In a previous study, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans was infected by B. pseudomallei and a whole animal transcriptome analysis identified a number of AMP-encoded genes which were induced significantly in the infected worms. One of the AMPs identified is NLP-31 and to date, there are no reports of anti-B. pseudomallei activity demonstrated by NLP-31. To produce NLP-31 protein for future studies, the gene encoding for NLP-31 was cloned into the pET32b expression vector and transformed into Escherichia coli BL21(DE3). Protein expression was induced with 1 mM IPTG for 20 hours at 20°C and recombinant NLP-31 was detected in the soluble fraction. Taken together, a simple optimized heterologous production of AMPs in an E. coli expression system has been successfully developed.

  3. Aspirin increases metabolism through germline signalling to extend the lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Xiao-Bing; Mu, Xiao-Hui; Wan, Qin-Li; He, Xiao-Ming; Wu, Gui-Sheng; Luo, Huai-Rong

    2017-01-01

    Aspirin is a prototypic cyclooxygenase inhibitor with a variety of beneficial effects on human health. It prevents age-related diseases and delays the aging process. Previous research has shown that aspirin might act through a dietary restriction-like mechanism to extend lifespan. To explore the mechanism of action of aspirin on aging, we determined the whole-genome expression profile of Caenorhabditis elegans treated with aspirin. Transcriptome analysis revealed the RNA levels of genes involved in metabolism were primarily increased. Reproduction has been reported to be associated with metabolism. We found that aspirin did not extend the lifespan or improve the heat stress resistance of germline mutants of glp-1. Furthermore, Oil Red O staining showed that aspirin treatment decreased lipid deposition and increased expression of lipid hydrolysis and fatty acid β-oxidation-related genes. The effect of germline ablation on lifespan was mainly mediated by DAF-12 and DAF-16. Next, we performed genetic analysis with a series of worm mutants and found that aspirin did not further extend the lifespans of daf-12 and daf-16 single mutants, glp-1;daf-12 and glp-1;daf-16 double mutants, or glp-1;daf-12;daf-16 triple mutants. The results suggest that aspirin increase metabolism and regulate germline signalling to activate downstream DAF-12 and DAF-16 to extend lifespan.

  4. New Role for DCR-1/Dicer in Caenorhabditis elegans Innate Immunity against the Highly Virulent Bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis DB27

    OpenAIRE

    Iatsenko, Igor; Sinha, Amit; Rödelsperger, Christian; Sommer, Ralf J.

    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 condu...

  5. Drug-dependent behaviors and nicotinic acetylcholine receptor expressions in Caenorhabditis elegans following chronic nicotine exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polli, Joseph R; Dobbins, Dorothy L; Kobet, Robert A; Farwell, Mary A; Zhang, Baohong; Lee, Myon-Hee; Pan, Xiaoping

    2015-03-01

    Nicotine, the major psychoactive compound in tobacco, targets nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) and results in drug dependence. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans' (C. elegans) genome encodes conserved and extensive nicotinic receptor subunits, representing a useful system to investigate nicotine-induced nAChR expressions in the context of drug dependence. However, the in vivo expression pattern of nAChR genes under chronic nicotine exposure has not been fully investigated. To define the role of nAChR genes involved in nicotine-induced locomotion changes and the development of tolerance to these effects, we characterized the locomotion behavior combining the use of two systems: the Worm Tracker hardware and the WormLab software. Our results indicate that the combined system is an advantageous alternative to define drug-dependent locomotion behavior in C. elegans. Chronic (24-h dosing) nicotine exposure at 6.17 and 61.7μM induced nicotine-dependent behaviors, including drug stimulation, tolerance/adaption, and withdrawal responses. Specifically, the movement speed of naïve worms on nicotine-containing environments was significantly higher than on nicotine-free environments, suggesting locomotion stimulation by nicotine. In contrast, the 24-h 6.17μM nicotine-treated worms exhibited significantly higher speeds on nicotine-free plates than on nicotine-containing plates. Furthermore significantly increased locomotion behavior during nicotine cessation was observed in worms treated with a higher nicotine concentration of 61.7μM. The relatively low locomotion speed of nicotine-treated worms on nicotine-containing environments also indicates adaption/tolerance of worms to nicotine following chronic nicotine exposure. In addition, this study provides useful information regarding the comprehensive in vivo expression profile of the 28 "core" nAChRs following different dosages of chronic nicotine treatments. Eleven genes (lev-1, acr-6, acr-7, acr-11, lev-8, acr

  6. HSF-1 is a regulator of miRNA expression in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brunquell, Jessica; Snyder, Alana; Cheng, Feng

    2017-01-01

    The ability of an organism to sense and adapt to environmental stressors is essential for proteome maintenance and survival. The highly conserved heat shock response is a survival mechanism employed by all organisms, including the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, upon exposure to environmental extremes. Transcriptional control of the metazoan heat shock response is mediated by the heat shock transcription factor HSF-1. In addition to regulating global stress-responsive genes to promote stress-resistance and survival, HSF-1 has recently been shown to regulate stress-independent functions in controlling development, metabolism, and longevity. However, the indirect role of HSF-1 in coordinating stress-dependent and -independent processes through post-transcriptional regulation is largely unknown. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have emerged as a class of post-transcriptional regulators that control gene expression through translational repression or mRNA degradation. To determine the role of HSF-1 in regulating miRNA expression, we have performed high-throughput small RNA-sequencing in C. elegans grown in the presence and absence of hsf-1 RNAi followed by treatment with or without heat shock. This has allowed us to uncover the miRNAs regulated by HSF-1 via heat-dependent and -independent mechanisms. Integrated miRNA/mRNA target-prediction analyses suggest HSF-1 as a post-transcriptional regulator of development, metabolism, and longevity through regulating miRNA expression. This provides new insight into the possible mechanism by which HSF-1 controls these processes. We have also uncovered oxidative stress response factors and insulin-like signaling factors as a common link between processes affected by HSF-1-regulated miRNAs in stress-dependent and -independent mechanisms, respectively. This may provide a role for miRNAs in regulating cross-talk between various stress responses. Our work therefore uncovers an interesting potential role for HSF-1 in post

  7. Tribbles ortholog NIPI-3 and bZIP transcription factor CEBP-1 regulate a Caenorhabditis elegans intestinal immune surveillance pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McEwan, Deborah L; Feinbaum, Rhonda L; Stroustrup, Nicholas; Haas, Wilhelm; Conery, Annie L; Anselmo, Anthony; Sadreyev, Ruslan; Ausubel, Frederick M

    2016-12-07

    Many pathogens secrete toxins that target key host processes resulting in the activation of immune pathways. The secreted Pseudomonas aeruginosa toxin Exotoxin A (ToxA) disrupts intestinal protein synthesis, which triggers the induction of a subset of P. aeruginosa-response genes in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We show here that one ToxA-induced C. elegans gene, the Tribbles pseudokinase ortholog nipi-3, is essential for host survival following exposure to P. aeruginosa or ToxA. We find that NIPI-3 mediates the post-developmental expression of intestinal immune genes and proteins and primarily functions in parallel to known immune pathways, including p38 MAPK signaling. Through mutagenesis screening, we identify mutants of the bZIP C/EBP transcription factor cebp-1 that suppress the hypersusceptibility defects of nipi-3 mutants. NIPI-3 is a negative regulator of CEBP-1, which in turn negatively regulates protective immune mechanisms. This pathway represents a previously unknown innate immune signaling pathway in intestinal epithelial cells that is involved in the surveillance of cellular homeostasis. Because NIPI-3 and CEBP-1 are also essential for C. elegans development, NIPI-3 is analogous to other key innate immune signaling molecules such as the Toll receptors in Drosophila that have an independent role during development.

  8. Contrasting responses within a single neuron class enable sex-specific attraction in Caenorhabditis elegans

    OpenAIRE

    Narayan, Anusha; Venkatachalam, Vivek; Durak, Omer; Reilly, Douglas K.; Bose, Neelanjan; Schroeder, Frank C.; Samuel, Aravinthan DT; Srinivasan, Jagan; Sternberg, Paul W.

    2016-01-01

    Animals find mates and food, and avoid predators, by navigating to regions within a favorable range of available sensory cues. How are these ranges set and recognized? Here we show that male Caenorhabditis elegans exhibit strong concentration preferences for sex-specific small molecule cues secreted by hermaphrodites, and that these preferences emerge from the collective dynamics of a single male-specific class of neurons, the cephalic sensory neurons (CEMs). Within a single worm, CEM respons...

  9. The Energy Metabolism in Caenorhabditis elegans under The Extremely Low-Frequency Electromagnetic Field Exposure

    OpenAIRE

    Shi, Zhenhua; Yu, Hui; Sun, Yongyan; Yang, Chuanjun; Lian, Huiyong; Cai, Peng

    2015-01-01

    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 meta...

  10. 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

    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 ...... data suggest that DPY-18 regulates ephrin expression to direct axon guidance, a role for P4Hs that may be conserved in higher organisms....

  11. Germline Stem Cell Differentiation Entails Regional Control of Cell Fate Regulator GLD-1 in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brenner, John L; Schedl, Tim

    2016-03-01

    Germline stem cell differentiation in Caenorhabditis elegans is controlled by glp-1 Notch signaling. Cell fate regulator GLD-1 is sufficient to induce meiotic entry and expressed at a high level during meiotic prophase, inhibiting mitotic gene activity. glp-1 signaling and other regulators control GLD-1 levels post-transcriptionally (low in stem cells, high in meiotic prophase), but many aspects of GLD-1 regulation are uncharacterized, including the link between glp-1-mediated transcriptional control and post-transcriptional GLD-1 regulation. We established a sensitive assay to quantify GLD-1 levels across an ∼35-cell diameter field, where distal germline stem cells differentiate proximally into meiotic prophase cells in the adult C. elegans hermaphrodite, and applied the approach to mutants in known or proposed GLD-1 regulators. In wild-type GLD-1 levels elevated ∼20-fold in a sigmoidal pattern. We found that two direct transcriptional targets of glp-1 signaling, lst-1 and sygl-1, were individually required for repression of GLD-1. We determined that lst-1 and sygl-1 act in the same genetic pathway as known GLD-1 translational repressor fbf-1, while lst-1 also acts in parallel to fbf-1, linking glp-1-mediated transcriptional control and post-transcriptional GLD-1 repression. Additionally, we estimated the position in wild-type gonads where germ cells irreversibly commit to meiotic development based on GLD-1 levels in worms where glp-1 activity was manipulated to cause an irreversible fate switch. Analysis of known repressors and activators, as well as modeling the sigmoidal accumulation pattern, indicated that regulation of GLD-1 levels is largely regional, which we integrated with the current view of germline stem cell differentiation. Copyright © 2016 by the Genetics Society of America.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  13. Effects of space radiation and microgravity on miRNA expression profile in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Dan; Sun, Yeqing; Lei, Huang; Gao, Ying

    2012-07-01

    Living organisms experience a shock and subsequent adaption when they are subjected to space radiation and microgravity during spaceflight. Such changes have been already documented for some biological consequences including skeletal muscle alterations, reduced immune function and bone loss. Recent advancement in the field of molecular biology has demonstrated that small non-coding microRNA (miRNA) can have a broad effect on gene expression networks, and play a key role in cellular response to environmental stresses. However, little is known about how radiation exposure and altered gravity affect miRNA expression. In the present study, we explored the changes in expression of miRNA and related genes from Caenorhabditis elegans (C.elegans) flown on spaceflight. We used wild-type (N2) and dys-1 mutant (deletion of dys-1) stains of C.elegans, which were cultured to Dauer stage and transferred to special SIMbox in the experiment container. These worms taken by Shenzhou VIII spacecraft experienced the 16.5-day shuttle spaceflight. During spaceflight, they suffered space radiation and underwent static zero gravity (microgravity) or imitated earth gravity (1g) in the rotating condition. In contrast, these worms live under static earth gravity (1g) in ground-based controls. To evaluate the effects of space radiation and microgravity on miRNA expression profile, we performed miRNA microarray expression analysis and found that a set of miRNAs in N2 groups were significantly upregulated or downregualted in radiation and microgravity conditions. Among these altered miRNAs, there are two up-regulated and four down-regulated miRNAs in space radiation conditions; one down-regulated miRNAs in microgravity condition. Expression of several miRNAs in N2 groups was only changed significantly in the imitated earth gravity (1g) conditions, presenting these altered miRNAs were affected by radiation exposure alone. Notably, dys-1 mutant is not sensitive to altered gravity due to muscle

  14. 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.

  15. Sense and sensitivity : a quantitative genetic analysis of gene-environment interactions in life history traits in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gutteling, E.W.

    2004-01-01

    In studying the relationship between DNA (orthe genotype) and phenotypic characteristics (or the phenotype) scientists often use single genes coding for single traits. Fundamentally this choice makes sense, as it makes research easier. However, most traits are determined by

  16. Molecular signals regulating translocation and toxicity of graphene oxide in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Qiuli; Zhao, Yunli; Li, Yiping; Wang, Dayong

    2014-09-01

    Both in vitro and in vivo studies have demonstrated the toxic effects of graphene oxide (GO). However, the molecular basis for the translocation and toxicity of GO is still largely unclear. In the present study, we employed an in vivo Caenorhabditis elegans assay system to identify molecular signals involved in the control of the translocation and toxicity of GO. We identified 7 genes whose mutations altered both the translocation and toxicity of GO. Mutations of the hsp-16.48, gas-1, sod-2, sod-3, and aak-2 genes caused greater GO translocation into the body and toxic effects on both primary and secondary targeted organs compared with wild type; however, mutations of the isp-1 and clk-1 genes resulted in significantly decreased GO translocation into the body and toxicity on both primary and secondary targeted organs compared with wild-type. Moreover, mutations of the hsp-16.48, gas-1, sod-2, sod-3, and aak-2 genes caused increased intestinal permeability and prolonged mean defecation cycle length in GO-exposed nematodes, whereas mutations of the isp-1 and clk-1 genes resulted in decreased intestinal permeability in GO-exposed nematodes. Therefore, for the underlying mechanism, we hypothesize that both intestinal permeability and defecation behavior may have crucial roles in controlling the functions of the identified molecular signals. The molecular signals may further contribute to the control of transgenerational toxic effects of GO. Our results provide an important insight into understanding the molecular basis for the in vivo translocation and toxicity of GO.Both in vitro and in vivo studies have demonstrated the toxic effects of graphene oxide (GO). However, the molecular basis for the translocation and toxicity of GO is still largely unclear. In the present study, we employed an in vivo Caenorhabditis elegans assay system to identify molecular signals involved in the control of the translocation and toxicity of GO. We identified 7 genes whose mutations

  17. Chemoreceptor genes: what can we learn from Caenorhabditis elegans and how can we apply this information to studies on other nematodes?

    OpenAIRE

    Burnell, Ann M.; O'Halloran, Damien M.

    2004-01-01

    Soil dwelling nematodes encounter many types of volatile and water-soluble molecules in their environment. For free-living nematodes like Caenorhabdiris clegnns, successful foraging depends on the ability to detect a gradient in one odorant while ignoring extraneous odoun. The infectious stages of plant and animal parasitic nematodes also rely on chemoreception as their primary host finding cue. Using a combination of genetic, molecular and bioinformatic approaches chemoreceptor genes have be...

  18. Toxicogenomic effects of nano- and bulk-TiO2 particles in the soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocheleau, Sylvie; Arbour, Mélanie; Elias, Miria; Sunahara, Geoffrey I; Masson, Luke

    2015-05-01

    The toxicity and toxicogenomics of selected anatase and rutile nanoparticles (NP) and bulk titanium dioxide (TiO2) particles were evaluated in the soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Results indicated that bulk or nano-TiO2 particles were slightly toxic to soil nematode C. elegans, as measured by reproduction EC50 values ranging from 4 to 32 mg/L. Whole-genome microarray results indicated that the regulation of glutathione-S-transferase gst-3, cytochrome P450 cypp33-c11, stress resistance regulator scl-1, oxidoreductase wah-1 and embryonic development pod-2 genes were significantly affected by nano-sized and bulk-TiO2 particles. More specifically, it was determined that anatase particles exerted a greater effect on metabolic pathways, whereas rutile particles had a greater effect on developmental processes. The up-regulation of the pod-2 gene corroborated the phenotypic effect observed in the reproduction test. Our results demonstrated that C. elegans is a good genomic model for nano-TiO2 toxicity assessment.

  19. The BLI-3/TSP-15/DOXA-1 dual oxidase complex is required for iodide toxicity in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Zhaofa; Luo, Jintao; Li, Yu; Ma, Long

    2014-12-04

    Iodine is an essential trace element for life. Iodide deficiency can lead to defective biosynthesis of thyroid hormones and is a major cause of hypothyroidism and mental retardation. Excess iodide intake, however, has been linked to different thyroidal diseases. How excess iodide causes harmful effects is not well understood. Here, we found that the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans exhibits developmental arrest and other pleiotropic defects when exposed to excess iodide. To identify the responsible genes, we performed a forward genetic screen and isolated 12 mutants that can survive in excess iodide. These mutants define at least four genes, two of which we identified as bli-3 and tsp-15. bli-3 encodes the C. elegans ortholog of the mammalian dual oxidase DUOX1 and tsp-15 encodes the tetraspanin protein TSP-15, which was previously shown to interact with BLI-3. The C. elegans dual oxidase maturation factor DOXA-1 is also required for the arresting effect of excess iodide. Finally, we detected a dramatically increased biogenesis of reactive oxygen species in animals treated with excess iodide, and this effect can be partially suppressed by bli-3 and tsp-15 mutations. We propose that the BLI-3/TSP-15/DOXA-1 dual oxidase complex is required for the toxic pleiotropic effects of excess iodide. Copyright © 2015 Xu et al.

  20. WormGender - Open-Source Software for Automatic Caenorhabditis elegans Sex Ratio Measurement.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta K Labocha

    Full Text Available Fast and quantitative analysis of animal phenotypes is one of the major challenges of current biology. Here we report the WormGender open-source software, which is designed for accurate quantification of sex ratio in Caenorhabditis elegans. The software functions include, i automatic recognition and counting of adult hermaphrodites and males, ii a manual inspection feature that enables manual correction of errors, and iii flexibility to use new training images to optimize the software for different imaging conditions. We evaluated the performance of our software by comparing manual and automated assessment of sex ratio. Our data showed that the WormGender software provided overall accurate sex ratio measurements. We further demonstrated the usage of WormGender by quantifying the high incidence of male (him phenotype in 27 mutant strains. Mutants of nine genes (brc-1, C30G12.6, cep-1, coh-3, him-3, him-5, him-8, skr-1, unc-86 showed significant him phenotype. The WormGender is written in Java and can be installed and run on both Windows and Mac platforms. The source code is freely available together with a user manual and sample data at http://www.QuantWorm.org/. The source code and sample data are also available at http://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.1541248.

  1. The SM protein VPS-45 is required for RAB-5-dependent endocytic transport in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gengyo-Ando, Keiko; Kuroyanagi, Hidehito; Kobayashi, Tetsuo; Murate, Motohide; Fujimoto, Kazushi; Okabe, Shigeo; Mitani, Shohei

    2007-02-01

    Rab5, a small guanosine triphosphatase, is known to regulate the tethering and docking reaction leading to SNARE (soluble NSF attachment protein receptors)-mediated fusion between endosomes. However, it is uncertain how the signal of the activated Rab5 protein is transduced by its downstream effectors during endosome fusion. Here, we show that the Sec1/Munc18 gene vps-45 is essential for not only viability and development but also receptor-mediated and fluid-phase endocytosis pathways in Caenorhabditis elegans. We found that VPS-45 interacts with a Rab5 effector, Rabenosyn-5 (RABS-5), and the mutants of both vps-45 and rabs-5 show similar endocytic phenotypes. In the macrophage-like cells of vps-45 and rabs-5 mutants, aberrantly small endosomes were accumulated, and the endosome fusion stimulated by the mutant RAB-5 (Q78L) is suppressed by these mutations. Our results indicate that VPS-45 is a key molecule that functions downstream from RAB-5, cooperating with RABS-5, to regulate the dynamics of the endocytic system in multicellular organisms.

  2. A Genetic Survey of Fluoxetine Action on Synaptic Transmission in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kullyev, Andrey; Dempsey, Catherine M.; Miller, Sarah; Kuan, Chih-Jen; Hapiak, Vera M.; Komuniecki, Richard W.; Griffin, Christine T.; Sze, Ji Ying

    2010-01-01

    Fluoxetine is one of the most commonly prescribed medications for many behavioral and neurological disorders. Fluoxetine acts primarily as an inhibitor of the serotonin reuptake transporter (SERT) to block the removal of serotonin from the synaptic cleft, thereby enhancing serotonin signals. While the effects of fluoxetine on behavior are firmly established, debate is ongoing whether inhibition of serotonin reuptake is a sufficient explanation for its therapeutic action. Here, we provide evidence of two additional aspects of fluoxetine action through genetic analyses in Caenorhabditis elegans. We show that fluoxetine treatment and null mutation in the sole SERT gene mod-5 eliminate serotonin in specific neurons. These neurons do not synthesize serotonin but import extracellular serotonin via MOD-5/SERT. Furthermore, we show that fluoxetine acts independently of MOD-5/SERT to regulate discrete properties of acetylcholine (Ach), gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), and glutamate neurotransmission in the locomotory circuit. We identified that two G-protein–coupled 5-HT receptors, SER-7 and SER-5, antagonistically regulate the effects of fluoxetine and that fluoxetine binds to SER-7. Epistatic analyses suggest that SER-7 and SER-5 act upstream of AMPA receptor GLR-1 signaling. Our work provides genetic evidence that fluoxetine may influence neuronal functions and behavior by directly targeting serotonin receptors. PMID:20739712

  3. The E2F-DP1 Transcription Factor Complex Regulates Centriole Duplication in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacqueline G. Miller

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Centrioles play critical roles in the organization of microtubule-based structures, from the mitotic spindle to cilia and flagella. In order to properly execute their various functions, centrioles are subjected to stringent copy number control. Central to this control mechanism is a precise duplication event that takes place during S phase of the cell cycle and involves the assembly of a single daughter centriole in association with each mother centriole . Recent studies have revealed that posttranslational control of the master regulator Plk4/ZYG-1 kinase and its downstream effector SAS-6 is key to ensuring production of a single daughter centriole. In contrast, relatively little is known about how centriole duplication is regulated at a transcriptional level. Here we show that the transcription factor complex EFL-1-DPL-1 both positively and negatively controls centriole duplication in the Caenorhabditis elegans embryo. Specifically, we find that down regulation of EFL-1-DPL-1 can restore centriole duplication in a zyg-1 hypomorphic mutant and that suppression of the zyg-1 mutant phenotype is accompanied by an increase in SAS-6 protein levels. Further, we find evidence that EFL-1-DPL-1 promotes the transcription of zyg-1 and other centriole duplication genes. Our results provide evidence that in a single tissue type, EFL-1-DPL-1 sets the balance between positive and negative regulators of centriole assembly and thus may be part of a homeostatic mechanism that governs centriole assembly.

  4. UNC-41/stonin functions with AP2 to recycle synaptic vesicles in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregory P Mullen

    Full Text Available The recycling of synaptic vesicles requires the recovery of vesicle proteins and membrane. Members of the stonin protein family (Drosophila Stoned B, mammalian stonin 2 have been shown to link the synaptic vesicle protein synaptotagmin to the endocytic machinery. Here we characterize the unc-41 gene, which encodes the stonin ortholog in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Transgenic expression of Drosophila stonedB rescues unc-41 mutant phenotypes, demonstrating that UNC-41 is a bona fide member of the stonin family. In unc-41 mutants, synaptotagmin is present in axons, but is mislocalized and diffuse. In contrast, UNC-41 is localized normally in synaptotagmin mutants, demonstrating a unidirectional relationship for localization. The phenotype of snt-1 unc-41 double mutants is stronger than snt-1 mutants, suggesting that UNC-41 may have additional, synaptotagmin-independent functions. We also show that unc-41 mutants have defects in synaptic vesicle membrane endocytosis, including a ∼50% reduction of vesicles in both acetylcholine and GABA motor neurons. These endocytic defects are similar to those observed in apm-2 mutants, which lack the µ2 subunit of the AP2 adaptor complex. However, no further reduction in synaptic vesicles was observed in unc-41 apm-2 double mutants, suggesting that UNC-41 acts in the same endocytic pathway as µ2 adaptin.

  5. The Caenorhabditis elegans presenilin sel-12 is required for mesodermal patterning and muscle function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eimer, Stefan; Donhauser, Roland; Baumeister, Ralf

    2002-11-01

    Mutations in presenilin genes impair Notch signalling and, in humans, have been implicated in the development of familial Alzheimer's disease. We show here that a reduction of the activity of the Caenorhabditis elegans presenilin sel-12 results in a late defect during sex muscle development. The morphological abnormalities and functional deficits in the sex muscles contribute to the egg-laying defects seen in sel-12 hermaphrodites and to the severely reduced mating efficiency of sel-12 males. Both defects can be rescued by expressing sel-12 from the hlh-8 promoter that is active during the development of the sex muscle-specific M lineage, but not by expressing sel-12 from late muscle-specific promoters. Both weak and strong sel-12 mutations cause defects in the sex muscles that resemble the defects we found in lin-12 hypomorphic alleles, suggesting a previously uncharacterised LIN-12 signalling event late in postembryonic mesoderm development. Together with a previous study indicating a role of lin-12 and sel-12 during the specification of the pi cell lineage required for proper vulva-uterine connection, our data suggest that the failure of sel-12 animals to lay eggs properly is caused by defects in at least two independent signalling events in different tissues during development.

  6. A CaMK cascade activates CRE-mediated transcription in neurons of Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimura, Yoshishige; Corcoran, Ethan E.; Eto, Koh; Gengyo-Ando, Keiko; Muramatsu, Masa-aki; Kobayashi, Ryoji; Freedman, Jonathan H.; Mitani, Shohei; Hagiwara, Masatoshi; Means, Anthony R.; Tokumitsu, Hiroshi

    2002-01-01

    Calcium (Ca2+) signals regulate a diverse set of cellular responses, from proliferation to muscular contraction and neuro-endocrine secretion. The ubiquitous Ca2+ sensor, calmodulin (CaM), translates changes in local intracellular Ca2+ concentrations into changes in enzyme activities. Among its targets, the Ca2+/CaM-dependent protein kinases I and IV (CaMKs) are capable of transducing intraneuronal signals, and these kinases are implicated in neuronal gene regulation that mediates synaptic plasticity in mammals. Recently, the cyclic AMP response element binding protein (CREB) has been proposed as a target for a CaMK cascade involving not only CaMKI or CaMKIV, but also an upstream kinase kinase that is also CaM regulated (CaMKK). Here, we report that all components of this pathway are coexpressed in head neurons of Caenorhabditis elegans. Utilizing a transgenic approach to visualize CREB-dependent transcription in vivo, we show that this CaMK cascade regulates CRE-mediated transcription in a subset of head neurons in living nematodes. PMID:12231504

  7. 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.

  8. Germ Granules Prevent Accumulation of Somatic Transcripts in the Adult Caenorhabditis elegans Germline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knutson, Andrew Kekūpa'a; Egelhofer, Thea; Rechtsteiner, Andreas; Strome, Susan

    2017-05-01

    The germ cells of multicellular organisms protect their developmental potential through specialized mechanisms. A shared feature of germ cells from worms to humans is the presence of nonmembrane-bound, ribonucleoprotein organelles called germ granules. Depletion of germ granules in Caenorhabditis elegans (i.e., P granules) leads to sterility and, in some germlines, expression of the neuronal transgene unc-119::gfp and the muscle myosin MYO-3 Thus, P granules are hypothesized to maintain germ cell totipotency by preventing somatic development, although the mechanism by which P granules carry out this function is unknown. In this study, we performed transcriptome and single molecule RNA-FISH analyses of dissected P granule-depleted gonads at different developmental stages. Our results demonstrate that P granules are necessary for adult germ cells to downregulate spermatogenesis RNAs and to prevent the accumulation of numerous soma-specific RNAs. P granule-depleted gonads that express the unc-119::gfp transgene also express many other genes involved in neuronal development and concomitantly lose expression of germ cell fate markers. Finally, we show that removal of either of two critical P-granule components, PGL-1 or GLH-1, is sufficient to cause germ cells to express UNC-119::GFP and MYO-3 and to display RNA accumulation defects similar to those observed after depletion of P granules. Our data identify P granules as critical modulators of the germline transcriptome and guardians of germ cell fate. Copyright © 2017 by the Genetics Society of America.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Radiation biology of Caenorhabditis elegans: germ cell response, aging and behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakashita, Tetsuya; Takanami, Takako; Yanase, Sumino; Hamada, Nobuyuki; Suzuki, Michiyo; Kimura, Takafumi; Kobayashi, Yasuhiko; Ishii, Naoaki; Higashitani, Atsushi

    2010-01-01

    The study of radiation effect in Caenorhabditis (C.) elegans has been carried out over three decades and now allow for understanding at the molecular, cellular and individual levels. This review describes the current knowledge of the biological effects of ionizing irradiation with a scope of the germ line, aging and behavior. In germ cells, ionizing radiation induces apoptosis, cell cycle arrest and DNA repair. Lots of molecules involved in these responses and functions have been identified in C. elegans, which are highly conserved throughout eukaryotes. Radiosensitivity and the effect of heavy-ion microbeam irradiation on germ cells with relationship between initiation of meiotic recombination and DNA lesions are discussed. In addition to DNA damage, ionizing radiation produces free radicals, and the free radical theory is the most popular aging theory. A first signal transduction pathway of aging has been discovered in C. elegans, and radiation-induced metabolic oxidative stress is recently noted for an inducible factor of hormetic response and genetic instability. The hormetic response in C. elegans exposed to oxidative stress is discussed with genetic pathways of aging. Moreover, C. elegans is well known as a model organism for behavior. The recent work reported the radiation effects via specific neurons on learning behavior, and radiation and hydrogen peroxide affect the locomotory rate similarly. These findings are discussed in relation to the evidence obtained with other organisms. Altogether, C. elegans may be a good "in vivo" model system in the field of radiation biology.

  13. Scorpion Venom Heat-Resistant Peptide Protects Transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans from β-Amyloid Toxicity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xiao-Gang; Wang, Xi; Zhou, Ting-Ting; Wu, Xue-Fei; Peng, Yan; Zhang, Wan-Qin; Li, Shao; Zhao, Jie

    2016-01-01

    Scorpion venom heat-resistant peptide (SVHRP) is a component purified from Buthus martensii Karsch scorpion venom. Our previous studies found SVHRP could enhance neurogenesis and inhibit microglia-mediated neuroinflammation in vivo. Here, we use the transgenic CL4176, CL2006, and CL2355 strains of Caenorhabditis elegans which express the human Aβ1-42 to investigate the effects and the possible mechanisms of SVHRP mediated protection against Aβ toxicity in vivo. The results showed that SVHRP-fed worms displayed remarkably decreased paralysis, less abundant toxic Aβ oligomers, reduced Aβ plaque deposition with respect to untreated animals. SVHRP also suppressed neuronal Aβ expression-induced defects in chemotaxis behavior and attenuated levels of ROS in the transgenic C. elegans. Taken together, these results suggest SVHRP could protect against Aβ-induced toxicity in C. elegans. Further studies need to be conducted in murine models and humans to analyze the effectiveness of the peptide. PMID:27507947

  14. The rise and fall of basal bodies in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nechipurenko, Inna V; Sengupta, Piali

    2017-01-01

    The free-living nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, is a widely used genetic model organism for investigations into centriole and cilia biology. Only sensory neurons are ciliated in C. elegans; morphologically diverse cilia in these neurons are nucleated by basal bodies located at the dendritic endings. C. elegans centrioles comprise a central tube with a symmetric array of nine singlet microtubules. These singlet microtubules remodel in a subset of sensory neurons to form the doublet microtubules of the basal bodies. Following initiation of ciliogenesis, the central tube, but not the outer centriole wall, of the basal body degenerates. Recent ultrastructural characterization of basal body architecture and remodeling have laid the foundation for future studies into mechanisms underlying different aspects of basal body genesis, remodeling, and intracellular positioning.

  15. Neural development features: Spatio-temporal development of the Caenorhabditis elegans neuronal network

    CERN Document Server

    Varier, Sreedevi; 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1001044

    2011-01-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, with information on neural connectivity, three-dimensional position and cell linage provides a unique system for understanding the development of neural networks. Although C. elegans has been widely studied in the past, we present the first statistical study from a developmental perspective, with findings that raise interesting suggestions on the establishment of long-distance connections and network hubs. Here, we analyze the neuro-development for temporal and spatial features, using birth times of neurons and their three-dimensional positions. Comparisons of growth in C. elegans with random spatial network growth highlight two findings relevant to neural network development. First, most neurons which are linked by long-distance connections are born around the same time and early on, suggesting the possibility of early contact or interaction between connected neurons during development. Second, early-born neurons are more highly connected (tendency to form hubs) than late...

  16. 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.

  17. Evaluation of role of oxidative stress on aging in Caenorhabditis elegans: a brief review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prasad, Kedar N; Bondy, Stephen C

    2013-12-01

    Recently the relationship between oxidative stress and aging has been brought into question. It has been suggested that while oxidative events may play a role in the progression of age-related pathologies, it is not relevant to aging processes not involving specific diseases associated with senescence. The evidence in support of this concept is largely based on studies with the roundworm, Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) that has been extensively used as a model system to study aging. This commentary evaluates data derived from C. elegans and documents that the preponderance of evidence from this species supports the role of pro-oxidant events as being a significant contributor to normal aging. Possible reasons for some anomalous findings conflicting with this concept, are discussed.

  18. Scorpion Venom Heat-Resistant Peptide Protects Transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans from β- Amyloid Toxicity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiao-Gang Zhang

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Scorpion venom heat-resistant peptide (SVHRP is a component purified from Buthus martensii Karsch scorpion venom. Our previous studies found SVHRP could enhance neurogenesis and inhibit microglia-mediated neuroinflammation in vivo. Here, we use the transgenic CL4176, CL2006 and CL2355 strains of Caenorhabditis elegans which express the human Aβ1–42 to investigate the effects and the possible mechanisms of SVHRP mediated protection against Aβ toxicity in vivo. The results showed that SVHRP-fed worms displayed remarkably decreased paralysis, less abundant toxic Aβ oligomers, reduced Aβ plaque deposition with respect to untreated animals. SVHRP also suppressed neuronal Aβ expression-induced defects in chemotaxis behavior and attenuated levels of ROS in the transgenic C. elegans. Taken together, these results suggest SVHRP could protect against Aβ-induced toxicity in C. elegans. Further studies need to be conducted in murine models and humans to analyze the effectiveness of the peptide.

  19. Combination therapy with thioridazine and dicloxacillin combats methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection in Caenorhabditis elegans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Poulsen, Marianne Østergaard; Schøler, Lone; Nielsen, Anette

    2014-01-01

    , but experiments in simple animal models have not been performed. In the present study, we introduced Caenorhabditis elegans infected by S. aureus as an in vivo model to test the effect of TZ as a helper drug in combination with DCX. Because TZ is an anthelmintic, initial experiments were carried out to define...... the thresholds of toxicity, determined by larval development, and induction of stress-response markers. No measurable effects were seen at concentrations of less than 64 mg TZ l(-1). Seven different MRSA strains were tested for pathogenicity against C. elegans, and the most virulent strain (ATCC 33591......) was selected for further analyses. In a final experiment, full-grown C. elegans were exposed to the test strain for 3 days and subsequently treated with 8 mg DCX l(-1) and 8 mg TZ l(-1) for 2 days. This resulted in a 14-fold reduction in the intestinal MRSA load as compared with untreated controls. Each drug...

  20. 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

  1. 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

  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. 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.

  4. The thioredoxin TRX-1 regulates adult lifespan extension induced by dietary restriction in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fierro-González, Juan Carlos; González-Barrios, María; Miranda-Vizuete, Antonio; Swoboda, Peter

    2011-03-18

    Dietary restriction (DR) is the only environmental intervention known to extend adult lifespan in a wide variety of animal models. However, the genetic and cellular events that mediate the anti-aging programs induced by DR remain elusive. Here, we used the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to provide the first in vivo evidence that a thioredoxin (TRX-1) regulates adult lifespan extension induced by DR. We found that deletion of the gene trx-1 completely suppressed the lifespan extension caused by mutation of eat-2, a genetic surrogate of DR in the worm. However, trx-1 deletion only partially suppressed the long lifespan caused by mutation of the insulin-like receptor gene daf-2 or by mutation of the sensory cilia gene osm-5. A trx-1::GFP translational fusion expressed from its own promoter in ASJ neurons (Ptrx-1::trx-1::GFP) rescued the trx-1 deletion-mediated suppression of the lifespan extension caused by mutation of eat-2. This rescue was not observed when trx-1::GFP was expressed from the ges-1 promoter in the intestine. In addition, overexpression of Ptrx-1::trx-1::GFP extended lifespan in wild type, but not in eat-2 mutants. trx-1 deletion almost completely suppressed the lifespan extension induced by dietary deprivation (DD), a non-genetic, nutrient-based model of DR in the worm. Moreover, DD upregulated the expression of a trx-1 promoter-driven GFP reporter gene (Ptrx-1::GFP) in ASJ neurons of aging adults, but not that of control Pgpa-9::GFP (which is also expressed in ASJ neurons). We propose that DR activates TRX-1 in ASJ neurons during aging, which in turn triggers TRX-1-dependent mechanisms to extend adult lifespan in the worm. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Molecular basis for oxidative stress induced by simulated microgravity in nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Li; Rui, Qi; Wang, Dayong

    2017-12-31

    Caenorhabditis elegans is an important in vivo assay system for toxicological studies. Herein, we investigated the role of oxidative stress and the underlying molecular mechanism for induced adverse effects of simulated microgravity. In nematodes, simulated microgravity treatment induced a significant induction of oxidative stress. Genes (mev-1, gas-1, and isp-1) encoding a molecular machinery for the control of oxidative stress were found to be dysregulated in simulated microgravity treated nematodes. Meanwhile, genes (sod-2, sod-3, sod-4, sod-5, aak-2, skn-1, and gst-4) encoding certain antioxidant defense systems were increased in simulated microgravity treated nematodes. Mutation of mev-1, gas-1, sod-2, sod-3, aak-2, skn-1, or gst-4 enhanced susceptibility to oxidative stress induced by simulated microgravity, whereas mutation of isp-1 induced a resistance to oxidative stress induced by simulated microgravity. Mutation of sod-2, sod-3, or aak-2 further suppressed the recovery effect of simulated microgravity toxicity in nematodes after simulated microgravity treatment for 1h. Moreover, administration of ascorbate could inhibit the adverse effects including the induction of oxidative stress in simulated microgravity treated nematodes. Mutation of any of the genes encoding metallothioneins or the genes of hsp-16.1, hsp-16.2 and hsp-16.48 encoding heat-shock proteins did not affect the induction of oxidative stress in simulated microgravity treated nematodes. Our results provide a molecular basis for the induction of oxidative stress in simulated microgravity treated organisms. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Propulsion by sinusoidal locomotion: A motion inspired by Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ulrich, Xialing

    Sinusoidal locomotion is commonly seen in snakes, fish, nematodes, or even the wings of some birds and insects. This doctoral thesis presents the study of sinusoidal locomotion of the nematode C. elegans in experiments and the application of the state-space airloads theory to the theoretical forces of sinusoidal motion. An original MATLAB program has been developed to analyze the video records of C. elegans' movement in different fluids, including Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluids. The experimental and numerical studies of swimming C. elegans has revealed three conclusions. First, though the amplitude and wavelength are varying with time, the motion of swimming C. elegans can still be viewed as sinusoidal locomotion with slips. The average normalized wavelength is a conserved character of the locomotion for both Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluids. Second, fluid viscosity affects the frequency but not the moving speed of C. elegans, while fluid elasticity affects the moving speed but not the frequency. Third, by the resistive force theory, for more elastic fluids the ratio of resistive coefficients becomes smaller. Inspired by the motion of C. elegans and other animals performing sinusoidal motion, we investigated the sinusoidal motion of a thin flexible wing in theory. Given the equation of the motion, we have derived the closed forms of propulsive force, lift and other generalized forces applying on the wing. We also calculated the power required to perform the motion, the power lost due to the shed vortices and the propulsive efficiency. These forces and powers are given as functions of reduced frequency k, dimensionless wavelength z, dimensionless amplitude A/b, and time. Our results show that a positive, time-averaged propulsive force is produced for all k>k0=pi/ z. At k=k0, which implies the moment when the moving speed of the wing is the same as the wave speed of its undulation, the motion reaches a steady state with all forces being zero. If there were no

  7. ELT-1, a GATA-like transcription factor, is required for epidermal cell fates in Caenorhabditis elegans embryos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Page, B D; Zhang, W; Steward, K; Blumenthal, T; Priess, J R

    1997-07-01

    Epidermal cells are generated during Caenorhabditis elegans embryogenesis by several distinct lineage patterns. These patterns are controlled by maternal genes that determine the identities of early embryonic blastomeres. We show that the embryonically expressed gene elt-1, which was shown previously to encode a GATA-like transcription factor, is required for the production of epidermal cells by each of these lineages. Depending on their lineage history, cells that become epidermal in wild-type embryos become either neurons or muscle cells in elt-1 mutant embryos. The ELT-1 protein is expressed in epidermal cells and in their precursors. We propose that elt-1 functions at an early step in the specification of epidermal cell fates.

  8. Small RNA-mediated Cry toxin silencing allows Bacillus thuringiensis to evade Caenorhabditis elegans avoidance behavioral defenses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Donghai; Luo, Xiaoxia; Zhang, Ni; Guo, Suxia; Zheng, Jinshui; Chen, Ling

    2018-01-01

    Abstract Pathogen avoidance behavior protects animal hosts against microbial pathogens. Pathogens have evolved specific strategies during coevolution in response to such host defenses. However, these strategies for combatting host avoidance behavioral defenses remain poorly understood. Here, we used Caenorhabditis elegans and its bacterial pathogen Bacillus thuringiensis as a model and determined that small RNA (sRNA)-mediated Cry toxin silencing allowed pathogens to evade host avoidance behavioral defenses. The B. thuringiensis strain YBT-1518, which encodes three nematicidal cry genes, is highly toxic to C. elegans. However, the expression of the most potent toxin, Cry5Ba, was silenced in this strain when YBT-1518 was outside the host. Cry5Ba silencing was due to the sRNA BtsR1, which bound to the RBS site of the cry5Ba transcript via direct base pairing and inhibited Cry5Ba expression. Upon ingestion by C. elegans, Cry5Ba was expressed in vivo by strain YBT-1518. Cry5Ba silencing may allow B. thuringiensis to avoid nematode behavioral defenses and then express toxins once ingested to kill the host and gain a survival advantage. Our work describes a novel model of sRNA-mediated regulation to aid pathogens in combating host avoidance behavioral defenses. PMID:29069426

  9. Caenorhabditis elegans myotubularin MTM-1 negatively regulates the engulfment of apoptotic cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zou, Wei; Lu, Qun; Zhao, Dongfeng; Li, Weida; Mapes, James; Xie, Yuting; Wang, Xiaochen

    2009-10-01

    During programmed cell death, apoptotic cells are recognized and rapidly engulfed by phagocytes. Although a number of genes have been identified that promote cell corpse engulfment, it is not well understood how phagocytosis of apoptotic cells is negatively regulated. Here we have identified Caenorhabditis elegans myotubularin MTM-1 as a negative regulator of cell corpse engulfment. Myotubularins (MTMs) constitute a large, highly conserved family of lipid phosphatases. MTM gene mutations are associated with various human diseases, but the cellular functions of MTM proteins are not clearly defined. We found that inactivation of MTM-1 caused significant reduction in cell corpses in strong loss-of-function mutants of ced-1, ced-6, ced-7, and ced-2, but not in animals deficient in the ced-5, ced-12, or ced-10 genes. In contrast, overexpression of MTM-1 resulted in accumulation of cell corpses. This effect is dependent on the lipid phosphatase activity of MTM-1. We show that loss of mtm-1 function accelerates the clearance of cell corpses by promoting their internalization. Importantly, the reduction of cell corpses caused by mtm-1 RNAi not only requires the activities of CED-5, CED-12, and CED-10, but also needs the functions of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinases (PI3Ks) VPS-34 and PIKI-1. We found that MTM-1 localizes to the plasma membrane in several known engulfing cell types and may modulate the level of phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate (PtdIns(3)P) in vivo. We propose that MTM-1 negatively regulates cell corpse engulfment through the CED-5/CED-12/CED-10 module by dephosphorylating PtdIns(3)P on the plasma membrane.

  10. Caenorhabditis elegans myotubularin MTM-1 negatively regulates the engulfment of apoptotic cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Zou

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available During programmed cell death, apoptotic cells are recognized and rapidly engulfed by phagocytes. Although a number of genes have been identified that promote cell corpse engulfment, it is not well understood how phagocytosis of apoptotic cells is negatively regulated. Here we have identified Caenorhabditis elegans myotubularin MTM-1 as a negative regulator of cell corpse engulfment. Myotubularins (MTMs constitute a large, highly conserved family of lipid phosphatases. MTM gene mutations are associated with various human diseases, but the cellular functions of MTM proteins are not clearly defined. We found that inactivation of MTM-1 caused significant reduction in cell corpses in strong loss-of-function mutants of ced-1, ced-6, ced-7, and ced-2, but not in animals deficient in the ced-5, ced-12, or ced-10 genes. In contrast, overexpression of MTM-1 resulted in accumulation of cell corpses. This effect is dependent on the lipid phosphatase activity of MTM-1. We show that loss of mtm-1 function accelerates the clearance of cell corpses by promoting their internalization. Importantly, the reduction of cell corpses caused by mtm-1 RNAi not only requires the activities of CED-5, CED-12, and CED-10, but also needs the functions of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinases (PI3Ks VPS-34 and PIKI-1. We found that MTM-1 localizes to the plasma membrane in several known engulfing cell types and may modulate the level of phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate (PtdIns(3P in vivo. We propose that MTM-1 negatively regulates cell corpse engulfment through the CED-5/CED-12/CED-10 module by dephosphorylating PtdIns(3P on the plasma membrane.

  11. Examining mechanism of toxicity of copper oxide nanoparticles to Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mashock, Michael J.

    Copper oxide nanoparticles (CuO NPs) are an up and coming technology increasingly being used in industrial and consumer applications and thus may pose risk to humans and the environment. In the present study, the toxic effects of CuO NPs were studied with two model organisms Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Caenorhabditis elegans. The role of released Cu ions during dissolution of CuO NPs in growth media were studied with freshly suspended, aged NPs, and the released Cu 2+ fraction. Exposures to the different Cu treatments showed significant inhibition of S. cerevisiae cellular metabolic activity. Inhibition from the NPs was inversely proportional to size and was not fully explained by the released Cu ions. S. cerevisiae cultures grown under respiring conditions demonstrated greater metabolic sensitivity when exposed to CuO NPs compared to cultures undergoing fermentation. The cellular response to both CuO NPs and released Cu ions on gene expression was analyzed via microarray analysis after an acute exposure. It was observed that both copper exposures resulted in an increase in carbohydrate storage, a decrease in protein production, protein misfolding, increased membrane permeability, and cell cycle arrest. Cells exposed to NPs up-regulated genes related to oxidative phosphorylation but also may be inducing cell cycle arrest by a different mechanism than that observed with released Cu ions. The effect of CuO NPs on C. elegans was examined by using several toxicological endpoints. The CuO NPs displayed a more inhibitory effect, compared to copper sulfate, on nematode reproduction, feeding, and development. We investigated the effects of copper oxide nanoparticles and copper sulfate on neuronal health, a known tissue vulnerable to heavy metal toxicity. In transgenic C. eleganswith neurons expressing a green fluorescent protein reporter, neuronal degeneration was observed in up to 10% of the population after copper oxide nanoparticle exposure. Additionally, nematode

  12. Immunofluorescent localization of thymidylate synthase in the development of Trichinella spiralis and Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gołos, Barbara; Dąbrowska, Magdalena; Wałajtys-Rode, Elżbieta; Zieliński, Zbigniew; Wińska, Patrycja; Cieśla, Joanna; Jagielska, Elżbieta; Moczoń, Tadeusz; Rode, Wojciech

    2012-05-01

    Localization of thymidylate synthase protein in Trichinella spiralis and Caenorhabditis elegans development was followed with the use of confocal microscopy, revealing similar expression patterns in both nematode species. In T. spiralis premature muscle larvae and C. elegans dauer, L3 and L4 larvae, thymidylate synthase was detected in the nerve ring and gonad primordia, as well as T. spiralis stichosome and C. elegans pharyngeal glandular cells. In developmentally arrested T. spiralis muscle larvae, the enzyme was found localized to the gonad primordia and stichosome. High enzyme level was also observed in the embryos developing in uteri of T. spiralis female adult and C. elegans hermaphrodite forms. In the case of T. spiralis adult forms, thymidylate synthase was detected in stichosome, along esophagus wall, as well as in egg and sperm cells. While the enzyme protein present in the embryos remains in accord with its known association with proliferating systems, thymidylate synthase presence in the nerve ring, and reproductive and secretory (T. spiralis stichosomal and C. elegans pharyngeal glandular cells) systems, points to a state of cell cycle-arrest, also known to preserve the enzyme protein. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Sojin; Choi, Seoyun; Ahn, Byungchan

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:26903030

  15. 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.

  16. Caenorhabditis elegans as a platform to study the mechanism of action of synthetic antitumor lipids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez-Blanco, Adolfo; Rodríguez-Matellán, Alberto G; Reis-Sobreiro, Mariana; Sáenz-Narciso, Beatriz; Cabello, Juan; Mohler, William A; Mollinedo, Faustino

    2014-01-01

    Drugs capable of specifically recognizing and killing cancer cells while sparing healthy cells are of great interest in anti-cancer therapy. An example of such a drug is edelfosine, the prototype molecule of a family of synthetic lipids collectively known as antitumor lipids (ATLs). A better understanding of the selectivity and the mechanism of action of these compounds would lead to better anticancer treatments. Using Caenorhabditis elegans, we modeled key features of the ATL selectivity against cancer cells. Edelfosine induced a selective and direct killing action on C. elegans embryos, which was dependent on cholesterol, without affecting adult worms and larvae. Distinct ATLs ranked differently in their embryonic lethal effect with edelfosine > perifosine > erucylphosphocholine >> miltefosine. Following a biased screening of 57 C. elegans mutants we found that inactivation of components of the insulin/IGF-1 signaling pathway led to resistance against the ATL edelfosine in both C. elegans and human tumor cells. This paper shows that C. elegans can be used as a rapid platform to facilitate ATL research and to further understand the mechanism of action of edelfosine and other synthetic ATLs. PMID:25485582

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

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    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

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

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    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.

  19. Glial development and function in the nervous system of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaham, Shai

    2015-01-08

    The nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, has served as a fruitful setting for understanding conserved biological processes. The past decade has seen the rise of this model organism as an important tool for uncovering the mysteries of the glial cell, which partners with neurons to generate a functioning nervous system in all animals. C. elegans affords unparalleled single-cell resolution in vivo in examining glia-neuron interactions, and similarities between C. elegans and vertebrate glia suggest that lessons learned from this nematode are likely to have general implications. Here, I summarize what has been gleaned over the past decade since C. elegans glia research became a concerted area of focus. Studies have revealed that glia are essential elements of a functioning C. elegans nervous system and play key roles in its development. Importantly, glial influence on neuronal function appears to be dynamic. Key questions for the field to address in the near- and long-term have emerged, and these are discussed within. Copyright © 2015 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; all rights reserved.

  20. A screening-based platform for the assessment of cellular respiration in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koopman, Mandy; Michels, Helen; Dancy, Beverley M; Kamble, Rashmi; Mouchiroud, Laurent; Auwerx, Johan; Nollen, Ellen A A; Houtkooper, Riekelt H

    2016-10-01

    Mitochondrial dysfunction is at the core of many diseases ranging from inherited metabolic diseases to common conditions that are associated with aging. Although associations between aging and mitochondrial function have been identified using mammalian models, much of the mechanistic insight has emerged from Caenorhabditis elegans. Mitochondrial respiration is recognized as an indicator of mitochondrial health. The Seahorse XF96 respirometer represents the state-of-the-art platform for assessing respiration in cells, and we adapted the technique for applications involving C. elegans. Here we provide a detailed protocol to optimize and measure respiration in C. elegans with the XF96 respirometer, including the interpretation of parameters and results. The protocol takes ∼2 d to complete, excluding the time spent culturing C. elegans, and it includes (i) the preparation of C. elegans samples, (ii) selection and loading of compounds to be injected, (iii) preparation and execution of a run with the XF96 respirometer and (iv) postexperimental data analysis, including normalization. In addition, we compare our XF96 application with other existing techniques, including the eight-well Seahorse XFp. The main benefits of the XF96 include the limited number of worms required and the high throughput capacity due to the 96-well format.

  1. The Caenorhabditis globin gene family reveals extensive nematode-specific radiation and diversification

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    Vinogradov Serge N

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Globin isoforms with variant properties and functions have been found in the pseudocoel, body wall and cuticle of various nematode species and even in the eyespots of the insect-parasite Mermis nigrescens. In fact, much higher levels of complexity exist, as shown by recent whole genome analysis studies. In silico analysis of the genome of Caenorhabditis elegans revealed an unexpectedly high number of globin genes featuring a remarkable diversity in gene structure, amino acid sequence and expression profiles. Results In the present study we have analyzed whole genomic data from C. briggsae, C. remanei, Pristionchus pacificus and Brugia malayi and EST data from several other nematode species to study the evolutionary history of the nematode globin gene family. We find a high level of conservation of the C. elegans globin complement, with even distantly related nematodes harboring orthologs to many Caenorhabditis globins. Bayesian phylogenetic analysis resolves all nematode globins into two distinct globin classes. Analysis of the globin intron-exon structures suggests extensive loss of ancestral introns and gain of new positions in deep nematode ancestors, and mainly loss in the Caenorhabditis lineage. We also show that the Caenorhabditis globin genes are expressed in distinct, mostly non-overlapping, sets of cells and that they are all under strong purifying selection. Conclusion Our results enable reconstruction of the evolutionary history of the globin gene family in the nematode phylum. A duplication of an ancestral globin gene occurred before the divergence of the Platyhelminthes and the Nematoda and one of the duplicated genes radiated further in the nematode phylum before the split of the Spirurina and Rhabditina and was followed by further radiation in the lineage leading to Caenorhabditis. The resulting globin genes were subject to processes of subfunctionalization and diversification leading to cell

  2. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans displays a chemotaxis behavior to tuberculosis-specific odorants

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    Mário F. Neto

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available A simple, affordable diagnostic test for pulmonary tuberculosis (TB is urgently needed to improve detection of active Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Recently, it has been suggested that animal behavior can be used as a biosensor to signal the presence of human disease. For example, the giant African pouched rats can detect tuberculosis by sniffing sputum specimens while trained honeybees respond to three of the volatile organic compounds (VOCs detected in the breath of TB positive patients by proboscis extension. However, both rats and honeybees require animal housing facilities and professional trainers, which are outside the scope of most disease testing facilities. Here, we report that the innate olfactory behavioral response of the roundworm nematode Caenorhabditis elegans can be used to detect the TB-specific VOCs methyl p-anisate, methyl nicotinate, methyl phenylacetate and o-phenylanisole, in chemotaxis assays. Dauer larvae, a long-lived stress resistant alternative development state of C. elegans in which the animals can survive for extended periods of time in dry conditions with no food, were also demonstrated to detect the VOCs. We propose that exposing naive dauer larvae to TB-related VOCs and recording their response in this behavioral assay could lead to the development of a new method for TB diagnostics using breath as the sample type. Keywords: Tuberculosis, Caenorhabditis elegans, Chemotaxis, Volatile organic compounds, Diagnostics, Odorants

  3. Editor's Highlight: Comparative Toxicity of Organophosphate Flame Retardants and Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers to Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behl, Mamta; Rice, Julie R; Smith, Marjo V; Co, Caroll A; Bridge, Matthew F; Hsieh, Jui-Hua; Freedman, Jonathan H; Boyd, Windy A

    2016-12-01

    With the phasing-out of the polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants due to concerns regarding their potential developmental toxicity, the use of replacement compounds such as organophosphate flame retardants (OPFRs) has increased. Limited toxicity data are currently available to estimate the potential adverse health effects of the OPFRs. The toxicological effects of 4 brominated flame retardants, including 3 PBDEs and 3,3',5,5'-tetrabromobisphenol A, were compared with 6 aromatic OPFRs and 2 aliphatic OPFRs. The effects of these chemicals were determined using 3 biological endpoints in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (feeding, larval development, and reproduction). Because C. elegans development was previously reported to be sensitive to mitochondrial function, results were compared with those from an in vitro mitochondrial membrane permeabilization (MMP) assay. Overall 11 of the 12 flame retardants were active in 1 or more C. elegans biological endpoints, with only tris(2-chloroethyl) phosphate inactive across all endpoints including the in vitro MMP assay. For 2 of the C. elegans endpoints, at least 1 OPFR had similar toxicity to the PBDEs: triphenyl phosphate (TPHP) inhibited larval development at levels comparable to the 3 PBDEs; whereas TPHP and isopropylated phenol phosphate (IPP) affected C. elegans reproduction at levels similar to the PBDE commercial mixture, DE-71. The PBDEs reduced C. elegans feeding at lower concentrations than any OPFR. In addition, 9 of the 11 chemicals that inhibited C. elegans larval development also caused significant mitochondrial toxicity. These results suggest that some of the replacement aromatic OPFRs may have levels of toxicity comparable to PBDEs. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society of Toxicology 2016. This work is written by US Government employees and is in the public domain in the US.

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

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    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

  5. A novel GDP-D-glucose phosphorylase involved in quality control of the nucleoside diphosphate sugar pool in Caenorhabditis elegans and mammals

    OpenAIRE

    Adler, Lital N.; Gomez, Tara A.; Clarke, Steven G.; Linster, Carole

    2011-01-01

    The plant VTC2 gene encodes GDP-L-galactose phosphorylase, a rate-limiting enzyme in plant vitamin C biosynthesis. Genes encoding apparent orthologs of VTC2 exist in both mammals, which produce vitamin C by a distinct metabolic pathway, and in the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans where vitamin C biosynthesis has not been demonstrated. We have now expressed cDNAs of the human and worm VTC2 homolog genes (C15orf58 and C10F3.4, respectively) and found that the purified proteins also display ...

  6. A comparative study of fat storage quantitation in nematode Caenorhabditis elegans using label and label-free methods.

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    Kelvin Yen

    Full Text Available The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has been employed as a model organism to study human obesity due to the conservation of the pathways that regulate energy metabolism. To assay for fat storage in C. elegans, a number of fat-soluble dyes have been employed including BODIPY, Nile Red, Oil Red O, and Sudan Black. However, dye-labeled assays produce results that often do not correlate with fat stores in C. elegans. An alternative label-free approach to analyze fat storage in C. elegans has recently been described with coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS microscopy. Here, we compare the performance of CARS microscopy with standard dye-labeled techniques and biochemical quantification to analyze fat storage in wild type C. elegans and with genetic mutations in the insulin/IGF-1 signaling pathway including the genes daf-2 (insulin/IGF-1 receptor, rict-1 (rictor and sgk-1 (serum glucocorticoid kinase. CARS imaging provides a direct measure of fat storage with unprecedented details including total fat stores as well as the size, number, and lipid-chain unsaturation of individual lipid droplets. In addition, CARS/TPEF imaging reveals a neutral lipid species that resides in both the hypodermis and the intestinal cells and an autofluorescent organelle that resides exclusively in the intestinal cells. Importantly, coherent addition of the CARS fields from the C-H abundant neutral lipid permits selective CARS imaging of the fat store, and furthe