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Sample records for caenorhabditis elegans mutants

  1. Amphid defective mutant of Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    De Riso, L; Ristoratore, F; Sebastiano, M; Bazzicalupo, P

    1994-01-01

    Studies are reported on a chemoreception mutant which arose in a mutator strain. The mutant sensory neurons do not stain with fluoresceine isothiocyanate (Dyf phenotype), hence the name, dyf-1, given to the gene it identifies. The gene maps on LGI, 0.4 map units from dpy-5 on the unc-11 side. The response of mutant worms to various repellents has been studied and shown to be partially altered. Other chemoreception based behaviors are less affected. The cilia of the sensory neurons of the amphid are shorter than normal and the primary defect may be in the capacity of the sheath cells to secrete the matrix material that fills the space between cilia in the amphid channel. Progress toward the molecular cloning of the gene is also reported. Relevant results from other laboratories are briefly reviewed. PMID:7896139

  2. Positive selection of Caenorhabditis elegans mutants with increased stress resistance and longevity.

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    Manuel J. Muñoz; Donald L Riddle

    2003-01-01

    We developed selective conditions for long-lived mutants of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans by subjecting the first larval stage (L1) to thermal stress at 30 degrees for 7 days. The surviving larvae developed to fertile adults after the temperature was shifted to 15 degrees. A total of one million F(2) progeny and a half million F(3) progeny of ethyl-methanesulfonate-mutagenized animals were treated in three separate experiments. Among the 81 putative mutants that recovered and matured to...

  3. Uncoupling of longevity and paraquat resistance in mutants of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Fujii, Michihiko; Tanaka, Nanae; Miki, Kensuke; Hossain, Mohammad Nazir; Endoh, Morio; Ayusawa, Dai

    2005-10-01

    To analyze the relationship between resistance to oxidative stress and longevity, we isolated three novel paraquat-resistant mutants, mev-5, mev-6, and mev-7, from the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. They all showed the Dyf (defective in dye filling) phenotype, but not always resistance to heat or UV. Life-span extension was observed only in the mev-5 mutant at 26 degrees C. These results indicate that longevity is uncoupled with the phenotype of paraquat resistance. PMID:16244463

  4. Adhesion of Conidia of Drechmeria coniospora to Caenorhabditis elegans Wild Type and Mutants

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    Jansson, Hans-Börje

    1994-01-01

    Adhesion of conidia of the endoparasitic fungus Drechmeria coniospora to the cuticles of the wild type and four different head defective mutants of Caenorhabditis elegans, and subsequent infection, was studied. The conidia adhered around the sensory structures in the head region, vulva, and occasionally to other parts of the cuticle in both mutant and wild type hosts. Infection took place after adhesion to the head region by penetration through the cuticle, and, following adhesion around the ...

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

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    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

  6. Positive selection of Caenorhabditis elegans mutants with increased stress resistance and longevity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz, Manuel J; Riddle, Donald L

    2003-01-01

    We developed selective conditions for long-lived mutants of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans by subjecting the first larval stage (L1) to thermal stress at 30 degrees for 7 days. The surviving larvae developed to fertile adults after the temperature was shifted to 15 degrees. A total of one million F(2) progeny and a half million F(3) progeny of ethyl-methanesulfonate-mutagenized animals were treated in three separate experiments. Among the 81 putative mutants that recovered and matured to the reproductive adult, 63 retested as thermotolerant and 49 (80%) exhibited a >15% increase in mean life span. All the known classes of dauer formation (Daf) mutant that affect longevity were found, including six new alleles of daf-2, and a unique temperature-sensitive, dauer-constitutive allele of age-1. Alleles of dyf-2 and unc-13 were isolated, and mutants of unc-18, a gene that interacts with unc-13, were also found to be long lived. Thirteen additional mutations define at least four new genes. PMID:12586705

  7. The Effect of Vitamin E on the Survival Rate of unc-13 Caenorhabditis elegans mutants under Oxidative Stress

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    Jessica Porcelan

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Caenorhabditis elegans unc-13 mutants express decreased neuronal activity and thus are a good model strain for examining defective nervous systems. These unc-13 mutants as well as wild type N2 strains, show rapid mortality when under oxidative stress. However, the antioxidant vitamin E may prolong survival in unc-13 mutant and N2 strains under oxidative stress. The addition of vitamin E to organisms under oxidative stress has a protective effect in both N2 and unc-13 C. elegans strains. Interestingly, vitamin E resulted in a greater increase in survival rate in N2 worms than with unc-13 mutant worms. While both strains displayed lower mortality rates with the addition of vitamin E, this finding suggests that vitamin E more efficiently increases survival rates of C. elegans with typical nervous system function. The efficacy of vitamin E implies that use of antioxidants may lessen the damage caused by oxidative stress in both N2 and mutant worms.

  8. Genomic sequence of a mutant strain of Caenorhabditis elegans with an altered recombination pattern

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    Marra Marco

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The original sequencing and annotation of the Caenorhabditis elegans genome along with recent advances in sequencing technology provide an exceptional opportunity for the genomic analysis of wild-type and mutant strains. Using the Illumina Genome Analyzer, we sequenced the entire genome of Rec-1, a strain that alters the distribution of meiotic crossovers without changing the overall frequency. Rec-1 was derived from ethylmethane sulfonate (EMS-treated strains, one of which had a high level of transposable element mobility. Sequencing of this strain provides an opportunity to examine the consequences on the genome of altering the distribution of meiotic recombination events. Results Using Illumina sequencing and MAQ software, 83% of the base pair sequence reads were aligned to the reference genome available at Wormbase, providing a 21-fold coverage of the genome. Using the software programs MAQ and Slider, we observed 1124 base pair differences between Rec-1 and the reference genome in Wormbase (WS190, and 441 between the mutagenized Rec-1 (BC313 and the wild-type N2 strain (VC2010. The most frequent base-substitution was G:C to A:T, 141 for the entire genome most of which were on chromosomes I or X, 55 and 31 respectively. With this data removed, no obvious pattern in the distribution of the base differences along the chromosomes was apparent. No major chromosomal rearrangements were observed, but additional insertions of transposable elements were detected. There are 11 extra copies of Tc1, and 8 of Tc2 in the Rec-1 genome, most likely the remains of past high-hopper activity in a progenitor strain. Conclusion Our analysis of high-throughput sequencing was able to detect regions of direct repeat sequences, deletions, insertions of transposable elements, and base pair differences. A subset of sequence alterations affecting coding regions were confirmed by an independent approach using oligo array comparative genome

  9. CEP-1, the Caenorhabditis elegans p53 homolog, mediates opposing longevity outcomes in mitochondrial electron transport chain mutants.

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    Aiswarya Baruah

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Caenorhabditis elegans CEP-1 and its mammalian homolog p53 are critical for responding to diverse stress signals. In this study, we found that cep-1 inactivation suppressed the prolonged lifespan of electron transport chain (ETC mutants, such as isp-1 and nuo-6, but rescued the shortened lifespan of other ETC mutants, such as mev-1 and gas-1. We compared the CEP-1-regulated transcriptional profiles of the long-lived isp-1 and the short-lived mev-1 mutants and, to our surprise, found that CEP-1 regulated largely similar sets of target genes in the two mutants despite exerting opposing effects on their longevity. Further analyses identified a small subset of CEP-1-regulated genes that displayed distinct expression changes between the isp-1 and mev-1 mutants. Interestingly, this small group of differentially regulated genes are enriched for the "aging" Gene Ontology term, consistent with the hypothesis that they might be particularly important for mediating the distinct longevity effects of CEP-1 in isp-1 and mev-1 mutants. We further focused on one of these differentially regulated genes, ftn-1, which encodes ferritin in C. elegans, and demonstrated that it specifically contributed to the extended lifespan of isp-1 mutant worms but did not affect the mev-1 mutant lifespan. We propose that CEP-1 responds to different mitochondrial ETC stress by mounting distinct compensatory responses accordingly to modulate animal physiology and longevity. Our findings provide insights into how mammalian p53 might respond to distinct mitochondrial stressors to influence cellular and organismal responses.

  10. Defects in tRNA modification associated with neurological and developmental dysfunctions in Caenorhabditis elegans elongator mutants.

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    Changchun Chen

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Elongator is a six subunit protein complex, conserved from yeast to humans. Mutations in the human Elongator homologue, hELP1, are associated with the neurological disease familial dysautonomia. However, how Elongator functions in metazoans, and how the human mutations affect neural functions is incompletely understood. Here we show that in Caenorhabditis elegans, ELPC-1 and ELPC-3, components of the Elongator complex, are required for the formation of the 5-carbamoylmethyl and 5-methylcarboxymethyl side chains of wobble uridines in tRNA. The lack of these modifications leads to defects in translation in C. elegans. ELPC-1::GFP and ELPC-3::GFP reporters are strongly expressed in a subset of chemosensory neurons required for salt chemotaxis learning. elpc-1 or elpc-3 gene inactivation causes a defect in this process, associated with a posttranscriptional reduction of neuropeptide and a decreased accumulation of acetylcholine in the synaptic cleft. elpc-1 and elpc-3 mutations are synthetic lethal together with those in tuc-1, which is required for thiolation of tRNAs having the 5'methylcarboxymethyl side chain. elpc-1; tuc-1 and elpc-3; tuc-1 double mutants display developmental defects. Our results suggest that, by its effect on tRNA modification, Elongator promotes both neural function and development.

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

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    Fiona R Savory

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

  12. Sensory Transduction in Caenorhabditis elegans

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

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

  13. 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.

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

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    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

  15. Effects of age and liquid holding on the UV-radiation sensitivities of wild-type and mutant Caenorhabditis elegans dauer larvae

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    Hartman, P.S.

    1984-01-01

    The dauer larva is a facultative developmental stage in the life cycle of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Dauer larvae, which can survive under starvation for over 60 days, resume normal development when feeding is resumed. Wild-type (N2) and 4 radiation-sensitive (rad) mutant dauer larvae were tested for their abilities to develop into adults after UV-irradiation. The rad-3 mutant was over 30 times as sensitive as N2; rad-1, rad-2 and rad-7 mutants were not hypersensitive. Irradiation also delayed development in survivors. Wild-type dauer larvae did not differ in radiation sensitivity from 0 through 50 days of age. There was no liquid holding recovery (LHR); that is, survival did not increase when wild-type dauer larvae were held in buffer after irradiation. (orig.). 28 refs.; 4 figs.

  16. Toxicity testing using Caenorhabditis elegans

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    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.

  17. An ALS-linked mutant SOD1 produces a locomotor defect associated with aggregation and synaptic dysfunction when expressed in neurons of Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Jiou Wang

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The nature of toxic effects exerted on neurons by misfolded proteins, occurring in a number of neurodegenerative diseases, is poorly understood. One approach to this problem is to measure effects when such proteins are expressed in heterologous neurons. We report on effects of an ALS-associated, misfolding-prone mutant human SOD1, G85R, when expressed in the neurons of Caenorhabditis elegans. Stable mutant transgenic animals, but not wild-type human SOD1 transgenics, exhibited a strong locomotor defect associated with the presence, specifically in mutant animals, of both soluble oligomers and insoluble aggregates of G85R protein. A whole-genome RNAi screen identified chaperones and other components whose deficiency increased aggregation and further diminished locomotion. The nature of the locomotor defect was investigated. Mutant animals were resistant to paralysis by the cholinesterase inhibitor aldicarb, while exhibiting normal sensitivity to the cholinergic agonist levamisole and normal muscle morphology. When fluorescently labeled presynaptic components were examined in the dorsal nerve cord, decreased numbers of puncta corresponding to neuromuscular junctions were observed in mutant animals and brightness was also diminished. At the EM level, mutant animals exhibited a reduced number of synaptic vesicles. Neurotoxicity in this system thus appears to be mediated by misfolded SOD1 and is exerted on synaptic vesicle biogenesis and/or trafficking.

  18. Lipid droplet pattern and nondroplet-like structure in two fat mutants of Caenorhabditis elegans revealed by coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering microscopy

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    Yi, Yung-Hsiang; Chien, Cheng-Hao; Chen, Wei-Wen; Ma, Tian-Hsiang; Liu, Kuan-Yu; Chang, Yu-Sun; Chang, Ta-Chau; Lo, Szecheng J.

    2014-01-01

    Lipid is an important energy source and essential component for plasma and organelle membranes in all kinds of cells. Coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) microscopy is a label-free and nonlinear optical technique that can be used to monitor the lipid distribution in live organisms. Here, we utilize CARS microscopy to investigate the pattern of lipid droplets in two live Caenorhabditis elegans mutants (fat-2 and fat-3). The CARS images showed a striking decrease in the size, number, and content of lipid droplets in the fat-2 mutant but a slight difference in the fat-3 mutant as compared with the wild-type worm. Moreover, a nondroplet-like structure with enhanced CARS signal was detected for the first time in the uterus of fat-2 and fat-3 mutants. In addition, transgenic fat-2 mutant expressing a GFP fusion protein of vitellogenin-2 (a yolk lipoprotein) revealed that the enhanced CARS signal colocalized with the GFP signal, which suggests that the nondroplet-like structure is primarily due to the accumulation of yolk lipoproteins. Together, this study implies that CARS microscopy is a potential tool to study the distribution of yolk lipoproteins, in addition to lipid droplets, in live animals.

  19. 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.

  20. Characterisation of Caenorhabditis elegans sperm transcriptome and proteome

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    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...

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Xyloketal-derived small molecules show protective effect by decreasing mutant Huntingtin protein aggregates in Caenorhabditis elegans model of Huntington’s disease

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    Zeng YX

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Yixuan Zeng,1,2,* Wenyuan Guo,1,* Guangqing Xu,3 Qinmei Wang,4 Luyang Feng,1,2 Simei Long,1 Fengyin Liang,1 Yi Huang,1 Xilin Lu,1 Shichang Li,5 Jiebin Zhou,5 Jean-Marc Burgunder,6 Jiyan Pang,5 Zhong Pei1,2 1Department of Neurology, National Key Clinical Department and Key Discipline of Neurology, Guangdong Key Laboratory for Diagnosis and Treatment of Major Neurological Disease, The First Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, 2Guangzhou Center, Chinese Huntington’s Disease Network, 3Department of Rehabilitation, The First Affiliated Hospital, 4Key laboratory on Assisted Circulation, Ministry of Health, Department of Cardiovascular Medicine of the First Affiliated Hospital, 5School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, People’s Republic of China; 6Swiss Huntington’s Disease Center, Department of Neurology, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland *These authors contributed equally to this work Abstract: Huntington’s disease is an autosomal-dominant neurodegenerative disorder, with chorea as the most prominent manifestation. The disease is caused by abnormal expansion of CAG codon repeats in the IT15 gene, which leads to the expression of a glutamine-rich protein named mutant Huntingtin (Htt. Because of its devastating disease burden and lack of valid treatment, development of more effective therapeutics for Huntington’s disease is urgently required. Xyloketal B, a natural product from mangrove fungus, has shown protective effects against toxicity in other neurodegenerative disease models such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. To identify potential neuroprotective molecules for Huntington’s disease, six derivatives of xyloketal B were screened in a Caenorhabditis elegans Huntington’s disease model; all six compounds showed a protective effect. Molecular docking studies indicated that compound 1 could bind to residues GLN369 and GLN393 of the mutant Htt protein, forming a

  4. Xyloketal-derived small molecules show protective effect by decreasing mutant Huntingtin protein aggregates in Caenorhabditis elegans model of Huntington’s disease

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    Zeng, Yixuan; Guo, Wenyuan; Xu, Guangqing; Wang, Qinmei; Feng, Luyang; Long, Simei; Liang, Fengyin; Huang, Yi; Lu, Xilin; Li, Shichang; Zhou, Jiebin; Burgunder, Jean-Marc; Pang, Jiyan; Pei, Zhong

    2016-01-01

    Huntington’s disease is an autosomal-dominant neurodegenerative disorder, with chorea as the most prominent manifestation. The disease is caused by abnormal expansion of CAG codon repeats in the IT15 gene, which leads to the expression of a glutamine-rich protein named mutant Huntingtin (Htt). Because of its devastating disease burden and lack of valid treatment, development of more effective therapeutics for Huntington’s disease is urgently required. Xyloketal B, a natural product from mangrove fungus, has shown protective effects against toxicity in other neurodegenerative disease models such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. To identify potential neuroprotective molecules for Huntington’s disease, six derivatives of xyloketal B were screened in a Caenorhabditis elegans Huntington’s disease model; all six compounds showed a protective effect. Molecular docking studies indicated that compound 1 could bind to residues GLN369 and GLN393 of the mutant Htt protein, forming a stable trimeric complex that can prevent the formation of mutant Htt aggregates. Taken together, we conclude that xyloketal derivatives could be novel drug candidates for treating Huntington’s disease. Molecular target analysis is a good method to simulate the interaction between proteins and drug compounds. Further, protective candidate drugs could be designed in future using the guidance of molecular docking results. PMID:27110099

  5. Xyloketal-derived small molecules show protective effect by decreasing mutant Huntingtin protein aggregates in Caenorhabditis elegans model of Huntington's disease.

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    Zeng, Yixuan; Guo, Wenyuan; Xu, Guangqing; Wang, Qinmei; Feng, Luyang; Long, Simei; Liang, Fengyin; Huang, Yi; Lu, Xilin; Li, Shichang; Zhou, Jiebin; Burgunder, Jean-Marc; Pang, Jiyan; Pei, Zhong

    2016-01-01

    Huntington's disease is an autosomal-dominant neurodegenerative disorder, with chorea as the most prominent manifestation. The disease is caused by abnormal expansion of CAG codon repeats in the IT15 gene, which leads to the expression of a glutamine-rich protein named mutant Huntingtin (Htt). Because of its devastating disease burden and lack of valid treatment, development of more effective therapeutics for Huntington's disease is urgently required. Xyloketal B, a natural product from mangrove fungus, has shown protective effects against toxicity in other neurodegenerative disease models such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases. To identify potential neuroprotective molecules for Huntington's disease, six derivatives of xyloketal B were screened in a Caenorhabditis elegans Huntington's disease model; all six compounds showed a protective effect. Molecular docking studies indicated that compound 1 could bind to residues GLN369 and GLN393 of the mutant Htt protein, forming a stable trimeric complex that can prevent the formation of mutant Htt aggregates. Taken together, we conclude that xyloketal derivatives could be novel drug candidates for treating Huntington's disease. Molecular target analysis is a good method to simulate the interaction between proteins and drug compounds. Further, protective candidate drugs could be designed in future using the guidance of molecular docking results. PMID:27110099

  6. LC–MS Proteomics Analysis of the Insulin/IGF-1-Deficient Caenorhabditis elegans daf-2(e1370) Mutant Reveals Extensive Restructuring of Intermediary Metabolism

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    Depuydt, Geert; Xie, Fang; Petyuk, Vladislav A.; Smolders, Arne; Brewer, Heather M.; Camp, David G.; Smith, Richard D.; Braeckman, Bart P.

    2014-04-04

    The insulin/IGF-1 receptor is a major known determinant of dauer formation, stress resistance, longevity, and metabolism in Caenorhabditis elegans. In the past, whole-genome transcript profiling was used extensively to study differential gene expression in response to reduced insulin/IGF-1 signaling, including the expression levels of metabolism-associated genes. Taking advantage of the recent developments in quantitative liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC–MS)-based proteomics, we profiled the proteomic changes that occur in response to activation of the DAF-16 transcription factor in the germline-less glp-4(bn2);daf-2(e1370) receptor mutant. Strikingly, the daf-2 profile suggests extensive reorganization of intermediary metabolism, characterized by the upregulation of many core intermediary metabolic pathways. These include glycolysis/gluconeogenesis, glycogenesis, pentose phosphate cycle, citric acid cycle, glyoxylate shunt, fatty acid β-oxidation, one-carbon metabolism, propionate and tyrosine catabolism, and complexes I, II, III, and V of the electron transport chain. Interestingly, we found simultaneous activation of reciprocally regulated metabolic pathways, which is indicative of spatiotemporal coordination of energy metabolism and/or extensive post-translational regulation of these enzymes. Finally, this restructuring of daf-2 metabolism is reminiscent to that of hypometabolic dauers, allowing the efficient and economical utilization of internal nutrient reserves and possibly also shunting metabolites through alternative energy-generating pathways to sustain longevity.

  7. 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

  8. Dauer formation induced by high temperatures in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    OpenAIRE

    Ailion, M; Thomas, J. H.

    2000-01-01

    Dauer formation in Caenorhabditis elegans is regulated by several environmental stimuli, including a pheromone and temperature. Dauer formation is moderately induced as the growth temperature increases from 15 degrees to 25 degrees. Here we show that dauer formation is very strongly induced at a temperature of 27 degrees in both wild-type animals and mutants such as unc-64, unc-31, and unc-3, which do not form dauers at 25 degrees. A 27 degrees temperature stimulus is sufficient to induce dau...

  9. Sperm competition in the absence of fertilization in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    OpenAIRE

    Singson, A; Hill, K L; L'Hernault, S. W.

    1999-01-01

    Hermaphrodite self-fertilization is the primary mode of reproduction in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. However, when a hermaphrodite is crossed with a male, nearly all of the oocytes are fertilized by male-derived sperm. This sperm precedence during reproduction is due to the competitive superiority of male-derived sperm and results in a functional suppression of hermaphrodite self-fertility. In this study, mutant males that inseminate fertilization-defective sperm were used to reveal t...

  10. Controlling Interneuron Activity in Caenorhabditis Elegans to Evoke Chemotactic Behaviour

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

    Animals locate and track chemoattractive gradients in the environment to find food. With its small nervous system, Caenorhabditis elegans is a good model system in which to understand how the dynamics of neural activity control this search behaviour. Extensive work on the nematode has identified the neurons that are necessary for the different locomotory behaviours underlying chemotaxis through the use of laser ablation, activity recording in immobilized animals and the study of mutants. Howe...

  11. 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.

  12. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Microfluidic Devices in Advanced Caenorhabditis elegans Research

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muniesh Muthaiyan Shanmugam

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The study of model organisms is very important in view of their potential for application to human therapeutic uses. One such model organism is the nematode worm, Caenorhabditis elegans. As a nematode, C. elegans have ~65% similarity with human disease genes and, therefore, studies on C. elegans can be translated to human, as well as, C. elegans can be used in the study of different types of parasitic worms that infect other living organisms. In the past decade, many efforts have been undertaken to establish interdisciplinary research collaborations between biologists, physicists and engineers in order to develop microfluidic devices to study the biology of C. elegans. Microfluidic devices with the power to manipulate and detect bio-samples, regents or biomolecules in micro-scale environments can well fulfill the requirement to handle worms under proper laboratory conditions, thereby significantly increasing research productivity and knowledge. The recent development of different kinds of microfluidic devices with ultra-high throughput platforms has enabled researchers to carry out worm population studies. Microfluidic devices primarily comprises of chambers, channels and valves, wherein worms can be cultured, immobilized, imaged, etc. Microfluidic devices have been adapted to study various worm behaviors, including that deepen our understanding of neuromuscular connectivity and functions. This review will provide a clear account of the vital involvement of microfluidic devices in worm biology.

  18. Microfluidic Devices in Advanced Caenorhabditis elegans Research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muthaiyan Shanmugam, Muniesh; Subhra Santra, Tuhin

    2016-01-01

    The study of model organisms is very important in view of their potential for application to human therapeutic uses. One such model organism is the nematode worm, Caenorhabditis elegans. As a nematode, C. elegans have ~65% similarity with human disease genes and, therefore, studies on C. elegans can be translated to human, as well as, C. elegans can be used in the study of different types of parasitic worms that infect other living organisms. In the past decade, many efforts have been undertaken to establish interdisciplinary research collaborations between biologists, physicists and engineers in order to develop microfluidic devices to study the biology of C. elegans. Microfluidic devices with the power to manipulate and detect bio-samples, regents or biomolecules in micro-scale environments can well fulfill the requirement to handle worms under proper laboratory conditions, thereby significantly increasing research productivity and knowledge. The recent development of different kinds of microfluidic devices with ultra-high throughput platforms has enabled researchers to carry out worm population studies. Microfluidic devices primarily comprises of chambers, channels and valves, wherein worms can be cultured, immobilized, imaged, etc. Microfluidic devices have been adapted to study various worm behaviors, including that deepen our understanding of neuromuscular connectivity and functions. This review will provide a clear account of the vital involvement of microfluidic devices in worm biology. PMID:27490525

  19. 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).

  20. Biogenic magnetite in the nematode caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cranfield, Charles G; Dawe, Adam; Karloukovski, Vassil; Dunin-Borkowski, Rafal E; de Pomerai, David; Dobson, Jon

    2004-01-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is widely used as a model system in biological research. Recently, examination of the production of heat-shock proteins in this organism in response to mobile phone-type electromagnetic field exposure produced the most robust demonstration to date of a non-thermal, deleterious biological effect. Though these results appear to be a sound demonstration of non-thermal bioeffects, to our knowledge, no mechanism has been proposed to explain them. We show, apparently for the first time, that biogenic magnetite, a ferrimagnetic iron oxide, is present in C. elegans. Its presence may have confounding effects on experiments involving electromagnetic fields as well as implications for the use of this nematode as a model system for iron biomineralization in multi-cellular organisms. PMID:15801597

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2008-01-01

    For decades the soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has been an important model system for biology, but little is known about its natural ecology. Recently, C. elegans has become the focus of studies of innate immunity and several pathogens have been shown to cause lethal intestinal infections in C. elegans. However none of these pathogens has been shown to invade nematode intestinal cells, and no pathogen has been isolated from wild-caught C. elegans. Here we describe an intracellular patho...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yinxia Li

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

  3. Genetics of Lipid-Storage Management in Caenorhabditis elegans Embryos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmökel, Verena; Memar, Nadin; Wiekenberg, Anne; Trotzmüller, Martin; Schnabel, Ralf; Döring, Frank

    2016-03-01

    Lipids play a pivotal role in embryogenesis as structural components of cellular membranes, as a source of energy, and as signaling molecules. On the basis of a collection of temperature-sensitive embryonic lethal mutants, a systematic database search, and a subsequent microscopic analysis of >300 interference RNA (RNAi)-treated/mutant worms, we identified a couple of evolutionary conserved genes associated with lipid storage in Caenorhabditis elegans embryos. The genes include cpl-1 (cathepsin L-like cysteine protease), ccz-1 (guanine nucleotide exchange factor subunit), and asm-3 (acid sphingomyelinase), which is closely related to the human Niemann-Pick disease-causing gene SMPD1. The respective mutant embryos accumulate enlarged droplets of neutral lipids (cpl-1) and yolk-containing lipid droplets (ccz-1) or have larger genuine lipid droplets (asm-3). The asm-3 mutant embryos additionally showed an enhanced resistance against C band ultraviolet (UV-C) light. Herein we propose that cpl-1, ccz-1, and asm-3 are genes required for the processing of lipid-containing droplets in C. elegans embryos. Owing to the high levels of conservation, the identified genes are also useful in studies of embryonic lipid storage in other organisms. PMID:26773047

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jakob Begun

    2007-04-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Programmed Cell Death During Caenorhabditis elegans Development.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

    Programmed cell death is an integral component of Caenorhabditis elegans development. Genetic and reverse genetic studies in C. elegans have led to the identification of many genes and conserved cell death pathways that are important for the specification of which cells should live or die, the activation of the suicide program, and the dismantling and removal of dying cells. Molecular, cell biological, and biochemical studies have revealed the underlying mechanisms that control these three phases of programmed cell death. In particular, the interplay of transcriptional regulatory cascades and networks involving multiple transcriptional regulators is crucial in activating the expression of the key death-inducing gene egl-1 and, in some cases, the ced-3 gene in cells destined to die. A protein interaction cascade involving EGL-1, CED-9, CED-4, and CED-3 results in the activation of the key cell death protease CED-3, which is tightly controlled by multiple positive and negative regulators. The activation of the CED-3 caspase then initiates the cell disassembly process by cleaving and activating or inactivating crucial CED-3 substrates; leading to activation of multiple cell death execution events, including nuclear DNA fragmentation, mitochondrial elimination, phosphatidylserine externalization, inactivation of survival signals, and clearance of apoptotic cells. Further studies of programmed cell death in C. elegans will continue to advance our understanding of how programmed cell death is regulated, activated, and executed in general. PMID:27516615

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Detection of lin-4 mRNA in Caenorhabditis elegans Wild Type and Mutants via in Situ Hybridization%原位杂交检测lin-4 mRNA在Caenorhabditis elegans中的表达

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    高雅君; 杨玉荣

    2007-01-01

    lin-4是控制Caenorhabditis elegans(C.elegans)幼虫发育的异时性基因,也是一种小RNA分子(microRNA).通过整体原位杂交检测小RNA lin-4在野生型和lin-14、lin-28突变体中的区域性表达,探讨lin-4在C.elegans发育时空控制中的作用.结果表明:lin-4 mRNA在胚胎发育的早期和中期表达,胚胎后期至L1期末没有表达,之后又持续表达,成虫中也可以检测到lin-4 mRNA的存在.在lin-14和lin-28突变体中,lin-4的表达基本与野生型一致,不受lin-14、lin-28基因突变的影响,说明lin-14和lin-28是lin-4的下游基因.

  12. Quantitative analysis of Caenorhabditis elegans chemotaxis using a microfluidic device.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Liang; Ye, Jinjuan; Tan, Haowei; Ge, Anle; Tang, Lichun; Feng, Xiaojun; Du, Wei; Liu, Bi-Feng

    2015-08-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans, one of the widely studied model organisms, sense external chemical cues and perform relative chemotaxis behaviors through its simple chemosensory neuronal system. To study the mechanism underlying chemosensory behavior, a rapid and reliable method for quantitatively analyzing the worms' behaviors is essential. In this work, we demonstrated a microfluidic approach for investigating chemotaxis responses of worms to chemical gradients. The flow-based microfluidic chip was consisted of circular tree-like microchannels, which was able to generate eight flow streams containing stepwise chemical concentrations without the difference in flow velocity. Worms' upstream swimming into microchannels with various concentrations was monitored for quantitative analysis of the chemotaxis behavior. By using this microfluidic chip, the attractive and repellent responses of C. elegans to NaCl were successfully quantified within several minutes. The results demonstrated the wild type-like repellent responses and severely impaired attractive responses in grk-2 mutant animals with defects in calcium influx. In addition, the chemotaxis analysis of the third stage larvae revealed that its gustatory response was different from that in the adult stage. Thus, our microfluidic method provided a useful platform for studying the chemosensory behaviors of C. elegans and screening of chemosensation-related chemical drugs. PMID:26320797

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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...

  16. Number and organization of collagen genes in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    OpenAIRE

    Cox, G N; Kramer, J. M.; Hirsh, D

    1984-01-01

    We analyzed the number and organization of collagen genes in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Genomic Southern blot hybridization experiments and recombinant phage library screenings indicated that C. elegans has between 40 and 150 distinct collagen genes. A large number of recombinant phages containing collagen genes were isolated from C. elegans DNA libraries. Physical mapping studies indicated that most phage contained a single small collagen gene less than 3 kilobases in size. A few p...

  17. BACTERIAL ATTRACTION AND QUORUM SENSING INHIBITION IN CAENORHABDITIS ELEGANS EXUDATES

    OpenAIRE

    Kaplan, Fatma; BADRI, DAYAKAR V.; Zachariah, Cherian; Ajredini, Ramadan; Sandoval, Francisco J.; Roje, Sanja; Lanfang H Levine; Zhang, Fengli; Robinette, Steven. L.; Alborn, Hans T.; Zhao, Wei; Stadler, Michael; Nimalendran, Rathika; Dossey, Aaron T.; Brüschweiler, Rafael

    2009-01-01

    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 chemically interact with its environment or as defense. C. elegans ex...

  18. 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......, little is known of its importance in the control of axon guidance. In a screen of prolyl 4-hydroxylase (P4H) mutants, we found that genetic removal of a specific P4H subunit, DPY-18, causes dramatic defects in C. elegans neuroanatomy. In dpy-18 mutant animals, the axons of specific ventral nerve cord...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  20. 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.

  1. Big Data in Caenorhabditis elegans: quo vadis?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutter, Harald; Moerman, Donald

    2015-11-01

    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.

  2. LC-MS Proteomics Analysis of the Insulin/IGF-1 Deficient Caenorhabditis elegans daf-2(e1370) Mutant Reveals Extensive Restructuring of Intermediary Metabolism

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Depuydt, Geert G.; Xie, Fang; Petyuk, Vladislav A.; Smolders, Arne; Brewer, Heather M.; Camp, David G.; Smith, Richard D.; Braeckman, Bart P.

    2014-02-20

    The insulin/IGF-1 receptor is a major known determinant of dauer formation, stress resistance, longevity and metabolism in C. elegans. In the past, whole-genome transcript profiling was used extensively to study differential gene expression in response to reduced insulin/IGF-1 signaling, including expression levels of metabolism-associated genes. Taking advantage of the recent developments in quantitative liquid chromatography mass-spectrometry (LC-MS) based proteomics, we profiled the proteomic changes that occur in response to activation of the DAF-16 transcription factor in the germline-less glp-4(bn2); daf-2(e1370) receptor mutant. Strikingly, the daf-2 profile suggests extensive reorganization of intermediary metabolism, characterized by the up-regulation of many core intermediary metabolic pathways. These include, glycolysis/gluconeogenesis, glycogenesis, pentose phosphate cycle, citric acid cycle, glyoxylate shunt, fatty acid β-oxidation, one-carbon metabolism, propionate and tyrosine catabolism, and complex I, II, III and V of the electron transport chain. Interestingly, we found simultaneous activation of reciprocally regulated metabolic pathways, which is indicative for spatio-temporal coordination of energy metabolism and/or extensive post-translational regulation of these enzymes. This restructuring of daf-2 metabolism is reminiscent to that of hypometabolic dauers, allowing the efficient and economical utilization of internal nutrient reserves, possibly also shunting metabolites through alternative energy-generating pathways, in order to sustain longevity.

  3. From modes to movement in the behavior of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Greg J Stephens

    Full Text Available Organisms move through the world by changing their shape, and here we explore the mapping from shape space to movements in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as it crawls on an agar plate. We characterize the statistics of the trajectories through the correlation functions of the orientation angular velocity, orientation angle and the mean-squared displacement, and we find that the loss of orientational memory has significant contributions from both abrupt, large amplitude turning events and the continuous dynamics between these events. Further, we discover long-time persistence of orientational memory in the intervals between abrupt turns. Building on recent work demonstrating that C. elegans movements are restricted to a low-dimensional shape space, we construct a map from the dynamics in this shape space to the trajectory of the worm along the agar. We use this connection to illustrate that changes in the continuous dynamics reveal subtle differences in movement strategy that occur among mutants defective in two classes of dopamine receptors.

  4. Anabolic function of phenylalanine hydroxylase in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calvo, Ana C; Pey, Angel L; Ying, Ming; Loer, Curtis M; Martinez, Aurora

    2008-08-01

    In humans, liver phenylalanine hydroxylase (PAH) has an established catabolic function, and mutations in PAH cause phenylketonuria, a genetic disease characterized by neurological damage, if not treated. To obtain novel evolutionary insights and information on molecular mechanisms operating in phenylketonuria, we investigated PAH in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (cePAH), where the enzyme is coded by the pah-1 gene, expressed in the hypodermis. CePAH presents similar molecular and kinetic properties to human PAH [S(0.5)(L-Phe) approximately 150 microM; K(m) for tetrahydrobiopterin (BH(4)) approximately 35 microM and comparable V(max)], but cePAH is devoid of positive cooperativity for L-Phe, an important regulatory mechanism of mammalian PAH that protects the nervous system from excess L-Phe. Pah-1 knockout worms show no obvious neurological defects, but in combination with a second cuticle synthesis mutation, they display serious cuticle abnormalities. We found that pah-1 knockouts lack a yellow-orange pigment in the cuticle, identified as melanin by spectroscopic techniques, and which is detected in C. elegans for the first time. Pah-1 mutants show stimulation of superoxide dismutase activity, suggesting that cuticle melanin functions as oxygen radical scavenger. Our results uncover both an important anabolic function of PAH and the change in regulation of the enzyme along evolution. PMID:18460651

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

  8. Dauer formation induced by high temperatures in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ailion, M; Thomas, J H

    2000-11-01

    Dauer formation in Caenorhabditis elegans is regulated by several environmental stimuli, including a pheromone and temperature. Dauer formation is moderately induced as the growth temperature increases from 15 degrees to 25 degrees. Here we show that dauer formation is very strongly induced at a temperature of 27 degrees in both wild-type animals and mutants such as unc-64, unc-31, and unc-3, which do not form dauers at 25 degrees. A 27 degrees temperature stimulus is sufficient to induce dauer formation in wild-type animals independent of pheromone. Analysis of previously described dauer mutants at 27 degrees reveals a number of surprising results. Several classes of mutants (dyf, daf-3, tax-4, and tax-2) that are defective in dauer formation at lower temperatures reverse their phenotypes at 27 degrees and form dauers constitutively. Epistasis experiments place unc-64 and unc-31 at a different position in the dauer pathway from unc-3. We also uncover new branches of the dauer pathway at 27 degrees that are not detected at 25 degrees. We show that epistatic gene interactions can show both quantitative and qualitative differences depending on environmental conditions. Finally, we discuss some of the possible ecological implications of dauer induction by high temperatures. PMID:11063684

  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. 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.

  11. Specific microRNAs Regulate Heat Stress Responses in Caenorhabditis elegans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. The genetics of ivermectin resistance in Caenorhabditis elegans

    OpenAIRE

    Dent, Joseph A.; Smith, McHardy M.; Vassilatis, Demetrios K.; Avery, Leon

    2000-01-01

    The ability of organisms to evolve resistance threatens the effectiveness of every antibiotic drug. We show that in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, simultaneous mutation of three genes, avr-14, avr-15, and glc-1, encoding glutamate-gated chloride channel (GluCl) α-type subunits confers high-level resistance to the antiparasitic drug ivermectin. In contrast, mutating any two channel genes confers modest or no resistance. We propose a model in which ivermectin sensitivity in C. elegans is ...

  13. Bacteria and the Aging and Longevity of Caenorhabditis elegans

    OpenAIRE

    Kim, Dennis H.

    2013-01-01

    The molecular genetic analysis of longevity of Caenorhabditis elegans has yielded fundamental insights into evolutionarily conserved pathways and processes governing the physiology of aging. Recent studies suggest that interactions between C. elegans and its microbial environment may influence the aging and longevity of this simple host organism. Experimental evidence supports a role for bacteria in affecting longevity through distinct mechanisms—as a nutrient source, as a potential pathogen ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy Truong

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

  16. 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.

  17. Radiation effects on life span in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. 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…

  1. Caenorhabditis elegans as a model for obesity research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, J; Greenway, F L

    2012-02-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) is a small nematode that conserves 65% of the genes associated with human disease, has a 21-day lifespan, reproductive cycles of 3 days, large brood sizes, lives in an agar dish and does not require committee approvals for experimentation. Research using C. elegans is encouraged and a Caenorhabditis Genetics Center (CGC, Minnesota) is funded by the National Institutes of Health-National Center for Research Resources. Many genetically manipulated strains of C. elegans are available at nominal cost from the CGC. Studies using the C. elegans model have explored insulin signaling, response to dietary glucose, the influence of serotonin on obesity, satiety, feeding and hypoxia-associated illnesses. C. elegans has also been used as a model to evaluate potential obesity therapeutics, explore the mechanisms behind single gene mutations related to obesity and to define the mechanistic details of fat metabolism. Obesity now affects a third of the US population and is becoming a progressively more expensive public health problem. Faster and less expensive methods to reach more effective treatments are clearly needed. We present this review hoping to stimulate interest in using the C. elegans model as a vehicle to advance the understanding and future treatment of obesity. PMID:21556043

  2. Interrelationships between mitochondrial fusion, energy metabolism and oxidative stress during development in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yasuda, Kayo [Department of Molecular Life Science, Tokai University School of Medicine, Isehara, Kanagawa 259-1193 (Japan); Education and Research Support Center, Tokai University School of Medicine, Isehara, Kanagawa 259-1193 (Japan); Hartman, Philip S. [Biology Department, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, TX 76129 (United States); Ishii, Takamasa [Department of Molecular Life Science, Tokai University School of Medicine, Isehara, Kanagawa 259-1193 (Japan); Suda, Hitoshi [School of High-Technology for Human Welfare, Tokai University, Nishino 317, Numazu, Shizuoka 410-0395 (Japan); Akatsuka, Akira [Education and Research Support Center, Tokai University School of Medicine, Isehara, Kanagawa 259-1193 (Japan); Shoyama, Tetsuji [School of High-Technology for Human Welfare, Tokai University, Nishino 317, Numazu, Shizuoka 410-0395 (Japan); Miyazawa, Masaki [Department of Molecular Life Science, Tokai University School of Medicine, Isehara, Kanagawa 259-1193 (Japan); Ishii, Naoaki, E-mail: nishii@is.icc.u-tokai.ac.jp [Department of Molecular Life Science, Tokai University School of Medicine, Isehara, Kanagawa 259-1193 (Japan)

    2011-01-21

    Research highlights: {yields} Growth and development of a fzo-1 mutant defective in the fusion process of mitochondria was delayed relative to the wild type of Caenorhabditis elegans. {yields} Oxygen sensitivity during larval development, superoxide production and carbonyl protein accumulation of the fzo-1 mutant were similar to wild type. {yields} fzo-1 animals had significantly lower metabolism than did N2 and mev-1 overproducing superoxide from mitochondrial electron transport complex II. {yields} Mitochondrial fusion can profoundly affect energy metabolism and development. -- Abstract: Mitochondria are known to be dynamic structures with the energetically and enzymatically mediated processes of fusion and fission responsible for maintaining a constant flux. Mitochondria also play a role of reactive oxygen species production as a byproduct of energy metabolism. In the current study, interrelationships between mitochondrial fusion, energy metabolism and oxidative stress on development were explored using a fzo-1 mutant defective in the fusion process and a mev-1 mutant overproducing superoxide from mitochondrial electron transport complex II of Caenorhabditis elegans. While growth and development of both single mutants was slightly delayed relative to the wild type, the fzo-1;mev-1 double mutant experienced considerable delay. Oxygen sensitivity during larval development, superoxide production and carbonyl protein accumulation of the fzo-1 mutant were similar to wild type. fzo-1 animals had significantly lower metabolism than did N2 and mev-1. These data indicate that mitochondrial fusion can profoundly affect energy metabolism and development.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Mutations in chemosensory cilia cause resistance to paraquat in nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujii, Michihiko; Matsumoto, Yuki; Tanaka, Nanae; Miki, Kensuke; Suzuki, Toshikazu; Ishii, Naoaki; Ayusawa, Dai

    2004-05-01

    The relationship between oxidative stress and longevity is a matter of concern in various organisms. We isolated mutants resistant to paraquat from nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. One mutant named mev-4 was long-lived and showed cross-resistance to heat and Dyf phenotype (defective in dye filling). Genetic and sequence analysis revealed that mev-4 had a nonsense mutation on the che-11 gene, homologues of which are involved in formation of cilia and flagella in other organisms. The paraquat resistance was commonly observed in various Dyf mutants and did not depend on the daf-16 gene, whereas the extension of life span did depend on it. Expression of antioxidant enzyme genes seemed normal. These results suggest that chemosensory neurons are a target of oxidative stress and influence longevity dependent on the daf-16 signaling in C. elegans. PMID:14982934

  5. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily R Troemel

    2008-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara Andux

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available In women, oocytes arrest development at the end of prophase of meiosis I and remain quiescent for years. Over time, the quality and quantity of these oocytes decreases, resulting in fewer pregnancies and an increased occurrence of birth defects. We used the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to study how oocyte quality is regulated during aging. To assay quality, we determine the fraction of oocytes that produce viable eggs after fertilization. Our results show that oocyte quality declines in aging nematodes, as in humans. This decline affects oocytes arrested in late prophase, waiting for a signal to mature, and also oocytes that develop later in life. Furthermore, mutations that block all cell deaths result in a severe, early decline in oocyte quality, and this effect increases with age. However, mutations that block only somatic cell deaths or DNA-damage-induced deaths do not lower oocyte quality. Two lines of evidence imply that most developmentally programmed germ cell deaths promote the proper allocation of resources among oocytes, rather than eliminate oocytes with damaged chromosomes. First, oocyte quality is lowered by mutations that do not prevent germ cell deaths but do block the engulfment and recycling of cell corpses. Second, the decrease in quality caused by apoptosis mutants is mirrored by a decrease in the size of many mature oocytes. We conclude that competition for resources is a serious problem in aging germ lines, and that apoptosis helps alleviate this problem.

  8. The Caenorhabditis elegans gene mfap-1 encodes a nuclear protein that affects alternative splicing.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Long Ma

    Full Text Available RNA splicing is a major regulatory mechanism for controlling eukaryotic gene expression. By generating various splice isoforms from a single pre-mRNA, alternative splicing plays a key role in promoting the evolving complexity of metazoans. Numerous splicing factors have been identified. However, the in vivo functions of many splicing factors remain to be understood. In vivo studies are essential for understanding the molecular mechanisms of RNA splicing and the biology of numerous RNA splicing-related diseases. We previously isolated a Caenorhabditis elegans mutant defective in an essential gene from a genetic screen for suppressors of the rubberband Unc phenotype of unc-93(e1500 animals. This mutant contains missense mutations in two adjacent codons of the C. elegans microfibrillar-associated protein 1 gene mfap-1. mfap-1(n4564 n5214 suppresses the Unc phenotypes of different rubberband Unc mutants in a pattern similar to that of mutations in the splicing factor genes uaf-1 (the C. elegans U2AF large subunit gene and sfa-1 (the C. elegans SF1/BBP gene. We used the endogenous gene tos-1 as a reporter for splicing and detected increased intron 1 retention and exon 3 skipping of tos-1 transcripts in mfap-1(n4564 n5214 animals. Using a yeast two-hybrid screen, we isolated splicing factors as potential MFAP-1 interactors. Our studies indicate that C. elegans mfap-1 encodes a splicing factor that can affect alternative splicing.

  9. Genomic response of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to spaceflight

    Science.gov (United States)

    Selch, Florian; Higashibata, Akira; Imamizo-Sato, Mari; Higashitani, Atsushi; Ishioka, Noriaki; Szewczyk, Nathaniel J.; Conley, Catharine A.

    On Earth, it is common to employ laboratory animals such as the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to help understand human health concerns. Similar studies in Earth orbit should help understand and address the concerns associated with spaceflight. The “International Caenorhabditis elegans Experiment FIRST” (ICE FIRST), was carried out onboard the Dutch Taxiflight in April of 2004 by an international collaboration of laboratories in France, Canada, Japan and the United States. With the exception of a slight movement defect upon return to Earth, the result of altered muscle development, no significant abnormalities were detected in spaceflown C. elegans. Work from Japan revealed apoptosis proceeds normally and work from Canada revealed no significant increase in the rate of mutation. These results suggest that C. elegans can be used to study non-lethal responses to spaceflight and can possibly be developed as a biological sensor. To further our understanding of C. elegans response to spaceflight, we examined the gene transcription response to the 10 days in space using a near full genome microarray analysis. The transcriptional response is consistent with the observed normal developmental timing, apoptosis, DNA repair, and altered muscle development. The genes identified as altered in response to spaceflight are enriched for genes known to be regulated, in C. elegans, in response to altered environmental conditions (Insulin and TGF-β regulated). These results demonstrate C. elegans can be used to study the effects of altered gravity and suggest that C. elegans responds to spaceflight by altering the expression of at least some of the same metabolic genes that are altered in response to differing terrestrial environments.

  10. The Conserved Proteins CHE-12 and DYF-11 Are Required for Sensory Cilium Function in Caenorhabditis elegans

    OpenAIRE

    Bacaj, Taulant; Lu, Yun; Shaham, Shai

    2008-01-01

    Sensory neuron cilia are evolutionarily conserved dendritic appendages that convert environmental stimuli into neuronal activity. Although several cilia components are known, the functions of many remain uncharacterized. Furthermore, the basis of morphological and functional differences between cilia remains largely unexplored. To understand the molecular basis of cilia morphogenesis and function, we studied the Caenorhabditis elegans mutants che-12 and dyf-11. These mutants fail to concentra...

  11. 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.

  12. Heat shock factor 1 prevents the reduction in thrashing due to heat shock in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furuhashi, Tsubasa; Sakamoto, Kazuichi

    2015-07-01

    Heat shock factor 1 (HSF-1) is activated by heat stress and induces the expression of heat shock proteins. However, the role of HSF-1 in thermotolerance remains unclear. We previously reported that heat stress reversibly reduces thrashing movement in Caenorhabditis elegans. In this study, we analyzed the function of HSF-1 on thermotolerance by monitoring thrashing movement. hsf-1 RNAi suppressed the restoration of thrashing reduced by heat stress. In contrast, hsf-1 knockdown cancelled prevention of movement reduction in insulin/IGF-1-like growth factor 1 receptor (daf-2) mutant, but didn't suppress thrashing restoration in daf-2 mutant. In addition, hsf-1 RNAi accelerated the reduction of thrashing in heat-shocked wild-type C. elegans. And, daf-16 KO didn't accelerate the reduction of thrashing by heat stress. Taken together, these results suggest that HSF-1 prevents the reduction of thrashing caused by heat shock.

  13. A High-Throughput Method for the Analysis of Larval Developmental Phenotypes in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olmedo, María; Geibel, Mirjam; Artal-Sanz, Marta; Merrow, Martha

    2015-10-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans postembryonic development consists of four discrete larval stages separated by molts. Typically, the speed of progression through these larval stages is investigated by visual inspection of the molting process. Here, we describe an automated method to monitor the timing of these discrete phases of C. elegans maturation, from the first larval stage through adulthood, using bioluminescence. The method was validated with a lin-42 mutant strain that shows delayed development relative to wild-type animals and with a daf-2 mutant that shows an extended second larval stage. This new method is inherently high-throughput and will finally allow dissecting the molecular machinery governing the speed of the developmental clock, which has so far been hampered by the lack of a method suitable for genetic screens.

  14. Functional Requirement for Histone Deacetylase 1 in Caenorhabditis elegans Gonadogenesis

    OpenAIRE

    Dufourcq, Pascale; Victor, Martin; Gay, Frédérique; Calvo, Dominica; Hodgkin, Jonathan; Shi, Yang

    2002-01-01

    Histone acetylation and deacetylation have been implicated in the regulation of gene expression. Molecular studies have shown that histone deacetylases (HDACs) function as transcriptional repressors. However, very little is known about their roles during development in multicellular organisms. We previously demonstrated that inhibition of maternal and zygotic expression of histone deacetylase 1 (HDA-1) causes embryonic lethality in Caenorhabditis elegans. Here, we report the identification of...

  15. Functional aspects of ciliary maintenance in Caenorhabditis elegans

    OpenAIRE

    Mohan, Swetha

    2013-01-01

    Primary cilia are cellular antennae found on many cell types in metazoans. Their biogenesis and maintenance is critical throughout lifespan of an animal to support signal transduction pathways essential for development, and physiological processes such as vision and olfaction. Intraflagellar transport (IFT) is a process that is required to form and maintain cilia. Studies in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and Caenorhabditis elegans have revealed several components required for ciliogenesis and IFT...

  16. Larger sperm outcompete smaller sperm in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    OpenAIRE

    LaMunyon, C W; Ward, S.

    1998-01-01

    Sperm competition is generally thought to drive the evolution of sperm miniaturization. Males gain advantage by transferring more sperm, which they produce by dividing limited resources into ever smaller cells. Here, we describe the opposite effect of size on the competitiveness of amoeboid sperm in the hermaphroditic nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Larger sperm crawled faster and displaced smaller sperm, taking precedence at fertilization. Larger sperm took longer to produce, however, and s...

  17. An Agar Mount for Observation of Caenorhabditis elegans Embryos

    OpenAIRE

    sprotocols

    2014-01-01

    Authors: Timothy Walston and Jeff Hardin Adapted from [*Imaging in Developmental Biology*](http://www.cshlpress.com/link/imagingdevbiop.htm) (ed. Sharpe and Wong). CSHL Press, Cold Spring Harbor, NY, USA, 2011 (in press). ### INTRODUCTION The *Caenorhabditis elegans* embryo is particularly amenable to microscopy and embryological studies because of its short developmental time, transparent shell, and nonpigmented cells. The agar mount described in this protocol is an easy way to ...

  18. Phospholipase C-ε Regulates Epidermal Morphogenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans

    OpenAIRE

    Vázquez-Manrique, Rafael P.; Nagy, Anikó I.; Legg, James C.; Bales, Olivia A.M.; Ly, Sung; Baylis, Howard A.

    2008-01-01

    Migration of cells within epithelial sheets is an important feature of embryogenesis and other biological processes. Previous work has demonstrated a role for inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3)-mediated calcium signalling in the rearrangement of epidermal cells (also known as hypodermal cells) during embryonic morphogenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans. However the mechanism by which IP3 production is stimulated is unknown. IP3 is produced by the action of phospholipase C (PLC). We therefore sur...

  19. Steroid/thyroid hormone receptor genes in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    OpenAIRE

    Kostrouch, Z; Kostrouchova, M; Rall, J. E.

    1995-01-01

    The large family of steroid/thyroid hormone receptor (STR) genes has been extensively studied in vertebrates and insects but little information is available on it in more primitive organisms. All members possess a DNA binding domain of zinc fingers of the C2, C2 type. We have used the polymerase chain reaction with degenerate oligonucleotide primers covering this region to clone three distinct members of this family from the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. All three belong to the retinoic ac...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  1. The dystrophin complex controls bk channel localization and muscle activity in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hongkyun Kim

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Genetic defects in the dystrophin-associated protein complex (DAPC are responsible for a variety of pathological conditions including muscular dystrophy, cardiomyopathy, and vasospasm. Conserved DAPC components from humans to Caenorhabditis elegans suggest a similar molecular function. C. elegans DAPC mutants exhibit a unique locomotory deficit resulting from prolonged muscle excitation and contraction. Here we show that the C. elegans DAPC is essential for proper localization of SLO-1, the large conductance, voltage-, and calcium-dependent potassium (BK channel, which conducts a major outward rectifying current in muscle under the normal physiological condition. Through analysis of mutants with the same phenotype as the DAPC mutants, we identified the novel islo-1 gene that encodes a protein with two predicted transmembrane domains. We demonstrate that ISLO-1 acts as a novel adapter molecule that links the DAPC to SLO-1 in muscle. We show that a defect in either the DAPC or ISLO-1 disrupts normal SLO-1 localization in muscle. Consistent with observations that SLO-1 requires a high calcium concentration for full activation, we find that SLO-1 is localized near L-type calcium channels in muscle, thereby providing a mechanism coupling calcium influx with the outward rectifying current. Our results indicate that the DAPC modulates muscle excitability by localizing the SLO-1 channel to calcium-rich regions of C. elegans muscle.

  2. The multiple faces of calcineurin signaling in Caenorhabditis elegans: Development, behaviour and aging

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Jin Il Lee; Sutapa Mukherjee; Kyoung–Hye Yoon; Meenakshi Dwivedi; Jaya Bandyopadhyay

    2013-06-01

    Calcineurin, a well-conserved protein phosphatase 2B (PP2B), is a Ca2+-calmodulin–dependent serine/threonine protein phosphatase that is known to be involved in a myriad of cellular processes and signal transduction pathways. The biological role of calcineurin has been extensively studied in diverse groups of organisms. Homologues of mammalian and Drosophila calcineurin subunits exist in the nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans. The C. elegans counterpart of the catalytic subunit, calcineurin A, cna-1/tax-6, and the regulatory subunit, calcineurin B, cnb-1, are known to express ubiquitously in multiple tissues including neurons. The characterization of C. elegans calcineurin mutants facilitates identification of its physiological functions and signaling pathways. Genetic interactions between cna-1/tax-6 and cnb-1 mutants with a number of mutants involved in several signaling pathways have exemplified the pivotal role of calcineurin in regulating nematode development, behaviour and lifespan (aging). The present review has been aimed to provide a succinct summary of the multiple functions of calcineurin in C. elegans relating to its development, fertility, proliferation, behaviour and lifespan. Analyses of cna-1/tax-6 and cnb-1 interacting proteins and regulators of the phosphatase in this fascinating worm model have an immense scope to identify potential drug targets in various parasitic nematodes, which cause many diseases inflicting huge economic loss; and also for many human diseases, particularly neurodegenerative and myocardial diseases.

  3. Xyloketal-derived small molecules show protective effect by decreasing mutant Huntingtin protein aggregates in Caenorhabditis elegans model of Huntington’s disease

    OpenAIRE

    Zeng, Yixuan; Guo, Wenyuan; Xu, Guangqing; Wang, Qinmei; Feng, Luyang; Long, Simei; Liang, Fengyin; Huang, Yi; Lu, Xilin; Li, Shichang; Zhou, Jiebin; Burgunder, Jean-Marc; Pang, Jiyan; Pei, Zhong

    2016-01-01

    Huntington’s disease is an autosomal-dominant neurodegenerative disorder, with chorea as the most prominent manifestation. The disease is caused by abnormal expansion of CAG codon repeats in the IT15 gene, which leads to the expression of a glutamine-rich protein named mutant Huntingtin (Htt). Because of its devastating disease burden and lack of valid treatment, development of more effective therapeutics for Huntington’s disease is urgently required. Xyloketal B, a natural product from mangr...

  4. 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.

  5. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y.-L. Zhao

    2012-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Cross-Link Formation between Mutant Galectins of Caenorhabditis elegans with a Substituted Cysteine Residue and Asialofetuin via a Photoactivatable Bifunctional Reagent

    OpenAIRE

    田村, 真由美; 武内, 智春; Nonaka, Takamasa; Kasai, Ken-ichi; 荒田, 洋一郎

    2011-01-01

    LEC-1 is the first tandem repeat-type galectin isolated from an animal system; this galectin has two carbohydrate recognition domains in a single polypeptide chain. Because its two lectin domains have different sugar-binding profiles, these domains are thought to interact with different carbohydrate ligands. In our previous study, we showed that a mutant of LEC-1 in which a cysteine residue was introduced at a unique position in the N-terminal lectin domain (Nh) can be cross-linked with a mod...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shawn Lewenza

    2014-08-01

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

  10. Specific microRNAs regulate heat stress responses in Caenorhabditis elegans

    OpenAIRE

    Nehammer, C.; Podolska, A; Mackowiak, S.D.; Kagias, K.; Pocock, R

    2015-01-01

    The ability of animals to sense and respond to elevated temperature is essential for survival. Transcriptional control of the heat stress response has been much studied, whereas its posttranscriptional regulation by microRNAs (miRNAs) is not well understood. Here we analyzed the miRNA response to heat stress in Caenorhabditis elegans and show that a discrete subset of miRNAs is thermoregulated. Using in-depth phenotypic analyses of miRNA deletion mutant strains we reveal multiple developmenta...

  11. Developmental defects in a Caenorhabditis elegans model for type III galactosemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brokate-Llanos, Ana M; Monje, José M; Murdoch, Piedad Del Socorro; Muñoz, Manuel J

    2014-12-01

    Type III galactosemia is a metabolic disorder caused by reduced activity of UDP-galactose-4-epimerase, which participates in galactose metabolism and the generation of various UDP-sugar species. We characterized gale-1 in Caenorhabditis elegans and found that a complete loss-of-function mutation is lethal, as has been hypothesized for humans, whereas a nonlethal partial loss-of-function allele causes a variety of developmental abnormalities, likely resulting from the impairment of the glycosylation process. We also observed that gale-1 mutants are hypersensitive to galactose as well as to infections. Interestingly, we found interactions between gale-1 and the unfolded protein response. PMID:25298520

  12. 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.

  13. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandeep Kumar

    2016-02-01

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

  15. Identification of Ciliary and Ciliopathy Genes in Caenorhabditis Elegans through Comparative Genomics

    OpenAIRE

    Chen, Nansheng; Mah, Allan; Oliver E Blacque; Chu, Jeffrey; Phgora, Kiran; Bakhoum, Mathieu W.; Newbury, C. Rebecca Hunt; Khattra, Jaswinder; Chan, Susanna; Efimenko, Evgheni; Johnsen, Robert; Phirke, Prasad; Swoboda, Peter; Marra, Marco; Moerman, Donald

    2006-01-01

    Background The recent availability of genome sequences of multiple related Caenorhabditis species has made it possible to identify, using comparative genomics, similarly transcribed genes in Caenorhabditis elegans and its sister species. Taking this approach, we have identified numerous novel ciliary genes in C. elegans, some of which may be orthologs of unidentified human ciliopathy genes. Results By screening for genes possessing canonical X-box sequences in promoters of three Caenorhabditi...

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holden-Dye, Lindy; Walker, Robert J

    2014-01-01

    Parasitic nematodes infect many species of animals throughout the phyla, including humans. Moreover, nematodes that parasitise plants are a global problem for agriculture. As such, these nematodes place a major burden on human health, on livestock production, on the welfare of companion animals and on crop production. In the 21st century there are two major challenges posed by the wide-spread prevalence of parasitic nematodes. First, many anthelmintic drugs are losing their effectiveness because nematode strains with resistance are emerging. Second, serious concerns regarding the environmental impact of the nematicides used for crop protection have prompted legislation to remove them from use, leaving agriculture at increased risk from nematode pests. There is clearly a need for a concerted effort to address these challenges. Over the last few decades the free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has provided the opportunity to use molecular genetic techniques for mode of action studies for anthelmintics and nematicides. These approaches continue to be of considerable value. Less fruitful so far, but nonetheless potentially very useful, has been the direct use of C. elegans for anthelmintic and nematicide discovery programmes. Here we provide an introduction to the use of C. elegans as a 'model' parasitic nematode, briefly review the study of nematode control using C. elegans and highlight approaches that have been of particular value with a view to facilitating wider-use of C. elegans as a platform for anthelmintic and nematicide discovery and development. PMID:25517625

  18. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaowen Huang

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. Nucleotide Excision Repair in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  3. Intracellular trafficking pathways in silver nanoparticle uptake and toxicity in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maurer, Laura L; Yang, Xinyu; Schindler, Adam J; Taggart, Ross K; Jiang, Chuanjia; Hsu-Kim, Heileen; Sherwood, David R; Meyer, Joel N

    2016-09-01

    We used the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to study the roles of endocytosis and lysosomal function in uptake and subsequent toxicity of silver nanoparticles (AgNP) in vivo. To focus on AgNP uptake and effects rather than silver ion (AgNO3) effects, we used a minimally dissolvable AgNP, citrate-coated AgNPs (CIT-AgNPs). We found that the clathrin-mediated endocytosis inhibitor chlorpromazine reduced the toxicity of CIT-AgNPs but not AgNO3. We also tested the sensitivity of three endocytosis-deficient mutants (rme-1, rme-6 and rme-8) and two lysosomal function deficient mutants (cup-5 and glo-1) as compared to wild-type (N2 strain). One of the endocytosis-deficient mutants (rme-6) took up less silver and was resistant to the acute toxicity of CIT-AgNPs compared to N2s. None of those mutants showed altered sensitivity to AgNO3. Lysosome and lysosome-related organelle mutants were more sensitive to the growth-inhibiting effects of both CIT-AgNPs and AgNO3. Our study provides mechanistic evidence suggesting that early endosome formation is necessary for AgNP-induced toxicity in vivo, as rme-6 mutants were less sensitive to the toxic effects of AgNPs than C. elegans with mutations involved in later steps in the endocytic process.

  4. Intracellular trafficking pathways in silver nanoparticle uptake and toxicity in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maurer, Laura L; Yang, Xinyu; Schindler, Adam J; Taggart, Ross K; Jiang, Chuanjia; Hsu-Kim, Heileen; Sherwood, David R; Meyer, Joel N

    2016-09-01

    We used the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to study the roles of endocytosis and lysosomal function in uptake and subsequent toxicity of silver nanoparticles (AgNP) in vivo. To focus on AgNP uptake and effects rather than silver ion (AgNO3) effects, we used a minimally dissolvable AgNP, citrate-coated AgNPs (CIT-AgNPs). We found that the clathrin-mediated endocytosis inhibitor chlorpromazine reduced the toxicity of CIT-AgNPs but not AgNO3. We also tested the sensitivity of three endocytosis-deficient mutants (rme-1, rme-6 and rme-8) and two lysosomal function deficient mutants (cup-5 and glo-1) as compared to wild-type (N2 strain). One of the endocytosis-deficient mutants (rme-6) took up less silver and was resistant to the acute toxicity of CIT-AgNPs compared to N2s. None of those mutants showed altered sensitivity to AgNO3. Lysosome and lysosome-related organelle mutants were more sensitive to the growth-inhibiting effects of both CIT-AgNPs and AgNO3. Our study provides mechanistic evidence suggesting that early endosome formation is necessary for AgNP-induced toxicity in vivo, as rme-6 mutants were less sensitive to the toxic effects of AgNPs than C. elegans with mutations involved in later steps in the endocytic process. PMID:26559224

  5. Multiple phenotypes resulting from a mutagenesis screen for pharynx muscle mutations in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew Ferrier

    Full Text Available We describe a novel screen to isolate pharyngeal cell morphology mutants in Caenorhabditis elegans using myo-2::GFP to rapidly identify abnormally shaped pharynxes in EMS (Ethyl Methanesulfonate mutagenized worms. We observed over 83 C. elegans lines with distinctive pharyngeal phenotypes in worms surviving to the L1 larval stage, with phenotypes ranging from short pharynx, unattached pharynx, missing cells, asymmetric morphology, and non-adherent pharynx cells. Thirteen of these mutations have been chromosomally mapped using Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs and deficiency strain complementation. Our studies have focused on genetically mapping and functionally testing two phenotypes, the short pharynx and the loss of muscle cohesion phenotypes. We have also identified new alleles of sma-1, and our screen suggests many genes directing pharynx assembly and structure may be either pharynx specific or less critical in other tissues.

  6. Maple Syrup Decreases TDP-43 Proteotoxicity in a Caenorhabditis elegans Model of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aaron, Catherine; Beaudry, Gabrielle; Parker, J Alex; Therrien, Martine

    2016-05-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease causing death of the motor neurons. Proteotoxicity caused by TDP-43 protein is an important aspect of ALS pathogenesis, with TDP-43 being the main constituent of the aggregates found in patients. We have previously tested the effect of different sugars on the proteotoxicity caused by the expression of mutant TDP-43 in Caenorhabditis elegans. Here we tested maple syrup, a natural compound containing many active molecules including sugars and phenols, for neuroprotective activity. Maple syrup decreased several age-dependent phenotypes caused by the expression of TDP-43(A315T) in C. elegans motor neurons and requires the FOXO transcription factor DAF-16 to be effective. PMID:27071850

  7. Sensory Ciliogenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans: Assignment of IFT Components into Distinct Modules Based on Transport and Phenotypic Profiles

    OpenAIRE

    Ou, Guangshuo; Koga, Makato; Oliver E Blacque; Murayama, Takashi; Ohshima, Yasumi; Schafer, Jenny C.; LI, Chunmei; Yoder, Bradley K.; Leroux, Michel R.; Scholey, Jonathan M.

    2007-01-01

    Sensory cilium biogenesis within Caenorhabditis elegans neurons depends on the kinesin-2–dependent intraflagellar transport (IFT) of ciliary precursors associated with IFT particles to the axoneme tip. Here we analyzed the molecular organization of the IFT machinery by comparing the in vivo transport and phenotypic profiles of multiple proteins involved in IFT and ciliogenesis. Based on their motility in wild-type and bbs (Bardet-Biedl syndrome) mutants, IFT proteins were classified into grou...

  8. Caenorhabditis elegans POT-2 telomere protein represses a mode of alternative lengthening of telomeres with normal telomere lengths

    OpenAIRE

    Cheng, Chen; Shtessel, Ludmila; Brady, Megan M.; Ahmed, Shawn

    2012-01-01

    Canonical telomere repeats at chromosome termini can be maintained by a telomerase-independent pathway termed alternative lengthening of telomeres (ALT). Human cancers that survive via ALT can exhibit long and heterogeneous telomeres, although many telomerase-negative tumors possess telomeres of normal length. Here, we report that Caenorhabditis elegans telomerase mutants that survived via ALT possessed either long or normal telomere lengths. Most ALT strains displayed end-to-end chromosome f...

  9. Multiple subunits of the Caenorhabditis elegans anaphase-promoting complex are required for chromosome segregation during meiosis I.

    OpenAIRE

    Davis, Edward S.; Wille, Lucia; Chestnut, Barry A.; Sadler, Penny L.; Shakes, Diane C; Golden, Andy

    2002-01-01

    Two genes, originally identified in genetic screens for Caenorhabditis elegans mutants that arrest in metaphase of meiosis I, prove to encode subunits of the anaphase-promoting complex or cyclosome (APC/C). RNA interference studies reveal that these and other APC/C subunits are essential for the segregation of chromosomal homologs during meiosis I. Further, chromosome segregation during meiosis I requires APC/C functions in addition to the release of sister chromatid cohesion.

  10. Staphylococcus saprophyticus surface-associated protein (Ssp) is associated with lifespan reduction in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szabados, Florian; Mohner, Amelie; Kleine, Britta; Gatermann, Sören G

    2013-10-01

    Staphylococcal lipases have been proposed as pathogenicity factors. In Staphylococcus saprophyticus the surface-associated protein (Ssp) has been previously characterized as a cell wall-associated true lipase. A S. saprophyticus Δssp::ermB mutant has been described as less virulent in an in vivo model of urinary tract infection compared with its wild-type. This is the first report showing that S. saprophyticus induced a lifespan reduction in Caenorhabditis elegans similar to that of S. aureus RN4220. In two S. saprophyticus Δssp::ermB mutants lifespan reduction in C. elegans was partly abolished. In order to attribute virulence to the lipase activity itself and distinguish this phenomenon from the presence of the Ssp-protein, the conserved active site of the lipase was modified by site-directed ligase-independent mutagenesis and lipase activity-deficient mutants were constructed. These results indicate that the Ssp is associated with pathogenicity in C. elegans and one could speculate that the lipase activity itself is responsible for this virulence.

  11. 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.

  12. Quantum algorithm for programmed cell death of Caenorhabditis elegans

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    During the development of Caenorhabditis elegans, through cell divisions, a total of exactly 1090 cells are generated, 131 of which undergo programmed cell death (PCD) to result in an adult organism comprising 959 cells. Of those 131, exactly 113 undergo PCD during embryogenesis, subdivided across the cell lineages in the following fashion: 98 for AB lineage; 14 for MS lineage; and 1 for C lineage. Is there a law underlying these numbers, and if there is, what could it be? Here we wish to show that the count of the cells undergoing PCD complies with the cipher laws related to the algorithms of Shor and of Grover

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. The genetics of ivermectin resistance in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dent, J A; Smith, M M; Vassilatis, D K; Avery, L

    2000-03-14

    The ability of organisms to evolve resistance threatens the effectiveness of every antibiotic drug. We show that in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, simultaneous mutation of three genes, avr-14, avr-15, and glc-1, encoding glutamate-gated chloride channel (GluCl) alpha-type subunits confers high-level resistance to the antiparasitic drug ivermectin. In contrast, mutating any two channel genes confers modest or no resistance. We propose a model in which ivermectin sensitivity in C. elegans is mediated by genes affecting parallel genetic pathways defined by the family of GluCl genes. The sensitivity of these pathways is further modulated by unc-7, unc-9, and the Dyf (dye filling defective) genes, which alter the structure of the nervous system. Our results suggest that the evolution of drug resistance can be slowed by targeting antibiotic drugs to several members of a multigene family. PMID:10716995

  17. 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.

  18. Blueberry polyphenols increase lifespan and thermotolerance in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Mark A; Shukitt-Hale, Barbara; Kalt, Wilhelmina; Ingram, Donald K; Joseph, James A; Wolkow, Catherine A

    2006-02-01

    The beneficial effects of polyphenol compounds in fruits and vegetables are mainly extrapolated from in vitro studies or short-term dietary supplementation studies. Due to cost and duration, relatively little is known about whether dietary polyphenols are beneficial in whole animals, particularly with respect to aging. To address this question, we examined the effects of blueberry polyphenols on lifespan and aging of the nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, a useful organism for such a study. We report that a complex mixture of blueberry polyphenols increased lifespan and slowed aging-related declines in C. elegans. We also found that these benefits did not just reflect antioxidant activity in these compounds. For instance, blueberry treatment increased survival during acute heat stress, but was not protective against acute oxidative stress. The blueberry extract consists of three major fractions that all contain antioxidant activity. However, only one fraction, enriched in proanthocyanidin compounds, increased C. elegans lifespan and thermotolerance. To further determine how polyphenols prolonged C. elegans lifespan, we analyzed the genetic requirements for these effects. Prolonged lifespan from this treatment required the presence of a CaMKII pathway that mediates osmotic stress resistance, though not other pathways that affect stress resistance and longevity. In conclusion, polyphenolic compounds in blueberries had robust and reproducible benefits during aging that were separable from antioxidant effects. PMID:16441844

  19. Behavioral and metabolic effects of the atypical antipsychotic ziprasidone on the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Priscila Gubert

    Full Text Available Atypical antipsychotics are associated with metabolic syndrome, primarily associated with weight gain. The effects of Ziprasidone, an atypical antipsychotic, on metabolic syndrome has yet to be evaluated. Here in, we evaluated lipid accumulation and behavioral changes in a new experimental model, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans. Behavioral parameters in the worms were evaluated 24 h after Ziprasidone treatment. Subsequently, lipid accumulation was examined using Nile red, LipidTox green and BODIPY labeling. Ziprasidone at 40 µM for 24 h effectively decreased the fluorescence labeling of all markers in intestinal cells of C. elegans compared to control (0.16% dimethyl sulfoxide. Ziprasidone did not alter behaviors related to energetic balance, such as pharynx pumping, defecation cycles and movement. There was, however, a reduction in egg-production, egg-laying and body-length in nematodes exposed to Ziprasidone without any changes in the progression of larval stages. The serotoninergic pathway did not appear to modulate Ziprasidone's effects on Nile red fluorescence. Additionally, Ziprasidone did not alter lipid accumulation in daf-16 or crh-1 deletion mutants (orthologous of the transcription factors DAF-16 and CREB, respectively. These results suggest that Ziprasidone alters reproductive behavior, morphology and lipid reserves in the intestinal cells of C. elegans. Our results highlight that the DAF-16 and CREB transcription factors are essential for Ziprasidone-induced fat store reduction.

  20. Caenorhabditis elegans recognizes a bacterial quorum-sensing signal molecule through the AWCON neuron.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Werner, Kristen M; Perez, Lark J; Ghosh, Rajarshi; Semmelhack, Martin F; Bassler, Bonnie L

    2014-09-19

    In a process known as quorum sensing, bacteria use chemicals called autoinducers for cell-cell communication. Population-wide detection of autoinducers enables bacteria to orchestrate collective behaviors. In the animal kingdom detection of chemicals is vital for success in locating food, finding hosts, and avoiding predators. This behavior, termed chemotaxis, is especially well studied in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Here we demonstrate that the Vibrio cholerae autoinducer (S)-3-hydroxytridecan-4-one, termed CAI-1, influences chemotaxis in C. elegans. C. elegans prefers V. cholerae that produces CAI-1 over a V. cholerae mutant defective for CAI-1 production. The position of the CAI-1 ketone moiety is the key feature driving CAI-1-directed nematode behavior. CAI-1 is detected by the C. elegans amphid sensory neuron AWC(ON). Laser ablation of the AWC(ON) cell, but not other amphid sensory neurons, abolished chemoattraction to CAI-1. These analyses define the structural features of a bacterial-produced signal and the nematode chemosensory neuron that permit cross-kingdom interaction.

  1. 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.

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

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    Gregory P Mullen

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  5. Myricetin-Mediated Lifespan Extension in Caenorhabditis elegans Is Modulated by DAF-16

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    Wim Wätjen

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Myricetin is a naturally occurring flavonol found in many plant based food sources. It increases the lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans, but the molecular mechanisms are not yet fully understood. We have investigated the impact of this flavonoid on the transcription factors DAF-16 (C. elegans FoxO homologue and SKN-1 (Nrf2 homologue, which have crucial functions in the regulation of ageing. Myricetin is rapidly assimilated by the nematode, causes a nuclear translocation of DAF-16 but not of SKN-1, and finally prolongs the mean adult lifespan of C. elegans by 32.9%. The lifespan prolongation was associated with a decrease in the accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS detected by DCF. Myricetin also decreases the formation of lipofuscin, a pigment consisting of highly oxidized and cross-linked proteins that is considered as a biomarker of ageing in diverse species. The lifespan extension was completely abolished in a daf-16 loss-of-function mutant strain (CF1038. Consistently with this result, myricetin was also not able to diminish stress-induced ROS accumulation in the mutant. These results strongly indicate that the pro-longevity effect of myricetin is dependent on DAF-16 and not on direct anti-oxidative effects of the flavonoid.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  9. Homologue pairing, recombination and segregation in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zetka, M

    2009-01-01

    Meiosis in the free-living, hermaphroditic nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is marked by the same highly conserved features observed in other sexually reproducing systems. Accurate chromosome segregation at the meiotic divisions depends on earlier landmark events of meiotic prophase, including the pairing of homologous chromosomes, synapsis between them, and the formation of crossovers. Dissection of these processes has revealed a unique simplification of meiotic mechanisms that impact the interpretation of meiotic chromosome behaviour in more complex systems. Chromosome sites required for chromosome pairing are consolidated to one end of each chromosome, the many sites of recombination initiation are resolved into a single crossover for each chromosome pair, and the diffuse (holocentric) kinetic activity that extends along the length of the mitotic chromosomes is reduced to a single end of each meiotic chromosome. Consequently, studies from the nematode have illuminated and challenged long-standing concepts of homologue pairing mechanisms, crossover interference, and kinetochore structure. Because chromosome pairing, synapsis, and recombination can proceed independently of one another, C. elegans has provided a simplified system for studying these processes and the mechanisms mediating their coordination during meiosis. This review covers the major features of C. elegans meiosis with emphasis on its contributions to understanding essential meiotic processes. PMID:18948706

  10. Pan-neuronal imaging in roaming Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole Shangming Hou

    2012-05-01

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

  12. Pan-neuronal imaging in roaming Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. PMID:26711989

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jin-ling CAI

    2012-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  16. Targeted Heritable Mutation and Gene Conversion by Cas9-CRISPR in Caenorhabditis elegans

    OpenAIRE

    Katic, Iskra; Großhans, Helge

    2013-01-01

    We have achieved targeted heritable genome modification in Caenorhabditis elegans by injecting mRNA of the nuclease Cas9 and Cas9 guide RNAs. This system rapidly creates precise genomic changes, including knockouts and transgene-instructed gene conversion.

  17. 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.

  18. External induction of heat shock stimulates the immune response and longevity of Caenorhabditis elegans towards pathogen exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prithika, Udayakumar; Deepa, Veerappan; Balamurugan, Krishnaswamy

    2016-08-01

    Heat shock proteins (HSPs) are highly chaperonic molecules that give immediate response during any stress, tissue damage or bacterial infections. In the present study, the role of HSPs upon bacterial encounter is studied by applying external heat induction to live Caenorhabditis elegans Heat shock was observed to increase the life span of wild type C. elegans upon pathogenic encounter, indicating a role of HSPs in bacterial infection and immunity. Similar increase in resistance towards pathogenesis observed in long-lived C. elegans daf-2 mutants and the increase in the lifespan indicated a role for the insulin/IGF-1 signaling (IIS) pathway in HSP-mediated pathogenic resistance. The microscopic observation of C. elegans after external heat induction and sequential exposure of pathogens indicated reduction of egg viability. Results of Real-time PCR and immunoblotting analysis of candidate genes revealed that heat shock and IIS pathways collaborate in the observed pathogenic resistance and further suggested SGK-1 to be the possible factor linking both these pathways. In addition, survival assays carried out using mutants equips us with supporting evidence that HSP and HSF-1 are necessary for the accelerated lifespan of C. elegans Our findings thus confirm that crosstalk between HSPs and SGK-1 influences C. elegans longevity. PMID:27317398

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  20. 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

  1. Chromophore-Assisted Light Inactivation of Mitochondrial Electron Transport Chain Complex II in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wojtovich, Andrew P.; Wei, Alicia Y.; Sherman, Teresa A.; Foster, Thomas H.; Nehrke, Keith

    2016-01-01

    Mitochondria play critical roles in meeting cellular energy demand, in cell death, and in reactive oxygen species (ROS) and stress signaling. Most Caenorhabditis elegans loss-of-function (lf) mutants in nuclear-encoded components of the respiratory chain are non-viable, emphasizing the importance of respiratory function. Chromophore-Assisted Light Inactivation (CALI) using genetically-encoded photosensitizers provides an opportunity to determine how individual respiratory chain components contribute to physiology following acute lf. As proof-of-concept, we expressed the ‘singlet oxygen generator’ miniSOG as a fusion with the SDHC subunit of respiratory complex II, encoded by mev-1 in C. elegans, using Mos1-mediated Single Copy Insertion. The resulting mev-1::miniSOG transgene complemented mev-1 mutant phenotypes in kn1 missense and tm1081(lf) deletion mutants. Complex II activity was inactivated by blue light in mitochondria from strains expressing active miniSOG fusions, but not those from inactive fusions. Moreover, light-inducible phenotypes in vivo demonstrated that complex II activity is important under conditions of high energy demand, and that specific cell types are uniquely susceptible to loss of complex II. In conclusion, miniSOG-mediated CALI is a novel genetic platform for acute inactivation of respiratory chain components. Spatio-temporally controlled ROS generation will expand our understanding of how the respiratory chain and mitochondrial ROS influence whole organism physiology. PMID:27440050

  2. Chromophore-Assisted Light Inactivation of Mitochondrial Electron Transport Chain Complex II in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wojtovich, Andrew P; Wei, Alicia Y; Sherman, Teresa A; Foster, Thomas H; Nehrke, Keith

    2016-01-01

    Mitochondria play critical roles in meeting cellular energy demand, in cell death, and in reactive oxygen species (ROS) and stress signaling. Most Caenorhabditis elegans loss-of-function (lf) mutants in nuclear-encoded components of the respiratory chain are non-viable, emphasizing the importance of respiratory function. Chromophore-Assisted Light Inactivation (CALI) using genetically-encoded photosensitizers provides an opportunity to determine how individual respiratory chain components contribute to physiology following acute lf. As proof-of-concept, we expressed the 'singlet oxygen generator' miniSOG as a fusion with the SDHC subunit of respiratory complex II, encoded by mev-1 in C. elegans, using Mos1-mediated Single Copy Insertion. The resulting mev-1::miniSOG transgene complemented mev-1 mutant phenotypes in kn1 missense and tm1081(lf) deletion mutants. Complex II activity was inactivated by blue light in mitochondria from strains expressing active miniSOG fusions, but not those from inactive fusions. Moreover, light-inducible phenotypes in vivo demonstrated that complex II activity is important under conditions of high energy demand, and that specific cell types are uniquely susceptible to loss of complex II. In conclusion, miniSOG-mediated CALI is a novel genetic platform for acute inactivation of respiratory chain components. Spatio-temporally controlled ROS generation will expand our understanding of how the respiratory chain and mitochondrial ROS influence whole organism physiology. PMID:27440050

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  4. Regulator of Calcineurin (RCAN-1) Regulates Thermotaxis Behavior in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Weixun; Bell, Harold W; Ahnn, Joohong; Lee, Sun-Kyung

    2015-11-01

    Regulator of calcineurin (RCAN) is a calcineurin-interacting protein that inhibits calcineurin phosphatase when overexpressed, often upregulated under neuropathological conditions with impaired learning and memory processes, such as Down syndrome or Alzheimer's disease. Thermotactic behavior in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a form of memory in which calcineurin signaling plays a pivotal role in the thermosensation of AFD neurons. In this study, we found that rcan-1 deletion mutants exhibited cryophilic behavior dependent on tax-6, which was rescued by expressing rcan-1 in AFD neurons. Interaction between RCAN-1 and TAX-6 requires the conserved PxIxIT motif of RCAN-1, without which thermotactic behavior could not be fully rescued. In addition, the loss of crh-1/CREB suppressed the thermotaxis phenotypes of rcan-1 and tax-6 mutants, indicating that crh-1 is crucial in thermotaxis memory in these mutants. Taken together, our results suggest that rcan-1 is an inhibitory regulator of tax-6 and that it acts in the formation of thermosensory behavioral memory in C. elegans.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahu, Surasri N; Lewis, Jada; Patel, Isha; Bozdag, Serdar; Lee, Jeong H; Sprando, Robert; Cinar, Hediye Nese

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23894281

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahu, Surasri N; Lewis, Jada; Patel, Isha; Bozdag, Serdar; Lee, Jeong H; Sprando, Robert; Cinar, Hediye Nese

    2013-01-01

    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.

  9. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Surasri N Sahu

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert J Luallen

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

  12. Histidine Protects Against Zinc and Nickel Toxicity in Caenorhabditis elegans

    OpenAIRE

    Murphy, John T; Bruinsma, Janelle J.; Schneider, Daniel L.; Sara Collier; James Guthrie; Asif Chinwalla; J David Robertson; Elaine R Mardis; Kerry Kornfeld

    2011-01-01

    Author Summary Zinc is an essential nutrient that is critical for human health. However, excess zinc can cause toxicity, indicating that regulatory mechanisms are necessary to maintain homeostasis. The analysis of mechanisms that promote zinc homeostasis can elucidate fundamental regulatory processes and suggest new approaches for treating disorders of zinc metabolism. To discover genes that modulate zinc tolerance, we screened for C. elegans mutants that were resistant to zinc toxicity. Here...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stacey L Edwards

    2008-08-01

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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. NGT-3D: a simple nematode cultivation system to study Caenorhabditis elegans biology in 3D

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Tong Young; Yoon, Kyoung-hye; Lee, Jin Il

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is one of the premier experimental model organisms today. In the laboratory, they display characteristic development, fertility, and behaviors in a two dimensional habitat. In nature, however, C. elegans is found in three dimensional environments such as rotting fruit. To investigate the biology of C. elegans in a 3D controlled environment we designed a nematode cultivation habitat which we term the nematode growth tube or NGT-3D. NGT-3D allows for the growth of both nematodes and the bacteria they consume. Worms show comparable rates of growth, reproduction and lifespan when bacterial colonies in the 3D matrix are abundant. However, when bacteria are sparse, growth and brood size fail to reach levels observed in standard 2D plates. Using NGT-3D we observe drastic deficits in fertility in a sensory mutant in 3D compared to 2D, and this defect was likely due to an inability to locate bacteria. Overall, NGT-3D will sharpen our understanding of nematode biology and allow scientists to investigate questions of nematode ecology and evolutionary fitness in the laboratory. PMID:26962047

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  5. Legionella-protozoa-nematode interactions in aquatic biofilms and influence of Mip on Caenorhabditis elegans colonization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasch, Janine; Krüger, Stefanie; Fontvieille, Dominique; Ünal, Can M; Michel, Rolf; Labrosse, Aurélie; Steinert, Michael

    2016-09-01

    Legionella pneumophila, the causative agent of Legionnaireś disease, is naturally found in aquatic habitats. The intracellular life cycle within protozoa pre-adapted the "accidental" human pathogen to also infect human professional phagocytes like alveolar macrophages. Previous studies employing the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans suggest that also nematodes might serve as a natural host for L. pneumophila. Here, we report for the first time from a natural co-habitation of L. pneumophila and environmental nematode species within biofilms of a warm water spring. In addition, we identified the protozoan species Oxytricha bifaria, Stylonychia mytilus, Ciliophrya sp. which have never been described as potential interaction partners of L. pneumophila before. Modeling and dissection of the Legionella-protozoa-nematode interaction revealed that C. elegans ruptures Legionella-infected amoebal cells and by this means incorporate the pathogen. Further infection studies revealed that the macrophage infectivity potentiator (Mip) protein of L. pneumophila, which is known to bind collagen IV during human lung infection, promotes the colonization of the intestinal tract of L4 larvae of C. elegans and negatively influences the life span of the worms. The Mip-negative L. pneumophila mutant exhibited a 32-fold reduced colonization rate of the nematodes after 48h when compared to the wild-type strain. Taken together, these studies suggest that nematodes may serve as natural hosts for L. pneumophila, promote their persistence and dissemination in the environment, and co-evolutionarily pre-adapt the pathogen for interactions with extracellular constituents of human lung tissue.

  6. Developing a rapid throughput screen for detection of nematicidal activity of plant cysteine proteinases: the role of Caenorhabditis elegans cystatins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phiri, A M; De Pomerai, D; Buttle, D J; Behnke, J M B

    2014-02-01

    Plant cysteine proteinases (CPs) from papaya (Carica papaya) are capable of killing parasitic nematode worms in vitro and have been shown to possess anthelmintic effects in vivo. The acute damage reported in gastrointestinal parasites has not been found in free-living nematodes such as Caenorhabditis elegans nor among the free-living stages of parasitic nematodes. This apparent difference in susceptibility might be the result of active production of cysteine proteinase inhibitors (such as cystatins) by the free-living stages or species. To test this possibility, a supernatant extract of refined papaya latex (PLS) with known active enzyme content was used. The effect on wild-type (Bristol N2) and cystatin null mutant (cpi-1(-/-) and cpi-2(-/-)) C. elegans was concentration-, temperature- and time-dependent. Cysteine proteinases digested the worm cuticle leading to release of internal structures and consequent death. Both cystatin null mutant strains were highly susceptible to PLS attack irrespective of the temperature and concentration of exposure, whereas wild-type N2 worms were generally resistant but far more susceptible to attack at low temperatures. PLS was able to induce elevated cpi-1 and cpi-2 cystatin expression. We conclude that wild-type C. elegans deploy cystatins CPI-1 and CPI-2 to resist CP attack. The results suggest that the cpi-1 or cpi-2 null mutants (or a double mutant combination of the two) could provide a cheap and effective rapid throughput C. elegans-based assay for screening plant CP extracts for anthelmintic activity.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  8. Neural maintenance roles for the matrix receptor dystroglycan and the nuclear anchorage complex in Caenorhabditis elegans

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Johnson, R.P.; Kramer, J.M.

    2012-01-01

    Recent studies in Caenorhabditis elegans have revealed specific neural maintenance mechanisms that protect soma and neurites against mispositioning due to displacement stresses, such as muscle contraction. We report that C. elegans dystroglycan (DG) DGN-1 functions to maintain the position of lumbar

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myers, Edith M.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Small-molecule signaling plays an important role in the biology of Caenorhabditis elegans. We have previously shown that ascarosides, glycosides of the dideoxysugar ascarylose regulate both development and behavior in C. elegans The mating signal consists of a synergistic blend of three dauer-induc...

  12. 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…

  13. 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...

  14. Mitochondrial changes in ageing Caenorhabditis elegans--what do we learn from superoxide dismutase knockouts?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Gruber

    Full Text Available One of the most popular damage accumulation theories of ageing is the mitochondrial free radical theory of ageing (mFRTA. The mFRTA proposes that ageing is due to the accumulation of unrepaired oxidative damage, in particular damage to mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA. Within the mFRTA, the "vicious cycle" theory further proposes that reactive oxygen species (ROS promote mtDNA mutations, which then lead to a further increase in ROS production. Recently, data have been published on Caenorhabditis elegans mutants deficient in one or both forms of mitochondrial superoxide dismutase (SOD. Surprisingly, even double mutants, lacking both mitochondrial forms of SOD, show no reduction in lifespan. This has been interpreted as evidence against the mFRTA because it is assumed that these mutants suffer from significantly elevated oxidative damage to their mitochondria. Here, using a novel mtDNA damage assay in conjunction with related, well established damage and metabolic markers, we first investigate the age-dependent mitochondrial decline in a cohort of ageing wild-type nematodes, in particular testing the plausibility of the "vicious cycle" theory. We then apply the methods and insights gained from this investigation to a mutant strain for C. elegans that lacks both forms of mitochondrial SOD. While we show a clear age-dependent, linear increase in oxidative damage in WT nematodes, we find no evidence for autocatalytic damage amplification as proposed by the "vicious cycle" theory. Comparing the SOD mutants with wild-type animals, we further show that oxidative damage levels in the mtDNA of SOD mutants are not significantly different from those in wild-type animals, i.e. even the total loss of mitochondrial SOD did not significantly increase oxidative damage to mtDNA. Possible reasons for this unexpected result and some implications for the mFRTA are discussed.

  15. Manganese Disturbs Metal and Protein Homeostasis in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  16. 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

  17. Caenorhabditis elegans, a Biological Model for Research in Toxicology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tejeda-Benitez, Lesly; Olivero-Verbel, Jesus

    2016-01-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans is a nematode of microscopic size which, due to its biological characteristics, has been used since the 1970s as a model for research in molecular biology, medicine, pharmacology, and toxicology. It was the first animal whose genome was completely sequenced and has played a key role in the understanding of apoptosis and RNA interference. The transparency of its body, short lifespan, ability to self-fertilize and ease of culture are advantages that make it ideal as a model in toxicology. Due to the fact that some of its biochemical pathways are similar to those of humans, it has been employed in research in several fields. C. elegans' use as a biological model in environmental toxicological assessments allows the determination of multiple endpoints. Some of these utilize the effects on the biological functions of the nematode and others use molecular markers. Endpoints such as lethality, growth, reproduction, and locomotion are the most studied, and usually employ the wild type Bristol N2 strain. Other endpoints use reporter genes, such as green fluorescence protein, driven by regulatory sequences from other genes related to different mechanisms of toxicity, such as heat shock, oxidative stress, CYP system, and metallothioneins among others, allowing the study of gene expression in a manner both rapid and easy. These transgenic strains of C. elegans represent a powerful tool to assess toxicity pathways for mixtures and environmental samples, and their numbers are growing in diversity and selectivity. However, other molecular biology techniques, including DNA microarrays and MicroRNAs have been explored to assess the effects of different toxicants and samples. C. elegans has allowed the assessment of neurotoxic effects for heavy metals and pesticides, among those more frequently studied, as the nematode has a very well defined nervous system. More recently, nanoparticles are emergent pollutants whose toxicity can be explored using this nematode

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. TDP-1/TDP-43 regulates stress signaling and age-dependent proteotoxicity in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandra Vaccaro

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available TDP-43 is a multifunctional nucleic acid binding protein linked to several neurodegenerative diseases including Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS and Frontotemporal Dementia. To learn more about the normal biological and abnormal pathological role of this protein, we turned to Caenorhabditis elegans and its orthologue TDP-1. We report that TDP-1 functions in the Insulin/IGF pathway to regulate longevity and the oxidative stress response downstream from the forkhead transcription factor DAF-16/FOXO3a. However, although tdp-1 mutants are stress-sensitive, chronic upregulation of tdp-1 expression is toxic and decreases lifespan. ALS-associated mutations in TDP-43 or the related RNA binding protein FUS activate the unfolded protein response and generate oxidative stress leading to the daf-16-dependent upregulation of tdp-1 expression with negative effects on neuronal function and lifespan. Consistently, deletion of endogenous tdp-1 rescues mutant TDP-43 and FUS proteotoxicity in C. elegans. These results suggest that chronic induction of wild-type TDP-1/TDP-43 by cellular stress may propagate neurodegeneration and decrease lifespan.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Mi Ri; Oh, Sangnam; Son, Seok Jun; Park, Dong-June; Oh, Sejong; Kim, Sae Hun; Jeong, Do-Youn; Oh, Nam Su; Lee, Youngbok; Song, Minho; Kim, Younghoon

    2015-12-01

    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.

  8. 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. PMID:26976573

  9. 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

  10. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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. Abl kinase inhibits the engulfment of apoptotic [corrected] cells in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael E Hurwitz

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available The engulfment of apoptotic cells is required for normal metazoan development and tissue remodeling. In Caenorhabditis elegans, two parallel and partially redundant conserved pathways act in cell-corpse engulfment. One pathway includes the adaptor protein CED-2 CrkII and the small GTPase CED-10 Rac, and acts to rearrange the cytoskeleton of the engulfing cell. The other pathway includes the receptor tyrosine kinase CED-1 and might recruit membranes to extend the surface of the engulfing cell. Although many components required for engulfment have been identified, little is known about inhibition of engulfment. The tyrosine kinase Abl regulates the actin cytoskeleton in mammals and Drosophila in multiple ways. For example, Abl inhibits cell migration via phosphorylation of CrkII. We tested whether ABL-1, the C. elegans ortholog of Abl, inhibits the CED-2 CrkII-dependent engulfment of apoptotic cells. Our genetic studies indicate that ABL-1 inhibits apoptotic cell engulfment, but not through CED-2 CrkII, and instead acts in parallel to the two known engulfment pathways. The CED-10 Rac pathway is also required for proper migration of the distal tip cells (DTCs during the development of the C. elegans gonad. The loss of ABL-1 function partially restores normal DTC migration in the CED-10 Rac pathway mutants. We found that ABI-1 the C. elegans homolog of mammalian Abi (Abl interactor proteins, is required for engulfment of apoptotic cells and proper DTC migration. Like Abl, Abi proteins are cytoskeletal regulators. ABI-1 acts in parallel to the two known engulfment pathways, likely downstream of ABL-1. ABL-1 and ABI-1 interact physically in vitro. We propose that ABL-1 opposes the engulfment of apoptotic cells by inhibiting ABI-1 via a pathway that is distinct from the two known engulfment pathways.

  13. 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.

  14. The dyf-3 gene encodes a novel protein required for sensory cilium formation in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murayama, Takashi; Toh, Yoshihiro; Ohshima, Yasumi; Koga, Makoto

    2005-02-25

    Ciliated neurons in animals are important for the reception of environmental stimuli. To understand the mechanism of cilium morphogenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans, we analyzed dyf-3 mutants that are defective in uptake of a fluorescent dye and abnormal in sensory cilium structure. Expression of green fluorescent protein in sensory neurons of a dyf-3 mutant revealed that the mutant has stunted cilia and abnormal posterior projections in some sensory neurons. The dyf-3 gene encodes three proteins with different N-terminals. The largest DYF-3 protein has 404 amino acid residues that are 38% identical with those of a predicted human protein of unknown function. Expression of a functional dyf-3Colon, two colonsgfp fusion gene is detected in 26 chemosensory neurons, including six IL2 neurons, eight pairs of amphid neurons (ASE, ADF, ASG, ASH, ASI, ASJ, ASK and ADL) and two pairs of phasmid neurons (PHA and PHB). Expression of a dyf-3 cDNA in specific neurons of dyf-3 animals indicated that dyf-3 acts cell-autonomously for fluorescent dye uptake. Reduction of dyf-3Colon, two colonsgfp expression in a daf-19 mutant suggests that dyf-3 expression is regulated by DAF-19 transcription factor, and DYF-3 may be involved in the intraflagellar transport system. PMID:15713455

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Palm Megan

    2005-01-01

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

  16. Specific microRNAs regulate heat stress responses in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nehammer, Camilla; Podolska, Agnieszka; Mackowiak, Sebastian D; Kagias, Konstantinos; Pocock, Roger

    2015-01-01

    The ability of animals to sense and respond to elevated temperature is essential for survival. Transcriptional control of the heat stress response has been much studied, whereas its posttranscriptional regulation by microRNAs (miRNAs) is not well understood. Here we analyzed the miRNA response to heat stress in Caenorhabditis elegans and show that a discrete subset of miRNAs is thermoregulated. Using in-depth phenotypic analyses of miRNA deletion mutant strains we reveal multiple developmental and post-developmental survival and behavioral functions for specific miRNAs during heat stress. We have identified additional functions for already known players (mir-71 and mir-239) as well as identifying mir-80 and the mir-229 mir-64-66 cluster as important regulators of the heat stress response in C. elegans. These findings uncover an additional layer of complexity to the regulation of stress signaling that enables animals to robustly respond to the changing environment. PMID:25746291

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Sorbitol treatment extends lifespan and induces the osmotic stress response in Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Devon eChandler-Brown

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The response to osmotic stress is a highly conserved process for adapting to changing environmental conditions. Prior studies have shown that hyperosmolarity by addition of sorbitol to the growth medium is sufficient to increase both chronological and replicative lifespan in the budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Here we report a similar phenomenon in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Addition of sorbitol to the nematode growth medium induces an adaptive osmotic response and increases C. elegans lifespan by about 35%. Lifespan extension from 5% sorbitol behaves similarly to dietary restriction in a variety of genetic backgrounds, increasing lifespan additively with mutation of daf-2(e1370 and independently of daf-16(mu86, sir-2.1(ok434, aak-2(ok524, and hif-1(ia04. Dietary restriction by bacterial deprivation or mutation of eat-2(ad1113 fails to further extend lifespan in the presence of 5% sorbitol. Two mutants with constitutive activation of the osmotic response, osm-5(p813 and osm-7(n1515, were found to be long-lived, and lifespan extension from sorbitol required the glycerol biosynthetic enzymes GPDH-1 and GPDH-2. Taken together, these observations demonstrate that exposure to sorbitol at levels sufficient to induce an adaptive osmotic response extends lifespan in worms and define the osmotic stress response pathway as a longevity pathway conserved between yeast and nematodes.

  20. Sorbitol treatment extends lifespan and induces the osmotic stress response in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chandler-Brown, Devon; Choi, Haeri; Park, Shirley; Ocampo, Billie R; Chen, Shiwen; Le, Anna; Sutphin, George L; Shamieh, Lara S; Smith, Erica D; Kaeberlein, Matt

    2015-01-01

    The response to osmotic stress is a highly conserved process for adapting to changing environmental conditions. Prior studies have shown that hyperosmolarity by addition of sorbitol to the growth medium is sufficient to increase both chronological and replicative lifespan in the budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Here we report a similar phenomenon in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Addition of sorbitol to the nematode growth medium induces an adaptive osmotic response and increases C. elegans lifespan by about 35%. Lifespan extension from 5% sorbitol behaves similarly to dietary restriction in a variety of genetic backgrounds, increasing lifespan additively with mutation of daf-2(e1370) and independently of daf-16(mu86), sir-2.1(ok434), aak-2(ok524), and hif-1(ia04). Dietary restriction by bacterial deprivation or mutation of eat-2(ad1113) fails to further extend lifespan in the presence of 5% sorbitol. Two mutants with constitutive activation of the osmotic response, osm-5(p813) and osm-7(n1515), were found to be long-lived, and lifespan extension from sorbitol required the glycerol biosynthetic enzymes GPDH-1 and GPDH-2. Taken together, these observations demonstrate that exposure to sorbitol at levels sufficient to induce an adaptive osmotic response extends lifespan in worms and define the osmotic stress response pathway as a longevity pathway conserved between yeast and nematodes.

  1. 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.

  2. 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. PMID:27581484

  3. 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.

  4. Detecting Autophagy in Caenorhabditis elegans Embryos Using Markers of P Granule Degradation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palmisano, Nicholas J; Meléndez, Alicia

    2016-01-01

    Autophagy plays an active role during the early stages of embryogenesis in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Although their exact function is unknown, P granules are ribonucleoprotein particles that play a role in germ cell specification. The localization of P granules is restricted to the germline precursor cells in wild-type embryos, as a result of their degradation in the somatic cell lineage. Autophagy is known to be required for the degradation of P granules, as mutations in various autophagy genes, including those encoding the adaptor SEPA-1 and the p62-like adaptor SQST-1, result in the accumulation of the P granule components PGL-1 and PGL-3 (termed PGL granules) in the somatic cells of C. elegans embryos. In this protocol, we present a methodology for using fusion reporters of SEPA-1, SQST-1, and PGL-1 that have aided in the identification of new genes for normal autophagy activity by screening for mutant animals that lack the degradation of these autophagy substrates. PMID:26729906

  5. 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.

  6. The application of the comet assay to assess the genotoxicity of environmental pollutants in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imanikia, Soudabeh; Galea, Francesca; Nagy, Eszter; Phillips, David H; Stürzenbaum, Stephen R; Arlt, Volker M

    2016-07-01

    This study aimed to establish a protocol for cell dissociation from the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) to assess the genotoxicity of the environmental pollutant benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) using the alkaline version of the single cell electrophoresis assay (comet assay). BaP genotoxicity was assessed in C. elegans (wild-type [WT]; N2, Bristol) after 48h exposure (0-40μM). Induction of comets by BaP was concentration-dependent up to 20μM; comet% tail DNA was ∼30% at 20μM BaP and ∼10% in controls. Similarly, BaP-induced DNA damage was evaluated in C. elegans mutant strains deficient in DNA repair. In xpa-1 and apn-1 mutants BaP-induced comet formation was diminished to WT background levels suggesting that the damage formed by BaP that is detected in the comet assay is not recognised in cells deficient in nucleotide and base excision repair, respectively. In summary, our study provides a protocol to evaluate DNA damage of environmental pollutants in whole nematodes using the comet assay. PMID:27389785

  7. 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.

  8. 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. PMID:27381188

  9. Putative calcium-binding domains of the Caenorhabditis elegans BK channel are dispensable for intoxication and ethanol activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, S J; Scott, L L; Ordemann, G; Philpo, A; Cohn, J; Pierce-Shimomura, J T

    2015-07-01

    Alcohol modulates the highly conserved, voltage- and calcium-activated potassium (BK) channel, which contributes to alcohol-mediated behaviors in species from worms to humans. Previous studies have shown that the calcium-sensitive domains, RCK1 and the Ca(2+) bowl, are required for ethanol activation of the mammalian BK channel in vitro. In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, ethanol activates the BK channel in vivo, and deletion of the worm BK channel, SLO-1, confers strong resistance to intoxication. To determine if the conserved RCK1 and calcium bowl domains were also critical for intoxication and basal BK channel-dependent behaviors in C. elegans, we generated transgenic worms that express mutated SLO-1 channels predicted to have the RCK1, Ca(2+) bowl or both domains rendered insensitive to calcium. As expected, mutating these domains inhibited basal function of SLO-1 in vivo as neck and body curvature of these mutants mimicked that of the BK null mutant. Unexpectedly, however, mutating these domains singly or together in SLO-1 had no effect on intoxication in C. elegans. Consistent with these behavioral results, we found that ethanol activated the SLO-1 channel in vitro with or without these domains. By contrast, in agreement with previous in vitro findings, C. elegans harboring a human BK channel with mutated calcium-sensing domains displayed resistance to intoxication. Thus, for the worm SLO-1 channel, the putative calcium-sensitive domains are critical for basal in vivo function but unnecessary for in vivo ethanol action.

  10. Joint molecule resolution requires the redundant activities of MUS-81 and XPF-1 during Caenorhabditis elegans meiosis.

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    Nigel J O'Neil

    Full Text Available The generation and resolution of joint molecule recombination intermediates is required to ensure bipolar chromosome segregation during meiosis. During wild type meiosis in Caenorhabditis elegans, SPO-11-generated double stranded breaks are resolved to generate a single crossover per bivalent and the remaining recombination intermediates are resolved as noncrossovers. We discovered that early recombination intermediates are limited by the C. elegans BLM ortholog, HIM-6, and in the absence of HIM-6 by the structure specific endonuclease MUS-81. In the absence of both MUS-81 and HIM-6, recombination intermediates persist, leading to chromosome breakage at diakinesis and inviable embryos. MUS-81 has an additional role in resolving late recombination intermediates in C. elegans. mus-81 mutants exhibited reduced crossover recombination frequencies suggesting that MUS-81 is required to generate a subset of meiotic crossovers. Similarly, the Mus81-related endonuclease XPF-1 is also required for a subset of meiotic crossovers. Although C. elegans gen-1 mutants have no detectable meiotic defect either alone or in combination with him-6, mus-81 or xpf-1 mutations, mus-81;xpf-1 double mutants are synthetic lethal. While mus-81;xpf-1 double mutants are proficient for the processing of early recombination intermediates, they exhibit defects in the post-pachytene chromosome reorganization and the asymmetric disassembly of the synaptonemal complex, presumably triggered by crossovers or crossover precursors. Consistent with a defect in resolving late recombination intermediates, mus-81; xpf-1 diakinetic bivalents are aberrant with fine DNA bridges visible between two distinct DAPI staining bodies. We were able to suppress the aberrant bivalent phenotype by microinjection of activated human GEN1 protein, which can cleave Holliday junctions, suggesting that the DNA bridges in mus-81; xpf-1 diakinetic oocytes are unresolved Holliday junctions. We propose that the

  11. 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

  12. Sex-specific pruning of neuronal synapses in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Oren-Suissa, Meital; Bayer, Emily A; Hobert, Oliver

    2016-05-12

    Whether and how neurons that are present in both sexes of the same species can differentiate in a sexually dimorphic manner is not well understood. A comparison of the connectomes of the Caenorhabditis elegans hermaphrodite and male nervous systems reveals the existence of sexually dimorphic synaptic connections between neurons present in both sexes. Here we demonstrate sex-specific functions of these sex-shared neurons and show that many neurons initially form synapses in a hybrid manner in both the male and hermaphrodite pattern before sexual maturation. Sex-specific synapse pruning then results in the sex-specific maintenance of subsets of these connections. Reversal of the sexual identity of either the pre- or postsynaptic neuron alone transforms the patterns of synaptic connectivity to that of the opposite sex. A dimorphically expressed and phylogenetically conserved transcription factor is both necessary and sufficient to determine sex-specific connectivity patterns. Our studies reveal new insights into sex-specific circuit development. PMID:27144354

  13. 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.

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

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    Chris eLi

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Neuropeptides regulate all aspects of behavior in multicellular organisms. Because of their ability to act at long distances, neuropeptides can exert their effects beyond the conventional synaptic connections, thereby adding an intricate layer of complexity to the activity of neural networks. In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, a large number of neuropeptide genes that are expressed throughout the nervous system has been identified. The actions of these peptides supplement the synaptic connections of the 302 neurons, allowing for fine tuning of neural networks and increasing the ways in which behaviors can be regulated. In this review, we focus on a large family of genes encoding FMRFamide-related peptides. These genes, the flp genes, have been used as a starting point to identifying flp genes throughout Nematoda. Nematodes have the largest family of FMRFamide-related peptides described thus far. The challenges in the future are the elucidation of their functions and the identification of the receptors and signaling pathways through which they function.

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

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    Henrique Teotonio

    Full Text Available Caenorhabditis elegans can reproduce exclusively by self-fertilization. Yet, males can be maintained in laboratory populations, a phenomenon that continues to puzzle biologists. In this study we evaluated the role of males in facilitating adaptation to novel environments. For this, we contrasted the evolution of a fitness component exclusive to outcrossing in experimental populations of different mating systems. We introgressed a modifier of outcrossing into a hybrid population derived from several wild isolates to transform the wild-type androdioecious mating system into a dioecious mating system. By genotyping 375 single-nucleotide polymorphisms we show that the two populations had similar standing genetic diversity available for adaptation, despite the occurrence of selection during their derivation. We then performed replicated experimental evolution under the two mating systems from starting conditions of either high or low levels of diversity, under defined environmental conditions of discrete non-overlapping generations, constant density at high population sizes (N = 10(4, no obvious spatial structure and abundant food resources. During 100 generations measurements of sex ratios and male competitive performance showed: 1 adaptation to the novel environment; 2 directional selection on male frequency under androdioecy; 3 optimal outcrossing rates of 0.5 under androdioecy; 4 the existence of initial inbreeding depression; and finally 5 that the strength of directional selection on male competitive performance does not depend on male frequencies. Taken together, these results suggest that androdioecious males are maintained at intermediate frequencies because outcrossing is adaptive.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  17. 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.

  18. Organ Length Control by an ADAMTS Extracellular Protease in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shibata, Yukimasa; Kawakado, Yuri; Hori, Noriyoshi; Tanaka, Kota; Inoue, Ryo; Takano, Tomomi; Kubota, Yukihiko; Nishiwaki, Kiyoji

    2016-01-01

    MIG-17, a secreted protease of the ADAMTS family, acts in the directed migration of gonadal distal tip cells (DTCs) through regulation of the gonadal basement membrane in Caenorhabditis elegans. Here, we show that MIG-17 is also required for the control of pharynx elongation during animal growth. We found that the pharynx was elongated in mig-17 mutants compared with wild type. MIG-17 localized to the pharyngeal basement membrane as well as to the gonadal basement membrane. The number of nuclei in the pharynx, and the pumping rate of the pharynx, were not affected in mig-17 mutants, suggesting that cells constituting the pharynx are elongated, although the pharynx functions normally in these mutants. In contrast to the control of DTC migration, MIG-18, a secreted cofactor of MIG-17, was not essential for pharynx length regulation. In addition, the downstream pathways of MIG-17 involving LET-2/type IV collagen, FBL-1/fibulin-1, and NID-1/nidogen, partly diverged from those in gonad development. These results indicate that basement membrane remodeling is important for organ length regulation, and suggest that MIG-17/ADAMTS functions in similar but distinct molecular machineries in pharyngeal and gonadal basement membranes. PMID:26994289

  19. Rapid gene mapping in Caenorhabditis elegans using a high density polymorphism map.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wicks, S R; Yeh, R T; Gish, W R; Waterston, R H; Plasterk, R H

    2001-06-01

    Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are valuable genetic markers of human disease. They also comprise the highest potential density marker set available for mapping experimentally derived mutations in model organisms such as Caenorhabditis elegans. To facilitate the positional cloning of mutations we have identified polymorphisms in CB4856, an isolate from a Hawaiian island that shows a uniformly high density of polymorphisms compared with the reference Bristol N2 strain. Based on 5.4 Mbp of aligned sequences, we predicted 6,222 polymorphisms. Furthermore, 3,457 of these markers modify restriction enzyme recognition sites ('snip-SNPs') and are therefore easily detected as RFLPs. Of these, 493 were experimentally confirmed by restriction digest to produce a snip-SNP map of the worm genome. A mapping strategy using snip-SNPs and bulked segregant analysis (BSA) is outlined. CB4856 is crossed into a mutant strain, and exclusion of CB4856 alleles of a subset of snip-SNPs in mutant progeny is assessed with BSA. The proximity of a linked marker to the mutation is estimated by the relative proportion of each form of the biallelic marker in populations of wildtype and mutant genomes. The usefulness of this approach is illustrated by the rapid mapping of the dyf-5 gene. PMID:11381264

  20. Rictor/TORC2 regulates Caenorhabditis elegans fat storage, body size, and development through sgk-1.

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    Kevin T Jones

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available The target of rapamycin (TOR kinase coordinately regulates fundamental metabolic and cellular processes to support growth, proliferation, survival, and differentiation, and consequently it has been proposed as a therapeutic target for the treatment of cancer, metabolic disease, and aging. The TOR kinase is found in two biochemically and functionally distinct complexes, termed TORC1 and TORC2. Aided by the compound rapamycin, which specifically inhibits TORC1, the role of TORC1 in regulating translation and cellular growth has been extensively studied. The physiological roles of TORC2 have remained largely elusive due to the lack of pharmacological inhibitors and its genetic lethality in mammals. Among potential targets of TORC2, the pro-survival kinase AKT has garnered much attention. Within the context of intact animals, however, the physiological consequences of phosphorylation of AKT by TORC2 remain poorly understood. Here we describe viable loss-of-function mutants in the Caenorhabditis elegans homolog of the TORC2-specific component, Rictor (CeRictor. These mutants display a mild developmental delay and decreased body size, but have increased lipid storage. These functions of CeRictor are not mediated through the regulation of AKT kinases or their major downstream target, the insulin-regulated FOXO transcription factor DAF-16. We found that loss of sgk-1, a homolog of the serum- and glucocorticoid-induced kinase, mimics the developmental, growth, and metabolic phenotypes of CeRictor mutants, while a novel, gain-of-function mutation in sgk-1 suppresses these phenotypes, indicating that SGK-1 is a mediator of CeRictor activity. These findings identify new physiological roles for TORC2, mediated by SGK, in regulation of C. elegans lipid accumulation and growth, and they challenge the notion that AKT is the primary effector of TORC2 function.

  1. Synthetic Ligands of Cannabinoid Receptors Affect Dauer Formation in the Nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reis Rodrigues, Pedro; Kaul, Tiffany K.; Ho, Jo-Hao; Lucanic, Mark; Burkewitz, Kristopher; Mair, William B.; Held, Jason M.; Bohn, Laura M.; Gill, Matthew S.

    2016-01-01

    Under adverse environmental conditions the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans can enter an alternate developmental stage called the dauer larva. To identify lipophilic signaling molecules that influence this process, we screened a library of bioactive lipids and found that AM251, an antagonist of the human cannabinoid (CB) receptor, suppresses dauer entry in daf-2 insulin receptor mutants. AM251 acted synergistically with glucose supplementation indicating that the metabolic status of the animal influenced the activity of this compound. Similarly, loss of function mutations in the energy-sensing AMP-activated kinase subunit, aak-2, enhanced the dauer-suppressing effects of AM251, while constitutive activation of aak-2 in neurons was sufficient to inhibit AM251 activity. Chemical epistasis experiments indicated that AM251 acts via G-protein signaling and requires the TGF-β ligand DAF-7, the insulin peptides DAF-28 and INS-6, and a functional ASI neuron to promote reproductive growth. AM251 also required the presence of the SER-5 serotonin receptor, but in vitro experiments suggest that this may not be via a direct interaction. Interestingly, we found that other antagonists of mammalian CB receptors also suppress dauer entry, while the nonselective CB receptor agonist, O-2545, not only inhibited the activity of AM251, but also was able to promote dauer entry when administered alone. Since worms do not have obvious orthologs of CB receptors, the effects of synthetic CBs on neuroendocrine signaling in C. elegans are likely to be mediated via another, as yet unknown, receptor mechanism. However, we cannot exclude the existence of a noncanonical CB receptor in C. elegans. PMID:27172180

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

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    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.

  5. Uncoupling Protein, UCP-4 May Be Involved in Neuronal Defects During Aging and Resistance to Pathogens in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Injeong; Hwang, Gyu Jin; Cho, Jeong Hoon

    2016-01-01

    Uncoupling proteins (UCPs) are mitochondrial inner membrane proteins that function to dissipate proton motive force and mitochondrial membrane potential. One UCP has been identified in Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), namely UCP-4. In this study, we examined its expression and localization using a GFP marker in C. elegans. ucp-4 was expressed throughout the body from early embryo to aged adult and UCP-4 was localized in the mitochondria. It is known that increased mitochondrial membrane protential leads to a reactive oxygen species (ROS) increase, which is associated with age-related diseases, including neurodegenerative diseases in humans. A ucp-4 mutant showed increased mitochondrial membrane protential in association with increased neuronal defects during aging, and the neurons of ucp-4 overexpressing animals showed decreased neuronal defects during aging. These results suggest that UCP-4 may be involved in neuroprotection during aging via relieving mitochondrial membrane protential. We also investigated the relationship between UCP-4 and innate immunity because increased ROS can affect innate immunity. ucp-4 mutant displayed increased resistance to the pathogen Staphylococcus aureus compared to wild type. The enhanced immunity in the ucp-4 mutant could be related to increased mitochondrial membrane protential, presumably followed by increased ROS. In summary, UCP-4 might have an important role in neuronal aging and innate immune responses through mediating mitochondrial membrane protential. PMID:27646689

  6. Uncoupling Protein, UCP-4 May Be Involved in Neuronal Defects During Aging and Resistance to Pathogens in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Injeong; Hwang, Gyu Jin; Cho, Jeong Hoon

    2016-09-01

    Uncoupling proteins (UCPs) are mitochondrial inner membrane proteins that function to dissipate proton motive force and mitochondrial membrane potential. One UCP has been identified in Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), namely UCP-4. In this study, we examined its expression and localization using a GFP marker in C. elegans. ucp-4 was expressed throughout the body from early embryo to aged adult and UCP-4 was localized in the mitochondria. It is known that increased mitochondrial membrane protential leads to a reactive oxygen species (ROS) increase, which is associated with age-related diseases, including neurodegenerative diseases in humans. A ucp-4 mutant showed increased mitochondrial membrane protential in association with increased neuronal defects during aging, and the neurons of ucp-4 overexpressing animals showed decreased neuronal defects during aging. These results suggest that UCP-4 may be involved in neuroprotection during aging via relieving mitochondrial membrane protential. We also investigated the relationship between UCP-4 and innate immunity because increased ROS can affect innate immunity. ucp-4 mutant displayed increased resistance to the pathogen Staphylococcus aureus compared to wild type. The enhanced immunity in the ucp-4 mutant could be related to increased mitochondrial membrane protential, presumably followed by increased ROS. In summary, UCP-4 might have an important role in neuronal aging and innate immune responses through mediating mitochondrial membrane protential.

  7. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Jennifer L. Watts

    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...

  9. Copy number variation in the genomes of twelve natural isolates of Caenorhabditis elegans

    OpenAIRE

    Flibotte Stephane; Edgley Mark L; Lorch Adam; Maydan Jason S; Moerman Donald G

    2010-01-01

    Abstract Background Copy number variation is an important component of genetic variation in higher eukaryotes. The extent of natural copy number variation in C. elegans is unknown outside of 2 highly divergent wild isolates and the canonical N2 Bristol strain. Results We have used array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) to detect copy number variation in the genomes of 12 natural isolates of Caenorhabditis elegans. Deletions relative to the canonical N2 strain are more common in these ...

  10. Shotgun Cloning of Transposon Insertions in the Genome of Caenorhabditis elegans

    OpenAIRE

    Plasterk, Ronald H.A.; van der Linden, Alexander M.

    2006-01-01

    We present a strategy to identify and map large numbers of transposon insertions in the genome of Caenorhabditis elegans. Our approach makes use of the mutator strain mut-7, which has germline-transposition activity of the Tc1/mariner family of transposons, a display protocol to detect new transposon insertions, and the availability of the genomic sequence of C. elegans. From a pilot insertional mutagenesis screen, we have obtained 351 new Tc1 transposons inserted in or near 219 predicted C. ...

  11. Regulation of Caenorhabditis elegans Male Mate Searching Behavior by the Nuclear Receptor DAF-12

    OpenAIRE

    Kleemann, Gunnar; Jia, Lingyun; Emmons, Scott W.

    2008-01-01

    Coordination of animal behavior with reproductive status is often achieved through elaboration of hormones by the gonad. In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, adult males explore their environment to locate mates. Mate searching is regulated by presence of mates, nutritional status, and a signal from the gonad. Here we show that the gonadal signal acts via the nuclear receptor DAF-12, a protein known to regulate several C. elegans life-history traits. DAF-12 has both activational and organi...

  12. Fatty-acid metabolism is involved in stress-resistance mechanisms of Caenorhabditis elegans

    OpenAIRE

    Horikawa, Makoto; Sakamoto, Kazuichi

    2009-01-01

    Fatty acids are the major components of the phospholipid bilayer and are involved in several functions of cell membrane. We previously reported that fatty-acid metabolism is involved in the regulation of DAF-2/insulin signal in Caenorhabditis elegans. In this study, we investigate the role of fatty-acid metabolism in stress resistance with respect to daf-16 in nematode. We found that fatty-acid metabolism regulates heat, osmotic, and oxidative-stress resistance in C. elegans. RNA interference...

  13. Efficient genome editing in Caenorhabditis elegans by CRISPR-targeted homologous recombination

    OpenAIRE

    Chen, C.; Fenk, L. A.; Bono, M.

    2013-01-01

    Cas9 is an RNA-guided double-stranded DNA nuclease that participates in clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-mediated adaptive immunity in prokaryotes. CRISPR–Cas9 has recently been used to generate insertion and deletion mutations in Caenorhabditis elegans, but not to create tailored changes (knock-ins). We show that the CRISPR–CRISPR-associated (Cas) system can be adapted for efficient and precise editing of the C. elegans genome. The targeted double-strand bre...

  14. 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.

  15. Comparisons of Caenorhabditis Fucosyltransferase Mutants Reveal a Multiplicity of Isomeric N-Glycan Structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Shi; Jin, Chunsheng; Wilson, Iain B H; Paschinger, Katharina

    2015-12-01

    Recent studies have shown a remarkable degree of plasticity in the N-glycome of the model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans; ablation of glycosylation-relevant genes can result in radically altered N-glycan profiles despite only minor biological phenotypic effects. Up to four fucose residues and five different linkages of fucose are known on the N-glycans of C. elegans. Due to the complexity in the wild type, we established three mutant strains defective in two core fucosyltransferases each (fut-1;fut-6, fut-1;fut-8, and fut-6;fut-8). Enzymatically released N-glycans were subject to HPLC and MALDI-TOF MS/MS, in combination with various treatments, to verify structural details. The N-glycome of the fut-1;fut-6 mutant was the most complex of the three double-mutant strains due to the extension of the core α1,6-fucose as well as the presence of fucose on the bisecting galactose. In contrast, maximally two fucoses were found on N-glycans of the fut-1;fut-8 and fut-6;fut-8 strains. The different locations and capping of fucose meant that up to 13 isomeric structures, many highly galactosylated, were determined for some single masses. These data not only show the high variability of the N-glycomic capacity of a "simple" nematode but also exemplify the need for multiple approaches to reveal individual glycan structures within complex invertebrate glycomes.

  16. Sensory ciliogenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans: assignment of IFT components into distinct modules based on transport and phenotypic profiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ou, Guangshuo; Koga, Makato; Blacque, Oliver E; Murayama, Takashi; Ohshima, Yasumi; Schafer, Jenny C; Li, Chunmei; Yoder, Bradley K; Leroux, Michel R; Scholey, Jonathan M

    2007-05-01

    Sensory cilium biogenesis within Caenorhabditis elegans neurons depends on the kinesin-2-dependent intraflagellar transport (IFT) of ciliary precursors associated with IFT particles to the axoneme tip. Here we analyzed the molecular organization of the IFT machinery by comparing the in vivo transport and phenotypic profiles of multiple proteins involved in IFT and ciliogenesis. Based on their motility in wild-type and bbs (Bardet-Biedl syndrome) mutants, IFT proteins were classified into groups with similar transport profiles that we refer to as "modules." We also analyzed the distribution and transport of fluorescent IFT particles in multiple known ciliary mutants and 49 new ciliary mutants. Most of the latter mutants were snip-SNP mapped and one, namely dyf-14(ks69), was cloned and found to encode a conserved protein essential for ciliogenesis. The products of these ciliogenesis genes could also be assigned to the aforementioned set of modules or to specific aspects of ciliogenesis, based on IFT particle dynamics and ciliary mutant phenotypes. Although binding assays would be required to confirm direct physical interactions, the results are consistent with the hypothesis that the C. elegans IFT machinery has a modular design, consisting of modules IFT-subcomplex A, IFT-subcomplex B, and a BBS protein complex, in addition to motor and cargo modules, with each module contributing to distinct functional aspects of IFT or ciliogenesis. PMID:17314406

  17. A Mutation in Caenorhabditis elegans NDUF-7 Activates the Mitochondrial Stress Response and Prolongs Lifespan via ROS and CED-4.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rauthan, Manish; Ranji, Parmida; Abukar, Ragda; Pilon, Marc

    2015-06-01

    The mevalonate pathway is responsible for the synthesis of cholesterol, coenzyme Q, and prenyl groups essential for small GTPase modification and function, and for the production of dolichols important for protein glycosylation. Statins, i.e., cholesterol-lowering drugs that inhibit the rate-limiting enzyme in the mevalonate pathway, HMG-CoA reductase, are lethal to Caenorhabditis elegans even though this animal lacks the branch of the mevalonate pathway that leads to cholesterol synthesis. To better understand the effects of statins that are not related to cholesterol, we have adopted the strategy of isolating statin-resistant C. elegans mutants. Previously, we showed that such mutants often have gain-of-function mutations in ATFS-1, a protein that activates the mitochondrial unfolded protein response. Here, we describe the isolation of a statin-resistant mutant allele of the NDUF-7 protein, which is a component of complex I in the mitochondrial electron transport chain. The novel nduf-7(et19) mutant also exhibits constitutive and ATFS-1-dependent activation of the mitochondrial unfolded protein response (UPR(mt)) and prolonged life span, both of which are mediated through production of ROS. Additionally, lifespan extension, but not activation, of the mitochondrial unfolded protein response was dependent on the pro-apoptotic gene ced-4. We conclude that the nduf-7(et19) mutant allele causes an increase in reactive oxygen species that activate ATFS-1, hence UPR(mt)-mediated statin resistance, and extends life span via CED-4.

  18. Manipulation of behavioral decline in Caenorhabditis elegans with the Rag GTPase raga-1.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew A Schreiber

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Normal aging leads to an inexorable decline in motor performance, contributing to medical morbidity and decreased quality of life. While much has been discovered about genetic determinants of lifespan, less is known about modifiers of age-related behavioral decline and whether new gene targets may be found which extend vigorous activity, with or without extending lifespan. Using Caenorhabditis elegans, we have developed a model of declining neuromuscular function and conducted a screen for increased behavioral activity in aged animals. In this model, behavioral function suffers from profound reductions in locomotory frequency, but coordination is strikingly preserved until very old age. By screening for enhancers of locomotion at advanced ages we identified the ras-related Rag GTPase raga-1 as a novel modifier of behavioral aging. raga-1 loss of function mutants showed vigorous swimming late in life. Genetic manipulations revealed that a gain of function raga-1 curtailed behavioral vitality and shortened lifespan, while a dominant negative raga-1 lengthened lifespan. Dietary restriction results indicated that a raga-1 mutant is relatively protected from the life-shortening effects of highly concentrated food, while RNAi experiments suggested that raga-1 acts in the highly conserved target of rapamycin (TOR pathway in C. elegans. Rag GTPases were recently shown to mediate nutrient-dependent activation of TOR. This is the first demonstration of their dramatic effects on behavior and aging. This work indicates that novel modulators of behavioral function can be identified in screens, with implications for future study of the clinical amelioration of age-related decline.

  19. 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.

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

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    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

  1. The Mitochondrial Unfolded Protein Response Protects against Anoxia in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peña, Salvador; Sherman, Teresa; Brookes, Paul S.; Nehrke, Keith

    2016-01-01

    The mitochondrial unfolded protein response (UPRmt) is a surveillance pathway that defends proteostasis in the “powerhouse” of the cell. Activation of the UPRmt protects against stresses imposed by reactive oxygen species, respiratory chain deficits, and pathologic bacteria. Consistent with the UPRmt’s role in adaption, we found that either its pharmacological or genetic activation by ethidium bromide (EtBr) or RNAi of the mitochondrial AAA-protease spg-7 was sufficient to reduce death in an anoxia-based Caenorhabditis elegans model of ischemia-reperfusion injury. The UPRmt-specific transcription factor atfs-1 was necessary for protection and atfs-1 gain-of-function (gf) mutants were endogenously protected from both death and dysfunction. Neurons exhibited less axonal degeneration following non-lethal anoxia-reperfusion (A-R) when the UPRmt was pre-activated, and consistent with the concept of mitochondrial stress leading to cell non-autonomous (ie. “remote”) effects, we found that restricted activation of the UPRmt in neurons decreased A-R death. However, expression of the atfs-1(gf) mutant in neurons, which resulted in a robust activation of a neuronal UPRmt, did not upregulate the UPRmt in distal tissues, nor did it protect the worms from A-R toxicity. These findings suggest that remote signaling requires additional component(s) acting downstream of de facto mitochondrial stress. PMID:27459203

  2. 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

  3. 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

    2016-03-01

    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. PMID:26772748

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jachen A Solinger

    2010-01-01

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

  7. Functional dissection of Caenorhabditis elegans CLK-2/TEL2 cell cycle defects during embryogenesis and germline development.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra C Moser

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available CLK-2/TEL2 is essential for viability from yeasts to vertebrates, but its essential functions remain ill defined. CLK-2/TEL2 was initially implicated in telomere length regulation in budding yeast, but work in Caenorhabditis elegans has uncovered a function in DNA damage response signalling. Subsequently, DNA damage signalling defects associated with CLK-2/TEL2 have been confirmed in yeast and human cells. The CLK-2/TEL2 interaction with the ATM and ATR DNA damage sensor kinases and its requirement for their stability led to the proposal that CLK-2/TEL2 mutants might phenocopy ATM and/or ATR depletion. We use C. elegans to dissect developmental and cell cycle related roles of CLK-2. Temperature sensitive (ts clk-2 mutants accumulate genomic instability and show a delay of embryonic cell cycle timing. This delay partially depends on the worm p53 homolog CEP-1 and is rescued by co-depletion of the DNA replication checkpoint proteins ATL-1 (C. elegans ATR and CHK-1. In addition, clk-2 ts mutants show a spindle orientation defect in the eight cell stages that lead to major cell fate transitions. clk-2 deletion worms progress through embryogenesis and larval development by maternal rescue but become sterile and halt germ cell cycle progression. Unlike ATL-1 depleted germ cells, clk-2-null germ cells do not accumulate DNA double-strand breaks. Rather, clk-2 mutant germ cells arrest with duplicated centrosomes but without mitotic spindles in an early prophase like stage. This germ cell cycle arrest does not depend on cep-1, the DNA replication, or the spindle checkpoint. Our analysis shows that CLK-2 depletion does not phenocopy PIKK kinase depletion. Rather, we implicate CLK-2 in multiple developmental and cell cycle related processes and show that CLK-2 and ATR have antagonising functions during early C. elegans embryonic development.

  8. The Nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, Stress and Aging: Identifying the Complex Interplay of Genetic Pathways Following the Treatment with Humic Substances.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menzel, Ralph; Menzel, Stefanie; Swain, Suresh C; Pietsch, Kerstin; Tiedt, Sophie; Witczak, Jördis; Stürzenbaum, Stephen R; Steinberg, Christian E W

    2012-01-01

    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 days) and old adult (11 days) 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, transforming growth factor-beta 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. PMID:22529848

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  10. Comparative active-site mutation study of human and Caenorhabditis elegans thymidine kinase 1

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Skovgaard, Tine; Uhlin, Ulla; Munch-Petersen, Birgitte

    2012-01-01

    ligands. To improve our understanding of TK1 substrate specificity, we performed a detailed, mutation-based comparative structure-function study of the active sites of two thymidine kinases: HuTK1 and Caenorhabditis elegans TK1 (CeTK1). Specifically, mutations were introduced into the hydrophobic pocket...

  11. 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...

  12. 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…

  13. 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...

  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. 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.

  16. Malate and fumarate extend lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clare B Edwards

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

  17. Effects of insecticidal crystal proteins (Cry proteins) produced by genetically modified maize (Bt maize) on the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The genetically modified maize MON89034 × MON88017 expresses different crystal (Cry) proteins with pesticidal activity against the European corn borer (Cry1.105; Cry2Ab2) and the Western corn root worm (Cry3Bb1). Non-target organisms, such as soil nematodes, might be exposed to the Cry proteins that enter the soil in course of crop growing. Therefore, the risk of those proteins for nematodes was assessed by testing their toxic effects on Caenorhabditis elegans. All three insecticidal Cry proteins showed dose-dependent inhibitory effects on C. elegans reproduction (EC50: 0.12–0.38 μmol L−1), however, at concentrations that were far above the expected soil concentrations. Moreover, a reduced toxicity was observed when Cry proteins were added jointly. A C. elegans mutant strain deficient for receptors for the nematicidal Cry5B was also resistant against Cry1.105 and Cry2Ab2, suggesting that these Cry proteins bound to the same or similar receptors as nematicidal Cry proteins and thereby affect the reproduction of C. elegans. -- Highlights: •Insecticidal Cry proteins dose-dependently inhibited the reproduction of C. elegans. •Mixture toxicity was lower than expected from concentration-additive single effects. •Genes for MAPK-defense-pathway were up-regulated in presence of Cry protein mixture. •Knock-out strains deficient for Cry5B-receptors showed lower susceptibility to insecticidal Cry proteins. •Toxicity of insecticidal Cry-proteins on C. elegans occurred at concentrations far above expected field concentrations. -- Insecticidal Cry proteins expressed by genetically modified maize act on nematodes via a similar mode of action as nematicidal Cry proteins, however, at concentrations far above expected soil levels

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2002-07-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. Lipidomic and proteomic analysis of Caenorhabditis elegans lipid droplets and identification of ACS-4 as a lipid droplet-associated protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vrablik, Tracy L; Petyuk, Vladislav A; Larson, Emily M; Smith, Richard D; Watts, Jennifer L

    2015-10-01

    Lipid droplets are cytoplasmic organelles that store neutral lipids for membrane synthesis and energy reserves. In this study, we characterized the lipid and protein composition of purified Caenorhabditis elegans lipid droplets. These lipid droplets are composed mainly of triacylglycerols, surrounded by a phospholipid monolayer composed primarily of phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylethanolamine. The fatty acid composition of the triacylglycerols is rich in fatty acid species obtained from the dietary Escherichia coli, including cyclopropane fatty acids and cis-vaccenic acid. Unlike other organisms, C. elegans lipid droplets contain very little cholesterol or cholesterol esters. Comparison of the lipid droplet proteomes of wild type and high-fat daf-2 mutant strains shows a very similar proteome in both strains, except that the most abundant protein in the C. elegans lipid droplet proteome, MDT-28, is relatively less abundant in lipid droplets isolated from daf-2 mutants. Functional analysis of lipid droplet proteins identified in our proteomic studies indicated an enrichment of proteins required for growth and fat homeostasis in C. elegans. Finally, we confirmed the localization of one of the newly identified lipid droplet proteins, ACS-4. We found that ACS-4 localizes to the surface of lipid droplets in the C. elegans intestine and skin. This study bolsters C. elegans as a model to study the dynamics and functions of lipid droplets in a multicellular organism.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moon, Sunjin [Structural Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics Lab, Department of Biochemistry, College of Life Science and Biotechnology, Yonsei University, Seoul 120-749 (Korea, Republic of); Lee, Yong Woo; Kim, Woo Taek [Department of Systems Biology, College of Life Science and Biotechnology, Yonsei University, Seoul 120-749 (Korea, Republic of); Lee, Weontae, E-mail: wlee@spin.yonsei.ac.kr [Structural Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics Lab, Department of Biochemistry, College of Life Science and Biotechnology, Yonsei University, Seoul 120-749 (Korea, Republic of)

    2014-01-10

    Highlights: •We have determined solution structures of CEH-37 homedomain. •CEH-37 HD has a compact α-helical structure with HTH DNA binding motif. •Solution structure of CEH-37 HD shares its molecular topology with that of the homeodomain proteins. •Residues in the N-terminal region and HTH motif are important in binding to Caenorhabditis elegans telomeric DNA. •CEH-37 could play an important role in telomere function via DNA binding. -- Abstract: The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans protein CEH-37 belongs to the paired OTD/OTX family of homeobox-containing homeodomain proteins. CEH-37 shares sequence similarity with homeodomain proteins, although it specifically binds to double-stranded C. elegans telomeric DNA, which is unusual to homeodomain proteins. Here, we report the solution structure of CEH-37 homeodomain and molecular interaction with double-stranded C. elegans telomeric DNA using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. NMR structure shows that CEH-37 homeodomain is composed of a flexible N-terminal region and three α-helices with a helix-turn-helix (HTH) DNA binding motif. Data from size-exclusion chromatography and fluorescence spectroscopy reveal that CEH-37 homeodomain interacts strongly with double-stranded C. elegans telomeric DNA. NMR titration experiments identified residues responsible for specific binding to nematode double-stranded telomeric DNA. These results suggest that C. elegans homeodomain protein, CEH-37 could play an important role in telomere function via DNA binding.

  2. The metabolomic responses of Caenorhabditis elegans to cadmium are largely independent of metallothionein status, but dominated by changes in cystathionine and phytochelatins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Samantha L; Bundy, Jacob G; Want, Elizabeth J; Kille, Peter; Stürzenbaum, Stephen R

    2009-07-01

    Cadmium is a widely distributed toxic environmental pollutant. Using proton NMR spectroscopy and UPLC-MS, we obtained metabolic profiles from the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans exposed to sublethal concentrations of cadmium. Neither in the presence nor absence of cadmium did the metallothionein status (single or double mtl knockouts) markedly modulate the metabolic profile. However, independent of strain, cadmium exposure resulted in a decrease in cystathionine concentrations and an increase in the nonribosomally synthesized peptides phytochelatin-2 and phytochelatin-3. This suggests that a primary response to low levels of cadmium is the differential regulation of the C. elegans trans-sulfuration pathway, which channels the flux from methionine through cysteine into phytochelatin synthesis. These results were backed up by the finding that phytochelatin synthase mutants (pcs-1) were at least an order of magnitude more sensitive to cadmium than single or double metallothionein mutants. However, an additive sensitivity toward cadmium was observed in the mtl-1; mtl-2; pcs-1 triple mutant.

  3. Acacetin promotes healthy aging by altering stress response in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asthana, Jyotsna; Mishra, B N; Pandey, Rakesh

    2016-08-01

    The progression in lifespan has been associated with elevated intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) and oxidative stress level which contributes to development of age related disorders. The discovery of lifespan modulating phytomolecules may promote development of natural therapies against age related afflictions. Acacetin (5,7-dihydroxy-4-methoxyflavone), is a naturally occurring flavonoid known to possess therapeutic properties. To this end, the present study evaluates effect of acacetin (AC) on lifespan, stress and neurotoxicity for the first time by using well-established free living, multicellular Caenorhabditis elegans model system. The 25 μM dose of AC significantly prolonged the mean lifespan of worms by 27.31% in comparison to untreated control and other tested doses of AC. Additionally, AC enhanced stress resistance against oxidative and thermal stress in worms. Furthermore, AC attenuated age related intracellular ROS level, aggregation of age pigment lipofuscin and increased the mean survival in stress hypersensitive mev-1 mutant by 40.5%. AC supplementation also reduced the alpha synuclein aggregation in transgenic worm model of Parkinson's disease. The enhanced stress resistance, lifespan and alleviation of age related pathology can be attributed to increment in stress modulatory enzymes like superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) level. Altogether the results suggest AC exposure maintains stress level, health span and extends mean lifespan of C. elegans. The longevity promoting and neuromodulatory effects of AC are mediated by up regulation of the stress response genes sod-3 and gst-4. The present finding gives new insights of natural remedies and their future prospects in developing therapeutic interventions for managing age related diseases. PMID:27150237

  4. Evaluation of head movement periodicity and irregularity during locomotion of Caenorhabditis elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryuzo eShingai

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Caenorhabditis elegans is suitable for studying the nervous system, which controls behavior. C. elegans shows sinusoidal locomotion on an agar plate. The head moves not only sinusoidally but also more complexly, which reflects regulation of the head muscles by the nervous system. The head movement becomes more irregular with senescence. To date, the head movement complexity has not been quantitatively analyzed. We propose two simple methods for evaluation of the head movement regularity on an agar plate using image analysis. The methods calculate metrics that are a measure of how the head end movement is correlated with body movement. In the first method, the length along the trace of the head end on the agar plate between adjacent intersecting points of the head trace and the quasi-midline of the head trace, which was made by sliding an averaging window of 1/2 the body wavelength, was obtained. Histograms of the lengths showed periodic movement of the head and deviation from it. In the second method, the intersections between the trace of the head end and the trace of the 5 (near the pharynx or 50% (the mid-body point from the head end in the centerline length of the worm image were marked. The length of the head trace between adjacent intersections was measured, and a histogram of the lengths was produced. The histogram for the 5% point showed deviation of the head end movement from the movement near the pharynx. The histogram for the 50% point showed deviation of the head movement from the sinusoidal movement of the body center. Application of these methods to wild type and several mutant strains enabled evaluation of their head movement periodicity and irregularity, and revealed a difference in the age-dependence of head movement irregularity between the strains. A set of five parameters obtained from the histograms reliably identifies differences in head movement between strains.

  5. Promotion of Homologous Recombination by SWS-1 in Complex with RAD-51 Paralogs in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McClendon, T Brooke; Sullivan, Meghan R; Bernstein, Kara A; Yanowitz, Judith L

    2016-05-01

    Homologous recombination (HR) repairs cytotoxic DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) with high fidelity. Deficiencies in HR result in genome instability. A key early step in HR is the search for and invasion of a homologous DNA template by a single-stranded RAD-51 nucleoprotein filament. The Shu complex, composed of a SWIM domain-containing protein and its interacting RAD51 paralogs, promotes HR by regulating RAD51 filament dynamics. Despite Shu complex orthologs throughout eukaryotes, our understanding of its function has been most extensively characterized in budding yeast. Evolutionary analysis of the SWIM domain identified Caenorhabditis elegans sws-1 as a putative homolog of the yeast Shu complex member Shu2. Using a CRISPR-induced nonsense allele of sws-1, we show that sws-1 promotes HR in mitotic and meiotic nuclei. sws-1 mutants exhibit sensitivity to DSB-inducing agents and fail to form mitotic RAD-51 foci following treatment with camptothecin. Phenotypic similarities between sws-1 and the two RAD-51 paralogs rfs-1 and rip-1 suggest that they function together. Indeed, we detect direct interaction between SWS-1 and RIP-1 by yeast two-hybrid assay that is mediated by the SWIM domain in SWS-1 and the Walker B motif in RIP-1 Furthermore, RIP-1 bridges an interaction between SWS-1 and RFS-1, suggesting that RIP-1 facilitates complex formation with SWS-1 and RFS-1 We propose that SWS-1, RIP-1, and RFS-1 compose a C. elegans Shu complex. Our work provides a new model for studying Shu complex disruption in the context of a multicellular organism that has important implications as to why mutations in the human RAD51 paralogs are associated with genome instability. PMID:26936927

  6. Caenorhabditis elegans glutamylating enzymes function redundantly in male mating.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chawla, Daniel G; Shah, Ruchi V; Barth, Zachary K; Lee, Jessica D; Badecker, Katherine E; Naik, Anar; Brewster, Megan M; Salmon, Timothy P; Peel, Nina

    2016-09-15

    Microtubule glutamylation is an important modulator of microtubule function and has been implicated in the regulation of centriole stability, neuronal outgrowth and cilia motility. Glutamylation of the microtubules is catalyzed by a family of tubulin tyrosine ligase-like (TTLL) enzymes. Analysis of individual TTLL enzymes has led to an understanding of their specific functions, but how activities of the TTLL enzymes are coordinated to spatially and temporally regulate glutamylation remains relatively unexplored. We have undertaken an analysis of the glutamylating TTLL enzymes in C. elegans We find that although all five TTLL enzymes are expressed in the embryo and adult worm, loss of individual enzymes does not perturb microtubule function in embryonic cell divisions. Moreover, normal dye-filling, osmotic avoidance and male mating behavior indicate the presence of functional amphid cilia and male-specific neurons. A ttll-4(tm3310); ttll-11(tm4059); ttll-5(tm3360) triple mutant, however, shows reduced male mating efficiency due to a defect in the response step, suggesting that these three enzymes function redundantly, and that glutamylation is required for proper function of the male-specific neurons.

  7. Fluorescent Beads Are a Versatile Tool for Staging Caenorhabditis elegans in Different Life Histories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nika, Liberta; Gibson, Taylor; Konkus, Rebecca; Karp, Xantha

    2016-07-07

    Precise staging of Caenorhabditis elegans is essential for developmental studies in different environmental conditions. In favorable conditions, larvae develop continuously through four larval stages separated by molting periods. Distinguishing molting from intermolt larvae has been achieved using transgenes with molting reporters, therefore requiring strain constructions, or careful observation of individuals for pharyngeal pumping or behavioral quiescence. In unfavorable conditions, larvae can enter the stress-resistant and developmentally arrested dauer larva stage. Identifying dauer larvae has been based on their ability to withstand detergent selection, precluding identification of recovering animals or of mutants with defects in dauer morphogenesis. Here, we describe a simple method to distinguish molting larvae or dauer larvae from intermolt larvae that bypasses the limitations of current methods. Fluorescent latex beads are mixed with the bacterial food source and ingested by intermolt larvae and adults. Molting and dauer larvae do not feed, and therefore lack beads in their digestive tract. The presence of beads can be determined using a dissecting microscope at magnifications as low as 100 ×, or by using a wormsorter for high-throughput experiments. We find that continuously developing bead-lacking larvae display hallmarks of molting, including expression of the mlt-10::gfp molting marker and a lack of pharyngeal pumping. Furthermore, wild-type and mutant dauer larvae produced by any of three common methods are accurately identified by a lack of beads. Importantly, this method is effective in SDS-sensitive mutant backgrounds and can identify recovering dauer larvae, a stage for which there is no other method of positive selection.

  8. Fluorescent Beads Are a Versatile Tool for Staging Caenorhabditis elegans in Different Life Histories

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liberta Nika

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Precise staging of Caenorhabditis elegans is essential for developmental studies in different environmental conditions. In favorable conditions, larvae develop continuously through four larval stages separated by molting periods. Distinguishing molting from intermolt larvae has been achieved using transgenes with molting reporters, therefore requiring strain constructions, or careful observation of individuals for pharyngeal pumping or behavioral quiescence. In unfavorable conditions, larvae can enter the stress-resistant and developmentally arrested dauer larva stage. Identifying dauer larvae has been based on their ability to withstand detergent selection, precluding identification of recovering animals or of mutants with defects in dauer morphogenesis. Here, we describe a simple method to distinguish molting larvae or dauer larvae from intermolt larvae that bypasses the limitations of current methods. Fluorescent latex beads are mixed with the bacterial food source and ingested by intermolt larvae and adults. Molting and dauer larvae do not feed, and therefore lack beads in their digestive tract. The presence of beads can be determined using a dissecting microscope at magnifications as low as 100 ×, or by using a wormsorter for high-throughput experiments. We find that continuously developing bead-lacking larvae display hallmarks of molting, including expression of the mlt-10::gfp molting marker and a lack of pharyngeal pumping. Furthermore, wild-type and mutant dauer larvae produced by any of three common methods are accurately identified by a lack of beads. Importantly, this method is effective in SDS-sensitive mutant backgrounds and can identify recovering dauer larvae, a stage for which there is no other method of positive selection.

  9. Fluorescent Beads Are a Versatile Tool for Staging Caenorhabditis elegans in Different Life Histories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nika, Liberta; Gibson, Taylor; Konkus, Rebecca; Karp, Xantha

    2016-01-01

    Precise staging of Caenorhabditis elegans is essential for developmental studies in different environmental conditions. In favorable conditions, larvae develop continuously through four larval stages separated by molting periods. Distinguishing molting from intermolt larvae has been achieved using transgenes with molting reporters, therefore requiring strain constructions, or careful observation of individuals for pharyngeal pumping or behavioral quiescence. In unfavorable conditions, larvae can enter the stress-resistant and developmentally arrested dauer larva stage. Identifying dauer larvae has been based on their ability to withstand detergent selection, precluding identification of recovering animals or of mutants with defects in dauer morphogenesis. Here, we describe a simple method to distinguish molting larvae or dauer larvae from intermolt larvae that bypasses the limitations of current methods. Fluorescent latex beads are mixed with the bacterial food source and ingested by intermolt larvae and adults. Molting and dauer larvae do not feed, and therefore lack beads in their digestive tract. The presence of beads can be determined using a dissecting microscope at magnifications as low as 100 ×, or by using a wormsorter for high-throughput experiments. We find that continuously developing bead-lacking larvae display hallmarks of molting, including expression of the mlt-10::gfp molting marker and a lack of pharyngeal pumping. Furthermore, wild-type and mutant dauer larvae produced by any of three common methods are accurately identified by a lack of beads. Importantly, this method is effective in SDS-sensitive mutant backgrounds and can identify recovering dauer larvae, a stage for which there is no other method of positive selection. PMID:27172224

  10. RNA helicase SACY-1 is required for longevity caused by various genetic perturbations in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seo, Mihwa; Park, Sangsoon; Nam, Hong Gil; Lee, Seung-Jae V

    2016-07-17

    RNA helicases, which unwind RNAs, are essential for RNA metabolism and homeostasis. However, the roles of RNA helicases in specific physiological processes remain poorly understood. We recently reported that an RNA helicase, HEL-1, promotes long lifespan conferred by reduced insulin/insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) signaling (IIS) in Caenorhabditis elegans. We also showed that HEL-1 induces the expression of longevity genes by physically interacting with Forkhead box O (FOXO) transcription factor. Thus, the HEL-1 RNA helicase appears to regulate lifespan by specifically activating FOXO in IIS. In the current study, we report another longevity-promoting RNA helicase, Suppressor of ACY-4 sterility 1 (SACY-1). SACY-1 contributed to the longevity of daf-2/insulin/IGF-1 receptor mutants. Unlike HEL-1, SACY-1 was also required for the longevity due to mutations in genes involved in non-IIS pathways. Thus, SACY-1 appears to function as a general longevity factor for various signaling pathways, which is different from the specific function of HEL-1. PMID:27153157

  11. Chromatids segregate without centrosomes during Caenorhabditis elegans mitosis in a Ran- and CLASP-dependent manner.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nahaboo, Wallis; Zouak, Melissa; Askjaer, Peter; Delattre, Marie

    2015-06-01

    During mitosis, chromosomes are connected to a microtubule-based spindle. Current models propose that displacement of the spindle poles and/or the activity of kinetochore microtubules generate mechanical forces that segregate sister chromatids. Using laser destruction of the centrosomes during Caenorhabditis elegans mitosis, we show that neither of these mechanisms is necessary to achieve proper chromatid segregation. Our results strongly suggest that an outward force generated by the spindle midzone, independently of centrosomes, is sufficient to segregate chromosomes in mitotic cells. Using mutant and RNAi analysis, we show that the microtubule-bundling protein SPD-1/MAP-65 and BMK-1/kinesin-5 act as a brake opposing the force generated by the spindle midzone. Conversely, we identify a novel role for two microtubule-growth and nucleation agents, Ran and CLASP, in the establishment of the centrosome-independent force during anaphase. Their involvement raises the interesting possibility that microtubule polymerization of midzone microtubules is continuously required to sustain chromosome segregation during mitosis.

  12. Calcium signaling and the MAPK cascade are required for sperm activation in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Zhiyu; Wang, Bin; He, Ruijun; Zhao, Yanmei; Miao, Long

    2014-02-01

    In nematode, sperm activation (or spermiogenesis), a process in which the symmetric and non-motile spermatids transform into polarized and crawling spermatozoa, is critical for sperm cells to acquire fertilizing competence. SPE-8 dependent and SPE-8 independent pathways function redundantly during sperm activation in both males and hermaphrodites of Caenorhabditis elegans. However, the downstream signaling for both pathways remains unclear. Here we show that calcium signaling and the MAPK cascade are required for both SPE-8 dependent and SPE-8 independent sperm activation, implying that both pathways share common downstream signaling components during sperm activation. We demonstrate that activation of the MAPK cascade is sufficient to activate spermatids derived from either wild-type or spe-8 group mutant males and that activation of the MAPK cascade bypasses the requirement of calcium signal to induce sperm activation, indicating that the MAPK cascade functions downstream of or parallel with the calcium signaling during sperm activation. Interestingly, the persistent activation of MAPK in activated spermatozoa inhibits Major Sperm Protein (MSP)-based cytoskeleton dynamics. We demonstrate that MAPK plays dual roles in promoting pseudopod extension during sperm activation but also blocking the MSP-based, amoeboid motility of the spermatozoa. Thus, though nematode sperm are crawling cells, morphologically distinct from flagellated sperm, and the molecular machinery for motility of amoeboid and flagellated sperm is different, both types of sperm might utilize conserved signaling pathways to modulate sperm maturation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Pharyngeal pumping in Caenorhabditis elegans depends on tonic and phasic signaling from the nervous system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trojanowski, Nicholas F.; Raizen, David M.; Fang-Yen, Christopher

    2016-01-01

    Rhythmic movements are ubiquitous in animal locomotion, feeding, and circulatory systems. In some systems, the muscle itself generates rhythmic contractions. In others, rhythms are generated by the nervous system or by interactions between the nervous system and muscles. In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, feeding occurs via rhythmic contractions (pumping) of the pharynx, a neuromuscular feeding organ. Here, we use pharmacology, optogenetics, genetics, and electrophysiology to investigate the roles of the nervous system and muscle in generating pharyngeal pumping. Hyperpolarization of the nervous system using a histamine-gated chloride channel abolishes pumping, and optogenetic stimulation of pharyngeal muscle in these animals causes abnormal contractions, demonstrating that normal pumping requires nervous system function. In mutants that pump slowly due to defective nervous system function, tonic muscle stimulation causes rapid pumping, suggesting tonic neurotransmitter release may regulate pumping. However, tonic cholinergic motor neuron stimulation, but not tonic muscle stimulation, triggers pumps that electrophysiologically resemble typical rapid pumps. This suggests that pharyngeal cholinergic motor neurons are normally rhythmically, and not tonically active. These results demonstrate that the pharynx generates a myogenic rhythm in the presence of tonically released acetylcholine, and suggest that the pharyngeal nervous system entrains contraction rate and timing through phasic neurotransmitter release. PMID:26976078

  17. Loss of Acetylcholine Signaling Reduces Cell Clearance Deficiencies in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sérgio M Pinto

    Full Text Available The ability to eliminate undesired cells by apoptosis is a key mechanism to maintain organismal health and homeostasis. Failure to clear apoptotic cells efficiently can cause autoimmune diseases in mammals. Genetic studies in Caenorhabditis elegans have greatly helped to decipher the regulation of apoptotic cell clearance. In this study, we show that the loss of levamisole-sensitive acetylcholine receptor, but not of a typical neuronal acetylcholine receptor causes a reduction in the number of persistent cell corpses in worms suffering from an engulfment deficiency. This reduction is not caused by impaired or delayed cell death but rather by a partial restoration of the cell clearance capacity. Mutants in acetylcholine turn-over elicit a similar phenotype, implying that acetylcholine signaling is the process responsible for these observations. Surprisingly, tissue specific RNAi suggests that UNC-38, a major component of the levamisole-sensitive receptor, functions in the dying germ cell to influence engulfment efficiency. Animals with loss of acetylcholine receptor exhibit a higher fraction of cell corpses positive for the "eat-me" signal phosphatidylserine. Our results suggest that modulation by ion channels of ion flow across plasma membrane in dying cells can influence the dynamics of phosphatidylserine exposure and thus clearance efficiency.

  18. Centripetal flow of pseudopodial surface components could propel the amoeboid movement of Caenorhabditis elegans spermatozoa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, T M; Ward, S

    1982-01-01

    Latex beads and wheat germ agglutinin (WGA) were used to examine the movement of membrane components on amoeboid spermatozoa of Caenorhabditis elegans. The behavior of beads attached to the cell revealed continuous, directed movement from the tip of the pseudopod to its base, but no movement on the cell body. Lectin receptors are also cleared from the pseudopod (4). Blocking preexisting lectin receptors with unlabeled WGA followed by pulse-labeling wih fluorescent WGA showed that new lectin receptors are continuously inserted at the tip of the pseudopod. Like latex beads, these new lectin receptors move continuously over the pseudopod surface to the cell body-pseudopod junction where they are probably internalized. Mutants altering the rate of membrane flow, and eliminating its topographical asymmetry, have been identified. Together with the observation that fluorescent phospholipids are cleared from the pseudopod of developing spermatozoa at the same rate as lectin receptors (25), these results show that there is bulk membrane flow over the pseudopod with assembly at the tip and apparent disassembly at the base. There are no vesicles visible at either the pseudopodial tip or base, so these spermatozoa must have a novel mechanism for insertion and uptake of membrane components. This membrane flow could provide the forward propulsion of spermatozoa attached to a substrate by their pseudopods.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27558892

  20. Loss of Acetylcholine Signaling Reduces Cell Clearance Deficiencies in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinto, Sérgio M; Almendinger, Johann; Cabello, Juan; Hengartner, Michael O

    2016-01-01

    The ability to eliminate undesired cells by apoptosis is a key mechanism to maintain organismal health and homeostasis. Failure to clear apoptotic cells efficiently can cause autoimmune diseases in mammals. Genetic studies in Caenorhabditis elegans have greatly helped to decipher the regulation of apoptotic cell clearance. In this study, we show that the loss of levamisole-sensitive acetylcholine receptor, but not of a typical neuronal acetylcholine receptor causes a reduction in the number of persistent cell corpses in worms suffering from an engulfment deficiency. This reduction is not caused by impaired or delayed cell death but rather by a partial restoration of the cell clearance capacity. Mutants in acetylcholine turn-over elicit a similar phenotype, implying that acetylcholine signaling is the process responsible for these observations. Surprisingly, tissue specific RNAi suggests that UNC-38, a major component of the levamisole-sensitive receptor, functions in the dying germ cell to influence engulfment efficiency. Animals with loss of acetylcholine receptor exhibit a higher fraction of cell corpses positive for the "eat-me" signal phosphatidylserine. Our results suggest that modulation by ion channels of ion flow across plasma membrane in dying cells can influence the dynamics of phosphatidylserine exposure and thus clearance efficiency.

  1. Bacterial fatty acids enhance recovery from the dauer larva in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tiffany K Kaul

    Full Text Available The dauer larva is a specialized dispersal stage in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans that allows the animal to survive starvation for an extended period of time. The dauer does not feed, but uses chemosensation to identify new food sources and to determine whether to resume reproductive growth. Bacteria produce food signals that promote recovery of the dauer larva, but the chemical identities of these signals remain poorly defined. We find that bacterial fatty acids in the environment augment recovery from the dauer stage under permissive conditions. The effect of increased fatty acids on different dauer constitutive mutants indicates a role for insulin peptide secretion in coordinating recovery from the dauer stage in response to fatty acids. These data suggest that worms can sense the presence of fatty acids in the environment and that elevated levels can promote recovery from dauer arrest. This may be important in the natural environment where the dauer larva needs to determine whether the environment is appropriate to support reproductive growth following dauer exit.

  2. Bacterial fatty acids enhance recovery from the dauer larva in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaul, Tiffany K; Reis Rodrigues, Pedro; Ogungbe, Ifedayo V; Kapahi, Pankaj; Gill, Matthew S

    2014-01-01

    The dauer larva is a specialized dispersal stage in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans that allows the animal to survive starvation for an extended period of time. The dauer does not feed, but uses chemosensation to identify new food sources and to determine whether to resume reproductive growth. Bacteria produce food signals that promote recovery of the dauer larva, but the chemical identities of these signals remain poorly defined. We find that bacterial fatty acids in the environment augment recovery from the dauer stage under permissive conditions. The effect of increased fatty acids on different dauer constitutive mutants indicates a role for insulin peptide secretion in coordinating recovery from the dauer stage in response to fatty acids. These data suggest that worms can sense the presence of fatty acids in the environment and that elevated levels can promote recovery from dauer arrest. This may be important in the natural environment where the dauer larva needs to determine whether the environment is appropriate to support reproductive growth following dauer exit. PMID:24475206

  3. The conserved proteins CHE-12 and DYF-11 are required for sensory cilium function in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bacaj, Taulant; Lu, Yun; Shaham, Shai

    2008-02-01

    Sensory neuron cilia are evolutionarily conserved dendritic appendages that convert environmental stimuli into neuronal activity. Although several cilia components are known, the functions of many remain uncharacterized. Furthermore, the basis of morphological and functional differences between cilia remains largely unexplored. To understand the molecular basis of cilia morphogenesis and function, we studied the Caenorhabditis elegans mutants che-12 and dyf-11. These mutants fail to concentrate lipophilic dyes from their surroundings in sensory neurons and are chemotaxis defective. In che-12 mutants, sensory neuron cilia lack distal segments, while in dyf-11 animals, medial and distal segments are absent. CHE-12 and DYF-11 are conserved ciliary proteins that function cell-autonomously and are continuously required for maintenance of cilium morphology and function. CHE-12, composed primarily of HEAT repeats, may not be part of the intraflagellar transport (IFT) complex and is not required for the localization of some IFT components. DYF-11 undergoes IFT-like movement and may function at an early stage of IFT-B particle assembly. Intriguingly, while DYF-11 is expressed in all C. elegans ciliated neurons, CHE-12 expression is restricted to some amphid sensory neurons, suggesting a specific role in these neurons. Our results provide insight into general and neuron-specific aspects of cilium development and function. PMID:18245347

  4. 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. PMID:25453110

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

    The soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has become a popular genetic model organism used to study a broad range of complex biological processes, including development, aging, apoptosis, and DNA damage responses. Many genetic tools and tricks have been developed in C. elegans including knock down...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  12. H3K23me2 is a new heterochromatic mark in Caenorhabditis elegans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

    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...... 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...

  13. RAB-7 antagonizes LET-23 EGFR signaling during vulva development in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olga Skorobogata

    Full Text Available The Rab7 GTPase regulates late endosome trafficking of the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR to the lysosome for degradation. However, less is known about how Rab7 activity, functioning late in the endocytic pathway, affects EGFR signaling. Here we used Caenorhabditis elegans vulva cell fate induction, a paradigm for genetic analysis of EGFR/Receptor Tyrosine Kinase (RTK signaling, to assess the genetic requirements for rab-7. Using a rab-7 deletion mutant, we demonstrate that rab-7 antagonizes LET-23 EGFR signaling to a similar extent, but in a distinct manner, as previously described negative regulators such as sli-1 c-Cbl. Epistasis analysis places rab-7 upstream of or in parallel to lin-3 EGF and let-23 EGFR. However, expression of gfp::rab-7 in the Vulva Presursor Cells (VPCs is sufficient to rescue the rab-7(- VPC induction phenotypes indicating that RAB-7 functions in the signal receiving cell. We show that components of the Endosomal Sorting Complex Required for Transport (ESCRT-0, and -I, complexes, hgrs-1 Hrs, and vps-28, also antagonize signaling, suggesting that LET-23 EGFR likely transits through Multivesicular Bodies (MVBs en route to the lysosome. Consistent with RAB-7 regulating LET-23 EGFR trafficking, rab-7 mutants have increased number of LET-23::GFP-positive endosomes. Our data imply that Rab7, by mediating EGFR trafficking and degradation, plays an important role in downregulation of EGFR signaling. Failure to downregulate EGFR signaling contributes to oncogenesis, and thus Rab7 could possess tumor suppressor activity in humans.

  14. The conserved SKN-1/Nrf2 stress response pathway regulates synaptic function in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Trisha A Staab

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available The Nrf family of transcription factors plays a critical role in mediating adaptive responses to cellular stress and defends against neurodegeneration, aging, and cancer. Here, we report a novel role for the Caenorhabditis elegans Nrf homolog SKN-1 in regulating synaptic transmission at neuromuscular junctions (NMJs. Activation of SKN-1, either by acute pharmacological treatment with the mitochondrial toxin sodium arsenite or by mutations that cause constitutive SKN-1 activation, results in defects in neuromuscular function. Additionally, elimination of the conserved WD40 repeat protein WDR-23, a principal negative regulator of SKN-1, results in impaired locomotion and synaptic vesicle and neuropeptide release from cholinergic motor axons. Mutations that abolish skn-1 activity restore normal neuromuscular function to wdr-23 mutants and animals treated with toxin. We show that negative regulation of SKN-1 by WDR-23 in the intestine, but not at neuromuscular junctions, is necessary and sufficient for proper neuromuscular function. WDR-23 isoforms differentially localize to the outer membranes of mitochondria and to nuclei, and the effects of WDR-23 on neuromuscular function are dependent on its interaction with cullin E3 ubiquitin ligase. Finally, whole-transcriptome RNA sequencing of wdr-23 mutants reveals an increase in the expression of known SKN-1/Nrf2-regulated stress-response genes, as well as neurotransmission genes not previously implicated in SKN-1/Nrf2 responses. Together, our results indicate that SKN-1/Nrf2 activation may be a mechanism through which cellular stress, detected in one tissue, affects cellular function of a distal tissue through endocrine signaling. These results provide insight into how SKN-1/Nrf2 might protect the nervous system from damage in response to oxidative stress.

  15. Metalloproteins and phytochelatin synthase may confer protection against zinc oxide nanoparticle induced toxicity in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polak, Natasa; Read, Daniel S; Jurkschat, Kerstin; Matzke, Marianne; Kelly, Frank J; Spurgeon, David J; Stürzenbaum, Stephen R

    2014-03-01

    Zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnONPs) are used in large quantities by the cosmetic, food and textile industries. Here we exposed Caenorhabditis elegans wild-type and a metal sensitive triple knockout mutant (mtl-1;mtl-2;pcs-1) to ZnONPs (0-50mg/L) to study strain and exposure specific effects on transcription, reactive oxygen species generation, the biomolecular phenotype (measured by Raman microspectroscopy) and key endpoints of the nematode life cycle (growth, reproduction and lifespan). A significant dissolution effect was observed, where dissolved ZnO constituted over 50% of total Zn within a two day exposure to the test medium, suggesting that the nominal exposure to pure ZnONPs represents in vivo, at best, a mixture exposure of ionic zinc and nanoparticles. Nevertheless, the analyses provided evidence that the metallothioneins (mtl-1 and mtl-2), the phytochelatin synthase (pcs-1) and an apoptotic marker (cep-1) were transcriptionally activated. In addition, the DCFH-DA assay provided in vitro evidence of the oxidative potential of ZnONPs in the metal exposure sensitive triple mutant. Raman spectroscopy highlighted that the biomolecular phenotype changes significantly in the mtl-1;mtl-2;pcs-1 triple knockout worm upon ZnONP exposure, suggesting that these metalloproteins are instrumental in the protection against cytotoxic damage. Finally, ZnONP exposure was shown to decrease growth and development, reproductive capacity and lifespan, effects which were amplified in the triple knockout. By combining diverse toxicological strategies, we identified that individuals (genotypes) housing mutations in key metalloproteins and phytochelatin synthase are more susceptible to ZnONP exposure, which underlines their importance to minimize ZnONP induced toxicity.

  16. Analysis of Germline Stem Cell Differentiation Following Loss of GLP-1 Notch Activity in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, Paul M; Schedl, Tim

    2015-09-01

    Stem cells generate the differentiated progeny cells of adult tissues. Stem cells in the Caenorhabditis elegans hermaphrodite germline are maintained within a proliferative zone of ∼230 cells, ∼20 cell diameters in length, through GLP-1 Notch signaling. The distal tip cell caps the germline and supplies GLP-1-activating ligand, and the distal-most germ cells that occupy this niche are likely self-renewing stem cells with active GLP-1 signaling. As germ cells are displaced from the niche, GLP-1 activity likely decreases, yet mitotically cycling germ cells are found throughout the proliferative zone prior to overt meiotic differentiation. Following loss of GLP-1 activity, it remains unclear whether stem cells undergo transit-amplifying (TA) divisions or more directly enter meiosis. To distinguish between these possibilities we employed a temperature-sensitive (ts) glp-1 mutant to manipulate GLP-1 activity. We characterized proliferative zone dynamics in glp-1(ts) mutants at permissive temperature and then analyzed the kinetics of meiotic entry of proliferative zone cells after loss of GLP-1. We found that entry of proliferative zone cells into meiosis following loss of GLP-1 activity is largely synchronous and independent of their distal-proximal position. Furthermore, the majority of cells complete only a single mitotic division before entering meiosis, independent of their distal-proximal position. We conclude that germ cells do not undergo TA divisions following loss of GLP-1 activity. We present a model for the dynamics of the proliferative zone that utilizes cell cycle rate and proliferative zone size and output and incorporates the more direct meiotic differentiation of germ cells following loss of GLP-1 activity.

  17. 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.

  18. EPs7630(®) from Pelargonium sidoides increases stress resistance in Caenorhabditis elegans probably via the DAF-16/FOXO pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rezaizadehnajafi, Leila; Wink, Michael

    2014-03-15

    EPs7630(®) a water alcohol extract of the roots from Pelargonium sidoides contains several secondary metabolites including highly oxygenated coumarins, various phenolics and polyphenols. Using the DPPH assay to measure antioxidant activity a free radical scavenging activity of 14.7±0.85μg/ml (IC50) was determined. As an in vivo model Caenorhabditis elegans was applied to study the effect of EPs7630(®) on stress resistance. EPs7630(®) treatment reduces intracellular hsp-16.2::GFP expression (induced by the pro-oxidant juglone) indicating that the secondary metabolites of EPs7630(®) are bioavailable and exhibit antioxidant activities in vivo. Application of EPs7630(®) (50μg/ml) to the transgenic mutant TJ356 induced the migration of the transcription factor DAF-16 from cytosol to the nucleus, suggesting a prominent role of DAF-16/FOXO in the daf-2 pathway for stress resistance. PMID:24252337

  19. EGL-13/SoxD Specifies Distinct O2 and CO2 Sensory Neuron Fates in Caenorhabditis elegans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gramstrup Petersen, Jakob; Rojo Romanos, Teresa; Juozaityte, Vaida;

    2013-01-01

    Animals harbor specialized neuronal systems that are used for sensing and coordinating responses to changes in oxygen (O2) and carbon dioxide (CO2). In Caenorhabditis elegans, the O2/CO2 sensory system comprises functionally and morphologically distinct sensory neurons that mediate rapid behavioral...... responses to exquisite changes in O2 or CO2 levels via different sensory receptors. How the diversification of the O2- and CO2-sensing neurons is established is poorly understood. We show here that the molecular identity of both the BAG (O2/CO2-sensing) and the URX (O2-sensing) neurons is controlled...... by the phylogenetically conserved SoxD transcription factor homolog EGL-13. egl-13 mutant animals fail to fully express the distinct terminal gene batteries of the BAG and URX neurons and, as such, are unable to mount behavioral responses to changes in O2 and CO2. We found that the expression of egl-13 is regulated...

  20. NUC-1, a caenorhabditis elegans DNase II homolog, functions in an intermediate step of DNA degradation during apoptosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Y C; Stanfield, G M; Horvitz, H R

    2000-03-01

    One hallmark of apoptosis is the degradation of chromosomal DNA. We cloned the Caenorhabditis elegans gene nuc-1, which is involved in the degradation of the DNA of apoptotic cells, and found that nuc-1 encodes a homolog of mammalian DNase II. We used the TUNEL technique to assay DNA degradation in nuc-1 and other mutants defective in programmed cell death and discovered that TUNEL labels apoptotic cells only during a transient intermediate stage. Mutations in nuc-1 allowed the generation of TUNEL-reactive DNA but blocked the conversion of TUNEL-reactive DNA to a subsequent TUNEL-unreactive state. Completion of DNA degradation did not occur in the absence of cell-corpse engulfment. Our data suggest that the process of degradation of the DNA of a cell corpse occurs in at least three distinct steps and requires activities provided by both the dying and the engulfing cell.

  1. EPs7630(®) from Pelargonium sidoides increases stress resistance in Caenorhabditis elegans probably via the DAF-16/FOXO pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rezaizadehnajafi, Leila; Wink, Michael

    2014-03-15

    EPs7630(®) a water alcohol extract of the roots from Pelargonium sidoides contains several secondary metabolites including highly oxygenated coumarins, various phenolics and polyphenols. Using the DPPH assay to measure antioxidant activity a free radical scavenging activity of 14.7±0.85μg/ml (IC50) was determined. As an in vivo model Caenorhabditis elegans was applied to study the effect of EPs7630(®) on stress resistance. EPs7630(®) treatment reduces intracellular hsp-16.2::GFP expression (induced by the pro-oxidant juglone) indicating that the secondary metabolites of EPs7630(®) are bioavailable and exhibit antioxidant activities in vivo. Application of EPs7630(®) (50μg/ml) to the transgenic mutant TJ356 induced the migration of the transcription factor DAF-16 from cytosol to the nucleus, suggesting a prominent role of DAF-16/FOXO in the daf-2 pathway for stress resistance.

  2. 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.

  3. The myosin-binding UCS domain but not the Hsp90-binding TPR domain of the UNC-45 chaperone is essential for function in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ni, Weiming; Hutagalung, Alex H; Li, Shumin; Epstein, Henry F

    2011-09-15

    The UNC-45 family of molecular chaperones is expressed in metazoan organisms from Caenorhabditis elegans to humans. The UNC-45 protein is essential in C. elegans for early body-wall muscle cell development and A-band assembly. We show that the myosin-binding UCS domain of UNC-45 alone is sufficient to rescue lethal unc-45 null mutants arrested in embryonic muscle development and temperature-sensitive loss-of-function unc-45 mutants defective in worm A-band assembly. Removal of the Hsp90-binding TPR domain of UNC-45 does not affect rescue. Similar results were obtained with overexpression of the same fragments in wild-type nematodes when assayed for diminution of myosin accumulation and assembly. Titration experiments show that, on a per molecule basis, UCS has greater activity in C. elegans muscle in vivo than full-length UNC-45 protein, suggesting that UNC-45 is inhibited by either the TPR domain or its interaction with the general chaperone Hsp90. In vitro experiments with purified recombinant C. elegans Hsp90 and UNC-45 proteins show that they compete for binding to C. elegans myosin. Our in vivo genetic and in vitro biochemical experiments are consistent with a novel inhibitory role for Hsp90 with respect to UNC-45 action.

  4. The Lignan Pinoresinol Induces Nuclear Translocation of DAF-16 in Caenorhabditis elegans but has No Effect on Life Span.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koch, Karoline; Büchter, Christian; Havermann, Susannah; Wätjen, Wim

    2015-06-01

    The lignan pinoresinol is a constituent of flaxseed, sesame seeds and olive oil. Because of different molecular effects reported for this compound, e.g. antioxidative activity, pinoresinol is suggested to cause positive effects on humans. Because experimental data are limited, we have analysed the effects of the lignan on the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans: in spite of a strong antioxidative capacity detected in an in vitro assay, no antioxidative effects were detectable in vivo. In analogy to this result, no modulation of the sensitivity against thermal stress was detectable. However, incubation with pinoresinol caused an enhanced nuclear accumulation of the transcription factor DAF-16 (insulin/IGF-like signalling pathway). Using a strain with an enhanced oxidative stress level (mev-1 mutant), we clearly see an increase in stress resistance caused by this lignan, but no change in reactive oxygen species. Furthermore, we investigated the effects of pinoresinol on the life span of the nematode, but no modulation was found, neither in wild-type nor in mev-1 mutant nematodes. These results suggest that pinoresinol may exert pharmacologically interesting effects via modulation of the insulin-like signalling pathway in C. elegans as well as in other species like mammals due to the evolutionary conservation of this signalling pathway.

  5. Identification of longevity, fertility and growth-promoting properties of pomegranate in Caenorhabditis elegans

    OpenAIRE

    Kılıçgün, Hasan; Arda, Nazlı; Uçar, Evren Önay

    2015-01-01

    Background: Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) is commonly consumed as fresh fruit and fruit juice. It is also used in the production of jam, wine, food coloring agent, and flavor enhancer. Objective: The aim of this study was to identify the possible longevity, fertility and growth promoting properties of different ethanolic extract concentrations of pomegranate in Caenorhabditis elegans, which is increasingly popular and has proven to be a very useful experimental model organism for aging stu...

  6. 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.

  7. Intraflagellar transport in Caenorhabditis elegans: identification of novel proteins and behavioural functions

    OpenAIRE

    Inglis, Peter Nicholas

    2009-01-01

    Intraflagellar transport (IFT) is the dynamic bidirectional process required for the biogenesis and maintenance of eukaryotic cilia. Landmark studies exploiting the model organism Chlamydomonas reinhardtii have provided a basic mechanism for the process, although recent research examining IFT in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has revealed a greater complexity to the original model of IFT described in Chlamydomonas, which includes the orthologues of several human proteins involved in cili...

  8. Developmental Defects in a Caenorhabditis elegans Model for Type III Galactosemia

    OpenAIRE

    Brokate-Llanos, Ana M.; Monje, José M.; Murdoch, Piedad del Socorro; Manuel J. Muñoz

    2014-01-01

    Type III galactosemia is a metabolic disorder caused by reduced activity of UDP-galactose-4-epimerase, which participates in galactose metabolism and the generation of various UDP-sugar species. We characterized gale-1 in Caenorhabditis elegans and found that a complete loss-of-function mutation is lethal, as has been hypothesized for humans, whereas a nonlethal partial loss-of-function allele causes a variety of developmental abnormalities, likely resulting from the impairment of the glycosy...

  9. Multigenerational Effects of Heavy Metals on Feeding, Growth, Initial Reproduction and Antioxidants in Caenorhabditis elegans

    OpenAIRE

    ZhenYang Yu; Jing Zhang; DaQiang Yin

    2016-01-01

    Earlier studies showed that toxicities of excessive metals lasted over generations. Yet, these studies mainly employed one-generation exposure, and the effects of multigenerational challenges need further studies. Presently, Caenorhabditis elegans were exposed to cadmium, copper, lead and zinc for four consecutive generations (G1 to G4) at environmental concentrations. The feeding, growth, initial reproduction, superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) were determined. All data were repre...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Martinez-Finley, Ebany J.; Michael Aschner

    2011-01-01

    Metals have been definitively linked to a number of disease states. Due to the widespread existence of metals in our environment from both natural and anthropogenic sources, understanding the mechanisms of their cellular detoxification is of upmost importance. Organisms have evolved cellular detoxification systems including glutathione, metallothioneins, pumps and transporters, and heat shock proteins to regulate intracellular metal levels. The model organism, Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elega...

  11. Characterization of Argonaute-related small RNA pathways in Caenorhabditis elegans

    OpenAIRE

    Batista, Pedro Jorge de Oliveira Rodrigues

    2010-01-01

    Tese de doutoramento, Biologia (Genética), Universidade de Lisboa, Faculdade de Ciências, 2011 In Small-RNA-mediated pathways, small RNAs engage a protein of the Argonaute family and utilize base-pairing interactions to identify and regulate complementary genetic information. My research has focused on understanding how diverse classes of small RNAs in the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans interact with specific members of the Argonaute protein family to carry out unique bi...

  12. A Novel Heme-responsive Element Mediates Transcriptional Regulation in Caenorhabditis elegans*

    OpenAIRE

    Sinclair, Jason; Hamza, Iqbal

    2010-01-01

    Hemes are prosthetic groups that participate in diverse biochemical pathways across phylogeny. Although heme can also regulate broad physiological processes by directly modulating gene expression in Metazoa, the regulatory pathways for sensing and responding to heme are not well defined. Caenorhabditis elegans is a heme auxotroph and relies solely on environmental heme for sustenance. Worms respond to heme availability by regulating heme-responsive genes such as hrg-1, an intestinal heme tran...

  13. Allyl isothiocyanate induced stress response in Caenorhabditis elegans

    OpenAIRE

    Saini AkalRachna K; Tyler Robert T; Shim Youn; Reaney Martin JT

    2011-01-01

    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 ...

  14. Dual Excitatory and Inhibitory Serotonergic Inputs Modulate Egg Laying in Caenorhabditis elegans

    OpenAIRE

    Hapiak, Vera M.; Hobson, Robert J.; Hughes, Lindsay; Smith, Katherine; Harris, Gareth; Condon, Christina; Komuniecki, Patricia; Komuniecki, Richard W.

    2009-01-01

    Serotonin (5-HT) regulates key processes in both vertebrates and invertebrates. Previously, four 5-HT receptors that contributed to the 5-HT modulation of egg laying were identified in Caenorhabditis elegans. Therefore, to assess potential receptor interactions, we generated animals containing combinations of null alleles for each receptor, especially animals expressing only individual 5-HT receptors. 5-HT-stimulated egg laying and egg retention correlated well with different combinations of ...

  15. EHBP-1 Functions with RAB-10 during Endocytic Recycling in Caenorhabditis elegans

    OpenAIRE

    Shi, Anbing; Chen, Carlos Chih-Hsiung; Banerjee, Riju; Glodowski, Doreen; Audhya, Anjon; Rongo, Christopher; Grant, Barth D.

    2010-01-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans RAB-10 functions in endocytic recycling in polarized cells, regulating basolateral cargo transport in the intestinal epithelia and postsynaptic cargo transport in interneurons. A similar role was found for mammalian Rab10 in MDCK cells, suggesting that a conserved mechanism regulates these related pathways in metazoans. In a yeast two-hybrid screen for binding partners of RAB-10 we identified EHBP-1, a calponin homology domain (CH) protein, whose mammalian homolog Ehbp1...

  16. Intragenic alternative splicing coordination is essential for Caenorhabditis elegans slo-1 gene function

    OpenAIRE

    Glauser, Dominique A; Johnson, Brandon E.; Aldrich, Richard W; Goodman, Miriam B.

    2012-01-01

    Alternative splicing is critical for diversifying eukaryotic proteomes, but the rules governing and coordinating splicing events among multiple alternate splice sites within individual genes are not well understood. We developed a quantitative PCR-based strategy to quantify the expression of the 12 transcripts encoded by the Caenorhabditis elegans slo-1 gene, containing three alternate splice sites. Using conditional probability-based models, we show that splicing events are coordinated acros...

  17. 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.

  18. The novel dipeptide Tyr-Ala (TA) significantly enhances the lifespan and healthspan of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Z; Zhao, Y; Wang, X; Lin, R; Zhang, Y; Ma, H; Guo, Y; Xu, L; Zhao, B

    2016-04-01

    Food-derived bioactive peptides may have various physiological modulatory and regulatory functions and are now being studied extensively. Recently, the novel dipeptide Tyr-Ala was isolated from hydrolyzed maize protein. Tyr-Ala significantly prolonged the lifespan of wild-type Caenorhabditis elegans and extended the nematode healthspan and lifespan during heat/oxidative stress. Compared with its constituent amino acids, Tyr-Ala was more efficient in enhancing stress resistance. Further studies demonstrated that the significant longevity-extending effects of Tyr-Ala on Caenorhabditis elegans were attributed to its in vitro and in vivo free radical-scavenging effects, in addition to its ability to up-regulate stress resistance-related proteins, such as SOD (Superoxide Dismutase)-3 and HSP (Heat Shock Protein)-16.2. Real-time PCR results showed that the up-regulation of aging-associated genes, such as daf-16, sod-3, hsp-16.2 and skn-1, also contributed to the stress-resistance effect of Tyr-Ala. These results indicate that the novel dipeptide Tyr-Ala can protect against external stress and thus extend the lifespan and healthspan of Caenorhabditis elegans. Thereby, Tyr-Ala could be used as a potential medicine in anti-aging research. PMID:26987062

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kun Zhou

    2015-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  1. Mg2+ Extrusion from Intestinal Epithelia by CNNM Proteins Is Essential for Gonadogenesis via AMPK-TORC1 Signaling in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishii, Tasuku; Funato, Yosuke; Hashizume, Osamu; Yamazaki, Daisuke; Hirata, Yusuke; Nishiwaki, Kiyoji; Kono, Nozomu; Arai, Hiroyuki; Miki, Hiroaki

    2016-01-01

    Mg2+ serves as an essential cofactor for numerous enzymes and its levels are tightly regulated by various Mg2+ transporters. Here, we analyzed Caenorhabditis elegans strains carrying mutations in genes encoding cyclin M (CNNM) Mg2+ transporters. We isolated inactivating mutants for each of the five Caenorhabditis elegans cnnm family genes, cnnm-1 through cnnm-5. cnnm-1; cnnm-3 double mutant worms showed various phenotypes, among which the sterile phenotype was rescued by supplementing the media with Mg2+. This sterility was caused by a gonadogenesis defect with severely attenuated proliferation of germ cells. Using this gonadogenesis defect as an indicator, we performed genome-wide RNAi screening, to search for genes associated with this phenotype. The results revealed that RNAi-mediated inactivation of several genes restores gonad elongation, including aak-2, which encodes the catalytic subunit of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). We then generated triple mutant worms for cnnm-1; cnnm-3; aak-2 and confirmed that the aak-2 mutation also suppressed the defective gonadal elongation in cnnm-1; cnnm-3 mutant worms. AMPK is activated under low-energy conditions and plays a central role in regulating cellular metabolism to adapt to the energy status of cells. Thus, we provide genetic evidence linking Mg2+ homeostasis to energy metabolism via AMPK. PMID:27564576

  2. Altered Function of the DnaJ Family Cochaperone DNJ-17 Modulates Locomotor Circuit Activity in a Caenorhabditis elegans Seizure Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takayanagi-Kiya, Seika; Jin, Yishi

    2016-01-01

    The highly conserved cochaperone DnaJ/Hsp40 family proteins are known to interact with molecular chaperone Hsp70, and can regulate many cellular processes including protein folding, translocation, and degradation. In studies of Caenorhabditis elegans locomotion mutants, we identified a gain-of-function (gf) mutation in dnj-17 closely linked to the widely used e156 null allele of C. elegans GAD (glutamic acid decarboxylase) unc-25. dnj-17 encodes a DnaJ protein orthologous to human DNAJA5. In C. elegans DNJ-17 is a cytosolic protein and is broadly expressed in many tissues. dnj-17(gf) causes a single amino acid substitution in a conserved domain, and behaves as a hypermorphic mutation. The effect of this dnj-17(gf) is most prominent in mutants lacking GABA synaptic transmission. In a seizure model caused by a mutation in the ionotropic acetylcholine receptor acr-2(gf), dnj-17(gf) exacerbates the convulsion phenotype in conjunction with absence of GABA. Null mutants of dnj-17 show mild resistance to aldicarb, while dnj-17(gf) is hypersensitive. These results highlight the importance of DnaJ proteins in regulation of C. elegans locomotor circuit, and provide insights into the in vivo roles of DnaJ proteins in humans. PMID:27185401

  3. Characterization of the Caenorhabditis elegans UDP-galactopyranose mutase homolog glf-1 reveals an essential role for galactofuranose metabolism in nematode surface coat synthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novelli, Jacopo F; Chaudhary, Kshitiz; Canovas, Julie; Benner, Jack S; Madinger, Catherine L; Kelly, Paul; Hodgkin, Jonathan; Carlow, Clotilde K S

    2009-11-15

    Galactofuranose (Gal(f)), the furanoic form of d-galactose produced by UDP-galactopyranose mutases (UGMs), is present in surface glycans of some prokaryotes and lower eukaryotes. Absence of the Gal(f) biosynthetic pathway in vertebrates and its importance in several pathogens make UGMs attractive drug targets. Since the existence of Gal(f) in nematodes has not been established, we investigated the role of the Caenorhabditis elegans UGM homolog glf-1 in worm development. glf-1 mutants display significant late embryonic and larval lethality, and other phenotypes indicative of defective surface coat synthesis, the glycan-rich outermost layer of the nematode cuticle. The glf homolog from the protozoan Leishmania major partially complements C. elegans glf-1. glf-1 mutants rescued by L. major glf, which behave as glf-1 hypomorphs, display resistance to infection by Microbacterium nematophilum, a pathogen of rhabditid nematodes thought to bind to surface coat glycans. To confirm the presence of Gal(f) in C. elegans, we analyzed C. elegans nucleotide sugar pools using online electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry (ESI-MS). UDP-Gal(f) was detected in wild-type animals while absent in glf-1 deletion mutants. Our data indicate that Gal(f) likely has a pivotal role in maintenance of surface integrity in nematodes, supporting investigation of UGM as a drug target in parasitic species.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kelvin Yen

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

  5. Dynein modifiers in C. elegans: light chains suppress conditional heavy chain mutants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sean M O'Rourke

    2007-08-01

    Full Text Available Cytoplasmic dynein is a microtubule-dependent motor protein that functions in mitotic cells during centrosome separation, metaphase chromosome congression, anaphase spindle elongation, and chromosome segregation. Dynein is also utilized during interphase for vesicle transport and organelle positioning. While numerous cellular processes require cytoplasmic dynein, the mechanisms that target and regulate this microtubule motor remain largely unknown. By screening a conditional Caenorhabditis elegans cytoplasmic dynein heavy chain mutant at a semipermissive temperature with a genome-wide RNA interference library to reduce gene functions, we have isolated and characterized twenty dynein-specific suppressor genes. When reduced in function, these genes suppress dynein mutants but not other conditionally mutant loci, and twelve of the 20 specific suppressors do not exhibit sterile or lethal phenotypes when their function is reduced in wild-type worms. Many of the suppressor proteins, including two dynein light chains, localize to subcellular sites that overlap with those reported by others for the dynein heavy chain. Furthermore, knocking down any one of four putative dynein accessory chains suppresses the conditional heavy chain mutants, suggesting that some accessory chains negatively regulate heavy chain function. We also identified 29 additional genes that, when reduced in function, suppress conditional mutations not only in dynein but also in loci required for unrelated essential processes. In conclusion, we have identified twenty genes that in many cases are not essential themselves but are conserved and when reduced in function can suppress conditionally lethal C. elegans cytoplasmic dynein heavy chain mutants. We conclude that conserved but nonessential genes contribute to dynein function during the essential process of mitosis.

  6. 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.

  7. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as an integrated toxicological tool to assess water quality and pollution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clavijo, Araceli; Kronberg, María Florencia; Rossen, Ariana; Moya, Aldana; Calvo, Daniel; Salatino, Santa Esmeralda; Pagano, Eduardo Antonio; Morábito, José Antonio; Munarriz, Eliana Rosa

    2016-11-01

    Determination of water quality status in rivers is critical to establish a sustainable water management policy. For this reason, over the last decades it has been recommended to perform integrated water assessments that include water quantities and physicochemical, ecological and toxicological tests. However, sometimes resources are limited and it is not possible to perform large-scale chemical determinations of pollutants or conduct numerous ecotoxicological tests. To overcome this problem we use and measure the growth, as a response parameter, of the soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to assess water quality in rivers. The C. elegans is a ubiquitous organism that has emerged as an important model organism in aquatic and soil toxicology research. The Tunuyán River Basin (Province of Mendoza, Argentina) has been selected as a representative traditional water monitoring system to test the applicability of the C. elegans toxicological bioassay to generate an integrated water quality evaluation. Jointly with the C. elegans toxic assays, physicochemical and bacteriological parameters were determined for each monitoring site. C. elegans bioassays help to identify different water qualities in the river basin. Multivariate statistical analysis (PCA and linear regression models) has allowed us to confirm that traditional water quality studies do not predict potential toxic effects on living organisms. On the contrary, physicochemical and bacteriological analyzes explain water quality threats. Our results confirm that the C. elegans bioassay is a sensible and suitable tool to assess toxicity and should be implemented in routine water quality monitoring. PMID:27343944

  8. Identification of gamma-aminobutyric acid and its binding sites in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schaeffer, J.M.; Bergstrom, A.R.

    1988-01-01

    Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), glutamate decarboxylase and GABA-transaminase were identified in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. The concentration of GABA in C. elegans is approximately 10-fold lower than the concentration of GABA in rat brain. Glutamate decarboxylase and GABA-transaminase, the GABA anabolic and catabolic enzymes, are also present in C. elegans. Crude membrane fractions were prepared from C. elegans and used to study specific (/sup 3/H) GABA binding sites. GABA binds to C. elegans membranes with high affinity and low capacity. Muscimol is a competitive inhibitor of specific GABA binding with a K/sub I/ value of 120 nM. None of the other GABA agonists or antagonists inhibited greater than 40% of the specific GABA binding at concentrations up to 10/sup -4/M. Thirteen spider venoms were examined as possible GABA agonists or antagonists, the venom from Calilena agelenidae inhibits specific GABA binding with a K/sub I/ value of 6 nl/ml. These results suggest that GABA has a physiological role as a neurotransmitter in C. elegans.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as an integrated toxicological tool to assess water quality and pollution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clavijo, Araceli; Kronberg, María Florencia; Rossen, Ariana; Moya, Aldana; Calvo, Daniel; Salatino, Santa Esmeralda; Pagano, Eduardo Antonio; Morábito, José Antonio; Munarriz, Eliana Rosa

    2016-11-01

    Determination of water quality status in rivers is critical to establish a sustainable water management policy. For this reason, over the last decades it has been recommended to perform integrated water assessments that include water quantities and physicochemical, ecological and toxicological tests. However, sometimes resources are limited and it is not possible to perform large-scale chemical determinations of pollutants or conduct numerous ecotoxicological tests. To overcome this problem we use and measure the growth, as a response parameter, of the soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to assess water quality in rivers. The C. elegans is a ubiquitous organism that has emerged as an important model organism in aquatic and soil toxicology research. The Tunuyán River Basin (Province of Mendoza, Argentina) has been selected as a representative traditional water monitoring system to test the applicability of the C. elegans toxicological bioassay to generate an integrated water quality evaluation. Jointly with the C. elegans toxic assays, physicochemical and bacteriological parameters were determined for each monitoring site. C. elegans bioassays help to identify different water qualities in the river basin. Multivariate statistical analysis (PCA and linear regression models) has allowed us to confirm that traditional water quality studies do not predict potential toxic effects on living organisms. On the contrary, physicochemical and bacteriological analyzes explain water quality threats. Our results confirm that the C. elegans bioassay is a sensible and suitable tool to assess toxicity and should be implemented in routine water quality monitoring.

  11. Radiation biology of Caenorhabditis elegans. Germ cell response, aging and behavior

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heran Ma

    2016-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    Telomeres are involved in the maintenance of chromosomes and the prevention of genome instability. Despite this central importance, significant variation in telomere length has been observed in a variety of organisms. The genetic determinants of telomere-length variation and their effects on organismal fitness are largely unexplored. Here, we describe natural variation in telomere length across the Caenorhabditis elegans species. We identify a large-effect variant that contributes to differences in telomere length. The variant alters the conserved oligonucleotide/oligosaccharide-binding fold of protection of telomeres 2 (POT-2), a homolog of a human telomere-capping shelterin complex subunit. Mutations within this domain likely reduce the ability of POT-2 to bind telomeric DNA, thereby increasing telomere length. We find that telomere-length variation does not correlate with offspring production or longevity in C. elegans wild isolates, suggesting that naturally long telomeres play a limited role in modifying fitness phenotypes in C. elegans. PMID:27449056

  14. Reference toxicants for toxicity testing using Caenorhabditis elegans in aquatic media

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cressman, C.P. III; Williams, P.L. [Univ. of Georgia, Athens, GA (United States)

    1997-09-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans aquatic toxicity assays were standardized with five common reference toxicants: CdCl{sub 2}, NaCl, KCl, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), and sodium pentachlorophenate (PCP). Aquatic toxicity testing was conducted in 3 media: a standard C. elegans medium; EPA moderately hard reconstituted water; and EPA moderately hard mineral water. Test duration in each medium was 24h without a food source, and 24h and 48h with Escherichia coli strain OP50 as a food source. Each test was replicated three times with each replicate having 6 wells per concentration, 10 worms per well. LC{sub 50} values were calculated using probit analysis. The average LC{sub 50}s for each set of replications were compared to assess sensitivity and reproducibility of the data, identifying expected variation between replicate tests. These reference toxicants increase the database for C. elegans and provide a benchmark for further application.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Combination of thioridazine and dicloxacillin combats Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections in Caenorhabditis elegans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Poulsen, Marianne Ø; Schøler, Lone Vedel; Nielsen, Anette;

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ebany J. Martinez-Finley

    2011-01-01

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

  20. Inducing RNAi in Caenorhabditis elegans by Injection of dsRNA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammell, Christopher M; Hannon, Gregory J

    2016-01-04

    In Caenorhabditis elegans, long double-stranded RNAs (dsRNAs) are overwhelmingly the trigger of choice for inducing RNA interference (RNAi). Although injection of dsRNA into the somatic or germline tissues of animals requires both specific equipment and technical skills, the ability of C. elegans to amplify the initial dsRNA trigger and to transmit the RNAi activity to other somatic tissues and to the progeny of injected animals is one of the main advantages of using C. elegans as a model system. The direct injection of dsRNA into parental animals is the most reliable method for RNAi and also presents the least experiment-to-experiment and animal-to-animal variability.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yunkyu Sohn

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available The modular organization of networks of individual neurons interwoven through synapses has not been fully explored due to the incredible complexity of the connectivity architecture. Here we use the modularity-based community detection method for directed, weighted networks to examine hierarchically organized modules in the complete wiring diagram (connectome of Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans and to investigate their topological properties. Incorporating bilateral symmetry of the network as an important cue for proper cluster assignment, we identified anatomical clusters in the C. elegans connectome, including a body-spanning cluster, which correspond to experimentally identified functional circuits. Moreover, the hierarchical organization of the five clusters explains the systemic cooperation (e.g., mechanosensation, chemosensation, and navigation that occurs among the structurally segregated biological circuits to produce higher-order complex behaviors.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sohn, Yunkyu; Choi, Myung-Kyu; Ahn, Yong-Yeol; Lee, Junho; Jeong, Jaeseung

    2011-05-01

    The modular organization of networks of individual neurons interwoven through synapses has not been fully explored due to the incredible complexity of the connectivity architecture. Here we use the modularity-based community detection method for directed, weighted networks to examine hierarchically organized modules in the complete wiring diagram (connectome) of Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) and to investigate their topological properties. Incorporating bilateral symmetry of the network as an important cue for proper cluster assignment, we identified anatomical clusters in the C. elegans connectome, including a body-spanning cluster, which correspond to experimentally identified functional circuits. Moreover, the hierarchical organization of the five clusters explains the systemic cooperation (e.g., mechanosensation, chemosensation, and navigation) that occurs among the structurally segregated biological circuits to produce higher-order complex behaviors. PMID:21625578

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

    CERN Document Server

    Varier, Sreedevi; 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1001044

    2011-01-01

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

  4. The heparan sulfate-modifying enzyme glucuronyl C5-epimerase HSE-5 controls Caenorhabditis elegans Q neuroblast polarization during migration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xiangming; Liu, Jianhong; Zhu, Zhiwen; Ou, Guangshuo

    2015-03-15

    Directional cell migration is fundamental for neural development, and extracellular factors are pivotal for this process. Heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) that carry long chains of differentially modified sugar residues contribute to extracellular matrix; however, the functions of HSPG in guiding cell migration remain elusive. Here, we used the Caenorhabditis elegans mutant pool from the Million Mutation Project and isolated a mutant allele of the heparan sulfate-modifying enzyme glucuronyl C5-epimerase HSE-5. Loss-of-function of this enzyme resulted in defective Q neuroblast migration. We showed that hse-5 controlled Q cell migration in a cell non-autonomous manner. By performing live cell imaging in hse-5 mutant animals, we found that hse-5 controlled initial polarization during Q neuroblast migration. Furthermore, our genetic epistasis analysis demonstrated that lon-2 might act downstream of hse-5. Finally, rescue of the hse-5 mutant phenotype by expression of human and mouse hse-5 homologs suggested a conserved function for this gene in neural development. Taken together, our results indicated that proper HSPG modification in the extracellular matrix by HSE-5 is essential for neuroblast polarity during migration.

  5. SLX-1 is required for maintaining genomic integrity and promoting meiotic noncrossovers in the Caenorhabditis elegans germline.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takamune T Saito

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Although the SLX4 complex, which includes structure-specific nucleases such as XPF, MUS81, and SLX1, plays important roles in the repair of several kinds of DNA damage, the function of SLX1 in the germline remains unknown. Here we characterized the endonuclease activities of the Caenorhabditis elegans SLX-1-HIM-18/SLX-4 complex co-purified from human 293T cells and determined SLX-1 germline function via analysis of slx-1(tm2644 mutants. SLX-1 shows a HIM-18/SLX-4-dependent endonuclease activity toward replication forks, 5'-flaps, and Holliday junctions. slx-1 mutants exhibit hypersensitivity to UV, nitrogen mustard, and camptothecin, but not gamma irradiation. Consistent with a role in DNA repair, recombination intermediates accumulate in both mitotic and meiotic germ cells in slx-1 mutants. Importantly, meiotic crossover distribution, but not crossover frequency, is altered on chromosomes in slx-1 mutants compared to wild type. This alteration is not due to changes in either the levels or distribution of double-strand breaks (DSBs along chromosomes. We propose that SLX-1 is required for repair at stalled or collapsed replication forks, interstrand crosslink repair, and nucleotide excision repair during mitosis. Moreover, we hypothesize that SLX-1 regulates the crossover landscape during meiosis by acting as a noncrossover-promoting factor in a subset of DSBs.

  6. Globin-like proteins in Caenorhabditis elegans: in vivo localization, ligand binding and structural properties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Van Doorslaer Sabine

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The genome of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans contains more than 30 putative globin genes that all are transcribed. Although their translated amino acid sequences fit the globin fold, a variety of amino-acid substitutions and extensions generate a wide structural diversity among the putative globins. No information is available on the physicochemical properties and the in vivo expression. Results We expressed the globins in a bacterial system, characterized the purified proteins by optical and resonance Raman spectroscopy, measured the kinetics and equilibria of O2 binding and determined the crystal structure of GLB-1* (CysGH2 → Ser mutant. Furthermore, we studied the expression patterns of glb-1 (ZK637.13 and glb-26 (T22C1.2 in the worms using green fluorescent protein technology and measured alterations of their transcript abundances under hypoxic conditions.GLB-1* displays the classical three-over-three α-helical sandwich of vertebrate globins, assembled in a homodimer associated through facing E- and F-helices. Within the heme pocket the dioxygen molecule is stabilized by a hydrogen bonded network including TyrB10 and GlnE7.GLB-1 exhibits high ligand affinity, which is, however, lower than in other globins with the same distal TyrB10-GlnE7 amino-acid pair. In the absence of external ligands, the heme ferrous iron of GLB-26 is strongly hexacoordinated with HisE7, which could explain its extremely low affinity for CO. This globin oxidizes instantly to the ferric form in the presence of oxygen and is therefore incapable of reversible oxygen binding. Conclusion The presented data indicate that GLB-1 and GLB-26 belong to two functionally-different globin classes.

  7. Rifampicin reduces advanced glycation end products and activates DAF-16 to increase lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golegaonkar, Sandeep; Tabrez, Syed S; Pandit, Awadhesh; Sethurathinam, Shalini; Jagadeeshaprasad, Mashanipalya G; Bansode, Sneha; Sampathkumar, Srinivasa-Gopalan; Kulkarni, Mahesh J; Mukhopadhyay, Arnab

    2015-06-01

    Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are formed when glucose reacts nonenzymatically with proteins; these modifications are implicated in aging and pathogenesis of many age-related diseases including type II diabetes, atherosclerosis, and neurodegenerative disorders. Thus, pharmaceutical interventions that can reduce AGEs may delay age-onset diseases and extend lifespan. Using LC-MS(E), we show that rifampicin (RIF) reduces glycation of important cellular proteins in vivo and consequently increases lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans by up to 60%. RIF analog rifamycin SV (RSV) possesses similar properties, while rifaximin (RMN) lacks antiglycation activity and therefore fails to affect lifespan positively. The efficacy of RIF and RSV as potent antiglycating agents may be attributed to the presence of a p-dihydroxyl moiety that can potentially undergo spontaneous oxidation to yield highly reactive p-quinone structures, a feature absent in RMN. We also show that supplementing rifampicin late in adulthood is sufficient to increase lifespan. For its effect on longevity, rifampicin requires DAF-18 (nematode PTEN) as well as JNK-1 and activates DAF-16, the FOXO homolog. Interestingly, the drug treatment modulates transcription of a different subset of DAF-16 target genes, those not controlled by the conserved Insulin-IGF-1-like signaling pathway. RIF failed to increase the lifespan of daf-16 null mutant despite reducing glycation, showing thereby that DAF-16 may not directly affect AGE formation. Together, our data suggest that the dual ability to reduce glycation in vivo and activate prolongevity processes through DAF-16 makes RIF and RSV effective lifespan-extending interventions.

  8. The control of cell growth and body size in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuck, Simon

    2014-02-01

    One of the most important ways in which animal species vary is in their size. Individuals of the largest animal ever thought to have lived, the blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus), can reach a weight of 190 t and a length of over 30 m. At the other extreme, among the smallest multicellular animals are males of the parasitic wasp, Dicopomorpha echmepterygis, which even as adults are just 140 μm in length. In terms of volume, these species differ by more than 14 orders of magnitude. Since size has such profound effects on an organism's ecology, anatomy and physiology, an important task for evolutionary biology and ecology is to account for why organisms grow to their characteristic sizes. Equally, a full description of an organism's development must include an explanation of how its growth and body size are regulated. Here I review research on how these processes are controlled in the nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans. Analyses of small and long mutants have revealed that in the worm, DBL-1, a ligand in the TGFβ superfamily family, promotes growth in a dose-dependent manner. DBL-1 signaling affects body size by stimulating the growth of syncytial hypodermal cells rather than controlling cell division. Signals from chemosensory neurons and from the gonad also modulate body size, in part, independently of DBL-1-mediated signaling. Organismal size and morphology is heavily influenced by the cuticle, which acts as the exoskeleton. Finally, I summarize research on several genes that appear to regulate body size by cell autonomously regulating cell growth throughout the worm. PMID:24262077

  9. Defining specificity determinants of cGMP mediated gustatory sensory transduction in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Heidi K; Luo, Linjiao; O'Halloran, Damien; Guo, Dagang; Huang, Xin-Yun; Samuel, Aravinthan D T; Hobert, Oliver

    2013-08-01

    Cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) is a key secondary messenger used in signal transduction in various types of sensory neurons. The importance of cGMP in the ASE gustatory receptor neurons of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans was deduced by the observation that multiple receptor-type guanylyl cyclases (rGCs), encoded by the gcy genes, and two presently known cyclic nucleotide-gated ion channel subunits, encoded by the tax-2 and tax-4 genes, are essential for ASE-mediated gustatory behavior. We describe here specific mechanistic features of cGMP-mediated signal transduction in the ASE neurons. First, we assess the specificity of the sensory functions of individual rGC proteins. We have previously shown that multiple rGC proteins are expressed in a left/right asymmetric manner in the functionally lateralized ASE neurons and are required to sense distinct salt cues. Through domain swap experiments among three different rGC proteins, we show here that the specificity of individual rGC proteins lies in their extracellular domains and not in their intracellular, signal-transducing domains. Furthermore, we find that rGC proteins are also sufficient to confer salt sensory responses to other neurons. Both findings support the hypothesis that rGC proteins are salt receptor proteins. Second, we identify a novel, likely downstream effector of the rGC proteins in gustatory signal transduction, a previously uncharacterized cyclic nucleotide-gated (CNG) ion channel, encoded by the che-6 locus. che-6 mutants show defects in gustatory sensory transduction that are similar to defects observed in animals lacking the tax-2 and tax-4 CNG channels. In contrast, thermosensory signal transduction, which also requires tax-2 and tax-4, does not require che-6, but requires another CNG, cng-3. We propose that CHE-6 may form together with two other CNG subunits, TAX-2 and TAX-4, a gustatory neuron-specific heteromeric CNG channel complex. PMID:23695300

  10. Cell fate determination in the Caenorhabditis elegans epidermal lineages

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Soete, G.A.J.

    2007-01-01

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

  11. Caenorhabditis elegans glia modulate neuronal activity and behavior

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Randy F Stout

    2014-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mashock, Michael J.

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fierro-Gonzalez, Juan Carlos [Karolinska Institute, Center for Biosciences at NOVUM, Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, S-141 83 Huddinge (Sweden); Gonzalez-Barrios, Maria [Centro Andaluz de Biologia del Desarrollo (CABD-CSIC), Departamento de Fisiologia, Anatomia y Biologia Celular, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, E-41013 Sevilla (Spain); Miranda-Vizuete, Antonio, E-mail: amirviz@upo.es [Centro Andaluz de Biologia del Desarrollo (CABD-CSIC), Departamento de Fisiologia, Anatomia y Biologia Celular, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, E-41013 Sevilla (Spain); Instituto de Biomedicina de Sevilla, Hospital Universitario Virgen del Rocio/CSIC/Universidad de Sevilla, E-41013 Sevilla (Spain); Swoboda, Peter, E-mail: peter.swoboda@ki.se [Karolinska Institute, Center for Biosciences at NOVUM, Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, S-141 83 Huddinge (Sweden)

    2011-03-18

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

  15. Changes in apoptotic microRNA and mRNA expression profiling in Caenorhabditis elegans during the Shenzhou-8 mission

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Radiation and microgravity exposure have been proven to induce abnormal apoptosis in microRNA (miRNA) and mRNA expression, but whether space conditions, including radiation and microgravity, activate miRNAs to regulate the apoptosis is undetermined. For that purpose, we investigated miRNome and mRNA expression in the ced-1 Caenorhabditis elegans mutant vs the wild-type, both of which underwent spaceflight, spaceflight 1g-centrifuge control and ground control conditions during the Shenzhou-8 mission. Results showed that no morphological changes in the worms were detected, but differential miRNA expression increased from 43 (ground control condition) to 57 and 91 in spaceflight and spaceflight control conditions, respectively. Microgravity altered miRNA expression profiling by decreasing the number and significance of differentially expressed miRNA compared with 1 g incubation during spaceflight. Alterations in the miRNAs were involved in alterations in apoptosis, neurogenesis larval development, ATP metabolism and GTPase-mediated signal transduction. Among these, 17 altered miRNAs potentially involved in apoptosis were screened and showed obviously different expression signatures between space conditions. By integrated analysis of miRNA and mRNA, miR-797 and miR-81 may be involved in apoptosis by targeting the genes ced-10 and both drp-1 and hsp-1, respectively. Compared with ground condition, space conditions regulated apoptosis though a different manner on transcription, by altering expression of seven core apoptotic genes in spaceflight condition, and eight in spaceflight control condition. Results indicate that, miRNA of Caenorhabditis elegans probably regulates apoptotic gene expression in response to space environmental stress, and shows different behavior under microgravity condition compared with 1 g condition in the presence of space radiation. (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ulrich, Xialing

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

  17. Regulatory elements of Caenorhabditis elegans ribosomal protein genes

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    Sleumer Monica C

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Ribosomal protein genes (RPGs are essential, tightly regulated, and highly expressed during embryonic development and cell growth. Even though their protein sequences are strongly conserved, their mechanism of regulation is not conserved across yeast, Drosophila, and vertebrates. A recent investigation of genomic sequences conserved across both nematode species and associated with different gene groups indicated the existence of several elements in the upstream regions of C. elegans RPGs, providing a new insight regarding the regulation of these genes in C. elegans. Results In this study, we performed an in-depth examination of C. elegans RPG regulation and found nine highly conserved motifs in the upstream regions of C. elegans RPGs using the motif discovery algorithm DME. Four motifs were partially similar to transcription factor binding sites from C. elegans, Drosophila, yeast, and human. One pair of these motifs was found to co-occur in the upstream regions of 250 transcripts including 22 RPGs. The distance between the two motifs displayed a complex frequency pattern that was related to their relative orientation. We tested the impact of three of these motifs on the expression of rpl-2 using a series of reporter gene constructs and showed that all three motifs are necessary to maintain the high natural expression level of this gene. One of the motifs was similar to the binding site of an orthologue of POP-1, and we showed that RNAi knockdown of pop-1 impacts the expression of rpl-2. We further determined the transcription start site of rpl-2 by 5’ RACE and found that the motifs lie 40–90 bases upstream of the start site. We also found evidence that a noncoding RNA, contained within the outron of rpl-2, is co-transcribed with rpl-2 and cleaved during trans-splicing. Conclusions Our results indicate that C. elegans RPGs are regulated by a complex novel series of regulatory elements that is evolutionarily distinct from

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    2005-07-01

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

  19. 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).

  20. Induction of chemotaxis to sodium chloride and diacetyl and thermotaxis defects by microcystin-LR exposure in nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LI Yunhui; YE Huayue; DU Min; ZHANG Yanfen; YE Boping; PU Yuepu; WANG Dayong

    2009-01-01

    Apart from the liver disruption, embryotoxicity and genotoxicity, microcystin (MC)-LR also could cause neurotoxicity. Nematode Caenorhabditis elegans was explored as a model to study the neurotoxicity. In the present study, we provided evidence to indicate the neurotoxicity on chemotaxis to NaCl and diacetyl, and thermotaxis from MC-LR exposure to C. elegans. As a result, higher concentrations of MC-LR caused significantly severe defects of chemotaxis to NaC1 and diacetyl, and thermotaxis. The neurotoxicity on chemotaxis to NaCl and diacetyl, and thennotaxis from MC-LR exposure might be largely mediated by the damage on the corresponding sensory neurons (ASE, AWA, and AFD) and interneuron AIY. The expression levels of che-1 and odr-7 were significantly decreased (P<0.01) in animals exposed to MC-LR at concentrations lower than 10 μg/L, whereas the expression levels of ttx-1 and ttx-3 could be significantly (P<0.01) lowered in animals even exposed to 1 μg/L of MC-LR. Moreover, both the chemotaxis to NaCl and diacetyl and the thermotaxis were more significantly reduced m MC-LR exposed mutants of che-1(p674), odr-7(ky4), ttx-1(p767), and ttx-3(ks5) than those in exposed wild-type N2 animals at the same concentrations.

  1. Identification of DSB-1, a protein required for initiation of meiotic recombination in Caenorhabditis elegans, illuminates a crossover assurance checkpoint.

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    Ericca L Stamper

    Full Text Available Meiotic recombination, an essential aspect of sexual reproduction, is initiated by programmed DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs. DSBs are catalyzed by the widely-conserved Spo11 enzyme; however, the activity of Spo11 is regulated by additional factors that are poorly conserved through evolution. To expand our understanding of meiotic regulation, we have characterized a novel gene, dsb-1, that is specifically required for meiotic DSB formation in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. DSB-1 localizes to chromosomes during early meiotic prophase, coincident with the timing of DSB formation. DSB-1 also promotes normal protein levels and chromosome localization of DSB-2, a paralogous protein that plays a related role in initiating recombination. Mutations that disrupt crossover formation result in prolonged DSB-1 association with chromosomes, suggesting that nuclei may remain in a DSB-permissive state. Extended DSB-1 localization is seen even in mutants with defects in early recombination steps, including spo-11, suggesting that the absence of crossover precursors triggers the extension. Strikingly, failure to form a crossover precursor on a single chromosome pair is sufficient to extend the localization of DSB-1 on all chromosomes in the same nucleus. Based on these observations we propose a model for crossover assurance that acts through DSB-1 to maintain a DSB-permissive state until all chromosome pairs acquire crossover precursors. This work identifies a novel component of the DSB machinery in C. elegans, and sheds light on an important pathway that regulates DSB formation for crossover assurance.

  2. Makorin ortholog LEP-2 regulates LIN-28 stability to promote the juvenile-to-adult transition in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrera, R Antonio; Kiontke, Karin; Fitch, David H A

    2016-03-01

    The heterochronic genes lin-28, let-7 and lin-41 regulate fundamental developmental transitions in animals, such as stemness versus differentiation and juvenile versus adult states. We identify a new heterochronic gene, lep-2, in Caenorhabditis elegans. Mutations in lep-2 cause a delay in the juvenile-to-adult transition, with adult males retaining pointed, juvenile tail tips, and displaying defective sexual behaviors. In both sexes, lep-2 mutants fail to cease molting or produce an adult cuticle. We find that LEP-2 post-translationally regulates LIN-28 by promoting LIN-28 protein degradation. lep-2 encodes the sole C. elegans ortholog of the Makorin (Mkrn) family of proteins. Like lin-28 and other heterochronic pathway members, vertebrate Mkrns are involved in developmental switches, including the timing of pubertal onset in humans. Based on shared roles, conservation and the interaction between lep-2 and lin-28 shown here, we propose that Mkrns, together with other heterochronic genes, constitute an evolutionarily ancient conserved module regulating switches in development.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

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

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    Mark G Sterken

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

  5. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The National Research Council has outlined the need for non-mammalian toxicological models to test the potential health effects of a large number of chemicals while also reducing the use of traditional animal models. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is an attractive alternative model because of its well-characterized and evolutionarily conserved biology, low cost, and ability to be used in high-throughput screening. A high-throughput method is described for quantifying the reproductive capacity of C. elegans exposed to chemicals for 48 h from the last larval stage (L4) to adulthood using a COPAS Biosort. Initially, the effects of exposure conditions that could influence reproduction were defined. Concentrations of DMSO vehicle ≤ 1% did not affect reproduction. Previous studies indicated that C. elegans may be influenced by exposure to low pH conditions. At pHs greater than 4.5, C. elegans reproduction was not affected; however below this pH there was a significant decrease in the number of offspring. Cadmium chloride was chosen as a model toxicant to verify that automated measurements were comparable to those of traditional observational studies. EC50 values for cadmium for automated measurements (176-192 μM) were comparable to those previously reported for a 72-h exposure using manual counting (151 μM). The toxicity of seven test toxicants on C. elegans reproduction was highly correlative with rodent lethality suggesting that this assay may be useful in predicting the potential toxicity of chemicals in other organisms.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

    Mitochondrial dysfunction is at the core of many diseases ranging from inherited metabolic diseases to common conditions that are associated with aging. Although associations between aging and mitochondrial function have been identified using mammalian models, much of the mechanistic insight has emerged from Caenorhabditis elegans. Mitochondrial respiration is recognized as an indicator of mitochondrial health. The Seahorse XF96 respirometer represents the state-of-the-art platform for assessing respiration in cells, and we adapted the technique for applications involving C. elegans. Here we provide a detailed protocol to optimize and measure respiration in C. elegans with the XF96 respirometer, including the interpretation of parameters and results. The protocol takes ∼2 d to complete, excluding the time spent culturing C. elegans, and it includes (i) the preparation of C. elegans samples, (ii) selection and loading of compounds to be injected, (iii) preparation and execution of a run with the XF96 respirometer and (iv) postexperimental data analysis, including normalization. In addition, we compare our XF96 application with other existing techniques, including the eight-well Seahorse XFp. The main benefits of the XF96 include the limited number of worms required and the high throughput capacity due to the 96-well format. PMID:27583642

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-22

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

  9. Excision repair of UV radiation-induced DNA damage in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hartman, P.S.; Hevelone, J.; Dwarakanath, V.; Mitchell, D.L. (Texas Christian Univ., Fort Worth (USA))

    1989-06-01

    Radioimmunoassays were used to monitor the removal of antibody-binding sites associated with the two major UV radiation-induced DNA photoproducts (cyclobutane dimers and (6-4) photoproducts). Unlike with cultured human cells, where (6-4) photoproducts are removed more rapidly than cyclobutane dimers, the kinetics of repair were similar for both lesions. Repair capacity in wild type diminished throughout development. The radioimmunoassays were also employed to confirm the absence of photoreactivation in C. elegans. In addition, three radiation-sensitive mutants (rad-1, rad-2, rad-7) displayed normal repair capacities. An excision defect was much more pronounced in larvae than embryos in the fourth mutant tested (rad-3). This correlates with the hypersensitivity pattern of this mutant and suggests that DNA repair may be developmentally regulated in C. elegans. The mechanism of DNA repair in C. elegans as well as the relationship between the repair of specific photoproducts and UV radiation sensitivity during development are discussed.

  10. Caenorhabditis elegans RSD-2 and RSD-6 promote germ cell immortality by maintaining small interfering RNA populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakaguchi, Aisa; Sarkies, Peter; Simon, Matt; Doebley, Anna-Lisa; Goldstein, Leonard D; Hedges, Ashley; Ikegami, Kohta; Alvares, Stacy M; Yang, Liwei; LaRocque, Jeannine R; Hall, Julie; Miska, Eric A; Ahmed, Shawn

    2014-10-14

    Germ cells are maintained in a pristine non-aging state as they proliferate over generations. Here, we show that a novel function of the Caenorhabditis elegans RNA interference proteins RNAi spreading defective (RSD)-2 and RSD-6 is to promote germ cell immortality at high temperature. rsd mutants cultured at high temperatures became progressively sterile and displayed loss of small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) that target spermatogenesis genes, simple repeats, and transposons. Desilencing of spermatogenesis genes occurred in late-generation rsd mutants, although defective spermatogenesis was insufficient to explain the majority of sterility. Increased expression of repetitive loci occurred in both germ and somatic cells of late-generation rsd mutant adults, suggesting that desilencing of many heterochromatic segments of the genome contributes to sterility. Nuclear RNAi defective (NRDE)-2 promotes nuclear silencing in response to exogenous double-stranded RNA, and our data imply that RSD-2, RSD-6, and NRDE-2 function in a common transgenerational nuclear silencing pathway that responds to endogenous siRNAs. We propose that RSD-2 and RSD-6 promote germ cell immortality at stressful temperatures by maintaining transgenerational epigenetic inheritance of endogenous siRNA populations that promote genome silencing. PMID:25258416

  11. Regulation of fertility, survival, and cuticle collagen function by the Caenorhabditis elegans eaf-1 and ell-1 genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cai, Liquan; Phong, Binh L; Fisher, Alfred L; Wang, Zhou

    2011-10-14

    EAF2, an androgen-regulated protein, interacts with members of the ELL (eleven-nineteen lysine-rich leukemia) transcription factor family and also acts as a tumor suppressor. Although these proteins control transcriptional elongation and perhaps modulate the effects of other transcription factors, the mechanisms of their actions remain largely unknown. To gain new insights into the biology of the EAF2 and ELL family proteins, we used Caenorhabditis elegans as a model to explore the in vivo roles of their worm orthologs. Through the use of transgenic worms, RNAi, and an eaf-1 mutant, we found that both genes are expressed in multiple cell types throughout the worm life cycle and that they play important roles in fertility, survival, and body size regulation. ELL-1 and EAF-1 likely contribute to these activities in part through modulating cuticle synthesis, given that we observed a disrupted cuticle structure in ell-1 RNAi-treated or eaf-1 mutant worms. Consistent with disruption of cuticle structure, loss of either ELL-1 or EAF-1 suppressed the rol phenotype of specific collagen mutants, possibly through the control of dpy-3, dpy-13, and sqt-3 collagen gene expression. Furthermore, we also noted the regulation of collagen expression by ELL overexpression in PC3 human prostate cancer cells. Together, these results reveal important roles for the eaf-1 and ell-1 genes in the regulation of extracellular matrix components.

  12. The effect of dys-1 mutation on miRNA expression profile in Caenorhabditis elegans during Shenzhou-8 mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Dan; Sun, Yeqing; Gao, Ying; Xing, Yanfang

    microRNAs (miRNAs) is reported to be sensitive to radiation exposure and altered gravity, involved in a variety of biological processes through negative regulation of gene expression. Dystrophin-like dys-1 gene is expressed and required in muscle tissue, which plays a vital role in mechanical transduction when gravity varies. In the present study, we investigated the effect of dys-1 mutation on miRNA expression profile in Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) under space radiation associated with microgravity (R+M) and radiation alone (R) environment during Shenzhou-8 mission. We performed miRNA microarray analysis in dys-1 mutant and wide-type (WT) of dauer larvae and found that 27 miRNAs changed in abundance after spaceflight. Compared with WT, there was different miRNA expression pattern in different treatments in dys-1 mutant. Cel-miR-796 and miR-124 were reversely expressed under R+M and R environment in WT and dys-1 mutant, respectively, indicating they might be affected by microgravity. Mutation of dys-1 remarkably reduced the number of altered miRNAs under space environment, resulting in the decrease of genes in biological categories of “body morphogenesis”, “behavior”, “cell adhesion” and so on. Particularly, we found that those genes controlling regulation of locomotion in WT were lost in dys-1 mutant, while genes in positive regulation of developmental process only existed in dys-1 mutant. miR-796 was predicted to target genes ace-1 and dyc-1 that are functionally linked to dys-1. Integration analysis of miRNA and mRNA expression profile revealed that miR-56 and miR-124 were involved in behavior and locomotion by regulating different target genes under space environment, among which nep-11, deb-1, C07H4.1 and F11H8.2 might be associated with neuromuscular system. Our findings suggest that dys-1 could cause alteration of miRNAs and target genes, involved in regulating the response of C. elegans to space microgravity in neuromuscular system. This

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

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    Christian Frøkjaer-Jensen

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakashita, Tetsuya

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

  15. Vulnerability-Based Critical Neurons, Synapses, and Pathways in the Caenorhabditis elegans Connectome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Seongkyun; Kim, Hyoungkyu; Kralik, Jerald D; Jeong, Jaeseung

    2016-08-01

    Determining the fundamental architectural design of complex nervous systems will lead to significant medical and technological advances. Yet it remains unclear how nervous systems evolved highly efficient networks with near optimal sharing of pathways that yet produce multiple distinct behaviors to reach the organism's goals. To determine this, the nematode roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans is an attractive model system. Progress has been made in delineating the behavioral circuits of the C. elegans, however, many details are unclear, including the specific functions of every neuron and synapse, as well as the extent the behavioral circuits are separate and parallel versus integrative and serial. Network analysis provides a normative approach to help specify the network design. We investigated the vulnerability of the Caenorhabditis elegans connectome by performing computational experiments that (a) "attacked" 279 individual neurons and 2,990 weighted synaptic connections (composed of 6,393 chemical synapses and 890 electrical junctions) and (b) quantified the effects of each removal on global network properties that influence information processing. The analysis identified 12 critical neurons and 29 critical synapses for establishing fundamental network properties. These critical constituents were found to be control elements-i.e., those with the most influence over multiple underlying pathways. Additionally, the critical synapses formed into circuit-level pathways. These emergent pathways provide evidence for (a) the importance of backward locomotion, avoidance behavior, and social feeding behavior to the organism; (b) the potential roles of specific neurons whose functions have been unclear; and PMID:27540747

  16. Caenorhabditis elegans: a model to monitor bacterial air quality

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    Duclairoir Poc Cécile

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Low environmental air quality is a significant cause of mortality and morbidity and this question is now emerging as a main concern of governmental authorities. Airborne pollution results from the combination of chemicals, fine particles, and micro-organisms quantitatively or qualitatively dangerous for health or for the environment. Increasing regulations and limitations for outdoor air quality have been decreed in regards to chemicals and particles contrary to micro-organisms. Indeed, pertinent and reliable tests to evaluate this biohazard are scarce. In this work, our purpose was to evaluate the Caenorhaditis elegans killing test, a model considered as an equivalent to the mouse acute toxicity test in pharmaceutical industry, in order to monitor air bacterial quality. Findings The present study investigates the bacterial population in dust clouds generated during crop ship loading in harbor installations (Rouen harbor, Normandy, France. With a biocollector, airborne bacteria were impacted onto the surface of agar medium. After incubation, a replicate of the colonies on a fresh agar medium was done using a velvet. All the replicated colonies were pooled creating the "Total Air Sample". Meanwhile, all the colonies on the original plate were isolated. Among which, five representative bacterial strains were chosen. The virulence of these representatives was compared to that of the "Total Air Sample" using the Caenorhaditis elegans killing test. The survival kinetic of nematodes fed with the "Total Air Sample" is consistent with the kinetics obtained using the five different representatives strains. Conclusions Bacterial air quality can now be monitored in a one shot test using the Caenorhaditis elegans killing test.

  17. Evaluation of the fluids mixing enclosure system for life science experiments during a commercial Caenorhabditis elegans spaceflight experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warren, Paul; Golden, Andy; Hanover, John; Love, Dona; Shephard, Freya; Szewczyk, Nathaniel J.

    2013-06-01

    The Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) is a United States national science, technology, engineering, and mathematics initiative that aims to increase student interest in science by offering opportunities to perform spaceflight experiments. The experiment detailed here was selected and flown aboard the third SSEP mission and the first SSEP mission to the International Space Station (ISS). Caenorhabditis elegans is a small, transparent, self-fertilizing hermaphroditic roundworm that is commonly used in biological experiments both on Earth and in Low Earth Orbit. Past experiments have found decreased expression of mRNA for several genes whose expression can be controlled by the FOXO transcription factor DAF-16. We flew a daf-16 mutant and control worms to determine if the effects of spaceflight on C. elegans are mediated by DAF-16. The experiment used a Type Two Fluids Mixing Enclosure (FME), developed by Nanoracks LLC, and was delivered to the ISS aboard the SpaceX Dragon and returned aboard the Russian Soyuz. The short time interval between experiment selection and the flight rendered preflight experiment verification tests impossible. In addition, published research regarding the viability of the FME in life science experiments was not available. The experiment was therefore structured in such a way as to gather the needed data. Here we report that C. elegans can survive relatively short storage and activation in the FME but cannot produce viable populations for post-flight analysis on extended missions. The FME appears to support short-duration life science experiments, potentially on supply or crew exchange missions, but not on longer ISS expeditions. Additionally, the flown FME was not properly activated, reportedly due to a flaw in training procedures. We suggest that a modified transparent FME could prevent similar failures in future flight experiments.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-08-01

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

  20. SGCEdb: a flexible database and web interface integrating experimental results and analysis for structural genomics focusing on Caenorhabditis elegans

    OpenAIRE

    David H Johnson; Tsao, Jun; Luo, Ming; Carson, Mike

    2005-01-01

    The SGCEdb () database/interface serves the primary purpose of reporting progress of the Structural Genomics of Caenorhabditis elegans project at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. It stores and analyzes results of experiments ranging from solubility screening arrays to individual protein purification and structure solution. External databases and algorithms are referenced and evaluated for target selection in the human, C.elegans and Pneumocystis carinii genomes. The flexible and reusa...

  1. Reliable reference miRNAs for quantitative gene expression analysis of stress responses in Caenorhabditis elegans

    OpenAIRE

    Kagias, Konstantinos; Podolska, Agnieszka; Pocock, Roger

    2014-01-01

    Background Quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) has become the “gold standard” for measuring expression levels of individual miRNAs. However, little is known about the validity of reference miRNAs, the improper use of which can result in misleading interpretation of data. Results Here we undertook a systematic approach to identify highly stable miRNAs in different stress conditions such as low oxygen (hypoxia), UV-stress and high temperature (heat-stress) in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. ...

  2. Centrosome movement in the early divisions of Caenorhabditis elegans: A cortical site determining centrosome position

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hyman, A.A. (Medical Research Council, Cambridge (England))

    1989-09-01

    In Caenorhabditis elegans embryos, early blastomeres of the P cell lineage divide successively on the same axis. This axis is a consequence of the specific rotational movement of the pair of centrosomes and nucleus. A laser has been used to perturb the centrosome movements that determine the pattern of early embryonic divisions. The results support a previously proposed model in which a centrosome rotates towards its correct position by shortening of connections, possibly microtubules, between a centrosome and a defined site on the cortex of the embryo.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Oxaloacetate supplementation increases lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans through an AMPK/FOXO-dependent pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, David S; Cash, Alan; Hamadani, Lara; Diemer, Tanja

    2009-12-01

    Reduced dietary intake increases lifespan in a wide variety of organisms. It also retards disease progression. We tested whether dietary supplementation of citric acid cycle metabolites could mimic this lifespan effect. We report that oxaloacetate supplementation increased lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans. The increase was dependent on the transcription factor, FOXO/DAF-16, and the energy sensor, AMP-activated protein kinase, indicating involvement of a pathway that is also required for lifespan extension through dietary restriction. These results demonstrate that supplementation of the citric acid cycle metabolite, oxaloacetate, influences a longevity pathway, and suggest a tractable means of introducing the health-related benefits of dietary restriction.

  5. The Cation Diffusion Facilitator Gene cdf-2 Mediates Zinc Metabolism in Caenorhabditis elegans

    OpenAIRE

    Davis, Diana E.; Roh, Hyun Cheol; Deshmukh, Krupa; Bruinsma, Janelle J.; Schneider, Daniel L.; Guthrie, James; Robertson, J. David; Kornfeld, Kerry

    2009-01-01

    Zinc is essential for many cellular processes. To use Caenorhabditis elegans to study zinc metabolism, we developed culture conditions allowing full control of dietary zinc and methods to measure zinc content of animals. Dietary zinc dramatically affected growth and zinc content; wild-type worms survived from 7 μm to 1.3 mm dietary zinc, and zinc content varied 27-fold. We investigated cdf-2, which encodes a predicted zinc transporter in the cation diffusion facilitator family. cdf-2 mRNA lev...

  6. 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 ...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

    Toxicity of nano-formulated silver to eukaryotes was assessed by exposing nematodes (Caenorhabditis elegans) to two types of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs): with average primary particle diameters of 1 nm (AgNP1) and 28 nm (AgNP28, PVP coated), respectively. Tests were performed with and without...... adverse dose-response effects and mortality on C. elegans. LC50 for AgNP28 was lower than for AgNP1 and, hence, at the present test conditions the PVP-coated AgNP28 was more toxic than AgNP1. Including E. coil in the test medium as a food source increased AgNPs toxicity towards nematodes compared to when...

  8. Chlorophyll enhances oxidative stress tolerance in Caenorhabditis elegans and extends its lifespan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Erjia

    2016-01-01

    Green vegetables are thought to be responsible for several beneficial properties such as antioxidant, anti-mutagenic, and detoxification activities. It is not known whether these effects are due to chlorophyll which exists in large amounts in many foods or result from other secondary metabolites. In this study, we used the model system Caenorhabditis elegans to investigate the anti-oxidative and anti-aging effects of chlorophyll in vivo. We found that chlorophyll significantly improves resistance to oxidative stress. It also enhances the lifespan of C. elegans by up to 25% via activation of the DAF-16/FOXO-dependent pathway. The results indicate that chlorophyll is absorbed by the worms and is thus bioavailable, constituting an important prerequisite for antioxidant and longevity-promoting activities inside the body. Our study thereby supports the view that green vegetables may also be beneficial for humans. PMID:27077003

  9. 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.

  10. 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. PMID:27486161

  11. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-02

    Aflatoxins B₁ (AFB₁), deoxynivalenol (DON), fumonisin B₁ (FB₁), T-2 toxin (T-2), and zearalenone (ZEA) are the major foodborne mycotoxins of public health concerns. In the present study, the multiple toxic endpoints of these naturally-occurring mycotoxins were evaluated in Caenorhabditis elegans model for their lethality, toxic effects on growth and reproduction, as well as influence on lifespan. We found that the lethality endpoint was more sensitive for T-2 toxicity with the EC50 at 1.38 mg/L, the growth endpoint was relatively sensitive for AFB₁ toxic effects, and the reproduction endpoint was more sensitive for toxicities of AFB₁, FB₁, and ZEA. Moreover, the lifespan endpoint was sensitive to toxic effects of all five tested mycotoxins. Data obtained from this study may serve as an important contribution to knowledge on assessment of mycotoxin toxic effects, especially for assessing developmental and reproductive toxic effects, using the C. elegans model.

  13. 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.

  14. Caenorhabditis elegans star formation and negative chemotaxis induced by infection with corynebacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antunes, Camila Azevedo; Clark, Laura; Wanuske, Marie-Therès; Hacker, Elena; Ott, Lisa; Simpson-Louredo, Liliane; de Luna, Maria das Gracas; Hirata, Raphael; Mattos-Guaraldi, Ana Luíza; Hodgkin, Jonathan; Burkovski, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans is one of the major model systems in biology based on advantageous properties such as short life span, transparency, genetic tractability and ease of culture using an Escherichia coli diet. In its natural habitat, compost and rotting plant material, this nematode lives on bacteria. However, C. elegans is a predator of bacteria, but can also be infected by nematopathogenic coryneform bacteria such Microbacterium and Leucobacter species, which display intriguing and diverse modes of pathogenicity. Depending on the nematode pathogen, aggregates of worms, termed worm-stars, can be formed, or severe rectal swelling, so-called Dar formation, can be induced. Using the human and animal pathogens Corynebacterium diphtheriae and Corynebacterium ulcerans as well as the non-pathogenic species Corynebacterium glutamicum, we show that these coryneform bacteria can also induce star formation slowly in worms, as well as a severe tail-swelling phenotype. While C. glutamicum had a significant, but minor influence on survival of C. elegans, nematodes were killed after infection with C. diphtheriae and C. ulcerans. The two pathogenic species were avoided by the nematodes and induced aversive learning in C. elegans. PMID:26490043

  15. Natural lignans from Arctium lappa as antiaging agents in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Shan; Wink, Michael

    2015-09-01

    Arctium lappa is a well-known traditional medicinal plant in China (TCM) and Europe that has been used for thousands of years to treat arthritis, baldness or cancer. The plant produces lignans as secondary metabolites, which have a wide range of bioactivities. Yet, their antiaging potential has not been explored. In this study, we isolated six lignans from A. lappa seeds, namely arctigenin, matairesinol, arctiin, (iso)lappaol A, lappaol C, and lappaol F. The antioxidant and antiaging properties of the isolated lignans were studied using Caenorhabditis elegans as a relevant animal model. All lignans at concentrations of 10 and 100 μM significantly extended the mean life span of C. elegans. The strongest effect was observed with matairesinol, which at a concentration of 100 μM extended the life span of worms by 25%. Additionally, we observed that five lignans are strong free radical-scavengers in vitro and in vivo and all lignans can improve survival of C. elegans under oxidative stress. Furthermore, the lignans can induce the nuclear translocation of the transcription factor DAF-16 and up-regulate its expression, suggesting that a possible underlying mechanism of the observed longevity-promoting activity of lignans depends on DAF-16 mediated signaling pathway. All lignans up-regulated the expression of jnk-1, indicating that lignans may promote the C. elegans longevity and stress resistance through a JNK-1-DAF-16 cascade. Our study reports new antiaging activities of lignans, which might be candidates for developing antiaging agents.

  16. Exercise in an electrotactic flow chamber ameliorates age-related degeneration in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chuang, Han-Sheng; Kuo, Wan-Jung; Lee, Chia-Lin; Chu, I-Hua; Chen, Chang-Shi

    2016-01-01

    Degeneration is a senescence process that occurs in all living organisms. Although tremendous efforts have been exerted to alleviate this degenerative tendency, minimal progress has been achieved to date. The nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), which shares over 60% genetic similarities with humans, is a model animal that is commonly used in studies on genetics, neuroscience, and molecular gerontology. However, studying the effect of exercise on C. elegans is difficult because of its small size unlike larger animals. To this end, we fabricated a flow chamber, called “worm treadmill,” to drive worms to exercise through swimming. In the device, the worms were oriented by electrotaxis on demand. After the exercise treatment, the lifespan, lipofuscin, reproductive capacity, and locomotive power of the worms were analyzed. The wild-type and the Alzheimer’s disease model strains were utilized in the assessment. Although degeneration remained irreversible, both exercise-treated strains indicated an improved tendency compared with their control counterparts. Furthermore, low oxidative stress and lipofuscin accumulation were also observed among the exercise-treated worms. We conjecture that escalated antioxidant enzymes imparted the worms with an extra capacity to scavenge excessive oxidative stress from their bodies, which alleviated the adverse effects of degeneration. Our study highlights the significance of exercise in degeneration from the perspective of the simple life form, C. elegans. PMID:27305857

  17. Material properties of of Caenorhabditis elegans swimming at low Reynolds number

    CERN Document Server

    Sznitman, Josue; Krajacic, Predrag; Lamitina, Todd; Arratia, Paulo E

    2009-01-01

    Undulatory locomotion, as seen in the nematode \\emph{Caenorhabditis elegans}, is a common swimming gait of organisms in the low Reynolds number regime, where viscous forces are dominant. While the nematode's motility is expected to be a strong function of its material properties, measurements remain scarce. Here, the swimming behavior of \\emph{C.} \\emph{elegans} are investigated in experiments and in a simple model. Experiments reveal that nematodes swim in a periodic fashion and generate traveling waves which decay from head to tail. The model is able to capture the experiments' main features and is used to estimate the nematode's Young's modulus $E$ and tissue viscosity $\\eta$. For wild-type \\emph{C. elegans}, we find $E\\approx 3.77$ kPa and $\\eta \\approx-860$ Pa$\\cdot$s; values of $\\eta$ for live \\emph{C. elegans} are negative because the tissue is generating rather than dissipating energy. Results show that material properties are sensitive to changes in muscle functional properties, and are useful quanti...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  19. Natural lignans from Arctium lappa as antiaging agents in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Shan; Wink, Michael

    2015-09-01

    Arctium lappa is a well-known traditional medicinal plant in China (TCM) and Europe that has been used for thousands of years to treat arthritis, baldness or cancer. The plant produces lignans as secondary metabolites, which have a wide range of bioactivities. Yet, their antiaging potential has not been explored. In this study, we isolated six lignans from A. lappa seeds, namely arctigenin, matairesinol, arctiin, (iso)lappaol A, lappaol C, and lappaol F. The antioxidant and antiaging properties of the isolated lignans were studied using Caenorhabditis elegans as a relevant animal model. All lignans at concentrations of 10 and 100 μM significantly extended the mean life span of C. elegans. The strongest effect was observed with matairesinol, which at a concentration of 100 μM extended the life span of worms by 25%. Additionally, we observed that five lignans are strong free radical-scavengers in vitro and in vivo and all lignans can improve survival of C. elegans under oxidative stress. Furthermore, the lignans can induce the nuclear translocation of the transcription factor DAF-16 and up-regulate its expression, suggesting that a possible underlying mechanism of the observed longevity-promoting activity of lignans depends on DAF-16 mediated signaling pathway. All lignans up-regulated the expression of jnk-1, indicating that lignans may promote the C. elegans longevity and stress resistance through a JNK-1-DAF-16 cascade. Our study reports new antiaging activities of lignans, which might be candidates for developing antiaging agents. PMID:26141518

  20. Multigenic natural variation underlies Caenorhabditis elegans olfactory preference for the bacterial pathogen Serratia marcescens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glater, Elizabeth E; Rockman, Matthew V; Bargmann, Cornelia I

    2014-02-19

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans can use olfaction to discriminate among different kinds of bacteria, its major food source. We asked how natural genetic variation contributes to choice behavior, focusing on differences in olfactory preference behavior between two wild-type C. elegans strains. The laboratory strain N2 strongly prefers the odor of Serratia marcescens, a soil bacterium that is pathogenic to C. elegans, to the odor of Escherichia coli, a commonly used laboratory food source. The divergent Hawaiian strain CB4856 has a weaker attraction to Serratia than the N2 strain, and this behavioral difference has a complex genetic basis. At least three quantitative trait loci (QTLs) from the CB4856 Hawaii strain (HW) with large effect sizes lead to reduced Serratia preference when introgressed into an N2 genetic background. These loci interact and have epistatic interactions with at least two antagonistic QTLs from HW that increase Serratia preference. The complex genetic architecture of this C. elegans trait is reminiscent of the architecture of mammalian metabolic and behavioral traits.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poulsen, Marianne Ø; Schøler, Lone; Nielsen, Anette; Skov, Marianne N; Kolmos, Hans Jørn; Kallipolitis, Birgitte H; Olsen, Anders; Klitgaard, Janne K

    2014-09-01

    The shortage of drugs active against meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a growing clinical problem. In vitro studies indicate that the phenothiazine thioridazine (TZ) might enhance the activity of the β-lactam antibiotic dicloxacillin (DCX) to a level where MRSA is killed, but experiments in simple animal models have not been performed. In the present study, we introduced Caenorhabditis elegans infected by S. aureus as an in vivo model to test the effect of TZ as a helper drug in combination with DCX. Because TZ is an anthelmintic, initial experiments were carried out to define the thresholds of toxicity, determined by larval development, and induction of stress-response markers. No measurable effects were seen at concentrations of less than 64 mg TZ l(-1). Seven different MRSA strains were tested for pathogenicity against C. elegans, and the most virulent strain (ATCC 33591) was selected for further analyses. In a final experiment, full-grown C. elegans were exposed to the test strain for 3 days and subsequently treated with 8 mg DCX l(-1) and 8 mg TZ l(-1) for 2 days. This resulted in a 14-fold reduction in the intestinal MRSA load as compared with untreated controls. Each drug alone resulted in a two- to threefold reduction in MRSA load. In conclusion, C. elegans can be used as a simple model to test synergy between DCX and TZ against MRSA. The previously demonstrated in vitro synergy can be reproduced in vivo. PMID:24913562

  2. Antioxidant and neuroprotective potential of chitooligomers in Caenorhabditis elegans exposed to Monocrotophos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nidheesh, T; Salim, Chinnu; Rajini, P S; Suresh, P V

    2016-01-01

    The objectives of this investigation were to establish the propensity of the chitooligomers (COS) to ameliorate neurodegeneration and oxidative stress in Caenorhabditis elegans induced by an organophosphorus insecticide, Monocrotophos (MCP). COS was prepared from α-chitosan by the enzymatic method using chitosanase and characterized by HPLC and electron spray ionization-TOF-(ESI-TOF)-MS. We exposed age synchronized L4 C. elegans worms (both wild type N2 and transgenic strain BZ555 (Pdat-1:GFP) to sublethal concentration of MCP (0.75mM) for 24h in the presence or absence of COS (0.2mM). The neuroprotective effect of COS was examined in N2 worms in terms of brood size, lifespan, egg laying, dopamine content, acetylcholinesterase and carboxylesterase activity and by direct visualization and quantification of degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in BZ555. Exposure to COS extended lifespan, normalized egg laying, increased brood size, decreased the dopaminergic neurodegeneration, increased the dopamine content and increased AChE and carboxylesterase activity in C. elegans treated with MCP. COS induced a significant decrease in reactive oxygen species and increased the reduced glutathione level as well as increased superoxide dismutase and catalase activity. Our findings demonstrate that COS significantly inhibits the dopaminergic neurodegeneration and associated physiological alterations induced by MCP in C. elegans by attenuating the oxidative stress as well.

  3. Identification of lipid droplet structure-like/resident proteins in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Na, Huimin; Zhang, Peng; Chen, Yong; Zhu, Xiaotong; Liu, Yi; Liu, Yangli; Xie, Kang; Xu, Ningyi; Yang, Fuquan; Yu, Yong; Cichello, Simon; Mak, Ho Yi; Wang, Meng C; Zhang, Hong; Liu, Pingsheng

    2015-10-01

    The lipid droplet (LD) is a cellular organelle that stores neutral lipids in cells and has been linked with metabolic disorders. Caenorhabditis elegans has many characteristics which make it an excellent animal model for studying LDs. However, unlike in mammalian cells, no LD structure-like/resident proteins have been identified in C. elegans, which has limited the utility of this model for the study of lipid storage and metabolism. Herein based on three lines of evidence, we identified that MDT-28 and DHS-3 previously identified in C. elegans LD proteome were two LD structure-like/resident proteins. First, MDT-28 and DHS-3 were found to be the two most abundant LD proteins in the worm. Second, the proteins were specifically localized to LDs and we identified the domains responsible for this targeting in both proteins. Third and most importantly, the depletion of MDT-28 induced LD clustering while DHS-3 deletion reduced triacylglycerol content (TAG). We further characterized the proteins finding that MDT-28 was ubiquitously expressed in the intestine, muscle, hypodermis, and embryos, whereas DHS-3 was expressed mainly in intestinal cells. Together, these two LD structure-like/resident proteins provide a basis for future mechanistic studies into the dynamics and functions of LDs in C. elegans.

  4. NeuCode Labeling in Nematodes: Proteomic and Phosphoproteomic Impact of Ascaroside Treatment in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rhoads, Timothy W; Prasad, Aman; Kwiecien, Nicholas W; Merrill, Anna E; Zawack, Kelson; Westphall, Michael S; Schroeder, Frank C; Kimble, Judith; Coon, Joshua J

    2015-11-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is an important model organism for biomedical research. We previously described NeuCode stable isotope labeling by amino acids in cell culture (SILAC), a method for accurate proteome quantification with potential for multiplexing beyond the limits of traditional stable isotope labeling by amino acids in cell culture. Here we apply NeuCode SILAC to profile the proteomic and phosphoproteomic response of C. elegans to two potent members of the ascaroside family of nematode pheromones. By consuming labeled E. coli as part of their diet, C. elegans nematodes quickly and easily incorporate the NeuCode heavy lysine isotopologues by the young adult stage. Using this approach, we report, at high confidence, one of the largest proteomic and phosphoproteomic data sets to date in C. elegans: 6596 proteins at a false discovery rate ≤ 1% and 6620 phosphorylation isoforms with localization probability ≥75%. Our data reveal a post-translational signature of pheromone sensing that includes many conserved proteins implicated in longevity and response to stress.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-09-01

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

  6. Identification of a gonadotropin-releasing hormone receptor orthologue in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sgro Jean-Yves

    2006-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Caenorhabditis elegans genome is known to code for at least 1149 G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs, but the GPCR(s critical to the regulation of reproduction in this nematode are not yet known. This study examined whether GPCRs orthologous to human gonadotropin-releasing hormone receptor (GnRHR exist in C. elegans. Results Our sequence analyses indicated the presence of two proteins in C. elegans, one of 401 amino acids [GenBank: NP_491453; WormBase: F54D7.3] and another of 379 amino acids [GenBank: NP_506566; WormBase: C15H11.2] with 46.9% and 44.7% nucleotide similarity to human GnRHR1 and GnRHR2, respectively. Like human GnRHR1, structural analysis of the C. elegans GnRHR1 orthologue (Ce-GnRHR predicted a rhodopsin family member with 7 transmembrane domains, G protein coupling sites and phosphorylation sites for protein kinase C. Of the functionally important amino acids in human GnRHR1, 56% were conserved in the C. elegans orthologue. Ce-GnRHR was actively transcribed in adult worms and immunoanalyses using antibodies generated against both human and C. elegans GnRHR indicated the presence of a 46-kDa protein, the calculated molecular mass of the immature Ce-GnRHR. Ce-GnRHR staining was specifically localized to the germline, intestine and pharynx. In the germline and intestine, Ce-GnRHR was localized specifically to nuclei as revealed by colocalization with a DNA nuclear stain. However in the pharynx, Ce-GnRHR was localized to the myofilament lattice of the pharyngeal musculature, suggesting a functional role for Ce-GnRHR signaling in the coupling of food intake with reproduction. Phylogenetic analyses support an early evolutionary origin of GnRH-like receptors, as evidenced by the hypothesized grouping of Ce-GnRHR, vertebrate GnRHRs, a molluscan GnRHR, and the adipokinetic hormone receptors (AKHRs and corazonin receptors of arthropods. Conclusion This is the first report of a GnRHR orthologue in C. elegans, which

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bacik, Karol A.; Schaub, Michael T.; Billeh, Yazan N.; Barahona, Mauricio

    2016-01-01

    We exploit flow propagation on the directed neuronal network of the nematode C. elegans to reveal dynamically relevant features of its connectome. We find flow-based groupings of neurons at different levels of granularity, which we relate to functional and anatomical constituents of its nervous system. A systematic in silico evaluation of the full set of single and double neuron ablations is used to identify deletions that induce the most severe disruptions of the multi-resolution flow structure. Such ablations are linked to functionally relevant neurons, and suggest potential candidates for further in vivo investigation. In addition, we use the directional patterns of incoming and outgoing network flows at all scales to identify flow profiles for the neurons in the connectome, without pre-imposing a priori categories. The four flow roles identified are linked to signal propagation motivated by biological input-response scenarios. PMID:27494178

  9. Crossover suppressors and balanced recessive lethals in Caenorhabditis elegans. [Nematode

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Herman, R.K.

    1978-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-01-01

    We used the nematode C. elegans to characterize the genotoxic and cytotoxic effects of ionizing radiation in a simple animal model emphasizing the unique effects of charged particle radiation. Here we demonstrate by RT-PCR differential display and whole genome microarray hybridization experiments that gamma rays, accelerated protons and iron ions at the same physical dose lead to unique transcription profiles. 599 of 17871 genes analyzed (3.4%) showed differential expression 3 hrs after exposure to 3 Gy of radiation. 193 were up-regulated, 406 were down-regulated and 90% were affected only by a single species of radiation. A novel statistical clustering technique identified the regulatory relationships between the radiation-modulated genes and showed that genes affected by each radiation species were associated with unique regulatory clusters. This suggests that independent homeostatic mechanisms are activated in response to radiation exposure as a function of track structure or ionization density.

  11. The jaw of the worm: GTPase-activating protein EAT-17 regulates grinder formation in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Straud, Sarah; Lee, Inhwan; Song, Bomi; Avery, Leon; You, Young-Jai

    2013-09-01

    Constitutive transport of cellular materials is essential for cell survival. Although multiple small GTPase Rab proteins are required for the process, few regulators of Rabs are known. Here we report that EAT-17, a novel GTPase-activating protein (GAP), regulates RAB-6.2 function in grinder formation in Caenorhabditis elegans. We identified EAT-17 as a novel RabGAP that interacts with RAB-6.2, a protein that presumably regulates vesicle trafficking between Golgi, the endoplasmic reticulum, and plasma membrane to form a functional grinder. EAT-17 has a canonical GAP domain that is critical for its function. RNA interference against 25 confirmed and/or predicted RABs in C. elegans shows that RNAi against rab-6.2 produces a phenotype identical to eat-17. A directed yeast two-hybrid screen using EAT-17 as bait and each of the 25 RAB proteins as prey identifies RAB-6.2 as the interacting partner of EAT-17, confirming that RAB-6.2 is a specific substrate of EAT-17. Additionally, deletion mutants of rab-6.2 show grinder defects identical to those of eat-17 loss-of-function mutants, and both RAB-6.2 and EAT-17 are expressed in the terminal bulb of the pharynx where the grinder is located. Collectively, these results suggest that EAT-17 is a specific GTPase-activating protein for RAB-6.2. Based on the conserved function of Rab6 in vesicular transport, we propose that EAT-17 regulates the turnover rate of RAB-6.2 activity in cargo trafficking for grinder formation.

  12. Pioneer Axon Navigation Is Controlled by AEX-3, a Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factor for RAB-3 in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhat, Jaffar M; Hutter, Harald

    2016-07-01

    Precise and accurate axon tract formation is an essential aspect of brain development. This is achieved by the migration of early outgrowing axons (pioneers) allowing later outgrowing axons (followers) to extend toward their targets in the embryo. In Caenorhabditis elegans the AVG neuron pioneers the right axon tract of the ventral nerve cord, the major longitudinal axon tract. AVG is essential for the guidance of follower axons and hence organization of the ventral nerve cord. In an enhancer screen for AVG axon guidance defects in a nid-1/Nidogen mutant background, we isolated an allele of aex-3 aex-3 mutant animals show highly penetrant AVG axon navigation defects. These defects are dependent on a mutation in nid-1/Nidogen, a basement membrane component. Our data suggest that AEX-3 activates RAB-3 in the context of AVG axon navigation. aex-3 genetically acts together with known players of vesicular exocytosis: unc-64/Syntaxin, unc-31/CAPS, and ida-1/IA-2. Furthermore our genetic interaction data suggest that AEX-3 and the UNC-6/Netrin receptor UNC-5 act in the same pathway, suggesting AEX-3 might regulate the trafficking and/or insertion of UNC-5 at the growth cone to mediate the proper guidance of the AVG axon. PMID:27116976

  13. Structural basis of preferential binding of fucose-containing saccharide by the Caenorhabditis elegans galectin LEC-6.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makyio, Hisayoshi; Takeuchi, Tomoharu; Tamura, Mayumi; Nishiyama, Kazusa; Takahashi, Hideyo; Natsugari, Hideaki; Arata, Yoichiro; Kasai, Ken-Ichi; Yamada, Yusuke; Wakatsuki, Soichi; Kato, Ryuichi

    2013-07-01

    Galectins are a group of lectins that can bind carbohydrate chains containing β-galactoside units. LEC-6, a member of galectins of Caenorhabditis elegans, binds fucose-containing saccharides. We solved the crystal structure of LEC-6 in complex with galactose-β1,4-fucose (Galβ1-4Fuc) at 1.5 Å resolution. The overall structure of the protein and the identities of the amino-acid residues binding to the disaccharide are similar to those of other galectins. However, further structural analysis and multiple sequence alignment between LEC-6 and other galectins indicate that a glutamic acid residue (Glu67) is important for the preferential binding between LEC-6 and the fucose moiety of the Galβ1-4Fuc unit. Frontal affinity chromatography analysis indicated that the affinities of E67D and E67A mutants for Galβ1-4Fuc are lower than that of wild-type LEC-6. Furthermore, the affinities of Glu67 mutants for an endogenous oligosaccharide, which contains a Galβ1-4Fuc unit, are drastically reduced relative to that of the wild-type protein. We conclude that the Glu67 in the oligosaccharide-binding site assists the recognition of the fucose moiety by LEC-6.

  14. The application of the comet assay to assess the genotoxicity of environmental pollutants in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    OpenAIRE

    Imanikia, Soudabeh; Galea, Francesca; Nagy, Eszter; Phillips, David H.; Stürzenbaum, Stephen R; Arlt, Volker M.

    2016-01-01

    This study aimed to establish a protocol for cell dissociation from the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) to assess the genotoxicity of the environmental pollutant benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) using the alkaline version of the single cell electrophoresis assay (comet assay). BaP genotoxicity was assessed in C. elegans (wild-type [WT]; N2, Bristol) after 48 h exposure (0 to 40 μM). Induction of comets by BaP was concentration-dependent up to 20 μM; comet % tail DNA was ∼30% at 20 μM BaP and...

  15. Lensfree Fluorescent On-Chip Imaging of Transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans Over an Ultra-Wide Field-of-View

    OpenAIRE

    Coskun, Ahmet F.; Sencan, Ikbal; Su, Ting-wei; Ozcan, Aydogan

    2011-01-01

    We demonstrate lensfree on-chip fluorescent imaging of transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) over an ultra-wide field-of-view (FOV) of e.g., >2–8 cm2 with a spatial resolution of ∼10µm. This is the first time that a lensfree on-chip platform has successfully imaged fluorescent C. elegans samples. In our wide-field lensfree imaging platform, the transgenic samples are excited using a prism interface from the side, where the pump light is rejected through total internal reflection occu...

  16. Lensfree Fluorescent On-Chip Imaging of Transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans Over an Ultra-Wide Field-of-View

    OpenAIRE

    Coskun, Ahmet F; Ikbal Sencan; Ting-Wei Su; Aydogan Ozcan

    2011-01-01

    We demonstrate lensfree on-chip fluorescent imaging of transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) over an ultra-wide field-of-view (FOV) of e.g., >2-8 cm(2) with a spatial resolution of ∼10 µm. This is the first time that a lensfree on-chip platform has successfully imaged fluorescent C. elegans samples. In our wide-field lensfree imaging platform, the transgenic samples are excited using a prism interface from the side, where the pump light is rejected through total internal reflection o...

  17. The general control nonderepressible-2 kinase mediates stress response and longevity induced by target of rapamycin inactivation in Caenorhabditis elegans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rousakis, Aris; Vlassis, Arsenios; Vlanti, Anna;

    2013-01-01

    The general control nonderepressible 2 (GCN2) kinase is a nutrient-sensing pathway that responds to amino acids deficiency and induces a genetic program to effectively maintain cellular homeostasis. Here we established the conserved role of Caenorhabditis elegans GCN-2 under amino acid limitation...

  18. Effects of ginsenosides, the active ingredients of Panax ginseng, on development, growth, and life span of Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ginsenosides, the active ingredients of Panax ginseng, are saponins derived from sterols. The free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a well-established model for biochemical and genetic studies in animals. Although cholesterol is an essential requirement for the growth and development of C. ...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Volkers, J.M.; Snoek, L.B.; Hellenberg Hubar, van C.J.; Coopman, R.; Chen, W.; Yang, Wentao; Sterken, M.G.; Schulenburg, H.; Braeckman, B.; Kammenga, J.E.

    2013-01-01

    Background: Analyzing and understanding the relationship between genotypes and phenotypes is at the heart of genetics. Research on the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has been instrumental for unraveling genotype-phenotype relations, and has important implications for understanding the biology of ma

  20. 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…

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

    , but experiments in simple animal models have not been performed. In the present study, we introduced Caenorhabditis elegans infected by S. aureus as an in vivo model to test the effect of TZ as a helper drug in combination with DCX. Because TZ is an anthelmintic, initial experiments were carried out to define...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam Pluskota

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

  3. A conserved juxtacrine signal regulates synaptic partner recognition in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mock Natalyn

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background An essential stage of neural development involves the assembly of neural circuits via formation of inter-neuronal connections. Early steps in neural circuit formation, including cell migration, axon guidance, and the localization of synaptic components, are well described. However, upon reaching their target region, most neurites still contact many potential partners. In order to assemble functional circuits, it is critical that within this group of cells, neurons identify and form connections only with their appropriate partners, a process we call synaptic partner recognition (SPR. To understand how SPR is mediated, we previously developed a genetically encoded fluorescent trans-synaptic marker called NLG-1 GRASP, which labels synaptic contacts between individual neurons of interest in dense cellular environments in the genetic model organism Caenorhabditis elegans. Results Here, we describe the first use of NLG-1 GRASP technology, to identify SPR genes that function in this critical process. The NLG-1 GRASP system allows us to assess synaptogenesis between PHB sensory neurons and AVA interneurons instantly in live animals, making genetic analysis feasible. Additionally, we employ a behavioral assay to specifically test PHB sensory circuit function. Utilizing this approach, we reveal a new role for the secreted UNC-6/Netrin ligand and its transmembrane receptor UNC-40/Deleted in colorectal cancer (DCC in SPR. Synapses between PHB and AVA are severely reduced in unc-6 and unc-40 animals despite normal axon guidance and subcellular localization of synaptic components. Additionally, behavioral defects indicate a complete disruption of PHB circuit function in unc-40 mutants. Our data indicate that UNC-40 and UNC-6 function in PHB and AVA, respectively, to specify SPR. Strikingly, overexpression of UNC-6 in postsynaptic neurons is sufficient to promote increased PHB-AVA synaptogenesis and to potentiate the behavioral response

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-29

    Hesperidin, abundant in citrus fruits, has a wide range of pharmacological effects, including anticarcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, radioprotective, and antiviral activities. However, relatively few studies on the effects of hesperidin on lipid metabolism have been reported. Here, using Caenorhaditis elegans as a model animal, we found that 100 μM hesperidin significantly decreased fat accumulation in both high-fat worms cultured in nematode growth medium containing 10 mM glucose (83.5 ± 1.2% versus control by Sudan Black B staining and 87.6 ± 2.0% versus control by Oil Red O staining; p acid/stearic acid (C18:1Δ9/C18:0) (p acid could restore the inhibitory effect of hesperidin on fat accumulation. Hesperidin significantly downregulated the expression of stearoyl-CoA desaturase, fat-6, and fat-7 (p < 0.05), and mutation of fat-6 and fat-7 reversed fat accumulation inhibited by hesperidin. In addition, hesperidin decreased the expression of other genes involved in lipid metabolism, including pod-2, mdt-15, acs-2, and kat-1 (p < 0.05). These results suggested that hesperidin reduced fat accumulation by affecting several lipid metabolism pathways, such as fat-6 and fat-7. This study provided new insights into elucidating the mechanism underlying the regulation of lipid metabolism by hesperidin. PMID:27267939

  5. 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. The DAF-7/TGF-β signaling pathway regulates abundance of the Caenorhabditis elegans glutamate receptor GLR-1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGehee, Annette M; Moss, Benjamin J; Juo, Peter

    2015-07-01

    Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) family signaling pathways have roles in both neuronal development and the regulation of synaptic function. Here we identify a novel role for the Caenorhabditis elegans DAF-7/TGF-β signaling pathway in the regulation of the AMPA-type glutamate receptor GLR-1. We found that the abundance of GLR-1 increases at synapses in the ventral nerve cord (VNC) of animals with loss-of-function mutations in multiple DAF-7/TGF-β pathway components including the TGF-β ligand DAF-7, the type I receptor DAF-1, and the Smads DAF-8 and DAF-14. The GLR-1 defect can be rescued by expression of daf-8 specifically in glr-1-expressing interneurons. The effect on GLR-1 was specific for the DAF-7 pathway because mutations in the DBL-1/TGF-β family pathway did not increase GLR-1 levels in the VNC. Immunoblot analysis indicates that total levels of GLR-1 protein are increased in neurons of DAF-7/TGF-β pathway mutants. The increased abundance of GLR-1 in the VNC of daf-7 pathway mutants is dependent on the transcriptional regulator DAF-3/Smad suggesting that DAF-3-dependent transcription controls GLR-1 levels. Furthermore, we found that glr-1 transcription is increased in daf-7 mutants based on a glr-1 transcriptional reporter. Together these results suggest that the DAF-7/TGF-β signaling pathway functions in neurons and negatively regulates the abundance of GLR-1, in part, by controlling transcription of the receptor itself. Finally, DAF-7/TGF-β pathway mutants exhibit changes in spontaneous locomotion that are dependent on endogenous GLR-1 and consistent with increased glutamatergic signaling. These results reveal a novel mechanism by which TGF-β signaling functions in the nervous system to regulate behavior.

  8. Coordination of Recombination with Meiotic Progression in the Caenorhabditis elegans Germline by KIN-18, a TAO Kinase That Regulates the Timing of MPK-1 Signaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, Yizhi; Donlevy, Sean; Smolikove, Sarit

    2016-01-01

    Meiosis is a tightly regulated process requiring coordination of diverse events. A conserved ERK/MAPK-signaling cascade plays an essential role in the regulation of meiotic progression. The Thousand And One kinase (TAO) kinase is a MAPK kinase kinase, the meiotic role of which is unknown. We have analyzed the meiotic functions of KIN-18, the homolog of mammalian TAO kinases, in Caenorhabditis elegans. We found that KIN-18 is essential for normal meiotic progression; mutants exhibit accelerated meiotic recombination as detected both by analysis of recombination intermediates and by crossover outcome. In addition, ectopic germ-cell differentiation and enhanced levels of apoptosis were observed in kin-18 mutants. These defects correlate with ectopic activation of MPK-1 that includes premature, missing, and reoccurring MPK-1 activation. Late progression defects in kin-18 mutants are suppressed by inhibiting an upstream activator of MPK-1 signaling, KSR-2. However, the acceleration of recombination events observed in kin-18 mutants is largely MPK-1-independent. Our data suggest that KIN-18 coordinates meiotic progression by modulating the timing of MPK-1 activation and the progression of recombination events. The regulation of the timing of MPK-1 activation ensures the proper timing of apoptosis and is required for the formation of functional oocytes. Meiosis is a conserved process; thus, revealing that KIN-18 is a novel regulator of meiotic progression in C. elegans would help to elucidate TAO kinase's role in germline development in higher eukaryotes.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph R Smith

    2011-11-01

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

  10. Radioadaptive Response for Reproductive Cell Death Demonstrated in In Vivo Tissue Model of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Huangqi; Chen, Liangwen; Liu, Jialu; Shi, Jue; Li, Qingqing; Wang, Ting; Wu, Lijun; Zhan, Furu; Bian, Po

    2016-04-01

    Reproductive cell death (RCD) occurs after one or more cell divisions resulting from an insult such as radiation exposure or other treatments with carcinogens or mutagens. The radioadaptive response for RCD is usually investigated by in vitro or in vivo clonogenic assay. To date, this has not been demonstrated in the vulval tissue in Caenorhabditis elegans ( C. elegans ), which is a well established in vivo model for radiation-induced RCD. In this study to determine whether radioadaptive response occurs in the vulval tissue model of C. elegans , early larval worms were gamma irradiated with lower adaptive doses, followed by higher challenge doses. The ratio of protruding vulva was used to assess the RCD of vulval cells. The results of this study showed that the radioadaptive response for RCD in this vulval tissue model could be well induced by dose combinations of 5 + 75 Gy and 5 + 100 Gy at the time point of 14-16 h in worm development. In addition, the time course analysis indicated that radioresistance in vulval cells developed within 1.75 h after an adaptive dose and persisted for only a short period of time (2-4 h). DNA damage checkpoint and non-homologous end joining were involved in the radioadaptive response, exhibiting induction of protruding vulva in worms deficient in these two pathways similar to their controls. Interestingly, the DNA damage checkpoint was not active in the somatic vulval cells, and it was therefore suggested that the DNA damage checkpoint might mediate the radioadaptive response in a cell nonautonomous manner. Here, we show evidence of the occurrence of a radioadaptive response for RCD in the vulval tissue model of C. elegans . This finding provides a potential opportunity to gain further insight into the underlying mechanisms of the radioadaptive response for RCD, in view of the abundant genetic resources of C. elegans . PMID:27023260

  11. 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.

  12. Trans-cellular introduction of HIV-1 protein Nef induces pathogenic response in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Aamir Nazir

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Caenorhabditis elegans has emerged as a very powerful model for studying the host pathogen interactions. Despite the absence of a naturally occurring viral infection for C. elegans, the model is now being exploited experimentally to study the basic aspects of virus-host interplay. The data generated from recent studies suggests that the virus that infects mammalian cells does infect, replicate and accumulate in C. elegans. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We took advantage of the easy-to-achieve protein introduction in C. elegans and employing the methodology, we administered HIV-1 protein Nef into live worms. Nef is known to be an important protein for exacerbating HIV-1 pathogenesis in host by enhancing viral replication. The deletion of nef from the viral genome has been reported to inhibit its replication in the host, thereby leading to delayed pathogenesis. Our studies, employing Nef introduction into C. elegans, led to creation of an in-vivo model that allowed us to study, whether or not, the protein induces effect in the whole organism. We observed a marked lipodystrophy, effect on neuromuscular function, impaired fertility and reduced longevity in the worms exposed to Nef. The observed effects resemble to those observed in Nef transgenic mice and most interestingly the effects also relate to some of the pathogenic aspects exhibited by human AIDS patients. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our studies underline the importance of this in vivo model for studying the interactions of Nef with host proteins, which could further be used for identifying possible inhibitors of such interactions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  14. Giardia duodenalis-induced alterations of commensal bacteria kill Caenorhabditis elegans: a new model to study microbial-microbial interactions in the gut.

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    Gerbaba, Teklu K; Gupta, Pratyush; Rioux, Kevin; Hansen, Dave; Buret, Andre G

    2015-03-15

    Giardia duodenalis is the most common cause of parasitic diarrhea worldwide and a well-established risk factor for postinfectious irritable bowel syndrome. We hypothesized that Giardia-induced disruptions in host-microbiota interactions may play a role in the pathogenesis of giardiasis and in postgiardiasis disease. Functional changes induced by Giardia in commensal bacteria and the resulting effects on Caenorhabditis elegans were determined. Although Giardia or bacteria alone did not affect worm viability, combining commensal Escherichia coli bacteria with Giardia became lethal to C. elegans. Giardia also induced killing of C. elegans with attenuated Citrobacter rodentium espF and map mutant strains, human microbiota from a healthy donor, and microbiota from inflamed colonic sites of ulcerative colitis patient. In contrast, combinations of Giardia with microbiota from noninflamed sites of the same patient allowed for worm survival. The synergistic lethal effects of Giardia and E. coli required the presence of live bacteria and were associated with the facilitation of bacterial colonization in the C. elegans intestine. Exposure to C. elegans and/or Giardia altered the expression of 172 genes in E. coli. The genes affected by Giardia included hydrogen sulfide biosynthesis (HSB) genes, and deletion of a positive regulator of HSB genes, cysB, was sufficient to kill C. elegans even in the absence of Giardia. Our findings indicate that Giardia induces functional changes in commensal bacteria, possibly making them opportunistic pathogens, and alters host-microbe homeostatic interactions. This report describes the use of a novel in vivo model to assess the toxicity of human microbiota. PMID:25573177

  15. Vulnerability-Based Critical Neurons, Synapses, and Pathways in the Caenorhabditis elegans Connectome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Seongkyun; Kim, Hyoungkyu; Kralik, Jerald D.; Jeong, Jaeseung

    2016-01-01

    Determining the fundamental architectural design of complex nervous systems will lead to significant medical and technological advances. Yet it remains unclear how nervous systems evolved highly efficient networks with near optimal sharing of pathways that yet produce multiple distinct behaviors to reach the organism’s goals. To determine this, the nematode roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans is an attractive model system. Progress has been made in delineating the behavioral circuits of the C. elegans, however, many details are unclear, including the specific functions of every neuron and synapse, as well as the extent the behavioral circuits are separate and parallel versus integrative and serial. Network analysis provides a normative approach to help specify the network design. We investigated the vulnerability of the Caenorhabditis elegans connectome by performing computational experiments that (a) “attacked” 279 individual neurons and 2,990 weighted synaptic connections (composed of 6,393 chemical synapses and 890 electrical junctions) and (b) quantified the effects of each removal on global network properties that influence information processing. The analysis identified 12 critical neurons and 29 critical synapses for establishing fundamental network properties. These critical constituents were found to be control elements—i.e., those with the most influence over multiple underlying pathways. Additionally, the critical synapses formed into circuit-level pathways. These emergent pathways provide evidence for (a) the importance of backward locomotion, avoidance behavior, and social feeding behavior to the organism; (b) the potential roles of specific neurons whose functions have been unclear; and (c) both parallel and serial design elements in the connectome—i.e., specific evidence for a mixed architectural design. PMID:27540747

  16. 补肾抗衰汤影响秀丽隐杆线虫衰老的机制研究%Mechanism Study of Bushen Kangshuai Decoction on Senescence of Caenorhabditis Elegans

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    史爱武; 陆勤; 侯莉莉; 陈军霞

    2013-01-01

    Objective: To investigate the effect of Bushen Kangshuai Decoction on senescence of caenorhabditis elegans. Methods:To explore the life span of N2 caenorhabditis elegans and daf-2 and daf-16 mutants incubated with different concentrations of Bushen Kangshuai Decoction and to analyse the gene expressions of daf - 16 and daf - 2. Results:BKT administration at higher concentrations could effectively prolong the life span of caenorhabditis elegans( N2, daf - 2 and daf - 16 mutant) , increase the gene expression of daf- 16,decrese the gene expression of daf-2 as compared with the control. Conclusion:The results indicate that Bushen Kangshuai Decoction could prevent senescence of caenorhabditis elegans through the effect of gene expressions of daf -2 and daf- 16.%目的:探讨补肾抗衰汤对秀丽隐杆线虫衰老的影响.方法:观察野生型N2与daf-2、daf-16突变体线虫在不同浓度(50%、75%与100%)补肾抗衰汤干预下寿命变化,并分析补肾抗衰汤干预下线虫daf-2与daf-16基因表达的变化.结果:高浓度补肾抗衰汤干预可以显著延长N2、daf-2、daf-16突变体线虫的寿命(P<0.01);增加daf-16的基因表达并降低daf-2的基因表达.结论:高浓度补肾抗衰汤干预通过影响daf-2与daf-16基因表达延缓秀丽线虫的衰老.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer L. Watts

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a powerful model organism to study functions of polyunsaturated fatty acids. The ability to alter fatty acid composition with genetic manipulation and dietary supplementation permits the dissection of the roles of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in many biological process including reproduction, aging and neurobiology. Studies in C. elegans to date have mostly identified overlapping functions of 20-carbon omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in reproduction and in neurons, however, specific roles for either omega-3 or omega-6 fatty acids are beginning to emerge. Recent findings with importance to human health include the identification of a conserved Cox-independent prostaglandin synthesis pathway, critical functions for cytochrome P450 derivatives of polyunsaturated fatty acids, the requirements for omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in sensory neurons, and the importance of fatty acid desaturation for long lifespan. Furthermore, the ability of C. elegans to interconvert omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids using the FAT-1 omega-3 desaturase has been exploited in mammalian studies and biotechnology approaches to generate mammals capable of exogenous generation of omega-3 fatty acids.

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

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    Cornelia Schmitt

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  20. Fatty acids composition of Caenorhabditis elegans using accurate mass GCMS-QTOF.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henry, Parise; Owopetu, Olufunmilayo; Adisa, Demilade; Nguyen, Thao; Anthony, Kevin; Ijoni-Animadu, David; Jamadar, Sakha; Abdel-Rahman, Fawzia; Saleh, Mahmoud A

    2016-08-01

    The free living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a proven model organism for lipid metabolism research. Total lipids of C. elegans were extracted using chloroform and methanol in 2:1 ratio (v/v). Fatty acids composition of the extracted total lipids was converted to their corresponding fatty acids methyl esters (FAMEs) and analyzed by gas chromatography/accurate mass quadrupole time of flight mass spectrometry using both electron ionization and chemical ionization techniques. Twenty-eight fatty acids consisting of 12 to 22 carbon atoms were identified, 65% of them were unsaturated. Fatty acids containing 12 to17 carbons were mostly saturated with stearic acid (18:0) as the major constituent. Several branched-chain fatty acids were identified. Methyl-14-methylhexadecanoate (iso- 17:0) was the major identified branched fatty acid. This is the first report to detect the intact molecular parent ions of the identified fatty acids in C. elegans using chemical ionization compared to electron ionization which produced fragmentations of the FAMEs. PMID:27166662

  1. Functional characterization in Caenorhabditis elegans of transmembrane worm-human orthologs

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    Baillie David L

    2004-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The complete genome sequences for human and the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans offer an opportunity to learn more about human gene function through functional characterization of orthologs in the worm. Based on a previous genome-wide analysis of worm-human orthologous transmembrane proteins, we selected seventeen genes to explore experimentally in C. elegans. These genes were selected on the basis that they all have high confidence candidate human orthologs and that their function is unknown. We first analyzed their phylogeny, membrane topology and domain organization. Then gene functions were studied experimentally in the worm by using RNA interference and transcriptional gfp reporter gene fusions. Results The experiments gave functional insights for twelve of the genes studied. For example, C36B1.12, the worm ortholog of three presenilin-like genes, was almost exclusively expressed in head neurons, suggesting an ancient conserved role important to neuronal function. We propose a new transmembrane topology for the presenilin-like protein family. sft-4, the worm ortholog of surfeit locus gene Surf-4, proved to be an essential gene required for development during the larval stages of the worm. R155.1, whose human ortholog is entirely uncharacterized, was implicated in body size control and other developmental processes. Conclusions By combining bioinformatics and C. elegans experiments on orthologs, we provide functional insights on twelve previously uncharacterized human genes.

  2. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang Dayong [Department of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Southeast University, Nanjing 210009 (China); Key Laboratory of Developmental Genes and Human Disease, Ministry of Education (China)], E-mail: dayongw@seu.edu.cn; Wang Yang [Department of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Southeast University, Nanjing 210009 (China); Key Laboratory of Developmental Genes and Human Disease, Ministry of Education (China)

    2008-02-15

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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Passive Dosing in Chronic Toxicity Tests with the Nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Fabian; Böhm, Leonard; Höss, Sebastian; Möhlenkamp, Christel; Claus, Evelyn; Düring, Rolf-Alexander; Schäfer, Sabine

    2016-09-01

    In chronic toxicity tests with Caenorhabditis elegans, it is necessary to feed the nematode with bacteria, which reduces the freely dissolved concentration (Cfree) of hydrophobic organic chemicals (HOCs), leading to poorly defined exposure with conventional dosing procedures. We examined the efficacy of passive dosing of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) using silicone O-rings to control exposure during C. elegans toxicity testing and compared the results to those obtained with solvent spiking. Solid-phase microextraction and liquid-liquid extraction were used to measure Cfree and the chemicals taken up via ingestion. During toxicity testing, Cfree decreased by up to 89% after solvent spiking but remained constant with passive dosing. This led to a higher apparent toxicity on C. elegans exposed by passive dosing than by solvent spiking. With increasing bacterial cell densities, Cfree of solvent-spiked PAHs decreased while being maintained constant with passive dosing. This resulted in lower apparent toxicity under solvent spiking but an increased apparent toxicity with passive dosing, probably as a result of the higher chemical uptake rate via food (CUfood). Our results demonstrate the utility of passive dosing to control Cfree in routine chronic toxicity testing of HOCs. Moreover, both chemical uptake from water or via food ingestion can be controlled, thus enabling the discrimination of different uptake routes in chronic toxicity studies.

  7. Fatty acids composition of Caenorhabditis elegans using accurate mass GCMS-QTOF.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henry, Parise; Owopetu, Olufunmilayo; Adisa, Demilade; Nguyen, Thao; Anthony, Kevin; Ijoni-Animadu, David; Jamadar, Sakha; Abdel-Rahman, Fawzia; Saleh, Mahmoud A

    2016-08-01

    The free living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a proven model organism for lipid metabolism research. Total lipids of C. elegans were extracted using chloroform and methanol in 2:1 ratio (v/v). Fatty acids composition of the extracted total lipids was converted to their corresponding fatty acids methyl esters (FAMEs) and analyzed by gas chromatography/accurate mass quadrupole time of flight mass spectrometry using both electron ionization and chemical ionization techniques. Twenty-eight fatty acids consisting of 12 to 22 carbon atoms were identified, 65% of them were unsaturated. Fatty acids containing 12 to17 carbons were mostly saturated with stearic acid (18:0) as the major constituent. Several branched-chain fatty acids were identified. Methyl-14-methylhexadecanoate (iso- 17:0) was the major identified branched fatty acid. This is the first report to detect the intact molecular parent ions of the identified fatty acids in C. elegans using chemical ionization compared to electron ionization which produced fragmentations of the FAMEs.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. Enrichment of humic material with hydroxybenzene moieties intensifies its physiological effects on the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menzel, Ralph; Menzel, Stefanie; Tiedt, Sophie; Kubsch, Georg; Stösser, Reinhardt; Bährs, Hanno; Putschew, Anke; Saul, Nadine; Steinberg, Christian E W

    2011-10-15

    Dissolved humic substances are taken up by organisms and interact on various molecular and biochemical levels. In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, such material can promote longevity and increase its reproductive capacity; moreover, the worms tend to stay for longer in humic-enriched environments. Here, we tested the hypothesis that the chemical enrichment of humic substances with hydroxybenzene moieties intensifies these physiological effects. Based on the leonardite humic acid HuminFeed (HF), we followed a polycondensation reaction in which this natural humic substance and a dihydroxybenzene (hydroquinone or benzoquinone) served as reaction partners. Several analytical methods showed the formation of the corresponding copolymers. The chemical modification boosted the antioxidant properties of HF both in vitro and in vivo. Humic substances enriched with hydroxybenzene moieties caused a significantly increased tolerance to thermal stress in C. elegans and extended its lifespan. Exposed nematodes showed delayed linear growth and onset of reproduction and a stronger pumping activity of the pharynx. Thus, treated nematodes act younger than they really are. In this feature the modified HF replicated the biological impact of hydroquinone-homopolymers and various plant polyphenol monomers, thereby supporting the hydroxybenzene moieties of humic substances as major effective structures for the physiological effects observed in C. elegans. PMID:21902274

  13. 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.

  14. Imaging ectopic fat deposition in Caenorhabditis elegans muscles using nonlinear microscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mari, Meropi; Filippidis, George; Palikaras, Konstantinos; Petanidou, Barbara; Fotakis, Costas; Tavernarakis, Nektarios

    2015-06-01

    The elucidation of the molecular mechanisms that lead to the development of metabolic syndrome, a complex of pathological conditions including type-2 diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases, is an important issue with high biological significance and requires accurate methods capable of monitoring lipid storage distribution and dynamics in vivo. In this study, the nonlinear phenomena of second and third harmonic generation (SHG, THG) have been employed simultaneously as label-free, nondestructive diagnostic techniques, for the monitoring and the complementary three-dimensional (3D) imaging and analysis of the muscular areas and the lipid content localization. THG microscopy was used as a quantitative tool in order to record the accumulation of lipids in nonadipose tissues in the pharyngeal muscles of 18 Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) specimens, while the SHG imaging provided the detailed anatomical information about the structure of the muscles. The ectopic accumulation of fat on the pharyngeal muscles increases in wild-type (N2) C. elegans between 1 and 9 days of adulthood. This suggests a correlation of ectopic fat accumulation with the process of aging. Our results can contribute to the unraveling of the link between the deposition of ectopic fat and aging, but mainly to the validation of SHG and THG microscopy modalities as new, noninvasive tools to localize and quantify selectively lipid formation and distribution.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. 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.

  17. Linking Subcellular Disturbance to Physiological Behavior and Toxicity Induced by Quantum Dots in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Qin; Zhou, Yanfeng; Song, Bin; Zhong, Yiling; Wu, Sicong; Cui, Rongrong; Cong, Haixia; Su, Yuanyuan; Zhang, Huimin; He, Yao

    2016-06-01

    The wide-ranging applications of fluorescent semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) have triggered increasing concerns about their biosafety. Most QD-related toxicity studies focus on the subcellular processes in cultured cells or global physiological effects on whole animals. However, it is unclear how QDs affect subcellular processes in living organisms, or how the subcellular disturbance contributes to the overall toxicity. Here the behavior and toxicity of QDs of three different sizes in Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) are systematically investigated at both the systemic and the subcellular level. Specifically, clear size-dependent distribution and toxicity of the QDs in the digestive tract are observed. Short-term exposure of QDs leads to acute toxicity on C. elegans, yet incurring no lasting, irreversible damage. In contrast, chronic exposure of QDs severely inhibits development and shortens lifespan. Subcellular analysis reveals that endocytosis and nutrition storage are disrupted by QDs, which likely accounts for the severe deterioration in growth and longevity. This work reveals that QDs invasion disrupts key subcellular processes in living organisms, and may cause permanent damage to the tissues and organs over long-term retention. The findings provide invaluable information for safety evaluations of QD-based applications and offer new opportunities for design of novel nontoxic nanoprobes. PMID:27121203

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

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    Yanqiong Zhang

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

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

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    Patricia Mugure Chege

    2014-05-01

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

  20. Dynamic energy-based modeling of uranium and cadmium joint toxicity to Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Margerit, Adrien; Gomez, Elena; Gilbin, Rodolphe

    2016-03-01

    Toxicokinetic - toxicodynamic energy-based models offer new alternatives to the commonly used approaches for the analysis of mixture toxicity data. Based on the Dynamic Energy Budget theory, DEBtox models enable the description of several endpoints over time simultaneously under the same framework. However, such model still has to be faced with experimental data in a multi-contamination context. In this study, the predictive capacities of a DEBtox model to describe the uranium and cadmium joint toxicity over the entire growth and reproduction period of the soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans was examined. The two reference additivity approaches, Concentration Addition and Response addition, implemented in the DEBtox model were tested. Assuming no interaction between the two toxicants through Response addition, the DEBtox model allowed a rather accurate fit of the U and Cd joint effects on the growth and reproduction of C. elegans: an interaction between the two metals at the toxicokinetic or toxicodynamic level seems thus unlikely or has only minor consequences. Interestingly, this study underlines that even if the compounds of a mixture share the same DEBtox physiological mode of action (in this case a decrease in assimilation), the Response addition approach may provide a better fit of joint toxicity data than the Concentration addition approach. Moreover, the present work highlighted limitations in the model predictions which are related to the simplifications of the DEBtox framework and its adaptations to the physiology of C. elegans and which lead to an overestimation of the U and Cd joint toxicity in some cases. PMID:26741545

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

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    Ewbank Jonathan J

    2004-11-01

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

  2. Cyanobacterial xenobiotics as evaluated by a Caenorhabditis elegans neurotoxicity screening test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ju, Jingjuan; Saul, Nadine; Kochan, Cindy; Putschew, Anke; Pu, Yuepu; Yin, Lihong; Steinberg, Christian E W

    2014-05-01

    In fresh waters cyanobacterial blooms can produce a variety of toxins, such as microcystin variants (MCs) and anatoxin-a (ANA). ANA is a well-known neurotoxin, whereas MCs are hepatotoxic and, to a lesser degree, also neurotoxic. Neurotoxicity applies especially to invertebrates lacking livers. Current standardized neurotoxicity screening methods use rats or mice. However, in order to minimize vertebrate animal experiments as well as experimental time and effort, many investigators have proposed the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as an appropriate invertebrate model. Therefore, four known neurotoxic compounds (positive compounds: chlorpyrifos, abamectin, atropine, and acrylamide) were chosen to verify the expected impacts on autonomic (locomotion, feeding, defecation) and sensory (thermal, chemical, and mechanical sensory perception) functions in C. elegans. This study is another step towards successfully establishing C. elegans as an alternative neurotoxicity model. By using this protocol, anatoxin-a adversely affected locomotive behavior and pharyngeal pumping frequency and, most strongly, chemotactic and thermotactic behavior, whereas MC-LR impacted locomotion, pumping, and mechanical behavior, but not chemical sensory behavior. Environmental samples can also be screened in this simple and fast way for neurotoxic characteristics. The filtrate of a Microcystis aeruginosa culture, known for its hepatotoxicity, also displayed mild neurotoxicity (modulated short-term thermotaxis). These results show the suitability of this assay for environmental cyanotoxin-containing samples. PMID:24776722

  3. Cyanobacterial Xenobiotics as Evaluated by a Caenorhabditis elegans Neurotoxicity Screening Test

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jingjuan Ju

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available In fresh waters cyanobacterial blooms can produce a variety of toxins, such as microcystin variants (MCs and anatoxin-a (ANA. ANA is a well-known neurotoxin, whereas MCs are hepatotoxic and, to a lesser degree, also neurotoxic. Neurotoxicity applies especially to invertebrates lacking livers. Current standardized neurotoxicity screening methods use rats or mice. However, in order to minimize vertebrate animal experiments as well as experimental time and effort, many investigators have proposed the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as an appropriate invertebrate model. Therefore, four known neurotoxic compounds (positive compounds: chlorpyrifos, abamectin, atropine, and acrylamide were chosen to verify the expected impacts on autonomic (locomotion, feeding, defecation and sensory (thermal, chemical, and mechanical sensory perception functions in C. elegans. This study is another step towards successfully establishing C. elegans as an alternative neurotoxicity model. By using this protocol, anatoxin-a adversely affected locomotive behavior and pharyngeal pumping frequency and, most strongly, chemotactic and thermotactic behavior, whereas MC-LR impacted locomotion, pumping, and mechanical behavior, but not chemical sensory behavior. Environmental samples can also be screened in this simple and fast way for neurotoxic characteristics. The filtrate of a Microcystis aeruginosa culture, known for its hepatotoxicity, also displayed mild neurotoxicity (modulated short-term thermotaxis. These results show the suitability of this assay for environmental cyanotoxin-containing samples.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Spermatogenesis-specific features of the meiotic program in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Diane C Shakes

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available In most sexually reproducing organisms, the fundamental process of meiosis is implemented concurrently with two differentiation programs that occur at different rates and generate distinct cell types, sperm and oocytes. However, little is known about how the meiotic program is influenced by such contrasting developmental programs. Here we present a detailed timeline of late meiotic prophase during spermatogenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans using cytological and molecular landmarks to interrelate changes in chromosome dynamics with germ cell cellularization, spindle formation, and cell cycle transitions. This analysis expands our understanding C. elegans spermatogenesis, as it identifies multiple spermatogenesis-specific features of the meiotic program and provides a framework for comparative studies. Post-pachytene chromatin of spermatocytes is distinct from that of oocytes in both composition and morphology. Strikingly, C. elegans spermatogenesis includes a previously undescribed karyosome stage, a common but poorly understood feature of meiosis in many organisms. We find that karyosome formation, in which chromosomes form a constricted mass within an intact nuclear envelope, follows desynapsis, involves a global down-regulation of transcription, and may support the sequential activation of multiple kinases that prepare spermatocytes for meiotic divisions. In spermatocytes, the presence of centrioles alters both the relative timing of meiotic spindle assembly and its ultimate structure. These microtubule differences are accompanied by differences in kinetochores, which connect microtubules to chromosomes. The sperm-specific features of meiosis revealed here illuminate how the underlying molecular machinery required for meiosis is differentially regulated in each sex.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. PMID:26644478

  8. 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.

  9. Expression of Caenorhabditis elegans-expressed Trans-HPS, partial aminopeptidase H11 from Haemonchus contortus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Qian-Jin; Yang, Yi; Guo, Xiao-Lu; Duan, Li-Jun; Chen, Xue-Qiu; Yan, Bao-Long; Zhang, Hong-Li; Du, Ai-Fang

    2014-10-01

    Aminopeptidase H11 present in the surface of intestine microvilli in Haemonchus contortus was identified as the most effective antigen candidate. However, its recombinant forms produced in Escherichiacoli, insect cells and yeast could not provide promising protection against H. contortus challenge, probably due to the inappropriate glycosylation and/or conformational folding. Herein, partial H11 containing the potential zinc-binding domain and two predicted glycosylation sites (nt 1 bp-1710 bp, Trans-HPS) was subcloned downstream of 5' flanking region of Caenorhabditis elegans cpr-1 gene in pPD95.77 vector, with the deletion of GFP gene. The recombinant was expressed in C. elegans and verified by blotting with anti-H11 and anti-Trans-HPS rabbit polyclonal antibodies and anti-His monoclonal antibody. Stably inherited Trans-HPS in worm descendants was achieved by integration using UV irradiation. Immunization with the crude Trans-HPS extracted from transgenic worms resulted in 37.71% reduction in faecal egg counts (FEC) (Pgoats. These results suggested an apparent delay against H. contortus egg-laying in goats, which differed from that with bacteria-origin form of partial H11 (nt 670 bp-1710 bp, HPS) (26.04% reduction in FEC and 18.46% reduction in worm burden). These findings indicate the feasibility of sufficient C. elegans-expressed H11 for the immunological research and vaccine development. PMID:25128369

  10. Application of a mathematical model to describe the effects of chlorpyrifos on Caenorhabditis elegans development.

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    Windy A Boyd

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is being assessed as an alternative model organism as part of an interagency effort to develop better means to test potentially toxic substances. As part of this effort, assays that use the COPAS Biosort flow sorting technology to record optical measurements (time of flight (TOF and extinction (EXT of individual nematodes under various chemical exposure conditions are being developed. A mathematical model has been created that uses Biosort data to quantitatively and qualitatively describe C. elegans growth, and link changes in growth rates to biological events. Chlorpyrifos, an organophosphate pesticide known to cause developmental delays and malformations in mammals, was used as a model toxicant to test the applicability of the growth model for in vivo toxicological testing. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: L1 larval nematodes were exposed to a range of sub-lethal chlorpyrifos concentrations (0-75 microM and measured every 12 h. In the absence of toxicant, C. elegans matured from L1s to gravid adults by 60 h. A mathematical model was used to estimate nematode size distributions at various times. Mathematical modeling of the distributions allowed the number of measured nematodes and log(EXT and log(TOF growth rates to be estimated. The model revealed three distinct growth phases. The points at which estimated growth rates changed (change points were constant across the ten chlorpyrifos concentrations. Concentration response curves with respect to several model-estimated quantities (numbers of measured nematodes, mean log(TOF and log(EXT, growth rates, and time to reach change points showed a significant decrease in C. elegans growth with increasing chlorpyrifos concentration. CONCLUSIONS: Effects of chlorpyrifos on C. elegans growth and development were mathematically modeled. Statistical tests confirmed a significant concentration effect on several model endpoints. This confirmed that chlorpyrifos

  11. Mutations affecting the chemosensory neurons of Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Starich, T.A.; Herman, R.K.; Kari, C.K. [Univ. of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN (United States)] [and others

    1995-01-01

    We have identified and characterized 95 mutations that reduce or abolish dye filling of amphid and phasmid neurons and that have little effect on viability, fertility or movement. Twenty-seven mutations occurred spontaneously in strains with a high frequency of transposon insertion. Sixty-eight were isolated after treatment with EMS. All of the mutations result in defects in one or more chemosensory responses, such as chemotaxis to ammonium chloride or formation of dauer larvae under conditions of starvation and overcrowding. Seventy-five of the mutations are alleles of 12 previously defined genes, mutations which were previously shown to lead to defects in amphid ultrastructure. We have assigned 20 mutations to 13 new genes, called dyf-1 through dyf-13. We expect that the genes represented by dye-filling defective mutants are important for the differentiation of amphid and phasmid chemosensilla. 58 refs., 3 figs., 6 tabs.

  12. Mutations affecting the chemosensory neurons of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Starich, T A; Herman, R K; Kari, C K; Yeh, W H; Schackwitz, W S; Schuyler, M W; Collet, J; Thomas, J H; Riddle, D L

    1995-01-01

    We have identified and characterized 95 mutations that reduce or abolish dye filling of amphid and phasmid neurons and that have little effect on viability, fertility or movement. Twenty-seven mutations occurred spontaneously in strains with a high frequency of transposon insertion. Sixty-eight were isolated after treatment with EMS. All of the mutations result in defects in one or more chemosensory responses, such as chemotaxis to ammonium chloride or formation of dauer larvae under conditions of starvation and overcrowding. Seventy-five of the mutations are alleles of 12 previously defined genes, mutations which were previously shown to lead to defects in amphid ultrastructure. We have assigned 20 mutations to 13 new genes, called dyf-1 through dyf-13. We expect that the genes represented by dye-filing defective mutants are important for the differentiation of amphid and phasmid chemosensilla. PMID:7705621

  13. Enrichment of H3K9me2 on Unsynapsed Chromatin in Caenorhabditis elegans Does Not Target de Novo Sites.

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    Guo, Yiqing; Yang, Bing; Li, Yini; Xu, Xia; Maine, Eleanor M

    2015-09-01

    Many organisms alter the chromatin state of unsynapsed chromosomes during meiotic prophase, a phenomenon hypothesized to function in maintaining germline integrity. In Caenorhabditis elegans, histone H3 lysine 9 dimethylation (H3K9me2) is detected by immunolabeling as enriched on unsynapsed meiotic chromosomes. Loss of the SET domain protein, MET-2, greatly reduces H3K9me2 abundance and results in germline mortality. Here, we used him-8 mutations to disable X chromosome synapsis and performed a combination of molecular assays to map the sites of H3K9me2 accumulation, evaluate H3K9me2 abundance in germline vs. whole animals, and evaluate the impact of H3K9me2 loss on the germline transcriptome. Our data indicate that H3K9me2 is elevated broadly across the X chromosome and at defined X chromosomal sites in him-8 adults compared with controls. H3K9me2 levels are also elevated to a lesser degree at sites on synapsed chromosomes in him-8 adults compared with controls. These results suggest that MET-2 activity is elevated in him-8 mutants generally as well as targeted preferentially to the unsynapsed X. Abundance of H3K9me2 and other histone H3 modifications is low in germline chromatin compared with whole animals, which may facilitate genome reprogramming during gametogenesis. Loss of H3K9me2 has a subtle impact on the him-8 germline transcriptome, suggesting H3K9me2 may not be a major regulator of developmental gene expression in C. elegans. We hypothesize H3K9me2 may have a structural function critical for germline immortality, and a greater abundance of these marks may be required when a chromosome does not synapse. PMID:26156747

  14. Insulin/IGF-1 and hypoxia signaling act in concert to regulate iron homeostasis in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Daniel Ackerman

    Full Text Available Iron plays an essential role in many biological processes, but also catalyzes the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS, which can cause molecular damage. Iron homeostasis is therefore a critical determinant of fitness. In Caenorhabditis elegans, insulin/IGF-1 signaling (IIS promotes growth and reproduction but limits stress resistance and lifespan through inactivation of the DAF-16/FoxO transcription factor (TF. We report that long-lived daf-2 insulin/IGF-1 receptor mutants show a daf-16-dependent increase in expression of ftn-1, which encodes the iron storage protein H-ferritin. To better understand the regulation of iron homeostasis, we performed a TF-limited genetic screen for factors influencing ftn-1 gene expression. The screen identified the heat-shock TF hsf-1, the MAD bHLH TF mdl-1, and the putative histone acetyl transferase ada-2 as activators of ftn-1 expression. It also revealed that the HIFα homolog hif-1 and its binding partner aha-1 (HIFβ are potent repressors of ftn-1 expression. ftn-1 expression is induced by exposure to iron, and we found that hif-1 was required for this induction. In addition, we found that the prolyl hydroxylase EGL-9, which represses HIF-1 via the von Hippel-Lindau tumor suppressor VHL-1, can also act antagonistically to VHL-1 in regulating ftn-1. This suggests a novel mechanism for HIF target gene regulation by these evolutionarily conserved and clinically important hydroxylases. Our findings imply that the IIS and HIF pathways act together to regulate iron homeostasis in C. elegans. We suggest that IIS/DAF-16 regulation of ftn-1 modulates a trade-off between growth and stress resistance, as elevated iron availability supports growth but also increases ROS production.

  15. The MDT-15 subunit of mediator interacts with dietary restriction to modulate longevity and fluoranthene toxicity in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Jennifer Schleit

    Full Text Available Dietary restriction (DR, the limitation of calorie intake while maintaining proper nutrition, has been found to extend life span and delay the onset of age-associated disease in a wide range of species. Previous studies have suggested that DR can reduce the lethality of environmental toxins. To further examine the role of DR in toxin response, we measured life spans of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans treated with the mutagenic polyaromatic hydrocarbon, fluoranthene (FLA. FLA is a direct byproduct of combustion, and is one of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's sixteen priority environmental toxins. Treatment with 5 µg/ml FLA shortened the life spans of ad libitum fed nematodes, and DR resulted in increased sensitivity to FLA. To determine the role of detoxifying enzymes in the toxicity of FLA, we tested nematodes with mutations in the gene encoding the MDT-15 subunit of mediator, a transcriptional coactivator that regulates genes involved in fatty acid metabolism and detoxification. Mutation of mdt-15 increased the life span of FLA treated animals compared to wild-type animals with no difference observed between DR and ad libitum fed mdt-15 animals. We also examined mutants with altered insulin-IGF-1-like signaling (IIS, which is known to modulate life span and stress resistance in C. elegans independently of DR. Mutation of the genes coding for the insulin-like receptor DAF-2 or the FOXO-family transcription factor DAF16 did not alter the animals' susceptibility to FLA compared to wild type. Taken together, our results suggest that certain compounds have increased toxicity when combined with a DR regimen through increased metabolic activation. This increased metabolic activation appears to be mediated through the MDT-15 transcription factor and is independent of the IIS pathway.

  16. AutoEPG: software for the analysis of electrical activity in the microcircuit underpinning feeding behaviour of Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    James Dillon

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The pharyngeal microcircuit of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans serves as a model for analysing neural network activity and is amenable to electrophysiological recording techniques. One such technique is the electropharyngeogram (EPG which has provided insight into the genetic basis of feeding behaviour, neurotransmission and muscle excitability. However, the detailed manual analysis of the digital recordings necessary to identify subtle differences in activity that reflect modulatory changes within the underlying network is time consuming and low throughput. To address this we have developed an automated system for the high-throughput and discrete analysis of EPG recordings (AutoEPG. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: AutoEPG employs a tailor made signal processing algorithm that automatically detects different features of the EPG signal including those that report on the relaxation and contraction of the muscle and neuronal activity. Manual verification of the detection algorithm has demonstrated AutoEPG is capable of very high levels of accuracy. We have further validated the software by analysing existing mutant strains with known pharyngeal phenotypes detectable by the EPG. In doing so, we have more precisely defined an evolutionarily conserved role for the calcium-dependent potassium channel, SLO-1, in modulating the rhythmic activity of neural networks. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: AutoEPG enables the consistent analysis of EPG recordings, significantly increases analysis throughput and allows the robust identification of subtle changes in the electrical activity of the pharyngeal nervous system. It is anticipated that AutoEPG will further add to the experimental tractability of the C. elegans pharynx as a model neural circuit.

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

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    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.

  18. The Importance of cGMP Signaling in Sensory Cilia for Body Size Regulation in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Fujiwara, Manabi; Hino, Takahiro; Miyamoto, Ryuta; Inada, Hitoshi; Mori, Ikue; Koga, Makoto; Miyahara, Koji; Ohshima, Yasumi; Ishihara, Takeshi

    2015-12-01

    The body size of Caenorhabditis elegans is thought to be controlled by sensory inputs because many mutants with sensory cilium structure defects exhibit small body size. The EGL-4 cGMP-dependent protein kinase acts in sensory neurons to reduce body size when animals fail to perceive sensory signals. In addition to body size control, EGL-4 regulates various other behavioral and developmental pathways, including those involved in the regulation of egg laying and chemotaxis behavior. Here we have identified gcy-12, which encodes a receptor-type guanylyl cyclase, as a gene involved in the sensory regulation of body size. Analyses with GFP fusion constructs showed that gcy-12 is expressed in several sensory neurons and localizes to sensory cilia. Genetic analyses indicated that GCY-12 acts upstream of EGL-4 in body size control but does not affect other EGL-4 functions. Our studies indicate that the function of the GCY-12 guanylyl cyclase is to provide cGMP to the EGL-4 cGMP-dependent kinase only for limited tasks including body size regulation. We also found that the PDE-2 cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase negatively regulates EGL-4 in controlling body size. Thus, the cGMP level is precisely controlled by GCY-12 and PDE-2 to determine body size through EGL-4, and the defects in the sensory cilium structure may disturb the balanced control of the cGMP level. The large number of guanylyl cyclases encoded in the C. elegans genome suggests that EGL-4 exerts pleiotropic effects by partnering with different guanylyl cyclases for different downstream functions.

  19. Expression of A2V-mutated Aβ in Caenorhabditis elegans results in oligomer formation and toxicity☆

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    Diomede, Luisa; Di Fede, Giuseppe; Romeo, Margherita; Bagnati, Renzo; Ghidoni, Roberta; Fiordaliso, Fabio; Salio, Monica; Rossi, Alessandro; Catania, Marcella; Paterlini, Anna; Benussi, Luisa; Bastone, Antonio; Stravalaci, Matteo; Gobbi, Marco; Tagliavini, Fabrizio; Salmona, Mario

    2014-01-01

    Although Alzheimer's disease (AD) is usually sporadic, in a small proportion of cases it is familial and can be linked to mutations in β-amyloid precursor protein (APP). Unlike the other genetic defects, the mutation [alanine-673→valine-673] (A673V) causes the disease only in the homozygous condition with enhanced amyloid β (Aβ) production and aggregation; heterozygous carriers remain unaffected. It is not clear how misfolding and aggregation of Aβ is affected in vivo by this mutation and whether this correlates with its toxic effects. No animal models over-expressing the A673V–APP gene or alanine-2-valine (A2V) mutated human Aβ protein are currently available. Using the invertebrate Caenorhabditis elegans, we generated the first transgenic animal model to express the human Aβ1–40 wild-type (WT) in neurons or possess the A2V mutation (Aβ1–40A2V). Insertion of an Aβ-mutated gene into this nematode reproduced the homozygous state of the human pathology. Functional and biochemical characteristics found in the A2V strain were compared to those of transgenic C. elegans expressing Aβ1–40WT. The expression of both WT and A2V Aβ1–40 specifically reduced the nematode's lifespan, causing behavioral defects and neurotransmission impairment which were worse in A2V worms. Mutant animals were more resistant than WT to paralysis induced by the cholinergic agonist levamisole, indicating that the locomotor defect was specifically linked to postsynaptic dysfunctions. The toxicity caused by the mutated protein was associated with a high propensity to form oligomeric assemblies which accumulate in the neurons, suggesting this to be the central event involved in the postsynaptic damage and early onset of the disease in homozygous human A673V carriers. PMID:24184799

  20. Synapse-Assembly Proteins Maintain Synaptic Vesicle Cluster Stability and Regulate Synaptic Vesicle Transport in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Edwards, Stacey L; Yorks, Rosalina M; Morrison, Logan M; Hoover, Christopher M; Miller, Kenneth G

    2015-09-01

    The functional integrity of neurons requires the bidirectional active transport of synaptic vesicles (SVs) in axons. The kinesin motor KIF1A transports SVs from somas to stable SV clusters at synapses, while dynein moves them in the opposite direction. However, it is unclear how SV transport is regulated and how SVs at clusters interact with motor proteins. We addressed these questions by isolating a rare temperature-sensitive allele of Caenorhabditis elegans unc-104 (KIF1A) that allowed us to manipulate SV levels in axons and dendrites. Growth at 20° and 14° resulted in locomotion rates that were ∼3 and 50% of wild type, respectively, with similar effects on axonal SV levels. Corresponding with the loss of SVs from axons, mutants grown at 14° and 20° showed a 10- and 24-fold dynein-dependent accumulation of SVs in their dendrites. Mutants grown at 14° and switched to 25° showed an abrupt irreversible 50% decrease in locomotion and a 50% loss of SVs from the synaptic region 12-hr post-shift, with no further decreases at later time points, suggesting that the remaining clustered SVs are stable and resistant to retrograde removal by dynein. The data further showed that the synapse-assembly proteins SYD-1, SYD-2, and SAD-1 protected SV clusters from degradation by motor proteins. In syd-1, syd-2, and sad-1 mutants, SVs accumulate in an UNC-104-dependent manner in the distal axon region that normally lacks SVs. In addition to their roles in SV cluster stability, all three proteins also regulate SV transport.