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Sample records for caenorhabditis elegans genes

  1. Lifespan extension by suppression of autophagy genes in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Hashimoto, Yasufumi; Ookuma, Sadatsugu; Nishida, Eisuke

    2009-06-01

    Lifespan is regulated by a complex combination of environmental and genetic factors. Autophagy, which is a bulk degradation system of macromolecules and organelles, has an important role in various biological events. In Caenorhabditis elegans, several autophagy genes have been shown to have a role in promoting longevity, but many other autophagy genes have not been examined for their role in the lifespan regulation. Here we have systematically examined the effect of RNAi suppression of 14 autophagy genes on lifespan. While maternal RNAi of autophagy genes in wild-type worms tended to reduce lifespan, maternal RNAi of each of seven autophagy genes in the insulin/IGF-1 receptor daf-2 mutants extended lifespan. Remarkably, RNAi of unc-51/atg-1, bec-1/atg-6 or atg-9, from young adult, i.e. after development, extended lifespan in both wild-type animals and daf-2 mutants, although RNAi of one or two genes shortened it. Moreover, our analysis suggests that the lifespan extension, which is induced by RNAi of unc-51, bec-1 or atg-9 after development, does not require the transcription factor daf-16, the NAD(+)-dependent protein deacetylase sir-2.1 or the genes related to mitochondrial functions. Collectively, our results suggest that autophagy may not always be beneficial to longevity, but may also function to restrict lifespan in C. elegans.

  2. Characterization of seven genes affecting Caenorhabditis elegans hindgut development.

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    Chamberlin, H M; Brown, K B; Sternberg, P W; Thomas, J H

    1999-01-01

    We have identified and characterized 12 mutations in seven genes that affect the development of the Caenorhabditis elegans hindgut. We find that the mutations can disrupt the postembryonic development of the male-specific blast cells within the hindgut, the hindgut morphology in both males and hermaphrodites, and in some cases, the expression of a hindgut marker in hermaphrodite animals. Mutations in several of the genes also affect viability. On the basis of their mutant phenotypes, we propose that the genes fall into four distinct classes: (1) egl-5 is required for regional identity of the tail; (2) sem-4 is required for a variety of ectodermal and mesodermal cell types, including cells in the hindgut; (3) two genes, lin-49 and lin-59, affect development of many cells, including hindgut; and (4) three genes, mab-9, egl-38, and lin-48, are required for patterning fates within the hindgut, making certain hindgut cells different from others. We also describe a new allele of the Pax gene egl-38 that is temperature sensitive and affects the conserved beta-hairpin of the EGL-38 paired domain. Our results suggest that a combination of different factors contribute to normal C. elegans hindgut development. PMID:10511553

  3. 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.

  4. Gene expression markers for Caenorhabditis elegans vulval cells.

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    Inoue, Takao; Sherwood, David R; Aspöck, Gudrun; Butler, James A; Gupta, Bhagwati P; Kirouac, Martha; Wang, Minqin; Lee, Pei-Yun; Kramer, James M; Hope, Ian; Bürglin, Thomas R; Sternberg, Paul W

    2002-12-01

    The analysis of cell fate patterning during the vulval development of Caenorhabditis elegans has relied mostly on the direct observation of cell divisions and cell movements (cell lineage analysis). However, reconstruction of the developing vulva from EM serial sections has suggested seven different cell types (vulA, vulB1, vulB2, vulC, vulD, vulE, and vulF), many of which cannot be distinguished based on such observations. Here we report the vulval expression of seven genes, egl-17, cdh-3, ceh-2, zmp-1, B0034.1, T04B2.6 and F47B8.6 based on gfp, cfp and yfp (green fluorescent protein and color variants) reporter fusions. Each gene expresses in a specific subset of vulval cells, and is therefore useful as a marker for vulval cell fates. Together, expressions of markers distinguish six cell types, and reveal a strict temporal control of gene expression in the developing vulva.

  5. Genes that regulate both development and longevity in Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Larsen, P.L.; Albert, P.S.; Riddle, D.L. [Univ. of Missouri, Columbia, MO (United States)

    1995-04-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans responds to conditions of overcrowding and limited food by arresting development as a dauer larva. Genetic analysis of mutations that alter dauer larva formation (daf mutations) is presented along with an updated genetic pathway for dauer vs. nondauer development. Mutations in the daf-2 and daf-23 genes double adult life span, whereas mutations in four other dauer-constitutive genes positioned in a separate branch of this pathway (daf-1, daf-4, daf-7 and daf-8) do not. The increased life spans are suppressed completely by a daf-16 mutation and partially in a daf-2; daf-18 double mutant. A genetic pathway for determination of adult life span is presented based on the same strains and growth conditions used to characterize Daf phenotypes. Both dauer larva formation and adult life span are affected in daf-2; daf-12 double mutants in an allele-specific manner. Mutations in daf-12 do not extend adult life span, but certain combinations of daf-2 and daf-12 mutant alleles nearly quadruple it. This synergistic effect, which does not equivalently extend the fertile period, is the largest genetic extension of life span yet observed in a metazoan. 47 refs., 7 figs., 5 tabs.

  6. Intermediate Filaments in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Zuela, Noam; Gruenbaum, Yosef

    2016-01-01

    More than 70 different genes in humans and 12 different genes in Caenorhabditis elegans encode the superfamily of intermediate filament (IF) proteins. In C. elegans, similar to humans, these proteins are expressed in a cell- and tissue-specific manner, can assemble into heteropolymers and into 5-10nm wide filaments that account for the principal structural elements at the nuclear periphery, nucleoplasm, and cytoplasm. At least 5 of the 11 cytoplasmic IFs, as well as the nuclear IF, lamin, are essential. In this chapter, we will include a short review of our current knowledge of both cytoplasmic and nuclear IFs in C. elegans and will describe techniques used for their analyses.

  7. Biolistic transformation of Caenorhabditis elegans

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    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 bombardm

  8. Genome-wide identification of lineage-specific genes within Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Zhou, Kun; Huang, Beibei; Zou, Ming; Lu, Dandan; He, Shunping; Wang, Guoxiu

    2015-10-01

    With the rapid growth of sequencing technology, a number of genomes and transcriptomes of various species have been sequenced, contributing to the study of lineage-specific genes (LSGs). We identified two sets of LSGs using BLAST: one included Caenorhabditis elegans species-specific genes (1423, SSGs), and the other consisted of Caenorhabditis genus-specific genes (4539, GSGs). The subsequent characterization and analysis of the SSGs and GSGs showed that they have significant differences in evolution and that most LSGs were generated by gene duplication and integration of transposable elements (TEs). We then performed temporal expression profiling and protein function prediction and observed that many SSGs and GSGs are expressed and that genes involved with sex determination, specific stress, immune response, and morphogenesis are over-represented, suggesting that these specific genes may be related to the Caenorhabditis nematodes' special ability to survive in severe and extreme environments.

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

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    Kun Zhou

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Two sets of LSGs were identified using BLAST: Caenorhabditis elegans species-specific genes (SSGs, 1423, and Caenorhabditis genus-specific genes (GSGs, 4539. The data contained in this article show SSGs and GSGs have significant differences in evolution and that most of them were formed by gene duplication and integration of transposable elements (TEs. Subsequent observation of temporal expression and protein function presents that many SSGs and GSGs are expressed and that genes involved with sex determination, specific stress, immune response, and morphogenesis are most represented. The data are related to research article “Genome-wide identification of lineage-specific genes within Caenorhabditis elegans” in Journal of Genomics [1].

  10. Insulin signaling genes modulate nicotine-induced behavioral responses in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Wescott, Seth A; Ronan, Elizabeth A; Xu, X Z Shawn

    2016-02-01

    Insulin signaling has been suggested to modulate nicotine dependence, but the underlying genetic evidence has been lacking. Here, we used the nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, to investigate whether genetic alterations in the insulin signaling pathway affect behavioral responses to nicotine. For this, we challenged drug-naive C. elegans with an acute dose of nicotine (100 μmol/l) while recording changes in their locomotion speed. Although nicotine treatment stimulated locomotion speed in wild-type C. elegans, the same treatment reduced locomotion speed in mutants defective in insulin signaling. This phenotype could be suppressed by mutations in daf-16, a gene encoding a FOXO transcription factor that acts downstream of insulin signaling. Our data suggest that insulin signaling genes, daf-2, age-1, pdk-1, akt-1, and akt-2, modulate behavioral responses to nicotine in C. elegans, indicating a genetic link between nicotine behavior and insulin signaling.

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

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

    2002-07-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Radiation-induced gene expression in the nematode caenorhabditis elegans

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    Nelson, G.A.; Jones, T.A.; Chesnut, A.; Smith, A.L. [Loma Linda Univ., CA (United States)

    2002-12-01

    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 reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) differential display and whole genome microarray hybridization experiments that gamma rays, accelerated protons and iron ions at the same physical dose lead to unique transcription profiles. 599 of 17871 genes analyzed (3.4%) showed differential expression 3 hrs after exposure to 3 Gy of radiation. 193 were up-regulated, 406 were down-regulated and 90% were affected only by a single species of radiation. A novel statistical clustering technique identified the regulatory relationships between the radiation-modulated genes and showed that genes affected by each radiation species were associated with unique regulatory clusters. This suggests that independent homeostatic mechanisms are activated in response to radiation exposure as a function of track structure or ionization density. (author)

  14. 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.

  15. Toxicity of Naphthalene on Caenorhabditis elegans

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    ZHANG Shu-hua; XU Jing-bo; LIU Cheng-bai; LI Qiao; GUAN Shu-wen; WANG Li-ping

    2011-01-01

    Naphthalene is a common environmental contaminant substance. The toxic effects of naphthalene on Caenorhabditis elegans were investigated at the molecular, biochemical and physiological levels. To assess the molecular-level effect, stress-related gene expression was investigated such as those of hsp-16.1, sod-3, ctl-2, cep-1,cyp35a2, ugt-44, gst-1 and dhs-28. Cell apoptosis was assessed at the biochemical level. Life span, locomotion behaviors and brood size were investigated at the physiological level. The results indicate that naphthalene exposure could not only induce the expression of stress-related genes such as hspl6.1, sod-3, ctl-2 and cep-1 but also reduce the life span of Caenorhabditis elegans. At the same time, naphthalene exposure could result in cell apoptosis and interfere in the locomotion behaviors of Caenorhabditis elegans. These data suggest that naphthalene has multiple toxicity on Caenorhabditis elegans.

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

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

    2012-01-01

    The soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has become a popular genetic model organism used to study a broad range of complex biological processes, including development, aging, apoptosis, and DNA damage responses. Many genetic tools and tricks have been developed in C. elegans including knock down...... of gene expression via RNA interference (RNAi). In C. elegans RNAi can effectively be administrated via feeding the nematodes bacteria expressing double-stranded RNA targeting the gene of interest. Several commercial C. elegans RNAi libraries are available and hence gene inactivation using RNAi can...

  17. The nephronophthisis-related gene ift-139 is required for ciliogenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Niwa, Shinsuke

    2016-01-01

    Defects in cilia cause a spectrum of diseases known as ciliopathies. Nephronophthisis, a ciliopathy, is the most common genetic cause of renal disease. Here, I cloned and analysed a nephronophthisis-related gene ift-139 in Caenorhabditis elegans. ift-139 was exclusively expressed in ciliated neurons in C. elegans. Genetic and cellular analyses suggest that ift-139 plays a role in retrograde intraflagellar transport and is required for cilia formation. A homologous point mutation that causes ciliopathy disrupted the function of ift-139 in C. elegans. ift-139 is an orthologue of human TTC21B, mutations in which are known to cause nephronophthisis 12 and short-rib thoracic dysplasia 4. These results suggest that ift-139 is evolutionarily conserved and fundamental to the formation of cilia. PMID:27515926

  18. 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.

  19. Genes required for the common miracle of fertilization in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Singson, Andrew; Hang, Julie S; Parry, Jean M

    2008-01-01

    Fertilization involves multiple layers of sperm-egg interactions that lead to gamete fusion and egg activation. There must be specific molecules required for these interactions. The challenge is to determine the identity of the genes encoding these molecules and how their protein products function. The nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans has emerged as an efficient model system for gene discovery and understanding the molecular mechanisms of fertilization. The primary advantage of the C. elegans system is the ability to isolate and maintain mutants that affect sperm or eggs and no other cells. In this review we describe progress and challenges in the analysis of genes required for gamete interactions and egg activation in the worm.

  20. High-throughput in vivo analysis of gene expression in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Hunt-Newbury, Rebecca; Viveiros, Ryan; Johnsen, Robert; Mah, Allan; Anastas, Dina; Fang, Lily; Halfnight, Erin; Lee, David; Lin, John; Lorch, Adam; McKay, Sheldon; Okada, H Mark; Pan, Jie; Schulz, Ana K; Tu, Domena; Wong, Kim; Zhao, Z; Alexeyenko, Andrey; Burglin, Thomas; Sonnhammer, Eric; Schnabel, Ralf; Jones, Steven J; Marra, Marco A; Baillie, David L; Moerman, Donald G

    2007-09-01

    Using DNA sequences 5' to open reading frames, we have constructed green fluorescent protein (GFP) fusions and generated spatial and temporal tissue expression profiles for 1,886 specific genes in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. This effort encompasses about 10% of all genes identified in this organism. GFP-expressing wild-type animals were analyzed at each stage of development from embryo to adult. We have identified 5' DNA regions regulating expression at all developmental stages and in 38 different cell and tissue types in this organism. Among the regulatory regions identified are sequences that regulate expression in all cells, in specific tissues, in combinations of tissues, and in single cells. Most of the genes we have examined in C. elegans have human orthologs. All the images and expression pattern data generated by this project are available at WormAtlas (http://gfpweb.aecom.yu.edu/index) and through WormBase (http://www.wormbase.org).

  1. High-throughput in vivo analysis of gene expression in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Rebecca Hunt-Newbury

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available Using DNA sequences 5' to open reading frames, we have constructed green fluorescent protein (GFP fusions and generated spatial and temporal tissue expression profiles for 1,886 specific genes in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. This effort encompasses about 10% of all genes identified in this organism. GFP-expressing wild-type animals were analyzed at each stage of development from embryo to adult. We have identified 5' DNA regions regulating expression at all developmental stages and in 38 different cell and tissue types in this organism. Among the regulatory regions identified are sequences that regulate expression in all cells, in specific tissues, in combinations of tissues, and in single cells. Most of the genes we have examined in C. elegans have human orthologs. All the images and expression pattern data generated by this project are available at WormAtlas (http://gfpweb.aecom.yu.edu/index and through WormBase (http://www.wormbase.org.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. The Nucleolus of Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Li-Wei Lee

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Nucleolar size and appearance correlate with ribosome biogenesis and cellular activity. The mechanisms underlying changes in nucleolar appearance and regulation of nucleolar size that occur during differentiation and cell cycle progression are not well understood. Caenorhabditis elegans provides a good model for studying these processes because of its small size and transparent body, well-characterized cell types and lineages, and because its cells display various sizes of nucleoli. This paper details the advantages of using C. elegans to investigate features of the nucleolus during the organism's development by following dynamic changes in fibrillarin (FIB-1 in the cells of early embryos and aged worms. This paper also illustrates the involvement of the ncl-1 gene and other possible candidate genes in nucleolar-size control. Lastly, we summarize the ribosomal proteins involved in life span and innate immunity, and those homologous genes that correspond to human disorders of ribosomopathy.

  5. Paralysis and killing of Caenorhabditis elegans by enteropathogenic Escherichia coli requires the bacterial tryptophanase gene.

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    Anyanful, Akwasi; Dolan-Livengood, Jennifer M; Lewis, Taiesha; Sheth, Seema; Dezalia, Mark N; Sherman, Melanie A; Kalman, Lisa V; Benian, Guy M; Kalman, Daniel

    2005-08-01

    Pathogenic Escherichia coli, including enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC), enterohaemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC), enteroinvasive E. coli (EIEC) and enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) are major causes of food and water-borne disease. We have developed a genetically tractable model of pathogenic E. coli virulence based on our observation that these bacteria paralyse and kill the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Paralysis and killing of C. elegans by EPEC did not require direct contact, suggesting that a secreted toxin mediates the effect. Virulence against C. elegans required tryptophan and bacterial tryptophanase, the enzyme catalysing the production of indole and other molecules from tryptophan. Thus, lack of tryptophan in growth media or deletion of tryptophanase gene failed to paralyse or kill C. elegans. While known tryptophan metabolites failed to complement an EPEC tryptophanase mutant when presented extracellularly, complementation was achieved with the enzyme itself expressed either within the pathogen or within a cocultured K12 strains. Thus, an unknown metabolite of tryptophanase, derived from EPEC or from commensal non-pathogenic strains, appears to directly or indirectly regulate toxin production within EPEC. EPEC strains containing mutations in the locus of enterocyte effacement (LEE), a pathogenicity island required for virulence in humans, also displayed attenuated capacity to paralyse and kill nematodes. Furthermore, tryptophanase activity was required for full activation of the LEE1 promoter, and for efficient formation of actin-filled membranous protrusions (attaching and effacing lesions) that form on the surface of mammalian epithelial cells following attachment and which depends on LEE genes. Finally, several C. elegans genes, including hif-1 and egl-9, rendered C. elegans less susceptible to EPEC when mutated, suggesting their involvement in mediating toxin effects. Other genes including sek-1, mek-1, mev-1, pgp-1,3 and vhl-1, rendered C. elegans more

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27631780

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miki, Takashi S; Carl, Sarah H; Stadler, Michael B; Großhans, Helge

    2016-09-01

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yanqiong Zhang

    Full Text Available Despite rapid development and application of a wide range of manufactured metal oxide nanoparticles (NPs, the understanding of potential risks of using NPs is less completed, especially at the molecular level. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (C.elegans has been emerging as an environmental model to study the molecular mechanism of environmental contaminations, using standard genetic tools such as the real-time quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR. The most important factor that may affect the accuracy of RT-qPCR is to choose appropriate genes for normalization. In this study, we selected 13 reference gene candidates (act-1, cdc-42, pmp-3, eif-3.C, actin, act-2, csq-1, Y45F10D.4, tba-1, mdh-1, ama-1, F35G12.2, and rbd-1 to test their expression stability under different doses of nano-copper oxide (CuO 0, 1, 10, and 50 µg/mL using RT-qPCR. Four algorithms, geNorm, NormFinder, BestKeeper, and the comparative ΔCt method, were employed to evaluate these 13 candidates expressions. As a result, tba-1, Y45F10D.4 and pmp-3 were the most reliable, which may be used as reference genes in future study of nanoparticle-induced genetic response using C.elegans.

  9. A C-terminal truncated mutation of spr-3 gene extends lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ping Yang; Ruilin Sun; Minghui Yao; Weidong Chen; Zhugang Wang; Jian Fei

    2013-01-01

    The lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans is determined by various genetic and environmental factors.In this paper,spr-3,a C.elegans homologous gene of the mammalian neural restrictive silencing factor (NRSF/REST),is reported to be an important gene regulating lifespan of C.elegans.A deletion mutation ofspr-3,spr-3(ok2525),or RNAi inhibition of spr-3 expression led to the short lifespan phenotype in C.elegans.However,a nonsense mutation of spr-3,spr3(by108),increased the lifespan by 26% when compared with that of wild-type nematode.The spr-3(by108) also showed increased resistance to environmental stress.The spr-3(by108) mutated gene encodes a C-terminal truncated protein with a structure comparable with the REST4,a splice variant of the NRSF/REST in mammalian.The long lifespan phenotype of spr-3(by108) mutant is confirmed as a gain of function and dependent on normal functions of daf16 and glp-1.The lifespan of the spr-3(by108) can be synergistically enhanced by inducing a mutation in daf-2.Quantitative polymerase chain reaction results showed that the expression of daf-16 as well as its target gene sod-3,mtl1,and sip-1 was up-regulated in the spr-3(by108) mutant.These results would be helpful to further understand the complex function of NRSF/REST gene in mammalian,especially in the aging process and longevity determination.

  10. Chromosome-biased binding and gene regulation by the Caenorhabditis elegans DRM complex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomoko M Tabuchi

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available DRM is a conserved transcription factor complex that includes E2F/DP and pRB family proteins and plays important roles in development and cancer. Here we describe new aspects of DRM binding and function revealed through genome-wide analyses of the Caenorhabditis elegans DRM subunit LIN-54. We show that LIN-54 DNA-binding activity recruits DRM to promoters enriched for adjacent putative E2F/DP and LIN-54 binding sites, suggesting that these two DNA-binding moieties together direct DRM to its target genes. Chromatin immunoprecipitation and gene expression profiling reveals conserved roles for DRM in regulating genes involved in cell division, development, and reproduction. We find that LIN-54 promotes expression of reproduction genes in the germline, but prevents ectopic activation of germline-specific genes in embryonic soma. Strikingly, C. elegans DRM does not act uniformly throughout the genome: the DRM recruitment motif, DRM binding, and DRM-regulated embryonic genes are all under-represented on the X chromosome. However, germline genes down-regulated in lin-54 mutants are over-represented on the X chromosome. We discuss models for how loss of autosome-bound DRM may enhance germline X chromosome silencing. We propose that autosome-enriched binding of DRM arose in C. elegans as a consequence of germline X chromosome silencing and the evolutionary redistribution of germline-expressed and essential target genes to autosomes. Sex chromosome gene regulation may thus have profound evolutionary effects on genome organization and transcriptional regulatory networks.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baruch, Leehod; Itzkovitz, Shalev; Golan-Mashiach, Michal; Shapiro, Ehud; Segal, Eran

    2008-07-11

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  13. Sensory Transduction in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

    Scientists routinely integrate information from various channels to explore topics under study. We designed a 4-wk undergraduate laboratory module that used a multifaceted approach to study a question in molecular genetics. Specifically, students investigated whether "Caenorhabditis elegans" can be a useful model system for studying genes…

  15. The Immunoglobulin-like Gene spe-45 Acts during Fertilization in Caenorhabditis elegans like the Mouse Izumo1 Gene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishimura, Hitoshi; Tajima, Tatsuya; Comstra, Heather Skye; Gleason, Elizabeth J; L'Hernault, Steven W

    2015-12-21

    The Caenorhabditis elegans spe-9 class genes, which show specific or predominant expression in the male germline, are indispensable for fertilization [1, 2]. However, due to the rapid evolution of genes involved in reproduction, we do not currently know if there are spe-9 class genes in mammals that play similar roles during fertilization to those found in C. elegans. In mice, the Izumo1 gene encodes a sperm-specific transmembrane (TM) protein with a single immunoglobulin (Ig)-like domain that is absolutely required for gamete fusion [3, 4]. In this study, we hypothesized that C. elegans has a new member of the spe-9 class genes coding for an IZUMO1-like protein. We screened C. elegans microarray data [5, 6] to identify male germline-enriched genes that encode membrane proteins with Ig-like domains. A deletion (tm3715) in one such gene (F28D1.8) caused hermaphrodites to show a male germline-dependent self-sterility, so we have named it spe-45. Mutant spe-45 worms seemed to normally undergo spermatogenesis (spermatid production by meiosis) and spermiogenesis (spermatid activation into actively motile spermatozoa). spe-45 mutant spermatozoa, however, could not complete gamete fusion, which is a characteristic of all spe-9 class mutants [1, 2]. Moreover, spe-45 self-sterile worms were rescued by a transgene expressing chimeric SPE-45 protein in which its Ig-like domain was replaced by the Ig-like domain from mouse IZUMO1. Hence, C. elegans SPE-45 and mouse IZUMO1 appear to have retained a common function(s) that is required during fertilization.

  16. 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.

  17. The unc-8 and sup-40 genes regulate ion channel function in Caenorhabditis elegans motorneurons

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shreffler, W.; Magardino, T.; Shekdar, K.; Wolinsky, E. [New York Univ. Medical School, NY (United States)

    1995-03-01

    Two Caenorhabditis elegans genes, unc-8 and sup-40, have been newly identified, by genetic criteria, as regulating ion channel function in motorneurons. Two dominant unc-8 alleles cause motorneuron swelling similar to that of other neuronal types in dominant mutants of the deg-1 gene family, which is homologous to a mammalian gene family encoding amiloride-sensitive sodium channel subunits. As for previously identified deg-1 family members, unc-8 dominant mutations are recessively suppressed by mutations in the mec-6 gene, which probably encodes a second type of channel component. An unusual dominant mutation, sup-41 (lb125), also co-suppresses unc-8 and deg-1, suggesting the existence of yet another common component of ion channels containing unc-8 or deg-1 subunits. Dominant, transacting, intragenic suppressor mutations have been isolated for both unc-8 and deg-1, consistent with the idea that, like their mammalian homologues, the two gene products function as multimers. The sup-40 (lb130) mutation dominantly suppresses unc-8 motorneuron swelling and produces a novel swelling phenotype in hypodermal nuclei. sup-40 may encode an ion channel component or regulator that can correct the osmotic defect caused by abnormal unc-8 channels. 37 refs., 6 figs., 3 tabs.

  18. Eight genes are required for functional reconstitution of the Caenorhabditis elegans levamisole-sensitive acetylcholine receptor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boulin, Thomas; Gielen, Marc; Richmond, Janet E.; Williams, Daniel C.; Paoletti, Pierre; Bessereau, Jean-Louis

    2008-01-01

    Levamisole-sensitive acetylcholine receptors (L-AChRs) are ligand-gated ion channels that mediate excitatory neurotransmission at the neuromuscular junctions of nematodes. They constitute a major drug target for anthelminthic treatments because they can be activated by nematode-specific cholinergic agonists such as levamisole. Genetic screens conducted in Caenorhabditis elegans for resistance to levamisole toxicity identified genes that are indispensable for the biosynthesis of L-AChRs. These include 5 genes encoding distinct AChR subunits and 3 genes coding for ancillary proteins involved in assembly and trafficking of the receptors. Despite extensive analysis of L-AChRs in vivo, pharmacological and biophysical characterization of these receptors has been greatly hampered by the absence of a heterologous expression system. Using Xenopus laevis oocytes, we were able to reconstitute functional L-AChRs by coexpressing the 5 distinct receptor subunits and the 3 ancillary proteins. Strikingly, this system recapitulates the genetic requirements for receptor expression in vivo because omission of any of these 8 genes dramatically impairs L-AChR expression. We demonstrate that 3 α- and 2 non-α-subunits assemble into the same receptor. Pharmacological analysis reveals that the prototypical cholinergic agonist nicotine is unable to activate L-AChRs but rather acts as a potent allosteric inhibitor. These results emphasize the role of ancillary proteins for efficient expression of recombinant neurotransmitter receptors and open the way for in vitro screening of novel anthelminthic agents. PMID:19020092

  19. ins-7 Gene expression is partially regulated by the DAF-16/IIS signaling pathway in Caenorhabditis elegans under celecoxib intervention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Shanqing; Liao, Sentai; Zou, Yuxiao; Qu, Zhi; Liu, Fan

    2014-01-01

    DAF-16 target genes are employed as reporters of the insulin/IGF-1 like signal pathway (IIS), and this is notably true when Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) is used to study the action of anti-aging compounds on IIS activity. However, some of these genes may not be specific to DAF-16, even if their expression levels are altered when DAF-16 is activated. Celecoxib was reported to extend the lifespan of C. elegans through activation of DAF-16. Our results confirmed the function of celecoxib on aging; however, we found that the expression of ins-7, a DAF-16 target gene, was abnormally regulated by celecoxib. ins-7 plays an important role in regulating aging, and its expression is suppressed in C. elegans when DAF-16 is activated. However, we found that celecoxib upregulated the expression of ins-7 in contrast to its role in DAF-16 activation. Our subsequent analysis indicated that the expression level of ins-7 in C. elegans was negatively regulated by DAF-16 activity. Additionally, its expression was also positively regulated by DAF-16-independent mechanisms, at least following external pharmacological intervention. Our study suggests that ins-7 is not a specific target gene of DAF-16, and should not be chosen as a reporter for IIS activity. This conclusion is important in the study of INSs on aging in C. elegans, especially under the circumstance of drug intervention.

  20. Use of SNPs to determine the breakpoints of complex deficiencies, facilitating gene mapping in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hoffmann Melissa

    2005-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Genetic deletions or deficiencies have been used for gene mapping and discovery in various organisms, ranging from the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans all the way to humans. One problem with large deletions is the determination of the location of their breakpoints. This is exacerbated in the case of complex deficiencies that delete a region of the genome, while retaining some of the intervening sequence. Previous methods, using genetic complementation or cytology were hampered by low marker density and were consequently not very precise at positioning the breakpoints of complex deficiencies. The identification of increasing numbers of Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs has resulted in the use of these as genetic markers, and consequently in their utilization for defining the breakpoints of deletions using molecular biology methods. Results Here, we show that SNPs can be used to help position the breakpoints of a complex deficiency in C. elegans. The technique uses a combination of genetic crosses and molecular biology to generate robust and highly reproducible results with strong internal controls when trying to determine the breakpoints of deficiencies. The combined use of this technique and standard genetic mapping allowed us to rapidly narrow down the region of interest in our attempts to clone a gene. Conclusion Unlike previous methods used to locate deficiency breakpoints, our technique has the advantage of not being limited by the amount of starting material. It also incorporates internal controls to eliminate false positives and negatives. The technique can also easily be adapted for use in other organisms in which both genetic deficiencies and SNPs are available, thereby aiding gene discovery in these other models.

  1. The Caenorhabditis elegans vulva: a post-embryonic gene regulatory network controlling organogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ririe, Ted O; Fernandes, Jolene S; Sternberg, Paul W

    2008-12-23

    The Caenorhabditis elegans vulva is an elegant model for dissecting a gene regulatory network (GRN) that directs postembryonic organogenesis. The mature vulva comprises seven cell types (vulA, vulB1, vulB2, vulC, vulD, vulE, and vulF), each with its own unique pattern of spatial and temporal gene expression. The mechanisms that specify these cell types in a precise spatial pattern are not well understood. Using reverse genetic screens, we identified novel components of the vulval GRN, including nhr-113 in vulA. Several transcription factors (lin-11, lin-29, cog-1, egl-38, and nhr-67) interact with each other and act in concert to regulate target gene expression in the diverse vulval cell types. For example, egl-38 (Pax2/5/8) stabilizes the vulF fate by positively regulating vulF characteristics and by inhibiting characteristics associated with the neighboring vulE cells. nhr-67 and egl-38 regulate cog-1, helping restrict its expression to vulE. Computational approaches have been successfully used to identify functional cis-regulatory motifs in the zmp-1 (zinc metalloproteinase) promoter. These results provide an overview of the regulatory network architecture for each vulval cell type.

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lavigne, Jean-Philippe; Cuzon, Gaelle; Combescure, Christophe; Bourg, Gisèle; Sotto, Albert; Nordmann, Patrice

    2013-01-01

    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) (pKPC-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, pKPC-2 gene itself was not associated to increased virulence.

  4. 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.

  5. Multiple Functions of Let-23, a Caenorhabditis Elegans Receptor Tyrosine Kinase Gene Required for Vulval Induction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aroian, R. V.; Sternberg, P. W.

    1991-01-01

    The let-23 gene, which encodes a putative tyrosine kinase of the epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor subfamily, has multiple functions during Caenorhabditis elegans development. We show that let-23 function is required for vulval precursor cells (VPCs) to respond to the signal that induces vulval differentiation: a complete loss of let-23 function results in no induction. However, some let-23 mutations that genetically reduce but do not eliminate let-23 function result in VPCs apparently hypersensitive to inductive signal: as many as five of six VPCs can adopt vulval fates, in contrast to the three that normally do. These results suggest that the let-23 receptor tyrosine kinase controls two opposing pathways, one that stimulates vulval differentiation and another that negatively regulates vulval differentiation. Furthermore, analysis of 16 new let-23 mutations indicates that the let-23 kinase functions in at least five tissues. Since various let-23 mutant phenotypes can be obtained independently, the let-23 gene is likely to have tissue-specific functions. PMID:2071015

  6. Caenorhabditis elegans behavioral genetics: where are the knobs?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Avery Leon

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Thousands of behavioral mutants of Caenorhabditis elegans have been studied. I suggest a set of criteria by which some genes important in the evolution of behavior might be recognized, and identify neuropeptide signaling pathways as candidates.

  7. Toxicity testing using Caenorhabditis elegans

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Middendorf, P.J.; Dusenbery, D.B. [Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA (United States); Williams, P.L. [Univ. of Georgia, Athens, GA (United States)

    1995-12-31

    Caenorhabditis elegans is a small free-living nematode that is representative of what may be the most abundant animal group. It has been promoted as a possible model organism for toxicity testing in the laboratory and in field evaluations in part because more is known about its biology than any other animal, Toxicity tests using C. elegans have been developed with lethality, reproduction, and behavior as end points. The tests have also been developed to varying degrees using standard laboratory media, water, and soil. The results of the tests when exposing C. elegans to a variety of metals, inorganic, and organic compounds indicate it is typically at least as sensitive as other species currently used, such as Daphnia and earthworms, and is generally much easier to maintain in the laboratory. The advantages and disadvantages of C. elegans and the state of development of the tests will be discussed.

  8. The Caenorhabditis elegans K10C2.4 gene encodes a member of the fumarylacetoacetate hydrolase family: a Caenorhabditis elegans model of type I tyrosinemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Alfred L; Page, Kathryn E; Lithgow, Gordon J; Nash, Lindsey

    2008-04-01

    In eukaryotes and many bacteria, tyrosine is degraded to produce energy via a five-step tyrosine degradation pathway. Mutations affecting the tyrosine degradation pathway are also of medical importance as mutations affecting enzymes in the pathway are responsible for type I, type II, and type III tyrosinemia. The most severe of these is type I tyrosinemia, which is caused by mutations affecting the last enzyme in the pathway, fumarylacetoacetate hydrolase (FAH). So far, tyrosine degradation in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has not been studied; however, genes predicted to encode enzymes in this pathway have been identified in several microarray, proteomic, and RNA interference (RNAi) screens as perhaps being involved in aging and the control of protein folding. We sought to identify and characterize the genes in the worm tyrosine degradation pathway as an initial step in understanding these findings. Here we describe the characterization of the K10C2.4, which encodes a homolog of FAH. RNAi directed against K10C2.4 produces a lethal phenotype consisting of death in young adulthood, extensive damage to the intestine, impaired fertility, and activation of oxidative stress and endoplasmic stress response pathways. This phenotype is due to alterations in tyrosine metabolism as increases in dietary tyrosine enhance it, and inhibition of upstream enzymes in tyrosine degradation with RNAi or genetic mutations reduces the phenotype. We also use our model to identify genes that suppress the damage produced by K10C2.4 RNAi in a pilot genetic screen. Our results establish worms as a model for the study of type I tyrosinemia.

  9. 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.

  10. Mutations in the clk-1 gene of Caenorhabditis elegans affect developmental and behavioral timing

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wong, A.; Boutis, P.; Hekimi, S. [McGill Univ., Quebec (Canada)

    1995-03-01

    We have identified three allelic, maternal-effect mutations that affect developmental and behavioral timing in Caenorhabditis elegans. They result in a mean lengthening of embryonic and postembryonic development, the cell cycle period and life span, as well as the periods of the defecation, swimming and pumping cycles. These mutants also display a number of additional phenotypes related to timing. For example, the variability in the length of embryonic development is several times larger in the mutants than in the wild type, resulting in the occasional production of mutant embryos developing more rapidly than the most rapidly developing wild-type embryos. In addition, the duration of embryonic development of the mutants, but not of the wild type, depends on the temperature at which their parents were raised. Finally, individual variations in the severity of distinct mutant phenotypes are correlated in a counterintuitive way. For example, the animals with the shortest embryonic development have the longest defecation cycle and those with the longest embryonic development have the shortest defecation cycle. Most of the features affected by these mutations are believed to be controlled by biological clocks, and we therefore call the gene defined by these mutations clk-1, for {open_quotes}abnormal function of biological clocks.{close_quotes} 52 refs., 5 figs., 4 tabs.

  11. 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

  12. Phospholipase Cepsilon regulates ovulation in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kariya, Ken-Ichi; Bui, Yen Kim; Gao, Xianlong; Sternberg, Paul W; Kataoka, Tohru

    2004-10-01

    Phospholipase Cepsilon (PLCepsilon) is a novel class of phosphoinositide-specific PLC with unknown physiological functions. Here, we present the first genetic analysis of PLCepsilon in an intact organism, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Ovulation in C. elegans is dependent on an inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP(3)) signaling pathway activated by the receptor tyrosine kinase LET-23. We generated deletion mutants of the gene, plc-1, encoding C. elegans PLCepsilon. We observed a novel ovulation phenotype whereby oocytes are trapped in the spermatheca due to delayed dilation of the spermatheca-uterine valve. The expression of plc-1 in the adult spermatheca is consistent with its involvement in regulation of ovulation. On the other hand, we failed to observe genetic interaction of plc-1 with let-23-mediated IP(3) signaling pathway genes, suggesting a complex mechanism for control of ovulation.

  13. The cln-3 genes of Caenorhabditis elegans : making C. elegans models for Juvenile Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Voer, Gert de

    2008-01-01

    The most common neurodegenerative genetic childhood disease, juvenile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (JNCL), is a lysosomal storage disorder that is caused by mutations in the CLN3 gene. In patients' lysosomes material accumulates primarily composed of Subunit c. How mutations in CLN3 lead to this d

  14. Low-intensity microwave irradiation does not substantially alter gene expression in late larval and adult Caenorhabditis elegans.

    OpenAIRE

    2009-01-01

    Reports that low-intensity microwave radiation induces heat-shock reporter gene expression in the nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, have recently been reinterpreted as a subtle thermal effect caused by slight heating. This study used a microwave exposure system (1.0 GHz, 0.5 W power input; SAR 0.9-3 mW kg-1 for 6-well plates) that minimises temperature differentials between sham and exposed conditions (≤0.1 °C). Parallel measurement and simulation studies of SAR distribution within this exp...

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Ritmos circadianos en Caenorhabditis elegans

    OpenAIRE

    Migliori, María Laura

    2012-01-01

    Migliori, M. L. (2011). Ritmos circadianos en Caenorhabditis elegans (Tesis de posgrado). Universidad Nacional de Quilmes, Bernal, Argentina. Los ritmos circadianos (del latín circa y dies: cerca de 24 horas) tienen un período de aproximadamente 24 horas y son originados por relojes biológicos que en diversos organismos han podido ser estudiados y caracterizados en detalle. Los ritmos circadianos son endógenos, es decir que se mantienen en ausencia de factores externos. Una importante prop...

  18. Histone gene expression and histone mRNA 3' end structure in Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Pettitt Jonathan

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Histone protein synthesis is essential for cell proliferation and required for the packaging of DNA into chromatin. In animals, histone proteins are provided by the expression of multicopy replication-dependent histone genes. Histone mRNAs that are processed by a histone-specific mechanism to end after a highly conserved RNA hairpin element, and lack a poly(A tail. In vertebrates and Drosophila, their expression is dependent on HBP/SLBP that binds to the RNA hairpin element. We showed previously that these cis and trans acting regulators of histone gene expression are conserved in C. elegans. Here we report the results of an investigation of the histone mRNA 3' end structure and of histone gene expression during C. elegans development. Results Sequence analysis of replication-dependent histone genes revealed the presence of several highly conserved sequence elements in the 3' untranslated region of histone pre-mRNAs, including an RNA hairpin element and a polyadenylation signal. To determine whether in C. elegans histone mRNA 3' end formation occurs at this polyadenylation signal and results in polyadenylated histone mRNA, we investigated the mRNA 3' end structure of histone mRNA. Using poly(A selection, RNAse protection and sequencing of histone mRNA ends, we determined that a majority of C. elegans histone mRNAs lack a poly(A tail and end three to six nucleotides after the hairpin structure, after an A or a U, and have a 3' OH group. RNAi knock down of CDL-1, the C. elegans HBP/SLBP, does not significantly affect histone mRNA levels but severely depletes histone protein levels. Histone gene expression varies during development and is reduced in L3 animals compared to L1 animals and adults. In adults, histone gene expression is restricted to the germ line, where cell division occurs. Conclusion Our findings indicate that the expression of C. elegans histone genes is subject to control mechanisms similar to the ones in other

  19. Global prediction of tissue-specific gene expression and context-dependent gene networks in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Maria D Chikina

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Tissue-specific gene expression plays a fundamental role in metazoan biology and is an important aspect of many complex diseases. Nevertheless, an organism-wide map of tissue-specific expression remains elusive due to difficulty in obtaining these data experimentally. Here, we leveraged existing whole-animal Caenorhabditis elegans microarray data representing diverse conditions and developmental stages to generate accurate predictions of tissue-specific gene expression and experimentally validated these predictions. These patterns of tissue-specific expression are more accurate than existing high-throughput experimental studies for nearly all tissues; they also complement existing experiments by addressing tissue-specific expression present at particular developmental stages and in small tissues. We used these predictions to address several experimentally challenging questions, including the identification of tissue-specific transcriptional motifs and the discovery of potential miRNA regulation specific to particular tissues. We also investigate the role of tissue context in gene function through tissue-specific functional interaction networks. To our knowledge, this is the first study producing high-accuracy predictions of tissue-specific expression and interactions for a metazoan organism based on whole-animal data.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Antimicrobial peptides in Caenorhabditis elegans

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    A Bogaerts

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is one of the most successful model species for experimental research because of its sequenced genome, the versatile genetic toolkit and the straightforward breeding among others. In natural conditions however, this tiny worm is constantly surrounded by micro-organisms, simultaneously a source of indispensable nutrition and inevitable pathogens. Lacking an adaptive immune system, the worm solely relies on its innate immune defence to cope with its challenging life style. Hence C. elegans is an excellent model to gain more insight in innate immunity, which is remarkably preserved between invertebrate and vertebrate animals. The innate defence consists of receptors to detect potential pathogens, a complex network of signalling pathways and last but not least, effector molecules to abolish harmful microbes. In this review, we focus on the antimicrobial peptides, a vital subgroup of effector molecules. We summarise the current knowledge of the different families of C. elegans antimicrobial peptides, comprising NLPs, caenacins, ABFs, caenopores, and a recently discovered group with antifungal activity among which thaumatin-like proteins.

  3. 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

    2007-01-01

    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 imple

  4. Transcriptional network underlying Caenorhabditis elegans vulval development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inoue, Takao; Wang, Minqin; Ririe, Ted O; Fernandes, Jolene S; Sternberg, Paul W

    2005-04-05

    The vulval development of Caenorhabditis elegans provides an opportunity to investigate genetic networks that control gene expression during organogenesis. During the fourth larval stage (L4), seven vulval cell types are produced, each of which executes a distinct gene expression program. We analyze how the expression of cell-type-specific genes is regulated. Ras and Wnt signaling pathways play major roles in generating the spatial pattern of cell types and regulate gene expression through a network of transcription factors. One transcription factor (lin-29) primarily controls the temporal expression pattern. Other transcription factors (lin-11, cog-1, and egl-38) act in combination to control cell-type-specific gene expression. The complexity of the network arises in part because of the dynamic nature of gene expression, in part because of the presence of seven cell types, and also because there are multiple regulatory paths for gene expression within each cell type.

  5. cis-Regulatory control of three cell fate-specific genes in vulval organogenesis of Caenorhabditis elegans and C. briggsae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirouac, Martha; Sternberg, Paul W

    2003-05-01

    The great-grandprogeny of the Caenorhabditis elegans vulval precursor cells (VPCs) adopt one of the final vulA, B1, B2, C, D, E, and F cell fates in a precise spatial pattern. This pattern of vulval cell types is likely to depend on the cis-regulatory regions of the transcriptional targets of intercellular signals in vulval development. egl-17, zmp-1, and cdh-3 are expressed differentially in the developing vulva cells, providing a potential readout for different signaling pathways. To understand how such pathways interact to specify unique vulval cell types in a precise pattern, we have identified cis-regulatory regions sufficient to confer vulval cell type-specific regulation when fused in cis to the basal pes-10 promoter. We have identified the C. briggsae homologs of these three genes, with their corresponding control regions, and tested these regions in both C. elegans and C. briggsae. These regions of similarity in C. elegans and C. briggsae upstream of egl-17, zmp-1, and cdh-3 promote expression in vulval cells and the anchor cell (AC). By using the cis-regulatory analysis and phylogenetic footprinting, we have identified overrepresented sequences involved in conferring vulval and AC expression.

  6. Characterisation of Caenorhabditis elegans sperm transcriptome and proteome

    OpenAIRE

    Ma, Xuan; Zhu, Yingjie; Li, Chunfang; Xue, Peng; Zhao, Yanmei; Chen, Shilin; Yang, Fuquan; Miao, Long

    2014-01-01

    Background Although sperm is transcriptionally and translationally quiescent, complex populations of RNAs, including mRNAs and non-coding RNAs, exist in sperm. Previous microarray analysis of germ cell mutants identified hundreds of sperm genes in Caenorhabditis elegans. To take a more comprehensive view on C. elegans sperm genes, here, we isolate highly pure sperm cells and employ high-throughput technologies to obtain sperm transcriptome and proteome. Results First, sperm transcriptome cons...

  7. The Caenorhabditis elegans PcG-like gene sop-2 regulates the temporal and sexual specificities of cell fates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cai, Qingchun; Sun, Yinyan; Huang, Xinxin; Guo, Cong; Zhang, Yuxia; Zhu, Zuoyan; Zhang, Hong

    2008-03-01

    How spatial, temporal, and sexual specific cues are integrated to specify distinct cell fates during multicellular organism development is largely unknown. Here we demonstrate that the Caenorhabditis elegans PcG-like gene sop-2 determines the temporal and sexual specificities of a row of hypodermal seam cells, in addition to specifying their positional identities. Loss-of-function of sop-2 causes premature expression of adult fates at larval stages. sop-2 acts upstream of lin-29 in the heterochronic pathway and genetically interacts with other heterochronic genes in specifying the temporal fates of seam cells at different larval stages. We show that the number of ALG-1-containing P bodies is increased in seam cells in sop-2 mutants. Furthermore, the microRNA-mediated repression of a heterochronic gene reporter is enhanced in sop-2 mutants. Mutations in sop-2 also cause partial hermaphrodite-to-male sexual transformations. The homeotic transformations, heterochronic defects, and sexual transformations can occur concomitantly in sop-2 mutants. In summary, our studies reveal that sop-2 integrates spatial, temporal, and sexual cues during C. elegans development.

  8. Genetic and molecular analyses of UV radiation-induced mutations in the fem-3 gene of Caenorhabditis elegans

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hartman, P.S.; De Wilde, D.; Dwarakanath, V.N. [Texas Christian Univ., Fort Worth, TX (United States). Dept. of Biology

    1995-06-01

    The utility of a new target gene (fem-3) is described for investigating the molecular nature of mutagenesis in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. As a principal attribute, this system allows for the selection, maintenance and molecular analysis of any type of mutation that disrupts the gene, including deletions. In this study, 86 mutant strains were isolated, of which 79 proved to have mutations in fem-3. Twenty of these originally tested as homozygous inviable. Homozygous inviability was expected, as Stewart and coworkers had previously observed that, unlike in other organisms, most UV radiation-induced mutations in C. elegans are chromosomal rearrangements of deficiencies (Mutat. Res 249, 37-54, 1991). However, additional data, including Southern blot analyses on 49 of the strains, indicated that most of the UV radiation-induced fem-3 mutations were not deficiencies, as originally inferred from their homozygous inviability. Instead, the lethals were most likely ``coincident mutations`` in linked, essential genes that were concomitantly induced. As such, they were lost owing to genetic recombination during stock maintenance. As in mammalian cells, yeast and bacteria, the frequency of coincident mutations was much higher than would be predicted by chance. (Author).

  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. Building a cell and anatomy ontology of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Raymond Y N; Sternberg, Paul W

    2003-01-01

    We are endowed with a rich knowledge about Caenorhabditis elegans. Its stereotyped anatomy and development has stimulated research and resulted in the accumulation of cell-based information concerning gene expression, and the role of specific cells in developmental signalling and behavioural circuits. To make the information more accessible to sophisticated queries and automated retrieval systems, WormBase has begun to construct a C. elegans cell and anatomy ontology. Here we present our strategies and progress.

  11. A negative regulatory loop between microRNA and Hox gene controls posterior identities in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Zhongying Zhao

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available MicroRNAs (miRNAs have been found to regulate gene expression across eukaryotic species, but the function of most miRNA genes remains unknown. Here we describe how the analysis of the expression patterns of a well-conserved miRNA gene, mir-57, at cellular resolution for every minute during early development of Caenorhabditis elegans provided key insights in understanding its function. Remarkably, mir-57 expression shows strong positional bias but little tissue specificity, a pattern reminiscent of Hox gene function. Despite the minor defects produced by a loss of function mutation, overexpression of mir-57 causes dramatic posterior defects, which also mimic the phenotypes of mutant alleles of a posterior Hox gene, nob-1, an Abd homolog. More importantly, nob-1 expression is found in the same two posterior AB sublineages as those expressing mir-57 but with an earlier onset. Intriguingly, nob-1 functions as an activator for mir-57 expression; it is also a direct target of mir-57. In agreement with this, loss of mir-57 function partially rescues the nob-1 allele defects, indicating a negative feedback regulatory loop between the miRNA and Hox gene to provide positional cues. Given the conservation of the miRNA and Hox gene, the regulatory mechanism might be broadly used across species. The strategy used here to explore mir-57 function provides a path to dissect the regulatory relationship between genes.

  12. Lactobacillus zeae protects Caenorhabditis elegans from enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli-caused death by inhibiting enterotoxin gene expression of the pathogen.

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    Mengzhou Zhou

    Full Text Available 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

  13. 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.

  14. Mos1-mediated transgenesis to probe consequences of single gene mutations in variation-rich isolates of Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Maja Tarailo-Graovac

    Full Text Available Caenorhabditis elegans, especially the N2 isolate, is an invaluable biological model system. Numerous additional natural C. elegans isolates have been shown to have unexpected genotypic and phenotypic variations which has encouraged researchers to use next generation sequencing methodology to develop a more complete picture of genotypic variations among the isolates. To understand the phenotypic effects of a genomic variation (GV on a single gene, in a variation-rich genetic background, one should analyze that particular GV in a well understood genetic background. In C. elegans, the analysis is usually done in N2, which requires extensive crossing to bring in the GV. This can be a very time consuming procedure thus it is important to establish a fast and efficient approach to test the effect of GVs from different isolates in N2. Here we use a Mos1-mediated single-copy insertion (MosSCI method for phenotypic assessments of GVs from the variation-rich Hawaiian strain CB4856 in N2. Specifically, we investigate effects of variations identified in the CB4856 strain on tac-1 which is an essential gene that is necessary for mitotic spindle elongation and pronuclear migration. We show the usefulness of the MosSCI method by using EU1004 tac-1(or402 as a control. or402 is a temperature sensitive lethal allele within a well-conserved TACC domain (transforming acidic coiled-coil that results in a leucine to phenylalanine change at amino acid 229. CB4856 contains a variation that affects the second exon of tac-1 causing a cysteine to tryptophan change at amino acid 94 also within the TACC domain. Using the MosSCI method, we analyze tac-1 from CB4856 in the N2 background and demonstrate that the C94W change, albeit significant, does not cause any obvious decrease in viability. This MosSCI method has proven to be a rapid and efficient way to analyze GVs.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  16. The Caenorhabditis elegans autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease gene homologs lov-1 and pkd-2 act in the same pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barr, M M; DeModena, J; Braun, D; Nguyen, C Q; Hall, D H; Sternberg, P W

    2001-09-04

    Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) strikes 1 in 1000 individuals and often results in end-stage renal failure. Mutations in either PKD1 or PKD2 account for 95% of all cases [1-3]. It has recently been demonstrated that polycystin-1 and polycystin-2 (encoded by PKD1 and PKD2, respectively) assemble to form a cation channel in vitro [4]. Here we determine that the Caenorhabditis elegans PKD1 and PKD2 homologs, lov-1 [5] and pkd-2, act in the same pathway in vivo. Mutations in either lov-1 or pkd-2 result in identical male sensory behavioral defects. Also, pkd-2;lov-1 double mutants are no more severe than either of the single mutants, indicating that lov-1 and pkd-2 act together. LOV-1::GFP and PKD-2::GFP are expressed in the same male-specific sensory neurons and are concentrated in cilia and cell bodies. Cytoplasmic, nonnuclear staining in cell bodies is punctate, suggesting that one pool of PKD-2 is localized to intracellular membranes while another is found in sensory cilia. In contrast to defects in the C. elegans autosomal recessive PKD gene osm-5 [6-8], the cilia of lov-1 and pkd-2 single mutants and of lov-1;pkd-2 double mutants are normal as judged by electron microscopy, demonstrating that lov-1 and pkd-2 are not required for ultrastructural development of male-specific sensory cilia.

  17. Targeted genome engineering in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Xiangyang; Feng, Xuezhu; Guang, Shouhong

    2016-01-01

    The generation of mutants and transgenes are indispensible for biomedical research. In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, a series of methods have been developed to introduce genome modifications, including random mutagenesis by chemical reagents, ionizing radiation and transposon insertion. In addition, foreign DNA can be integrated into the genome through microparticle bombardment approach or by irradiation of animals carrying microinjected extrachromosomal arrays. Recent research has revolutionized the genome engineering technologies by using customized DNA nucleases to manipulate particular genes and genomic sequences. Many streamlined editing strategies are developed to simplify the experimental procedure and minimize the cost. In this review, we will summarize the recent progress of the site-specific genome editing methods in C. elegans, including the Cre/LoxP, FLP/FRT, MosTIC system, zinc-finger nucleases (ZFNs), transcriptional activator-like nucleases (TALENs), and the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/Cas9 nuclease. Particularly, the recent studies of CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome editing method in C. elegans will be emphatically discussed.

  18. Optogenetic mutagenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noma, Kentaro; Jin, Yishi

    2015-01-01

    Reactive oxygen species (ROS) can modify and damage DNA. Here we report an optogenetic mutagenesis approach that is free of toxic chemicals and easy to perform by taking advantage of a genetically encoded ROS generator. This method relies on the potency of ROS generation by His-mSOG, the mini singlet oxygen generator, miniSOG, fused to a histone. Caenorhabditis elegans expressing His-mSOG in the germline behave and reproduce normally, without photoinduction. Following exposure to blue light, the His-mSOG animals produce progeny with a wide range of heritable phenotypes. We show that optogenetic mutagenesis by His-mSOG induces a broad spectrum of mutations including single-nucleotide variants (SNVs), chromosomal deletions, as well as integration of extrachromosomal transgenes, which complements those derived from traditional chemical or radiation mutagenesis. The optogenetic mutagenesis expands the toolbox for forward genetic screening and also provides direct evidence that nuclear ROS can induce heritable and specific genetic mutations. PMID:26632265

  19. 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.

  20. The Caenorhabditis elegans parvulin gene subfamily and their expression under cold or heat stress along with the fkb subfamily.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fasseas, Michael K; Dimou, Maria; Katinakis, Panagiotis

    2012-07-06

    Parvulins and FKBPs are members of the peptidyl-prolyl cis/trans isomerases (PPIase) enzyme family whose role is to catalyze the interconversion between the cis trans forms of a peptide bond preceding internal proline residues in a polypeptide substrate. Members of the parvulin subfamily have been found to be involved in a variety of diseases, including Alzheimer's disease and cancer and are also considered possible antiparasitic targets. Genes Y110A2AL.13 (pin-1) and Y48C3A.16 (pin-4) were found in the worm's genome, possibly encoding parvulins. One is homologous to human and fly PIN1 whereas the other is homologous to human and fly PIN4. Both were expressed in Escherichia coli, purified and found to have in vitro PPIase activity. Expression levels of both genes, as well as the fkb genes (that encode FK506-binding proteins) were measured during development and under cold or heat stress conditions. The results revealed a potential role for these genes under temperature-related stress. RNAi silencing was performed for wild type and mutant strain worms under normal and cold or heat stress conditions. A reduced lifespan was observed when pin-4 dsRNA was fed to the fkb-5 deficient worms. Our work presents a first attempt to characterize the Caenorhabditis elegans parvulins and may present an interesting starting point for further experimentation concerning their role, along with the FKBP subfamily, in nematode physiology and their possible use as antiparasitic targets.

  1. Low-intensity microwave irradiation does not substantially alter gene expression in late larval and adult Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawe, Adam S; Bodhicharla, Rakesh K; Graham, Neil S; May, Sean T; Reader, Tom; Loader, Benjamin; Gregory, Andrew; Swicord, Mays; Bit-Babik, Giorgi; de Pomerai, David I

    2009-12-01

    Reports that low-intensity microwave radiation induces heat-shock reporter gene expression in the nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, have recently been reinterpreted as a subtle thermal effect caused by slight heating. This study used a microwave exposure system (1.0 GHz, 0.5 W power input; SAR 0.9-3 mW kg(-1) for 6-well plates) that minimises temperature differentials between sham and exposed conditions (microwave-exposed worms (taken from the same source population in each run). No genes showed consistent expression changes across all five comparisons, and all expression changes appeared modest after normalisation (microwave radiation; the minor changes observed in this study could well be false positives. As a positive control, we compared RNA samples from N2 worms subjected to a mild heat-shock treatment (30 degrees C) against controls at 26 degrees C (two gene arrays per condition). As expected, heat-shock genes are strongly up-regulated at 30 degrees C, particularly an hsp-70 family member (C12C8.1) and hsp-16.2. Under these heat-shock conditions, we confirmed that an hsp-16.2::GFP transgene was strongly up-regulated, whereas two non-heat-inducible transgenes (daf-16::GFP; cyp-34A9::GFP) showed little change in expression.

  2. 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.

  3. Loss of DNase II function in the gonad is associated with a higher expression of antimicrobial genes in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Hsiang; Lai, Huey-Jen; Lin, Tai-Wei; Chen, Chang-Shi; Lo, Szecheng J

    2015-08-15

    Three waves of apoptosis shape the development of Caenorhabditis elegans. Although the exact roles of the three DNase II genes (nuc-1, crn-6 and crn-7), which are known to mediate degradation of apoptotic DNA, in the embryonic and larval phases of apoptosis have been characterized, the DNase II acting in the third wave of germ cell apoptosis remains undetermined. In the present study, we performed in vitro and in vivo assays on various mutant nematodes to demonstrate that NUC-1 and CRN-7, but not CRN-6, function in germ cell apoptosis. In addition, in situ DNA-break detection and anti-phosphorylated ERK (extracellular-signal-regulated kinase) staining illustrated the sequential and spatially regulated actions of NUC-1 and CRN-7, at the pachytene zone of the gonad and at the loop respectively. In line with the notion that UV-induced DNA fragment accumulation in the gonad activates innate immunity responses, we also found that loss of NUC-1 and CRN-7 lead to up-regulation of antimicrobial genes (abf-2, spp-1, nlp-29, cnc-2, and lys-7). Our observations suggest that an incomplete digestion of DNA fragments resulting from the absence of NUC-1 or CRN-7 in the gonad could induce the ERK signalling, consequently activating antimicrobial gene expression. Taken together, the results of the present study demonstrate for the first time that nuc-1 and crn-7 play a role in degrading apoptotic DNA in distinct sites of the gonad, and act as negative regulators of innate immunity in C. elegans.

  4. Acute carbon dioxide avoidance in Caenorhabditis elegans

    OpenAIRE

    Hallem, Elissa A.; Sternberg, Paul W.

    2008-01-01

    Carbon dioxide is produced as a by-product of cellular respiration by all aerobic organisms and thus serves for many animals as an important indicator of food, mates, and predators. However, whether free-living terrestrial nematodes such as Caenorhabditis elegans respond to CO2 was unclear. We have demonstrated that adult C. elegans display an acute avoidance response upon exposure to CO2 that is characterized by the cessation of forward movement and the rapid initiation of backward movement....

  5. Cloning and expression pattern analysis of a cDNA of pkc-2 gene in Caenorhabditis elegans%秀丽小杆线虫Caenorhabditis elegans pkc-2基因cDNA的克隆和表达

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    钱雨; Laurent SEGALAT

    2009-01-01

    蛋白激酶C在秀丽小杆线虫中具有调节肌细胞渐进性萎缩的功能.为了揭示它的调节机制,本研究克隆了秀丽小杆线虫中蛋白激酶C pkc-2基因的cDNA pkc-2-c,构建了含该pkc-2 基因cDNA亚型的重组质粒pPD 118.20-pKG 63;揭示了该cDNA在秀丽小杆线虫体壁肌细胞中的定位.%Protein kinase C regulates the progressive muscle degeneration in Caenorhabditis elegans. In order to investigate the function of PKC involved in muscle degeneration, this paper cloned a cDNA isoform of pkc-2 gene of C. elegans and constructed the recombinant plasmids pPD118.20-pKG63 containing the isoform. The new isoform was then further studied for gene expression pattern. Immunocytochemistry experiment showed that this cDNA isoform expressed in body-wall muscle cells and located near the dense body.

  6. Regulation of the Caenorhabditis elegans posterior Hox gene egl-5 by microRNA and the polycomb-like gene sop-2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Hongjie; Emmons, Scott W

    2009-03-01

    In Caenorhabditis elegans, the domains of Hox gene expression are controlled by the novel global regulatory gene sop-2. We identified a region located 3' of the Hox gene egl-5 that promotes ectopic expression of an egl-5 reporter gene in a sop-2 mutant. SOP-2 could directly block positive regulatory factors acting in this region, or it could block their expression. We identified three possible miRNA binding sites within the egl-5 3' untranslated region (UTR). Cognate microRNAs are expressed in relevant tissues and can block egl-5 expression when expressed from a transgene. Mutation of the putative binding sites in the egl-5 3'UTR resulted in a modest degree of misexpression of a minimal egl-5 reporter gene, suggesting that microRNAs may contribute to the tight restriction of egl-5 expression to particular cell lineages.

  7. The genes pme-1 and pme-2 encode two poly(ADP-ribose) polymerases in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gagnon, Steve N; Hengartner, Michael O; Desnoyers, Serge

    2002-11-15

    Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerases (PARPs) are an expanding, well-conserved family of enzymes found in many metazoan species, including plants. The enzyme catalyses poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation, a post-translational modification that is important in DNA repair and programmed cell death. In the present study, we report the finding of an endogenous source of poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation in total extracts of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Two cDNAs encoding highly similar proteins to human PARP-1 (huPARP-1) and huPARP-2 are described, and we propose to name the corresponding enzymes poly(ADP-ribose) metabolism enzyme 1 (PME-1) and PME-2 respectively. PME-1 (108 kDa) shares 31% identity with huPARP-1 and has an overall structure similar to other PARP-1 subfamily members. It contains sequences having considerable similarity to zinc-finger motifs I and II, as well as with the catalytic domain of huPARP-1. PME-2 (61 kDa) has structural similarities with the catalytic domain of PARPs in general and shares 24% identity with huPARP-2. Recombinant PME-1 and PME-2 display PARP activity, which may partially account for the similar activity found in the worm. A partial duplication of the pme-1 gene with pseudogene-like features was found in the nematode genome. Messenger RNA for pme-1 are 5'-tagged with splice leader 1, whereas those for pme - 2 are tagged with splice leader 2, suggesting an operon-like expression for pme - 2. The expression pattern of pme-1 and pme-2 is also developmentally regulated. Together, these results show that PARP-1 and -2 are conserved in evolution and must have important functions in multicellular organisms. We propose using C. elegans as a model to understand better the functions of these enzymes.

  8. 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.

  9. HIF-1 regulates iron homeostasis in Caenorhabditis elegans by activation and inhibition of genes involved in iron uptake and storage.

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    Steven Joshua Romney

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Caenorhabditis elegans ftn-1 and ftn-2, which encode the iron-storage protein ferritin, are transcriptionally inhibited during iron deficiency in intestine. Intestinal specific transcription is dependent on binding of ELT-2 to GATA binding sites in an iron-dependent enhancer (IDE located in ftn-1 and ftn-2 promoters, but the mechanism for iron regulation is unknown. Here, we identify HIF-1 (hypoxia-inducible factor -1 as a negative regulator of ferritin transcription. HIF-1 binds to hypoxia-response elements (HREs in the IDE in vitro and in vivo. Depletion of hif-1 by RNA interference blocks transcriptional inhibition of ftn-1 and ftn-2 reporters, and ftn-1 and ftn-2 mRNAs are not regulated in a hif-1 null strain during iron deficiency. An IDE is also present in smf-3 encoding a protein homologous to mammalian divalent metal transporter-1. Unlike the ftn-1 IDE, the smf-3 IDE is required for HIF-1-dependent transcriptional activation of smf-3 during iron deficiency. We show that hif-1 null worms grown under iron limiting conditions are developmentally delayed and that depletion of FTN-1 and FTN-2 rescues this phenotype. These data show that HIF-1 regulates intestinal iron homeostasis during iron deficiency by activating and inhibiting genes involved in iron uptake and storage.

  10. Linking Gene Expression in the Intestine to Production of Gametes Through the Phosphate Transporter PITR-1 in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balklava, Zita; Rathnakumar, Navin D.; Vashist, Shilpa; Schweinsberg, Peter J.; Grant, Barth D.

    2016-01-01

    Inorganic phosphate is an essential mineral for both prokaryotic and eukaryotic cell metabolism and structure. Its uptake into the cell is mediated by membrane-bound transporters and coupled to Na+ transport. Mammalian sodium-dependent Pi cotransporters have been grouped into three families NaPi-I, NaPi-II, and NaPi-III. Despite being discovered more than two decades ago, very little is known about requirements for NaPi-III transporters in vivo, in the context of intact animal models. Here we find that impaired function of the Caenorhabditis elegans NaPi-III transporter, pitr-1, results in decreased brood size and dramatically increased expression of vitellogenin by the worm intestine. Unexpectedly, we found that the effects of pitr-1 mutation on vitellogenin expression in the intestine could only be rescued by expression of pitr-1 in the germline, and not by expression of pitr-1 in the intestine itself. Our results indicate the existence of a signal from the germline that regulates gene expression in the intestine, perhaps linking nutrient export from the intestine to production of gametes by the germline. PMID:27449055

  11. Control of cleavage spindle orientation in Caenorhabditis elegans: The role of the genes par-2 and par-3

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cheng, N.N.; Kirby, C.M.; Kemphues, K.J. [Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY (United States)

    1995-02-01

    Polarized asymmetric divisions play important roles in the development of plants and animals. The first two embryonic cleavages of Caenorhabditis elegans provide an opportunity to study the mechanisms controlling polarized asymmetric divisions. The first cleavage is unequal, producing daughters with different sizes and fates. The daughter blastomeres divide with different orientations at the second cleavage; the anterior blastomere divides equally across the long axis of the egg, whereas the posterior blastomere divides unequally along the long axis. We report here the results of our analysis of the genes par-2 and par-3 with respect to their contribution to the polarity of these divisions. Strong loss-of-function mutations in both genes lead to an equal first cleavage and an altered second cleavage. Interestingly, the mutations exhibit striking gene-specific differences at the second cleavage. The par-2 mutations lead to transverse spindle orientations in both blastomeres, whereas par-3 mutations lead to longitudinal spindle orientations in both blastomeres. The spindle orientation defects correlate with defects in centrosome movements during both the first and the second cell cycle. Temperature shift experiments with par-2 (it5ts) indicate that the par-2(+) activity is not required after the two-cell stage. Analysis of double mutants shows that par-3 is epistatic to par-2. We propose a model wherein par-2(+) and par-3(+) act in concert during the first cell cycle to affect asymmetric modification of the cytoskeleton. This polar modification leads to different behaviors of centrosomes in the anterior and posterior and leads ultimately to blastomere-specific spindle orientations at the second cleavage. 44 refs., 5 figs., 5 tabs.

  12. The pathogenicity of Pseudomonas syringae MB03 against Caenorhabditis elegans and the transcriptional response of nematicidal genes upon different nutritional conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhammad eAli

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Different species of the Pseudomonas genus have been reported for their pathogenic potential against animal cells. However, the pathogenicity of Pseudomonas syringae against Caenorhabditis elegans has never been reported. In this study, the interaction of P. syringae MB03 with C. elegans was studied. Different bioassays such as killing assay, lawn leaving assay, food preference assay, L4 growth assay and newly developed secretion assay were performed to evaluate the pathogenic potential of P. syringae on different growth media. The results of the killing assay showed that P. syringae MB03 was able to kill C. elegans under specific conditions, as the interaction between the host and the pathogen varied from non-pathogenic (assay on NGM medium to pathogenic (assay on PG medium. The lawn leaving assay and the food preference assay illustrated that C. elegans identified P. syringae MB03 as a pathogen when assays were performed on PG medium. Green fluorescent protein was used as the reporter protein to study gut colonization by P. syringae MB03. Our results suggested that MB03 has the ability to colonize the gut of C. elegans. Furthermore, to probe the role of selected virulence determinants, qRT-PCR was used. The genes for pyoverdine, phoQ/phoP, phoR/phoB and flagella were up regulated during the interaction of P. syringae MB03 and C. elegans on PG medium. Other than these, the genes for some proteases, such as pepP, clpA and clpS, were also up regulated. On the other hand, kdpD and kdpB were down regulated more than 3-fold in the NGM - C. elegans interaction model. The deletion of the kdpD and kdpE genes altered the pathogenicity of the bacterial strain against C. elegans. Overall, our results suggested that the killing of C. elegans by P. syringae requires a prolonged interaction between the host and pathogen in an agar-based assay. Moreover, it seemed that some toxic metabolites were secreted by the bacterial strain that were sensed by C. elegans

  13. The Pathogenicity of Pseudomonas syringae MB03 against Caenorhabditis elegans and the Transcriptional Response of Nematicidal Genes upon Different Nutritional Conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ali, Muhammad; Sun, Yu; Xie, Li; Yu, Huafu; Bashir, Anum; Li, Lin

    2016-01-01

    Different species of the Pseudomonas genus have been reported for their pathogenic potential against animal cells. However, the pathogenicity of Pseudomonas syringae against Caenorhabditis elegans has never been reported. In this study, the interaction of P. syringae MB03 with C. elegans was studied. Different bioassays such as killing assay, lawn leaving assay, food preference assay, L4 growth assay and newly developed "secretion assay" were performed to evaluate the pathogenic potential of P. syringae on different growth media. The results of the killing assay showed that P. syringae MB03 was able to kill C. elegans under specific conditions, as the interaction between the host and the pathogen varied from non-pathogenic (assay on NGM medium) to pathogenic (assay on PG medium). The lawn leaving assay and the food preference assay illustrated that C. elegans identified P. syringae MB03 as a pathogen when assays were performed on PG medium. Green fluorescent protein was used as the reporter protein to study gut colonization by P. syringae MB03. Our results suggested that MB03 has the ability to colonize the gut of C. elegans. Furthermore, to probe the role of selected virulence determinants, qRT-PCR was used. The genes for pyoverdine, phoQ/phoP, phoR/phoB, and flagella were up regulated during the interaction of P. syringae MB03 and C. elegans on PG medium. Other than these, the genes for some proteases, such as pepP, clpA, and clpS, were also up regulated. On the other hand, kdpD and kdpB were down regulated more than threefold in the NGM - C. elegans interaction model. The deletion of the kdpD and kdpE genes altered the pathogenicity of the bacterial strain against C. elegans. Overall, our results suggested that the killing of C. elegans by P. syringae requires a prolonged interaction between the host and pathogen in an agar-based assay. Moreover, it seemed that some toxic metabolites were secreted by the bacterial strain that were sensed by C. elegans

  14. The Pathogenicity of Pseudomonas syringae MB03 against Caenorhabditis elegans and the Transcriptional Response of Nematicidal Genes upon Different Nutritional Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ali, Muhammad; Sun, Yu; Xie, Li; Yu, Huafu; Bashir, Anum; Li, Lin

    2016-01-01

    Different species of the Pseudomonas genus have been reported for their pathogenic potential against animal cells. However, the pathogenicity of Pseudomonas syringae against Caenorhabditis elegans has never been reported. In this study, the interaction of P. syringae MB03 with C. elegans was studied. Different bioassays such as killing assay, lawn leaving assay, food preference assay, L4 growth assay and newly developed “secretion assay” were performed to evaluate the pathogenic potential of P. syringae on different growth media. The results of the killing assay showed that P. syringae MB03 was able to kill C. elegans under specific conditions, as the interaction between the host and the pathogen varied from non-pathogenic (assay on NGM medium) to pathogenic (assay on PG medium). The lawn leaving assay and the food preference assay illustrated that C. elegans identified P. syringae MB03 as a pathogen when assays were performed on PG medium. Green fluorescent protein was used as the reporter protein to study gut colonization by P. syringae MB03. Our results suggested that MB03 has the ability to colonize the gut of C. elegans. Furthermore, to probe the role of selected virulence determinants, qRT-PCR was used. The genes for pyoverdine, phoQ/phoP, phoR/phoB, and flagella were up regulated during the interaction of P. syringae MB03 and C. elegans on PG medium. Other than these, the genes for some proteases, such as pepP, clpA, and clpS, were also up regulated. On the other hand, kdpD and kdpB were down regulated more than threefold in the NGM – C. elegans interaction model. The deletion of the kdpD and kdpE genes altered the pathogenicity of the bacterial strain against C. elegans. Overall, our results suggested that the killing of C. elegans by P. syringae requires a prolonged interaction between the host and pathogen in an agar-based assay. Moreover, it seemed that some toxic metabolites were secreted by the bacterial strain that were sensed by C. elegans

  15. 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.

  16. Longevity Genes Revealed by Integrative Analysis of Isoform-Specific daf-16/FoxO Mutants of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Albert Tzong-Yang; Guo, Chunfang; Itani, Omar A; Budaitis, Breane G; Williams, Travis W; Hopkins, Christopher E; McEachin, Richard C; Pande, Manjusha; Grant, Ana R; Yoshina, Sawako; Mitani, Shohei; Hu, Patrick J

    2015-10-01

    FoxO transcription factors promote longevity across taxa. How they do so is poorly understood. In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, the A- and F-isoforms of the FoxO transcription factor DAF-16 extend life span in the context of reduced DAF-2 insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGFR) signaling. To elucidate the mechanistic basis for DAF-16/FoxO-dependent life span extension, we performed an integrative analysis of isoform-specific daf-16/FoxO mutants. In contrast to previous studies suggesting that DAF-16F plays a more prominent role in life span control than DAF-16A, isoform-specific daf-16/FoxO mutant phenotypes and whole transcriptome profiling revealed a predominant role for DAF-16A over DAF-16F in life span control, stress resistance, and target gene regulation. Integration of these datasets enabled the prioritization of a subset of 92 DAF-16/FoxO target genes for functional interrogation. Among 29 genes tested, two DAF-16A-specific target genes significantly influenced longevity. A loss-of-function mutation in the conserved gene gst-20, which is induced by DAF-16A, reduced life span extension in the context of daf-2/IGFR RNAi without influencing longevity in animals subjected to control RNAi. Therefore, gst-20 promotes DAF-16/FoxO-dependent longevity. Conversely, a loss-of-function mutation in srr-4, a gene encoding a seven-transmembrane-domain receptor family member that is repressed by DAF-16A, extended life span in control animals, indicating that DAF-16/FoxO may extend life span at least in part by reducing srr-4 expression. Our discovery of new longevity genes underscores the efficacy of our integrative strategy while providing a general framework for identifying specific downstream gene regulatory events that contribute substantially to transcription factor functions. As FoxO transcription factors have conserved functions in promoting longevity and may be dysregulated in aging-related diseases, these findings promise to illuminate fundamental

  17. Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 Kills Caenorhabditis elegans by Cyanide Poisoning

    OpenAIRE

    Gallagher, Larry A.; Manoil, Colin

    2001-01-01

    In this report we describe experiments to investigate a simple virulence model in which Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 rapidly paralyzes and kills the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Our results imply that hydrogen cyanide is the sole or primary toxic factor produced by P. aeruginosa that is responsible for killing of the nematode. Four lines of evidence support this conclusion. First, a transposon insertion mutation in a gene encoding a subunit of hydrogen cyanide synthase (hcnC) eliminated ne...

  18. Radiation-induced genomic instability in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huumonen, Katriina; Immonen, Hanna-Kaisa; Baverstock, Keith; Hiltunen, Mikko; Korkalainen, Merja; Lahtinen, Tapani; Parviainen, Juha; Viluksela, Matti; Wong, Garry; Naarala, Jonne; Juutilainen, Jukka

    2012-10-01

    Radiation-induced genomic instability has been well documented, particularly in vitro. However, the understanding of its mechanisms and their consequences in vivo is still limited. In this study, Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans; strain CB665) nematodes were exposed to X-rays at doses of 0.1, 1, 3 or 10Gy. The endpoints were measured several generations after exposure and included mutations in the movement-related gene unc-58, alterations in gene expression analysed with oligoarrays containing the entire C. elegans genome, and micro-satellite mutations measured by capillary electrophoresis. The progeny of the irradiated nematodes showed an increased mutation frequency in the unc-58 gene, with a maximum response observed at 1Gy. Significant differences were also found in gene expression between the irradiated (1Gy) and non-irradiated nematode lines. Differences in gene expression did not show clear clustering into certain gene categories, suggesting that the instability might be a chaotic process rather than a result of changes in the function of few specific genes such as, e.g., those responsible for DNA repair. Increased heterogeneity in gene expression, which has previously been described in irradiated cultured human lymphocytes, was also observed in the present study in C. elegans, the coefficient of variation of gene expression being higher in the progeny of irradiated nematodes than in control nematodes. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first publication reporting radiation-induced genomic instability in C. elegans.

  19. Chromosome I duplications in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McKim, K.S.; Rose, A.M. (Univ. of British Columbia, Vancouver (Canada))

    1990-01-01

    We have isolated and characterized 76 duplications of chromosome I in the genome of Caenorhabditis elegans. The region studied is the 20 map unit left half of the chromosome. Sixty-two duplications were induced with gamma radiation and 14 arose spontaneously. The latter class was apparently the result of spontaneous breaks within the parental duplication. The majority of duplications behave as if they are free. Three duplications are attached to identifiable sequences from other chromosomes. The duplication breakpoints have been mapped by complementation analysis relative to genes on chromosome I. Nineteen duplication breakpoints and seven deficiency breakpoints divide the left half of the chromosome into 24 regions. We have studied the relationship between duplication size and segregational stability. While size is an important determinant of mitotic stability, it is not the only one. We observed clear exceptions to a size-stability correlation. In addition to size, duplication stability may be influenced by specific sequences or chromosome structure. The majority of the duplications were stable enough to be powerful tools for gene mapping. Therefore the duplications described here will be useful in the genetic characterization of chromosome I and the techniques we have developed can be adapted to other regions of the genome.

  20. 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.

  1. Biosynthesis of the Caenorhabditis elegans dauer pheromone

    OpenAIRE

    Butcher, Rebecca A.; Ragains, Justin R.; Li, Weiqing; RUVKUN, GARY; Clardy, Jon; Mak, Ho Yi

    2009-01-01

    To sense its population density and to trigger entry into the stress-resistant dauer larval stage, Caenorhabditis elegans uses the dauer pheromone, which consists of ascaroside derivatives with short, fatty acid-like side chains. Although the dauer pheromone has been studied for 25 years, its biosynthesis is completely uncharacterized. The daf-22 mutant is the only known mutant defective in dauer pheromone production. Here, we show that daf-22 encodes a homolog of human sterol carrier protein...

  2. Mainstreaming Caenorhabditis elegans in experimental evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gray, Jeremy C; Cutter, Asher D

    2014-03-01

    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.

  3. Dopamine regulates body size in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagashima, Takashi; Oami, Eitaro; Kutsuna, Natsumaro; Ishiura, Shoichi; Suo, Satoshi

    2016-04-01

    The nervous system plays a critical role in the regulation of animal body sizes. In Caenorhabditis elegans, an amine neurotransmitter, dopamine, is required for the tactile perception of food and food-dependent behavioral changes, while its role in development is unknown. In this study, we show that dopamine negatively regulates body size through a D2-like dopamine receptor, DOP-3, in C. elegans. Dopamine alters body size without affecting food intake or developmental rate. We also found that dopamine promotes egg-laying, although the regulation of body size by dopamine was not solely caused by this effect. Furthermore, dopamine negatively regulates body size through the suppression of signaling by octopamine and Gq-coupled octopamine receptors, SER-3 and SER-6. Our results demonstrate that dopamine and octopamine regulate the body size of C. elegans and suggest a potential role for perception in addition to ingestion of food for growth.

  4. 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 concen

  5. The Caenorhabditis elegans pumilio homolog, puf-9, is required for the 3'UTR-mediated repression of the let-7 microRNA target gene, hbl-1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nolde, Mona J; Saka, Nazli; Reinert, Kristy L; Slack, Frank J

    2007-05-15

    The Puf family of RNA-binding proteins directs cell fates by regulating gene expression at the level of translation and RNA stability. Here, we report that the Caenorhabditis elegans pumilio homolog, puf-9, controls the differentiation of epidermal stem cells at the larval-to-adult transition. Genetic analysis reveals that loss-of-function mutations in puf-9 enhance the lethality and heterochronic phenotypes caused by mutations in the let-7 microRNA (miRNA), while suppressing the heterochronic phenotypes of lin-41, a let-7 target and homolog of Drosophila Brat. puf-9 interacts with another known temporal regulator hbl-1, the Caenorhabditis elegans ortholog of hunchback. We present evidence demonstrating that puf-9 is required for the 3'UTR-mediated regulation of hbl-1, in both the hypodermis and the ventral nerve cord. Finally, we show that this regulation is dependent on a region of the hbl-1 3'UTR that contains putative Puf family binding sites as well as binding sites for the let-7 miRNA family, suggesting that puf-9 and let-7 may mediate hypodermal seam cell differentiation by regulating common targets.

  6. 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...

  7. The RING finger/B-Box factor TAM-1 and a retinoblastoma-like protein LIN-35 modulate context-dependent gene silencing in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsieh, Jenny; Liu, Jing; Kostas, Stephen A.; Chang, Chieh; Sternberg, Paul W.; Fire, Andrew

    1999-01-01

    Context-dependent gene silencing is used by many organisms to stably modulate gene activity for large chromosomal regions. We have used tandem array transgenes as a model substrate in a screen for Caenorhabditis elegans mutants that affect context-dependent gene silencing in somatic tissues. This screen yielded multiple alleles of a previously uncharacterized gene, designated tam-1 (for tandem-array-modifier). Loss-of-function mutations in tam-1 led to a dramatic reduction in the activity of numerous highly repeated transgenes. These effects were apparently context dependent, as nonrepetitive transgenes retained activity in a tam-1 mutant background. In addition to the dramatic alterations in transgene activity, tam-1 mutants showed modest alterations in expression of a subset of endogenous cellular genes. These effects include genetic interactions that place tam-1 into a group called the class B synMuv genes (for a Synthetic Multivulva phenotype); this family plays a negative role in the regulation of RAS pathway activity in C. elegans. Loss-of-function mutants in other members of the class-B synMuv family, including lin-35, which encodes a protein similar to the tumor suppressor Rb, exhibit a hypersilencing in somatic transgenes similar to that of tam-1 mutants. Molecular analysis reveals that tam-1 encodes a broadly expressed nuclear protein with RING finger and B-box motifs. PMID:10580003

  8. The temporal scaling of Caenorhabditis elegans ageing

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

    The process of ageing makes death increasingly likely, involving a random aspect that produces a wide distribution of lifespan even in homogeneous populations. The study of this stochastic behaviour may link molecular mechanisms to the ageing process that determines lifespan. Here, by collecting high-precision mortality statistics from large populations, we observe that interventions as diverse as changes in diet, temperature, exposure to oxidative stress, and disruption of genes including the heat shock factor hsf-1, the hypoxia-inducible factor hif-1, and the insulin/IGF-1 pathway components daf-2, age-1, and daf-16 all alter lifespan distributions by an apparent stretching or shrinking of time. To produce such temporal scaling, each intervention must alter to the same extent throughout adult life all physiological determinants of the risk of death. Organismic ageing in Caenorhabditis elegans therefore appears to involve aspects of physiology that respond in concert to a diverse set of interventions. In this way, temporal scaling identifies a novel state variable, r(t), that governs the risk of death and whose average decay dynamics involves a single effective rate constant of ageing, kr. Interventions that produce temporal scaling influence lifespan exclusively by altering kr. Such interventions, when applied transiently even in early adulthood, temporarily alter kr with an attendant transient increase or decrease in the rate of change in r and a permanent effect on remaining lifespan. The existence of an organismal ageing dynamics that is invariant across genetic and environmental contexts provides the basis for a new, quantitative framework for evaluating the manner and extent to which specific molecular processes contribute to the aspect of ageing that determines lifespan.

  9. The invertebrate Caenorhabditis elegans biosynthesizes ascorbate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patananan, Alexander N; Budenholzer, Lauren M; Pedraza, Maria E; Torres, Eric R; Adler, Lital N; Clarke, Steven G

    2015-03-01

    l-Ascorbate, commonly known as vitamin C, serves as an antioxidant and cofactor essential for many biological processes. Distinct ascorbate biosynthetic pathways have been established for animals and plants, but little is known about the presence or synthesis of this molecule in invertebrate species. We have investigated ascorbate metabolism in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, where this molecule would be expected to play roles in oxidative stress resistance and as cofactor in collagen and neurotransmitter synthesis. Using high-performance liquid chromatography and gas-chromatography mass spectrometry, we determined that ascorbate is present at low amounts in the egg stage, L1 larvae, and mixed animal populations, with the egg stage containing the highest concentrations. Incubating C. elegans with precursor molecules necessary for ascorbate synthesis in plants and animals did not significantly alter ascorbate levels. Furthermore, bioinformatic analyses did not support the presence in C. elegans of either the plant or the animal biosynthetic pathway. However, we observed the complete (13)C-labeling of ascorbate when C. elegans was grown with (13)C-labeled Escherichia coli as a food source. These results support the hypothesis that ascorbate biosynthesis in invertebrates may proceed by a novel pathway and lay the foundation for a broader understanding of its biological role.

  10. Small RNAs, RNAi and the Inheritance of Gene Silencing in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xuezhu Feng; Shouhong Guang

    2013-01-01

    Invasive nucleic acids such as transposons and viruses usually exhibit aberrant characteristics,e.g.,unpaired DNA or abnormal doublestranded RNA.Organisms employ a variety of strategies to defend themselves by distinguishing self and nonself substances and disabling these invasive nucleic acids.Furthermore,they have developed ways to remember this exposure to invaders and transmit the experience to their descendants.The mechanism underlying this inheritance has remained elusive.Recent research has shed light on the initiation and maintenance of RNA-mediated inherited gene silencing.Small regulatory RNAs play a variety of crucial roles in organisms,including gene regulation,developmental timing,antiviral defense,and genome integrity,via a process termed as RNA interference (RNAi).Recent research has revealed that small RNAs and the RNAi machinery are engaged in establishing and promoting transgenerational gene silencing.Small RNAs direct the RNAi and chromatin modification machinery to the cognate nucleic acids to regulate gene expression and epigenetic alterations.Notably,these acquired small RNAs and epigenetic changes persist and are transmitted from parents to offspring for multiple generations.Thus,RNAi is a vital determinant of the inheritance of gene silencing and acts as a driving force of evolution.

  11. The ornithine decarboxylase gene of Caenorhabditis elegans: Cloning, mapping and mutagenesis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Macrae, M.; Coffino, P. [Univ. of California, San Francisco, CA (United States); Plasterk, R.H.A. [Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam (Netherlands)

    1995-06-01

    The gene (odc-1) encoding ornithine decarboxylase, a key enzyme in polyamine biosynthesis, was cloned and characterized. Two introns interrupt the coding sequence of the gene. The deduced protein contains 442 amino acids and is homologous to ornithine decarboxylases of other eukaryotic species. In vitro translation of a transcript of the cDNA yielded an enzymatically active product. The mRNA is 1.5 kb in size and is formed by trans-splicing to SL1, a common 5{prime} RNA segment. odc-1 maps to the middle of LG V, between dpy-11 and unc-42 and near a breakpoint of the nDf32 deficiency strain. Enzymatic activity is low in starved 1 (L1) larva and, after feeding, rises progressively as the worms develop. Targeted gene disruption was used to create a null allele. Homozygous mutants are normally viable and show no apparent defects, with the exception of a somewhat reduced brood size. In vitro assays for ornithine decarboxylase activity, however, show no detectable enzymatic activity, suggesting that ornithine decarboxylase is dispensible for nematode growth in the laboratory. 37 refs., 6 figs., 1 tab.

  12. Insertion of part of an intron into the 5[prime] untranslated region of a Caenorhabditis elegans gene converts it into a trans-spliced gene

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Conrad, R.; Thomas, J.; Spieth, J.; Blumenthal, T. (Indiana University, Bloomington (United States))

    1991-04-01

    In nematodes, the RNA products of some genes are trans-spliced to a 22-nucleotide spliced leader (SL), while the RNA products of other genes are not. In Caenorhabditis elegans, there are two SLs, Sl1 and SL2, donated by two distinct small nuclear ribonucleoprotein particles in a process functionally quite similar to nuclear intron removal. The authors demonstrate here that it is possible to convert a non-trans-spliced gene into a trans-spliced gene by placement of an intron missing only the 5[prime] splice site into the 5[prime] untranslated region. Stable transgenic strains were isolated expressing a gene in which 69 nucleotides of a vit-5 intron, including the 3[prime] splice site, were inserted into the 5[prime] untranslated region of a vit-2/vit-6 fusion gene. The RNA product of this gene was examined by primer extension and PCR amplification. Although the vit-2/vit-6 transgene product is not normally trans-spliced, the majority of transcripts from this altered gene were trans-spliced to SL1. They termed the region of a trans-spliced mRNA precursor between the 5[prime] end and the first 3[prime] splice site an 'outrun'. The results suggest that if a transcript begins with intronlike sequence followed by a 3[prime] splice site, this alone may constitute an outrun and be sufficient to demarcate a transcript as a trans-splice acceptor. These findings leave open the possibility that specific sequences are required to increase the efficiency of trans-splicing.

  13. Gain-of-function mutations of fem-3, a sex-determination gene in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barton, M.K.; Schedl, T.B.; Kimble, J.

    1987-01-01

    The authors have isolated nine gain-of-function (gf) alleles of the sex-determination gene fem-3 as suppressors of feminizing mutations in fem-1 and fem-2. The wild type fem-3 gene is needed for spermatogenesis in XX self-fertilizing hermaphrodites and for male development in both soma and germ line of XO animals. Loss-of-function alleles of fem-3 transform XX and XO animals into females (spermless hermaphrodites). In contrast, fem-3 (gf) alleles masculinize only one tissue, the hermaphrodite germ line. Thus, XX fem-3 (gf) mutant animals have a normal hermaphrodite soma, but the germ line produces a vast excess of sperm and no oocytes. All nine fem-3 (gf) alleles are temperature sensitive. The temperature-sensitive period is from late L4 to early adult, a period just preceding the first signs of oogenesis. The finding of gain-of-function alleles which confer a phenotype opposite to that of loss-of-function alleles supports the idea that fem-3 plays a critical role in germ-line sex determination. Furthermore, the germ-line specificity of the fem-3 (gf) mutant phenotype and the late temperature-sensitive period suggest that, in the wild-type XX hermaphrodite, fem-3 is negatively regulated so that the hermaphrodite stops making sperm and starts making oocytes. Temperature shift experiments also show that, in the germ line, sexual commitment appears to be a continuing process. Spermatogenesis can resume even after oogenesis has begun, and oogenesis can be initiated much later than normal.

  14. Caenorhabditis elegans vulval cell fate patterning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Félix, Marie-Anne

    2012-08-01

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

  15. An elegant mind: learning and memory in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ardiel, Evan L; Rankin, Catharine H

    2010-04-01

    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 predict aversive chemicals or the presence or absence of food. In each case, the neural circuit underlying the behavior has been at least partially described, and forward and reverse genetics are being used to elucidate the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms. Several genes have been identified with no known role other than mediating behavior plasticity.

  16. Toxicological Effects of Fullerenes on Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schomaker, Justin; Snook, Renee; Howell, Carina

    2014-03-01

    The nematode species Caenorhabditis elegans is a useful genetic model organism due to its simplicity and the substantial molecular, genetic, and developmental knowledge about the species. In this study, this species was used to test the toxicological effects of C60 fullerene nanoparticles. In previous studies using rats, a solution of C60 fullerenes in olive oil proved to extend the life of the subjects. The purpose of this experiment was to subject C. elegans to varying concentrations of C60 fullerenes and observe their toxicological effects. Initial findings indicate a link between fullerene exposure and enlargement of the vulva as well as the formation of a small nodule at the base of the tail in some individuals. While the fullerenes are not lethally toxic in C. elegans, results will be presented that pertain to changes in life span and progeny of the nematodes exposed to varying concentrations of fullerenes as well as the mechanisms of toxicity. High magnification imaging via SEM and/or AFM will be used to characterize the fullerene nanoparticles. Testing the toxicity of fullerenes in a wide variety of organisms will lead to a more complete understanding of the effects of fullerenes on living organisms to ultimately understand their effects in humans. This work was supported by National Science Foundation grants DUE-1058829, DMR-0923047, DUE-0806660 and Lock Haven FPDC grants.

  17. Control of Neuronal Network in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rahul Badhwar

    Full Text Available Caenorhabditis elegans, a soil dwelling nematode, is evolutionarily rudimentary and contains only ∼ 300 neurons which are connected to each other via chemical synapses and gap junctions. This structural connectivity can be perceived as nodes and edges of a graph. Controlling complex networked systems (such as nervous system has been an area of excitement for mankind. Various methods have been developed to identify specific brain regions, which when controlled by external input can lead to achievement of control over the state of the system. But in case of neuronal connectivity network the properties of neurons identified as driver nodes is of much importance because nervous system can produce a variety of states (behaviour of the animal. Hence to gain insight on the type of control achieved in nervous system we implemented the notion of structural control from graph theory to C. elegans neuronal network. We identified 'driver neurons' which can provide full control over the network. We studied phenotypic properties of these neurons which are referred to as 'phenoframe' as well as the 'genoframe' which represents their genetic correlates. We find that the driver neurons are primarily motor neurons located in the ventral nerve cord and contribute to biological reproduction of the animal. Identification of driver neurons and its characterization adds a new dimension in controllability of C. elegans neuronal network. This study suggests the importance of driver neurons and their utility to control the behaviour of the organism.

  18. Acute carbon dioxide avoidance in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hallem, Elissa A; Sternberg, Paul W

    2008-06-10

    Carbon dioxide is produced as a by-product of cellular respiration by all aerobic organisms and thus serves for many animals as an important indicator of food, mates, and predators. However, whether free-living terrestrial nematodes such as Caenorhabditis elegans respond to CO2 was unclear. We have demonstrated that adult C. elegans display an acute avoidance response upon exposure to CO2 that is characterized by the cessation of forward movement and the rapid initiation of backward movement. This response is mediated by a cGMP signaling pathway that includes the cGMP-gated heteromeric channel TAX-2/TAX-4. CO2 avoidance is modulated by multiple signaling molecules, including the neuropeptide Y receptor NPR-1 and the calcineurin subunits TAX-6 and CNB-1. Nutritional status also modulates CO2 responsiveness via the insulin and TGFbeta signaling pathways. CO2 response is mediated by a neural circuit that includes the BAG neurons, a pair of sensory neurons of previously unknown function. TAX-2/TAX-4 function in the BAG neurons to mediate acute CO2 avoidance. Our results demonstrate that C. elegans senses and responds to CO2 using multiple signaling pathways and a neural network that includes the BAG neurons and that this response is modulated by the physiological state of the worm.

  19. 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...

  20. Caenorhabditis elegans reveals novel Pseudomonas aeruginosa virulence mechanism

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Utari, Putri Dwi; Quax, Wim J.

    2013-01-01

    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 possibi

  1. Searching WormBase for information about Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwarz, Erich M; Sternberg, Paul W

    2006-07-01

    WormBase is the major public biological database for the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. It is meant to be useful to any biologist who wants to use C. elegans, whatever his or her specialty. WormBase contains information about the genomic sequence of C. elegans, its genes and their products, and its higher-level traits such as gene expression patterns and neuronal connectivity. WormBase also contains genomic sequences and gene structures of C. briggsae and C. remanei, two closely related worms. These data are interconnected, so that a search beginning with one object (such as a gene) can be directed to related objects of a different type (e.g., the DNA sequence of the gene or the cells in which the gene is active). One can also perform searches for complex data sets. The WormBase developers group actively invites suggestions for improvements from the database users. WormBase's source code and underlying database are freely available for local installation and modification.

  2. Caenorhabditis elegans ATAD-3 modulates mitochondrial iron and heme homeostasis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van den Ecker, Daniela; Hoffmann, Michael; Müting, Gesine; Maglioni, Silvia; Herebian, Diran; Mayatepek, Ertan; Ventura, Natascia; Distelmaier, Felix

    2015-11-13

    ATAD3 (ATPase family AAA domain-containing protein 3) is a mitochondrial protein, which is essential for cell viability and organismal development. ATAD3 has been implicated in several important cellular processes such as apoptosis regulation, respiratory chain function and steroid hormone biosynthesis. Moreover, altered expression of ATAD3 has been associated with several types of cancer. However, the exact mechanisms underlying ATAD3 effects on cellular metabolism remain largely unclear. Here, we demonstrate that Caenorhabditis elegans ATAD-3 is involved in mitochondrial iron and heme homeostasis. Knockdown of atad-3 caused mitochondrial iron- and heme accumulation. This was paralleled by changes in the expression levels of several iron- and heme-regulatory genes as well as an increased heme uptake. In conclusion, our data indicate a regulatory role of C. elegans ATAD-3 in mitochondrial iron and heme metabolism.

  3. Genetic Screen Reveals Link between the Maternal Effect Sterile Gene mes-1 and Pseudomonas aeruginosa-induced Neurodegeneration in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Qiuli; Cao, Xiou; Yan, Dong; Wang, Dayong; Aballay, Alejandro

    2015-12-01

    Increasing evidence indicates that immune responses to microbial infections may contribute to neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we show that Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection of Caenorhabditis elegans causes a number of neural changes that are hallmarks of neurodegeneration. Using an unbiased genetic screen to identify genes involved in the control of P. aeruginosa-induced neurodegeneration, we identified mes-1, which encodes a receptor tyrosine kinase-like protein that is required for unequal cell divisions in the early embryonic germ line. We showed that sterile but not fertile mes-1 animals were resistant to neurodegeneration induced by P. aeruginosa infection. Similar results were observed using animals carrying a mutation in the maternal effect gene pgl-1, which is required for postembryonic germ line development, and the germ line-deficient strains glp-1 and glp-4. Additional studies indicated that the FOXO transcription factor DAF-16 is required for resistance to P. aeruginosa-induced neurodegeneration in germ line-deficient strains. Thus, our results demonstrate that P. aeruginosa infection results in neurodegeneration phenotypes in C. elegans that are controlled by the germ line in a cell-nonautonomous manner.

  4. Identification of Wnt Pathway Target Genes Regulating the Division and Differentiation of Larval Seam Cells and Vulval Precursor Cells in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorrepati, Lakshmi; Krause, Michael W; Chen, Weiping; Brodigan, Thomas M; Correa-Mendez, Margarita; Eisenmann, David M

    2015-06-05

    The evolutionarily conserved Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway plays a fundamental role during metazoan development, regulating numerous processes including cell fate specification, cell migration, and stem cell renewal. Wnt ligand binding leads to stabilization of the transcriptional effector β-catenin and upregulation of target gene expression to mediate a cellular response. During larval development of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, Wnt/β-catenin pathways act in fate specification of two hypodermal cell types, the ventral vulval precursor cells (VPCs) and the lateral seam cells. Because little is known about targets of the Wnt signaling pathways acting during larval VPC and seam cell differentiation, we sought to identify genes regulated by Wnt signaling in these two hypodermal cell types. We conditionally activated Wnt signaling in larval animals and performed cell type-specific "mRNA tagging" to enrich for VPC and seam cell-specific mRNAs, and then used microarray analysis to examine gene expression compared to control animals. Two hundred thirty-nine genes activated in response to Wnt signaling were identified, and we characterized 50 genes further. The majority of these genes are expressed in seam and/or vulval lineages during normal development, and reduction of function for nine genes caused defects in the proper division, fate specification, fate execution, or differentiation of seam cells and vulval cells. Therefore, the combination of these techniques was successful at identifying potential cell type-specific Wnt pathway target genes from a small number of cells and at increasing our knowledge of the specification and behavior of these C. elegans larval hypodermal cells.

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

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    Kostrouchová Marta

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Human α-galactosidase A (α-GAL and α-N-acetylgalactosaminidase (α-NAGA are presumed to share a common ancestor. Deficiencies of these enzymes cause two well-characterized human lysosomal storage disorders (LSD – Fabry (α-GAL deficiency and Schindler (α-NAGA deficiency diseases. Caenorhabditis elegans was previously shown to be a relevant model organism for several late endosomal/lysosomal membrane proteins associated with LSDs. The aim of this study was to identify and characterize C. elegans orthologs to both human lysosomal luminal proteins α-GAL and α-NAGA. Results BlastP searches for orthologs of human α-GAL and α-NAGA revealed a single C. elegans gene (R07B7.11 with homology to both human genes (α-galactosidase and α-N-acetylgalactosaminidase – gana-1. We cloned and sequenced the complete gana-1 cDNA and elucidated the gene organization. Phylogenetic analyses and homology modeling of GANA-1 based on the 3D structure of chicken α-NAGA, rice α-GAL and human α-GAL suggest a close evolutionary relationship of GANA-1 to both human α-GAL and α-NAGA. Both α-GAL and α-NAGA enzymatic activities were detected in C. elegans mixed culture homogenates. However, α-GAL activity on an artificial substrate was completely inhibited by the α-NAGA inhibitor, N-acetyl-D-galactosamine. A GANA-1::GFP fusion protein expressed from a transgene, containing the complete gana-1 coding region and 3 kb of its hypothetical promoter, was not detectable under the standard laboratory conditions. The GFP signal was observed solely in a vesicular compartment of coelomocytes of the animals treated with Concanamycin A (CON A or NH4Cl, agents that increase the pH of the cellular acidic compartment. Immunofluorescence detection of the fusion protein using polyclonal anti-GFP antibody showed a broader and coarsely granular cytoplasmic expression pattern in body wall muscle cells, intestinal cells, and a vesicular compartment of

  6. Chemotaxis of crawling and swimming Caenorhabditis Elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patel, Amar; Bilbao, Alejandro; Padmanabhan, Venkat; Khan, Zeina; Armstrong, Andrew; Rumbaugh, Kendra; Vanapalli, Siva; Blawzdziewicz, Jerzy

    2012-11-01

    A soil-dwelling nematode Caenorhabditis Elegans efficiently navigates through complex environments, responding to chemical signals to find food or avoid danger. According to previous studies, the nematode uses both gradual-turn and run-and-tumble strategies to move in the direction of the increasing concentration of chemical attractants. We show that both these chemotaxis strategies can be described using our kinematic model [PLoS ONE, 7: e40121 (2012)] in which harmonic-curvature modes represent elementary nematode movements. In our chemotaxis model, the statistics of mode changes is governed by the time history of the chemoattractant concentration at the position of the nematode head. We present results for both nematodes crawling without transverse slip and for swimming nematodes. This work was supported by NSF grant No. CBET 1059745.

  7. WormBook: the online review of Caenorhabditis elegans biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Girard, Lisa R; Fiedler, Tristan J; Harris, Todd W; Carvalho, Felicia; Antoshechkin, Igor; Han, Michael; Sternberg, Paul W; Stein, Lincoln D; Chalfie, Martin

    2007-01-01

    WormBook (www.wormbook.org) is an open-access, online collection of original, peer-reviewed chapters on the biology of Caenorhabditis elegans and related nematodes. Since WormBook was launched in June 2005 with 12 chapters, it has grown to over 100 chapters, covering nearly every aspect of C.elegans research, from Cell Biology and Neurobiology to Evolution and Ecology. WormBook also serves as the text companion to WormBase, the C.elegans model organism database. Objects such as genes, proteins and cells are linked to the relevant pages in WormBase, providing easily accessible background information. Additionally, WormBook chapters contain links to other relevant topics in WormBook, and the in-text citations are linked to their abstracts in PubMed and full-text references, if available. Since WormBook is online, its chapters are able to contain movies and complex images that would not be possible in a print version. WormBook is designed to keep up with the rapid pace of discovery in the field of C.elegans research and continues to grow. WormBook represents a generic publishing infrastructure that is easily adaptable to other research communities to facilitate the dissemination of knowledge in the field.

  8. 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...

  9. Sensory processing by neural circuits in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whittaker, Allyson J; Sternberg, Paul W

    2004-08-01

    The anatomical and developmental constancy of Caenorhabditis elegans belies the complexity of its numerically small nervous system. Indeed, there is an increased appreciation of C. elegans as an organism to study systems level questions. Many recent studies focus on the circuits that control locomotion, egg-laying, and male mating behaviors and their modulation by multiple sensory stimuli.

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

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    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.

  11. Caenorhabditis elegans glia modulate neuronal activity and behavior

    OpenAIRE

    Randy F Stout; Alexei eVerkhratsky; Vladimir eParpura

    2014-01-01

    Glial cells of Caenorhabditis elegans can modulate neuronal activity and behavior, which is the focus of this review. Initially, we provide an overview of neuroglial evolution, making a comparison between C. elegans glia and their genealogical counterparts. What follows is a brief discussion on C. elegans glia characteristics in terms of their exact numbers, germ layers origin, their necessity for proper development of sensory organs, and lack of their need for neuronal survival. The more spe...

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

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    Yinxia Li

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

  13. Evidence for compensatory upregulation of expressed X-linked genes in mammals, Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila melanogaster.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, Xinxian; Hiatt, Joseph B; Nguyen, Di Kim; Ercan, Sevinc; Sturgill, David; Hillier, LaDeana W; Schlesinger, Felix; Davis, Carrie A; Reinke, Valerie J; Gingeras, Thomas R; Shendure, Jay; Waterston, Robert H; Oliver, Brian; Lieb, Jason D; Disteche, Christine M

    2011-10-23

    Many animal species use a chromosome-based mechanism of sex determination, which has led to the coordinate evolution of dosage-compensation systems. Dosage compensation not only corrects the imbalance in the number of X chromosomes between the sexes but also is hypothesized to correct dosage imbalance within cells that is due to monoallelic X-linked expression and biallelic autosomal expression, by upregulating X-linked genes twofold (termed 'Ohno's hypothesis'). Although this hypothesis is well supported by expression analyses of individual X-linked genes and by microarray-based transcriptome analyses, it was challenged by a recent study using RNA sequencing and proteomics. We obtained new, independent RNA-seq data, measured RNA polymerase distribution and reanalyzed published expression data in mammals, C. elegans and Drosophila. Our analyses, which take into account the skewed gene content of the X chromosome, support the hypothesis of upregulation of expressed X-linked genes to balance expression of the genome.

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

  16. 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.

  17. Communication between oocytes and somatic cells regulates volatile pheromone production in Caenorhabditis elegans

    OpenAIRE

    Leighton, Daniel H. W.; Choe, Andrea; Wu, Shannon Y; Sternberg, Paul W.

    2014-01-01

    Males of the androdioecious species Caenorhabditis elegans are more likely to attempt to mate with and successfully inseminate C. elegans hermaphrodites that do not concurrently harbor sperm. Although a small number of genes have been implicated in this effect, the mechanism by which it arises remains unknown. In the context of the battle of the sexes, it is also unknown whether this effect is to the benefit of the male, the hermaphrodite, or both. We report that successful contact between ma...

  18. Ethanol-induced differential gene expression and acetyl-CoA metabolism in a longevity model of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patananan, Alexander Nikolich; Budenholzer, Lauren Michelle; Eskin, Ascia; Torres, Eric Rommel; Clarke, Steven Gerard

    2014-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that exposing adults of the soil-dwelling nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to concentrations of ethanol in the range of 100 – 400 mM results in slowed locomotion, decreased fertility, and reduced longevity. On the contrary, lower concentrations of ethanol (0.86 – 68 mM) have been shown to cause a two- to three-fold increase in the life span of animals in the stress resistant L1 larval stage in the absence of a food source. However, little is known about how gene and protein expression is altered by low concentrations of ethanol and the mechanism for the increased longevity. Therefore, we used biochemical assays and next generation mRNA sequencing to identify genes and biological pathways altered by ethanol. RNA-seq analysis of L1 larvae incubated in the presence of 17 mM ethanol resulted in the significant differential expression of 649 genes, 274 of which were downregulated and 375 were upregulated. Many of the genes significantly altered were associated with the conversion of ethanol and triglycerides to acetyl-CoA and glucose, suggesting that ethanol is serving as an energy source in the increased longevity of the L1 larvae as well as a signal for fat utilization. We also asked if L1 larvae could sense ethanol and respond by directed movement. Although we found that L1 larvae can chemotax to benzaldehyde, we observed little or no chemotaxis to ethanol. Understanding how low concentrations of ethanol increase the lifespan of L1 larvae may provide insight into not only the longevity pathways in C. elegans, but also in those of higher organisms. PMID:25449858

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

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    Nicole Shangming Hou

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Rapidly expanding aging populations and a concomitant increase in the prevalence of age-related diseases are global health problems today. Over the past three decades, a large body of work has led to the identification of genes and regulatory networks that affect longevity and health span, often benefitting from the tremendous power of genetics in vertebrate and invertebrate model organisms. Interestingly, many of these factors appear linked to lipids, important molecules that participate in cellular signaling, energy metabolism, and structural compartmentalization. Despite the putative link between lipids and longevity, the role of lipids in aging remains poorly understood. Emerging data from the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans suggest that lipid composition may change during aging, as several pathways that influence aging also regulate lipid metabolism enzymes; moreover, some of these enzymes apparently play key roles in the pathways that affect the rate of aging. By understanding how lipid biology is regulated during C. elegans aging, and how it impacts molecular, cellular and organismal function, we may gain insight into novel ways to delay aging using genetic or pharmacological interventions. In the present review we discuss recent insights into the roles of lipids in C. elegans aging, including regulatory roles played by lipids themselves, the regulation of lipid metabolic enzymes, and the roles of lipid metabolism genes in the pathways that affect aging.

  20. Goalpha regulates volatile anesthetic action in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Swinderen, B; Metz, L B; Shebester, L D; Mendel, J E; Sternberg, P W; Crowder, C M

    2001-06-01

    To identify genes controlling volatile anesthetic (VA) action, we have screened through existing Caenorhabditis elegans mutants and found that strains with a reduction in Go signaling are VA resistant. Loss-of-function mutants of the gene goa-1, which codes for the alpha-subunit of Go, have EC(50)s for the VA isoflurane of 1.7- to 2.4-fold that of wild type. Strains overexpressing egl-10, which codes for an RGS protein negatively regulating goa-1, are also isoflurane resistant. However, sensitivity to halothane, a structurally distinct VA, is differentially affected by Go pathway mutants. The RGS overexpressing strains, a goa-1 missense mutant found to carry a novel mutation near the GTP-binding domain, and eat-16(rf) mutants, which suppress goa-1(gf) mutations, are all halothane resistant; goa-1(null) mutants have wild-type sensitivities. Double mutant strains carrying mutations in both goa-1 and unc-64, which codes for a neuronal syntaxin previously found to regulate VA sensitivity, show that the syntaxin mutant phenotypes depend in part on goa-1 expression. Pharmacological assays using the cholinesterase inhibitor aldicarb suggest that VAs and GOA-1 similarly downregulate cholinergic neurotransmitter release in C. elegans. Thus, the mechanism of action of VAs in C. elegans is regulated by Goalpha, and presynaptic Goalpha-effectors are candidate VA molecular targets.

  1. Function and Regulation of Lipid Biology in Caenorhabditis elegans Aging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hou, Nicole Shangming; Taubert, Stefan

    2012-01-01

    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 benefiting 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. PMID:22629250

  2. Black tea increased survival of Caenorhabditis elegans under stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiong, Li-Gui; Huang, Jian-An; Li, Juan; Yu, Peng-Hui; Xiong, Zhe; Zhang, Jian-Wei; Gong, Yu-Shun; Liu, Zhong-Hua; Chen, Jin-Hua

    2014-11-19

    The present study examined the effects of black tea (Camellia sinensis) extracts (BTE) in Caenorhabditis elegans under various abiotic stressors. Results showed BTE increased nematode resistance to osmosis, heat, and UV irradiation treatments. However, BTE could not increase nematodes' lifespan under normal culture conditions and MnCl2-induced toxicity at concentrations we used. Further studies showed that BTE decreased reactive oxygen species and up-regulated some antioxidant enzymes, including GSH-PX, and genes, such as gsh-px and sod-3. However, only a slight extension in mev-1 mutants mean lifespan was observed without significance. These results indicated that the antioxidant activity of BTE might be necessary but not sufficient to protect against aging to C. elegans. Moreover, BTE increased the mRNA level of stress-response genes such as sir-2.1 and sek-1. Our finding demonstrated BTE might increase heat and UV stress resistance in a sir.2.1-dependent manner. Taken together, BTE enhanced stress resistance with multiple mechanisms in C. elegans.

  3. Mutations in the unc-52 gene responsible for body wall muscle defects in adult Caenorhabditis elegans are located in alternatively spliced exons

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    Rogalski, T.M.; Gilchrist, E.J.; Mullen, G.P. [Univ. of British, Columbia, Vancouver (Canada)] [and others

    1995-01-01

    The unc-52 gene in Caenorhabditis elegans produces several large proteins that function in the basement membrane underlying muscle cells. Mutations in this gene result in defects in myofilament assembly and in the attachment of the myofilament lattice to the muscle cell membrane. The st549 and ut111 alleles of unc-52 produce a lethal (Pat) terminal phenotype whereas the e444, e669, e998, e1012 and e1421 mutations result in viable, paralyzed animals. We have identified the sequence alterations responsible for these mutant phenotypes. The st549 allele has a premature stop codon in exon 7 that should result in the complete elimination of unc-52 gene function, and the ut111 allele has a Tc1 transposon inserted into the second exon of the gene. The five remaining mutations are clustered in a small interval containing three adjacent, alternatively spliced exons (16, 17 and 18). These mutations affect some, but not all of the unc-52-encoded proteins. Thirteen intragenic revertants of the e669, e998, e1012 and e1421 alleles have also been sequenced. The majority of these carry the original mutation plus a G to A transition in the conserved splice acceptor site of the affected exon. This result suggests that reversion of the mutant phenotype in these strains may be the result of exon-skipping. 38 refs., 6 figs., 2 tabs.

  4. Guidelines for monitoring autophagy in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Hong; Chang, Jessica T; Guo, Bin; Hansen, Malene; Jia, Kailiang; Kovács, Attila L; Kumsta, Caroline; Lapierre, Louis R; Legouis, Renaud; Lin, Long; Lu, Qun; Meléndez, Alicia; O'Rourke, Eyleen J; Sato, Ken; Sato, Miyuki; Wang, Xiaochen; Wu, Fan

    2015-01-01

    The cellular recycling process of autophagy has been extensively characterized with standard assays in yeast and mammalian cell lines. In multicellular organisms, numerous external and internal factors differentially affect autophagy activity in specific cell types throughout the stages of organismal ontogeny, adding complexity to the analysis of autophagy in these metazoans. Here we summarize currently available assays for monitoring the autophagic process in the nematode C. elegans. A combination of measuring levels of the lipidated Atg8 ortholog LGG-1, degradation of well-characterized autophagic substrates such as germline P granule components and the SQSTM1/p62 ortholog SQST-1, expression of autophagic genes and electron microscopy analysis of autophagic structures are presently the most informative, yet steady-state, approaches available to assess autophagy levels in C. elegans. We also review how altered autophagy activity affects a variety of biological processes in C. elegans such as L1 survival under starvation conditions, dauer formation, aging, and cell death, as well as neuronal cell specification. Taken together, C. elegans is emerging as a powerful model organism to monitor autophagy while evaluating important physiological roles for autophagy in key developmental events as well as during adulthood.

  5. The Caenorhabditis elegans lipidome: A primer for lipid analysis in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Witting, Michael; Schmitt-Kopplin, Philippe

    2016-01-01

    Lipids play important roles in biology, ranging from building blocks of membranes to signaling lipids. The nematode and model organism Caenorhabditis elegans has been used to explore lipid metabolism and several techniques for their analysis have been employed. These techniques include different possibilities ranging from visualization of lipid droplets, analysis of total fatty acids to analysis of complex lipids using lipidomics approaches. Lipidomics evolved from metabolomics, the latest off-spring of the "omics"-technologies and aims to characterize the lipid content of a given organism or system. Although being an extensively studied model organism, only a few applications of lipidomics to C. elegans have been reported to far, but the number is steadily increasing with more applications expected in the near future. This review gives an overview on the C. elegans lipidome, lipid classes it contains and ways to analyze them. It serves as primer for scientists interested in studying lipids in this model organism and list methods used so far and what information can be derived from them. Lastly, challenges and future (methodological) research directions, together with new methods potentially useful for C. elegans lipid research are discussed.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  7. Biosynthesis of the Caenorhabditis elegans dauer pheromone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butcher, Rebecca A; Ragains, Justin R; Li, Weiqing; Ruvkun, Gary; Clardy, Jon; Mak, Ho Yi

    2009-02-10

    To sense its population density and to trigger entry into the stress-resistant dauer larval stage, Caenorhabditis elegans uses the dauer pheromone, which consists of ascaroside derivatives with short, fatty acid-like side chains. Although the dauer pheromone has been studied for 25 years, its biosynthesis is completely uncharacterized. The daf-22 mutant is the only known mutant defective in dauer pheromone production. Here, we show that daf-22 encodes a homolog of human sterol carrier protein SCPx, which catalyzes the final step in peroxisomal fatty acid beta-oxidation. We also show that dhs-28, which encodes a homolog of the human d-bifunctional protein that acts just upstream of SCPx, is also required for pheromone production. Long-term daf-22 and dhs-28 cultures develop dauer-inducing activity by accumulating less active, long-chain fatty acid ascaroside derivatives. Thus, daf-22 and dhs-28 are required for the biosynthesis of the short-chain fatty acid-derived side chains of the dauer pheromone and link dauer pheromone production to metabolic state.

  8. 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.

  9. Tissue-specific regulation of the LIM homeobox gene lin-11 during development of the Caenorhabditis elegans egg-laying system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gupta, Bhagwati P; Sternberg, Paul W

    2002-07-01

    The egg-laying system of Caenorhabditis elegans hermaphrodites requires development of the vulva and its precise connection with the uterus. This process is regulated by LET-23-mediated epidermal growth factor signaling and LIN-12-mediated lateral signaling pathways. Among the nuclear factors that act downstream of these pathways, the LIM homeobox gene lin-11 plays a major role. lin-11 mutant animals are egg-laying defective because of the abnormalities in vulval lineage and uterine seam-cell formation. However, the mechanisms providing specificity to lin-11 function are not understood. Here, we examine the regulation of lin-11 during development of the egg-laying system. Our results demonstrate that the tissue-specific expression of lin-11 is controlled by two distinct regulatory elements that function as independent modules and together specify a wild-type egg-laying system. A uterine pi lineage module depends on the LIN-12/Notch signaling, while a vulval module depends on the LIN-17-mediated Wnt signaling. These results provide a unique example of the tissue-specific regulation of a LIM homeobox gene by two evolutionarily conserved signaling pathways. Finally, we provide evidence that the regulation of lin-11 by LIN-12/Notch signaling is directly mediated by the Su(H)/CBF1 family member LAG-1.

  10. The roles and acting mechanism of Caenorhabditis elegans DNase II genes in apoptotic dna degradation and development.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huey-Jen Lai

    Full Text Available DNase II enzymes are acidic endonucleases that have been implicated in mediating apoptotic DNA degradation, a critical cell death execution event. C. elegans genome contains three DNase II homologues, NUC-1, CRN-6, and CRN-7, but their expression patterns, acting sites, and roles in apoptotic DNA degradation and development are unclear. We have conducted a comprehensive analysis of three C. elegans DNase II genes and found that nuc-1 plays a major role, crn-6 plays an auxiliary role, and crn-7 plays a negligible role in resolving 3' OH DNA breaks generated in apoptotic cells. Promoter swapping experiments suggest that crn-6 but not crn-7 can partially substitute for nuc-1 in mediating apoptotic DNA degradation and both fail to replace nuc-1 in degrading bacterial DNA in intestine. Despite of their restricted and largely non-overlapping expression patterns, both CRN-6 and NUC-1 can mediate apoptotic DNA degradation in many cells, suggesting that they are likely secreted nucleases that are retaken up by other cells to exert DNA degradation functions. Removal or disruption of NUC-1 secretion signal eliminates NUC-1's ability to mediate DNA degradation across its expression border. Furthermore, blocking cell corpse engulfment does not affect apoptotic DNA degradation mediated by nuc-1, suggesting that NUC-1 acts in apoptotic cells rather than in phagocytes to resolve 3' OH DNA breaks. Our study illustrates how multiple DNase II nucleases play differential roles in apoptotic DNA degradation and development and reveals an unexpected mode of DNase II action in mediating DNA degradation.

  11. 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.

  12. Lipid signalling couples translational surveillance to systemic detoxification in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Govindan, J Amaranath; Jayamani, Elamparithi; Zhang, Xinrui; Breen, Peter; Larkins-Ford, Jonah; Mylonakis, Eleftherios; Ruvkun, Gary

    2015-10-01

    Translation in eukaryotes is followed to detect toxins and virulence factors and coupled to the induction of defence pathways. Caenorhabditis elegans germline-specific mutations in translation components are detected by this system to induce detoxification and immune responses in distinct somatic cells. An RNA interference screen revealed gene inactivations that act at multiple steps in lipid biosynthetic and kinase pathways upstream of MAP kinase to mediate the systemic communication of translation defects to induce detoxification genes. Mammalian bile acids can rescue the defect in detoxification gene induction caused by C. elegans lipid biosynthetic gene inactivations. Extracts prepared from C. elegans with translation deficits but not from the wild type can also rescue detoxification gene induction in lipid-biosynthesis-defective strains. These eukaryotic antibacterial countermeasures are not ignored by bacteria: particular bacterial species suppress normal C. elegans detoxification responses to mutations in translation factors.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-01

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

  14. Screening for microbial metabolites affecting phenotype of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamamuro, Daisuke; Uchida, Ryuji; Takahashi, Yoko; Masuma, Rokuro; Tomoda, Hiroshi

    2011-01-01

    Microbial samples, including our library of known microbial compounds (ca. 300) and microbial culture broths (ca. 9000), were screened for small molecules affecting the phenotype of Caenorhabditis elegans. As a result, seven known compounds were found to induce phenotypic abnormality of C. elegans. Staurosporine exhibited morphological defects in the vulva and tail of C. elegans, avermectin B1a exhibited hatching inhibition of starting eggs on day 1 at 25-100 µM and growth inhibition at 0.01-12.5 µM, siccanin and antimycin A inhibited the growth of C. elegans, and fluorouracil inhibited hatching of eggs newly spawned by adult C. elegans. Toromycin induced morphological defects in the intestine. 5-(4-Methoxyphenyl)-oxazole, isolated as a fungal metabolite for the first time, inhibited the hatching of eggs newly spawned by adult C. elegans.

  15. A mutational analysis of Caenorhabditis elegans in space

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhao Yang [Department of Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia, Life Sciences Centre, Room 1364-2350 Health Sciences Mall, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z3 (Canada); Lai, Kenneth [Department of Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia, Life Sciences Centre, Room 1364-2350 Health Sciences Mall, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z3 (Canada); Cheung, Iris [Department of Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia, Life Sciences Centre, Room 1364-2350 Health Sciences Mall, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z3 (Canada); Youds, Jillian [Department of Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia, Life Sciences Centre, Room 1364-2350 Health Sciences Mall, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z3 (Canada); Tarailo, Maja [Department of Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia, Life Sciences Centre, Room 1364-2350 Health Sciences Mall, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z3 (Canada); Tarailo, Sanja [Department of Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia, Life Sciences Centre, Room 1364-2350 Health Sciences Mall, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z3 (Canada); Rose, Ann [Department of Medical Genetics, University of British Columbia, Life Sciences Centre, Room 1364-2350 Health Sciences Mall, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z3 (Canada)]. E-mail: arose@gene.nce.ubc.ca

    2006-10-10

    The International Caenorhabditis elegans Experiment First Flight (ICE-First) was a project using C. elegans as a model organism to study the biological effects of short duration spaceflight (11 days in the International Space Station). As a member of the ICE-First research team, our group focused on the mutational effects of spaceflight. Several approaches were taken to measure mutational changes that occurred during the spaceflight including measurement of the integrity of poly-G/poly-C tracts, determination of the mutation frequency in the unc-22 gene, analysis of lethal mutations captured by the genetic balancer eT1(III;V), and identification of alterations in telomere length. By comparing the efficiency, sensitivity, and convenience of these methods, we deduced that the eT1 balancer system is well-suited for capturing, maintaining and recovering mutational events that occur over several generations during spaceflight. In the course of this experiment, we have extended the usefulness of the eT1 balancer system by identifying the physical breakpoints of the eT1 translocation and have developed a PCR assay to follow the eT1 chromosomes. C. elegans animals were grown in a defined liquid media during the spaceflight. This is the first analysis of genetic changes in C. elegans grown in the defined media. Although no significant difference in mutation rate was detected between spaceflight and control samples, which is not surprising given the short duration of the spaceflight, we demonstrate here the utility of worms as an integrating biological dosimeter for spaceflight.

  16. Transfer characteristics of a thermosensory synapse in Caenorhabditis elegans

    OpenAIRE

    Narayan, Anusha; Laurent, Gilles; Sternberg, Paul W.

    2011-01-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans is a compact, attractive system for neural circuit analysis. An understanding of the functional dynamics of neural computation requires physiological analyses. We undertook the characterization of transfer at a central synapse in C. elegans by combining optical stimulation of targeted neurons with electrophysiological recordings. We show that the synapse between AFD and AIY, the first stage in the thermotactic circuit, exhibits excitatory, tonic, and graded release. We...

  17. The evolutionary duplication and probable demise of an endodermal GATA factor in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    OpenAIRE

    Fukushige, Tetsunari; Goszczynski, Barbara; Tian, Helen; McGhee, James D

    2003-01-01

    We describe the elt-4 gene from the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. elt-4 is predicted to encode a very small (72 residues, 8.1 kD) GATA-type zinc finger transcription factor. The elt-4 gene is located approximately 5 kb upstream of the C. elegans elt-2 gene, which also encodes a GATA-type transcription factor; the zinc finger DNA-binding domains are highly conserved (24/25 residues) between the two proteins. The elt-2 gene is expressed only in the intestine and is essential for normal intes...

  18. Mutations in the Caenorhabditis elegans let-23 EGFR-like gene define elements important for cell-type specificity and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aroian, R V; Lesa, G M; Sternberg, P W

    1994-01-01

    The Caenorhabditis elegans let-23 gene is a genetically characterized member of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase family. Mutations in let-23 can produce five phenotypes in the nematode. Alleles of let-23 include null alleles, reduction-of-function alleles and alleles that disrupt function in some cell types and not others. We have sequenced some of these mutations to identify sequences and regions important for overall let-23 function and for let-23 function in specific cell types. Our data indicate that in vivo, the receptor's C-terminus can be partitioned into at least three domains that each contribute to receptor function in different cell types. In particular, we find distinct domains that mediate hermaphrodite fertility and vulval induction. Our data also demonstrate for the first time that a single, conserved residue in the ligand binding domain is critical for function in vivo and that mutations in the extracellular cysteines characteristic of the EGFR family can lead to a partial or a complete reduction of receptor function. Images PMID:8313880

  19. Translational control in the Caenorhabditis elegans germ line.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nousch, Marco; Eckmann, Christian R

    2013-01-01

    Translational control is a prevalent form of gene expression regulation in the Caenorhabditis elegans germ line. Linking the amount of protein synthesis to mRNA quantity and translational accessibility in the cell cytoplasm provides unique advantages over DNA-based controls for developing germ cells. This mode of gene expression is especially exploited in germ cell fate decisions and during oogenesis, when the developing oocytes stockpile hundreds of different mRNAs required for early embryogenesis. Consequently, a dense web of RNA regulators, consisting of diverse RNA-binding proteins and RNA-modifying enzymes, control the translatability of entire mRNA expression programs. These RNA regulatory networks are tightly coupled to germ cell developmental progression and are themselves under translational control. The underlying molecular mechanisms and RNA codes embedded in the mRNA molecules are beginning to be understood. Hence, the C. elegans germ line offers fertile grounds for discovering post-transcriptional mRNA regulatory mechanisms and emerges as great model for a systems level understanding of translational control during development.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sabine P Schrimpf

    2009-03-01

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

  1. Single-copy insertion of transgenes in Caenorhabditis elegans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frøkjaer-Jensen, Christian; Davis, M Wayne; Hopkins, Christopher E;

    2008-01-01

    At present, transgenes in Caenorhabditis elegans are generated by injecting DNA into the germline. The DNA assembles into a semistable extrachromosomal array composed of many copies of injected DNA. These transgenes are typically overexpressed in somatic cells and silenced in the germline. We have...

  2. 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…

  3. 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...

  4. Functional transcriptomics of a migrating cell in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwarz, Erich M; Kato, Mihoko; Sternberg, Paul W

    2012-10-02

    In both metazoan development and metastatic cancer, migrating cells must carry out a detailed, complex program of sensing cues, binding substrates, and moving their cytoskeletons. The linker cell in Caenorhabditis elegans males undergoes a stereotyped migration that guides gonad organogenesis, occurs with precise timing, and requires the nuclear hormone receptor NHR-67. To better understand how this occurs, we performed RNA-seq of individually staged and dissected linker cells, comparing transcriptomes from linker cells of third-stage (L3) larvae, fourth-stage (L4) larvae, and nhr-67-RNAi-treated L4 larvae. We observed expression of 8,000-10,000 genes in the linker cell, 22-25% of which were up- or down-regulated 20-fold during development by NHR-67. Of genes that we tested by RNAi, 22% (45 of 204) were required for normal shape and migration, suggesting that many NHR-67-dependent, linker cell-enriched genes play roles in this migration. One unexpected class of genes up-regulated by NHR-67 was tandem pore potassium channels, which are required for normal linker-cell migration. We also found phenotypes for genes with human orthologs but no previously described migratory function. Our results provide an extensive catalog of genes that act in a migrating cell, identify unique molecular functions involved in nematode cell migration, and suggest similar functions in humans.

  5. A small temperature rise may contribute towards the apparent induction by microwaves of heat-shock gene expression in the nematode Caenorhabditis Elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawe, Adam S; Smith, Brette; Thomas, David W P; Greedy, Steve; Vasic, Nebojsa; Gregory, Andrew; Loader, Benjamin; de Pomerai, David I

    2006-02-01

    We have previously reported that low intensity microwave exposure (0.75-1.0 GHz CW at 0.5 W; SAR 4-40 mW/kg) can induce an apparently non-thermal heat-shock response in Caenorhabditis elegans worms carrying hsp16-1::reporter genes. Using matched copper TEM cells for both sham and exposed groups, we can detect only modest reporter induction in the latter exposed group (15-20% after 2.5 h at 26 degrees C, rising to approximately 50% after 20 h). Traceable calibration of our copper TEM cell by the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) reveals significant power loss within the cell (8.5% at 1.0 GHz), accompanied by slight heating of exposed samples (approximately 0.3 degrees C at 1.0 W). Thus, exposed samples are in fact slightly warmer (by microwaves (1.0 GHz and 0.5 W) in the silver-plated cell also show no detectable induction of reporter expression relative to sham controls in the copper cell. Thus, the 20% "microwave induction" observed using two copper cells may be caused by a small temperature difference between sham and exposed conditions. In worms incubated for 2.5 h at 26.0, 26.2, and 27.0 degrees C with no microwave field, there is a consistent and significant increase in reporter expression between 26.0 and 26.2 degrees C (by approximately 20% in each of the six independent runs), but paradoxically expression levels at 27.0 degrees C are similar to those seen at 26.0 degrees C. This surprising result is in line with other evidence pointing towards complex regulation of hsp16-1 gene expression across the sub-heat-shock range of 25-27.5 degrees C in C. elegans. We conclude that our original interpretation of a non-thermal effect of microwaves cannot be sustained; at least part of the explanation appears to be thermal.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Intestinal autophagy activity is essential for host defense against Salmonella typhimurium infection in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curt, Alexander; Zhang, Jiuli; Minnerly, Justin; Jia, Kailiang

    2014-08-01

    Salmonella typhimurium infects both intestinal epithelial cells and macrophages. Autophagy is a lysosomal degradation pathway that is present in all eukaryotes. Autophagy has been reported to limit the Salmonella replication in Caenorhabditis elegans and in mammals. However, it is unknown whether intestinal autophagy activity plays a role in host defense against Salmonella infection in C. elegans. In this study, we inhibited the autophagy gene bec-1 in different C. elegans tissues and examined the survival of these animals following Salmonella infection. Here we show that inhibition of the bec-1 gene in the intestine but not in other tissues confers susceptibility to Salmonella infection, which is consistent with recent studies in mice showing that autophagy is involved in clearance of Salmonella in the intestinal epithelial cells. Therefore, the intestinal autophagy activity is essential for host defense against Salmonella infection from C. elegans to mice, perhaps also in humans.

  10. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  12. TILLING is an effective reverse genetics technique for Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Zetka Monique C

    2006-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background TILLING (Targeting Induced Local Lesions in Genomes is a reverse genetic technique based on the use of a mismatch-specific enzyme that identifies mutations in a target gene through heteroduplex analysis. We tested this technique in Caenorhabditis elegans, a model organism in which genomics tools have been well developed, but limitations in reverse genetics have restricted the number of heritable mutations that have been identified. Results To determine whether TILLING represents an effective reverse genetic strategy for C. elegans we generated an EMS-mutagenised population of approximately 1500 individuals and screened for mutations in 10 genes. A total of 71 mutations were identified by TILLING, providing multiple mutant alleles for every gene tested. Some of the mutations identified are predicted to be silent, either because they are in non-coding DNA or because they affect the third bp of a codon which does not change the amino acid encoded by that codon. However, 59% of the mutations identified are missense alleles resulting in a change in one of the amino acids in the protein product of the gene, and 3% are putative null alleles which are predicted to eliminate gene function. We compared the types of mutation identified by TILLING with those previously reported from forward EMS screens and found that 96% of TILLING mutations were G/C-to-A/T transitions, a rate significantly higher than that found in forward genetic screens where transversions and deletions were also observed. The mutation rate we achieved was 1/293 kb, which is comparable to the mutation rate observed for TILLING in other organisms. Conclusion We conclude that TILLING is an effective and cost-efficient reverse genetics tool in C. elegans. It complements other reverse genetic techniques in this organism, can provide an allelic series of mutations for any locus and does not appear to have any bias in terms of gene size or location. For eight of the 10

  13. 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.

  14. The draft genome sequence of the nematode Caenorhabditis briggsae, a companion to C. elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gupta, Bhagwati P; Sternberg, Paul W

    2003-01-01

    The publication of the draft genome sequence of Caenorhabditis briggsae improves the annotation of the genome of its close relative Caenorhabditis elegans and will facilitate comparative genomics and the study of the evolutionary changes during development.

  15. 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.

  16. Communication between oocytes and somatic cells regulates volatile pheromone production in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leighton, Daniel H W; Choe, Andrea; Wu, Shannon Y; Sternberg, Paul W

    2014-12-16

    Males of the androdioecious species Caenorhabditis elegans are more likely to attempt to mate with and successfully inseminate C. elegans hermaphrodites that do not concurrently harbor sperm. Although a small number of genes have been implicated in this effect, the mechanism by which it arises remains unknown. In the context of the battle of the sexes, it is also unknown whether this effect is to the benefit of the male, the hermaphrodite, or both. We report that successful contact between mature sperm and oocyte in the C. elegans gonad at the start of fertilization causes the oocyte to release a signal that is transmitted to somatic cells in its mother, with the ultimate effect of reducing her attractiveness to males. Changes in hermaphrodite attractiveness are tied to the production of a volatile pheromone, the first such pheromone described in C. elegans.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmie Puckett Robinson

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: 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. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: 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. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: 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

  19. Muscle-specific splicing factors ASD-2 and SUP-12 cooperatively switch alternative pre-mRNA processing patterns of the ADF/cofilin gene in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Genta Ohno

    Full Text Available Pre-mRNAs are often processed in complex patterns in tissue-specific manners to produce a variety of protein isoforms from single genes. However, mechanisms orchestrating the processing of the entire transcript are not well understood. Muscle-specific alternative pre-mRNA processing of the unc-60 gene in Caenorhabditis elegans, encoding two tissue-specific isoforms of ADF/cofilin with distinct biochemical properties in regulating actin organization, provides an excellent in vivo model of complex and tissue-specific pre-mRNA processing; it consists of a single first exon and two separate series of downstream exons. Here we visualize the complex muscle-specific processing pattern of the unc-60 pre-mRNA with asymmetric fluorescence reporter minigenes. By disrupting juxtaposed CUAAC repeats and UGUGUG stretch in intron 1A, we demonstrate that these elements are required for retaining intron 1A, as well as for switching the processing patterns of the entire pre-mRNA from non-muscle-type to muscle-type. Mutations in genes encoding muscle-specific RNA-binding proteins ASD-2 and SUP-12 turned the colour of the unc-60 reporter worms. ASD-2 and SUP-12 proteins specifically and cooperatively bind to CUAAC repeats and UGUGUG stretch in intron 1A, respectively, to form a ternary complex in vitro. Immunohistochemical staining and RT-PCR analyses demonstrate that ASD-2 and SUP-12 are also required for switching the processing patterns of the endogenous unc-60 pre-mRNA from UNC-60A to UNC-60B in muscles. Furthermore, systematic analyses of partially spliced RNAs reveal the actual orders of intron removal for distinct mRNA isoforms. Taken together, our results demonstrate that muscle-specific splicing factors ASD-2 and SUP-12 cooperatively promote muscle-specific processing of the unc-60 gene, and provide insight into the mechanisms of complex pre-mRNA processing; combinatorial regulation of a single splice site by two tissue-specific splicing regulators

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Sandeep; Dietrich, Nicholas; Kornfeld, Kerry

    2016-02-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1979-10-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. A Tissue-Specific Approach to the Analysis of Metabolic Changes in Caenorhabditis elegans

    OpenAIRE

    Jürgen Hench; Ivana Bratić Hench; Claire Pujol; Sabine Ipsen; Susanne Brodesser; Arnaud Mourier; Markus Tolnay; Stephan Frank; Aleksandra Trifunović

    2011-01-01

    The majority of metabolic principles are evolutionarily conserved from nematodes to humans. Caenorhabditis elegans has widely accelerated the discovery of new genes important to maintain organismic metabolic homeostasis. Various methods exist to assess the metabolic state in worms, yet they often require large animal numbers and tend to be performed as bulk analyses of whole worm homogenates, thereby largely precluding a detailed studies of metabolic changes in specific worm tissues. Here, we...

  4. Dietary Supplementation of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Caenorhabditis elegans

    OpenAIRE

    Deline, Marshall L.; Vrablik, Tracy L.; Watts, Jennifer L.

    2013-01-01

    Fatty acids are essential for numerous cellular functions. They serve as efficient energy storage molecules, make up the hydrophobic core of membranes, and participate in various signaling pathways. Caenorhabditis elegans synthesizes all of the enzymes necessary to produce a range of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. This, combined with the simple anatomy and range of available genetic tools, make it an attractive model to study fatty acid function. In order to investigate the genetic pathways...

  5. 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.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  6. Development of Caenorhabditis elegans pharynx, with emphasis on its nervous system

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Marc PILON; Catarina M(O)RCK

    2005-01-01

    The Caenorhabditis elegans pharynx is a neuromuscular tube of which the function is to pump and crush bacteria, and inject them into the intestine. The 80-cell pharynx develops via the morphogenesis and differentiation of the cells that compose its semi-spherical primordium, and requires the activity of several evolutionarily conserved genes, such as pha-4 (the homolog to the Drosophilaforkhead and vertebrate FoxA), ceh-22 (the homolog to the Drosophila tinman and verte brate Nkx2.5), and pha-2 (the homolog to the vertebrate Hex). There are 20 neurons in the pharynx, each with a reproducible unique trajectory. Developmental genetic analysis of axon guidance in the pharynx indicates that some axon trajectories are in part established without growth cones, whereas other parts necessitate growth cone function and guidance. Here we provide an overview of the developmental genetics of the Caenorhabditis elegans pharynx, with an emphasis on its nervous system.

  7. 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.

  8. Mitochondrial modulation of phosphine toxicity and resistance in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zuryn, Steven; Kuang, Jujiao; Ebert, Paul

    2008-03-01

    Phosphine is a fumigant used to protect stored commodities from infestation by pest insects, though high-level phosphine resistance in many insect species threatens the continued use of the fumigant. The mechanisms of toxicity and resistance are not clearly understood. In this study, the model organism, Caenorhabditis elegans, was employed to investigate the effects of phosphine on its proposed in vivo target, the mitochondrion. We found that phosphine rapidly perturbs mitochondrial morphology, inhibits oxidative respiration by 70%, and causes a severe drop in mitochondrial membrane potential (DeltaPsim) within 5 h of exposure. We then examined the phosphine-resistant strain of nematode, pre-33, to determine whether resistance was associated with any changes to mitochondrial physiology. Oxygen consumption was reduced by 70% in these mutant animals, which also had more mitochondrial genome copies than wild-type animals, a common response to reduced metabolic capacity. The mutant also had an unexpected increase in the basal DeltaPsim, which protected individuals from collapse of the membrane potential following phosphine treatment. We tested whether directly manipulating mitochondrial function could influence sensitivity toward phosphine and found that suppression of mitochondrial respiratory chain genes caused up to 10-fold increase in phosphine resistance. The current study confirms that phosphine targets the mitochondria and also indicates that direct alteration of mitochondrial function may be related to phosphine resistance.

  9. A metabolic signature of long life in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  10. 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

  11. Live-cell imaging of mitosis in Caenorhabditis elegans embryos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powers, James A

    2010-06-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans is a wonderful model system for live imaging studies of mitosis. A huge collection of research tools is readily available to facilitate experimentation. For imaging, C. elegans embryos provide large clear cells, an invariant pattern of cell division, only six chromosomes, a very short cell cycle, and remain healthy and happy at room temperature. Mitosis is a complicated process and the types of research questions being asked about the mechanisms involved are continuously expanding. For each experiment, the details of imaging methods need to be tailored to the question. Specific imaging methods will depend on the microscopy hardware and software available to each researcher. This article presents points to consider when choosing a microscope, designing an imaging experiment, or selecting appropriate worm strains for imaging. A method for mounting C. elegans embryos and guidelines for fluorescence and differential interference contrast imaging of mitosis in live embryos are presented.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

    As we seek to recognize the opportunities of advanced aerospace technologies and spaceflight, it is increasingly important to understand the impacts of hypergravity, defined as gravitational forces greater than those present on the earth's surface. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has been established as a powerful model to study the effects of altered gravity regimens and has displayed remarkable resilience to space travel. In this study, we investigate the effects of short-term and defined hypergravity exposure on C. elegans motility, brood size, pharyngeal pumping rates, and lifespan. The results from this study advance our understanding of the effects of shorter durations of exposure to increased gravitational forces on C. elegans, and also contribute to the growing body of literature on the impacts of altered gravity regimens on earth's life forms.

  13. Transfer characteristics of a thermosensory synapse in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narayan, Anusha; Laurent, Gilles; Sternberg, Paul W

    2011-06-07

    Caenorhabditis elegans is a compact, attractive system for neural circuit analysis. An understanding of the functional dynamics of neural computation requires physiological analyses. We undertook the characterization of transfer at a central synapse in C. elegans by combining optical stimulation of targeted neurons with electrophysiological recordings. We show that the synapse between AFD and AIY, the first stage in the thermotactic circuit, exhibits excitatory, tonic, and graded release. We measured the linear range of the input-output curve and estimate the static synaptic gain as 0.056 (<0.1). Release showed no obvious facilitation or depression. Transmission at this synapse is peptidergic. The AFD/AIY synapse thus seems to have evolved for reliable transmission of a scaled-down temperature signal from AFD, enabling AIY to monitor and integrate temperature with other sensory input. Combining optogenetics with electrophysiology is a powerful way to analyze C. elegans' neural function.

  14. Caenorhabditis elegans lin-35/Rb, efl-1/E2F and other synthetic multivulva genes negatively regulate the anaphase-promoting complex gene mat-3/APC8.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garbe, David; Doto, Jeffrey B; Sundaram, Meera V

    2004-06-01

    Retinoblastoma (Rb)/E2F complexes repress expression of many genes important for G(1)-to-S transition, but also appear to regulate gene expression at other stages of the cell cycle. In C. elegans, lin-35/Rb and other synthetic Multivulva (SynMuv) group B genes function redundantly with other sets of genes to regulate G(1)/S progression, vulval and pharyngeal differentiation, and other unknown processes required for viability. Here we show that lin-35/Rb, efl-1/E2F, and other SynMuv B genes negatively regulate a component of the anaphase-promoting complex or cyclosome (APC/C). The APC/C is a multisubunit complex that promotes metaphase-to-anaphase progression and G(1) arrest by targeting different substrates for ubiquitination and proteasome-mediated destruction. The C. elegans APC/C gene mat-3/APC8 has been defined by temperature-sensitive embryonic lethal alleles that strongly affect germline meiosis and mitosis but only weakly affect somatic development. We describe severe nonconditional mat-3 alleles and a hypomorphic viable allele (ku233), all of which affect postembryonic cell divisions including those of the vulval lineage. The ku233 lesion is located outside of the mat-3 coding region and reduces mat-3 mRNA expression. Loss-of-function alleles of lin-35/Rb and other SynMuv B genes suppress mat-3(ku233) defects by restoring mat-3 mRNA to wild-type levels. Therefore, Rb/E2F complexes appear to repress mat-3 expression.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaplan, Fatma; Badri, Dayakar V; Zachariah, Cherian; Ajredini, Ramadan; Sandoval, Francisco J; Roje, Sanja; Levine, Lanfang H; Zhang, Fengli; Robinette, Steven L; Alborn, Hans T; Zhao, Wei; Stadler, Michael; Nimalendran, Rathika; Dossey, Aaron T; Brüschweiler, Rafael; Vivanco, Jorge M; Edison, Arthur S

    2009-08-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans, a bacterivorous nematode, lives in complex rotting fruit, soil, and compost environments, and chemical interactions are required for mating, monitoring population density, recognition of food, avoidance of pathogenic microbes, and other essential ecological functions. Despite being one of the best-studied model organisms in biology, relatively little is known about the signals that C. elegans uses to interact chemically with its environment or as defense. C. elegans exudates were analyzed by using several analytical methods and found to contain 36 common metabolites that include organic acids, amino acids, and sugars, all in relatively high abundance. Furthermore, the concentrations of amino acids in the exudates were dependent on developmental stage. The C. elegans exudates were tested for bacterial chemotaxis using Pseudomonas putida (KT2440), a plant growth promoting rhizobacterium, Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PAO1), a soil bacterium pathogenic to C. elegans, and Escherichia coli (OP50), a non-motile bacterium tested as a control. The C. elegans exudates attracted the two Pseudomonas species, but had no detectable antibacterial activity against P. aeruginosa. To our surprise, the exudates of young adult and adult life stages of C. elegans exudates inhibited quorum sensing in the reporter system based on the LuxR bacterial quorum sensing (QS) system, which regulates bacterial virulence and other factors in Vibrio fischeri. We were able to fractionate the QS inhibition and bacterial chemotaxis activities, thus demonstrating that these activities are chemically distinct. Our results demonstrate that C. elegans can attract its bacterial food and has the potential of partially regulating the virulence of bacterial pathogens by inhibiting specific QS systems.

  16. Elucidating the Mechanism of Weissella-dependent Lifespan Extension in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jiyun; Kwon, Gayeung; Lim, Young-Hee

    2015-11-25

    The mechanism whereby lactic acid bacteria extend the lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans has previously been elucidated. However, the role of Weissella species has yet not been studied. We show that Weissella koreensis and Weissella cibaria significantly (p OP50 and induce the expression of several genes related to lifespan extension (daf-16, aak-2, jnk-1, sod-3 and hif-1). Oral administration of Weissella altered reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and lowered the accumulation of lipofuscin and increased locomotor activity (which translates to a delay in ageing). Moreover, Weissella-fed C. elegans had decreased body sizes, brood sizes, ATP levels and pharyngeal pumping rates compared with E. coli OP50-fed worms. Furthermore, mutations in sod-3, hif-1 or skn-1 did not alter lifespan extension compared with wild-type C. elegans. However, C. elegans failed to display lifespan extension in loss-of-function mutants of daf-16, aak-2 and jnk-1, which highlights the potential role of these genes in Weissella-induced longevity in C. elegans. Weissella species extend C. elegans lifespan by activating DAF-16 via the c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) pathway, which is related to stress response, and the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK)-pathway that is activated by dietary restriction.

  17. Killing of Caenorhabditis elegans by Cryptococcus neoformans as a model of yeast pathogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mylonakis, Eleftherios; Ausubel, Frederick M; Perfect, John R; Heitman, Joseph; Calderwood, Stephen B

    2002-11-26

    We found that the well-studied nematode Caenorhabditis elegans can use various yeasts, including Cryptococcus laurentii and Cryptococcus kuetzingii, as a sole source of food, producing similar brood sizes compared with growth on its usual laboratory food source Escherichia coli OP50. C. elegans grown on these yeasts had a life span similar to (C. laurentii) or longer than (C. kuetzingii) those fed on E. coli. However, the human pathogenic yeast Cryptococcus neoformans killed C. elegans, and the C. neoformans polysaccharide capsule as well as several C. neoformans genes previously shown to be involved in mammalian virulence were also shown to play a role in C. elegans killing. These included genes associated with signal transduction pathways (GPA1, PKA1, PKR1, and RAS1), laccase production (LAC1), and the alpha mating type. C. neoformans adenine auxotrophs, which are less virulent in mammals, were also less virulent in C. elegans. These results support the model that mammalian pathogenesis of C. neoformans may be a consequence of adaptations that have evolved during the interaction of C. neoformans with environmental predators such as free-living nematodes and amoebae and suggest that C. elegans can be used as a simple model host in which C. neoformans pathogenesis can be readily studied.

  18. 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.

  19. 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 ASJ

  20. 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.

  1. Caenorhabditis elegans swimming in a saturated particulate system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jung, Sunghwan

    2010-03-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) is a nematode that often swims in saturated soil in nature. We investigated the locomotive behavior of C. elegans swimming in a fluid with particles of various sizes and found that the nematode swims a greater distance per undulation than it does in a fluid without particles. The Strouhal number (a ratio of lateral to forward velocity) of C. elegans significantly decreases in a saturated particulate medium (0.50±0.13) in comparison to a fluid without particles (1.6±0.27). This result was unexpected due to the generally low performance of a body moving in a high drag medium. In our model, a saturated granular system is approximated as a porous medium where only the hydrodynamic forces on the body are considered. Combining these assumptions with resistive force theory, we find that a porous medium provides more asymmetric drag on a slender body, and consequently that C. elegans locomotes with a greater distance per undulation.

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

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    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.

  3. Anthelmintic drugs and nematicides: studies in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holden-Dye, Lindy; Walker, Robert J

    2014-12-16

    Parasitic nematodes infect many species of animals throughout the phyla, including humans. Moreover, nematodes that parasitise plants are a global problem for agriculture. As such, these nematodes place a major burden on human health, on livestock production, on the welfare of companion animals and on crop production. In the 21st century there are two major challenges posed by the wide-spread prevalence of parasitic nematodes. First, many anthelmintic drugs are losing their effectiveness because nematode strains with resistance are emerging. Second, serious concerns regarding the environmental impact of the nematicides used for crop protection have prompted legislation to remove them from use, leaving agriculture at increased risk from nematode pests. There is clearly a need for a concerted effort to address these challenges. Over the last few decades the free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has provided the opportunity to use molecular genetic techniques for mode of action studies for anthelmintics and nematicides. These approaches continue to be of considerable value. Less fruitful so far, but nonetheless potentially very useful, has been the direct use of C. elegans for anthelmintic and nematicide discovery programmes. Here we provide an introduction to the use of C. elegans as a 'model' parasitic nematode, briefly review the study of nematode control using C. elegans and highlight approaches that have been of particular value with a view to facilitating wider-use of C. elegans as a platform for anthelmintic and nematicide discovery and development.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. A fucose containing polymer-rich fraction from the brown alga Ascophyllum nodosum mediates lifespan increase and thermal-tolerance in Caenorhabditis elegans, by differential effects on gene and protein expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kandasamy, Saveetha; Khan, Wajahatullah; Evans, Franklin D; Critchley, Alan T; Zhang, Junzeng; Fitton, J H; Stringer, Damien N; Gardiner, Vicki-Anne; Prithiviraj, Balakrishnan

    2014-02-01

    The extracts of the brown alga, Ascophyllum nodosum, which contains several bioactive compounds, have been shown to impart biotic and abiotic stress tolerance properties when consumed by animals. However, the physiological, biochemical and molecular mechanism underlying such effects remain elusive. We investigated the effect of A. nodosum fucose-containing polymer (FCP) on tolerance to thermally induced stress using the invertebrate animal model, Caenorhabditis elegans. FCP at a concentration of 150 μg mL(-1) significantly improved the life span and tolerance against thermally induced stress in C. elegans. The treatment increased the C. elegans survival by approximately 24%, when the animals were under severe thermally induced stress (i.e. 35 °C) and 27% under mild stress (i.e. 30 °C) conditions. The FCP induced differential expression of genes and proteins is associated with stress response pathways. Under thermal stress, FCP treatment significantly altered the expression of 65 proteins (54 up-regulated & 11 down-regulated). Putative functional analysis of FCP-induced differential proteins signified an association of altered proteins in stress-related molecular and biochemical pathways of the model worm.

  7. Effects of Monocrotophos on the mRNA Expression of Stress-Related Genes of Caenorhabditis elegans%久效磷对秀丽隐杆线虫(Caenorhabditis elegans)胁迫相关基因mRNA表达的影响

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    田雨; 汝少国

    2012-01-01

    研究了久效磷( Monocrotophos,MCP)对秀丽隐杆线虫(Caenorhabditis elegans)胁迫相关基因mRNA表达的影响.结果表明久效磷暴露能够导致hsp-16.41、hsp-70、cyp-35a2、vit-2、vit-6和age-1基因表达量显著升高,cep-1、ape-1、sod-1、sod-3、ctl-2、ctl-3、gst-1、daf-12和daf-21基因表达量显著降低,对hsp-16.2、mtl-1和mtl-2基因表达量无显著影响.通过主成分分析发现,久效磷主要影响hsp-70、ctl-2、ctl-3、vit-2、cep-1和age-1基因表达,这些基因可作为久效磷毒性效应的敏感分子生物标志物.%Effects of monocrotophos (MCP) on the mRNA expression of stress-related genes of Cae-norhabditis elegans were investigated in this research. Treatment with MCP resulted in significant increases of hsp-16. 41, hsp-70, cyp-35a2, vit-2, vit-6 and age-1 mRNA expressions, significant decreases of cep-l, ape-1, sod-1, sod-3, ctl-2, ctl-3, gst-1, daf-12 and daf-21 mRNA expressions, and indistinctive changes of hsp-16. 2, mtl-1 and mtl-2 mRNA expressions. Principal component analysis indicated that MCP mainly influences mRNA expressions of hsp-70, ctl-2, ctl-3, vit-2, cep-l and age-1 genes, which therefore could serve as sensitive molecular biomarkers for the toxicity of MCP.

  8. 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

  9. OSM-11 facilitates LIN-12 Notch signaling during Caenorhabditis elegans vulval development.

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    Hidetoshi Komatsu

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available Notch signaling is critical for cell fate decisions during development. Caenorhabditis elegans and vertebrate Notch ligands are more diverse than classical Drosophila Notch ligands, suggesting possible functional complexities. Here, we describe a developmental role in Notch signaling for OSM-11, which has been previously implicated in defecation and osmotic resistance in C. elegans. We find that complete loss of OSM-11 causes defects in vulval precursor cell (VPC fate specification during vulval development consistent with decreased Notch signaling. OSM-11 is a secreted, diffusible protein that, like previously described C. elegans Delta, Serrate, and LAG-2 (DSL ligands, can interact with the lineage defective-12 (LIN-12 Notch receptor extracellular domain. Additionally, OSM-11 and similar C. elegans proteins share a common motif with Notch ligands from other species in a sequence defined here as the Delta and OSM-11 (DOS motif. osm-11 loss-of-function defects in vulval development are exacerbated by loss of other DOS-motif genes or by loss of the Notch ligand DSL-1, suggesting that DOS-motif and DSL proteins act together to activate Notch signaling in vivo. The mammalian DOS-motif protein Deltalike1 (DLK1 can substitute for OSM-11 in C. elegans development, suggesting that DOS-motif function is conserved across species. We hypothesize that C. elegans OSM-11 and homologous proteins act as coactivators for Notch receptors, allowing precise regulation of Notch receptor signaling in developmental programs in both vertebrates and invertebrates.

  10. Monascus-fermented dioscorea enhances oxidative stress resistance via DAF-16/FOXO in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Yeu-Ching Shi

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Monascus-fermented products are mentioned in an ancient Chinese pharmacopoeia of medicinal food and herbs. Monascus-fermented products offer valuable therapeutic benefits and have been extensively used in East Asia for several centuries. Several biological activities of Monascus-fermented products were recently described, and the extract of Monascus-fermented products showed strong antioxidant activity of scavenging DPPH radicals. To evaluate whether Monascus-fermented dioscorea products have potential as nutritional supplements, Monascus-fermented dioscorea's modulation of oxidative-stress resistance and associated regulatory mechanisms in Caenorhabditis elegans were investigated. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We examined oxidative stress resistance of the ethanol extract of red mold dioscorea (RMDE in C. elegans, and found that RMDE-treated wild-type C. elegans showed an increased survival during juglone-induced oxidative stress compared to untreated controls, whereas the antioxidant phenotype was absent from a daf-16 mutant. In addition, the RMDE reduced the level of intracellular reactive oxygen species in C. elegans. Finally, the RMDE affected the subcellular distribution of the FOXO transcription factor, DAF-16, in C. elegans and induced the expression of the sod-3 antioxidative gene. CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that the RMDE acts as an antioxidative stress agent and thus may have potential as a nutritional supplement. Further studies in C. elegans suggest that the antioxidant effect of RMDE is mediated via regulation of the DAF-16/FOXO-dependent pathway.

  11. 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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Intracellular Assessment of ATP Levels in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palikaras, Konstantinos; Tavernarakis, Nektarios

    2017-01-01

    Eukaryotic cells heavily depend on adenosine triphosphate (ATP) generated by oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) within mitochondria. ATP is the major energy currency molecule, which fuels cell to carry out numerous processes, including growth, differentiation, transportation and cell death among others (Khakh and Burnstock, 2009). Therefore, ATP levels can serve as a metabolic gauge for cellular homeostasis and survival (Artal-Sanz and Tavernarakis, 2009; Gomes et al., 2011; Palikaras et al., 2015). In this protocol, we describe a method for the determination of intracellular ATP levels using a bioluminescence approach in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. PMID:28194429

  15. Illuminating neural circuits and behaviour in Caenorhabditis elegans with optogenetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang-Yen, Christopher; Alkema, Mark J; Samuel, Aravinthan D T

    2015-09-19

    The development of optogenetics, a family of methods for using light to control neural activity via light-sensitive proteins, has provided a powerful new set of tools for neurobiology. These techniques have been particularly fruitful for dissecting neural circuits and behaviour in the compact and transparent roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans. Researchers have used optogenetic reagents to manipulate numerous excitable cell types in the worm, from sensory neurons, to interneurons, to motor neurons and muscles. Here, we show how optogenetics applied to this transparent roundworm has contributed to our understanding of neural circuits.

  16. Stochastic left-right neuronal asymmetry in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alqadah, Amel; Hsieh, Yi-Wen; Xiong, Rui; Chuang, Chiou-Fen

    2016-12-19

    Left-right asymmetry in the nervous system is observed across species. Defects in left-right cerebral asymmetry are linked to several neurological diseases, but the molecular mechanisms underlying brain asymmetry in vertebrates are still not very well understood. The Caenorhabditis elegans left and right amphid wing 'C' (AWC) olfactory neurons communicate through intercellular calcium signalling in a transient embryonic gap junction neural network to specify two asymmetric subtypes, AWC(OFF) (default) and AWC(ON) (induced), in a stochastic manner. Here, we highlight the molecular mechanisms that establish and maintain stochastic AWC asymmetry. As the components of the AWC asymmetry pathway are highly conserved, insights from the model organism C. elegans may provide a window onto how brain asymmetry develops in humans.This article is part of the themed issue 'Provocative questions in left-right asymmetry'.

  17. Dietary and microbiome factors determine longevity in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez-Blanco, Adolfo; Rodríguez-Matellán, Alberto; González-Paramás, Ana; González-Manzano, Susana; Kim, Stuart K.; Mollinedo, Faustino

    2016-01-01

    Diet composition affects organismal health. Nutrient uptake depends on the microbiome. Caenorhabditis elegans fed a Bacillus subtilis diet live longer than those fed the standard Escherichia coli diet. Here we report that this longevity difference is primarily caused by dietary coQ, an antioxidant synthesized by E. coli but not by B. subtilis. CoQ-supplemented E. coli fed worms have a lower oxidation state yet live shorter than coQ-less B. subtilis fed worms. We showed that mutations affecting longevity for E. coli fed worms do not always lead to similar effects when worms are fed B. subtilis. We propose that coQ supplementation by the E. coli diet alters the worm cellular REDOX homeostasis, thus decreasing longevity. Our results highlight the importance of microbiome factors in longevity, argue that antioxidant supplementation can be detrimental, and suggest that the C. elegans standard E. coli diet can alter the effect of signaling pathways on longevity. PMID:27510225

  18. X-ray inactivation of Caenorhabditis elegans embryos or larvae

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ishi, N.; Suzuki, K. (Tokai Univ., Isehara, Kanagawa (Japan). School of Medicine)

    1990-11-01

    The lethal effects of X-irradiation were examined in staged populations of Caenorhabditis elegans embryos or larvae. Radiation resistance decreased slightly throughout the first, proliferative phase of embryogenesis. This might be due to the increase in target size, since most cells in C. elegans are autonomously determined. Animals irradiated in the second half of embryogenesis were about 40-fold more resistant to the lethal effects of X-rays. This is probably due to the absence of cell divisions during this time. The radiation resistance increased still more with advancing larval stages. A radiation hypersensitive mutant, rad-1, irradiated in the first half of embryogenesis, is about 30-fold more sensitive than wild-type, but in the second half it is the same as wild-type. (author).

  19. Toxic-selenium and low-selenium transcriptomes in Caenorhabditis elegans: toxic selenium up-regulates oxidoreductase and down-regulates cuticle-associated genes.

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    Christopher J Boehler

    Full Text Available Selenium (Se is an element that in trace quantities is both essential in mammals but also toxic to bacteria, yeast, plants and animals, including C. elegans. Our previous studies showed that selenite was four times as toxic as selenate to C. elegans, but that deletion of thioredoxin reductase did not modulate Se toxicity. To characterize Se regulation of the full transcriptome, we conducted a microarray study in C. elegans cultured in axenic media supplemented with 0, 0.05, 0.1, 0.2, and 0.4 mM Se as selenite. C. elegans cultured in 0.2 and 0.4 mM Se displayed a significant delay in growth as compared to 0, 0.05, or 0.1 mM Se, indicating Se-induced toxicity, so worms were staged to mid-L4 larval stage for these studies. Relative to 0.1 mM Se treatment, culturing C. elegans at these Se concentrations resulted in 1.9, 9.7, 5.5, and 2.3%, respectively, of the transcriptome being altered by at least 2-fold. This toxicity altered the expression of 295 overlapping transcripts, which when filtered against gene sets for sulfur and cadmium toxicity, identified a dataset of 182 toxic-Se specific genes that were significantly enriched in functions related to oxidoreductase activity, and significantly depleted in genes related to structural components of collagen and the cuticle. Worms cultured in low Se (0 mM Se exhibited no signs of deficiency, but low Se was accompanied by a transcriptional response of 59 genes changed ≥2-fold when compared to all other Se concentrations, perhaps due to decreases in Se-dependent TRXR-1 activity. Overall, these results suggest that Se toxicity in C. elegans causes an increase in ROS and stress responses, marked by increased expression of oxidoreductases and reduced expression of cuticle-associated genes, which together underlie the impaired growth observed in these studies.

  20. A conserved upstream motif orchestrates autonomous, germline-enriched expression of Caenorhabditis elegans piRNAs.

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    Allison C Billi

    Full Text Available Piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs fulfill a critical, conserved role in defending the genome against foreign genetic elements. In many organisms, piRNAs appear to be derived from processing of a long, polycistronic RNA precursor. Here, we establish that each Caenorhabditis elegans piRNA represents a tiny, autonomous transcriptional unit. Remarkably, the minimal C. elegans piRNA cassette requires only a 21 nucleotide (nt piRNA sequence and an ∼50 nt upstream motif with limited genomic context for expression. Combining computational analyses with a novel, in vivo transgenic system, we demonstrate that this upstream motif is necessary for independent expression of a germline-enriched, Piwi-dependent piRNA. We further show that a single nucleotide position within this motif directs differential germline enrichment. Accordingly, over 70% of C. elegans piRNAs are selectively expressed in male or female germline, and comparison of the genes they target suggests that these two populations have evolved independently. Together, our results indicate that C. elegans piRNA upstream motifs act as independent promoters to specify which sequences are expressed as piRNAs, how abundantly they are expressed, and in what germline. As the genome encodes well over 15,000 unique piRNA sequences, our study reveals that the number of transcriptional units encoding piRNAs rivals the number of mRNA coding genes in the C. elegans genome.

  1. 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.

  2. Developmental genetics of secretory vesicle acidification during Caenorhabditis elegans spermatogenesis.

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    Gleason, Elizabeth J; Hartley, Paul D; Henderson, Melissa; Hill-Harfe, Katherine L; Price, Paul W; Weimer, Robby M; Kroft, Tim L; Zhu, Guang-Dan; Cordovado, Suzanne; L'Hernault, Steven W

    2012-06-01

    Secretory vesicles are used during spermatogenesis to deliver proteins to the cell surface. In Caenorhabditis elegans, secretory membranous organelles (MO) fuse with the plasma membrane to transform spermatids into fertilization-competent spermatozoa. We show that, like the acrosomal vesicle of mammalian sperm, MOs undergo acidification during development. Treatment of spermatids with the V-ATPase inhibitor bafilomycin blocks both MO acidification and formation of functional spermatozoa. There are several spermatogenesis-defective mutants that cause defects in MO morphogenesis, including spe-5. We determined that spe-5, which is on chromosome I, encodes one of two V-ATPase B paralogous subunits. The spe-5 null mutant is viable but sterile because it forms arrested, multi-nucleate spermatocytes. Immunofluorescence with a SPE-5-specific monoclonal antibody shows that SPE-5 expression begins in spermatocytes and is found in all subsequent stages of spermatogenesis. Most SPE-5 is discarded into the residual body during spermatid budding, but a small amount remains in budded spermatids where it localizes to MOs as a discrete dot. The other V-ATPase B subunit is encoded by vha-12, which is located on the X chromosome. Usually, spe-5 mutants are self-sterile in a wild-type vha-12 background. However, an extrachromosomal transgene containing wild-type vha-12 driven by its own promoter allows spe-5 mutant hermaphrodites to produce progeny, indicating that VHA-12 can at least partially substitute for SPE-5. Others have shown that the X chromosome is transcriptionally silent in the male germline, so expression of the autosomally located spe-5 gene ensures that a V-ATPase B subunit is present during spermatogenesis.

  3. Measuring Food Intake and Nutrient Absorption in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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

    2015-06-01

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

  4. Dietary supplementation of polyunsaturated fatty acids in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Deline, Marshall L; Vrablik, Tracy L; Watts, Jennifer L

    2013-11-29

    Fatty acids are essential for numerous cellular functions. They serve as efficient energy storage molecules, make up the hydrophobic core of membranes, and participate in various signaling pathways. Caenorhabditis elegans synthesizes all of the enzymes necessary to produce a range of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. This, combined with the simple anatomy and range of available genetic tools, make it an attractive model to study fatty acid function. In order to investigate the genetic pathways that mediate the physiological effects of dietary fatty acids, we have developed a method to supplement the C. elegans diet with unsaturated fatty acids. Supplementation is an effective means to alter the fatty acid composition of worms and can also be used to rescue defects in fatty acid-deficient mutants. Our method uses nematode growth medium agar (NGM) supplemented with fatty acid sodium salts. The fatty acids in the supplemented plates become incorporated into the membranes of the bacterial food source, which is then taken up by the C. elegans that feed on the supplemented bacteria. We also describe a gas chromatography protocol to monitor the changes in fatty acid composition that occur in supplemented worms. This is an efficient way to supplement the diets of both large and small populations of C. elegans, allowing for a range of applications for this method.

  5. 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.

  6. Allyl isothiocyanate induced stress response in Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Saini AkalRachna K

    2011-11-01

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

  7. ROS in aging Caenorhabditis elegans: damage or signaling?

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    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.

  8. 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.

  9. 帕金森病基因α-Synuclein过表达对秀丽隐杆线虫毒性作用的研究%Toxic effect of Parkinson's disease gene α-Synuclein on caenorhabditis elegans

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    孙亚奇; 钟翎; 卢锡林; 苏凤娟; 龙思梅; 梁凤银; 郭文苑; 孙喜翠; 黄颐; 裴中

    2013-01-01

    目的:利用载体pPD95.86建立携带帕金森病基因α-Synuclein(α-SYN)的秀丽隐杆线虫(秀丽线虫)模型,探讨α-SYN过表达对秀丽线虫的毒性作用.方法:构建同时表达α-SYN和绿色荧光蛋白(GFP)的重组质粒pPD95.86::α-SYN,采用野生型N2秀丽线虫,通过显微注射和基因整合筛选获得pPD95.86转基因线虫和pPD95.86::α-SYN转基因线虫.同步化野生型N2秀丽线虫和两种转基因线虫,以pPD95.86::α-SYN转基因线虫为实验组,以pPD95.86转基因线虫为条件对照组,以N2野生型线虫为空白对照组,观察3组线虫的寿命、运动能力和热休克条件下的存活情况.结果:与两对照组比较,pPD95.86::α-SYN转基因线虫的寿命明显缩短,运动能力显著下降,热休克条件下其存活能力减弱(P均<0.01).结论:帕金森病基因α-SYN的过表达对秀丽线虫具有明显的毒性作用,并且该毒性在热休克条件下加重.%Objective:To establish a transgenic caenorhabditis elegans ( C. elegans ) model of human α-synu-clein with the vector pPD95. 86 and explore the toxic effects of α-synuclein overexpression on the life-span of elegans. Methods; Human α-synuclein and the green fluorescent protein (GFP) were fused and cloned into the vector pPD95. 86. Transgenic C. elegans with pPD95. 86 and pPD95. 86: : α-SYN were produced by microinjecting the recombinant plasmid into wild-type worms and gene integration. Transgenic C. elegans with pPD95. 86:: α-SYN were divided into experimental group , transgenic C. elegans with pPD95. 86 into control conditions , and N2 wild-type C. elegans into blank control group The effects of a-synuclein expression on the life-span were studied. Results: Compared with two control group , transgenic C. elegans with pPD95. 86: : α-SYN had significant shorter life span and their motor function was impaired (all P < 0. 01 ). Exposure to the heat stress significantly compro -mised the viability of transgenic C. elegans expressing

  10. Glutamate-gated chloride channels of Haemonchus contortus restore drug sensitivity to ivermectin resistant Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Susan K Glendinning

    Full Text Available Anthelmintic resistance is a major problem in livestock farming, especially of small ruminants, but our understanding of it has been limited by the difficulty in carrying out functional genetic studies on parasitic nematodes. An important nematode infecting sheep and goats is Haemonchus contortus; in many parts of the world this species is resistant to almost all the currently available drugs, including ivermectin. It is extremely polymorphic and to date it has proved impossible to relate any sequence polymorphisms to its ivermectin resistance status. Expression of candidate drug-resistance genes in Caenorhabditis elegans could provide a convenient means to study the effects of polymorphisms found in resistant parasites, but may be complicated by differences between the gene families of target and model organisms. We tested this using the glutamate-gated chloride channel (GluCl gene family, which forms the ivermectin drug target and are candidate resistance genes. We expressed GluCl subunits from C. elegans and H. contortus in a highly resistant triple mutant C. elegans strain (DA1316 under the control of the avr-14 promoter; expression of GFP behind this promoter recapitulated the pattern previously reported for avr-14. Expression of ivermectin-sensitive subunits from both species restored drug sensitivity to transgenic worms, though some quantitative differences were noted between lines. Expression of an ivermectin-insensitive subunit, Hco-GLC-2, had no effect on drug sensitivity. Expression of a previously uncharacterised parasite-specific subunit, Hco-GLC-6, caused the transgenic worms to become ivermectin sensitive, suggesting that this subunit also encodes a GluCl that responds to the drug. These results demonstrate that both orthologous and paralogous subunits from C. elegans and H. contortus are able to rescue the ivermectin sensitivity of mutant C. elegans, though some quantitative differences were observed between transgenic lines in

  11. Glutamate-gated chloride channels of Haemonchus contortus restore drug sensitivity to ivermectin resistant Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Glendinning, Susan K; Buckingham, Steven D; Sattelle, David B; Wonnacott, Susan; Wolstenholme, Adrian J

    2011-01-01

    Anthelmintic resistance is a major problem in livestock farming, especially of small ruminants, but our understanding of it has been limited by the difficulty in carrying out functional genetic studies on parasitic nematodes. An important nematode infecting sheep and goats is Haemonchus contortus; in many parts of the world this species is resistant to almost all the currently available drugs, including ivermectin. It is extremely polymorphic and to date it has proved impossible to relate any sequence polymorphisms to its ivermectin resistance status. Expression of candidate drug-resistance genes in Caenorhabditis elegans could provide a convenient means to study the effects of polymorphisms found in resistant parasites, but may be complicated by differences between the gene families of target and model organisms. We tested this using the glutamate-gated chloride channel (GluCl) gene family, which forms the ivermectin drug target and are candidate resistance genes. We expressed GluCl subunits from C. elegans and H. contortus in a highly resistant triple mutant C. elegans strain (DA1316) under the control of the avr-14 promoter; expression of GFP behind this promoter recapitulated the pattern previously reported for avr-14. Expression of ivermectin-sensitive subunits from both species restored drug sensitivity to transgenic worms, though some quantitative differences were noted between lines. Expression of an ivermectin-insensitive subunit, Hco-GLC-2, had no effect on drug sensitivity. Expression of a previously uncharacterised parasite-specific subunit, Hco-GLC-6, caused the transgenic worms to become ivermectin sensitive, suggesting that this subunit also encodes a GluCl that responds to the drug. These results demonstrate that both orthologous and paralogous subunits from C. elegans and H. contortus are able to rescue the ivermectin sensitivity of mutant C. elegans, though some quantitative differences were observed between transgenic lines in some assays. C

  12. The cellular and genetic basis of olfactory responses in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Sengupta, P; Colbert, H A; Kimmel, B E; Dwyer, N; Bargmann, C I

    1993-01-01

    The small soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has only 302 neurons in its entire nervous system, so it is possible to analyse the functions of individual neurons in the animal's behaviour. We are using behavioural, cellular and genetic analyses of chemotactic responses to find out how olfactory behaviour patterns are generated and regulated. Single chemosensory neurons in C. elegans can recognize several different attractive odorants that are distinguished by the animal. Distinct sets of chemosensory neurons detect high and low concentrations of a single odorant. Odorant responses adapt after prolonged exposure to an odorant; this adaptation is odorant specific and reversible. Mutants with defects in odorant responses have been identified. Some genes appear to be necessary for the development or function of particular kinds of sensory neurons. Other genes have effects that suggest that they participate in odorant reception or signal transduction.

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

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    Juozaityte, Vaida; Pladevall-Morera, David; Podolska, Agnieszka; Nørgaard, Steffen; Pocock, Roger

    2017-01-01

    Animal behavior is shaped through interplay among genes, the environment, and previous experience. As in mammals, satiety signals induce quiescence in Caenorhabditis elegans. Here we report that the C. elegans transcription factor ETS-5, an ortholog of mammalian FEV/Pet1, controls satiety-induced quiescence. Nutritional status has a major influence on C. elegans behavior. When foraging, food availability controls behavioral state switching between active (roaming) and sedentary (dwelling) states; however, when provided with high-quality food, C. elegans become sated and enter quiescence. We show that ETS-5 acts to promote roaming and inhibit quiescence by setting the internal “satiety quotient” through fat regulation. Acting from the ASG and BAG sensory neurons, we show that ETS-5 functions in a complex network with serotonergic and neuropeptide signaling pathways to control food-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. PMID:28193866

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

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    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.

  15. Evolutionary innovation of the excretory system in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Wang, Xiaodong; Chamberlin, Helen M

    2004-03-01

    The evolution of complexity relies on changes that result in new gene functions. Here we show that the unique morphological and functional features of the excretory duct cell in C. elegans result from the gain of expression of a single gene. Our results show that innovation can be achieved by altered expression of a transcription factor without coevolution of all target genes.

  16. Pseudomonas aeruginosa killing of Caenorhabditis elegans used to identify P. aeruginosa virulence factors

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    Tan, Man-Wah; Rahme, Laurence G.; Sternberg, Jeffrey A.; Tompkins, Ronald G.; Ausubel, Frederick M.

    1999-01-01

    We reported recently that the human opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain PA14 kills Caenorhabditis elegans and that many P. aeruginosa virulence factors (genes) required for maximum virulence in mouse pathogenicity are also required for maximum killing of C. elegans. Here we report that among eight P. aeruginosa PA14 TnphoA mutants isolated that exhibited reduced killing of C. elegans, at least five also exhibited reduced virulence in mice. Three of the TnphoA mutants corresponded to the known virulence-related genes lasR, gacA, and lemA. Three of the mutants corresponded to known genes (aefA from Escherichia coli, pstP from Azotobacter vinelandii, and mtrR from Neisseria gonorrhoeae) that had not been shown previously to play a role in pathogenesis, and two of the mutants contained TnphoA inserted into novel sequences. These data indicate that the killing of C. elegans by P. aeruginosa can be exploited to identify novel P. aeruginosa virulence factors important for mammalian pathogenesis. PMID:10051655

  17. Pan-neuronal imaging in roaming Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Venkatachalam, Vivek; Ji, Ni; Wang, Xian; Clark, Christopher; Mitchell, James Kameron; Klein, Mason; Tabone, Christopher J; Florman, Jeremy; Ji, Hongfei; Greenwood, Joel; Chisholm, Andrew D; Srinivasan, Jagan; Alkema, Mark; Zhen, Mei; Samuel, Aravinthan D T

    2016-02-23

    We present an imaging system for pan-neuronal recording in crawling Caenorhabditis elegans. A spinning disk confocal microscope, modified for automated tracking of the C. elegans head ganglia, simultaneously records the activity and position of ∼80 neurons that coexpress cytoplasmic calcium indicator GCaMP6s and nuclear localized red fluorescent protein at 10 volumes per second. We developed a behavioral analysis algorithm that maps the movements of the head ganglia to the animal's posture and locomotion. Image registration and analysis software automatically assigns an index to each nucleus and calculates the corresponding calcium signal. Neurons with highly stereotyped positions can be associated with unique indexes and subsequently identified using an atlas of the worm nervous system. To test our system, we analyzed the brainwide activity patterns of moving worms subjected to thermosensory inputs. We demonstrate that our setup is able to uncover representations of sensory input and motor output of individual neurons from brainwide dynamics. Our imaging setup and analysis pipeline should facilitate mapping circuits for sensory to motor transformation in transparent behaving animals such as C. elegans and Drosophila larva.

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

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    Jin-ling CAI

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available The innate immune response may be activated quickly once the organism is invaded by exotic pathogens. An excessive immune response may result in inflammation and tissue damage, whereas an insufficient immune response may result in infection. Nervous system may regulate the intensity of innate immune responses by releasing neurotransmitters, neuropeptides and hormones. Compared with the complicated neuro-immune system in mammals, it is much simpler in Caenorhabditis elegans. Besides, C. elegans is accessible to genetic, molecular biology and behavioral analyses, so it has been used in studies on neuro-immune interactions. It has been revealed recently in the studies with C. elegans that the neuronal pathways regulating innate immune responses primarily include a transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β pathway, an insulin/insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGF pathway and dopaminergic neurotransmission. Since these pathways are evolutionally conservative, so it might be able to provide some new ideas for the research on neuro-immune interactions at molecular levels. The recent progress in this field has been reviewed in present paper.

  19. Cell-specific proteomic analysis in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Yuet, Kai P; Doma, Meenakshi K; Ngo, John T; Sweredoski, Michael J; Graham, Robert L J; Moradian, Annie; Hess, Sonja; Schuman, Erin M; Sternberg, Paul W; Tirrell, David A

    2015-03-03

    Proteomic analysis of rare cells in heterogeneous environments presents difficult challenges. Systematic methods are needed to enrich, identify, and quantify proteins expressed in specific cells in complex biological systems including multicellular plants and animals. Here, we have engineered a Caenorhabditis elegans phenylalanyl-tRNA synthetase capable of tagging proteins with the reactive noncanonical amino acid p-azido-L-phenylalanine. We achieved spatiotemporal selectivity in the labeling of C. elegans proteins by controlling expression of the mutant synthetase using cell-selective (body wall muscles, intestinal epithelial cells, neurons, and pharyngeal muscle) or state-selective (heat-shock) promoters in several transgenic lines. Tagged proteins are distinguished from the rest of the protein pool through bioorthogonal conjugation of the azide side chain to probes that permit visualization and isolation of labeled proteins. By coupling our methodology with stable-isotope labeling of amino acids in cell culture (SILAC), we successfully profiled proteins expressed in pharyngeal muscle cells, and in the process, identified proteins not previously known to be expressed in these cells. Our results show that tagging proteins with spatiotemporal selectivity can be achieved in C. elegans and illustrate a convenient and effective approach for unbiased discovery of proteins expressed in targeted subsets of cells.

  20. Caenorhabditis elegans is a useful model for anthelmintic discovery

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    Burns, Andrew R.; Luciani, Genna M.; Musso, Gabriel; Bagg, Rachel; Yeo, May; Zhang, Yuqian; Rajendran, Luckshika; Glavin, John; Hunter, Robert; Redman, Elizabeth; Stasiuk, Susan; Schertzberg, Michael; Angus McQuibban, G.; Caffrey, Conor R.; Cutler, Sean R.; Tyers, Mike; Giaever, Guri; Nislow, Corey; Fraser, Andy G.; MacRae, Calum A.; Gilleard, John; Roy, Peter J.

    2015-01-01

    Parasitic nematodes infect one quarter of the world's population and impact all humans through widespread infection of crops and livestock. Resistance to current anthelmintics has prompted the search for new drugs. Traditional screens that rely on parasitic worms are costly and labour intensive and target-based approaches have failed to yield novel anthelmintics. Here, we present our screen of 67,012 compounds to identify those that kill the non-parasitic nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We then rescreen our hits in two parasitic nematode species and two vertebrate models (HEK293 cells and zebrafish), and identify 30 structurally distinct anthelmintic lead molecules. Genetic screens of 19 million C. elegans mutants reveal those nematicides for which the generation of resistance is and is not likely. We identify the target of one lead with nematode specificity and nanomolar potency as complex II of the electron transport chain. This work establishes C. elegans as an effective and cost-efficient model system for anthelmintic discovery. PMID:26108372

  1. Biomechanical analysis of gait adaptation in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Fang-Yen, Christopher; Wyart, Matthieu; Xie, Julie; Kawai, Risa; Kodger, Tom; Chen, Sway; Wen, Quan; Samuel, Aravinthan D T

    2010-11-23

    To navigate different environments, an animal must be able to adapt its locomotory gait to its physical surroundings. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, between swimming in water and crawling on surfaces, adapts its locomotory gait to surroundings that impose approximately 10,000-fold differences in mechanical resistance. Here we investigate this feat by studying the undulatory movements of C. elegans in Newtonian fluids spanning nearly five orders of magnitude in viscosity. In these fluids, the worm undulatory gait varies continuously with changes in external load: As load increases, both wavelength and frequency of undulation decrease. We also quantify the internal viscoelastic properties of the worm's body and their role in locomotory dynamics. We incorporate muscle activity, internal load, and external load into a biomechanical model of locomotion and show that (i) muscle power is nearly constant across changes in locomotory gait, and (ii) the onset of gait adaptation occurs as external load becomes comparable to internal load. During the swimming gait, which is evoked by small external loads, muscle power is primarily devoted to bending the worm's elastic body. During the crawling gait, evoked by large external loads, comparable muscle power is used to drive the external load and the elastic body. Our results suggest that C. elegans locomotory gait continuously adapts to external mechanical load in order to maintain propulsive thrust.

  2. 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...

  3. On-demand optical immobilization of Caenorhabditis elegans for high-resolution imaging and microinjection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hwang, Hyundoo; Krajniak, Jan; Matsunaga, Yohei; Benian, Guy M; Lu, Hang

    2014-09-21

    This paper describes a novel selective immobilization technique based on optical control of the sol-gel transition of thermoreversible Pluronic gel, which provides a simple, versatile, and biocompatible approach for high-resolution imaging and microinjection of Caenorhabditis elegans.

  4. 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...... to detect DHE selectively, based on its rapid bleaching kinetics compared to cellular autofluorescence. Worms were repeatedly imaged on an ultraviolet-sensitive wide field (UV-WF) microscope, and bleaching kinetics of DHE were fitted on a pixel-basis to mathematical models describing the intensity decay...... autofluorescence and compare our method with three-photon excitation microscopy of sterol in selected tissues. Bleach-rate-based UV-WF imaging is a useful tool for genetic screening experiments on sterol transport, as exemplified by RNA interference against the rme-2 gene coding for the yolk receptor and for worm...

  5. 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.

  6. Biochemistry, function, and deficiency of vitamin B12 in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bito, Tomohiro; Watanabe, Fumio

    2016-09-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans is a nematode that has been widely used as an animal for investigation of diverse biological phenomena. Vitamin B12 is essential for the growth of this worm, which contains two cobalamin-dependent enzymes, methylmalonyl-CoA mutase and methionine synthase. A full complement of gene homologs encoding the enzymes associated with the mammalian intercellular metabolic processes of vitamin B12 is identified in the genome of C elegans However, this worm has no orthologs of the vitamin B12-binders that participate in human intestinal absorption and blood circulation. When the worm is treated with a vitamin B12-deficient diet for five generations (15 days), it readily develops vitamin B12 deficiency, which induces worm phenotypes (infertility, delayed growth, and shorter lifespan) that resemble the symptoms of mammalian vitamin B12 deficiency. Such phenotypes associated with vitamin B12 deficiency were readily induced in the worm.

  7. Multi-environment model estimation for motility analysis of Caenorhabditis Elegans

    CERN Document Server

    Sznitman, Raphael; Hager, Gregory D; Arratia, Paulo E; Sznitman, Josue

    2010-01-01

    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 ...

  8. 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.

  9. 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'.

  10. A soil bioassay using the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Freeman, M.N.; Peredney, C.L.; Williams, P.L.

    1999-07-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans is a free-livings soil nematode that is commonly used as a biological model. Recently, much work has been done using the nematode as a toxicological model as well. Much of the work involving C. elegans has been performed in aquatic media, since it lives in the interstitial water of soil. However, testing in soil would be expected to more accurately reproduce the organism's normal environment and may take into consideration other factors not available in an aquatic test, i.e., toxicant availability effects due to sorption, various chemical interactions, etc. This study used a modification of a previous experimental protocol to determine 24h LC{sub 50} values for Cu in a Cecil series soil mixture, and examined the use of CuCl{sub 2} as a reference toxicant for soil toxicity testing with C. elegans. Three different methods of determining percent lethality were used, each dependent on how the number of worms missing after the recovery process was used in the lethality calculations. Only tests having {ge}80% worm recovery and {ge}90% control survival were used in determining the LC{sub 50}s, by Probit analysis. The replicate LC{sub 50} values generated a control chart for each method of calculating percent lethality. The coefficient of variation (CV) for each of the three methods was {le}14%. The control charts and the protocol outlined in this study are intended to be used to assess test organism health and monitor precision of future soil toxicity tests with C. elegans.

  11. Chaperone-interacting TPR proteins in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haslbeck, Veronika; Eckl, Julia M; Kaiser, Christoph J O; Papsdorf, Katharina; Hessling, Martin; Richter, Klaus

    2013-08-23

    The ATP-hydrolyzing molecular chaperones Hsc70/Hsp70 and Hsp90 bind a diverse set of tetratricopeptide repeat (TPR)-containing cofactors via their C-terminal peptide motifs IEEVD and MEEVD. These cochaperones contribute to substrate turnover and confer specific activities to the chaperones. Higher eukaryotic genomes encode a large number of TPR-domain-containing proteins. The human proteome contains more than 200 TPR proteins, and that of Caenorhabditis elegans, about 80. It is unknown how many of them interact with Hsc70 or Hsp90. We systematically screened the C. elegans proteome for TPR-domain-containing proteins that likely interact with Hsc70 and Hsp90 and ranked them due to their similarity with known chaperone-interacting TPRs. We find C. elegans to encode many TPR proteins, which are not present in yeast. All of these have homologs in fruit fly or humans. Highly ranking uncharacterized open reading frames C33H5.8, C34B2.5 and ZK370.8 may encode weakly conserved homologs of the human proteins RPAP3, TTC1 and TOM70. C34B2.5 and ZK370.8 bind both Hsc70 and Hsp90 with low micromolar affinities. Mutation of amino acids involved in EEVD binding disrupts the interaction. In vivo, ZK370.8 is localized to mitochondria in tissues with known chaperone requirements, while C34B2.5 colocalizes with Hsc70 in intestinal cells. The highest-ranking open reading frame with non-conserved EEVD-interacting residues, F52H3.5, did not show any binding to Hsc70 or Hsp90, suggesting that only about 15 of the TPR-domain-containing proteins in C. elegans interact with chaperones, while the many others may have evolved to bind other ligands.

  12. Comparative analysis of Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans gene expression experiments in the European Soyuz flights to the International Space Station

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leandro, L. J.; Szewczyk, N. J.; Benguría, A.; Herranz, R.; Laván, D.; Medina, F. J.; Gasset, G.; van Loon, J.; Conley, C. A.; Marco, R.

    The European Soyuz missions have been one of the main routes for conducting scientific experiments onboard the International Space Station, which is currently in the construction phase. A relatively large number of life and physical sciences experiments as well as technology demonstrations have been carried out during these missions. Included among these experiments are the Gene experiment during the Spanish "Cervantes" Soyuz mission and the ICE-1st experiment during the Dutch "Delta" mission. In both experiments, full genome microarray analyses were carried out on RNA extracted from whole animals recovered from the flight. These experiments indicated relatively large scale changes in gene expression levels in response to spaceflight for two popular model systems, Drosophila melanogaster (Gene) and Caenorabditis elegans (ICE-1st). Here we report a comparative analysis of results from these two experiments. Finding orthologous genes between the fruit fly and the nematode was far from straightforward, reducing the number of genes that we could compare to roughly 20% of the full comparative genome. Within this sub-set of the data (2286 genes), only six genes were found to display identical changes between species (decreased) while 1809 genes displayed no change in either species. Future experiments using ground simulation techniques will allow producing a better, more comprehensive picture of the putative set of genes affected in multicellular organisms by changes in gravity and getting a deeper understanding of how animals respond and adapt to spaceflight.

  13. Kinetics and specificity of paternal mitochondrial elimination in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yang; Zhang, Yi; Chen, Lianwan; Liang, Qian; Yin, Xiao-Ming; Miao, Long; Kang, Byung-Ho; Xue, Ding

    2016-09-01

    In most eukaryotes, mitochondria are inherited maternally. The autophagy process is critical for paternal mitochondrial elimination (PME) in Caenorhabditis elegans, but how paternal mitochondria, but not maternal mitochondria, are selectively targeted for degradation is poorly understood. Here we report that mitochondrial dynamics have a profound effect on PME. A defect in fission of paternal mitochondria delays PME, whereas a defect in fusion of paternal mitochondria accelerates PME. Surprisingly, a defect in maternal mitochondrial fusion delays PME, which is reversed by a fission defect in maternal mitochondria or by increasing maternal mitochondrial membrane potential using oligomycin. Electron microscopy and tomography analyses reveal that a proportion of maternal mitochondria are compromised when they fail to fuse normally, leading to their competition for the autophagy machinery with damaged paternal mitochondria and delayed PME. Our study indicates that mitochondrial dynamics play a critical role in regulating both the kinetics and the specificity of PME.

  14. Controlling neural activity in Caenorhabditis elegans to evoke chemotactic behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kocabas, Askin; Shen, Ching-Han; Guo, Zengcai V.; Ramanathan, Sharad

    2013-03-01

    Animals locate and track chemoattractive gradients in the environment to find food. With its simple nervous system, Caenorhabditis elegans is a good model system in which to understand how the dynamics of neural activity control this search behavior. To understand how the activity in its interneurons coordinate different motor programs to lead the animal to food, here we used optogenetics and new optical tools to manipulate neural activity directly in freely moving animals to evoke chemotactic behavior. By deducing the classes of activity patterns triggered during chemotaxis and exciting individual neurons with these patterns, we identified interneurons that control the essential locomotory programs for this behavior. Notably, we discovered that controlling the dynamics of activity in just one interneuron pair was sufficient to force the animal to locate, turn towards and track virtual light gradients.

  15. Kinetics and specificity of paternal mitochondrial elimination in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yang; Zhang, Yi; Chen, Lianwan; Liang, Qian; Yin, Xiao-Ming; Miao, Long; Kang, Byung-Ho; Xue, Ding

    2016-01-01

    In most eukaryotes, mitochondria are inherited maternally. The autophagy process is critical for paternal mitochondrial elimination (PME) in Caenorhabditis elegans, but how paternal mitochondria, but not maternal mitochondria, are selectively targeted for degradation is poorly understood. Here we report that mitochondrial dynamics have a profound effect on PME. A defect in fission of paternal mitochondria delays PME, whereas a defect in fusion of paternal mitochondria accelerates PME. Surprisingly, a defect in maternal mitochondrial fusion delays PME, which is reversed by a fission defect in maternal mitochondria or by increasing maternal mitochondrial membrane potential using oligomycin. Electron microscopy and tomography analyses reveal that a proportion of maternal mitochondria are compromised when they fail to fuse normally, leading to their competition for the autophagy machinery with damaged paternal mitochondria and delayed PME. Our study indicates that mitochondrial dynamics play a critical role in regulating both the kinetics and the specificity of PME. PMID:27581092

  16. Radiosensitivity Parameters For Lethal Mutagenesis In Caenorhabditis Elegans

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cucinotta, F.A.; Wilson, J.W.; Katz, R.

    1994-01-01

    For the first time track structure theory has been applied to radiobiological effects in a living organism. Data for lethal mutagenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans, obtained after irradiation with nine different types of ions of atomic number 1-57 and gamma rays have yielded radiosensitivity parameters (E{sub 0}, sigma{sub 0}, Kappa, m = 68 Gy, 2.5 x 10(exp {minus}9) cm (exp 2), 750, 2) comparable with those found for the transformation of C3HT10 1/2 cells (180 Gy, 1.15 x 10(exp {minus}10) cm(exp 2), 750, 2) but remote from those (E{sub 0} and sigma{sub 0} = approx. 2 Gy, approx. 5 x 10(exp {minus}7) cm(exp 2)) for mammalian cell survival.

  17. The epidermal growth factor system in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moghal, Nadeem; Sternberg, Paul W

    2003-03-10

    The single known epidermal growth factor-like growth factor and single epidermal growth factor receptor in Caenorhabditis elegans mediate two types of processes, each via a distinct signal transduction pathway. Several instances of cell fate specification during organogenesis require the RAS-MAP kinase pathway, as well as multiple nuclear factors. By contrast, appropriate myoepithelial contractions during ovulation involve IP3-mediated signal transduction. Positive modulators of the RAS pathway include KSR, SUR-8, phosphatase PP2A, and a zinc cation diffusion facilitator. Negative regulators of the RAS pathway include homologs of CBL, GAP-1, ACK, and MAP kinase phosphatase, while negative regulators of the IP3 pathway are enzymes that modify IP3. In addition to its stimulation of RAS activity, the GRB2 homolog SEM-5 acts negatively on both signaling pathways, as does the Ack-related kinase ARK-1.

  18. Intercellular coupling amplifies fate segregation during Caenorhabditis elegans vulval development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giurumescu, Claudiu A; Sternberg, Paul W; Asthagiri, Anand R

    2006-01-31

    During vulval development in Caenorhabditis elegans, six precursor cells acquire a spatial pattern of distinct cell fates. This process is guided by a gradient in the soluble factor, LIN-3, and by direct interactions between neighboring cells mediated by the Notch-like receptor, LIN-12. Genetic evidence has revealed that these two extracellular signals are coupled: lateral cell-cell interactions inhibit LIN-3-mediated signaling, whereas LIN-3 regulates the extent of lateral signaling. To elucidate the quantitative implications of this coupled network topology for cell patterning during vulval development, we developed a mathematical model of LIN-3/LIN-12-mediated signaling in the vulval precursor cell array. Our analysis reveals that coupling LIN-3 and LIN-12 amplifies cellular perception of the LIN-3 gradient and polarizes lateral signaling, both of which enhance fate segregation beyond that achievable by an uncoupled system.

  19. Meeting report: 2012 Caenorhabditis elegans Neurobiology meeting, EMBL Advanced Training Centre, Germany.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kearn, James; Dallière, Nicolas; Dillon, James

    2013-06-01

    Some of the finest minds in the field of Caenorhabditis elegans neurobiology were brought together from 14 June to 17 June 2012 in the small, quaint and picturesque German city of Heidelberg for the biannual C. elegans neurobiology conference. Held at the EMBL Advanced Training Centre and wonderfully organised by Diah Yulianti, Jean-Louis Bessereau, Gert Jansen and William Schafer, the meeting contained 62 verbal presentations and hundreds of posters that were displayed around the double-helical walkways that looped throughout the conference centre. Presentations on recent advances in microfluidics, cell ablation and targeted gene expression exemplified the strengths of C. elegans as a model organism, with these advances allowing detailed high-throughput analysis and study. Interesting behaviours that were previously poorly characterised were widely discussed, as were the advantages of C. elegans as a model for neurodevelopment and neurodegeneration and the investigation of neuropeptide function. The examples discussed in this meeting report seek to illustrate the breadth and depth of presentations given on these recurring topics.

  20. Dairy Propionibacterium extends the mean lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans via activation of the innate immune system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwon, Gayeung; Lee, Jiyun; Lim, Young-Hee

    2016-08-17

    Dairy Propionibacterium freudenreichii is a candidate non-lactic acid probiotic. However, little information is available on the effect of P. freudenreichii on lifespan extension in humans. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of P. freudenreichii on lifespan extension and to elucidate the mechanism of P. freudenreichii-dependent lifespan extension in Caenorhabditis elegans. The results showed that P. freudenreichii significantly (p OP50, a standard food for the worm. Analysis of age-related biomarkers showed that P. freudenreichii retards ageing. Moreover, P. freudenreichii increased resistance against a human pathogen, Salmonella typhimurium, through the activation of skn-1, which is involved in pathogen resistance in C. elegans. Furthermore, P. freudenreichii-fed daf-16, jnk-1, skn-1 or daf-7 loss-of-function mutants showed an extended mean lifespan compared with E. coli OP50-fed worms. However, the increase in lifespan was not observed in pmk-1, sek-1, mek-1, dbl-1, daf-12 or daf-2 mutants, which suggests potential roles for these genes in P. freudenreichii-induced longevity in C. elegans. In conclusion, P. freudenreichii extends the lifespan of C. elegans via the p38 MAPK pathway involved in stress response and the TGF-β pathways associated with anti-inflammation processes in the immune system.

  1. Roles for two partially redundant alpha-tubulins during mitosis in early Caenorhabditis elegans embryos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, Jennifer B; Lyczak, Rebecca; Ellis, Gregory C; Bowerman, Bruce

    2004-06-01

    The Caenorhabditis elegans genome encodes multiple isotypes of alpha-tubulin and beta-tubulin. Roles for a number of these tubulins in neuronal development have been described, but less is known about the isoforms that function during early embryonic development. Microtubules are required for multiple events after fertilization produces a one-cell zygote in C. elegans, including pronuclear migration, mitotic spindle assembly and function, and proper spindle positioning. Here we describe a conditional and dominant mis-sense mutation in the C. elegans alpha-tubulin gene tba-1 that disrupts pronuclear migration and positioning of the first mitotic spindle, and results in a highly penetrant embryonic lethality, at the restrictive temperature of 26 degrees C. Our analysis of the dominant tba-1 (or346ts) allele suggests that TBA-1 assembles into microtubules in early embryonic cells. However, we also show that reduction of tba-1 function using RNA interference results in defects much less severe than those caused by the dominant or346ts mutation, due to partial redundancy of TBA-1 and another alpha-tubulin called TBA-2. Reducing the function of both TBA-1 and TBA-2 results in severe defects in microtubule-dependent processes. We conclude that microtubules in the early C. elegans embryo are composed of both TBA-1 and TBA-2, and that the dominant tba-1(or346ts) mutation disrupts MT assembly or stability. Cell Motil.

  2. Expression of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunits from parasitic nematodes in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sloan, Megan A; Reaves, Barbara J; Maclean, Mary J; Storey, Bob E; Wolstenholme, Adrian J

    2015-11-01

    The levamisole-sensitive nicotinic acetylcholine receptor present at nematode neuromuscular junctions is composed of multiple different subunits, with the exact composition varying between species. We tested the ability of two well-conserved nicotinic receptor subunits, UNC-38 and UNC-29, from Haemonchus contortus and Ascaris suum to rescue the levamisole-resistance and locomotion defects of Caenorhabditis elegans strains with null deletion mutations in the unc-38 and unc-29 genes. The parasite cDNAs were cloned downstream of the relevant C. elegans promoters and introduced into the mutant strains via biolistic transformation. The UNC-38 subunit of H. contortus was able to completely rescue both the locomotion defects and levamisole resistance of the null deletion mutant VC2937 (ok2896), but no C. elegans expressing the A. suum UNC-38 could be detected. The H. contortus UNC-29.1 subunit partially rescued the levamisole resistance of a C. elegans null mutation in unc-29 VC1944 (ok2450), but did cause increased motility in a thrashing assay. In contrast, only a single line of worms containing the A. suum UNC-29 subunit showed a partial rescue of levamisole resistance, with no effect on thrashing.

  3. Splicing in Caenorhabditis elegans does not require an AG at the 3' splice acceptor site.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aroian, R V; Levy, A D; Koga, M; Ohshima, Y; Kramer, J M; Sternberg, P W

    1993-01-01

    The dinucleotide AG, found at the 3' end of virtually all eukaryotic pre-mRNA introns, is thought to be essential for splicing. Reduction-of-function mutations in two Caenorhabditis elegans genes, the receptor tyrosine kinase gene let-23 and the collagen gene dpy-10, both alter the AG at the end of a short (ca. 50-nucleotide) intron to AA. The in vivo effects of these mutations were studied by sequencing polymerase chain reaction-amplified reverse-transcribed RNA isolated from the two mutants. As expected, we find transcripts that splice to a cryptic AG, skip an exon, and retain an unspliced intron. However, we also find significant levels of splicing at the mutated 3' splice site (AA) and at nearby non-AG dinucleotides. Our results indicate that for short C. elegans introns an AG is not required for splicing at either the correct 3' splice site or incorrect sites. Analysis of a splice site mutant involving a longer, 316-nucleotide C. elegans intron indicates that an AG is also not required there for splicing. We hypothesize that elements besides the invariant AG, e.g., an A-U-rich region, a UUUC motif, and/or a potential branch point sequence, are directing the selection of the 3' splice site and that in wild-type genes these elements cooperate so that proper splicing occurs. Images PMID:8417357

  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. 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…

  6. 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. Here

  7. 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…

  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. WormBase: network access to the genome and biology of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein, L; Sternberg, P; Durbin, R; Thierry-Mieg, J; Spieth, J

    2001-01-01

    WormBase (http://www.wormbase.org) is a web-based resource for the Caenorhabditis elegans genome and its biology. It builds upon the existing ACeDB database of the C.elegans genome by providing data curation services, a significantly expanded range of subject areas and a user-friendly front end.

  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. 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

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

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    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,…

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

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    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

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

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    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...

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

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    Shawn Lewenza

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Caenorhabditis elegans is commonly used as an infection model for pathogenesis studies in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The standard virulence assays rely on the slow and fast killing or paralysis of nematodes but here we developed a behaviour assay to monitor the preferred bacterial food sources of C. elegans. We monitored the food preferences of nematodes fed the wild type PAO1 and mutants in the type III secretion (T3S system, which is a conserved mechanism to inject secreted effectors into the host cell cytosol. A ΔexsEΔpscD mutant defective for type III secretion served as a preferred food source, while an ΔexsE mutant that overexpresses the T3S effectors was avoided. Both food sources were ingested and observed in the gastrointestinal tract. Using the slow killing assay, we showed that the ΔexsEΔpscD had reduced virulence and thus confirmed that preferred food sources are less virulent than the wild type. Next we developed a high throughput feeding behaviour assay with 48 possible food colonies in order to screen a transposon mutant library and identify potential virulence genes. C. elegans identified and consumed preferred food colonies from a grid of 48 choices. The mutants identified as preferred food sources included known virulence genes, as well as novel genes not identified in previous C. elegans infection studies. Slow killing assays were performed and confirmed that several preferred food sources also showed reduced virulence. We propose that C. elegans feeding behaviour can be used as a sensitive indicator of virulence for P. aeruginosa PAO1.

  16. The atypical calpains: evolutionary analyses and roles in Caenorhabditis elegans cellular degeneration.

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    Peter I Joyce

    Full Text Available The calpains are physiologically important Ca(2+-activated regulatory proteases, which are divided into typical or atypical sub-families based on constituent domains. Both sub-families are present in mammals, but our understanding of calpain function is based primarily on typical sub-family members. Here, we take advantage of the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans, which expresses only atypical calpains, to extend our knowledge of the phylogenetic evolution and function of calpains. We provide evidence that a typical human calpain protein with a penta EF hand, detected using custom profile hidden Markov models, is conserved in ancient metazoans and a divergent clade. These analyses also provide evidence for the lineage-specific loss of typical calpain genes in C. elegans and Ciona, and they reveal that many calpain-like genes lack an intact catalytic triad. Given the association between the dysregulation of typical calpains and human degenerative pathologies, we explored the phenotypes, expression profiles, and consequences of inappropriate reduction or activation of C. elegans atypical calpains. These studies show that the atypical calpain gene, clp-1, contributes to muscle degeneration and reveal that clp-1 activity is sensitive to genetic manipulation of [Ca(2+](i. We show that CLP-1 localizes to sarcomeric sub-structures, but is excluded from dense bodies (Z-disks. We find that the muscle degeneration observed in a C. elegans model of dystrophin-based muscular dystrophy can be suppressed by clp-1 inactivation and that nemadipine-A inhibition of the EGL-19 calcium channel reveals that Ca(2+ dysfunction underlies the C. elegans MyoD model of myopathy. Taken together, our analyses highlight the roles of calcium dysregulation and CLP-1 in muscle myopathies and suggest that the atypical calpains could retain conserved roles in myofilament turnover.

  17. The atypical calpains: evolutionary analyses and roles in Caenorhabditis elegans cellular degeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joyce, Peter I; Satija, Rahul; Chen, Maozi; Kuwabara, Patricia E

    2012-01-01

    The calpains are physiologically important Ca(2+)-activated regulatory proteases, which are divided into typical or atypical sub-families based on constituent domains. Both sub-families are present in mammals, but our understanding of calpain function is based primarily on typical sub-family members. Here, we take advantage of the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans, which expresses only atypical calpains, to extend our knowledge of the phylogenetic evolution and function of calpains. We provide evidence that a typical human calpain protein with a penta EF hand, detected using custom profile hidden Markov models, is conserved in ancient metazoans and a divergent clade. These analyses also provide evidence for the lineage-specific loss of typical calpain genes in C. elegans and Ciona, and they reveal that many calpain-like genes lack an intact catalytic triad. Given the association between the dysregulation of typical calpains and human degenerative pathologies, we explored the phenotypes, expression profiles, and consequences of inappropriate reduction or activation of C. elegans atypical calpains. These studies show that the atypical calpain gene, clp-1, contributes to muscle degeneration and reveal that clp-1 activity is sensitive to genetic manipulation of [Ca(2+)](i). We show that CLP-1 localizes to sarcomeric sub-structures, but is excluded from dense bodies (Z-disks). We find that the muscle degeneration observed in a C. elegans model of dystrophin-based muscular dystrophy can be suppressed by clp-1 inactivation and that nemadipine-A inhibition of the EGL-19 calcium channel reveals that Ca(2+) dysfunction underlies the C. elegans MyoD model of myopathy. Taken together, our analyses highlight the roles of calcium dysregulation and CLP-1 in muscle myopathies and suggest that the atypical calpains could retain conserved roles in myofilament turnover.

  18. Curcumin-mediated lifespan extension in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Liao, Vivian Hsiu-Chuan; Yu, Chan-Wei; Chu, Yu-Ju; Li, Wen-Hsuan; Hsieh, Yi-Chen; Wang, Teng-Ting

    2011-10-01

    Curcumin is the active ingredient in the herbal medicine and dietary spice, turmeric (Curcuma longa). It has a wide range of biological activities, including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, chemopreventive, and chemotherapeutic activities. We examined the effects of curcumin on the lifespan and aging in Caenorhabditis elegans, and found that it responded to curcumin with an increased lifespan and reduced intracellular reactive oxygen species and lipofuscin during aging. We analyzed factors that might influence lifespan extension by curcumin. We showed that lifespan extension by curcumin in C. elegans is attributed to its antioxidative properties but not its antimicrobial properties. Moreover, we showed that lifespan extension had effects on body size and the pharyngeal pumping rate but not on reproduction. Finally, lifespan tests with selected stress- and lifespan-relevant mutant strains revealed that the lifespan-extending phenotype was absent from the osr-1, sek-1, mek-1, skn-1, unc-43, sir-2.1, and age-1 mutants, whereas curcumin treatment prolonged the lifespan of mev-1 and daf-16 mutants. Our study has unraveled a diversity of modes of action and signaling pathways to longevity and aging with curcumin exposure in vivo.

  19. Manganese Disturbs Metal and Protein Homeostasis in Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Angeli, Suzanne; Barhydt, Tracy; Jacobs, Ross; Killilea, David W.; Lithgow, Gordon J.; Andersen, Julie K.

    2014-01-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is a debilitating motor and cognitive neurodegenerative disorder for which there is no cure. While aging is the major risk factor for developing PD, clear environmental risks have also been identified. Environmental exposure to the metal manganese (Mn) is a prominent risk factor for developing PD and occupational exposure to high levels of Mn can cause a syndrome known as manganism, which has symptoms that closely resemble PD. In this study, we developed a model of manganism in the environmentally tractable nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans. We find that, in addition to previously described modes of Mn toxicity, which primarily include mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress, Mn exposure also significantly antagonizes protein homeostasis, another key pathological feature associated with PD and many age-related neurodegenerative diseases. Mn treatment activates the ER unfolded protein response, severely exacerbates toxicity in a disease model of protein misfolding, and alters aggregate solubility. Further, aged animals, which have previously been shown to exhibit decreased protein homeostasis, are particularly susceptible to Mn toxicity when compared to young animals, indicating the aging process sensitizes animals to metal toxicity. Mn exposure also significantly alters iron (Fe) and calcium (Ca) homeostasis, which are important for mitochondrial and ER health and which may further compound toxicity. These finding indicate that modeling manganism in C. elegans can provide a useful platform for identifying therapeutic interventions for ER stress, proteotoxicity, and age-dependent susceptibilities, key pathological features of PD and other related neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:25057947

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

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    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.

  1. 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.

  2. Magnetosensitive neurons mediate geomagnetic orientation in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vidal-Gadea, Andrés; Ward, Kristi; Beron, Celia; Ghorashian, Navid; Gokce, Sertan; Russell, Joshua; Truong, Nicholas; Parikh, Adhishri; Gadea, Otilia; Ben-Yakar, Adela; Pierce-Shimomura, Jonathan

    2015-01-01

    Many organisms spanning from bacteria to mammals orient to the earth's magnetic field. For a few animals, central neurons responsive to earth-strength magnetic fields have been identified; however, magnetosensory neurons have yet to be identified in any animal. We show that the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans orients to the earth's magnetic field during vertical burrowing migrations. Well-fed worms migrated up, while starved worms migrated down. Populations isolated from around the world, migrated at angles to the magnetic vector that would optimize vertical translation in their native soil, with northern- and southern-hemisphere worms displaying opposite migratory preferences. Magnetic orientation and vertical migrations required the TAX-4 cyclic nucleotide-gated ion channel in the AFD sensory neuron pair. Calcium imaging showed that these neurons respond to magnetic fields even without synaptic input. C. elegans may have adapted magnetic orientation to simplify their vertical burrowing migration by reducing the orientation task from three dimensions to one. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.07493.001 PMID:26083711

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

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

    2015-01-27

    Animals with compact sensory systems face an encoding problem where a small number of sensory neurons are required to encode information about its surrounding complex environment. Using Caenorhabditis elegans worms as a model, we ask how chemical stimuli are encoded by a small and highly connected sensory system. We first generated a comprehensive library of transgenic worms where each animal expresses a genetically encoded calcium indicator in individual sensory neurons. This library includes the vast majority of the sensory system in C. elegans. Imaging from individual sensory neurons while subjecting the worms to various stimuli allowed us to compile a comprehensive functional map of the sensory system at single neuron resolution. The functional map reveals that despite the dense wiring, chemosensory neurons represent the environment using sparse codes. Moreover, although anatomically closely connected, chemo- and mechano-sensory neurons are functionally segregated. In addition, the code is hierarchical, where few neurons participate in encoding multiple cues, whereas other sensory neurons are stimulus specific. This encoding strategy may have evolved to mitigate the constraints of a compact sensory system.

  4. Genome-wide analysis of light- and temperature-entrained circadian transcripts in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander M van der Linden

    Full Text Available Most organisms have an endogenous circadian clock that is synchronized to environmental signals such as light and temperature. Although circadian rhythms have been described in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans at the behavioral level, these rhythms appear to be relatively non-robust. Moreover, in contrast to other animal models, no circadian transcriptional rhythms have been identified. Thus, whether this organism contains a bona fide circadian clock remains an open question. Here we use genome-wide expression profiling experiments to identify light- and temperature-entrained oscillating transcripts in C. elegans. These transcripts exhibit rhythmic expression with temperature-compensated 24-h periods. In addition, their expression is sustained under constant conditions, suggesting that they are under circadian regulation. Light and temperature cycles strongly drive gene expression and appear to entrain largely nonoverlapping gene sets. We show that mutations in a cyclic nucleotide-gated channel required for sensory transduction abolish both light- and temperature-entrained gene expression, implying that environmental cues act cell nonautonomously to entrain circadian rhythms. Together, these findings demonstrate circadian-regulated transcriptional rhythms in C. elegans and suggest that further analyses in this organism will provide new information about the evolution and function of this biological clock.

  5. Enhanced growth and reproduction of Caenorhabditis elegans (Nematoda) in the presence of 4-Nonylphenol

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hoess, Sebastian; Juettner, I.Ingrid; Traunspurger, Walter; Pfister, Gerd; Schramm, K.-W.; Steinberg, C.E.W

    2002-12-01

    4-Nonylphenol can enhance growth and reproduction of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. - The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans was exposed over a whole life-cycle (72 h) to several concentrations of 4-nonylphenol (NP; nominal concentrations: 0-350 {mu}g/l). Growth and reproduction of C. elegans were enhanced at NP concentrations of 66 and 40 {mu}g/l, respectively, with effects showing dose-response relationships. These stimulatory effects might be of ecological relevance in benthic habitats, where organisms can be exposed to high concentrations of NP.

  6. 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.

  7. Mechanism underlying prolongevity induced by bifidobacteria in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Komura, Tomomi; Ikeda, Takanori; Yasui, Chikako; Saeki, Shigeru; Nishikawa, Yoshikazu

    2013-02-01

    Lactobacilli and bifidobacteria are probiotic bacteria that modify host defense systems and have the ability to extend the lifespan of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Here, we attempted to elucidate the mechanism by which bifidobacteria prolong the lifespan of C. elegans. When the nematode was fed Bifidobacterium infantis (BI) mixed at various ratios with the standard food bacterium Escherichia coli strain OP50 (OP), the mean lifespan of worms was extended in a dose-dependent manner. Worms fed BI displayed higher locomotion and produced more offspring than control worms. The growth curves of nematodes were similar regardless of the amount of BI mixed with OP, suggesting that BI did not induce prolongevity effects through caloric restriction. Notably, feeding worms the cell wall fraction of BI alone was sufficient to promote prolongevity. The accumulation of protein carbonyls and lipofuscin, a biochemical marker of aging, was also lower in worms fed BI; however, the worms displayed similar susceptibility to heat, hydrogen peroxide, and paraquat, an inducer of free radicals, as the control worms. As a result of BI feeding, loss-of-function mutants of daf-16, jnk-1, aak-2, tol-1, and tir-1 exhibited a longer lifespan than OP-fed control worms, but BI failed to extend the lifespan of pmk-1, skn-1, and vhp-1 mutants. As skn-1 induces phase 2 detoxification enzymes, our findings suggest that cell wall components of bifidobacteria increase the average lifespan of C. elegans via activation of skn-1, regulated by the p38 MAPK pathway, but not by general activation of the host defense system via DAF-16.

  8. Structural properties of the Caenorhabditis elegans neuronal network.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-02-03

    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.

  9. Structural properties of the Caenorhabditis elegans neuronal network.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lav R Varshney

    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. 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.

  11. Polyamine-independent Expression of Caenorhabditis elegans Antizyme.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stegehake, Dirk; Kurosinski, Marc-André; Schürmann, Sabine; Daniel, Jens; Lüersen, Kai; Liebau, Eva

    2015-07-17

    Degradation of ornithine decarboxylase, the rate-limiting enzyme of polyamine biosynthesis, is promoted by the protein antizyme. Expression of antizyme is positively regulated by rising polyamine concentrations that induce a +1 translational frameshift required for production of the full-length protein. Antizyme itself is negatively regulated by the antizyme inhibitor. In our study, the regulation of Caenorhabditis elegans antizyme was investigated, and the antizyme inhibitor was identified. By applying a novel GFP-based method to monitor antizyme frameshifting in vivo, we show that the induction of translational frameshifting also occurs under stressful conditions. Interestingly, during starvation, the initiation of frameshifting was independent of polyamine concentrations. Because frameshifting was also prevalent in a polyamine auxotroph double mutant, a polyamine-independent regulation of antizyme frameshifting is suggested. Polyamine-independent induction of antizyme expression was found to be negatively regulated by the peptide transporter PEPT-1, as well as the target of rapamycin, but not by the daf-2 insulin signaling pathway. Stress-dependent expression of C. elegans antizyme occurred morely slowly than expression in response to increased polyamine levels, pointing to a more general reaction to unfavorable conditions and a diversion away from proliferation and reproduction toward conservation of energy. Interestingly, antizyme expression was found to drastically increase in aging individuals in a postreproductive manner. Although knockdown of antizyme did not affect the lifespan of C. elegans, knockdown of the antizyme inhibitor led to a significant reduction in lifespan. This is most likely caused by an increase in antizyme-mediated degradation of ornithine decarboxylase-1 and a resulting reduction in cellular polyamine levels.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-07-01

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

  13. Association with Soil Bacteria Enhances p38-Dependent Infection Resistance in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montalvo-Katz, Sirena; Huang, Hao; Appel, Michael David; Berg, Maureen

    2013-01-01

    The importance of our inner microbial communities for proper immune responses against invading pathogens is now well accepted, but the mechanisms underlying this protection are largely unknown. In this study, we used Caenorhabditis elegans to investigate such mechanisms. Since very little is known about the microbes interacting with C. elegans in its natural environment, we began by taking the first steps to characterize the C. elegans microbiota. We established a natural-like environment in which initially germfree, wild-type larvae were grown on enriched soil. Bacterial members of the adult C. elegans microbiota were isolated by culture and identified using 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Using pure cultures of bacterial isolates as food, we identified two, Bacillus megaterium and Pseudomonas mendocina, that enhanced resistance to a subsequent infection with the Gram-negative pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Whereas protection by B. megaterium was linked to impaired egg laying, corresponding to a known trade-off between fecundity and resistance, the mechanism underlying protection conferred by P. mendocina depended on weak induction of immune genes regulated by the p38 MAPK pathway. Disruption of the p38 ortholog, pmk-1, abolished protection. P. mendocina enhanced resistance to P. aeruginosa but not to the Gram-positive pathogen Enterococcus faecalis. Furthermore, protection from P. aeruginosa was similarly induced by a P. aeruginosa gacA mutant with attenuated virulence but not by a different C. elegans-associated Pseudomonas sp. isolate. Our results support a pivotal role for the conserved p38 pathway in microbiota-initiated immune protection and suggest that similarity between microbiota members and pathogens may play a role in such protection. PMID:23230286

  14. microRNAs control of in vivo toxicity from graphene oxide in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Wu, Qiuli; Zhao, Yunli; Zhao, Gui; Wang, Dayong

    2014-10-01

    The molecular basis for in vivo graphene oxide (GO) toxicity is still largely unclear. We here used Caenorhabditis elegans to investigate the microRNAs (miRNAs) control of GO toxicity. With the aid of SOLiD sequencing, we identified 23 up-regulated and 8 down-regulated miRNAs in GO-exposed nematodes. Gene ontology and KEGG pathway database analysis implied that these identified miRNAs might be involved in control of many biological processes, and some of them suggest the possible new functions of GO. Functions of the identified miRNAs in regulating the GO toxicity on lifespan were confirmed in the available miRNAs mutants. Moreover, we provide the evidence to raise a hypothesis that GO may reduce lifespan through influencing the functions of insulin/IGF signaling, TOR signaling, and germline signaling pathways controlled by miRNAs. Our results will be helpful for understanding the molecular basis for GO toxicity, and finding clues for useful surface modifications to reduce GO toxicity. From the clinical editor: In this study, toxicity of graphene oxide is studied in a Caenorhabditis elegans model via microRNA analysis. The authors report that multiple important pathways are influenced by GO and raise a hypothesis that GO may reduce lifespan through influencing the functions of insulin/IGF signaling, TOR signaling, and germline signaling pathways.

  15. Mechanism of Different Stereoisomeric Astaxanthin in Resistance to Oxidative Stress in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Liu, Xiaojuan; Luo, Qingxin; Cao, Yong; Goulette, Timothy; Liu, Xin; Xiao, Hang

    2016-09-01

    As a potent antioxidant in human diet, astaxanthin (AST) may play important roles in alleviating oxidative stress-driven adverse physiological effects. This study examined the effects of different stereoisomers of AST in protecting Caenorhabditis elegans from chemically induced oxidative stress. Three stereoisomers of AST investigated herein included 3S,3´S (S) AST, 3R,3´R (R) AST, and a statistical mixture (S: meso: R = 1:2:1) (M) AST. Under paraquat-induced oxidative conditions, all three types of AST significantly enhanced survival rate of C. elegans. The accumulation levels of ROS in the worms were reduced by 40.12%, 30.05%, and 22.04% by S, R, and M AST, respectively (P < 0.05). Compared with R and M AST, S significantly enhanced the expression levels of SOD-3. The results of RNA-Seq analysis demonstrated that AST protected C. elegans from oxidative damage potentially by modulating genes involved in the insulin/insulin-like growth factor (IGF) signaling (IIS) pathway and the oxidoreductase system. It is noteworthy that different stereoisomers of AST showed different effects on the expression levels of various genes related with oxidative stress. This study revealed important information on the in vivo antioxidative effects of AST stereoisomers, which might provide useful information for better utilization of AST.

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

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    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.

  17. A systems toxicology approach on the mechanism of uptake and toxicity of MWCNT in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Eom, Hyun-Jeong; Roca, Carlos P; Roh, Ji-Yeon; Chatterjee, Nivedita; Jeong, Jae-Seong; Shim, Ilseob; Kim, Hyun-Mi; Kim, Phil-Je; Choi, Kyunghee; Giralt, Francesc; Choi, Jinhee

    2015-09-01

    The increased volumes of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) being utilized in industrial and biomedical processes carries with it an increased risk of unintentional release into the environment, requiring a thorough hazard and risk assessment. In this study, the toxicity of pristine and hydroxylated (OH-) multiwall CNTs (MWCNTs) was investigated in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans using an integrated systems toxicology approach. To gain an insight into the toxic mechanism of MWCNTs, microarray and proteomics were conducted for C. elegans followed by pathway analyses. The results of pathway analyses suggested endocytosis, phagocytosis, oxidative stress and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, as potential mechanisms of uptake and toxicity, which were subsequently investigated using loss-of-function mutants of genes of those pathways. The expression of phagocytosis related genes (i.e. ced-10 and rab-7) were significantly increased upon exposure to OH-MWCNT, concomitantly with the rescued toxicity by loss-of-function mutants of those genes, such as ced-10(n3246) and rab-7(ok511). An increased sensitivity of the hsp-4(gk514) mutant by OH-MWCNT, along with a decreased expression of hsp-4 at both gene and protein level suggests that MWCNTs may affect ER stress response in C. elegans. Collectively, the results implied phagocytosis to be a potential mechanism of uptake of MWCNTs, and ER and oxidative stress as potential mechanisms of toxicity. The integrated systems toxicology approach applied in this study provided a comprehensive insight into the toxic mechanism of MWCNTs in C. elegans, which may eventually be used to develop an "Adverse Outcome Pathway (AOP)", a recently introduced concept as a conceptual framework to link molecular level responses to higher level effects.

  18. Caenorhabditis elegans glutamate transporters influence synaptic function and behavior at sites distant from the synapse.

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    Mano, Itzhak; Straud, Sarah; Driscoll, Monica

    2007-11-23

    To ensure precise neurotransmission and prevent neurotoxic accumulation, l-glutamate (Glu), the major excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain, is cleared from the synapse by glutamate transporters (GluTs). The molecular components of Glu synapses are highly conserved between Caenorhabditis elegans and mammals, yet the absence of synaptic insulation in C. elegans raises fundamental questions about Glu clearance strategies in the nematode nervous system. To gain insight into how Glu clearance is accomplished and how GluTs impact neurotransmission, we probed expression and function of all 6 GluTs found in the C. elegans genome. Disruption of each GluT impacts multiple Glu-dependent behaviors, with GluT combinations commonly increasing the severity of behavioral deficits. Interestingly, the sole GluT that we find expressed in neurons is localized predominantly in presynaptic neurons, in contrast to the postsynaptic concentration of neuronal GluTs typical in mammals. Moreover, 3 of the 6 GluT genes appear strongly expressed on the capillary excretory canal cell, where they affect Glu-dependent behaviors from positions distal to glutamatergic circuits. Indeed, our focused study of GLT-3, one of the distally expressed GluTs, shows that despite this distance, GLT-3 function can balance the activity mediated by synaptic release and synaptic receptors. The effects of distal GluTs on glutamatergic circuits support that Glu diffusion outside the vicinity of the synapse is a critical factor in C. elegans neurotransmission. Together with the presynaptic localization of neuronal GluTs, these observations suggest an unusual strategy for Glu clearance in C. elegans.

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

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    Wu Yonghong

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is both sensitive and tolerant to hypoxic stress, particularly when the evolutionarily conserved hypoxia response pathway HIF-1/EGL-9/VHL is involved. Hypoxia-induced changes in the expression of a number of genes have been analyzed using whole genome microarrays in C. elegans, but the changes at the protein level in response to hypoxic stress still remain unclear. Results Here, we utilized a quantitative proteomic approach to evaluate changes in the expression patterns of proteins during the early response to hypoxia in C. elegans. Two-dimensional difference gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE was used to compare the proteomic maps of wild type C. elegans strain N2 under a 4-h hypoxia treatment (0.2% oxygen and under normoxia (control. A subsequent analysis by MALDI-TOF-TOF-MS revealed nineteen protein spots that were differentially expressed. Nine of the protein spots were significantly upregulated, and ten were downregulated upon hypoxic stress. Three of the upregulated proteins were involved in cytoskeletal function (LEV-11, MLC-1, ACT-4, while another three upregulated (ATP-2, ATP-5, VHA-8 were ATP synthases functionally related to energy metabolism. Four ribosomal proteins (RPL-7, RPL-8, RPL-21, RPS-8 were downregulated, indicating a decrease in the level of protein translation upon hypoxic stress. The overexpression of tropomyosin (LEV-11 was further validated by Western blot. In addition, the mutant strain of lev-11(x12 also showed a hypoxia-sensitive phenotype in subsequent analyses, confirming the proteomic findings. Conclusions Taken together, our data suggest that altered protein expression, structural protein remodeling, and the reduction of translation might play important roles in the early response to oxygen deprivation in C. elegans, and this information will help broaden our knowledge on the mechanism of hypoxia response.

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

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

    2016-05-01

    The Magdalena River is the most important river in Colombia, supplying over 70% of the population of fish and drinking water, and it also is the main river transportation way of the country. It receives effluents from multiple sources along its course such as contaminant agricultural and industrial discharges. To evaluate the toxicity profile of Magdalena River sediments through endpoints such as survival, locomotion, and growth, wild type strains of Caenorhabditis elegans were exposed to aqueous extracts of the sediments. To identify changes in gene expression, GFP transgenic strains were used as reporter genes. Physiological and biochemical data were correlated with metal concentration in the sediments, identifying patterns of toxicity along the course of the river. Levels of some metals such as Cd, Cu, and Ni were above TEC and PEC limits. Effects in survival, growth, and locomotion were observed in most of the samples, and changes in gene expression were evident in the genes mtl-2, sod-4, and gst-1 using fluorescence expression. Cadmium and lead were the metals which were primarily associated with sediment toxicity, and the sampling sites with the highest increased expression of stress response genes were Barrancabermeja and Girardot. However, the diverse nature of toxic profiles observed in C. elegans in the study area showed the pervasiveness of different types of discharges throughout the river system.

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

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    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.

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

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    Palm Megan

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Egg laying is an important phase of the life cycle of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans. Previous studies examined egg-laying events manually. This paper presents a method for automatic detection of egg-laying onset using deformable template matching and other morphological image analysis techniques. Some behavioral changes surrounding egg-laying events are also studied. The results demonstrate that the computer vision tools and the algorithm developed here can be effectively used to study C. elegans egg-laying behaviors. The algorithm developed is an essential part of a machine-vision system for C. elegans tracking and behavioral analysis.

  3. Rendering the Intractable More Tractable: Tools from Caenorhabditis elegans Ripe for Import into Parasitic Nematodes.

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    Ward, Jordan D

    2015-12-01

    Recent and rapid advances in genetic and molecular tools have brought spectacular tractability to Caenorhabditis elegans, a model that was initially prized because of its simple design and ease of imaging. C. elegans has long been a powerful model in biomedical research, and tools such as RNAi and the CRISPR/Cas9 system allow facile knockdown of genes and genome editing, respectively. These developments have created an additional opportunity to tackle one of the most debilitating burdens on global health and food security: parasitic nematodes. I review how development of nonparasitic nematodes as genetic models informs efforts to import tools into parasitic nematodes. Current tools in three commonly studied parasites (Strongyloides spp., Brugia malayi, and Ascaris suum) are described, as are tools from C. elegans that are ripe for adaptation and the benefits and barriers to doing so. These tools will enable dissection of a huge array of questions that have been all but completely impenetrable to date, allowing investigation into host-parasite and parasite-vector interactions, and the genetic basis of parasitism.

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

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    Franciny Aparecida Paiva

    2015-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Caenorhabditis elegans diet significantly affects metabolic profile, mitochondrial DNA levels, lifespan and brood size.

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    Reinke, S N; Hu, X; Sykes, B D; Lemire, B D

    2010-07-01

    Diet can have profound effects on an organism's health. Metabolic studies offer an effective way to measure and understand the physiological effects of diet or disease. The metabolome is very sensitive to dietary, lifestyle and genetic changes. Caenorhabditis elegans, a soil nematode, is an attractive model organism for metabolic studies because of the ease with which genetic and environmental factors can be controlled. In this work, we report significant effects of diet, mutation and RNA interference on the C.elegans metabolome. Two strains of Escherichia coli, OP50 and HT115 are commonly employed as food sources for maintaining and culturing the nematode. We studied the metabolic and phenotypic effects of culturing wild-type and mutant worms on these two strains of E. coli. We report significant effects of diet on metabolic profile, on mitochondrial DNA copy number and on phenotype. The dietary effects we report are similar in magnitude to the effects of mutations or RNA interference-mediated gene suppression. This is the first critical evaluation of the physiological and metabolic effects on C.elegans of two commonly used culture conditions.

  7. 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.

  8. Control of Neuropeptide Expression by Parallel Activity-dependent Pathways in Caenorhabditis elegans

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

    2017-01-01

    Monitoring of neuronal activity within circuits facilitates integrated responses and rapid changes in behavior. We have identified a system in Caenorhabditis elegans where neuropeptide expression is dependent on the ability of the BAG neurons to sense carbon dioxide. In C. elegans, CO2 sensing is predominantly coordinated by the BAG-expressed receptor-type guanylate cyclase GCY-9. GCY-9 binding to CO2 causes accumulation of cyclic GMP and opening of the cGMP-gated TAX-2/TAX-4 cation channels; provoking an integrated downstream cascade that enables C. elegans to avoid high CO2. Here we show that cGMP 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 CO2-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 to sense changes in carbon dioxide and CREB transcription factor. Such regulation may be required in particular environmental conditions to enable sophisticated behavioral decisions to be performed. PMID:28139692

  9. In vivo imaging and toxicity assessments of fluorescent nanodiamonds in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Mohan, Nitin; Chen, Chao-Sheng; Hsieh, Hsiao-Han; Wu, Yi-Chun; Chang, Huan-Cheng

    2010-09-08

    Nanoscale carbon materials hold great promise for biotechnological and biomedical applications. Fluorescent nanodiamond (FND) is a recent new addition to members of the nanocarbon family. Here, we report long-term in vivo imaging of FNDs in Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) and explore the nano-biointeractions between this novel nanomaterial and the model organism. FNDs are introduced into wild-type C. elegans by either feeding them with colloidal FND solution or microinjecting FND suspension into the gonads of the worms. On feeding, bare FNDs stay in the intestinal lumen, while FNDs conjugated with biomolecules (such as dextran and bovine serum albumin) are absorbed into the intestinal cells. On microinjection, FNDs are dispersed in the gonad and delivered to the embryos and eventually into the hatched larvae in the next generation. The toxicity assessments, performed by employing longevity and reproductive potential as physiological indicators and measuring stress responses with use of reporter genes, show that FNDs are stable and nontoxic and do not cause any detectable stress to the worms. The high brightness, excellent photostability, and nontoxic nature of the nanomaterial have enabled continuous imaging of the whole digestive system and tracking of the cellular and developmental processes of the living organism for several days.

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

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    Zanni, Elena; Laudenzi, Chiara; Schifano, Emily; Palleschi, Claudio; Perozzi, Giuditta; Uccelletti, Daniela; Devirgiliis, Chiara

    2015-01-01

    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.

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

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    Zhang, Jiaolong; Lu, Lulu; Zhou, Lijun

    2015-12-25

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

  12. A neuromedin-pyrokinin-like neuropeptide signaling system in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Lindemans, Marleen; Janssen, Tom; Husson, Steven J; Meelkop, Ellen; Temmerman, Liesbet; Clynen, Elke; Mertens, Inge; Schoofs, Liliane

    2009-02-13

    Neuromedin U (NMU) in vertebrates is a structurally highly conserved neuropeptide of which highest levels are found in the pituitary and gastrointestinal tract. In Drosophila, two neuropeptide genes encoding pyrokinins (PKs), capability (capa) and hugin, are possible insect homologs of vertebrate NMU. Here, the ligand for an orphan G protein-coupled receptor in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (Ce-PK-R) was found using a bioinformatics approach. After cloning and expressing Ce-PK-R in HEK293T cells, we found that it was activated by a neuropeptide from the C. elegans NLP-44 precursor (EC(50)=18nM). This neuropeptide precursor is reminiscent of insect CAPA precursors since it encodes a PK-like peptide and two periviscerokinin-like peptides (PVKs). Analogous to CAPA peptides in insects and NMUs in vertebrates, whole mount immunostaining in C. elegans revealed that the CAPA precursor is expressed in the nervous system. The present data also suggest that the ancestral CAPA precursor was already present in the common ancestor of Protostomians and Deuterostomians and that it might have been duplicated into CAPA and HUGIN in insects. In vertebrates, NMU is the putative homolog of a protostomian CAPA-PK.

  13. Caenorhabditis elegans-based screen identifies Salmonella virulence factors required for conserved host-pathogen interactions.

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    Tenor, Jennifer L; McCormick, Beth A; Ausubel, Frederick M; Aballay, Alejandro

    2004-06-01

    A Caenorhabditis elegans-Salmonella enterica host-pathogen model was used to identify both novel and previously known S. enterica virulence factors (HilA, HilD, InvH, SptP, RhuM, Spi4-F, PipA, VsdA, RepC, Sb25, RfaL, GmhA, LeuO, CstA, and RecC), including several related to the type III secretion system (TTSS) encoded in Salmonella pathogenicity island 1 (SPI-1). Mutants corresponding to presumptive novel virulence-related genes exhibited diminished ability to invade epithelial cells and/or to induce polymorphonuclear leukocyte migration in a tissue culture model of mammalian enteropathogenesis. When expressed in C. elegans intestinal cells, the S. enterica TTSS-exported effector protein SptP inhibited a conserved p38 MAPK signaling pathway and suppressed the diminished pathogenicity phenotype of an S. enterica sptP mutant. These results show that C. elegans is an attractive model to study the interaction between Salmonella effector proteins and components of the innate immune response, in part because there is a remarkable overlap between Salmonella virulence factors required for human and nematode pathogenesis.

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

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

    2012-03-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Caenorhabditis elegans SOS-1 is necessary for multiple RAS-mediated developmental signals

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    Chang, Chieh; Hopper, Neil A.; Sternberg, Paul W.

    2000-01-01

    Vulval induction in Caenorhabditis elegans has helped define an evolutionarily conserved signal transduction pathway from receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) through the adaptor protein SEM-5 to RAS. One component present in other organisms, a guanine nucleotide exchange factor for Ras, has been missing in C.elegans. To understand the regulation of this pathway it is crucial to have all positive-acting components in hand. Here we describe the identification, cloning and genetic characterization of C.elegans SOS-1, a putative guanine nucleotide exchanger for LET-60 RAS. RNA interference experiments suggest that SOS-1 participates in RAS-dependent signaling events downstream of LET-23 EGFR, EGL-15 FGFR and an unknown RTK. We demonstrate that the previously identified let-341 gene encodes SOS-1. Analyzing vulval development in a let-341 null mutant, we find an SOS-1-independent pathway involved in the activation of RAS signaling. This SOS-1-independent signaling is not inhibited by SLI-1/Cbl and is not mediated by PTP-2/SHP, raising the possibility that there could be another RasGEF. PMID:10880441

  17. 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.

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

  20. Molecular and biochemical analysis of the α class carbonic anhydrases in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Fasseas, Michael K; Tsikou, Daniela; Flemetakis, Emmanouil; Katinakis, Panagiotis

    2011-03-01

    In this study, in silico analysis of the Caenorhabditis elegans genome revealed six genes (cah-1, cah-2, cah-3, cah-4, cah-5, and cah-6) possibly encoding α class CAs (carbonic anhydrase). Real-time RT-PCR analysis revealed the temporal expression pattern of each gene, as well as changes in expression levels under different atmospheric conditions (stress). Cah-3 and cah-4 showed the highest levels of transcript accumulation, while most genes responded to the stress conditions. Yeast complementation showed that cah-3 was able to complement the function of Saccharomyces cerevisiae CA (NCE103) in vivo. Recombinant CAH-3, CAH-4a and CAH-5 enzymes, expressed in Escherichia coli were used for in vitro measurement of CA activity. However, in vitro activity was only detectable for CAH-4a. RNAi by feeding was performed on wild-type C. elegans for all genes. The worms were examined for a visible phenotype under normal and stress conditions (pH, CO(2)/O(2)). Silencing cah-3 and cah-4 may reduce the life-span of the worms (at 22 °C).

  1. miR-58 family and TGF-β pathways regulate each other in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    de Lucas, María Pilar; Sáez, Alberto G; Lozano, Encarnación

    2015-11-16

    Despite the fact that microRNAs (miRNAs) modulate the expression of around 60% of protein-coding genes, it is often hard to elucidate their precise role and target genes. Studying miRNA families as opposed to single miRNAs alone increases our chances of observing not only mutant phenotypes but also changes in the expression of target genes. Here we ask whether the TGF-β signalling pathways, which control many animal processes, might be modulated by miRNAs in Caenorhabditis elegans. Using a mutant for four members of the mir-58 family, we show that both TGF-β Sma/Mab (controlling body size) and TGF-β Dauer (regulating dauer, a stress-resistant larval stage) are upregulated. Thus, mir-58 family directly inhibits the expression of dbl-1 (ligand), daf-1, daf-4 and sma-6 (receptors) of TGF-β pathways. Epistasis experiments reveal that whereas the small body phenotype of the mir-58 family mutant must invoke unknown targets independent from TGF-β Sma/Mab, its dauer defectiveness can be rescued by DAF-1 depletion. Additionally, we found a negative feedback loop between TGF-β Sma/Mab and mir-58 and the related mir-80. Our results suggest that the interaction between mir-58 family and TGF-β genes is key on decisions about animal growth and stress resistance in C. elegans and perhaps other organisms.

  2. 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.

  3. Sphingolipid metabolism regulates development and lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Cutler, Roy G; Thompson, Kenneth W; Camandola, Simonetta; Mack, Kendra T; Mattson, Mark P

    2014-12-15

    Sphingolipids are a highly conserved lipid component of cell membranes involved in the formation of lipid raft domains that house many of the receptors and cell-to-cell signaling factors involved in regulating cell division, maturation, and terminal differentiation. By measuring and manipulating sphingolipid metabolism using pharmacological and genetic tools in Caenorhabditis elegans, we provide evidence that the synthesis and remodeling of specific ceramides (e.g., dC18:1-C24:1), gangliosides (e.g., GM1-C24:1), and sphingomyelins (e.g., dC18:1-C18:1) influence development rate and lifespan. We found that the levels of fatty acid chain desaturation and elongation in many sphingolipid species increased during development and aging, with no such changes in developmentally-arrested dauer larvae or normal adults after food withdrawal (an anti-aging intervention). Pharmacological inhibitors and small interfering RNAs directed against serine palmitoyl transferase and glucosylceramide synthase acted to slow development rate, extend the reproductive period, and increase lifespan. In contrast, worms fed an egg yolk diet rich in sphingolipids exhibited accelerated development and reduced lifespan. Our findings demonstrate that sphingolipid accumulation and remodeling are critical events that determine development rate and lifespan in the nematode model, with both development rate and aging being accelerated by the synthesis of sphingomyelin, and its metabolism to ceramides and gangliosides.

  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. Radiation effects on life span in Caenorhabditis elegans

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

    1988-09-01

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

  6. Epidermal growth factor signaling induces behavioral quiescence in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Van Buskirk, Cheryl; Sternberg, Paul W

    2007-10-01

    The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)/ErbB receptor tyrosine kinases regulate several aspects of development, including the development of the mammalian nervous system. ErbB signaling also has physiological effects on neuronal function, with influences on synaptic plasticity and daily cycles of activity. However, little is known about the effectors of EGFR activation in neurons. Here we show that EGF signaling has a nondevelopmental effect on behavior in Caenorhabditis elegans. Ectopic expression of the EGF-like ligand LIN-3 at any stage induces a reversible cessation of feeding and locomotion. These effects are mediated by neuronal EGFR (also called LET-23) and phospholipase C-gamma (PLC-gamma), diacylglycerol-binding proteins, and regulators of synaptic vesicle release. Activation of EGFR within a single neuron, ALA, is sufficient to induce a quiescent state. This pathway modulates the cessation of pharyngeal pumping and locomotion that normally occurs during the lethargus period that precedes larval molting. Our results reveal an evolutionarily conserved role for EGF signaling in the regulation of behavioral quiescence.

  7. Sperm status regulates sexual attraction in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Morsci, Natalia S; Haas, Leonard A; Barr, Maureen M

    2011-12-01

    Mating behavior of animals is regulated by the sensory stimuli provided by the other sex. Sexually receptive females emit mating signals that can be inhibited by male ejaculate. The genetic mechanisms controlling the release of mating signals and encoding behavioral responses remain enigmatic. Here we present evidence of a Caenorhabditis elegans hermaphrodite-derived cue that stimulates male mating-response behavior and is dynamically regulated by her reproductive status. Wild-type males preferentially mated with older hermaphrodites. Increased sex appeal of older hermaphrodites was potent enough to stimulate robust response from mating-deficient pkd-2 and lov-1 polycystin mutant males. This enhanced response of pkd-2 males toward older hermaphrodites was independent of short-chain ascaroside pheromones, but was contingent on the absence of active sperm in the hermaphrodites. The improved pkd-2 male response toward spermless hermaphrodites was blocked by prior insemination or by genetic ablation of the ceh-18-dependent sperm-sensing pathway of the hermaphrodite somatic gonad. Our work suggests an interaction between sperm and the soma that has a negative but reversible effect on a hermaphrodite-derived mating cue that regulates male mating response, a phenomenon to date attributed to gonochoristic species only.

  8. Life Span and Motility Effects of Ethanolic Extracts from Sophora moorcroftiana Seeds on Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xin; Han, Junxian; Zhu, Rongyan; Cui, Rongrong; Ma, Xingming; Dong, Kaizhong

    2016-01-01

    Background: Sophora moorcroftiana is an endemic shrub species with a great value in folk medicine in Tibet, China. In this study, relatively little is known about whether S. moorcroftiana is beneficial in animals' nervous system and life span or not. Materials and Methods: To address this question, under survival normal temperature (25°C), S. moorcroftiana seeds were extracted with 95% ethanol, and Caenorhabditis elegans were exposed to three different extract concentrations (100 mg/L, 200 mg/L, and 400 mg/mL) from S. moorcroftiana seeds. Results: The 95% ethanolic extracts from S. moorcroftiana seeds could increase life span and slow aging-related increase in C. elegans and could not obviously influence the motility of C. elegans. Conclusion: Given these results by our experiment for life span and motility with 95% ethanolic extracts from S. moorcroftiana seeds in C. elegans, the question whether S. moorcroftiana acts as an anti-aging substance in vivo arises. SUMMARY The 95% ethanolic extracts from S. moorcroftiana seeds have no effect on the life span in C. elegans when extract concentrations from S. moorcroftiana seeds <400 mg/LThe 400 mg/L 95% ethanolic extracts from S. moorcroftiana seeds could increase life span in C. elegansThe 95% ethanolic extracts from S. moorcroftiana seeds could not obviously influence the motility in C. elegans. Abbreviation used: S. moorcroftiana: Sophora moorcroftiana; C. elegan: Caenorhabditis elegan; E. coli OP50: Escherichia coli OP50; DMSO: Dimethyl sulfoxide. PMID:27279712

  9. Phase transition in Caenorhabditis elegans: A classical oil-water phase separation?

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    Weber, Christoph; Tony Hyman Collaboration; Andrés Delgadillo Collaboration; Frank Jülicher Team

    2014-03-01

    In Caenorhabditis elegans droplets form before the cell divides. These droplets, also referred to as P-granules, consist of a variety of unstructured proteins and mRNA. Brangwynne et al. [Science, 2009] showed that the P-granules exhibit fluid-like behavior and that the phase separation is controlled spatially by a gradient of a component called Mex-5. It is believed that this system exhibits the same characteristics as a classical oil-water phase separation. Here we report the recent experimental investigations on the phase separation in Caenorhabditis elegans and compare our findings with a classical oil-water phase separation. Specifically, we consider the underlying coarsening mechanisms as well as the impact of temperature and species composition. Finally, we present a preliminary model incorporating the characteristics of the phase separation kinetics for Caenorhabditis elegans.

  10. Oat consumption reduced intestinal fat deposition and improved health span in Caenorhabditis elegans model.

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    Gao, Chenfei; Gao, Zhanguo; Greenway, Frank L; Burton, Jeffrey H; Johnson, William D; Keenan, Michael J; Enright, Frederick M; Martin, Roy J; Chu, YiFang; Zheng, Jolene

    2015-09-01

    In addition to their fermentable dietary fiber and the soluble β-glucan fiber, oats have unique avenanthramides that have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that reduce coronary heart disease in human clinical trials. We hypothesized that oat consumption will increase insulin sensitivity, reduce body fat, and improve health span in Caenorhabditis elegans through a mechanism involving the daf-2 gene, which codes for the insulin/insulin-like growth factor-1-like receptor, and that hyperglycemia will attenuate these changes. Caenorhabditis elegans wild type (N2) and the null strains sir-2.1, daf-16, and daf-16/daf-2 were fed Escherichia coli (OP50) and oat flakes (0.5%, 1.0%, or 3%) with and without 2% glucose. Oat feeding decreased intestinal fat deposition in N2, daf-16, or daf-16/daf-2 strains (P < .05); and glucose did not affect intestinal fat deposition response. The N2, daf-16, or sir-2.1 mutant increased the pharyngeal pumping rate (P < .05), a surrogate marker of life span, following oat consumption. Oat consumption increased ckr-1, gcy-8, cpt-1, and cpt-2 mRNA expression in both the N2 and the sir-2.1 mutant, with significantly higher expression in sir-2.1 than in N2 (P < .01). Additional glucose further increased expression 1.5-fold of the 4 genes in N2 (P < .01), decreased the expression of all except cpt-1 in the daf-16 mutant, and reduced mRNA expression of the 4 genes in the daf-16/daf-2 mutant (P < .01). These data suggest that oat consumption reduced fat storage and increased ckr-1, gcy-8, cpt-1, or cpt-2 through the sir-2.1 genetic pathway. Oat consumption may be a beneficial dietary intervention for reducing fat accumulation, augmenting health span, and improving hyperglycemia-impaired lipid metabolism.

  11. Metabolic labeling of Caenorhabditis elegans primary embryonic cells with azido-sugars as a tool for glycoprotein discovery.

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    Amanda R Burnham-Marusich

    Full Text Available Glycobiology research with Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans has benefitted from the numerous genetic and cell biology tools available in this system. However, the lack of a cell line and the relative inaccessibility of C. elegans somatic cells in vivo have limited the biochemical approaches available in this model. Here we report that C. elegans primary embryonic cells in culture incorporate azido-sugar analogs of N-acetylgalactosamine (GalNAc and N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc, and that the labeled glycoproteins can be analyzed by mass spectrometry. By using this metabolic labeling approach, we have identified a set of novel C. elegans glycoprotein candidates, which include several mitochondrially-annotated proteins. This observation was unexpected given that mitochondrial glycoproteins have only rarely been reported, and it suggests that glycosylation of mitochondrially-annotated proteins might occur more frequently than previously thought. Using independent experimental strategies, we validated a subset of our glycoprotein candidates. These include a mitochondrial, atypical glycoprotein (ATP synthase α-subunit, a predicted glycoprotein (aspartyl protease, ASP-4, and a protein family with established glycosylation in other species (actin. Additionally, we observed a glycosylated isoform of ATP synthase α-subunit in bovine heart tissue and a primate cell line (COS-7. Overall, our finding that C. elegans primary embryonic cells are amenable to metabolic labeling demonstrates that biochemical studies in C. elegans are feasible, which opens the door to labeling C. elegans cells with other radioactive or azido-substrates and should enable the identification of additional post-translationally modified targets and analysis of the genes required for their modification using C. elegans mutant libraries.

  12. Caenorhabditis elegans immune conditioning with the probiotic bacterium Lactobacillus acidophilus strain NCFM enhances gram-positive immune responses.

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    Kim, Younghoon; Mylonakis, Eleftherios

    2012-07-01

    Although the immune response of Caenorhabditis elegans to microbial infections is well established, very little is known about the effects of health-promoting probiotic bacteria on evolutionarily conserved C. elegans host responses. We found that the probiotic Gram-positive bacterium Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM is not harmful to C. elegans and that L. acidophilus NCFM is unable to colonize the C. elegans intestine. Conditioning with L. acidophilus NCFM significantly decreased the burden of a subsequent Enterococcus faecalis infection in the nematode intestine and prolonged the survival of nematodes exposed to pathogenic strains of E. faecalis and Staphylococcus aureus, including multidrug-resistant (MDR) isolates. Preexposure of nematodes to Bacillus subtilis did not provide any beneficial effects. Importantly, L. acidophilus NCFM activates key immune signaling pathways involved in C. elegans defenses against Gram-positive bacteria, including the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway (via TIR-1 and PMK-1) and the β-catenin signaling pathway (via BAR-1). Interestingly, conditioning with L. acidophilus NCFM had a minimal effect on Gram-negative infection with Pseudomonas aeruginosa or Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium and had no or a negative effect on defense genes associated with Gram-negative pathogens or general stress. In conclusion, we describe a new system for the study of probiotic immune agents and our findings demonstrate that probiotic conditioning with L. acidophilus NCFM modulates specific C. elegans immunity traits.

  13. 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.

  14. The nucleotide excision repair pathway is required for UV-C-induced apoptosis in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Stergiou, L; Doukoumetzidis, K; Sendoel, A; Hengartner, M O

    2007-06-01

    Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is a mutagen of major clinical importance in humans. UV-induced damage activates multiple signaling pathways, which initiate DNA repair, cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. To better understand these pathways, we studied the responses to UV-C light (254 nm) of germ cells in Caenorhabditis elegans. We found that UV activates the same cellular responses in worms as in mammalian cells. Both UV-induced apoptosis and cell cycle arrest were completely dependent on the p53 homolog CEP-1, the checkpoint proteins HUS-1 and CLK-2, and the checkpoint kinases CHK-2 and ATL-1 (the C. elegans homolog of ataxia telangiectasia and Rad3-related); ATM-1 (ataxia telangiectasia mutated-1) was also required, but only at low irradiation doses. Importantly, mutation of genes encoding nucleotide excision repair pathway components severely disrupted both apoptosis and cell cycle arrest, suggesting that these genes not only participate in repair, but also signal the presence of damage to downstream components of the UV response pathway that we delineate here. Our study suggests that whereas DNA damage response pathways are conserved in metazoans in their general outline, there is significant evolution in the relative importance of individual checkpoint genes in the response to specific types of DNA damage.

  15. CCDC-55 is required for larval development and distal tip cell migration in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kovacevic, Ismar; Ho, Richard; Cram, Erin J

    2012-01-01

    The Caenorhabditis elegans distal tip cells (DTCs) are an in vivo model for the study of developmentally regulated cell migration. In this study, we characterize a novel role for CCDC-55, a conserved coiled-coil domain containing protein, in DTC migration and larval development in C. elegans. Although animals homozygous for a probable null allele, ccdc-55(ok2851), display an early larval arrest, RNAi depletion experiments allow the analysis of later phenotypes and suggest that CCDC-55 is needed within the DTC for migration to cease at the end of larval morphogenesis. The ccdc-55 gene is found in an operon with rnf-121 and rnf-5, E3 ubiquitin ligases that target cell migration genes such as the β-integrin PAT-3. Genetic interaction studies using RNAi depletion and the deletion alleles rnf-121(ok848) and rnf-5(tm794) indicate that CCDC-55 and the RNF genes act at least partially in parallel to promote termination of cell migration in the adult DTC.

  16. DNA replication defects delay cell division and disrupt cell polarity in early Caenorhabditis elegans embryos.

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    Encalada, S E; Martin, P R; Phillips, J B; Lyczak, R; Hamill, D R; Swan, K A; Bowerman, B

    2000-12-15

    In early Caenorhabditis elegans embryos, asymmetric cell divisions produce descendants with asynchronous cell cycle times. To investigate the relationship between cell cycle regulation and pattern formation, we have identified a collection of embryonic-lethal mutants in which cell divisions are delayed and cell fate patterns are abnormal. In div (for division delayed) mutant embryos, embryonic cell divisions are delayed but remain asynchronous. Some div mutants produce well-differentiated cell types, but they frequently lack the endodermal and mesodermal cell fates normally specified by a transcriptional activator called SKN-1. We show that mislocalization of PIE-1, a negative regulator of SKN-1, prevents the specification of endoderm and mesoderm in div-1 mutant embryos. In addition to defects in the normally asymmetric distribution of PIE-1, div mutants also exhibit other losses of asymmetry during early embryonic cleavages. The daughters of normally asymmetric divisions are nearly equal in size, and cytoplasmic P-granules are not properly localized to germline precursors in div mutant embryos. Thus the proper timing of cell division appears to be important for multiple aspects of asymmetric cell division. One div gene, div-1, encodes the B subunit of the DNA polymerase alpha-primase complex. Reducing the function of other DNA replication genes also results in a delayed division phenotype and embryonic lethality. Thus the other div genes we have identified are likely to encode additional components of the DNA replication machinery in C. elegans.

  17. 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.

  18. Adverse effects from clenbuterol and ractopamine on nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and the underlying mechanism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  19. Two Neuronal G Proteins Are Involved in Chemosensation of the Caenorhabditis Elegans Dauer-Inducing Pheromone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwaal, R. R.; Mendel, J. E.; Sternberg, P. W.; Plasterk, RHA.

    1997-01-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans uses chemosensation to determine its course of development. Young larvae can arrest as dauer larvae in response to increasing population density, which they measure by a nematode-excreted pheromone, and decreasing food supply. Dauer larvae can resume development in response to a decrease in pheromone and increase in food concentration. We show here that two novel G protein alpha subunits (GPA-2 and GPA-3) show promoter activity in subsets of chemosensory neurons and are involved in the decision to form dauer larvae primarily through the response to dauer pheromone. Dominant activating mutations in these G proteins result in constitutive, pheromone-independent dauer formation, whereas inactivation results in reduced sensitivity to pheromone, and, under certain conditions, an alteration in the response to food. Interactions between gpa-2, gpa-3 and other genes controlling dauer formation suggest that these G proteins may act in parallel to regulate the neuronal decision making that precedes dauer formation. PMID:9055081

  20. Caenorhabditis elegans as a simple model host for Vibrio vulnificus infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dhakal, Bijaya Kumar; Lee, Wonhae; Kim, Young Ran; Choy, Hyon E; Ahnn, Joohong; Rhee, Joon Haeng

    2006-08-04

    Vibrio vulnificus is a human opportunistic pathogen which causes fatal septicemia and necrotic wound infection, resulting in a high mortality (over 50%). Caenorhabditis elegans has been studied as a model experimental host for V. vulnificus infection. V. vulnificus was shown to kill C. elegans effectively on different growth media and culture conditions. A marked reduction was observed in the life spans of worms when they were fed on V. vulnificus rather than on the ordinary laboratory food source, Escherichia coli OP50. The intestines of the C. elegans fed on V. vulnificus were grossly distended. In the C. elegans infection model, a V. vulnificus global virulence regulator CRP mutant and an exotoxin mutant exhibited significantly extended host killing duration. Here, we have shown that the virulence factors essential to mammalian V. vulnificus infections also play important roles in the killing of C. elegans, and thereby suggest that C. elegans is a favorable model for host-parasite interaction.

  1. A Stenotrophomonas maltophilia Strain Evades a Major Caenorhabditis elegans Defense Pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Corin V; Darby, Brian J; Breeden, Robert J; Herman, Michael A

    2015-12-07

    Stenotrophomonas maltophilia is a ubiquitous bacterium and an emerging nosocomial pathogen. This bacterium is resistant to many antibiotics, associated with a number of infections, and a significant health risk, especially for immunocompromised patients. Given that Caenorhabditis elegans shares many conserved genetic pathways and pathway components with higher organisms, the study of its interaction with bacterial pathogens has biomedical implications. S. maltophilia has been isolated in association with nematodes from grassland soils, and it is likely that C. elegans encounters this bacterium in nature. We found that a local S. maltophilia isolate, JCMS, is more virulent than the other S. maltophilia isolates (R551-3 and K279a) tested. JCMS virulence correlates with intestinal distension and bacterial accumulation and requires the bacteria to be alive. Many of the conserved innate immune pathways that serve to protect C. elegans from various pathogenic bacteria also play a role in combating S. maltophilia JCMS. However, S. maltophilia JCMS is virulent to normally pathogen-resistant DAF-2/16 insulin-like signaling pathway mutants. Furthermore, several insulin-like signaling effector genes were not significantly differentially expressed between S. maltophilia JCMS and avirulent bacteria (Escherichia coli OP50). Taken together, these findings suggest that S. maltophilia JCMS evades the pathogen resistance conferred by the loss of DAF-2/16 pathway components. In summary, we have discovered a novel host-pathogen interaction between C. elegans and S. maltophilia and established a new animal model with which to study the mode of action of this emerging nosocomial pathogen.

  2. 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.

  3. Developmental abnormality induced by strong static magnetic field in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Lei; Du, Hua; Guo, Xiaoying; Wang, Xinan; Wang, Meimei; Wang, Yichen; Wang, Min; Chen, Shaopeng; Wu, Lijun; Xu, An

    2015-04-01

    Understanding the effects of strong static magnetic fields (SMFs) on living organisms is significant in health risk assessment, but underlying mechanisms are largely unknown. In the present study, we determined developmental abnormalities induced by 8.5Tesla (T) SMFs in a well-established in vivo model organism, Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans). Exposure of C. elegans eggs to 8.5 T SMF resulted in a time-dependent lifespan decrease, whereas only slight changes were observed upon exposure to 5 T SMF. Although SMF exposure did not alter brood size, development rate and stages were significantly modified by 8.5 T SMF. Germ cell apoptosis dramatically increased upon exposure to 8.5 T SMF in adult worms, as confirmed by ced-3 and ced-4 mutants, and could be prevented by concurrent treatment with a free radical scavenger, dimethyl sulfoxide. Compared to wild-type worms, shorter lifespan and greater numbers of apoptotic cells were observed in abnormal methyl viologen sensitivity-1 (mev-1(kn1)) nematodes with increased sensitivity to oxidative damage. Furthermore, exposure to 8.5 T SMF increased expression of superoxide dismutase-3 (sod-3), which is thought to protect against oxidative stress. However, 8.5 T SMF had minimal effects on lifespans of daf-2 and daf-16 mutants, which have compromised insulin/IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factors-1) mediated signaling pathways; this finding was consistent with the expression of these genes in wild-type worms. Our results indicate that developmental toxicity induced by strong SMF in C. elegans is mediated by oxidative stress and may be regulated by the insulin-like receptor pathway.

  4. HSF-1 is involved in regulation of ascaroside pheromone biosynthesis by heat stress in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joo, Hyoe-Jin; Park, Saeram; Kim, Kwang-Youl; Kim, Mun-Young; Kim, Heekyeong; Park, Donha; Paik, Young-Ki

    2016-03-15

    The nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans survives by adapting to environmental stresses such as temperature extremes by increasing the concentrations of ascaroside pheromones, termed ascarosides or daumones, which signal early C. elegans larvae to enter a non-aging dauer state for long-term survival. It is well known that production of ascarosides is stimulated by heat stress, resulting in enhanced dauer formation by which worms can adapt to environmental insults. However, the molecular mechanism by which ascaroside pheromone biosynthesis is stimulated by heat stress remains largely unknown. In the present study, we show that the heat-shock transcription factor HSF-1 can mediate enhanced ascaroside pheromone biosynthesis in response to heat stress by activating the peroxisomal fatty acid β-oxidation genes in C. elegans. To explore the potential molecular mechanisms, we examined the four major genes involved in the ascaroside biosynthesis pathway and then quantified the changes in both the expression of these genes and ascaroside production under heat-stress conditions. The transcriptional activation of ascaroside pheromone biosynthesis genes by HSF-1 was quite notable, which is not only supported by chromatin immunoprecipitation assays, but also accompanied by the enhanced production of chemically detectable major ascarosides (e.g. daumones 1 and 3). Consequently, the dauer formation rate was significantly increased by the ascaroside pheromone extracts from N2 wild-type but not from hsf-1(sy441) mutant animals grown under heat-stress conditions. Hence heat-stress-enhanced ascaroside production appears to be mediated at least in part by HSF-1, which seems to be important in adaptation strategies for coping with heat stress in this nematode.

  5. 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...

  6. Genome-wide evaluation of the interplay between Caenorhabditis elegans and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis during in vivo biofilm formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joshua, George W P; Atkinson, Steve; Goldstone, Robert J; Patrick, Hannah L; Stabler, Richard A; Purves, Joanne; Cámara, Miguel; Williams, Paul; Wren, Brendan W

    2015-01-01

    The formation of an incapacitating biofilm on Caenorhabditis elegans by Yersinia pseudotuberculosis represents a tractable model for investigating the genetic basis for host-pathogen interplay during the biofilm-mediated infection of a living surface. Previously we established a role for quorum sensing (QS) and the master motility regulator, FlhDC, in biofilm formation by Y. pseudotuberculosis on C. elegans. To obtain further genome-wide insights, we used transcriptomic analysis to obtain comparative information on C. elegans in the presence and absence of biofilm and on wild-type Y. pseudotuberculosis and Y. pseudotuberculosis QS mutants. Infection of C. elegans with the wild-type Y. pseudotuberculosis resulted in the differential regulation of numerous genes, including a distinct subset of nematode C-lectin (clec) and fatty acid desaturase (fat) genes. Evaluation of the corresponding C. elegans clec-49 and fat-3 deletion mutants showed delayed biofilm formation and abolished biofilm formation, respectively. Transcriptomic analysis of Y. pseudotuberculosis revealed that genes located in both of the histidine utilization (hut) operons were upregulated in both QS and flhDC mutants. In addition, mutation of the regulatory gene hutC resulted in the loss of biofilm, increased expression of flhDC, and enhanced swimming motility. These data are consistent with the existence of a regulatory cascade in which the Hut pathway links QS and flhDC. This work also indicates that biofilm formation by Y. pseudotuberculosis on C. elegans is an interactive process during which the initial attachment/recognition of Yersinia to/by C. elegans is followed by bacterial growth and biofilm formation.

  7. 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.

  8. Worming forward: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis toxicity mechanisms and genetic interactions in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martine eTherrien

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Neurodegenerative diseases share pathogenic mechanisms at the cellular level including protein misfolding, excitotoxicity and altered RNA homeostasis among others. Recent advances have shown that the genetic causes underlying these pathologies overlap, hinting at the existence of a genetic network for neurodegeneration. This is perhaps best illustrated by the recent discoveries of causative mutations for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS and frontotemporal degeneration (FTD. Once thought to be distinct entities, it is now recognized that these diseases exist along a genetic spectrum. With this wealth of discoveries comes the need to develop new genetic models of ALS and FTD to investigate not only pathogenic mechanisms linked to causative mutations, but to uncover potential genetic interactions that may point to new therapeutic targets. Given the conservation of many disease genes across evolution, Caenorhabditis elegans is an ideal system to investigate genetic interactions amongst these genes. Here we review the use of C. elegans to model ALS and investigate a putative genetic network for ALS/FTD that may extend to other neurological disorders.

  9. 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 elegans exposed to ELF-EMF have enhanced energy metabolism and restricted dietary, which might contribute to the resistance against exogenous ELF-EMF stress.

  10. The effects of translocations on recombination frequency in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKim, K S; Howell, A M; Rose, A M

    1988-12-01

    In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, recombination suppression in translocation heterozygotes is severe and extensive. We have examined the meiotic properties of two translocations involving chromosome I, szT1(I;X) and hT1(I;V). No recombination was observed in either of these translocation heterozygotes along the left (let-362-unc-13) 17 map units of chromosome I. Using half-translocations as free duplications, we mapped the breakpoints of szT1 and hT1. The boundaries of crossover suppression coincided with the physical breakpoints. We propose that DNA sequences at the right end of chromosome I facilitate pairing and recombination. We use the data from translocations of other chromosomes to map the location of pairing sites on four other chromosomes. hT1 and szT1 differed markedly in their effect on recombination adjacent to the crossover suppressed region. hT1 had no effect on recombination in the adjacent interval. In contrast, the 0.8 map unit interval immediately adjacent to the szT1(I;X) breakpoint on chromosome I increased to 2.5 map units in translocation heterozygotes. This increase occurs in a chromosomal interval which can be expanded by treatment with radiation. These results are consistent with the suggestion that the szT1(I) breakpoint is in a region of DNA in which meiotic recombination is suppressed relative to the genomic average. We propose that DNA sequences disrupted by the szT1 translocation are responsible for determining the frequency of meiotic recombination in the vicinity of the breakpoint.

  11. 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

  12. Biochemistry and molecular biology of the Caenorhabditis elegans dauer larva

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wadsworth, W.G.

    1989-01-01

    Biochemical and molecular techniques have been used to study the formation and recovery of the developmentally arrested, non-feeding dauer stage of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. While investigating developmental transitions in energy metabolism, a major metabolite isolated from perchloric acid extracts has been identified as a modified uridine nucleotide. The compound was isolated by gel filtration and ion-exchange chromatography and its structure was determined by {sup 1}H NMR and {sup 13}C NMR spectroscopy. This compound is the most abundant metabolite detected in {sup 31}PMR spectra of perchloric acid extracts from growing larvae. In the absence of phosphoarginine or phosphocreatine, this modified nucleotide may have an important function in the nematode's energy metabolism, and it may also be found in several other invertebrates. During recovery from the dauer stage, metabolic activation is accompanied by a decrease in intracellular pH (pH{sub i}). Although metabolic activation has been associated with an alkaline pH{sub i} shift in other organisms, in vivo {sup 31}P NMR analysis of recovering dauer larvae shows a pH{sub i} decrease from {approximately}7.3 to {approximately}6.3 within 3 hr after the animals encounter food. This shift occurs before feeding begins, and coincides with, or soon follows, the development commitment to recover from the dauer stage, suggesting that control of pH{sub i} may be important in the regulation of larval development in nematodes. A library enriched for sequences expressed specifically during the L2d (predauer) stage was made by selecting plaques from a genomic lambda library that hybridized to subtracted L2d cDNA probes. Ultimately, three clones that were shown to hybridize only to L2d RNA were selected.

  13. Yersinia enterocolitica infection and tcaA-dependent killing of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spanier, Britta; Starke, Mandy; Higel, Fabian; Scherer, Siegfried; Fuchs, Thilo M

    2010-09-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans is a validated model to study bacterial pathogenicity. We report that Yersinia enterocolitica strains W22703 (biovar 2, serovar O:9) and WA314 (biovar 1B, serovar O:8) kill C. elegans when feeding on the pathogens for at least 15 min before transfer to the feeding strain Escherichia coli OP50. The killing by Yersinia enterocolitica requires viable bacteria and, in contrast to that by Yersinia pestis and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis strains, is biofilm independent. The deletion of tcaA encoding an insecticidal toxin resulted in an OP50-like life span of C. elegans, indicating an essential role of TcaA in the nematocidal activity of Y. enterocolitica. TcaA alone is not sufficient for nematocidal activity because E. coli DH5alpha overexpressing TcaA did not result in a reduced C. elegans life span. Spatial-temporal analysis of C. elegans infected with green fluorescent protein-labeled Y. enterocolitica strains showed that Y. enterocolitica colonizes the nematode intestine, leading to an extreme expansion of the intestinal lumen. By low-dose infection with W22703 or DH5alpha followed by transfer to E. coli OP50, proliferation of Y. enterocolitica, but not E. coli, in the intestinal lumen of the nematode was observed. The titer of W22703 cells within the worm increased to over 10(6) per worm 4 days after infection while a significantly lower number of a tcaA knockout mutant was recovered. A strong expression of tcaA was observed during the first 5 days of infection. Y. enterocolitica WA314 (biovar 1B, serovar O:8) mutant strains lacking the yadA, inv, yopE, and irp1 genes known to be important for virulence in mammals were not attenuated or only slightly attenuated in their toxicity toward the nematode, suggesting that these factors do not play a significant role in the colonization and persistence of this pathogen in nematodes. In summary, this study supports the hypothesis that C. elegans is a natural host and nutrient source of Y. enterocolitica.

  14. Lack of the RNA chaperone hfq attenuates pathogenicity of several Escherichia coli pathotypes towards Caenorhabditis elegans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Sensitive and precise quantification of insulin-like mRNA expression in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baugh, L Ryan; Kurhanewicz, Nicole; Sternberg, Paul W

    2011-03-22

    Insulin-like signaling regulates developmental arrest, stress resistance and lifespan in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. However, the genome encodes 40 insulin-like peptides, and the regulation and function of individual peptides is largely uncharacterized. We used the nCounter platform to measure mRNA expression of all 40 insulin-like peptides as well as the insulin-like receptor daf-2, its transcriptional effector daf-16, and the daf-16 target gene sod-3. We validated the platform using 53 RNA samples previously characterized by high density oligonucleotide microarray analysis. For this set of genes and the standard nCounter protocol, sensitivity and precision were comparable between the two platforms. We optimized conditions of the nCounter assay by varying the mass of total RNA used for hybridization, thereby increasing sensitivity up to 50-fold and reducing the median coefficient of variation as much as 4-fold. We used deletion mutants to demonstrate specificity of the assay, and we used optimized conditions to assay insulin-like gene expression throughout the C. elegans life cycle. We detected expression for nearly all insulin-like genes and find that they are expressed in a variety of distinct patterns suggesting complexity of regulation and specificity of function. We identified insulin-like genes that are specifically expressed during developmental arrest, larval development, adulthood and embryogenesis. These results demonstrate that the nCounter platform provides a powerful approach to analyzing insulin-like gene expression dynamics, and they suggest hypotheses about the function of individual insulin-like genes.

  17. Sensitive and precise quantification of insulin-like mRNA expression in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L Ryan Baugh

    Full Text Available Insulin-like signaling regulates developmental arrest, stress resistance and lifespan in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. However, the genome encodes 40 insulin-like peptides, and the regulation and function of individual peptides is largely uncharacterized. We used the nCounter platform to measure mRNA expression of all 40 insulin-like peptides as well as the insulin-like receptor daf-2, its transcriptional effector daf-16, and the daf-16 target gene sod-3. We validated the platform using 53 RNA samples previously characterized by high density oligonucleotide microarray analysis. For this set of genes and the standard nCounter protocol, sensitivity and precision were comparable between the two platforms. We optimized conditions of the nCounter assay by varying the mass of total RNA used for hybridization, thereby increasing sensitivity up to 50-fold and reducing the median coefficient of variation as much as 4-fold. We used deletion mutants to demonstrate specificity of the assay, and we used optimized conditions to assay insulin-like gene expression throughout the C. elegans life cycle. We detected expression for nearly all insulin-like genes and find that they are expressed in a variety of distinct patterns suggesting complexity of regulation and specificity of function. We identified insulin-like genes that are specifically expressed during developmental arrest, larval development, adulthood and embryogenesis. These results demonstrate that the nCounter platform provides a powerful approach to analyzing insulin-like gene expression dynamics, and they suggest hypotheses about the function of individual insulin-like genes.

  18. 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.

  19. 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…

  20. 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...

  1. Distinct Mechanisms Underlie Quiescence during Two Caenorhabditis elegans Sleep-Like States

    OpenAIRE

    Trojanowski, Nicholas F.; Nelson, Matthew D.; Flavell, Steven W.; Fang-Yen, Christopher; Raizen, David M.

    2015-01-01

    Electrophysiological recordings have enabled identification of physiologically distinct yet behaviorally similar states of mammalian sleep. In contrast, sleep in nonmammals has generally been identified behaviorally and therefore regarded as a physiologically uniform state characterized by quiescence of feeding and locomotion, reduced responsiveness, and rapid reversibility. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans displays sleep-like quiescent behavior under two conditions: developmentally timed ...

  2. 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...

  3. Nematodes join the family of chondroitin sulfate-synthesizing organisms: Identification of an active chondroitin sulfotransferase in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dierker, Tabea; Shao, Chun; Haitina, Tatjana; Zaia, Joseph; Hinas, Andrea; Kjellén, Lena

    2016-01-01

    Proteoglycans are proteins that carry sulfated glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). They help form and maintain morphogen gradients, guiding cell migration and differentiation during animal development. While no sulfated GAGs have been found in marine sponges, chondroitin sulfate (CS) and heparan sulfate (HS) have been identified in Cnidarians, Lophotrocozoans and Ecdysozoans. The general view that nematodes such as Caenorhabditis elegans, which belong to Ecdysozoa, produce HS but only chondroitin without sulfation has therefore been puzzling. We have analyzed GAGs in C. elegans using reversed-phase ion-pairing HPLC, mass spectrometry and immunohistochemistry. Our analyses included wild type C. elegans but also a mutant lacking two HS sulfotransferases (hst-6 hst-2), as we suspected that the altered HS structure could boost CS sulfation. We could indeed detect sulfated CS in both wild type and mutant nematodes. While 4-O-sulfation of galactosamine dominated, we also detected 6-O-sulfated galactosamine residues. Finally, we identified the product of the gene C41C4.1 as a C. elegans CS-sulfotransferase and renamed it chst-1 (CarboHydrate SulfoTransferase) based on loss of CS-4-O-sulfation in a C41C4.1 mutant and in vitro sulfotransferase activity of recombinant C41C4.1 protein. We conclude that C. elegans indeed manufactures CS, making this widely used nematode an interesting model for developmental studies involving CS. PMID:27703236

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Riboflavin transporter-2 (rft-2) of Caenorhabditis elegans: Adaptive and developmental regulation

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Krishnan Gandhimathi; Sellamuthu Karthi; Paramasivam Manimaran; Perumal Varalakshmi; Balasubramaniem Ashokkumar

    2015-06-01

    Riboflavin transporter (rft-1 and rft-2), orthologous to human riboflavin transporter-3 (hR VFT-3), are identified and characterized in Caenorhabditis elegans. However, studies pertaining to functional contribution of rft-2 in maintaining body homeostatic riboflavin levels and its regulation are very limited. In this study, the expression pattern of rft-2 at different life stages of C. elegans was studied through real-time PCR, and found to be consistent from larval to adult stages that demonstrate its involvement in maintaining the body homeostatic riboflavin levels at whole animal level all through its life. A possible regulation of rft-2 expression at mRNA levels at whole animal was studied after adaptation to low and high concentrations of riboflavin. Abundance of rft-2 transcript was upregulated in riboflavin-deficient conditions (10 nM), while it was downregulated with riboflavin-supplemented conditions (2 mM) as compared with control (10 M). Further, the 5′-regulatory region of the rft-2 gene was cloned, and transgenic nematodes expressing transcriptional rft-2 promoter::GFP fusion constructs were generated. The expression of rft-2 was found to be adaptively regulated in vivo when transgenic worms were maintained under different extracellular riboflavin levels, which was also mediated partly via changes in the rft-2 levels that directs towards the possible involvement of transcriptional regulatory events.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chao, Lucy Fang-I; Singh, Meha; Thompson, James

    2017-01-01

    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. PMID:28301465

  9. Ultraviolet-A triggers photoaging in model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans in a DAF-16 dependent pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prasanth, Mani Iyer; Santoshram, Gunasekaran Santhi; Bhaskar, James Prabhanand; Balamurugan, Krishnaswamy

    2016-02-01

    Ultraviolet radiations (UV) are the primary causative agent for skin aging (photoaging) and cancer, especially UV-A. The mode of action and the molecular mechanism behind the damages caused by UV-A is not well studied, in vivo. The current study was employed to investigate the impact of UV-A exposure using the model organism, Caenorhabditis elegans. Analysis of lifespan, healthspan, and other cognitive behaviors were done which was supported by the molecular mechanism. UV-A exposure on collagen damages the synthesis and functioning which has been monitored kinetically using engineered strain, col-19:: GFP. The study results suggested that UV-A accelerated the aging process in an insulin-like signaling pathway dependent manner. Mutant (daf-2)-based analysis concrete the observations of the current study. The UV-A exposure affected the usual behavior of the worms like pharyngeal movements and brood size. Quantitative PCR profile of the candidate genes during UV-A exposure suggested that continuous exposure has damaged the neural network of the worms, but the mitochondrial signaling and dietary restriction pathway remain unaffected. Western blot analysis of HSF-1 evidenced the alteration in protein homeostasis in UV-A exposed worms. Outcome of the current study supports our view that C. elegans can be used as a model to study photoaging, and the mode of action of UV-A-mediated damages can be elucidated which will pave the way for drug developments against photoaging.

  10. 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.

  11. The micronutrient element zinc modulates sperm activation through the SPE-8 pathway in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Zhiyu; Chen, Lianwan; Shang, Yunlong; Huang, Ping; Miao, Long

    2013-05-01

    Immotile spermatids produced in the testis must undergo a series of poorly understood morphological, physiological and biochemical processes called sperm activation to become motile, fertilization-competent spermatozoa. In Caenorhabditis elegans, the spe-8 group contains sperm-specific genes active in both males and hermaphrodites, although their activity is required only for hermaphrodite self-sperm activation. The activating signal upstream of the SPE-8 signaling cascade remains unknown. Here, we show that the micronutrient zinc is sufficient to trigger sperm activation in vitro, and that extracellular zinc induces the intracellular redistribution of labile zinc. We demonstrate that other activating signals promote the similar redistribution of labile zinc, indicating that zinc might have first and/or second messenger roles during sperm activation. Moreover, zinc-induced sperm activation is SPE-8 pathway dependent. Labile zinc was enriched in the spermatheca, the normal site for self-sperm activation in hermaphrodites. High levels of zinc were also found in the secretory cells in the male gonad, suggesting that zinc might be secreted from these cells during copulation and become a component of seminal fluid, to modulate sperm activation post-copulation. These data indicate that zinc regulates sperm activation in both male and hermaphrodite C. elegans, a finding with important implications for understanding hermaphroditic evolution.

  12. 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.

  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. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Deletion of the mitochondrial superoxide dismutase sod-2 extends lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeremy M Van Raamsdonk

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available The oxidative stress theory of aging postulates that aging results from the accumulation of molecular damage caused by reactive oxygen species (ROS generated during normal metabolism. Superoxide dismutases (SODs counteract this process by detoxifying superoxide. It has previously been shown that elimination of either cytoplasmic or mitochondrial SOD in yeast, flies, and mice results in decreased lifespan. In this experiment, we examine the effect of eliminating each of the five individual sod genes present in Caenorhabditis elegans. In contrast to what is observed in other model organisms, none of the sod deletion mutants shows decreased lifespan compared to wild-type worms, despite a clear increase in sensitivity to paraquat- and juglone-induced oxidative stress. In fact, even mutants lacking combinations of two or three sod genes survive at least as long as wild-type worms. Examination of gene expression in these mutants reveals mild compensatory up-regulation of other sod genes. Interestingly, we find that sod-2 mutants are long-lived despite a significant increase in oxidatively damaged proteins. Testing the effect of sod-2 deletion on known pathways of lifespan extension reveals a clear interaction with genes that affect mitochondrial function: sod-2 deletion markedly increases lifespan in clk-1 worms while clearly decreasing the lifespan of isp-1 worms. Combined with the mitochondrial localization of SOD-2 and the fact that sod-2 mutant worms exhibit phenotypes that are characteristic of long-lived mitochondrial mutants-including slow development, low brood size, and slow defecation-this suggests that deletion of sod-2 extends lifespan through a similar mechanism. This conclusion is supported by our demonstration of decreased oxygen consumption in sod-2 mutant worms. Overall, we show that increased oxidative stress caused by deletion of sod genes does not result in decreased lifespan in C. elegans and that deletion of sod-2 extends worm

  18. Bacillus licheniformis isolated from Korean traditional food sources enhances the resistance of Caenorhabditis elegans to infection by Staphylococcus aureus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yun, Hyun Sun; Heo, Ju Hee; Son, Seok Jun; Park, Mi Ri; Oh, Sangnam; Song, Min-Ho; Kim, Jong Nam; Go, Gwang-Woong; Cho, Ho-Seong; Choi, Nag-Jin; Jo, Seung-Wha; Jeong, Do-Youn; Kim, Younghoon

    2014-08-01

    We investigated whether Bacillus spp., newly isolated from Korean traditional food resources, influence the resistance of hosts to foodborne pathogens, by using Caenorhabditis elegans as a surrogate host model. Initially, we selected 20 Bacillus spp. that possess antimicrobial activity against various foodborne pathogens, including Staphylococcus aureus. Among the selected strains, six strains of Bacillus spp. used in preconditioning significantly prolonged the survival of nematodes exposed to S. aureus. Based on 16S rRNA gene sequencing, all six strains were identified as B. licheniformis. Our findings suggest that preconditioning with B. licheniformis may modulate the host defense response against S. aureus.

  19. Caenorhabditis elegans inositol 5-phosphatase homolog negatively regulates inositol 1,4,5-triphosphate signaling in ovulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bui, Yen Kim; Sternberg, Paul W

    2002-05-01

    Ovulation in Caenorhabditis elegans requires inositol 1,4,5-triphosphate (IP(3)) signaling activated by the epidermal growth factor (EGF)-receptor homolog LET-23. We generated a deletion mutant of a type I 5-phosphatase, ipp-5, and found a novel ovulation phenotype whereby the spermatheca hyperextends to engulf two oocytes per ovulation cycle. The temporal and spatial expression of IPP-5 is consistent with its proposed inhibition of IP(3) signaling in the adult spermatheca. ipp-5 acts downstream of let-23, and interacts with let-23-mediated IP(3) signaling pathway genes. We infer that IPP-5 negatively regulates IP(3) signaling to ensure proper spermathecal contraction.

  20. Parallel evolution of domesticated Caenorhabditis species targets pheromone receptor genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGrath, Patrick T; Xu, Yifan; Ailion, Michael; Garrison, Jennifer L; Butcher, Rebecca A; Bargmann, Cornelia I

    2011-08-17

    Evolution can follow predictable genetic trajectories, indicating that discrete environmental shifts can select for reproducible genetic changes. Conspecific individuals are an important feature of an animal's environment, and a potential source of selective pressures. Here we show that adaptation of two Caenorhabditis species to growth at high density, a feature common to domestic environments, occurs by reproducible genetic changes to pheromone receptor genes. Chemical communication through pheromones that accumulate during high-density growth causes young nematode larvae to enter the long-lived but non-reproductive dauer stage. Two strains of Caenorhabditis elegans grown at high density have independently acquired multigenic resistance to pheromone-induced dauer formation. In each strain, resistance to the pheromone ascaroside C3 results from a deletion that disrupts the adjacent chemoreceptor genes serpentine receptor class g (srg)-36 and -37. Through misexpression experiments, we show that these genes encode redundant G-protein-coupled receptors for ascaroside C3. Multigenic resistance to dauer formation has also arisen in high-density cultures of a different nematode species, Caenorhabditis briggsae, resulting in part from deletion of an srg gene paralogous to srg-36 and srg-37. These results demonstrate rapid remodelling of the chemoreceptor repertoire as an adaptation to specific environments, and indicate that parallel changes to a common genetic substrate can affect life-history traits across species.

  1. Validated Liquid Culture Monitoring System for Lifespan Extension of Caenorhabditis elegans through Genetic and Dietary Manipulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Win, Myat Thu Thu; Yamamoto, Yasuhiko; Munesue, Seiichi; Han, Dong; Harada, Shin-Ichi; Yamamoto, Hiroshi

    2013-08-01

    Nutritional and genetic factors influence aging and life expectancy. The reduction of food intake without malnutrition, referred to caloric restriction (CR), has been shown to increase lifespan in a wide variety of species. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) is one of the principle models with which to study the biology of aging and search for anti-aging compounds. In this study, we validated and optimized a high-throughput liquid culture system to monitor C. elegans lifespan with minimized mechanical stress. We used alive and ultraviolet (UV)-killed Escherichia coli (E. coli) OP50 at 10(8) or 10(9) colony-forming units (cfu)/ml to feed Bristol N2 wild-type (WT) and mutant worms of a well-characterized insulin/insulin-like growth factor signaling (ILS) pathway: the insulin receptor homolog daf-2 (e1370), phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase age-1 (hx546), and transcriptional factor FOXO homolog daf-16 (mu86 and mgDf50). Compared with alive E. coli at 10(9) cfu/ml, supplementations of alive E. coli at 10(8) cfu/ml or UV-killed E. coli at 10(9) cfu/ml dramatically prolonged lifespan in WT and age-1 mutants, and to a lesser extent, in daf-2 and daf-16 mutants, suggesting that signaling pathways in CR and ILS do not overlap fully. Feeding 10(8) cfu/ml UV-killed E. coli, which led to maximally saturated longevity in WT and daf-2 mutant, can prolonged lifespan in age-1, but not daf-16, mutants. This approach will be useful for investigating the biology of aging, physiological responses and gene functions under CR conditions and also for screening pharmacologic compounds to extend lifespan or affect other biologic processes.

  2. Full toxicity assessment of Genkwa Flos and the underlying mechanism in nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yan Qiao

    Full Text Available Genkwa Flos (GF, the dried flower bud from Daphne genkwa Sieb. et Zucc. (Thymelaeaceae, is a well-known and widely used traditional Chinese medicine. However, we know little about the in vivo mechanism of GF toxicity. Nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has been considered as a useful toxicity assay system by offering a system best suited for asking the in vivo questions. In the present study, we employed the prolonged exposure assay system of C. elegans to perform the full in vivo toxicity assessment of raw-processed GF. Our data show that GF exposure could induce the toxicity on lifespan, development, reproduction, and locomotion behavior. GF exposure not only decreased body length but also induced the formation of abnormal vulva. The decrease in brood size in GF exposed nematodes appeared mainly at day-1 during the development of adult nematodes. The decrease of locomotion behavior in GF exposed nematodes might be due to the damage on development of D-type GABAergic motor neurons. Moreover, we observed the induction of intestinal reactive oxygen species (ROS production and alteration of expression patterns of genes required for development of apical domain, microvilli, and apical junction of intestine in GF exposed nematodes, implying the possible dysfunction of the primary targeted organ. In addition, GF exposure induced increase in defecation cycle length and deficits in development of AVL and DVB neurons controlling the defecation behavior. Therefore, our study implies the usefulness of C. elegans assay system for toxicity assessment from a certain Chinese medicine or plant extract. The observed toxicity of GF might be the combinational effects of oxidative stress, dysfunction of intestine, and altered defecation behavior in nematodes.

  3. A tissue-specific approach to the analysis of metabolic changes in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Jürgen Hench

    Full Text Available The majority of metabolic principles are evolutionarily conserved from nematodes to humans. Caenorhabditis elegans has widely accelerated the discovery of new genes important to maintain organismic metabolic homeostasis. Various methods exist to assess the metabolic state in worms, yet they often require large animal numbers and tend to be performed as bulk analyses of whole worm homogenates, thereby largely precluding a detailed studies of metabolic changes in specific worm tissues. Here, we have adapted well-established histochemical methods for the use on C. elegans fresh frozen sections and demonstrate their validity for analyses of morphological and metabolic changes on tissue level in wild type and various mutant strains. We show how the worm presents on hematoxylin and eosin (H&E stained sections and demonstrate their usefulness in monitoring and the identification of morphological abnormalities. In addition, we demonstrate how Oil-Red-O staining on frozen worm cross-sections permits quantification of lipid storage, avoiding the artifact-prone fixation and permeabilization procedures of traditional whole-mount protocols. We also adjusted standard enzymatic stains for respiratory chain subunits (NADH, SDH, and COX to monitor metabolic states of various C. elegans tissues. In summary, the protocols presented here provide technical guidance to obtain robust, reproducible and quantifiable tissue-specific data on worm morphology as well as carbohydrate, lipid and mitochondrial energy metabolism that cannot be obtained through traditional biochemical bulk analyses of worm homogenates. Furthermore, analysis of worm cross-sections overcomes the common problem with quantification in three-dimensional whole-mount specimens.

  4. A tissue-specific approach to the analysis of metabolic changes in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hench, Jürgen; Bratić Hench, Ivana; Pujol, Claire; Ipsen, Sabine; Brodesser, Susanne; Mourier, Arnaud; Tolnay, Markus; Frank, Stephan; Trifunović, Aleksandra

    2011-01-01

    The majority of metabolic principles are evolutionarily conserved from nematodes to humans. Caenorhabditis elegans has widely accelerated the discovery of new genes important to maintain organismic metabolic homeostasis. Various methods exist to assess the metabolic state in worms, yet they often require large animal numbers and tend to be performed as bulk analyses of whole worm homogenates, thereby largely precluding a detailed studies of metabolic changes in specific worm tissues. Here, we have adapted well-established histochemical methods for the use on C. elegans fresh frozen sections and demonstrate their validity for analyses of morphological and metabolic changes on tissue level in wild type and various mutant strains. We show how the worm presents on hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) stained sections and demonstrate their usefulness in monitoring and the identification of morphological abnormalities. In addition, we demonstrate how Oil-Red-O staining on frozen worm cross-sections permits quantification of lipid storage, avoiding the artifact-prone fixation and permeabilization procedures of traditional whole-mount protocols. We also adjusted standard enzymatic stains for respiratory chain subunits (NADH, SDH, and COX) to monitor metabolic states of various C. elegans tissues. In summary, the protocols presented here provide technical guidance to obtain robust, reproducible and quantifiable tissue-specific data on worm morphology as well as carbohydrate, lipid and mitochondrial energy metabolism that cannot be obtained through traditional biochemical bulk analyses of worm homogenates. Furthermore, analysis of worm cross-sections overcomes the common problem with quantification in three-dimensional whole-mount specimens.

  5. The near demise and subsequent revival of classical genetics for investigating Caenorhabditis elegans embryogenesis: RNAi meets next-generation DNA sequencing

    OpenAIRE

    Bowerman, Bruce

    2011-01-01

    Molecular genetic investigation of the early Caenorhabditis elegans embryo has contributed substantially to the discovery and general understanding of the genes, pathways, and mechanisms that regulate and execute developmental and cell biological processes. Initially, worm geneticists relied exclusively on a classical genetics approach, isolating mutants with interesting phenotypes after mutagenesis and then determining the identity of the affected genes. Subsequently, the discovery of RNA in...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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/.

  7. 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.

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

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    Yoko Honda

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: One of the most important challenges in the study of aging is to discover compounds with longevity-promoting activities and to unravel their underlying mechanisms. Royal jelly (RJ has been reported to possess diverse beneficial properties. Furthermore, protease-treated RJ (pRJ has additional pharmacological activities. Exactly how RJ and pRJ exert these effects and which of their components are responsible for these effects are largely unknown. The evolutionarily conserved mechanisms that control longevity have been indicated. The purpose of the present study was to determine whether RJ and its related substances exert a lifespan-extending function in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and to gain insights into the active agents in RJ and their mechanism of action. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We found that both RJ and pRJ extended the lifespan of C. elegans. The lifespan-extending activity of pRJ was enhanced by Octadecyl-silica column chromatography (pRJ-Fraction 5. pRJ-Fr.5 increased the animals' lifespan in part by acting through the FOXO transcription factor DAF-16, the activation of which is known to promote longevity in C. elegans by reducing insulin/IGF-1 signaling (IIS. pRJ-Fr.5 reduced the expression of ins-9, one of the insulin-like peptide genes. Moreover, pRJ-Fr.5 and reduced IIS shared some common features in terms of their effects on gene expression, such as the up-regulation of dod-3 and the down-regulation of dod-19, dao-4 and fkb-4. 10-Hydroxy-2-decenoic acid (10-HDA, which was present at high concentrations in pRJ-Fr.5, increased lifespan independently of DAF-16 activity. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These results demonstrate that RJ and its related substances extend lifespan in C. elegans, suggesting that RJ may contain longevity-promoting factors. Further analysis and characterization of the lifespan-extending agents in RJ and pRJ may broaden our understanding of the gene network involved in longevity regulation in diverse

  9. The C-type lectin-like domain containing proteins Clec-39 and Clec-49 are crucial for Caenorhabditis elegans immunity against Serratia marcescens infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miltsch, S M; Seeberger, P H; Lepenies, B

    2014-07-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans exhibits protective immunity against a variety of fungal and bacterial pathogens. Since C. elegans lacks an adaptive immune system, pathogen recognition is mediated entirely by innate immunity. To date, little is known about the involvement of pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) in pathogen sensing as part of the C. elegans immunity. C-type lectin-like domain (CTLD) containing proteins represent a superfamily of PRRs. A large number of genes encoding for CTLD proteins are present in the C. elegans genome, however the role of CTLD proteins in bacterial recognition and antibacterial immunity has not yet been determined. In this study, we investigated the function of selected C. elegans CTLD proteins during infection with the Gram-negative bacterium Serratia marcescens. Wild-type and CTLD gene-deficient C. elegans strains were compared in their susceptibility to S. marcescens infection. Interestingly, survival and egg laying were significantly reduced in strains deficient for clec-39 and clec-49 indicating a role for both CTLD proteins in C. elegans immune defense against bacteria as evidenced by using S. marcescens infection. Binding studies with recombinantly expressed Clec-39-Fc and Clec-49-Fc fusion proteins revealed that both CTLD proteins recognized live bacteria in a Ca(2+)-independent manner. This study provides insight into the role of CTLD proteins in C. elegans immunity and demonstrates their function during bacterial infection.

  10. Calpains mediate integrin attachment complex maintenance of adult muscle in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Etheridge, Timothy; Oczypok, Elizabeth A; Lehmann, Susann; Fields, Brandon D; Shephard, Freya; Jacobson, Lewis A; Szewczyk, Nathaniel J

    2012-01-01

    Two components of integrin containing attachment complexes, UNC-97/PINCH and UNC-112/MIG-2/Kindlin-2, were recently identified as negative regulators of muscle protein degradation and as having decreased mRNA levels in response to spaceflight. Integrin complexes transmit force between the inside and outside of muscle cells and signal changes in muscle size in response to force and, perhaps, disuse. We therefore investigated the effects of acute decreases in expression of the genes encoding these multi-protein complexes. We find that in fully developed adult Caenorhabditis elegans muscle, RNAi against genes encoding core, and peripheral, members of these complexes induces protein degradation, myofibrillar and mitochondrial dystrophies, and a movement defect. Genetic disruption of Z-line- or M-line-specific complex members is sufficient to induce these defects. We confirmed that defects occur in temperature-sensitive mutants for two of the genes: unc-52, which encodes the extra-cellular ligand Perlecan, and unc-112, which encodes the intracellular component Kindlin-2. These results demonstrate that integrin containing attachment complexes, as a whole, are required for proper maintenance of adult muscle. These defects, and collapse of arrayed attachment complexes into ball like structures, are blocked when DIM-1 levels are reduced. Degradation is also blocked by RNAi or drugs targeting calpains, implying that disruption of integrin containing complexes results in calpain activation. In wild-type animals, either during development or in adults, RNAi against calpain genes results in integrin muscle attachment disruptions and consequent sub-cellular defects. These results demonstrate that calpains are required for proper assembly and maintenance of integrin attachment complexes. Taken together our data provide in vivo evidence that a calpain-based molecular repair mechanism exists for dealing with attachment complex disruption in adult muscle. Since C. elegans lacks

  11. Calpains mediate integrin attachment complex maintenance of adult muscle in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy Etheridge

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Two components of integrin containing attachment complexes, UNC-97/PINCH and UNC-112/MIG-2/Kindlin-2, were recently identified as negative regulators of muscle protein degradation and as having decreased mRNA levels in response to spaceflight. Integrin complexes transmit force between the inside and outside of muscle cells and signal changes in muscle size in response to force and, perhaps, disuse. We therefore investigated the effects of acute decreases in expression of the genes encoding these multi-protein complexes. We find that in fully developed adult Caenorhabditis elegans muscle, RNAi against genes encoding core, and peripheral, members of these complexes induces protein degradation, myofibrillar and mitochondrial dystrophies, and a movement defect. Genetic disruption of Z-line- or M-line-specific complex members is sufficient to induce these defects. We confirmed that defects occur in temperature-sensitive mutants for two of the genes: unc-52, which encodes the extra-cellular ligand Perlecan, and unc-112, which encodes the intracellular component Kindlin-2. These results demonstrate that integrin containing attachment complexes, as a whole, are required for proper maintenance of adult muscle. These defects, and collapse of arrayed attachment complexes into ball like structures, are blocked when DIM-1 levels are reduced. Degradation is also blocked by RNAi or drugs targeting calpains, implying that disruption of integrin containing complexes results in calpain activation. In wild-type animals, either during development or in adults, RNAi against calpain genes results in integrin muscle attachment disruptions and consequent sub-cellular defects. These results demonstrate that calpains are required for proper assembly and maintenance of integrin attachment complexes. Taken together our data provide in vivo evidence that a calpain-based molecular repair mechanism exists for dealing with attachment complex disruption in adult muscle. Since C

  12. Reevaluation of whether a soma-to-germ-line transformation extends lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-29

    The germ lineage is considered to be immortal. In the quest to extend lifespan, a possible strategy is to drive germ-line traits in somatic cells, to try to confer some of the germ lineage's immortality on the somatic body. Notably, a study in Caenorhabditis elegans suggested that expression of germ-line genes in the somatic cells of long-lived daf-2 mutants confers some of daf-2's long lifespan. Specifically, mRNAs encoding components of C. elegans germ granules (P granules) were up-regulated in daf-2 mutant worms, and knockdown of individual P-granule and other germ-line genes in daf-2 young adults modestly reduced their lifespan. We investigated the contribution of a germ-line program to daf-2's long lifespan and also tested whether other mutants known to express germ-line genes in their somatic cells are long-lived. Our key findings are as follows. (i) We could not detect P-granule proteins in the somatic cells of daf-2 mutants by immunostaining or by expression of a P-granule transgene. (ii) Whole-genome transcript profiling of animals lacking a germ line revealed that germ-line transcripts are not up-regulated in the soma of daf-2 worms compared with the soma of control worms. (iii) Simultaneous removal of multiple P-granule proteins or the entire germ-line program from daf-2 worms did not reduce their lifespan. (iv) Several mutants that robustly express a broad spectrum of germ-line genes in their somatic cells are not long-lived. Together, our findings argue against the hypothesis that acquisition of a germ-cell program in somatic cells increases lifespan and contributes to daf-2's long lifespan.

  13. Reevaluation of whether a soma–to–germ-line transformation extends lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    The germ lineage is considered to be immortal. In the quest to extend lifespan, a possible strategy is to drive germ-line traits in somatic cells, to try to confer some of the germ lineage’s immortality on the somatic body. Notably, a study in Caenorhabditis elegans suggested that expression of germ-line genes in the somatic cells of long-lived daf-2 mutants confers some of daf-2’s long lifespan. Specifically, mRNAs encoding components of C. elegans germ granules (P granules) were up-regulated in daf-2 mutant worms, and knockdown of individual P-granule and other germ-line genes in daf-2 young adults modestly reduced their lifespan. We investigated the contribution of a germ-line program to daf-2’s long lifespan and also tested whether other mutants known to express germ-line genes in their somatic cells are long-lived. Our key findings are as follows. (i) We could not detect P-granule proteins in the somatic cells of daf-2 mutants by immunostaining or by expression of a P-granule transgene. (ii) Whole-genome transcript profiling of animals lacking a germ line revealed that germ-line transcripts are not up-regulated in the soma of daf-2 worms compared with the soma of control worms. (iii) Simultaneous removal of multiple P-granule proteins or the entire germ-line program from daf-2 worms did not reduce their lifespan. (iv) Several mutants that robustly express a broad spectrum of germ-line genes in their somatic cells are not long-lived. Together, our findings argue against the hypothesis that acquisition of a germ-cell program in somatic cells increases lifespan and contributes to daf-2’s long lifespan. PMID:26976573

  14. Effects of Lactobacillus salivarius, Lactobacillus reuteri, and Pediococcus acidilactici on the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans include possible antitumor activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fasseas, Michael K; Fasseas, Costas; Mountzouris, Konstantinos C; Syntichaki, Popi

    2013-03-01

    This study examined the effects of three lactic acid bacteria (LAB) strains on the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Lactobacillus salivarius, Lactobacillus reuteri, and Pediococcus acidilactici were found to inhibit the development and growth of the worm. Compared to Escherichia coli used as the control, L. reuteri and P. acidilactici reduced the lifespan of wild-type and short-lived daf-16 worms. On the contrary, L. salivarius extended the lifespan of daf-16 worms when used live, but reduced it as UV-killed bacteria. The three LAB induced the expression of genes involved in pathogen response and inhibited the growth of tumor-like germ cells, without affecting DAF16 localization or increasing corpse cells. Our results suggest the possible use of C. elegans as a model for studying the antitumor attributes of LAB. The negative effects of these LAB strains on the nematode also indicate their potential use against parasitic nematodes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  16. Distinct transcriptomic responses of Caenorhabditis elegans to pristine and sulfidized silver nanoparticles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Starnes, Daniel L; Lichtenberg, Stuart S; Unrine, Jason M; Starnes, Catherine P; Oostveen, Emily K; Lowry, Gregory V; Bertsch, Paul M; Tsyusko, Olga V

    2016-06-01

    Manufactured nanoparticles (MNP) rapidly undergo aging processes once released from products. Silver sulfide (Ag2S) is the major transformation product formed during the wastewater treatment process for Ag-MNP. We examined toxicogenomic responses of pristine Ag-MNP, sulfidized Ag-MNP (sAg-MNP), and AgNO3 to a model soil organism, Caenorhabditis elegans. Transcriptomic profiling of nematodes which were exposed at the EC30 for reproduction for AgNO3, Ag-MNP, and sAg-MNP resulted in 571 differentially expressed genes. We independently verified expression of 4 genes (numr-1, rol-8, col-158, and grl-20) using qRT-PCR. Only 11% of differentially expressed genes were common among the three treatments. Gene ontology enrichment analysis also revealed that Ag-MNP and sAg-MNP had distinct toxicity mechanisms and did not share any of the biological processes. The processes most affected by Ag-MNP relate to metabolism, while those processes most affected by sAg-MNP relate to molting and the cuticle, and the most impacted processes for AgNO3 exposed nematodes was stress related. Additionally, as observed from qRT-PCR and mutant experiments, the responses to sAg-MNP were distinct from AgNO3 while some of the effects of pristine MNP were similar to AgNO3, suggesting that effects from Ag-MNP is partially due to dissolved silver ions.

  17. Effects of ced-9 dsRNA on Caenorhabditis elegans and Meloidogyne incognita

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert T. Gaeta

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Problem Statement: In metazoans Programmed Cell Death (PCD is essential for proper development. Suppression of PCD is needed to guarantee cell survival and in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans the regulation of PCD is accomplished by the function of the ced-9 gene. Approach: In this work the use of double stranded RNA (dsRNA to knock-down ced-9 gene function was tested as means to induce PCD. Results: Our results indicate that dsRNA targeting the cell death protection gene ced-9 is effective at decreasing the fecundity of C. elegans by up to 21%. The decreased fecundity correlated with an increased presence of cell corpses in developing embryos. Endogenous ced-9 transcript levels were reduced in progeny of ced-3 mutant nematodes fed bacteria expressing ced-9 dsRNA. These data suggest that nematode fecundity can be reduced by ingestion and exposure to dsRNAs targeting regulation of the cell death pathway. In an attempt to determine if plant parasitic nematodes are susceptible to the targeting of the PCD regulatory pathway we exposed Meloidogyne incognita, a plant parasitic nematode, to ced-9 dsRNA; here we show that this exposure results in decreased gall formation in the tobacco plants. Conclusion/Recommendations: Our results provide the first steps toward using RNAi technologies to attempt nematode control by targeting cell death pathways. Ongoing research with transgenic plants designed to express dsRNA for ced-9-like sequences will further test the feasibility of generating plants with RNAi-based resistance to parasitic nematodes.

  18. Decrease of Staphylococcus aureus Virulence by Helcococcus kunzii in a Caenorhabditis elegans Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ngba Essebe, Christelle; Visvikis, Orane; Fines-Guyon, Marguerite; Vergne, Anne; Cattoir, Vincent; Lecoustumier, Alain; Lemichez, Emmanuel; Sotto, Albert; Lavigne, Jean-Philippe; Dunyach-Remy, Catherine

    2017-01-01

    Social bacterial interactions are considered essential in numerous infectious diseases, particularly in wounds. Foot ulcers are a common complication in diabetic patients and these ulcers become frequently infected. This infection is usually polymicrobial promoting cell-to-cell communications. Staphylococcus aureus is the most prevalent pathogen isolated. Its association with Helcococcus kunzii, commensal Gram-positive cocci, is frequently described. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of co-infection on virulence of both H. kunzii and S. aureus strains in a Caenorhabditis elegans model. To study the host response, qRT-PCRs targeting host defense genes were performed. We observed that H. kunzii strains harbored a very low (LT50: 5.7 days ± 0.4) or an absence of virulence (LT50: 6.9 days ± 0.5). In contrast, S. aureus strains (LT50: 2.9 days ± 0.4) were significantly more virulent than all H. kunzii (P < 0.001). When H. kunzii and S. aureus strains were associated, H. kunzii significantly reduced the virulence of the S. aureus strain in nematodes (LT50 between 4.4 and 5.2 days; P < 0.001). To evaluate the impact of these strains on host response, transcriptomic analysis showed that the ingestion of S. aureus led to a strong induction of defense genes (lys-5, sodh-1, and cyp-37B1) while H. kunzii did not. No statistical difference of host response genes expression was observed when C. elegans were infected with either S. aureus alone or with S. aureus + H. kunzii. Moreover, two well-characterized virulence factors (hla and agr) present in S. aureus were down-regulated when S. aureus were co-infected with H. kunzii. This study showed that H. kunzii decreased the virulence of S. aureus without modifying directly the host defense response. Factor(s) produced by this bacterium modulating the staphylococci virulence must be investigated. PMID:28361041

  19. RNAi Screen Identifies Novel Regulators of RNP Granules in the Caenorhabditis elegans Germ Line

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Megan P.; Hollis, Angela; Severance, Ashley L.; Karrick, Megan L.; Schisa, Jennifer A.

    2016-01-01

    Complexes of RNA and RNA binding proteins form large-scale supramolecular structures under many cellular contexts. In Caenorhabditis elegans, small germ granules are present in the germ line that share characteristics with liquid droplets that undergo phase transitions. In meiotically-arrested oocytes of middle-aged hermaphrodites, the germ granules appear to aggregate or condense into large assemblies of RNA-binding proteins and maternal mRNAs. Prior characterization of the assembly of large-scale RNP structures via candidate approaches has identified a small number of regulators of phase transitions in the C. elegans germ line; however, the assembly, function, and regulation of these large RNP assemblies remain incompletely understood. To identify genes that promote remodeling and assembly of large RNP granules in meiotically-arrested oocytes, we performed a targeted, functional RNAi screen and identified over 300 genes that regulate the assembly of the RNA-binding protein MEX-3 into large granules. Among the most common GO classes are several categories related to RNA biology, as well as novel categories such as cell cortex, ER, and chromosome segregation. We found that arrested oocytes that fail to localize MEX-3 into cortical granules display reduced oocyte quality, consistent with the idea that the larger RNP assemblies promote oocyte quality when fertilization is delayed. Interestingly, a relatively small number of genes overlap with the regulators of germ granule assembly during normal development, or with the regulators of solid RNP granules in cgh-1 oocytes, suggesting fundamental differences in the regulation of RNP granule phase transitions during meiotic arrest. PMID:27317775

  20. 太空飞行后秀丽隐杆线虫肌相关基因和蛋白质变化%Changes of Muscle-related Genes and Proteins After Spaceflight in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王驰; 桑晨; Akira HIGASHIBATA; Noriaki ISHIOKA; 荣龙; 杨春; 孙艳; 易宗春; 庄逢源

    2008-01-01

    太空飞行所致的肌萎缩和重力感知的分子机制至今尚不清楚.研究太空飞行对秀丽隐杆线虫(C.elegans)体壁肌细胞结构和功能的影响.经过近15大太空飞行后对其生存率和运动能力进行了观察,并检测了5个重要的肌相关基凶的表达和3种蛋白质含量.太空研究是在动物的整体水平进行的,而不是就单个细胞的研究.经历太空飞行后线虫生存率没有明显变化,但运动频率变慢,爬行轨迹也发生了改变,提示线虫运动功能出现障碍,这些数据揭示:微重力下秀丽线虫肌肉发育发生了变化.肌球蛋白A(myosin A)免疫荧光染色观察发现,太空飞行组肌纤维面积缩小,肌细胞致密体(dense-body)荧光亮度下降.这些形态学观察直接提示太空组线虫出现了肌萎缩.但是,肌动蛋白(F-actin)荧光染色显示两组并无明显差别.基因表达水平的分析结果显示,在太空飞行组动物中dys-1表达明显上调,同时h1h-1,myo-3,unc-54和egl-19基因表达下调.抗肌萎缩蛋白(dystrophin,由dys-1编码)是抗肌萎缩蛋白-糖白复合物(DGC)的主要组成成分,而该复合物在微重力下增多,提示肌细胞是为了接受更多的力学刺激以维持细胞内外的力学平衡,所以该复合物在肌细胞的重力感知中起关键作用.基因h1h-1,myo-3,unc-54和egl-19表达下调,说明它们分别从结构和功能两个途径促进了微重力性肌萎缩的发生.最后,Western blot结果提示,太空组线虫体壁肌内肌球蛋白A减少,进一步确证了太空飞行中线虫有肌萎缩发生.%The molecular mechanism underlying muscular atrophy and gravisensing during spaceflight is still unknown. The major effects of spaceflight on body-wall muscles of Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) in the structures and functions wore examined, and five important muscle-related genes and three proteins were studied after nearly 15-day spaceflight. The changes for the wall-muscles were

  1. Thermal stress resistance and aging effects of Panax notoginseng polysaccharides on Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Shiling; Cheng, Haoran; Xu, Zhou; Shen, Shian; Yuan, Ming; Liu, Jing; Ding, Chunbang

    2015-11-01

    Panax notoginseng attract public attention due to their potential biomedical properties and corresponding health benefits. The present study investigated the anti-aging and thermal stress resistance effects of polysaccharides from P. notoginseng on Caenorhabditis elegans. Results showed polysaccharides had little scavenging ability of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in vitro, but significantly extended lifespan of C. elegans, especially the main root polysaccharide (MRP) which prolongs the mean lifespan of wild type worms by 21%. Further study demonstrated that the heat stress resistance effect of polysaccharides on C. elegans might be attributed to the elevation of antioxidant enzyme activities (both superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT)) and the reduction lipid peroxidation of malondialdehyde (MDA) level. Taken together, the results provided a scientific basis for the further exploitation of the mechanism of longer lifespan controlled by P. notoginseng polysaccharides on C. elegans. The P. notoginseng polysaccharides might be considered as a potential source to delay aging.

  2. Metabolite induction of Caenorhabditis elegans dauer larvae arises via transport in the pharynx.

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    Baiga, Thomas J; Guo, Haibing; Xing, Yalan; O'Doherty, George A; Dillin, Andrew; Austin, Michael B; Noel, Joseph P; La Clair, James J

    2008-05-16

    Caenorhabditis elegans sense natural chemicals in their environment and use them as cues to regulate their development. This investigation probes the mechanism of sensory trafficking by evaluating the processing of fluorescent derivatives of natural products in C. elegans. Fluorescent analogs of daumone, an ascaroside, and apigenin were prepared by total synthesis and evaluated for their ability to induce entry into a nonaging dauer state. Fluorescent imaging detailed the uptake and localization of every labeled compound at each stage of the C. elegans life cycle. Comparative analyses against natural products that did not induce dauer indicated that dauer-triggering natural products accumulated in the cuticle of the pharnyx. Subsequent transport of these molecules to amphid neurons signaled entry into the dauer state. These studies provide cogent evidence supporting the roles of the glycosylated fatty acid daumone and related ascarosides and the ubiquitous plant flavone apigenin as chemical cues regulating C. elegans development.

  3. 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.

  4. The effect of gamma radiation on recombination frequency in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, J S; Rose, A M

    1987-06-01

    We have studied the effect of gamma radiation on recombination frequency for intervals across the cluster of linkage group I in Caenorhabditis elegans. Recombination frequency increased approximately twofold across the dpy-5-unc-13 interval after treatment with 2000 rads (1 rad = 10 mGy) of cobalt 60 gamma radiation. Several factors affecting the magnitude of the increase have been characterized. Recombination frequency increased more with higher doses of radiation. However, the increase in recombination frequency with increasing dose was accompanied by a reduced average number of progeny from radiation-treated individuals. The amount of the increase was affected by meiotic stage, age at the time of treatment (premeiotic), and radiation dose. The increase in recombination was detectable in the B brood and remained elevated for the remainder of egg production. X-chromosome nondisjunction was also increased by radiation treatment. A high frequency of the recombinant progeny produced with radiation treatment were sterile unlike their nonrecombinant siblings. When parameters affecting recombination frequency are held constant during treatment, chromosomal regions of high gene density on the meiotic map increased more (fourfold) than an adjacent region of low gene density (no increase). The greatest increase was across the dpy-14-unc-13 interval near the center of the gene cluster. These results may suggest that the physical length of DNA per map unit is greater within the cluster than outside.

  5. Mitochondrial superoxide increase is essential for Caenorhabditis elegans against Enterococcus faecalis infection

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    N Feng1

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Enterococcus faecalis infection can cause serious diseases including cancer development. Recently it has been reported that mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (mROS are required for host immune defenses against bacteria and many mutations in mitochondrial electron transport chain (mETC genes have an effect on mROS production. To identify the exact role of mROS during E. faecalis infection, we thus decide to knockdown the expression of mev-1 and isp-1 in Caenorhabditis elegans using RNAi. The knockdown of mev-1 and isp-1 causes increased susceptibility and increased resistance to E. faecalis infection, respectively. The mev-1(RNAi can also down-regulate antimicrobial genes (C17H12.8, mtl-1 and bli-3, whereas these antimicrobial genes are up-regulated in isp-1(RNAi animals after bacterial infection. Further, significant increase of mitochondrial superoxide and mitochondrial sod expressions have been observed in isp-1(RNAi animals. Conversely, the mev-1(RNAi worms show a decrease of mitochondrial superoxide and mitochondrial sod expressions. Prooxidant paraquat, which is a mitochondrial superoxide generator, can increase survival rate of mev-1(RNAi animals after E. faecalis infection. All together, the enhancement of mitochondrial superoxide contributes to anti-bacterial immunity and a better knowledge of them should open new avenues for preventive strategies against bacterial infection and also limiting the development of infection-associated cancer.

  6. Age-related behaviors have distinct transcriptional profiles in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Golden, Tamara R; Hubbard, Alan; Dando, Caroline; Herren, Michael A; Melov, Simon

    2008-12-01

    There has been a great deal of interest in identifying potential biomarkers of aging. Biomarkers of aging would be useful to predict potential vulnerabilities in an individual that may arise well before they are chronologically expected, due to idiosyncratic aging rates that occur between individuals. Prior attempts to identify biomarkers of aging have often relied on the comparisons of long-lived animals to a wild-type control. However, the effect of interventions in model systems that prolong lifespan (such as single gene mutations or caloric restriction) can sometimes be difficult to interpret due to the manipulation itself having multiple unforeseen consequences on physiology, unrelated to aging itself. The search for predictive biomarkers of aging therefore is problematic, and the identification of metrics that can be used to predict either physiological or chronological age would be of great value. One methodology that has been used to identify biomarkers for numerous pathologies is gene expression profiling. Here, we report whole-genome expression profiles of individual wild-type Caenorhabditis elegans covering the entire wild-type nematode lifespan. Individual nematodes were scored for either age-related behavioral phenotypes, or survival, and then subsequently associated with their respective gene expression profiles. This facilitated the identification of transcriptional profiles that were highly associated with either physiological or chronological age. Overall, our approach serves as a paradigm for identifying potential biomarkers of aging in higher organisms that can be repeatedly sampled throughout their lifespan.

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

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    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  9. Methionine sulfoxide reductase A expression is regulated by the DAF-16/FOXO pathway in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minniti, Alicia N; Cataldo, Romina; Trigo, Carla; Vasquez, Luis; Mujica, Patricio; Leighton, Federico; Inestrosa, Nibaldo C; Aldunate, Rebeca

    2009-12-01

    The methionine sulfoxide reductase system has been implicated in aging and protection against oxidative stress. This conserved system reverses the oxidation of methionine residues within proteins. We analyzed one of the components of this system, the methionine sulfoxide reductase A gene, in Caenorhabditis elegans. We found that the msra-1 gene is expressed in most tissues, particularly in the intestine and the nervous system. Worms carrying a deletion of the msra-1 gene are more sensitive to oxidative stress, show chemotaxis and locomotory defects, and a 30% decrease in median survival. We established that msra-1 expression decreases during aging and is regulated by the DAF-16/FOXO3a transcription factor. The absence of this enzyme decreases median survival and affects oxidative stress resistance of long lived daf-2 worms. A similar effect of MSRA-1 absence in wild-type and daf-2 (where most antioxidant enzymes are activated) backgrounds, suggests that the lack of this member of the methionine repair system cannot be compensated by the general antioxidant response. Moreover, FOXO3a directly activates the human MsrA promoter in a cell culture system, implying that this could be a conserved mechanism of MsrA regulation. Our results suggest that repair of oxidative damage in proteins influences the rate at which tissues age. This repair mechanism, rather than the general decreased of radical oxygen species levels, could be one of the main determinants of organisms' lifespan.

  10. Effect of Okinawa Propolis on PAK1 Activity, Caenorhabditis elegans Longevity, Melanogenesis, and Growth of Cancer Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taira, Nozomi; Nguyen, Binh Cao Quan; Be Tu, Pham Thi; Tawata, Shinkichi

    2016-07-13

    Propolis from different areas has been reported to inhibit oncogenic/aging kinase PAK1, which is responsible for a variety of conditions, including cancer, longevity, and melanogenesis. Here, a crude extract of Okinawa propolis (OP) was tested against PAK1 activity, Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) longevity, melanogenesis, and growth of cancer cells. We found that OP blocks PAK1 and exhibits anticancer activity in the A549 cell (human lung cancer cell) line with IC50 values of 6 μg/mL and 12 μg/mL, respectively. Most interestingly, OP (1 μg/mL) significantly reduces reproduction and prolongs the lifespan of C. elegans by activating the HSP-16.2 gene, as shown in the PAK1-deficient strain. Furthermore, OP inhibits melanogenesis in a melanoma cell line (B16F10) by downregulating intracellular tyrosinase activity with an IC50 of 30 μg/mL. Our results suggest that OP demonstrated a life span extending effect, C. elegans, anticancer, and antimelanogenic effects via PAK1 inactivation; therefore, this can be a potent natural medicinal supplement against PAK1-dependent diseases.

  11. 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.

  12. Phthalates induce neurotoxicity affecting locomotor and thermotactic behaviors and AFD neurons through oxidative stress in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    I-Ling Tseng

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Phthalate esters are ubiquitous environmental contaminants and numerous organisms are thus exposed to various levels of phthalates in their natural habitat. Considering the critical, but limited, research on human neurobehavioral outcomes in association with phthalates exposure, we used the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as an in vivo model to evaluate phthalates-induced neurotoxicity and the possible associated mechanisms. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Exposure to phthalates (DEHP, DBP, and DIBP at the examined concentrations induced behavioral defects, including changes in body bending, head thrashing, reversal frequency, and thermotaxis in C. elegans. Moreover, phthalates (DEHP, DBP, and DIBP exposure caused toxicity, affecting the relative sizes of cell body fluorescent puncta, and relative intensities of cell bodies in AFD neurons. The mRNA levels of the majority of the genes (TTX-1, TAX-2, TAX-4, and CEH-14 that are required for the differentiation and function of AFD neurons were decreased upon DEHP exposure. Furthermore, phthalates (DEHP, DBP, and DIBP exposure at the examined concentrations produced elevated intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS in C. elegans. Finally, pretreatment with the antioxidant ascorbic acid significantly lowered the intracellular ROS level, ameliorated the locomotor and thermotactic behavior defects, and protected the damage of AFD neurons by DEHP exposure. CONCLUSIONS: Our study suggests that oxidative stress plays a critical role in the phthalate esters-induced neurotoxic effects in C. elegans.

  13. Cofactor-independent phosphoglycerate mutase has an essential role in Caenorhabditis elegans and is conserved in parasitic nematodes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yinhua; Foster, Jeremy M; Kumar, Sanjay; Fougere, Marjorie; Carlow, Clotilde K S

    2004-08-27

    Phosphoglycerate mutases catalyze the interconversion of 2- and 3-phosphoglycerate in the glycolytic and gluconeogenic pathways. They exist in two unrelated forms that are either cofactor (2,3-diphosphoglycerate)-dependent or cofactor-independent. The two enzymes have no similarity in amino acid sequence, tertiary structure, or catalytic mechanism. Certain organisms including vertebrates have only the cofactor-dependent form, whereas other organisms can possess the independent form or both. Caenorhabditis elegans has been predicted to have only independent phosphoglycerate mutase. In this study, we have cloned and produced recombinant, independent phosphoglycerate mutases from C. elegans and the human-parasitic nematode Brugia malayi. They are 70% identical to each other and related to known bacterial, fungal, and protozoan enzymes. The nematode enzymes possess the catalytic serine, and other key amino acids proposed for catalysis and recombinant enzymes showed typical phosphoglycerate mutase activities in both the glycolytic and gluconeogenic directions. The gene is essential in C. elegans, because the reduction of its activity by RNA interference led to embryonic lethality, larval lethality, and abnormal body morphology. Promoter reporter analysis indicated widespread expression in larval and adult C. elegans with the highest levels apparent in the nerve ring, intestine, and body wall muscles. The enzyme was found in a diverse group of nematodes representing the major clades, indicating that it is conserved throughout this phylum. Our results demonstrate that nematodes, unlike vertebrates, utilize independent phosphoglycerate mutase in glycolytic and gluconeogenic pathways and that the enzyme is probably essential for all nematodes.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Circadian rhythms identified in Caenorhabditis elegans by in vivo long-term monitoring of a bioluminescent reporter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goya, María Eugenia; Romanowski, Andrés; Caldart, Carlos S; Bénard, Claire Y; Golombek, Diego A

    2016-11-29

    Circadian rhythms are based on endogenous clocks that allow organisms to adjust their physiology and behavior by entrainment to the solar day and, in turn, to select the optimal times for most biological variables. Diverse model systems-including mice, flies, fungi, plants, and bacteria-have provided important insights into the mechanisms of circadian rhythmicity. However, the general principles that govern the circadian clock of Caenorhabditis elegans have remained largely elusive. Here we report robust molecular circadian rhythms in C elegans recorded with a bioluminescence assay in vivo and demonstrate the main features of the circadian system of the nematode. By constructing a luciferase-based reporter coupled to the promoter of the suppressor of activated let-60 Ras (sur-5) gene, we show in both population and single-nematode assays that C elegans expresses ∼24-h rhythms that can be entrained by light/dark and temperature cycles. We provide evidence that these rhythms are temperature-compensated and can be re-entrained after phase changes of the synchronizing agents. In addition, we demonstrate that light and temperature sensing requires the photoreceptors LITE and GUR-3, and the cyclic nucleotide-gated channel subunit TAX-2. Our results shed light on C elegans circadian biology and demonstrate evolutionarily conserved features in the circadian system of the nematode.

  17. 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 p

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

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    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.

  19. 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.

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

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    Fatma Kaplan

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: 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. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: 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. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: 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

  1. Effects of genetic mutations and chemical exposures on Caenorhabditis elegans feeding: evaluation of a novel, high-throughput screening assay.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Windy A Boyd

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Government agencies have defined a need to reduce, refine or replace current mammalian-based bioassays with testing methods that use alternative species. Invertebrate species, such as Caenorhabditis elegans, provide an attractive option because of their short life cycles, inexpensive maintenance, and high degree of evolutionary conservation with higher eukaryotes. The C. elegans pharynx is a favorable model for studying neuromuscular function, and the effects of chemicals on neuromuscular activity, i.e., feeding. Current feeding methodologies, however, are labor intensive and only semi-quantitative. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here a high-throughput assay is described that uses flow cytometry to measure C. elegans feeding by determining the size and intestinal fluorescence of hundreds of nematodes after exposure to fluorescent-labeled microspheres. This assay was validated by quantifying fluorescence in feeding-defective C. elegans (eat mutants, and by exposing wild-type nematodes to the neuroactive compounds, serotonin and arecoline. The eat mutations previously determined to cause slow pumping rates exhibited the lowest feeding levels with our assay. Concentration-dependent increases in feeding levels after serotonin exposures were dependent on food availability, while feeding levels decreased in arecoline-exposed nematodes regardless of the presence of food. The effects of the environmental contaminants, cadmium chloride and chlorpyrifos, on wild-type C. elegans feeding were then used to demonstrate an application of the feeding assay. Cadmium exposures above 200 microM led to a sharp drop in feeding levels. Feeding of chlorpyrifos-exposed nematodes decreased in a concentration-dependent fashion with an EC(50 of 2 microM. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The C. elegans fluorescence microsphere feeding assay is a rapid, reliable method for the assessment of neurotoxic effects of pharmaceutical drugs, industrial chemicals or

  2. H3K23me2 is a new heterochromatic mark in Caenorhabditis elegans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vandamme, Julien; Sidoli, Simone; Mariani, Luca;

    2015-01-01

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

  3. The versatile worm: genetic and genomic resources for Caenorhabditis elegans research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antoshechkin, Igor; Sternberg, Paul W

    2007-07-01

    Since its establishment as a model organism, Caenorhabditis elegans has been an invaluable tool for biological research. An immense spectrum of questions can be addressed using this small nematode, making it one of the most versatile and exciting model organisms. Although the many tools and resources developed by the C. elegans community greatly facilitate new discoveries, they can also overwhelm newcomers to the field. This Review aims to familiarize new worm researchers with the main resources, and help them to select the tools that are best suited for their needs. We also hope that it will be helpful in identifying new research opportunities and will promote the development of additional resources.

  4. Advances in the Caenorhabditis elegans genome project%线虫(Caenorhabditis elegans)基因组的研究进展

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李菁菁; 刘良式

    2000-01-01

    线虫(Caenorhabditis elegans)是重要的模式生物,其基因组序列分析工作于1998年底基本完成,已有19000多个基因被鉴定.本文概述线虫基因组研究中遗传图谱、物理图谱、序列测定和基因识别等方面的研究成果,以及线虫基因组计划将对生命科学研究产生的影响.

  5. Shedding of foodborne pathogens by Caenorhabditis elegans in compost-amended and unamended soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Gary L; Kenney, Stephen J; Millner, Patricia D; Beuchat, Larry R; Williams, Phillip L

    2006-04-01

    A study was done to characterize the shedding of foodborne pathogenic bacteria by Caenorhabditis elegans, evaluate the persistence of worm populations cocultured with foodborne pathogens, and determine if C. elegans disperses ingested pathogens in soil as a result of shedding. Escherichia. coli O157:H7, Salmonella enterica serotype Poona, and Listeria monocytogenes, as well as E. coli OP50, a non-pathogenic strain, were studied. Synchronous populations of C. elegans were fed for 24 h on confluent lawns of nalidixic acid-adapted bacteria. C. elegans shed viable cells of ingested bacteria on tryptic soy agar supplemented with nalidixic acid (50 microg ml(-1)) (TSAN) throughout a 5-h post-feeding period. C. elegans persisted for up to 10 days by feeding on bacteria that had been shed and grew on TSAN. Eggs harvested from C. elegans cultured on shed foodborne pathogens had the same level of viability as those collected from C. elegans grown on shed E. coli OP50. After 6-7 days, 78%, 64%, 64%, and 76% of eggs laid by C. elegans that had fed on E. coli O157:H7, S. Poona, L. monocytogenes, and E. coli OP50, respectively, were viable. Worms fed on E. coli O157:H7 were inoculated into soil and soil amended with turkey manure compost. Populations of C. elegans persisted in compost-amended soil for at least 7 days but declined in unamended soil. E. coli O157:H7 was detected at 4 and 6 days post inoculation in compost-amended and unamended soil, and in unamended soil inoculated with E. coli OP50. Populations of E. coli O157:H7 in soil amended with turkey manure compost were significantly(alpha = 0.05) higher than those in unamended soil. Results indicate that C. elegans can act as a vector to disperse foodborne pathogens in soil, potentially resulting in increased risk of contaminating the surface of pre-harvest fruits and vegetables.

  6. Intestinal signaling to GABAergic neurons regulates a rhythmic behavior in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahoney, Timothy R.; Luo, Shuo; Round, Elaine K.; Brauner, Martin; Gottschalk, Alexander; Thomas, James H.; Nonet, Michael L.

    2008-01-01

    The Caenorhabditis elegans defecation motor program (DMP) is a highly coordinated rhythmic behavior that requires two GABAergic neurons that synapse onto the enteric muscles. One class of DMP mutants, called anterior body wall muscle contraction and expulsion defective (aex) mutants, exhibits similar defects to those caused by the loss of these two neurons. Here, we demonstrate that aex-2 encodes a G-protein–coupled receptor (GPCR) and aex-4 encodes an exocytic SNAP25 homologue. We found that aex-2 functions in the nervous system and activates a Gsα signaling pathway to regulate defecation. aex-4, on the other hand, functions in the intestinal epithelial cells. Furthermore, we show that aex-5, which encodes a pro-protein convertase, functions in the intestine to regulate the DMP and that its secretion from the intestine is impaired in aex-4 mutants. Activation of the Gsα GPCR pathway in GABAergic neurons can suppress the defecation defect of the intestinal mutants aex-4 and aex-5. Lastly, we demonstrate that activation of GABAergic neurons using the light-gated cation channel channelrhodopsin-2 is sufficient to suppress the behavioral defects of aex-2, aex-4, and aex-5. These results genetically place intestinal genes aex-4 and aex-5 upstream of GABAergic GPCR signaling. We propose a model whereby the intestinal genes aex-4 and aex-5 control the DMP by regulating the secretion of a signal, which activates the neuronal receptor aex-2. PMID:18852466

  7. Glycogen Fuels Survival During Hyposmotic-Anoxic Stress in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    LaMacchia, John C; Frazier, Harold N; Roth, Mark B

    2015-09-01

    Oxygen is an absolute requirement for multicellular life. Animals that are deprived of oxygen for sufficient periods of time eventually become injured and die. This is largely due to the fact that, without oxygen, animals are unable to generate sufficient quantities of energy. In human diseases triggered by oxygen deprivation, such as heart attack and stroke, hyposmotic stress and cell swelling (edema) arise in affected tissues as a direct result of energetic failure. Edema independently enhances tissue injury in these diseases by incompletely understood mechanisms, resulting in poor clinical outcomes. Here, we present investigations into the effects of osmotic stress during complete oxygen deprivation (anoxia) in the genetically tractable nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Our findings demonstrate that nematode survival of a hyposmotic environment during anoxia (hyposmotic anoxia) depends on the nematode's ability to engage in glycogen metabolism. We also present results of a genome-wide screen for genes affecting glycogen content and localization in the nematode, showing that nematode survival of hyposmotic anoxia depends on a large number of these genes. Finally, we show that an inability to engage in glycogen synthesis results in suppression of the enhanced survival phenotype observed in daf-2 insulin-like pathway mutants, suggesting that alterations in glycogen metabolism may serve as a basis for these mutants' resistance to hyposmotic anoxia.

  8. A Genetic Screen for Mutants with Supersized Lipid Droplets in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Shiwei; Xu, Shibin; Ma, Yanli; Wu, Shuang; Feng, Yu; Cui, Qingpo; Chen, Lifeng; Zhou, Shuang; Kong, Yuanyuan; Zhang, Xiaoyu; Yu, Jialei; Wu, Mengdi; Zhang, Shaobing O.

    2016-01-01

    To identify genes that regulate the dynamics of lipid droplet (LD) size, we have used the genetically tractable model organism Caenorhabditis elegans, whose wild-type LD population displays a steady state of size with an upper limit of 3 μm in diameter. From a saturated forward genetic screen of 6.7 × 105 mutagenized haploid genomes, we isolated 118 mutants with supersized intestinal LDs often reaching 10 μm. These mutants define nine novel complementation groups, in addition to four known genes (maoc-1, dhs-28, daf-22, and prx-10). The nine groups are named drop (lipid droplet abnormal) and categorized into four classes. Class I mutants drop-5 and drop-9, similar to prx-10, are up-regulated in ACS-22-DGAT-2-dependent LD growth, resistant to LD hydrolysis, and defective in peroxisome import. Class II mutants drop-2, drop-3, drop-6, and drop-7 are up-regulated in LD growth, are resistant to LD hydrolysis, but are not defective in peroxisome import. Class III mutants drop-1 and drop-8 are neither up-regulated in LD growth nor resistant to LD hydrolysis, but seemingly up-regulated in LD fusion. Class IV mutant drop-4 is cloned as sams-1 and, different to the other three classes, is ACS-22-independent and hydrolysis-resistant. These four classes of supersized LD mutants should be valuable for mechanistic studies of LD cellular processes including growth, hydrolysis, and fusion. PMID:27261001

  9. MRG-1 is required for genomic integrity in Caenorhabditis elegans germ cells

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jing Xu; Xiaojuan Sun; Yudong Jing; Mo Wang; Kai Liu; Youli Jian; Mei Yang; Zhukuan Cheng; Chonglin Yang

    2012-01-01

    During meiotic cell division,proper chromosome synapsis and accurate repair of DNA double strand breaks (DSBs) are required to maintain genomic integrity,loss of which leads to apoptosis or meiotic defects.The mechanisms underlying meiotic chromosome synapsis,DSB repair and apoptosis are not fully understood.Here,we report that the chromodomain-containiug protein MRG-1 is an important factor for genomic integrity in meiosis in Caenorhabditis elegans.Loss ofmrg-1 function resulted in a significant increase in germ cell apoptosis that was partially inhibited by mutations affecting DNA damage checkpoint genes.Consistently,mrg-1 mutant germ lines exhibited SPO-11-generated DSBs and elevated exogenous DNA damage-induced chromosome fragmentation at diakinesis.In addition,the excessive apoptosis in mrg-1 mutants was partially suppressed by loss of the synapsis checkpoint gene pch-2,and a significant number of meiotic nuclei accumulated at the leptotene/zygotene stages with an elevated level of H3K9me2 on the chromatin,which was similarly observed in mutants deficient in the synaptonemal complex,suggesting that the proper progression of chromosome synapsis is likely impaired in the absence of mrg-1.Altogether,these findings suggest that MRG-1 is critical for genomic integrity by promoting meiotic DSB repair and synapsis progression in meiosis.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. A Genetic Screen for Mutants with Supersized Lipid Droplets in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shiwei Li

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available To identify genes that regulate the dynamics of lipid droplet (LD size, we have used the genetically tractable model organism Caenorhabditis elegans, whose wild-type LD population displays a steady state of size with an upper limit of 3 μm in diameter. From a saturated forward genetic screen of 6.7 × 105 mutagenized haploid genomes, we isolated 118 mutants with supersized intestinal LDs often reaching 10 μm. These mutants define nine novel complementation groups, in addition to four known genes (maoc-1, dhs-28, daf-22, and prx-10. The nine groups are named drop (lipid droplet abnormal and categorized into four classes. Class I mutants drop-5 and drop-9, similar to prx-10, are up-regulated in ACS-22-DGAT-2-dependent LD growth, resistant to LD hydrolysis, and defective in peroxisome import. Class II mutants drop-2, drop-3, drop-6, and drop-7 are up-regulated in LD growth, are resistant to LD hydrolysis, but are not defective in peroxisome import. Class III mutants drop-1 and drop-8 are neither up-regulated in LD growth nor resistant to LD hydrolysis, but seemingly up-regulated in LD fusion. Class IV mutant drop-4 is cloned as sams-1 and, different to the other three classes, is ACS-22-independent and hydrolysis-resistant. These four classes of supersized LD mutants should be valuable for mechanistic studies of LD cellular processes including growth, hydrolysis, and fusion.

  14. Caenorhabditis elegans maintains highly compartmentalized cellular distribution of metals and steep concentration gradients of manganese.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gawain McColl

    Full Text Available Bioinorganic chemistry is critical to cellular function. Homeostasis of manganese (Mn, for example, is essential for life. A lack of methods for direct in situ visualization of Mn and other biological metals within intact multicellular eukaryotes limits our understanding of management of these metals. We provide the first quantitative subcellular visualization of endogenous Mn concentrations (spanning two orders of magnitude associated with individual cells of the nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans.

  15. A multi-endpoint, high-throughput study of nanomaterial toxicity in Caenorhabditis elegans

    OpenAIRE

    Jung, Sang-Kyu; Qu, Xiaolei; Aleman-Meza, Boanerges; Wang, Tianxiao; Riepe, Celeste; Liu, Zheng; Li, Qilin; Zhong, Weiwei

    2015-01-01

    The booming nanotech industry has raised public concerns about the environmental health and safety impact of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs). High-throughput assays are needed to obtain toxicity data for the rapidly increasing number of ENMs. Here we present a suite of high-throughput methods to study nanotoxicity in intact animals using Caenorhabditis elegans as a model. At the population level, our system measures food consumption of thousands of animals to evaluate population fitness. At t...

  16. Toward a physical map of the genome of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Coulson, A.; Sulston, J.; Brenner, S.; Karn, J.

    1986-10-01

    A technique for digital characterization and comparison of DNA fragments, using restriction enzymes, is described. The technique is being applied to fragments from the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (i) to facilitate cross-indexing of clones emanating from different laboratories and (ii) to construct a physical map of the genome. Eight hundred sixty clusters of clones, from 35 to 350 kilobases long and totaling about 60% of the genome, have been characterized.

  17. Transcriptomic and proteomic analysis of anhydrobiosis in Panagrolaimus superbus and Caenorhabditis elegans dauer larvae

    OpenAIRE

    Mulvihill, Eoin

    2014-01-01

    Many organisms are able to survive the loss of up to 95% of their cellular fluid by entering a state of suspended animation known as anhydrobiosis. The mechanisms which allow these organisms to survive desiccation are poorly understood. The nematodes Panagrolaimus superbus and Caenorhabditis elegans are able to survive extreme desiccation. These nematodes have contrasting strategies for surviving desiccation perhaps defined by the habitats in which they evolved. P. superbus was...

  18. Dissection of Cell Division Processes in the One Cell Stage Caenorhabditis elegans Embryo by Mutational Analysis

    OpenAIRE

    Gönczy, Pierre; Schnabel, Heinke; Kaletta, Titus; Amores, Ana Duran; Hyman, Tony; Schnabel, Ralf

    1999-01-01

    To identify novel components required for cell division processes in complex eukaryotes, we have undertaken an extensive mutational analysis in the one cell stage Caenorhabditis elegans embryo. The large size and optical properties of this cell permit observation of cell division processes with great detail in live specimens by simple differential interference contrast (DIC) microscopy. We have screened an extensive collection of maternal-effect embryonic lethal mutations on chromosome III wi...

  19. Ascaroside Expression in Caenorhabditis elegans Is Strongly Dependent on Diet and Developmental Stage

    OpenAIRE

    Fatma Kaplan; Jagan Srinivasan; Parag Mahanti; Ramadan Ajredini; Omer Durak; Rathika Nimalendran; Paul W. Sternberg; Teal, Peter E. A.; Schroeder, Frank C.; EDISON, ARTHUR S.; Alborn, Hans T.

    2011-01-01

    Background: 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 ascaros...

  20. Ascaroside activity in Caenorhabditis elegans is highly dependent on chemical structure

    OpenAIRE

    Hollister, Kyle A.; Conner, Elizabeth S.; Zhang, Xinxing; Spell, Mark; Bernard, Gary M.; Patel, Pratik; de Carvalho, Ana Carolina G.V.; Butcher, Rebecca A.; Ragains, Justin R.

    2013-01-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans secretes ascarosides, structurally diverse derivatives of the 3,6-dideoxysugar ascarylose, and uses them in chemical communication. At high population densities, specific ascarosides, which are together known as the dauer pheromone, trigger entry into the stress-resistant dauer larval stage. In order to study the structure-activity relationships for the ascarosides, we synthesized a panel of ascarosides and tested them for dauer-inducing activity. This pane...

  1. Targeted Metabolomics Reveals a Male Pheromone and Sex-Specific Ascaroside Biosynthesis in Caenorhabditis elegans

    OpenAIRE

    Izrayelit, Yevgeniy; Srinivasan, Jagan; Campbell, Sydney L.; Jo, Yeara; von Reuss, Stephan H.; Genoff, Margaux-C; Paul W. Sternberg; Schroeder, Frank C.

    2012-01-01

    In the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans, a class of small molecule signals called ascarosides regulate development, mating, and social behaviors. Ascaroside production has been studied in the predominant sex, the hermaphrodite, but not in males, which account for less than 1% of wild-type worms grown under typical laboratory conditions. Using HPLC–MS-based targeted metabolomics, we show that males also produce ascarosides and that their ascaroside profile differs markedly from that of he...

  2. Kinesin-1 Acts with Netrin and DCC to Maintain Sensory Neuron Position in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barsi-Rhyne, Benjamin J.; Miller, Kristine M.; Vargas, Christopher T.; Thomas, Anthony B.; Park, Joori; Bremer, Martina; Jarecki, Jessica L.; VanHoven, Miri K.

    2013-01-01

    The organization of neurons and the maintenance of that arrangement are critical to brain function. Failure of these processes in humans can lead to severe birth defects, mental retardation, and epilepsy. Several kinesins have been shown to play important roles in cell migration in vertebrate systems, but few upstream and downstream pathway members have been identified. Here, we utilize the genetic model organism Caenorhabditis elegans to elucidate the pathway by which the C. elegans Kinesin-1 Heavy Chain (KHC)/KIF5 ortholog UNC-116 functions to maintain neuronal cell body position in the PHB sensory neurons. We find that UNC-116/KHC acts in part with the cell and axon migration molecules UNC-6/Netrin and UNC-40/DCC in this process, but in parallel to SAX-3/Robo. We have also identified several potential adaptor, cargo, and regulatory proteins that may provide insight into the mechanism of UNC-116/KHC’s function in this process. These include the cargo receptor UNC-33/CRMP2, the cargo adaptor protein UNC-76/FEZ and its regulator UNC-51/ULK, the cargo molecule UNC-69/SCOCO, and the actin regulators UNC-44/Ankyrin and UNC-34/Enabled. These genes also act in cell migration and axon outgrowth; however, many proteins that function in these processes do not affect PHB position. Our findings suggest an active posterior cell migration mediated by UNC-116/KHC occurs throughout development to maintain proper PHB cell body position and define a new pathway that mediates maintenance of neuronal cell body position. PMID:23475988

  3. Acyl-CoA oxidase complexes control the chemical message produced by Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xinxing; Feng, Likui; Chinta, Satya; Singh, Prashant; Wang, Yuting; Nunnery, Joshawna K; Butcher, Rebecca A

    2015-03-31

    Caenorhabditis elegans uses ascaroside pheromones to induce development of the stress-resistant dauer larval stage and to coordinate various behaviors. Peroxisomal β-oxidation cycles are required for the biosynthesis of the fatty acid-derived side chains of the ascarosides. Here we show that three acyl-CoA oxidases, which catalyze the first step in these β-oxidation cycles, form different protein homo- and heterodimers with distinct substrate preferences. Mutations in the acyl-CoA oxidase genes acox-1, -2, and -3 led to specific defects in ascaroside production. When the acyl-CoA oxidases were expressed alone or in pairs and purified, the resulting acyl-CoA oxidase homo- and heterodimers displayed different side-chain length preferences in an in vitro activity assay. Specifically, an ACOX-1 homodimer controls the production of ascarosides with side chains with nine or fewer carbons, an ACOX-1/ACOX-3 heterodimer controls the production of those with side chains with seven or fewer carbons, and an ACOX-2 homodimer controls the production of those with ω-side chains with less than five carbons. Our results support a biosynthetic model in which β-oxidation enzymes act directly on the CoA-thioesters of ascaroside biosynthetic precursors. Furthermore, we identify environmental conditions, including high temperature and low food availability, that induce the expression of acox-2 and/or acox-3 and lead to corresponding changes in ascaroside production. Thus, our work uncovers an important mechanism by which C. elegans increases the production of the most potent dauer pheromones, those with the shortest side chains, under specific environmental conditions.

  4. Phenotypic and Behavioral Defects Induced by Iron Exposure Can Be Transferred to Progeny in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    YA-OU HU; YANG WANG; BO-PING YE; DA-YONG WANG

    2008-01-01

    Previous work has showed that excess iron accumulation is harmful to reproduction and even promotes death;however,whether the multiple biological toxicity of iron (Fe) exposure could be transferred to progeny remains unknown.The present study used Caenorhabditis elegans to analyze the multiple toxicities of iron exposure and their possible transferable properties.Methods Three concentrations of iron sulfate solution (2.5μmol/L,75μmol/L,and 200 lamol/L) were used.The endpoints of lifespan,body size,generation time,brood size,head thrash and body bend frequencies,and chemotaxis plasticity were selected to investigate Fe toxicity and its effect on progeny in Caenorhabditis elegans.Results The Fe toxicity could cause multiple biological defects in a dose-dependent manner by affecting different endpoints in nematodes.Most of the multiple biological defects and behavior toxicities could be transferred from Fe-exposed Caenorhabditis elegans to their progeny.Compared to the parents,no recovery phenotypes were observed for some of the defects in the progeny,such as body bend frequency and life span.We further summarized the defects caused by Fe exposure into 2 groups according to their transferable properties.Conclusion Our results suggest that Fe exposure could cause multiple biological defects,and most of these severe defects could be transferred from Fe exposed nematodes to their progeny.

  5. 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.

  6. Noncell- and cell-autonomous G-protein-signaling converges with Ca2+/mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling to regulate str-2 receptor gene expression in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2006-01-01

    textabstractIn the sensory system of C. elegans, the candidate odorant receptor gene str-2 is strongly expressed in one of the two AWC neurons and weakly in both ASI neurons. Asymmetric AWC expression results from suppression of str-2 expression by a Ca2+/MAPK signaling pathway in one of the AWC neu

  7. Administration with Bushenkangshuai Tang alleviates UV irradiation- and oxidative stress-induced lifespan defects in nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Qi RUI; Qin LU; Dayong WANG

    2009-01-01

    During normal metabolism, oxidative bypro-ducts will inevitably generate and damage molecules thereby impairing their biological functions, including the is a traditional Chinese medicine widely used for clini-cally treating premature ovarian failure. In the present study, BT administration at high concentrations signifi-cantly increased lifespan, slowed aging-related decline, and delayed accumulation of aging-related cellular damage in wild-type Caenorhabditis elegans. BT admin-istration could further largely alleviate the aging defects induced by UV and oxidative stresses, and BT administra-tion at different concentrations could largely rescue the aging defects in mev-1 mutant animals. The protective effects of BT administration on aging process were at least partially dependent on the Ins/IGF-like signaling pathway. Moreover, BT administration at different concentrations obviously altered the expression patterns of antioxidant genes and suppressed the severe stress responses induced by UV and oxidative stresses, suggesting that BT-induced tolerance to UV or oxidative stress might result from reactive oxygen species scavenging. BT administration during development was not necessarily a requirement for UV and oxidative stress resistance, and the concentrations of administrated BT examined were not toxic for nematodes. Therefore, BT administration could effectively retrieve the aging defects induced by UV irradiation and oxidative stress in Caenorhabditis elegans.

  8. 线虫脂肪模型研究%Research on Caenorhabditis elegans as model for obesity

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    徐蔓玲; 赵阳; 贾熙华; 季宇彬

    2014-01-01

    Obesity is a kind of chronic disease with the fatty acid accumulation increased . Studying on the model of organism can discover the obesity disease -causing genes or related pathogenic factors , and find potential drug targets .The progress of research on Caenorhabdi-tis elegans as a model for fatty was summarized in this paper .The key genes and core path-ways in fatty acid metabolism was involved .The data obtained in Caenorhabditis elegans on fatty storage control will contribute largely to the study on metabolism related diseases , such as obesity in human beings .C.elegans may be invaluable in the development of reducing fat and body weightdrugs in the future .%肥胖是一种脂肪酸积累增加的慢性疾病,采用研究模式生物的方法可以有助于探明肥胖产生的致病基因或致病相关因子,进而寻找可能的药物靶点。综述了国内外对线虫脂肪模型的研究进展,分析了线虫体内脂肪酸代谢途径的关键基因和核心通路。线虫脂肪代谢调节研究工作对人类肥胖症等代谢疾病的研究具有重要的提示作用,利用线虫脂肪模型研究降脂减肥药物具有广阔的应用前景。

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Mitochondrial ATP-sensitive potassium channel activity and hypoxic preconditioning are independent of an inwardly rectifying potassium channel subunit in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wojtovich, Andrew P; DiStefano, Peter; Sherman, Teresa; Brookes, Paul S; Nehrke, Keith

    2012-02-17

    Hypoxic preconditioning (HP) is an evolutionarily-conserved mechanism that protects an organism against stress. The mitochondrial ATP-sensitive K(+) channel (mK(ATP)) plays an essential role in the protective signaling, but remains molecularly undefined. Several lines of evidence suggest that mK(ATP) may arise from an inward rectifying K(+) channel (Kir). The genetic model organism Caenorhabditis elegans exhibits HP and displays mK(ATP) activity. Here, we investigate the tissue expression profile of the three C. elegans Kir genes and demonstrate that mutant strains where the irk genes have been deleted either individually or in combination can be protected by HP and exhibit robust mK(ATP) channel activity in purified mitochondria. These data suggest that the mK(ATP) in C. elegans does not arise from a Kir derived channel.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Terissa A. Thompson

    2017-01-01

    Conclusions: There was a strong association between the carriage of virulence genes and the presence of the agr operon in clinical strains of S. aureus. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. A new role for laminins as modulators of protein toxicity in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, Louise T; Møller, Tine H; Larsen, Simon A; Jakobsen, Helle; Olsen, Anders

    2012-02-01

    Protein misfolding is a common theme in aging and several age-related diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. The processes involved in the development of these diseases are many and complex. Here, we show that components of the basement membrane (BM), particularly laminin, affect protein integrity of the muscle cells they support. We knocked down gene expression of epi-1, a laminin α-chain, and found that this resulted in increased proteotoxicity in different Caenorhabditis elegans transgenic models, expressing aggregating proteins in the body wall muscle. The effect could partially be rescued by decreased insulin-like signaling, known to slow the aging process and the onset of various age-related diseases. Our data points to an underlying molecular mechanism involving proteasomal degradation and HSP-16 chaperone activity. Furthermore, epi-1-depleted animals had altered synaptic function and displayed hypersensitivity to both levamisole and aldicarb, an acetylcholine receptor agonist and an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, respectively. Our results implicate the BM as an extracellular modulator of protein homeostasis in the adjacent muscle cells. This is in agreement with previous research showing that imbalance in neuromuscular signaling disturbs protein homeostasis in the postsynaptic cell. In our study, proteotoxicity may indeed be mediated by the neuromuscular junction which is part of the BM, where laminins are present in high concentration, ensuring the proper microenvironment for neuromuscular signaling. Laminins are evolutionarily conserved, and thus the BM may play a much more causal role in protein misfolding diseases than currently recognized.

  15. Molecular strategies of the Caenorhabditis elegans dauer larva to survive extreme desiccation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erkut, Cihan; Vasilj, Andrej; Boland, Sebastian; Habermann, Bianca; Shevchenko, Andrej; Kurzchalia, Teymuras V

    2013-01-01

    Massive water loss is a serious challenge for terrestrial animals, which usually has fatal consequences. However, some organisms have developed means to survive this stress by entering an ametabolic state called anhydrobiosis. The molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying this phenomenon are poorly understood. We recently showed that Caenorhabditis elegans dauer larva, an arrested stage specialized for survival in adverse conditions, is resistant to severe desiccation. However, this requires a preconditioning step at a mild desiccative environment to prepare the organism for harsher desiccation conditions. A systems approach was used to identify factors that are activated during this preconditioning. Using microarray analysis, proteomics, and bioinformatics, genes, proteins, and biochemical pathways that are upregulated during this process were identified. These pathways were validated via reverse genetics by testing the desiccation tolerances of mutants. These data show that the desiccation response is activated by hygrosensation (sensing the desiccative environment) via head neurons. This leads to elimination of reactive oxygen species and xenobiotics, expression of heat shock and intrinsically disordered proteins, polyamine utilization, and induction of fatty acid desaturation pathway. Remarkably, this response is specific and involves a small number of functional pathways, which represent the generic toolkit for anhydrobiosis in plants and animals.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Jacqueline G; Liu, Yan; Williams, Christopher W; Smith, Harold E; O'Connell, Kevin F

    2016-01-15

    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.

  17. 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.

  18. Dissection of neuronal gap junction circuits that regulate social behavior in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jang, Heeun; Levy, Sagi; Flavell, Steven W.; Mende, Fanny; Latham, Richard; Zimmer, Manuel; Bargmann, Cornelia I.

    2017-01-01

    A hub-and-spoke circuit of neurons connected by gap junctions controls aggregation behavior and related behavioral responses to oxygen, pheromones, and food in Caenorhabditis elegans. The molecular composition of the gap junctions connecting RMG hub neurons with sensory spoke neurons is unknown. We show here that the innexin gene unc-9 is required in RMG hub neurons to drive aggregation and related behaviors, indicating that UNC-9–containing gap junctions mediate RMG signaling. To dissect the circuit in detail, we developed methods to inhibit unc-9–based gap junctions with dominant-negative unc-1 transgenes. unc-1(dn) alters a stomatin-like protein that regulates unc-9 electrical signaling; its disruptive effects can be rescued by a constitutively active UNC-9::GFP protein, demonstrating specificity. Expression of unc-1(dn) in RMG hub neurons, ADL or ASK pheromone-sensing neurons, or URX oxygen-sensing neurons disrupts specific elements of aggregation-related behaviors. In ADL, unc-1(dn) has effects opposite to those of tetanus toxin light chain, separating the roles of ADL electrical and chemical synapses. These results reveal roles of gap junctions in a complex behavior at cellular resolution and provide a tool for similar exploration of other gap junction circuits. PMID:28143932

  19. The GATA transcription factor egl-27 delays aging by promoting stress resistance in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiao Xu

    Full Text Available Stress is a fundamental aspect of aging, as accumulated damage from a lifetime of stress can limit lifespan and protective responses to stress can extend lifespan. In this study, we identify a conserved Caenorhabditis elegans GATA transcription factor, egl-27, that is involved in several stress responses and aging. We found that overexpression of egl-27 extends the lifespan of wild-type animals. Furthermore, egl-27 is required for the pro-longevity effects from impaired insulin/IGF-1 like signaling (IIS, as reduced egl-27 activity fully suppresses the longevity of worms that are mutant for the IIS receptor, daf-2. egl-27 expression is inhibited by daf-2 and activated by pro-longevity factors daf-16/FOXO and elt-3/GATA, suggesting that egl-27 acts at the intersection of IIS and GATA pathways to extend lifespan. Consistent with its role in IIS signaling, we found that egl-27 is involved in stress response pathways. egl-27 expression is induced in the presence of multiple stresses, its targets are significantly enriched for many types of stress genes, and altering levels of egl-27 itself affects survival to heat and oxidative stress. Finally, we found that egl-27 expression increases between young and old animals, suggesting that increased levels of egl-27 in aged animals may act to promote stress resistance. These results identify egl-27 as a novel factor that links stress and aging pathways.

  20. Internal Concentration and Time Are Important Modifiers of Toxicity: The Case of Chlorpyrifos on Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roh, Ji-Yeon; Lee, Hyun-Jeoung; Kwon, Jung-Hwan

    2016-09-01

    The internal concentration of chemicals in exposed organisms changes over time due to absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion processes since chemicals are taken up from the environment. Internal concentration and time are very important modifiers of toxicity when biomarkers are used to evaluate the potential hazards and risks of environmental pollutants. In this study, the responses of molecular biomarkers, and the fate of chemicals in the body, were comprehensively investigated to determine cause-and-effect relationships over time. Chlorpyrifos (CP) was selected as a model chemical, and Caenorhabditis elegans was exposed to CP for 4 h using the passive dosing method. Worms were then monitored in fresh medium during a 48-h recovery regime. The mRNA expression of genes related to CYP metabolism (cyp35a2 and cyp35a3) increased during the constant exposure phase. The body residue of CP decreased once it reached a peak level during the early stage of exposure, indicating that the initial uptake of CP rapidly induced biotransformation with the synthesis of new CYP metabolic proteins. The residual chlorpyrifos-oxon concentration, an acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitor, continuously increased even after the recovery regime started. These delayed toxicokinetics seem to be important for the extension of AChE inhibition for up to 9 h after the start of the recovery regime. Comprehensive investigation into the molecular initiation events and changes in the internal concentrations of chemical species provide insight into response causality within the framework of an adverse outcome pathway.

  1. A Forward Genetic Screen for Molecules Involved in Pheromone-Induced Dauer Formation in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neal, Scott J.; Park, JiSoo; DiTirro, Danielle; Yoon, Jason; Shibuya, Mayumi; Choi, Woochan; Schroeder, Frank C.; Butcher, Rebecca A.; Kim, Kyuhyung; Sengupta, Piali

    2016-01-01

    Animals must constantly assess their surroundings and integrate sensory cues to make appropriate behavioral and developmental decisions. Pheromones produced by conspecific individuals provide critical information regarding environmental conditions. Ascaroside pheromone concentration and composition are instructive in the decision of Caenorhabditis elegans to either develop into a reproductive adult or enter into the stress-resistant alternate dauer developmental stage. Pheromones are sensed by a small set of sensory neurons, and integrated with additional environmental cues, to regulate neuroendocrine signaling and dauer formation. To identify molecules required for pheromone-induced dauer formation, we performed an unbiased forward genetic screen and identified phd (pheromone response-defective dauer) mutants. Here, we describe new roles in dauer formation for previously identified neuronal molecules such as the WD40 domain protein QUI-1 and MACO-1 Macoilin, report new roles for nociceptive neurons in modulating pheromone-induced dauer formation, and identify tau tubulin kinases as new genes involved in dauer formation. Thus, phd mutants define loci required for the detection, transmission, or integration of pheromone signals in the regulation of dauer formation. PMID:26976437

  2. Physiological and molecular mechanisms of salt and water homeostasis in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choe, Keith P

    2013-08-01

    Intracellular salt and water homeostasis is essential for all cellular life. Extracellular salt and water homeostasis is also important for multicellular organisms. Many fundamental mechanisms of compensation for osmotic perturbations are well defined and conserved. Alternatively, molecular mechanisms of detecting salt and water imbalances and regulating compensatory responses are generally poorly defined for animals. Throughout the last century, researchers studying vertebrates and vertebrate cells made critical contributions to our understanding of osmoregulation, especially mechanisms of salt and water transport and organic osmolyte accumulation. Researchers have more recently started using invertebrate model organisms with defined genomes and well-established methods of genetic manipulation to begin defining the genes and integrated regulatory networks that respond to osmotic stress. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is well suited to these studies. Here, I introduce osmoregulatory mechanisms in this model, discuss experimental advantages and limitations, and review important findings. Key discoveries include defining genetic mechanisms of osmolarity sensing in neurons, identifying protein damage as a sensor and principle determinant of hypertonic stress resistance, and identification of a putative sensor for hypertonic stress associated with the extracellular matrix. Many of these processes and pathways are conserved and, therefore, provide new insights into salt and water homeostasis in other animals, including mammals.

  3. The lin-15 locus encodes two negative regulators of Caenorhabditis elegans vulval development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, L S; Tzou, P; Sternberg, P W

    1994-01-01

    During Caenorhabditis elegans vulval development, an inductive signal from the anchor cell stimulates three of the six vulval precursor cells (VPCs) to adopt vulval rather than nonvulval epidermal fates. Genes necessary for this induction include the lin-3 growth factor, the let-23 receptor tyrosine kinase, and let-60 ras. lin-15 is a negative regulator of this inductive pathway. In lin-15 mutant animals, all six VPCs adopt vulval fates, even in the absence of inductive signal. Previous genetic studies suggested that lin-15 is a complex locus with two independently mutable activities, A and B. We have cloned the lin-15 locus by germline transformation and find that it encodes two nonoverlapping transcripts that are transcribed in the same direction. The downstream transcript encodes the lin-15A function; the upstream transcript encodes the lin-15B function. The predicted lin-15A and lin-15B proteins are novel and hydrophilic. We have identified a molecular null allele of lin-15 and have used it to analyze the role of lin-15 in the signaling pathway. We find that lin-15 acts upstream of let-23 and in parallel to the inductive signal. Images PMID:8054684

  4. An HMG1-like protein facilitates Wnt signaling in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Lily I.; Sternberg, Paul W.

    1999-01-01

    We show that during Caenorhabditis elegans male spicule development, the specification of a glial versus neuronal cell fate in a canonical neurogenic sublineage is dependent on Wnt signaling. Inactivation of a Wnt signaling pathway mediated by the Wnt receptor LIN-17 transforms the SPD sheath cell into its sister, the SPD neuron. We discovered a new mutant, son-1, that displays this same cell fate transformation. The son-1 mutation enhances the phenotypes of reduction-of-function lin-17 mutants in several developmental processes, including vulva development, somatic gonad development, and male tail patterning. son-1 encodes an HMG1/2-like DNA-binding protein and is localized in all cell nuclei through development as revealed by a GFP reporter construct. Disruption of son-1 function by RNA-mediated interference results in the same spicule defect as caused by overexpression of POP-1, a TCF/LEF class HMG protein known to act downstream of the Wnt signaling pathway. Our results provide in vivo evidence for the functional involvement of an HMG1/2-like protein, SON-1, in Wnt signaling. The sequence nonspecific HMG protein SON-1 and the sequence specific HMG protein POP-1 might both act in the Wnt responding cells to regulate gene transcription in opposite directions. PMID:10197987

  5. Iron Overload Coordinately Promotes Ferritin Expression and Fat Accumulation in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Haizhen; Jiang, Xue; Wu, Jieyu; Zhang, Linqiang; Huang, Jingfei; Zhang, Yuru; Zou, Xiaoju; Liang, Bin

    2016-05-01

    The trace element iron is crucial for living organisms, since it plays essential roles in numerous cellular functions. Systemic iron overload and the elevated level of ferritin, a ubiquitous intracellular protein that stores and releases iron to maintain the iron homeostasis in cells, has long been epidemiologically associated with obesity and obesity-related diseases. However, the underlying mechanisms of this association remain unclear. Here, using Caenorhabditis elegans, we show that iron overload induces the expression of sgk-1, encoding the serum and glucocorticoid-inducible kinase, to promote the level of ferritin and fat accumulation. Mutation of cyp-23A1, encoding a homolog of human cytochrome P450 CYP7B1 that is related to neonatal hemochromatosis, further enhances the elevated expression of ftn-1, sgk-1, and fat accumulation. sgk-1 positively regulates the expression of acs-20 and vit-2, genes encoding homologs of the mammalian FATP1/4 fatty acid transport proteins and yolk lipoproteins, respectively, to facilitate lipid uptake and translocation for storage under iron overload. This study reveals a completely novel pathway in which sgk-1 plays a central role to synergistically regulate iron and lipid homeostasis, offering not only experimental evidence supporting a previously unverified link between iron and obesity, but also novel insights into the pathogenesis of iron and obesity-related human metabolic diseases.

  6. VANG-1 and PRKL-1 cooperate to negatively regulate neurite formation in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leticia Sanchez-Alvarez

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Neuritogenesis is a critical early step in the development and maturation of neurons and neuronal circuits. While extracellular directional cues are known to specify the site and orientation of nascent neurite formation in vivo, little is known about the genetic pathways that block inappropriate neurite emergence in order to maintain proper neuronal polarity. Here we report that the Caenorhabditis elegans orthologues of Van Gogh (vang-1, Prickle (prkl-1, and Dishevelled (dsh-1, core components of planar cell polarity (PCP signaling, are required in a subset of peripheral motor neurons to restrict neurite emergence to a specific organ axis. In loss-of-function mutants, neurons display supernumerary neurites that extend inappropriately along the orthogonal anteroposterior (A/P body axis. We show that autonomous and non-autonomous gene activities are required early and persistently to inhibit the formation or consolidation of growth cone protrusions directed away from organ precursor cells. Furthermore, prkl-1 overexpression is sufficient to suppress neurite formation and reorient neuronal polarity in a vang-1- and dsh-1-dependent manner. Our findings suggest a novel role for a PCP-like pathway in maintaining polarized neuronal morphology by inhibiting neuronal responses to extrinsic or intrinsic cues that would otherwise promote extraneous neurite formation.

  7. A Forward Genetic Screen for Molecules Involved in Pheromone-Induced Dauer Formation in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scott J. Neal

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Animals must constantly assess their surroundings and integrate sensory cues to make appropriate behavioral and developmental decisions. Pheromones produced by conspecific individuals provide critical information regarding environmental conditions. Ascaroside pheromone concentration and composition are instructive in the decision of Caenorhabditis elegans to either develop into a reproductive adult or enter into the stress-resistant alternate dauer developmental stage. Pheromones are sensed by a small set of sensory neurons, and integrated with additional environmental cues, to regulate neuroendocrine signaling and dauer formation. To identify molecules required for pheromone-induced dauer formation, we performed an unbiased forward genetic screen and identified phd (pheromone response-defective dauer mutants. Here, we describe new roles in dauer formation for previously identified neuronal molecules such as the WD40 domain protein QUI-1 and MACO-1 Macoilin, report new roles for nociceptive neurons in modulating pheromone-induced dauer formation, and identify tau tubulin kinases as new genes involved in dauer formation. Thus, phd mutants define loci required for the detection, transmission, or integration of pheromone signals in the regulation of dauer formation.

  8. Targeted metabolomics reveals a male pheromone and sex-specific ascaroside biosynthesis in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Izrayelit, Yevgeniy; Srinivasan, Jagan; Campbell, Sydney L; Jo, Yeara; von Reuss, Stephan H; Genoff, Margaux C; Sternberg, Paul W; Schroeder, Frank C

    2012-08-17

    In the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans, a class of small molecule signals called ascarosides regulate development, mating, and social behaviors. Ascaroside production has been studied in the predominant sex, the hermaphrodite, but not in males, which account for less than 1% of wild-type worms grown under typical laboratory conditions. Using HPLC-MS-based targeted metabolomics, we show that males also produce ascarosides and that their ascaroside profile differs markedly from that of hermaphrodites. Whereas hermaphrodite ascaroside profiles are dominated by ascr#3, containing an α,β-unsaturated fatty acid, males predominantly produce the corresponding dihydro-derivative ascr#10. This small structural modification profoundly affects signaling properties: hermaphrodites are retained by attomole-amounts of male-produced ascr#10, whereas hermaphrodite-produced ascr#3 repels hermaphrodites and attracts males. Male production of ascr#10 is population density-dependent, indicating sensory regulation of ascaroside biosynthesis. Analysis of gene expression data supports a model in which sex-specific regulation of peroxisomal β-oxidation produces functionally different ascaroside profiles.

  9. A Forward Genetic Screen for Molecules Involved in Pheromone-Induced Dauer Formation in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neal, Scott J; Park, JiSoo; DiTirro, Danielle; Yoon, Jason; Shibuya, Mayumi; Choi, Woochan; Schroeder, Frank C; Butcher, Rebecca A; Kim, Kyuhyung; Sengupta, Piali

    2016-05-03

    Animals must constantly assess their surroundings and integrate sensory cues to make appropriate behavioral and developmental decisions. Pheromones produced by conspecific individuals provide critical information regarding environmental conditions. Ascaroside pheromone concentration and composition are instructive in the decision of Caenorhabditis elegans to either develop into a reproductive adult or enter into the stress-resistant alternate dauer developmental stage. Pheromones are sensed by a small set of sensory neurons, and integrated with additional environmental cues, to regulate neuroendocrine signaling and dauer formation. To identify molecules required for pheromone-induced dauer formation, we performed an unbiased forward genetic screen and identified phd (pheromone response-defective dauer) mutants. Here, we describe new roles in dauer formation for previously identified neuronal molecules such as the WD40 domain protein QUI-1 and MACO-1 Macoilin, report new roles for nociceptive neurons in modulating pheromone-induced dauer formation, and identify tau tubulin kinases as new genes involved in dauer formation. Thus, phd mutants define loci required for the detection, transmission, or integration of pheromone signals in the regulation of dauer formation.

  10. 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.

  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. Differential effects of resveratrol and SRT1720 on lifespan of adult Caenorhabditis elegans.