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Sample records for caenorhabditis elegans mutants

  1. More Sex-Determination Mutants of CAENORHABDITIS ELEGANS

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    Hodgkin, Jonathan

    1980-01-01

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

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

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

    2006-11-01

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

  3. Spaceflight results in increase of thick filament but not thin filament proteins in the paramyosin mutant of Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Adachi, R.; Takaya, T.; Kuriyama, K.; Higashibata, A.; Ishioka, N.; Kagawa, H.

    2008-01-01

    We have investigated the effect of microgravity during spaceflight on body-wall muscle fiber size and muscle proteins in the paramyosin mutant of Caenorhabditis elegans. Both mutant and wild-type strains were subjected to 10 days of microgravity during spaceflight and compared to ground control groups. No significant change in muscle fiber size or quantity of the protein was observed in wild-type worms; where as atrophy of body-wall muscle and an increase in thick filament proteins were obser...

  4. Spaceflight results in increase of thick filament but not thin filament proteins in the paramyosin mutant of Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adachi, R.; Takaya, T.; Kuriyama, K.; Higashibata, A.; Ishioka, N.; Kagawa, H.

    We have investigated the effect of microgravity during spaceflight on body-wall muscle fiber size and muscle proteins in the paramyosin mutant of Caenorhabditis elegans. Both mutant and wild-type strains were subjected to 10 days of microgravity during spaceflight and compared to ground control groups. No significant change in muscle fiber size or quantity of the protein was observed in wild-type worms; where as atrophy of body-wall muscle and an increase in thick filament proteins were observed in the paramyosin mutant unc-15(e73) animals after spaceflight. We conclude that the mutant with abnormal muscle responded to microgravity by increasing the total amount of muscle protein in order to compensate for the loss of muscle function.

  5. TheAnnona muricataleaf ethanol extract affects mobility and reproduction in mutant strain NB327Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Bustos, A V Gualteros; Jiménez, M Gómez; Mora, R M Sánchez

    2017-07-01

    The C. elegans NB327 mutant strain is characterized for the knockdown of the dic-1 gene. The dic-1 gene is homologous to the dice-1 gene in humans, encoding the protein DICE-1 as a tumor suppressor. Absence or under-regulation of the dice-1 gene can be reflected in lung and prostate cancer [17], [18]. This study evaluated the effect of EEAML on the C. elegans NB327 mutant strain. Phenotypic aspects such as morphology, body length, locomotion, and reproductive behaviour were analyzed. It is important to emphasize that the strain presents a phenotype characteristic with respect to egg laying and hatching. Reported studies showed that Annona muricata extract and its active components evidence anti-cancer and anti-tumor effects, through experimentation in vivo and in vitro models. However, neurotoxicity has been reported as a side effect. The results showed that the mutant strain NB327 was exposed to EEAML (5 mg/ml) concentration, it showed a significant decrease in average locomotion, resulting in 13 undulations in 30 s. This contrasts with the control strain's 17.5 undulations in 30 s. Similarly, the number of progenies was reduced from 188 progenies (control strain) to 114 and 92 progenies at the dose of (1 mg/ml and 5 mg/m) EEAML. The results of this study suggest that EEAML has a possible neurotoxic effect in concentrations equal to or greater than 5 mg/ml. Also, it does not have positive effects on the mutant strain of Caenorhabditis elegans NB327 phenotype.

  6. The Annona muricata leaf ethanol extract affects mobility and reproduction in mutant strain NB327 Caenorhabditis elegans

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    A.V. Gualteros Bustos

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available The C. elegans NB327 mutant strain is characterized for the knockdown of the dic-1 gene. The dic-1 gene is homologous to the dice-1 gene in humans, encoding the protein DICE-1 as a tumor suppressor. Absence or under-regulation of the dice-1 gene can be reflected in lung and prostate cancer [17,18]. This study evaluated the effect of EEAML on the C. elegans NB327 mutant strain. Phenotypic aspects such as morphology, body length, locomotion, and reproductive behaviour were analyzed. It is important to emphasize that the strain presents a phenotype characteristic with respect to egg laying and hatching. Reported studies showed that Annona muricata extract and its active components evidence anti-cancer and anti-tumor effects, through experimentation in vivo and in vitro models. However, neurotoxicity has been reported as a side effect. The results showed that the mutant strain NB327 was exposed to EEAML (5 mg/ml concentration, it showed a significant decrease in average locomotion, resulting in 13 undulations in 30 s. This contrasts with the control strain's 17.5 undulations in 30 s. Similarly, the number of progenies was reduced from 188 progenies (control strain to 114 and 92 progenies at the dose of (1 mg/ml and 5 mg/m EEAML. The results of this study suggest that EEAML has a possible neurotoxic effect in concentrations equal to or greater than 5 mg/ml. Also, it does not have positive effects on the mutant strain of Caenorhabditis elegans NB327 phenotype.

  7. Reduced insulin/IGF-1 signaling restores germ cell immortality to Caenorhabditis elegans Piwi mutants.

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    Simon, Matt; Sarkies, Peter; Ikegami, Kohta; Doebley, Anna-Lisa; Goldstein, Leonard D; Mitchell, Jacinth; Sakaguchi, Aisa; Miska, Eric A; Ahmed, Shawn

    2014-05-08

    Defects in the Piwi/piRNA pathway lead to transposon desilencing and immediate sterility in many organisms. We found that the C. elegans Piwi mutant prg-1 became sterile after growth for many generations. This phenotype did not occur for RNAi mutants with strong transposon-silencing defects and was separable from the role of PRG-1 in transgene silencing. Brief periods of starvation extended the transgenerational lifespan of prg-1 mutants by stimulating the DAF-16/FOXO longevity transcription factor. Constitutive activation of DAF-16 via reduced daf-2 insulin/IGF-1 signaling immortalized prg-1 strains via RNAi proteins and histone H3 lysine 4 demethylases. In late-generation prg-1 mutants, desilencing of repetitive segments of the genome occurred, and silencing of repetitive loci was restored in prg-1; daf-2 mutants. This study reveals an unexpected interface between aging and transgenerational maintenance of germ cells, where somatic longevity is coupled to a genome-silencing pathway that promotes germ cell immortality in parallel to the Piwi/piRNA system. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. 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.

  9. Inhibition of chaperone-mediated autophagy prevents glucotoxicity in the Caenorhabditis elegans mev-1 mutant by activation of the proteasome.

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    Eisermann, Dorothé Jenni; Wenzel, Uwe; Fitzenberger, Elena

    2017-02-26

    Chronic hyperglycemia is a hallmark of diabetes mellitus and the main cause of diabetes-associated complications. Increased intracellular glucose levels lead to damaged proteins and in consequence disturb cellular proteostasis. As an important contributor to the maintenance and restoration of proteostasis, autophagy mediates the lysosomal degradation of damaged proteins or entire cellular organelles. In the present study we used the stress-sensitive mev-1 mutant of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans in order to assess the role of lmp-2, a homologue of the lysosome associated membrane protein type 2A, in the context of glucotoxicity, which was achieved by feeding glucose in a liquid medium. Knockdown of lmp-2 by RNA interference completely prevented the survival reduction caused by glucose under heat stress. Those effects were associated with the prevention of (1) increased lysosome formation and (2) reduction of proteasomal activity, which were observed under glucose feeding. Finally, the survival reduction due to knockdown of ubiquitin remained unaffected by the additional lmp-2 knockdown in the absence or presence of glucose. In conclusion, our study provides evidence that lmp-2, a key player in chaperone-mediated autophagy, is functional in C. elegans, too. Inhibition of lmp-2 prevents the reduction of proteasomal activity by glucose and thereby prevents also glucotoxicity. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Trans fat diet causes decreased brood size and shortened lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans delta-6-desaturase mutant fat-3.

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    Reisner, Kaja; Lehtonen, Marko; Storvik, Markus; Jantson, Tanel; Lakso, Merja; Callaway, J C; Wong, Garry

    2011-01-01

    Trans-fatty acids (TFAs) enter the diet through industrial processes and can cause adverse human health effects. The present study was aimed to examine the effects of dietary cis- and trans-fatty acids on the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans. Cis- or trans-18:1n9 triglycerides (25 μM) caused no apparent changes in the numbers of viable progeny of wild-type N2 animals. However, in fat-3 mutants lacking delta-6-desaturase, the trans-isomer caused modest decreases in lifespan and progeny after three generations. Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) profiles were significantly altered in fat-3 mutants compared to wild type but were not altered after exposure to dietary cis- or trans-18:1n9. Genome-wide expression analysis of fat-3 mutants revealed hundreds of changes. Several genes involved in fat metabolism (acs-2, fat-7, mdt-15) were significantly increased by cis- or trans-18:1n9 without discrimination between isomers. These results provide support for the hypothesis that dietary trans fats are detrimental to development and aging. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

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    Fernando Calahorro

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

  12. 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.

  13. Survival assays using Caenorhabditis elegans.

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

    2017-02-01

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

  14. A loss of function mutant of the presenilin homologue SEL-12 undergoes aberrant endoproteolysis in Caenorhabditis elegans and increases abeta 42 generation in human cells.

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    Okochi, M; Eimer, S; Bottcher, A; Baumeister, R; Romig, H; Walter, J; Capell, A; Steiner, H; Haass, C

    2000-12-29

    The familial Alzheimer's disease-associated presenilins (PSs) occur as a dimeric complex of proteolytically generated fragments, which functionally supports endoproteolysis of Notch and the beta-amyloid precursor protein (betaAPP). A homologous gene, sel-12, has been identified in Caenorhabditis elegans. We now demonstrate that wild-type (wt) SEL-12 undergoes endoproteolytic cleavage in C. elegans similar to the PSs in human tissue. In contrast, SEL-12 C60S protein expressed from the sel-12(ar131) allele is miscleaved in C. elegans, resulting in a larger mutant N-terminal fragment. Neither SEL-12 wt nor C60S undergo endoproteolytic processing upon expression in human cells, suggesting that SEL-12 is cleaved by a C. elegans-specific endoproteolytic activity. The loss of function of sel-12 in C. elegans is not associated with a dominant negative activity in human cells, because SEL-12 C60S and the corresponding PS1 C92S mutation do not interfere with Notch1 cleavage. Moreover, both mutant variants increase the aberrant production of the highly amyloidogenic 42-amino acid version of amyloid beta-peptide similar to familial Alzheimer's disease-associated human PS mutants. Our data therefore demonstrate that the C60S mutation in SEL-12 is associated with aberrant endoproteolysis and a loss of function in C. elegans, whereas a gain of misfunction is observed upon expression in human cells.

  15. Proteomic analysis of Caenorhabditis elegans

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

  16. Biolistic transformation of Caenorhabditis elegans

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Isik, M.; Berezikov, E.

    2013-01-01

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

  17. Sperm morphogenesis in wild-type and fertilization-defective mutants of Caenorhabditis elegans

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    1981-01-01

    Taking advantage of conditions that allow spermatogenesis in vitro, the timing and sequence of morphological changes leading from the primary spermatocyte to the spermatozoon is described by light and electron microscopy. Together with previous studies, this allows a detailed description of the nuclear, cytoplasmic, and membrane changes occurring during spermatozoan morphogenesis. By comparison with wild type, abnormalities in spermatogenesis leading to aberrant infertile spermatozoa are found in six fertilization-defective (fer) mutants. In fer-1 mutant males, spermatids appear normal, but during spermiogenesis membranous organelles (MO) fail to fuse with the sperm plasma membrane and a short, though motile. pseudopod is formed. In fer-2, fer-3, and fer-4 mutants, spermatids accumulate 48-nm tubules around their nuclei where the centriole and an RNA containing perinuclear halo would normally be. In all three mutants, spermatids still activate to spermatozoa with normal fusion of their MOs, but the pseudopods formed are aberrant in most fer-2 and fer-4 spermatozoa and in some fer-3 spermatozoa. In fer-5 mutant males, spermatozoa do not form. Instead, defective spermatids with crystalline inclusions and abnormal internal laminar membranes accumulate. In fer-6 mutant males, only a few spermatozoa form and these have defective pseudopods. These spermatozoa retain their fibrous bodies, a structure which normally disassembles in the spermatid. The time of appearance of developmental abnormalities in all of these mutants correlates with the temperature-sensitive periods for development of infertility. The observation that each of these mutants has a different and discreet set of morphological defects, a structure which normally disassembles in the spermatid. The time of appearance of developmental abnormalities in all of these mutants correlates with the temperature-sensitive periods for development of infertility. The observation that each of these mutants has a

  18. Altered Innate Immunity Confers Staphylococcus aureus resistance in O-Glycosylation Deficient Caenorhabditis elegans bus Mutants

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    2017-01-31

    Biosystems). Finally expression of each gene was determined quantitatively by the comparative Ct method [13]. Measurements were performed in an Applied...1. Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research , Food and Drug Administration , Silver Spring, Maryland 20993, USA; 2. NIDDK, National Institutes...deficient of innate immune system components are more susceptible. Research by Darby et al., demonstrated that the glycosylation mutants are also

  19. The glia of Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Oikonomou, Grigorios; Shaham, Shai

    2011-09-01

    Glia have been, in many ways, the proverbial elephant in the room. Although glia are as numerous as neurons in vertebrate nervous systems, technical and other concerns had left research on these cells languishing, whereas research on neurons marched on. Importantly, model systems to study glia had lagged considerably behind. A concerted effort in recent years to develop the canonical invertebrate model animals, Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans, as settings to understand glial roles in nervous system development and function has begun to bear fruit. In this review, we summarize our current understanding of glia and their roles in the nervous system of the nematode C. elegans. The recent studies we describe highlight the similarities and differences between C. elegans and vertebrate glia, and focus on novel insights that are likely to have general relevance to all nervous systems. Copyright © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  20. SLO-1-channels of parasitic nematodes reconstitute locomotor behaviour and emodepside sensitivity in Caenorhabditis elegans slo-1 loss of function mutants.

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    Claudia Welz

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available The calcium-gated potassium channel SLO-1 in Caenorhabditis elegans was recently identified as key component for action of emodepside, a new anthelmintic drug with broad spectrum activity. In this study we identified orthologues of slo-1 in Ancylostoma caninum, Cooperia oncophora, and Haemonchus contortus, all important parasitic nematodes in veterinary medicine. Furthermore, functional analyses of these slo-1 orthologues were performed using heterologous expression in C. elegans. We expressed A. caninum and C. oncophora slo-1 in the emodepside-resistant genetic background of the slo-1 loss-of-function mutant NM1968 slo-1(js379. Transformants expressing A. caninum slo-1 from C. elegans slo-1 promoter were highly susceptible (compared to the fully emodepside-resistant slo-1(js379 and showed no significant difference in their emodepside susceptibility compared to wild-type C. elegans (p = 0.831. Therefore, the SLO-1 channels of A. caninum and C. elegans appear to be completely functionally interchangeable in terms of emodepside sensitivity. Furthermore, we tested the ability of the 5' flanking regions of A. caninum and C. oncophora slo-1 to drive expression of SLO-1 in C. elegans and confirmed functionality of the putative promoters in this heterologous system. For all transgenic lines tested, expression of either native C. elegans slo-1 or the parasite-derived orthologue rescued emodepside sensitivity in slo-1(js379 and the locomotor phenotype of increased reversal frequency confirming the reconstitution of SLO-1 function in the locomotor circuits. A potent mammalian SLO-1 channel inhibitor, penitrem A, showed emodepside antagonising effects in A. caninum and C. elegans. The study combined the investigation of new anthelmintic targets from parasitic nematodes and experimental use of the respective target genes in C. elegans, therefore closing the gap between research approaches using model nematodes and those using target organisms

  1. 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.

  2. Cell Biology of the Caenorhabditis elegans Nucleus.

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    Cohen-Fix, Orna; Askjaer, Peter

    2017-01-01

    Studies on the Caenorhabditis elegans nucleus have provided fascinating insight to the organization and activities of eukaryotic cells. Being the organelle that holds the genetic blueprint of the cell, the nucleus is critical for basically every aspect of cell biology. The stereotypical development of C. elegans from a one cell-stage embryo to a fertile hermaphrodite with 959 somatic nuclei has allowed the identification of mutants with specific alterations in gene expression programs, nuclear morphology, or nuclear positioning. Moreover, the early C. elegans embryo is an excellent model to dissect the mitotic processes of nuclear disassembly and reformation with high spatiotemporal resolution. We review here several features of the C. elegans nucleus, including its composition, structure, and dynamics. We also discuss the spatial organization of chromatin and regulation of gene expression and how this depends on tight control of nucleocytoplasmic transport. Finally, the extensive connections of the nucleus with the cytoskeleton and their implications during development are described. Most processes of the C. elegans nucleus are evolutionarily conserved, highlighting the relevance of this powerful and versatile model organism to human biology. Copyright © 2017 by the Genetics Society of America.

  3. 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.

  4. Identification of a previously undetected metabolic defect in the Complex II Caenorhabditis elegans mev-1 mutant strain using respiratory control analysis.

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    Fong, Sheng; Ng, Li Fang; Ng, Li Theng; Moore, Philip K; Halliwell, Barry; Gruber, Jan

    2017-04-01

    Hypometabolism may play an important role in the pathogenesis of ageing and ageing-related diseases. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans offers the opportunity to study "living mitochondria" in a small (~1 mm) animal replete with a highly stereotypical, yet complex, anatomy and physiology. Basal oxygen consumption rate is often employed as a proxy for energy metabolism in this context. This parameter is traditionally measured using single-chamber Clark electrodes without the addition of metabolic modulators. Recently, multi-well oxygen electrodes, facilitating addition of metabolic modulators and hence study of respiratory control during different mitochondrial respiration states, have been developed. However, only limited official protocols exist for C. elegans, and key limitations of these techniques are therefore unclear. Following modification and testing of some of the existing protocols, we used these methods to explore mitochondrial bioenergetics in live nematodes of an electron transfer chain Complex II mutant strain, mev-1, and identified a previously undetected metabolic defect. We find that mev-1 mutants cannot respond adequately to increased energy demands, suggesting that oxidative phosphorylation is more severely impaired in these animals than has previously been appreciated.

  5. Imaging metals in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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

    2017-04-19

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

  6. 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

  7. The Identification of a Novel Mutant Allele of topoisomerase II in Caenorhabditis elegans Reveals a Unique Role in Chromosome Segregation During Spermatogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaramillo-Lambert, Aimee; Fabritius, Amy S; Hansen, Tyler J; Smith, Harold E; Golden, Andy

    2016-12-01

    Topoisomerase II alleviates DNA entanglements that are generated during mitotic DNA replication, transcription, and sister chromatid separation. In contrast to mitosis, meiosis has two rounds of chromosome segregation following one round of DNA replication. In meiosis II, sister chromatids segregate from each other, similar to mitosis. Meiosis I, on the other hand, segregates homologs, which requires pairing, synapsis, and recombination. The exact role that topoisomerase II plays during meiosis is unknown. In a screen reexamining Caenorhabditis elegans legacy mutants isolated 30 years ago, we identified a novel allele of the gene encoding topoisomerase II, top-2(it7). In this study, we demonstrate that top-2(it7) males produce dead embryos, even when fertilizing wild-type oocytes. Characterization of early embryonic events indicates that fertilization is successful and sperm components are transmitted to the embryo. However, sperm chromatin is not detected in these fertilized embryos. Examination of top-2(it7) spermatogenic germ lines reveals that the sperm DNA fails to segregate properly during anaphase I of meiosis, resulting in anucleate sperm. top-2(it7) chromosome-segregation defects observed during anaphase I are not due to residual entanglements incurred during meiotic DNA replication and are not dependent on SPO-11-induced double-strand DNA breaks. Finally, we show that TOP-2 associates with chromosomes in meiotic prophase and that chromosome association is disrupted in the germ lines of top-2(it7) mutants. Copyright © 2016 by the Genetics Society of America.

  8. 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; 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niwa, Shinsuke

    2017-10-18

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

  10. Molecular mechanisms of Caenorhabditis elegans - Bacillus interactions

    OpenAIRE

    Iatsenko, Igor

    2014-01-01

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

  11. Dietary choice behavior in Caenorhabditis elegans

    OpenAIRE

    Shtonda, Boris Borisovich; Avery, Leon

    2006-01-01

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

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-03-20

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

  14. Tomosyn inhibits synaptic vesicle priming in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena O Gracheva

    2006-07-01

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

  15. Caenorhabditis elegans response to salt

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    O.O. Umuerri (Oluwatoroti Omowayewa)

    2012-01-01

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

  16. Structural properties of the Caenorhabditis elegans neuronal network

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bettina Meier

    2006-02-01

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

  18. Mainstreaming Caenorhabditis elegans in experimental evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gray, Jeremy C; Cutter, Asher D

    2014-03-07

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

  19. Mainstreaming Caenorhabditis elegans in experimental evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gray, Jeremy C.; Cutter, Asher D.

    2014-01-01

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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Longevity and stress in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  3. Spatiotemporal regulation of autophagy during Caenorhabditis elegans aging

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brent Cezairliyan

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Identification of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Phenazines that Kill Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    Pathogenic microbes employ a variety of methods to overcome host defenses, including the production and dispersal of molecules that are toxic to their hosts. Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a Gram-negative bacterium, is a pathogen of a diverse variety of hosts including mammals and the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. In this study, we identify three small molecules in the phenazine class that are produced by P. aeruginosa strain PA14 that are toxic to C. elegans. We demonstrate that 1-hydroxyphenazine, phenazine-1-carboxylic acid, and pyocyanin are capable of killing nematodes in a matter of hours. 1-hydroxyphenazine is toxic over a wide pH range, whereas the toxicities of phenazine-1-carboxylic acid and pyocyanin are pH-dependent at non-overlapping pH ranges. We found that acidification of the growth medium by PA14 activates the toxicity of phenazine-1-carboxylic acid, which is the primary toxic agent towards C. elegans in our assay. Pyocyanin is not toxic under acidic conditions and 1-hydroxyphenazine is produced at concentrations too low to kill C. elegans. These results suggest a role for phenazine-1-carboxylic acid in mammalian pathogenesis because PA14 mutants deficient in phenazine production have been shown to be defective in pathogenesis in mice. More generally, these data demonstrate how diversity within a class of metabolites could affect bacterial toxicity in different environmental niches. PMID:23300454

  7. 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...

  8. Approaches for Studying Autophagy in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yanfang; Scarcelli, Vincent; Legouis, Renaud

    2017-01-01

    Macroautophagy (hereafter referred to as autophagy) is an intracellular degradative process, well conserved among eukaryotes. By engulfing cytoplasmic constituents into the autophagosome for degradation, this process is involved in the maintenance of cellular homeostasis. Autophagy induction triggers the formation of a cup-shaped double membrane structure, the phagophore, which progressively elongates and encloses materials to be removed. This double membrane vesicle, which is called an autophagosome, fuses with lysosome and forms the autolysosome. The inner membrane of the autophagosome, along with engulfed compounds, are degraded by lysosomal enzymes, which enables the recycling of carbohydrates, amino acids, nucleotides, and lipids. In response to various factors, autophagy can be induced for non-selective degradation of bulk cytoplasm. Autophagy is also able to selectively target cargoes and organelles such as mitochondria or peroxisome, functioning as a quality control system. The modification of autophagy flux is involved in developmental processes such as resistance to stress conditions, aging, cell death, and multiple pathologies. So, the use of animal models is essential for understanding these processes in the context of different cell types throughout the entire lifespan. For almost 15 years, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has emerged as a powerful model to analyze autophagy in physiological or pathological contexts. This review presents a rapid overview of physiological processes involving autophagy in Caenorhabditis elegans, the different assays used to monitor autophagy, their drawbacks, and specific tools for the analyses of selective autophagy. PMID:28867808

  9. Approaches for Studying Autophagy in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yanfang Chen

    2017-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Programmed Cell Death During Caenorhabditis elegans Development

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Programmed Cell Death During Caenorhabditis elegans Development.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  15. Caenorhabditis elegans reveals novel Pseudomonas aeruginosa virulence mechanism

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Utari, Putri Dwi; Quax, Wim J.

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

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    -3 (hR VFT-3), are identified and characterized in Caenorhabditis elegans. However, studies pertaining to functional contribution of rft-2 in maintaining body homeostatic riboflavin levels and its regulation are very limited. In this study, the ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  18. The Natural Biotic Environment of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulenburg, Hinrich; Félix, Marie-Anne

    2017-05-01

    Organisms evolve in response to their natural environment. Consideration of natural ecological parameters are thus of key importance for our understanding of an organism's biology. Curiously, the natural ecology of the model species Caenorhabditis elegans has long been neglected, even though this nematode has become one of the most intensively studied models in biological research. This lack of interest changed ∼10 yr ago. Since then, an increasing number of studies have focused on the nematode's natural ecology. Yet many unknowns still remain. Here, we provide an overview of the currently available information on the natural environment of C. elegans We focus on the biotic environment, which is usually less predictable and thus can create high selective constraints that are likely to have had a strong impact on C. elegans evolution. This nematode is particularly abundant in microbe-rich environments, especially rotting plant matter such as decomposing fruits and stems. In this environment, it is part of a complex interaction network, which is particularly shaped by a species-rich microbial community. These microbes can be food, part of a beneficial gut microbiome, parasites and pathogens, and possibly competitors. C. elegans is additionally confronted with predators; it interacts with vector organisms that facilitate dispersal to new habitats, and also with competitors for similar food environments, including competitors from congeneric and also the same species. Full appreciation of this nematode's biology warrants further exploration of its natural environment and subsequent integration of this information into the well-established laboratory-based research approaches. Copyright © 2017 by the Genetics Society of America.

  19. The Natural Biotic Environment of Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulenburg, Hinrich; Félix, Marie-Anne

    2017-01-01

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

  20. Sorbus alnifolia protects dopaminergic neurodegeneration in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  1. 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

  2. Caenorhabditis elegans intersectin: a synaptic protein regulating neurotransmission

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2007-01-01

    the characterization of intersectin function in Caenorhabditis elegans. Nematode intersectin (ITSN-1) is expressed in the nervous system, and it is enriched in presynaptic regions. The C. elegans intersectin gene (itsn-1) is nonessential for viability. In addition, itsn-1-null worms do not display any evident...

  3. Caenorhabditis elegans chemical biology: lessons from small molecules

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  4. Precision Electrophile Tagging in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-16

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

  5. Monitoring Autophagic Responses in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papandreou, M E; Tavernarakis, N

    2017-01-01

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

  6. The RNAi Inheritance Machinery of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naama Feldman

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeon, Hoon; Cha, Dong Seok

    2016-05-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Big Data in Caenorhabditis elegans: quo vadis?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutter, Harald; Moerman, Donald

    2015-11-05

    A clear definition of what constitutes "Big Data" is difficult to identify, but we find it most useful to define Big Data as a data collection that is complete. By this criterion, researchers on Caenorhabditis elegans have a long history of collecting Big Data, since the organism was selected with the idea of obtaining a complete biological description and understanding of development. The complete wiring diagram of the nervous system, the complete cell lineage, and the complete genome sequence provide a framework to phrase and test hypotheses. Given this history, it might be surprising that the number of "complete" data sets for this organism is actually rather small--not because of lack of effort, but because most types of biological experiments are not currently amenable to complete large-scale data collection. Many are also not inherently limited, so that it becomes difficult to even define completeness. At present, we only have partial data on mutated genes and their phenotypes, gene expression, and protein-protein interaction--important data for many biological questions. Big Data can point toward unexpected correlations, and these unexpected correlations can lead to novel investigations; however, Big Data cannot establish causation. As a result, there is much excitement about Big Data, but there is also a discussion on just what Big Data contributes to solving a biological problem. Because of its relative simplicity, C. elegans is an ideal test bed to explore this issue and at the same time determine what is necessary to build a multicellular organism from a single cell. © 2015 Hutter and Moerman. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). Two months after publication it is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-28

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-09-25

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

    The proliferation of CRISPR/Cas9-based methods in Caenorhabditis elegans has enabled efficient genome editing and precise genomic tethering of Cas9 fusion proteins. Experimental designs using CRISPR/Cas9 are currently limited by the need for a protospacer adjacent motif (PAM) in the target with the sequence NGG. Here we report the characterization of two modified Cas9 proteins in C. elegans that recognize NGA and NGCG PAMs. We found that each variant could stimulate homologous recombination with a donor template at multiple loci and that PAM specificity was comparable to that of wild-type Cas9. To directly compare effectiveness, we used CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing to generate a set of assay strains with a common single-guide RNA (sgRNA) target sequence, but that differ in the juxtaposed PAM (NGG, NGA, or NGCG). In this controlled setting, we determined that the NGA PAM Cas9 variant can be as effective as wild-type Cas9. We similarly edited a genomic target to study the influence of the base following the NGA PAM. Using four strains with four NGAN PAMs differing only at the fourth position and adjacent to the same sgRNA target, we observed that efficient homologous replacement was attainable with any base in the fourth position, with an NGAG PAM being the most effective. In addition to demonstrating the utility of two Cas9 mutants in C. elegans and providing reagents that permit CRISPR/Cas9 experiments with fewer restrictions on potential targets, we established a means to benchmark the efficiency of different Cas9::PAM combinations that avoids variations owing to differences in the sgRNA sequence. Copyright © 2016 by the Genetics Society of America.

  20. Cas9 Variants Expand the Target Repertoire in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Molecular control of memory in nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    OpenAIRE

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

    2008-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-16

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-25

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, Jennifer R; Ausubel, Frederick M

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ardiel, Evan L.; Rankin, Catharine H.

    2010-01-01

    This article reviews the literature on learning and memory in the soil-dwelling nematode "Caenorhabditis elegans." Paradigms include nonassociative learning, associative learning, and imprinting, as worms have been shown to habituate to mechanical and chemical stimuli, as well as learn the smells, tastes, temperatures, and oxygen levels that…

  8. Antagonistic sensory cues generate gustatory plasticity in Caenorhabditis elegans

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-12-25

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

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganner, Athina; Neumann-Haefelin, Elke

    2017-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-12-09

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

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-02

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

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  20. Pseudomonas aeruginosa PA14 pathogenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  1. Metabolomic signature associated with reproduction-regulated aging in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wan, Qin-Li; Shi, Xiaohuo; Liu, Jiangxin; Ding, Ai-Jun; Pu, Yuan-Zhu; Li, Zhigang; Wu, Gui-Sheng; Luo, Huai-Rong

    2017-02-06

    In Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), ablation of germline stem cells (GSCs) leads to infertility, which extends lifespan. It has been reported that aging and reproduction are both inextricably associated with metabolism. However, few studies have investigated the roles of polar small molecules metabolism in regulating longevity by reproduction. In this work, we combined the nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and ultra-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS) to profile the water-soluble metabolome in C. elegans. Comparing the metabolic fingerprint between two physiological ages among different mutants, our results demonstrate that aging is characterized by metabolome remodeling and metabolic decline. In addition, by analyzing the metabolic profiles of long-lived germline-less glp-1 mutants, we discovered that glp-1 mutants regulate the levels of many age-variant metabolites to attenuate aging, including elevated concentrations of the pyrimidine and purine metabolism intermediates and decreased concentrations of the citric acid cycle intermediates. Interestingly, by analyzing the metabolome of daf-16;glp-1 double mutants, our results revealed that some metabolic exchange contributing to germline-mediated longevity was mediated by transcription factor FOXO/DAF-16, including pyrimidine metabolism and the TCA cycle. Based on a comprehensive metabolic analysis, we provide novel insight into the relationship between longevity and metabolism regulated by germline signals in C. elegans.

  2. Metabolomic signature associated with reproduction-regulated aging in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wan, Qin-Li; Shi, Xiaohuo; Liu, Jiangxin; Ding, Ai-Jun; Pu, Yuan-Zhu; Li, Zhigang; Wu, Gui-Sheng; Luo, Huai-Rong

    2017-01-01

    In Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), ablation of germline stem cells (GSCs) leads to infertility, which extends lifespan. It has been reported that aging and reproduction are both inextricably associated with metabolism. However, few studies have investigated the roles of polar small molecules metabolism in regulating longevity by reproduction. In this work, we combined the nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and ultra-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS) to profile the water-soluble metabolome in C. elegans. Comparing the metabolic fingerprint between two physiological ages among different mutants, our results demonstrate that aging is characterized by metabolome remodeling and metabolic decline. In addition, by analyzing the metabolic profiles of long-lived germline-less glp-1 mutants, we discovered that glp-1 mutants regulate the levels of many age-variant metabolites to attenuate aging, including elevated concentrations of the pyrimidine and purine metabolism intermediates and decreased concentrations of the citric acid cycle intermediates. Interestingly, by analyzing the metabolome of daf-16;glp-1 double mutants, our results revealed that some metabolic exchange contributing to germline-mediated longevity was mediated by transcription factor FOXO/DAF-16, including pyrimidine metabolism and the TCA cycle. Based on a comprehensive metabolic analysis, we provide novel insight into the relationship between longevity and metabolism regulated by germline signals in C. elegans PMID:28177875

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  4. New role for DCR-1/dicer in Caenorhabditis elegans innate immunity against the highly virulent bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis DB27.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-01

    Bacillus thuringiensis produces toxins that target invertebrates, including Caenorhabditis elegans. Virulence of Bacillus strains is often highly specific, such that B. thuringiensis strain DB27 is highly pathogenic to C. elegans but shows no virulence for another model nematode, Pristionchus pacificus. To uncover the underlying mechanisms of the differential responses of the two nematodes to B. thuringiensis DB27 and to reveal the C. elegans defense mechanisms against this pathogen, we conducted a genetic screen for C. elegans mutants resistant to B. thuringiensis DB27. Here, we describe a B. thuringiensis DB27-resistant C. elegans mutant that is identical to nasp-1, which encodes the C. elegans homolog of the nuclear-autoantigenic-sperm protein. Gene expression analysis indicated a substantial overlap between the genes downregulated in the nasp-1 mutant and targets of C. elegans dcr-1/Dicer, suggesting that dcr-1 is repressed in nasp-1 mutants, which was confirmed by quantitative PCR. Consistent with this, the nasp-1 mutant exhibits RNA interference (RNAi) deficiency and reduced longevity similar to those of a dcr-1 mutant. Building on these surprising findings, we further explored a potential role for dcr-1 in C. elegans innate immunity. We show that dcr-1 mutant alleles deficient in microRNA (miRNA) processing, but not those deficient only in RNAi, are resistant to B. thuringiensis DB27. Furthermore, dcr-1 overexpression rescues the nasp-1 mutant's resistance, suggesting that repression of dcr-1 determines the nasp-1 mutant's resistance. Additionally, we identified the collagen-encoding gene col-92 as one of the downstream effectors of nasp-1 that play an important role in resistance to DB27. Taken together, these results uncover a previously unknown role for DCR-1/Dicer in C. elegans antibacterial immunity that is largely associated with miRNA processing.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iatsenko, Igor; Sinha, Amit; Rödelsperger, Christian

    2013-01-01

    Bacillus thuringiensis produces toxins that target invertebrates, including Caenorhabditis elegans. Virulence of Bacillus strains is often highly specific, such that B. thuringiensis strain DB27 is highly pathogenic to C. elegans but shows no virulence for another model nematode, Pristionchus pacificus. To uncover the underlying mechanisms of the differential responses of the two nematodes to B. thuringiensis DB27 and to reveal the C. elegans defense mechanisms against this pathogen, we conducted a genetic screen for C. elegans mutants resistant to B. thuringiensis DB27. Here, we describe a B. thuringiensis DB27-resistant C. elegans mutant that is identical to nasp-1, which encodes the C. elegans homolog of the nuclear-autoantigenic-sperm protein. Gene expression analysis indicated a substantial overlap between the genes downregulated in the nasp-1 mutant and targets of C. elegans dcr-1/Dicer, suggesting that dcr-1 is repressed in nasp-1 mutants, which was confirmed by quantitative PCR. Consistent with this, the nasp-1 mutant exhibits RNA interference (RNAi) deficiency and reduced longevity similar to those of a dcr-1 mutant. Building on these surprising findings, we further explored a potential role for dcr-1 in C. elegans innate immunity. We show that dcr-1 mutant alleles deficient in microRNA (miRNA) processing, but not those deficient only in RNAi, are resistant to B. thuringiensis DB27. Furthermore, dcr-1 overexpression rescues the nasp-1 mutant's resistance, suggesting that repression of dcr-1 determines the nasp-1 mutant's resistance. Additionally, we identified the collagen-encoding gene col-92 as one of the downstream effectors of nasp-1 that play an important role in resistance to DB27. Taken together, these results uncover a previously unknown role for DCR-1/Dicer in C. elegans antibacterial immunity that is largely associated with miRNA processing. PMID:23918784

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morcos, Michael; Hutter, Harald

    2009-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

    Animals with compact sensory systems face an encoding problem where a small number of sensory neurons are required to encode information about its surrounding complex environment. Using Caenorhabditis elegans worms as a model, we ask how chemical stimuli are encoded by a small and highly connected sensory system. We first generated a comprehensive library of transgenic worms where each animal expresses a genetically encoded calcium indicator in individual sensory neurons....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Sojin; Choi, Seoyun; Ahn, Byungchan

    2016-01-01

    DNA damage responses are important for the maintenance of genome stability and the survival of organisms. Such responses are activated in the presence of DNA damage and lead to cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, and DNA repair. In Caenorhabditis elegans, double-strand breaks induced by DNA damaging agents have been detected indirectly by antibodies against DSB recognizing proteins. In this study we used a comet assay to detect DNA strand breaks and to measure the elimination of DNA strand breaks in mitotic germline nuclei of C. elegans. We found that C. elegans brc-1 mutants were more sensitive to ionizing radiation and camptothecin than the N2 wild-type strain and repaired DNA strand breaks less efficiently than N2. This study is the first demonstration of direct measurement of DNA strand breaks in mitotic germline nuclei of C. elegans. This newly developed assay can be applied to detect DNA strand breaks in different C. elegans mutants that are sensitive to DNA damaging agents. PMID:26903030

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Sojin; Choi, Seoyun; Ahn, Byungchan

    2016-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) between bacteria occurs in the intestinal tract of their animal hosts and facilitates both virulence and antibiotic resistance. A model in which both the pathogen and the host are genetically tractable facilitates developing insight into mechanistic processes enabling or restricting the transfer of antibiotic resistance genes. Here we develop an in vivo experimental system to study HGT in bacteria using Caenorhabditis elegans as a model host. Using a thermosensitive conjugative system, we provide evidence that conjugation between two Escherichia coli strains can take place in the intestinal lumen of N2 wild-type worms at a rate of 10−3 and 10−2 per donor. We also show that C. elegans age and genotype are important determinants of the frequency of conjugation. Whereas ∼1 transconjugant for every 100 donor cells could be recovered from the intestine of N2 C. elegans, for the age-1 and tol-1 mutants, the detected rate of transconjugation (10−3 and 10−4 per donor cell, respectively) was significantly lower. This work demonstrates that increased recombination among lumenal microbial populations is a phenotype associated with host aging, and the model provides a framework to study the dynamics of bacterial horizontal gene transfer within the intestinal environment.—Portal-Celhay, C., Nehrke, K., Blaser, M. J. Effect of Caenorhabditis elegans age and genotype on horizontal gene transfer in intestinal bacteria. PMID:23085995

  12. Cross-link formation between mutant galectins of Caenorhabditis elegans with a substituted cysteine residue and asialofetuin via a photoactivatable bifunctional reagent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamura, Mayumi; Takeuchi, Tomoharu; Nonaka, Takamasa; Kasai, Ken-Ichi; Arata, Yoichiro

    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 model glycoprotein ligand, bovine asialofetuin, by using a bifunctional photoactivatable cross-linking reagent, benzophenone-4-maleimide. In the present work, we applied the same procedure to the C-terminal lectin domain (Ch) of LEC-1. Cross-linked products were formed in the cases of two mutants in which a cysteine residue was introduced at Lys¹⁷⁷ and Ser²⁶⁸, respectively. This method is very useful for capturing and assigning endogenous ligand glycoconjugates with relatively low affinities to each carbohydrate recognition domain of the whole tandem repeat-type galectin molecule.

  13. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bhagavathi Sundaram Sivamaruthi

    2012-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-07-01

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

  17. In Vivo Inhibition of Lipid Accumulation in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-01

    A little over 50 years ago, Sydney Brenner had the foresight to develop the nematode (round worm) Caenorhabditis elegans as a genetic model for understanding questions of developmental biology and neurobiology. Over time, research on C. elegans has expanded to explore a wealth of diverse areas in modern biology including studies of the basic functions and interactions of eukaryotic cells, host-parasite interactions, and evolution. C. elegans has also become an important organism in which to study processes that go awry in human diseases. This primer introduces the organism and the many features that make it an outstanding experimental system, including its small size, rapid life cycle, transparency, and well-annotated genome. We survey the basic anatomical features, common technical approaches, and important discoveries in C. elegans research. Key to studying C. elegans has been the ability to address biological problems genetically, using both forward and reverse genetics, both at the level of the entire organism and at the level of the single, identified cell. These possibilities make C. elegans useful not only in research laboratories, but also in the classroom where it can be used to excite students who actually can see what is happening inside live cells and tissues. Copyright © 2015 Corsi, Wightman, and Chalfie.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bird, D M; Opperman, C H

    1998-09-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-20

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-08-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-02-01

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

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

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    Shawn Lewenza

    2014-08-01

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

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

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    Sandeep Kumar

    2016-02-01

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

  10. Novel and conserved protein macoilin is required for diverse neuronal functions in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Akiko Miyara

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Neural signals are processed in nervous systems of animals responding to variable environmental stimuli. This study shows that a novel and highly conserved protein, macoilin (MACO-1, plays an essential role in diverse neural functions in Caenorhabditis elegans. maco-1 mutants showed abnormal behaviors, including defective locomotion, thermotaxis, and chemotaxis. Expression of human macoilin in the C. elegans nervous system weakly rescued the abnormal thermotactic phenotype of the maco-1 mutants, suggesting that macoilin is functionally conserved across species. Abnormal thermotaxis may have been caused by impaired locomotion of maco-1 mutants. However, calcium imaging of AFD thermosensory neurons and AIY postsynaptic interneurons of maco-1 mutants suggest that macoilin is required for appropriate responses of AFD and AIY neurons to thermal stimuli. Studies on localization of MACO-1 showed that C. elegans and human macoilins are localized mainly to the rough endoplasmic reticulum. Our results suggest that macoilin is required for various neural events, such as the regulation of neuronal activity.

  11. Nucleotide Excision Repair in Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Hannes Lans

    2011-01-01

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

  12. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

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    Takaaki Hirotsu

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

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

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    Xiaowen Huang

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

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

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    Hongbing Jiang

    2017-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-11-01

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

  18. 5'-AMP-Activated Protein Kinase Signaling in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmadi, Moloud; Roy, Richard

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

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1994-02-01

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

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

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    Sakiko Honjoh

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  3. Noncanonical cell death in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kinet, Maxime J; Shaham, Shai

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-11-10

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

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

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    Ichiro N. Maruyama

    2017-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia Back

    2012-01-01

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

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-17

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

  11. A regulated response to impaired respiration slows behavioral rates and increases lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    David Cristina

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available When mitochondrial respiration or ubiquinone production is inhibited in Caenorhabditis elegans, behavioral rates are slowed and lifespan is extended. Here, we show that these perturbations increase the expression of cell-protective and metabolic genes and the abundance of mitochondrial DNA. This response is similar to the response triggered by inhibiting respiration in yeast and mammalian cells, termed the "retrograde response". As in yeast, genes switched on in C. elegans mitochondrial mutants extend lifespan, suggesting an underlying evolutionary conservation of mechanism. Inhibition of fstr-1, a potential signaling gene that is up-regulated in clk-1 (ubiquinone-defective mutants, and its close homolog fstr-2 prevents the expression of many retrograde-response genes and accelerates clk-1 behavioral and aging rates. Thus, clk-1 mutants live in "slow motion" because of a fstr-1/2-dependent pathway that responds to ubiquinone. Loss of fstr-1/2 does not suppress the phenotypes of all long-lived mitochondrial mutants. Thus, although different mitochondrial perturbations activate similar transcriptional and physiological responses, they do so in different ways.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  13. skn-1 is required for interneuron sensory integration and foraging behavior in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Wilson, Mark A; Iser, Wendy B; Son, Tae Gen; Logie, Anne; Cabral-Costa, Joao V; Mattson, Mark P; Camandola, Simonetta

    2017-01-01

    Nrf2/skn-1, a transcription factor known to mediate adaptive responses of cells to stress, also regulates energy metabolism in response to changes in nutrient availability. The ability to locate food sources depends upon chemosensation. Here we show that Nrf2/skn-1 is expressed in olfactory interneurons, and is required for proper integration of multiple food-related sensory cues in Caenorhabditis elegans. Compared to wild type worms, skn-1 mutants fail to perceive that food density is limiting, and display altered chemo- and thermotactic responses. These behavioral deficits are associated with aberrant AIY interneuron morphology and migration in skn-1 mutants. Both skn-1-dependent AIY autonomous and non-autonomous mechanisms regulate the neural circuitry underlying multisensory integration of environmental cues related to energy acquisition.

  14. 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

  15. An atlas of Caenorhabditis elegans chemoreceptor expression

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

    2018-01-01

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

  16. Decreased energy metabolism extends life span in Caenorhabditis elegans without reducing oxidative damage.

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    Van Raamsdonk, Jeremy Michael; Meng, Yan; Camp, Darius; Yang, Wen; Jia, Xihua; Bénard, Claire; Hekimi, Siegfried

    2010-06-01

    On the basis of the free radical and rate of living theories of aging, it has been proposed that decreased metabolism leads to increased longevity through a decreased production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). In this article, we examine the relationship between mitochondrial energy metabolism and life span by using the Clk mutants in Caenorhabditis elegans. Clk mutants are characterized by slow physiologic rates, delayed development, and increased life span. This phenotype suggests that increased life span may be achieved by decreasing energy expenditure. To test this hypothesis, we identified six novel Clk mutants in a screen for worms that have slow defecation and slow development and that can be maternally rescued. Interestingly, all 11 Clk mutants have increased life span despite the fact that slow physiologic rates were used as the only screening criterion. Although mitochondrial function is decreased in the Clk mutants, ATP levels are normal or increased, suggesting decreased energy utilization. To determine whether the longevity of the Clk mutants results from decreased production of ROS, we examined sensitivity to oxidative stress and oxidative damage. We found no evidence for systematically increased resistance to oxidative stress or decreased oxidative damage in the Clk mutants despite normal or elevated levels of superoxide dismutases. Overall, our findings suggest that decreased energy metabolism can lead to increased life span without decreased production of ROS.

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

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    Reinke, Valerie; Cutter, Asher D

    2009-04-01

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

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

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

    2007-10-01

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

  19. Undulatory locomotion of Caenorhabditis elegans on wet surfaces.

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

    2012-06-20

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

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

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    Nicole Shangming Hou

    2012-05-01

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

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

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    Jin-ling CAI

    2012-09-01

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

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

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

    2013-12-17

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

  3. Mutations in a guanylate cyclase GCY-35/GCY-36 modify Bardet-Biedl syndrome-associated phenotypes in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Calvin A Mok

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Ciliopathies are pleiotropic and genetically heterogeneous disorders caused by defective development and function of the primary cilium. Bardet-Biedl syndrome (BBS proteins localize to the base of cilia and undergo intraflagellar transport, and the loss of their functions leads to a multisystemic ciliopathy. Here we report the identification of mutations in guanylate cyclases (GCYs as modifiers of Caenorhabditis elegans bbs endophenotypes. The loss of GCY-35 or GCY-36 results in suppression of the small body size, developmental delay, and exploration defects exhibited by multiple bbs mutants. Moreover, an effector of cGMP signalling, a cGMP-dependent protein kinase, EGL-4, also modifies bbs mutant defects. We propose that a misregulation of cGMP signalling, which underlies developmental and some behavioural defects of C. elegans bbs mutants, may also contribute to some BBS features in other organisms.

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

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    Surasri N Sahu

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

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

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    Gunnar Rätsch

    2007-02-01

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

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

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    Guillermina Hernando

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

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

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

    2015-11-06

    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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. MGL-1 on AIY neurons translates starvation to reproductive plasticity via neuropeptide signaling in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Jeong, Haelim; Paik, Young-Ki

    2017-10-01

    Reproductive plasticity is the ability of an animal to modulate its reproductive functions in response to environmental changes. For example, Caenorhabditis elegans, a free-living nematode, can adjust the onsets of oogenesis and embryogenesis under harsh environmental conditions, including starvation. However, the molecular mechanisms used to perceive and translate environmental signals into reproductive functional adjustments remain largely uncharacterized. We discovered that in C. elegans, the glutamate receptor homolog MGL-1 initiated reproductive plasticity in response to starvation. A genetic analysis of the mutant gene, mgl-1(tm1811), suggested that starvation delayed the onsets of oogenesis and embryogenesis via MGL-1. Cell-specific rescues of mgl-1 deletion mutants, which used transgenic lines designed to express MGL-1 in different neurons (e.g., RMD, AIA, AIY, and NSM), suggested that only AIY-rescued animals exhibited normal delays in oogenesis and embryogenesis equivalent to those of wild-type animals, suggesting recovery. Furthermore, in AIY neurons, MGL-1 appears to use neuropeptide signaling, rather than glutamate, to translate starvation stimuli into delayed oogenesis and embryogenesis. Our findings, which reveal molecular linkages between starvation signals and reproductive alterations, may provide a basis for understanding energy reallocation mechanisms, as the mgl-1 deletion mutant exhibited more severe reductions in lifespan and fat accumulation than did wild-type animals under starvation conditions. Taken together, MGL-1 is the molecular driver underlying the translation of starvation signals to reproduction plasticity in an AIY neuron-specific manner. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

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    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.

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

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    Gjorgjieva, Julijana; Biron, David; Haspel, Gal

    2014-01-01

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

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

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

    2017-07-01

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

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

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    Hawkins, M G; McGhee, J D

    1995-06-16

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

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

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

    2011-05-06

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

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

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-02-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) between bacteria occurs in the intestinal tract of their animal hosts and facilitates both virulence and antibiotic resistance. A model in which both the pathogen and the host are genetically tractable facilitates developing insight into mechanistic processes enabling or restricting the transfer of antibiotic resistance genes. Here we develop an in vivo experimental system to study HGT in bacteria using Caenorhabditis elegans as a model host. Using a thermosensitive conjugative system, we provide evidence that conjugation between two Escherichia coli strains can take place in the intestinal lumen of N2 wild-type worms at a rate of 10(-3) and 10(-2) per donor. We also show that C. elegans age and genotype are important determinants of the frequency of conjugation. Whereas ∼1 transconjugant for every 100 donor cells could be recovered from the intestine of N2 C. elegans, for the age-1 and tol-1 mutants, the detected rate of transconjugation (10(-3) and 10(-4) per donor cell, respectively) was significantly lower. This work demonstrates that increased recombination among lumenal microbial populations is a phenotype associated with host aging, and the model provides a framework to study the dynamics of bacterial horizontal gene transfer within the intestinal environment.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-09-01

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

  18. Aversive olfactory learning and associative long-term memory in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amano, Hisayuki; Maruyama, Ichiro N

    2011-10-01

    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 4.0), as an unconditioned stimulus (US). Before the conditioning, worms were attracted to 1-propanol and avoided HCl in chemotaxis assay. In contrast, after massed or spaced training, worms were either not attracted at all to or repelled from 1-propanol on the assay plate. The memory after the spaced training was retained for 24 h, while the memory after the massed training was no longer observable within 3 h. Worms pretreated with transcription and translation inhibitors failed to form the memory by the spaced training, whereas the memory after the massed training was not significantly affected by the inhibitors and was sensitive to cold-shock anesthesia. Therefore, the memories after the spaced and massed trainings can be classified as long-term memory (LTM) and short-term/middle-term memory (STM/MTM), respectively. Consistently, like other organisms including Aplysia, Drosophila, and mice, C. elegans mutants defective in nmr-1 encoding an NMDA receptor subunit failed to form both LTM and STM/MTM, while mutations in crh-1 encoding the CREB transcription factor affected only the LTM.

  19. Burkholderia pseudomallei kills the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans using an endotoxin-mediated paralysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Quinn, A L; Wiegand, E M; Jeddeloh, J A

    2001-06-01

    We investigated a non-mammalian host model system for fitness in genetic screening for virulence-attenuating mutations in the potential biowarfare agents Burkholderia pseudomallei and Burkholderia mallei. We determined that B. pseudomallei is able to cause 'disease-like' symptoms and kill the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Analysis of killing in the surrogate disease model with B. pseudomallei mutants indicated that killing did not require lipopolysaccharide (LPS) O-antigen, aminoglycoside/macrolide efflux pumping, type II pathway-secreted exoenzymes or motility. Burkholderia thailandensis and some strains of Burkholderia cepacia also killed nematodes. Manipulation of the nematode host genotype suggests that the neuromuscular intoxication caused by both B. pseudomallei and B. thailandensis acts in part through a disruption of normal Ca2+ signal transduction. Both species produce a UV-sensitive, gamma-irradiation-resistant, limited diffusion, paralytic agent as part of their nematode pathogenic mechanism. The results of this investigation suggest that killing by B. pseudomallei is an active process in C. elegans, and that the C. elegans model might be useful for the identification of vertebrate animal virulence factors in B. pseudomallei.

  20. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrushin, Alexey; Ferrara, Lorenzo; Blau, Axel

    2016-12-01

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

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myers, Edith M.

    2014-01-01

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

  6. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amano, Hisayuki; Maruyama, Ichiro N.

    2011-01-01

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

  8. Glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency enhances germ cell apoptosis and causes defective embryogenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, H-C; Chen, T-L; Wu, Y-H; Cheng, K-P; Lin, Y-H; Cheng, M-L; Ho, H-Y; Lo, S J; Chiu, D T-Y

    2013-01-01

    Glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency, known as favism, is classically manifested by hemolytic anemia in human. More recently, it has been shown that mild G6PD deficiency moderately affects cardiac function, whereas severe G6PD deficiency leads to embryonic lethality in mice. How G6PD deficiency affects organisms has not been fully elucidated due to the lack of a suitable animal model. In this study, G6PD-deficient Caenorhabditis elegans was established by RNA interference (RNAi) knockdown to delineate the role of G6PD in animal physiology. Upon G6PD RNAi knockdown, G6PD activity was significantly hampered in C. elegans in parallel with increased oxidative stress and DNA oxidative damage. Phenotypically, G6PD-knockdown enhanced germ cell apoptosis (2-fold increase), reduced egg production (65% of mock), and hatching (10% of mock). To determine whether oxidative stress is associated with G6PD knockdown-induced reproduction defects, C. elegans was challenged with a short-term hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). The early phase egg production of both mock and G6PD-knockdown C. elegans were significantly affected by H2O2. However, H2O2-induced germ cell apoptosis was more dramatic in mock than that in G6PD-deficient C. elegans. To investigate the signaling pathways involved in defective oogenesis and embryogenesis caused by G6PD knockdown, mutants of p53 and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways were examined. Despite the upregulation of CEP-1 (p53), cep-1 mutation did not affect egg production and hatching in G6PD-deficient C. elegans. Neither pmk-1 nor mek-1 mutation significantly affected egg production, whereas sek-1 mutation further decreased egg production in G6PD-deficient C. elegans. Intriguingly, loss of function of sek-1 or mek-1 dramatically rescued defective hatching (8.3- and 9.6-fold increase, respectively) induced by G6PD knockdown. Taken together, these findings show that G6PD knockdown reduces egg production and hatching in C. elegans

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaham, Shai

    2007-11-07

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shai Shaham

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papaevgeniou, Nikoletta; Chondrogianni, Niki

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  16. 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. Copyright © 2014 by the Genetics Society of America.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

    Development of complex nervous systems requires precisely controlled neurogenesis. The generation and specification of neurons occur through the transcriptional and post-Transcriptional control of complex regulatory networks. In vertebrates and invertebrates, the proneural basic-helix-loop-helix (b......HLH) family of transcription factors has multiple functions in neurogenesis. Here, we identified the LIN-32/Atonal bHLH transcription factor as a key regulator of URXL/R oxygen-sensing neuron development in Caenorhabditis elegans. When LIN-32/Atonal expression is lost, the expression of URX specification...... and terminal differentiation genes is abrogated. As such, lin-32 mutant animals are unable to respond to increases in environmental oxygen. The URX neurons are generated from a branch of the cell lineage that also produces the CEPDL/R and URADL/R neurons. We found development of these neurons is also defective...

  19. Sperm Affects Head Sensory Neuron in Temperature Tolerance of Caenorhabditis elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Satoru Sonoda

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Tolerance to environmental temperature change is essential for the survival and proliferation of animals. The process is controlled by various body tissues, but the orchestration of activity within the tissue network has not been elucidated in detail. Here, we show that sperm affects the activity of temperature-sensing neurons (ASJ that control cold tolerance in Caenorhabditis elegans. Genetic impairment of sperm caused abnormal cold tolerance, which was unexpectedly restored by impairment of temperature signaling in ASJ neurons. Calcium imaging revealed that ASJ neuronal activity in response to temperature was decreased in sperm mutant gsp-4 with impaired protein phosphatase 1 and rescued by expressing gsp-4 in sperm. Genetic analysis revealed a feedback network in which ASJ neuronal activity regulates the intestine through insulin and a steroid hormone, which then affects sperm and, in turn, controls ASJ neuronal activity. Thus, we propose that feedback between sperm and a sensory neuron mediating temperature tolerance.

  20. Facilitation of Endosomal Recycling by an IRG Protein Homolog Maintains Apical Tubule Structure in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grussendorf, Kelly A.; Trezza, Christopher J.; Salem, Alexander T.; Al-Hashimi, Hikmat; Mattingly, Brendan C.; Kampmeyer, Drew E.; Khan, Liakot A.; Hall, David H.; Göbel, Verena; Ackley, Brian D.; Buechner, Matthew

    2016-01-01

    Determination of luminal diameter is critical to the function of small single-celled tubes. A series of EXC proteins, including EXC-1, prevent swelling of the tubular excretory canals in Caenorhabditis elegans. In this study, cloning of exc-1 reveals it to encode a homolog of mammalian IRG proteins, which play roles in immune response and autophagy and are associated with Crohn’s disease. Mutants in exc-1 accumulate early endosomes, lack recycling endosomes, and exhibit abnormal apical cytoskeletal structure in regions of enlarged tubules. EXC-1 interacts genetically with two other EXC proteins that also affect endosomal trafficking. In yeast two-hybrid assays, wild-type and putative constitutively active EXC-1 binds to the LIM-domain protein EXC-9, whose homolog, cysteine-rich intestinal protein, is enriched in mammalian intestine. These results suggest a model for IRG function in forming and maintaining apical tubule structure via regulation of endosomal recycling. PMID:27334269

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

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    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.

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

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    Adam L Nekimken

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

  3. A Caenorhabditis elegans Mass Spectrometric Resource for Neuropeptidomics

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  4. Structural properties of the Caenorhabditis elegans neuronal network.

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    Lav R Varshney

    2011-02-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

    Animal behavior is shaped through interplay among genes, the environment, and previous experience. As in mammals, satiety signals induce quiescence in Caenorhabditis elegans Here we report that the C. elegans transcription factor ETS-5, an ortholog of mammalian FEV/Pet1, controls satiety-induced ......-regulated behavioral state switching. Taken together, our results identify a neuronal mechanism for controlling intestinal fat stores and organismal behavioral states in C. elegans, and establish a paradigm for the elucidation of obesity-relevant mechanisms....

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

    Although the starvation response of the model multicellular organism Caenorhabditis elegans is a subject of much research, there is no convenient phenotypic readout of caloric restriction that can be applicable to large numbers of worms. This paper describes the distribution of mass densities of populations of C. elegans, from larval stages up to day one of adulthood, using isopycnic centrifugation, and finds that density is a convenient, if complex, phenotypic readout in C. elegans. The dens...

  7. Rapid high resolution single nucleotide polymorphism-comparative genome hybridization mapping in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flibotte, Stephane; Edgley, Mark L; Maydan, Jason; Taylor, Jon; Zapf, Rick; Waterston, Robert; Moerman, Donald G

    2009-01-01

    We have developed a significantly improved and simplified method for high-resolution mapping of phenotypic traits in Caenorhabditis elegans using a combination of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and oligo array comparative genome hybridization (array CGH). We designed a custom oligonucleotide array using a subset of confirmed SNPs between the canonical wild-type Bristol strain N2 and the Hawaiian isolate CB4856, populated with densely overlapping 50-mer probes corresponding to both N2 and CB4856 SNP sequences. Using this method a mutation can be mapped to a resolution of approximately 200 kb in a single genetic cross. Six mutations representing each of the C. elegans chromosomes were detected unambiguously and at high resolution using genomic DNA from populations derived from as few as 100 homozygous mutant segregants of mutant N2/CB4856 heterozygotes. Our method completely dispenses with the PCR, restriction digest, and gel analysis of standard SNP mapping and should be easy to extend to any organism with interbreeding strains. This method will be particularly powerful when applied to difficult or hard-to-map low-penetrance phenotypes. It should also be possible to map polygenic traits using this method.

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

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    Furuhashi, Tsubasa; Sakamoto, Kazuichi

    2015-07-03

    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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Developmental Wiring of Specific Neurons Is Regulated by RET-1/Nogo-A in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torpe, Nanna; Nørgaard, Steffen; Høye, Anette M; Pocock, Roger

    2017-01-01

    Nogo-A is a membrane-bound protein that functions to inhibit neuronal migration, adhesion, and neurite outgrowth during development. In the mature nervous system, Nogo-A stabilizes neuronal wiring to inhibit neuronal plasticity and regeneration after injury. Here, we show that RET-1, the sole Nogo-A homolog in Caenorhabditis elegans, is required to control developmental wiring of a specific subset of neurons. In ret-1 deletion mutant animals, specific ventral nerve cord axons are misguided where they fail to respect the ventral midline boundary. We found that ret-1 is expressed in multiple neurons during development, and, through mosaic analysis, showed that ret-1 controls axon guidance in a cell-autonomous manner. Finally, as in mammals, ret-1 regulates ephrin expression, and dysregulation of the ephrin ligand VAB-2 is partially responsible for the ret-1 mutant axonal defects. Together, our data present a previously unidentified function for RET-1 in the nervous system of C. elegans. Copyright © 2017 by the Genetics Society of America.

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-05-01

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

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

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    Rui Lu

    2009-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-02

    In this study, we investigated potentially probiotic Bacillus licheniformis strains isolated from traditional Korean food sources for ability to enhance longevity using the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as a simple in vivo animal model. We first investigated whether B. licheniformis strains were capable of modulating the lifespan of C. elegans. Among the tested strains, preconditioning with four B. licheniformis strains significantly enhanced the longevity of C. elegans. Unexpectedly, plate counting and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) results indicated that B. licheniformis strains were not more highly attached to the C. elegans intestine compared with Escherichia coli OP50 or Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG controls. In addition, qRT-PCR and an aging assay with mutant worms showed that the conditioning of B. licheniformis strain 141 directly influenced genes associated with serotonin signaling in nematodes, including tph-1 (tryptophan hydroxylase), bas-1 (serotonin- and dopamine-synthetic aromatic amino acid decarboxylase), mod-1 (serotonin-gated chloride channel), ser-1, and ser-7 (serotonin receptors) during C. elegans aging. Our findings suggest that B. licheniformis strain 141, which is isolated from traditional Korean foods, is a probiotic generally recognized as safe (GRAS) strain that enhances the lifespan of C. elegans via host serotonin signaling.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    JebaMercy, Gnanasekaran; Vigneshwari, Loganathan; Balamurugan, Krishnaswamy

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

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

  17. PDF receptor signaling in Caenorhabditis elegans modulates locomotion and egg-laying.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meelkop, Ellen; Temmerman, Liesbet; Janssen, Tom; Suetens, Nick; Beets, Isabel; Van Rompay, Liesbeth; Shanmugam, Nilesh; Husson, Steven J; Schoofs, Liliane

    2012-09-25

    In Caenorhabditis elegans, pdfr-1 encodes three receptors of the secretin receptor family. These G protein-coupled receptors are activated by three neuropeptides, pigment dispersing factors 1a, 1b and 2, which are encoded by pdf-1 and pdf-2. We isolated a PDF receptor loss-of-function allele (lst34) by means of a mutagenesis screen and show that the PDF signaling system is involved in locomotion and egg-laying. We demonstrate that the pdfr-1 mutant phenocopies the defective locomotor behavior of the pdf-1 mutant and that pdf-1 and pdf-2 behave antagonistically. All three PDF receptor splice variants are involved in the regulation of locomotor behavior. Cell specific rescue experiments show that this pdf mediated behavior is regulated by neurons rather than body wall muscles. We also show that egg-laying patterns of pdf-1 and pdf-2 mutants are affected, but not those of pdfr-1 mutants, pointing to a novel role for the PDF-system in the regulation of egg-laying. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Competence for Chemical Reprogramming of Sexual Fate Correlates with an Intersexual Molecular Signature in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sorokin, Elena P.; Gasch, Audrey P.; Kimble, Judith

    2014-01-01

    In multicellular organisms, genetic programs guide cells to adopt cell fates as tissues are formed during development, maintained in adults, and repaired after injury. Here we explore how a small molecule in the environment can switch a genetic program from one fate to another. Wild-type Caenorhabditis elegans XX adult hermaphrodites make oocytes continuously, but certain mutant XX adults make sperm instead in an otherwise hermaphrodite soma. Thus, puf-8; lip-1 XX adults make only sperm, but they can be switched from sperm to oocyte production by treatment with a small-molecule MEK inhibitor. To ask whether this chemical reprogramming is common, we tested six XX sperm-only mutants, but found only one other capable of cell fate switching, fbf-1; lip-1. Therefore, reprogramming competence relies on genotype, with only certain mutants capable of responding to the MEK inhibitor with a cell fate change. To gain insight into the molecular basis of competence for chemical reprogramming, we compared polyadenylated transcriptomes of competent and noncompetent XX sperm-only mutants in the absence of the MEK inhibitor and hence in the absence of cell fate reprogramming. Despite their cellular production of sperm, competent mutants were enriched for oogenic messenger RNAs relative to mutants lacking competence for chemical reprogramming. In addition, competent mutants expressed the oocyte-specific protein RME-2, whereas those lacking competence did not. Therefore, mutants competent for reprogramming possess an intersexual molecular profile at both RNA and protein levels. We suggest that this intersexual molecular signature is diagnostic of an intermediate network state that poises the germline tissue for changing its cellular fate in response to environmental cues. PMID:25146970

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David A. Bulger

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Human exome sequencing has dramatically increased the rate of identification of disease-associated polymorphisms. However, examining the functional consequences of those variants has created an analytic bottleneck. Insulin-like signaling in Caenorhabditis elegans has long provided a model to assess consequences of human insulin signaling mutations, but this has not been evaluated in the context of current genetic tools. We have exploited strains derived from the Million Mutation Project (MMP and gene editing to explore further the evolutionary relationships and conservation between the human and C. elegans insulin receptors. Of 40 MMP alleles analyzed in the C. elegans insulin-like receptor gene DAF-2, 35 exhibited insulin-like signaling indistinguishable from wild-type animals, indicating tolerated mutations. Five MMP alleles proved to be novel dauer-enhancing mutations, including one new allele in the previously uncharacterized C-terminus of DAF-2. CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing was used to confirm the phenotypic consequence of six of these DAF-2 mutations and to replicate an allelic series of known human disease mutations in a highly conserved tyrosine kinase active site residue, demonstrating the utility of C. elegans for directly modeling human disease. Our results illustrate the challenges associated with prediction of the phenotypic consequences of amino acid substitutions, the value of assaying mutant isoform function in vivo, and how recently developed tools and resources afford the opportunity to expand our understanding even of highly conserved regulatory modules such as insulin signaling. This approach may prove generally useful for modeling phenotypic consequences of candidate human pathogenic mutations in conserved signaling and developmental pathways.

  20. The Genetics of Axon Guidance and Axon Regeneration in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chisholm, Andrew D.; Hutter, Harald; Jin, Yishi; Wadsworth, William G.

    2016-01-01

    The correct wiring of neuronal circuits depends on outgrowth and guidance of neuronal processes during development. In the past two decades, great progress has been made in understanding the molecular basis of axon outgrowth and guidance. Genetic analysis in Caenorhabditis elegans has played a key role in elucidating conserved pathways regulating axon guidance, including Netrin signaling, the slit Slit/Robo pathway, Wnt signaling, and others. Axon guidance factors were first identified by screens for mutations affecting animal behavior, and by direct visual screens for axon guidance defects. Genetic analysis of these pathways has revealed the complex and combinatorial nature of guidance cues, and has delineated how cues guide growth cones via receptor activity and cytoskeletal rearrangement. Several axon guidance pathways also affect directed migrations of non-neuronal cells in C. elegans, with implications for normal and pathological cell migrations in situations such as tumor metastasis. The small number of neurons and highly stereotyped axonal architecture of the C. elegans nervous system allow analysis of axon guidance at the level of single identified axons, and permit in vivo tests of prevailing models of axon guidance. C. elegans axons also have a robust capacity to undergo regenerative regrowth after precise laser injury (axotomy). Although such axon regrowth shares some similarities with developmental axon outgrowth, screens for regrowth mutants have revealed regeneration-specific pathways and factors that were not identified in developmental screens. Several areas remain poorly understood, including how major axon tracts are formed in the embryo, and the function of axon regeneration in the natural environment. PMID:28114100

  1. Depletion of cdc-25.3, a Caenorhabditis elegans orthologue of cdc25, increases physiological germline apoptosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sung, Minhee; Kawasaki, Ichiro; Shim, Yhong-Hee

    2017-07-01

    In Caenorhabditis elegans hermaphrodites, physiological germline apoptosis is higher in cdc-25.3 mutants than in wild-type. The elevated germline apoptosis in cdc-25.3 mutants seems to be induced by accumulation of double-stranded DNA breaks (DSBs). Both DNA damage and synapsis checkpoint genes are required to increase the germline apoptosis. Notably, the number of germ cells that lose P-granule components, PGL-1 and PGL-3, increase in cdc-25.3 mutants, and the increase in germline apoptosis requires the activity of SIR-2.1, a Sirtuin orthologue. These results suggest that elevation of germline apoptosis in cdc-25.3 mutants is induced by accumulation of DSBs, leading to a loss of PGL-1 and PGL-3 in germ cells, which promotes cytoplasmic translocation of SIR-2.1, and finally activates the core apoptotic machinery. © 2017 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.

  2. Distinct roles of the two VPS33 proteins in the endolysosomal system in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gengyo-Ando, Keiko; Kage-Nakadai, Eriko; Yoshina, Sawako; Otori, Muneyoshi; Kagawa-Nagamura, Yuko; Nakai, Junichi; Mitani, Shohei

    2016-11-01

    Sec1/Munc-18 (SM) family proteins are essential regulators in intracellular transport in eukaryotic cells. The SM protein Vps33 functions as a core subunit of two tethering complexes, class C core vacuole/endosome tethering (CORVET) and homotypic fusion and vacuole protein sorting (HOPS) in the endocytic pathway in yeast. Metazoan cells possess two Vps33 proteins, VPS33A and VPS33B, but their precise roles remain unknown. Here, we present a comparative analysis of Caenorhabditis elegans null mutants for these proteins. We found that the vps-33.1 (VPS33A) mutants exhibited severe defects in both endocytic function and endolysosomal biogenesis in scavenger cells. Furthermore, vps-33.1 mutations caused endocytosis defects in other tissues, and the loss of maternal and zygotic VPS-33.1 resulted in embryonic lethality. By contrast, vps-33.2 mutants were viable but sterile, with terminally arrested spermatocytes. The spermatogenesis phenotype suggests that VPS33.2 is involved in the formation of a sperm-specific organelle. The endocytosis defect in the vps-33.1 mutant was not restored by the expression of VPS-33.2, which indicates that these proteins have nonredundant functions. Together, our data suggest that VPS-33.1 shares most of the general functions of yeast Vps33 in terms of tethering complexes in the endolysosomal system, whereas VPS-33.2 has tissue/organelle specific functions in C. elegans. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Read Pukkila-Worley

    2011-06-01

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

  4. Sequence signatures of nucleosome positioning in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-06-01

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

  5. Metabolome and proteome changes with aging in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-02

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

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

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    Palm Megan

    2005-01-01

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

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

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    Araya Carlos L

    2006-06-01

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

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

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    Mark G. Sterken

    2017-09-01

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

  11. Cell-nonautonomous signaling of FOXO/DAF-16 to the stem cells of Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Wenjing Qi

    Full Text Available In Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans, the promotion of longevity by the transcription factor DAF-16 requires reduced insulin/IGF receptor (IIR signaling or the ablation of the germline, although the reason for the negative impact of germ cells is unknown. FOXO/DAF-16 activity inhibits germline proliferation in both daf-2 mutants and gld-1 tumors. In contrast to its function as a germline tumor suppressor, we now provide evidence that somatic DAF-16 in the presence of IIR signaling can also result in tumorigenic activity, which counteracts robust lifespan extension. In contrast to the cell-autonomous IIR signaling, which is required for larval germline proliferation, activation of DAF-16 in the hypodermis results in hyperplasia of the germline and disruption of the surrounding basement membrane. SHC-1 adaptor protein and AKT-1 kinase antagonize, whereas AKT-2 and SGK-1 kinases promote, this cell-nonautonomous DAF-16 function. Our data suggest that a functional balance of DAF-16 activities in different tissues determines longevity and reveals a novel, cell-nonautonomous role of FOXO/DAF-16 to affect stem cells.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

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

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    Procko, Carl; Lu, Yun; Shaham, Shai

    2012-04-01

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

  15. The spindle assembly function of Caenorhabditis elegans katanin does not require microtubule-severing activity

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    McNally, Karen Perry; McNally, Francis J.

    2011-01-01

    Katanin is a heterodimeric microtubule-severing protein that is conserved among eukaryotes. Loss-of-function mutations in the Caenorhabditis elegans katanin catalytic subunit, MEI-1, cause specific defects in female meiotic spindles. To determine the relationship between katanin’s microtubule-severing activity and its role in meiotic spindle formation, we analyzed the MEI-1(A338S) mutant. Unlike wild-type MEI-1, which mediated disassembly of microtubule arrays in Xenopus fibroblasts, MEI-1(A338S) had no effect on fibroblast microtubules, indicating a lack of microtubule-severing activity. In C. elegans, MEI-1(A338S) mediated assembly of extremely long bipolar meiotic spindles. In contrast, a nonsense mutation in MEI-1 caused assembly of meiotic spindles without any poles as assayed by localization of the spindle-pole protein, ASPM-1. These results indicated that katanin protein, but not katanin’s microtubule-severing activity, is required for assembly of acentriolar meiotic spindle poles. To understand the nonsevering activities of katanin, we characterized the N-terminal domain of the katanin catalytic subunit. The N-terminal domain was necessary and sufficient for binding to the katanin regulatory subunit. The katanin regulatory subunit in turn caused a dramatic change in the microtubule-binding properties of the N-terminal domain of the catalytic subunit. This unique bipartite microtubule-binding structure may mediate the spindle-pole assembly activity of katanin during female meiosis. PMID:21372175

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chao, Lucy Fang-I; Singh, Meha; Thompson, James; Yates, John R; Hagstrom, Kirsten A

    2017-03-01

    Structural Maintenance of Chromosomes (SMC) family proteins participate in multisubunit complexes that govern chromosome structure and dynamics. SMC-containing condensin complexes create chromosome topologies essential for mitosis/meiosis, gene expression, recombination, and repair. Many eukaryotes have two condensin complexes (I and II); C. elegans has three (I, II, and the X-chromosome specialized condensin IDC) and their regulation is poorly understood. Here we identify a novel SMC-like protein, SMCL-1, that binds to C. elegans condensin SMC subunits, and modulates condensin functions. Consistent with a possible role as a negative regulator, loss of SMCL-1 partially rescued the lethal and sterile phenotypes of a hypomorphic condensin mutant, while over-expression of SMCL-1 caused lethality, chromosome mis-segregation, and disruption of condensin IDC localization on X chromosomes. Unlike canonical SMC proteins, SMCL-1 lacks hinge and coil domains, and its ATPase domain lacks conserved amino acids required for ATP hydrolysis, leading to the speculation that it may inhibit condensin ATPase activity. SMCL-1 homologs are apparent only in the subset of Caenorhabditis species in which the condensin I and II subunit SMC-4 duplicated to create the condensin IDC- specific subunit DPY-27, suggesting that SMCL-1 helps this lineage cope with the regulatory challenges imposed by evolution of a third condensin complex. Our findings uncover a new regulator of condensins and highlight how the duplication and divergence of SMC complex components in various lineages has created new proteins with diverse functions in chromosome dynamics.

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

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    Satoshi Suo

    Full Text Available Animals change their behavior and metabolism in response to external stimuli. cAMP response element binding protein (CREB is a signal-activated transcription factor that enables the coupling of extracellular signals and gene expression to induce adaptive changes. Biogenic amine neurotransmitters regulate CREB and such regulation is important for long-term changes in various nervous system functions, including learning and drug addiction. In Caenorhabditis elegans, the amine neurotransmitter octopamine activates a CREB homolog, CRH-1, in cholinergic SIA neurons, whereas dopamine suppresses CREB activation by inhibiting octopamine signaling in response to food stimuli. However, the physiological role of this activation is unknown. In this study, the effect of dopamine, octopamine, and CREB on acetylcholine signaling was analyzed using the acetylcholinesterase inhibitor aldicarb. Mutants with decreased dopamine signaling exhibited reduced acetylcholine signaling, and octopamine and CREB functioned downstream of dopamine in this regulation. This study demonstrates that the regulation of CREB by amine neurotransmitters modulates acetylcholine release from the neurons of C. elegans.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomez-Marin, Alex; Stephens, Greg J; Brown, André E X

    2016-08-01

    Regularities in animal behaviour offer insights into the underlying organizational and functional principles of nervous systems and automated tracking provides the opportunity to extract features of behaviour directly from large-scale video data. Yet how to effectively analyse such behavioural data remains an open question. Here, we explore whether a minimum description length principle can be exploited to identify meaningful behaviours and phenotypes. We apply a dictionary compression algorithm to behavioural sequences from the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans freely crawling on an agar plate both with and without food and during chemotaxis. We find that the motifs identified by the compression algorithm are rare but relevant for comparisons between worms in different environments, suggesting that hierarchical compression can be a useful step in behaviour analysis. We also use compressibility as a new quantitative phenotype and find that the behaviour of wild-isolated strains of C. elegans is more compressible than that of the laboratory strain N2 as well as the majority of mutant strains examined. Importantly, in distinction to more conventional phenotypes such as overall motor activity or aggregation behaviour, the increased compressibility of wild isolates is not explained by the loss of function of the gene npr-1, which suggests that erratic locomotion is a laboratory-derived trait with a novel genetic basis. Because hierarchical compression can be applied to any sequence, we anticipate that compressibility can offer insights into the organization of behaviour in other animals including humans. © 2016 The Authors.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-26

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

  2. Calcineurin Antagonizes AMPK to Regulate Lipolysis in Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Yanli Wang

    2017-06-01

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

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

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    Demoinet, Emilie; Li, Shaolin; Roy, Richard

    2017-01-01

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

  4. Arbutin increases Caenorhabditis elegans longevity and stress resistance

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    Lin Zhou

    2017-12-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. UNC-18 and Tomosyn Antagonistically Control Synaptic Vesicle Priming Downstream of UNC-13 in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Seungmee; Bin, Na-Ryum; Yu, Bin; Wong, Raymond; Sitarska, Ewa; Sugita, Kyoko; Ma, Ke; Xu, Junjie; Tien, Chi-Wei; Algouneh, Arash; Turlova, Ekaterina; Wang, Siyan; Siriya, Pranay; Shahid, Waleed; Kalia, Lorraine; Feng, Zhong-Ping; Monnier, Philippe P; Sun, Hong-Shuo; Zhen, Mei; Gao, Shangbang; Rizo, Josep; Sugita, Shuzo

    2017-09-06

    Munc18-1/UNC-18 is believed to prime SNARE-mediated membrane fusion, yet the underlying mechanisms remain enigmatic. Here, we examine how potential gain-of-function mutations of Munc18-1/UNC-18 affect locomotory behavior and synaptic transmission, and how Munc18-1-mediated priming is related to Munc13-1/UNC-13 and Tomosyn/TOM-1, positive and negative SNARE regulators, respectively. We show that a Munc18-1(P335A)/UNC-18(P334A) mutation leads to significantly increased locomotory activity and acetylcholine release in Caenorhabditis elegans, as well as enhanced synaptic neurotransmission in cultured mammalian neurons. Importantly, similar to tom-1 null mutants, unc-18(P334A) mutants partially bypass the requirement of UNC-13. Moreover, unc-18(P334A) and tom-1 null mutations confer a strong synergy in suppressing the phenotypes of unc-13 mutants. Through biochemical experiments, we demonstrate that Munc18-1(P335A) exhibits enhanced activity in SNARE complex formation as well as in binding to the preformed SNARE complex, and partially bypasses the Munc13-1 requirement in liposome fusion assays. Our results indicate that Munc18-1/UNC-18 primes vesicle fusion downstream of Munc13-1/UNC-13 by templating SNARE complex assembly and acts antagonistically with Tomosyn/TOM-1.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT At presynaptic sites, SNARE-mediated membrane fusion is tightly regulated by several key proteins including Munc18/UNC-18, Munc13/UNC-13, and Tomosyn/TOM-1. However, how these proteins interact with each other to achieve the precise regulation of neurotransmitter release remains largely unclear. Using Caenorhabditis elegans as an in vivo model, we found that a gain-of-function mutant of UNC-18 increases locomotory activity and synaptic acetylcholine release, that it partially bypasses the requirement of UNC-13 for release, and that this bypass is synergistically augmented by the lack of TOM-1. We also elucidated the biochemical basis for the gain-of-function caused by this mutation

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-02-01

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

  8. Toxicity evaluation of prodigiosin from Serratia marcescens in a Caenorhabditis elegans model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seah, Siew-Wei; Nathan, Sheila; Wan, Kiew-Lian

    2016-11-01

    Serratia marcescens produces several secondary metabolites, including a red antimicrobial pigment, prodigiosin. There is considerable interest in prodigiosin and its derivatives due to their anticancer and immunosuppressive properties. Prodigiosin has also become the main choice of red dye in textiles. As prodigiosin has potentially high commercial value, there is a demand to develop high-throughput and cost-effective bioprocesses for prodigiosin production. However little is still known about its toxicity. This study was carried out to investigate the toxicity effect of prodigiosin. To determine if prodigiosin was potentially toxic to eukaryotic systems, the S. marcescens ATCC 274 wild type (Sma 274) and the non-prodigiosin producer S. marcescens Bizio WF mutant ATCC 29635 (WF mutant) were grown under the optimised conditions for prodigiosin production and fed to the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. The mean time to death (TDmean) for Sma 274-infected worms assayed on agar was 112.6 hours while the WF mutant culture had a TDmean of 104.4 hours. However, the nematode killing kinetics were not significantly different between the prodigiosin-producing and non-producing S. marcescens strains (p>0.05). In lieu of its non-toxic property, prodigiosin has the potential to be developed for safe therapeutic applications and as a safe environmental friendly bio-dye.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  10. 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.

    2016-01-01

    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 Ca2+ 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, Ca2+ 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. PMID:26113050

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-02

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

  13. cdc-25.4, a Caenorhabditis elegans Ortholog of cdc25, Is Required for Male Mating Behavior

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sangmi Oh

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Cell division cycle 25 (cdc25 is an evolutionarily conserved phosphatase that promotes cell cycle progression. Among the four cdc25 orthologs in Caenorhabditis elegans, we found that cdc-25.4 mutant males failed to produce outcrossed progeny. This was not caused by defects in sperm development, but by defects in male mating behavior. The cdc-25.4 mutant males showed various defects during male mating, including contact response, backing, turning, and vulva location. Aberrant turning behavior was the most prominent defect in the cdc-25.4 mutant males. We also found that cdc-25.4 is expressed in many neuronal cells throughout development. The turning defect in cdc-25.4 mutant males was recovered by cdc-25.4 transgenic expression in neuronal cells, suggesting that cdc-25.4 functions in neurons for male mating. However, the neuronal morphology of cdc-25.4 mutant males appeared to be normal, as examined with several neuronal markers. Also, RNAi depletion of wee-1.3, a C. elegans ortholog of Wee1/Myt1 kinase, failed to suppress the mating defects of cdc-25.4 mutant males. These findings suggest that, for successful male mating, cdc-25.4 does not target cell cycles that are required for neuronal differentiation and development. Rather, cdc-25.4 likely regulates noncanonical substrates in neuronal cells.

  14. Reliable CRISPR/Cas9 Genome Engineering in Caenorhabditis elegans Using a Single Efficient sgRNA and an Easily Recognizable Phenotype

    OpenAIRE

    Sonia El Mouridi; Claire Lecroisey; Philippe Tardy; Marine Mercier; Alice Leclercq-Blondel; Nora Zariohi; Thomas Boulin

    2017-01-01

    CRISPR/Cas9 genome engineering strategies allow the directed modification of the Caenorhabditis elegans genome to introduce point mutations, generate knock-out mutants, and insert coding sequences for epitope or fluorescent tags. Three practical aspects, however, complicate such experiments. First, the efficiency and specificity of single-guide RNAs (sgRNA) cannot be reliably predicted. Second, the detection of animals carrying genome edits can be challenging in the absence of clearly visible...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26538210

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Virginia S. Muir

    2018-01-01

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

  17. Interplay between structure-specific endonucleases for crossover control during Caenorhabditis elegans meiosis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takamune T Saito

    Full Text Available The number and distribution of crossover events are tightly regulated at prophase of meiosis I. The resolution of Holliday junctions by structure-specific endonucleases, including MUS-81, SLX-1, XPF-1 and GEN-1, is one of the main mechanisms proposed for crossover formation. However, how these nucleases coordinately resolve Holliday junctions is still unclear. Here we identify both the functional overlap and differences between these four nucleases regarding their roles in crossover formation and control in the Caenorhabditis elegans germline. We show that MUS-81, XPF-1 and SLX-1, but not GEN-1, can bind to HIM-18/SLX4, a key scaffold for nucleases. Analysis of synthetic mitotic defects revealed that MUS-81 and SLX-1, but not XPF-1 and GEN-1, have overlapping roles with the Bloom syndrome helicase ortholog, HIM-6, supporting their in vivo roles in processing recombination intermediates. Taking advantage of the ease of genetic analysis and high-resolution imaging afforded by C. elegans, we examined crossover designation, frequency, distribution and chromosomal morphology in single, double, triple and quadruple mutants of the structure-specific endonucleases. This revealed that XPF-1 functions redundantly with MUS-81 and SLX-1 in executing crossover formation during meiotic double-strand break repair. Analysis of crossover distribution revealed that SLX-1 is required for crossover suppression at the center region of the autosomes. Finally, analysis of chromosome morphology in oocytes at late meiosis I stages uncovered that SLX-1 and XPF-1 promote meiotic chromosomal stability by preventing formation of chromosomal abnormalities. We propose a model in which coordinate action between structure-specific nucleases at different chromosome domains, namely MUS-81, SLX-1 and XPF-1 at the arms and SLX-1 at the center region, exerts positive and negative regulatory roles, respectively, for crossover control during C. elegans meiosis.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ekaterina Lashmanova

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Flavonoids is an intensively studied group of natural compounds with antioxidant, antineoplastic, antihyperglycemic, cardioprotective, and neuroprotective properties. The present study intends to investigate the geroprotective action of three selected flavonoids (naringin, luteolin, chrysin in two model organisms, Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila melanogaster. Luteolin and chrysin were shown to improve lifespan parameters when administered to both model organisms. The observed positive effects of these flavonoids in D. melanogaster were limited to females and were not associated with reduced fecundity or locomotor impairment. The life-extending effects of flavonoids were observed in N2 wild-type worms but absent in aak-2(gt33 mutants implying that these effects can be associated with AMP-activated protein kinase activity. Naringin improved lifespan parameters of C. elegans, but had no effect on D. melanogaster females; in some cases, naringin was found to decrease the lifespan of males. Compared to chrysin and luteolin, however, naringin more effectively activates Nrf2 target genes (particularly, GstD1 under oxidative stress. Then we compared molecular mechanisms of studied compounds and a well-known geroprotector rapamycin, using software tool GeroScope. There are no transcriptomic data on luteolin or chrysin provided by LINCS Project database. The bioinformatics comparison of transcriptomics data for A549 and MCF7 human cell lines treated with rapamycin or naringin revealed that these compounds share just a few common signaling pathways and quite distinct in their geroprotective action. Thus, based on C. elegans effects of naringin, luteolin, chrysin on lifespan we have revealed new potential geroprotectors.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rathor, Laxmi; Pant, Aakanksha; Awasthi, Harshika; Mani, Dayanandan; Pandey, Rakesh

    2017-02-01

    An Ayurvedic polyherbal extract (PHE) comprising six herbs viz. Berberis aristata, Cyperus rotundus, Cedrus deodara, Emblica officinalis, Terminalia chebula and Terminalia bellirica is mentioned as an effective anti-hyperglycemic agent in 'Charaka Samhita', the classical text of Ayurveda. Previously, antidiabetic drug metformin was found to elicit antiaging effects and PHE was also found to exhibit antidiabetic effects in humans. Therefore, we screened it for its in vivo antioxidant antiaging effect on stress and lifespan using human homologous Caenorhabditis elegans model system. The effect on aging is evaluated by studying effect of PHE on mean survival in worms. The stress modulatory potential was assessed by quantification of intracellular ROS level, autofluorescent age pigment lipofuscin, oxidative and thermal stress assays. Additionally, stress response was quantified using gene reporter assays. The 0.01 µg/ml dose of PHE was able to enhance mean lifespan by 16.09% (P elegans. Furthermore, PHE treated worms demonstrated oxidative stress resistance in both wild type and stress hypersensitive mev-1 mutant along with upregulation of stress response genes sod-3 and gst-4. The delayed aging under stress can be attributed to its direct reactive oxygen species-scavenging activity and regulation of some age associated genes like daf-2, daf-16, skn-1, sod-3 and gst-4 in wild-type worms. Additonally, PHE delayed age related paralysis phenotype in CL4176 transgenic worms. Altogether, our results suggest PHE significantly improves the oxidative stress and life span in C. elegans. Overall the present study suggests this polyherbal formulation might play important role in regultaing aging and related complications like diabetes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

    Legionella pneumophila, the causative agent of Legionnaireś disease, is naturally found in aquatic habitats. The intracellular life cycle within protozoa pre-adapted the "accidental" human pathogen to also infect human professional phagocytes like alveolar macrophages. Previous studies employing the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans suggest that also nematodes might serve as a natural host for L. pneumophila. Here, we report for the first time from a natural co-habitation of L. pneumophila and environmental nematode species within biofilms of a warm water spring. In addition, we identified the protozoan species Oxytricha bifaria, Stylonychia mytilus, Ciliophrya sp. which have never been described as potential interaction partners of L. pneumophila before. Modeling and dissection of the Legionella-protozoa-nematode interaction revealed that C. elegans ruptures Legionella-infected amoebal cells and by this means incorporate the pathogen. Further infection studies revealed that the macrophage infectivity potentiator (Mip) protein of L. pneumophila, which is known to bind collagen IV during human lung infection, promotes the colonization of the intestinal tract of L4 larvae of C. elegans and negatively influences the life span of the worms. The Mip-negative L. pneumophila mutant exhibited a 32-fold reduced colonization rate of the nematodes after 48h when compared to the wild-type strain. Taken together, these studies suggest that nematodes may serve as natural hosts for L. pneumophila, promote their persistence and dissemination in the environment, and co-evolutionarily pre-adapt the pathogen for interactions with extracellular constituents of human lung tissue. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  1. Tyrosylprotein sulfotransferase regulates collagen secretion in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Tai Hoon; Kim, Do Hyun; Nam, Hyung Wook; Park, Sang Yoon; Shim, Jaegal; Cho, Jin Won

    2010-04-01

    The sulfation of tyrosine residues is an important post-translational modification involved in the regulation of protein function. We examined the activity of worm tyrosylprotein sulfotransferase (TPST-1) on a typical cuticle collagen, ROL-6, in C. elegans. We verified that TPST-1 sulfates three tyrosine residues of ROL-6 in vitro. We found that these tyrosine residues are important for the secretion of ROL-6::GFP. Mutant ROL-6::GFP proteins that contain more than two substitutions of the target tyrosine residues are severely deficient in cuticle localization. Consistently, knock down of tpst-1 blocked the cuticle localization of ROL-6::GFP. Therefore, the sulfation of ROL-6 by TPST-1 is critical for the proper localization of ROL-6. We also confirmed that worm TPST-1 is localized to the trans-Golgi network (TGN). Our results indicate that TPST-1 regulates cuticle organization by promoting the transport of ROL-6 from the TGN to the cuticle.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a genetically tractable model organism to investigate sterol transport. In vivo imaging of the fluorescent sterol, dehydroergosterol (DHE), is challenged by C. elegans' high autofluorescence in the same spectral region as emission of DHE. We present a method...... homologues of Niemann-Pick C disease proteins. Our approach is generally useful for identifying fluorescent probes in the presence of high cellular autofluorescence....

  3. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    WATTS, JENNIFER L.

    2016-01-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a powerful model organism to study functions of polyunsaturated fatty acids. The ability to alter fatty acid composition with genetic manipulation and dietary supplementation permits the dissection of the roles of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in many biological process including reproduction, aging and neurobiology. Studies in C. elegans to date have mostly identified overlapping functions of 20-carbon omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in reproduction a...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barr, Maureen M

    2005-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raj Kumar Pan

    Full Text Available One of the biggest challenges in biology is to understand how activity at the cellular level of neurons, as a result of their mutual interactions, leads to the observed behavior of an organism responding to a variety of environmental stimuli. Investigating the intermediate or mesoscopic level of organization in the nervous system is a vital step towards understanding how the integration of micro-level dynamics results in macro-level functioning. The coordination of many different co-occurring processes at this level underlies the command and control of overall network activity. In this paper, we have considered the somatic nervous system of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, for which the entire neuronal connectivity diagram is known. We focus on the organization of the system into modules, i.e., neuronal groups having relatively higher connection density compared to that of the overall network. We show that this mesoscopic feature cannot be explained exclusively in terms of considerations such as, optimizing for resource constraints (viz., total wiring cost and communication efficiency (i.e., network path length. Even including information about the genetic relatedness of the cells cannot account for the observed modular structure. Comparison with other complex networks designed for efficient transport (of signals or resources implies that neuronal networks form a distinct class. This suggests that the principal function of the network, viz., processing of sensory information resulting in appropriate motor response, may be playing a vital role in determining the connection topology. Using modular spectral analysis we make explicit the intimate relation between function and structure in the nervous system. This is further brought out by identifying functionally critical neurons purely on the basis of patterns of intra- and inter-modular connections. Our study reveals how the design of the nervous system reflects several constraints, including

  9. MicroRNA predictors of longevity in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Zachary Pincus

    2011-09-01

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

  10. Loss of Sphingosine Kinase Alters Life History Traits and Locomotor Function in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Jason P; Brown, Jaylene; Hark, Brandon; Nolan, Abby; Servello, Dustin; Hrobuchak, Hannah; Staab, Trisha A

    2017-01-01

    Sphingolipid metabolism is important to balance the abundance of bioactive lipid molecules involved in cell signaling, neuronal function, and survival. Specifically, the sphingolipid sphingosine mediates cell death signaling, whereas its phosphorylated form, sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P), mediates cell survival signaling. The enzyme sphingosine kinase produces S1P, and the activity of sphingosine kinase impacts the ability of cells to survive under stress and challenges. To examine the influence of sphingolipid metabolism, particularly enzymes regulating sphingosine and S1P, in mediating aging, neuronal function and stress response, we examined life history traits, locomotor capacities and heat stress responses of young and old animals using the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans. We found that C. elegans sphk-1 mutants, which lack sphingosine kinase, had shorter lifespans, reduced brood sizes, and smaller body sizes compared to wild type animals. By analyzing a panel of young and old animals with genetic mutations in the sphingolipid signaling pathway, we showed that aged sphk-1 mutants exhibited a greater decline in neuromuscular function and locomotor behavior. In addition, aged animals lacking sphk-1 were more susceptible to death induced by acute and prolonged heat exposure. On the other hand, older animals with loss of function mutations in ceramide synthase (hyl-1), which converts sphingosine to ceramide, showed improved neuromuscular function and stress response with age. This phenotype was dependent on sphk-1. Together, our data show that loss of sphingosine kinase contributes to poor animal health span, suggesting that sphingolipid signaling may be important for healthy neuronal function and animal stress response during aging.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1998-06-15

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

  12. Loss of Sphingosine Kinase Alters Life History Traits and Locomotor Function in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason P. Chan

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Sphingolipid metabolism is important to balance the abundance of bioactive lipid molecules involved in cell signaling, neuronal function, and survival. Specifically, the sphingolipid sphingosine mediates cell death signaling, whereas its phosphorylated form, sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P, mediates cell survival signaling. The enzyme sphingosine kinase produces S1P, and the activity of sphingosine kinase impacts the ability of cells to survive under stress and challenges. To examine the influence of sphingolipid metabolism, particularly enzymes regulating sphingosine and S1P, in mediating aging, neuronal function and stress response, we examined life history traits, locomotor capacities and heat stress responses of young and old animals using the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans. We found that C. elegans sphk-1 mutants, which lack sphingosine kinase, had shorter lifespans, reduced brood sizes, and smaller body sizes compared to wild type animals. By analyzing a panel of young and old animals with genetic mutations in the sphingolipid signaling pathway, we showed that aged sphk-1 mutants exhibited a greater decline in neuromuscular function and locomotor behavior. In addition, aged animals lacking sphk-1 were more susceptible to death induced by acute and prolonged heat exposure. On the other hand, older animals with loss of function mutations in ceramide synthase (hyl-1, which converts sphingosine to ceramide, showed improved neuromuscular function and stress response with age. This phenotype was dependent on sphk-1. Together, our data show that loss of sphingosine kinase contributes to poor animal health span, suggesting that sphingolipid signaling may be important for healthy neuronal function and animal stress response during aging.

  13. Comparative toxicity of silver nanoparticles on oxidative stress and DNA damage in the nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahn, Jeong-Min; Eom, Hyun-Jeong; Yang, Xinyu; Meyer, Joel N; Choi, Jinhee

    2014-08-01

    This study examined the effects of polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) surface coating and size on the organismal and molecular toxicity of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) on the nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans. The toxicity of bare AgNPs and 8 and 38 nm PVP-coated AgNPs (PVP8-AgNPs, PVP38-AgNPs) were compared. The toxicity of AgNO3 was also tested because ion dissolution and particle-specific effects are often important characteristics determining Ag nanotoxicity. Comparative toxicity across AgNO3 and the three different types of AgNPs was first evaluated using a C. elegans mortality test by a direct comparison of the LC50 values. Subsequently, mutant screening followed by oxidative stress, mitochondrial toxicity and DNA damage assays were carried out at equitoxic (LC10 and LC50) concentrations to further assess the toxicity mechanism of AgNO3 and AgNPs. AgNO3 and bare AgNPs had similar toxicities, whereas PVP coating reduced the toxicity of the AgNPs significantly. Of the PVP-AgNPs, the smaller NPs were more toxic. Different groups of mutants responded differently to AgNO3 and AgNPs, which indicates that their toxicity mechanism might be different. AgNO3 and bare AgNPs induced mitochondrial membrane damage. None of the silver materials tested caused detectable polymerase-inhibiting DNA lesions in either the nucleus or mitochondria as measured by a quantitative PCR assay, but AgNO3, bare AgNPs and PVP8-AgNPs induced oxidative DNA damage. These results show that coatings on the AgNPs surface and the particle size make a clear contribution to the toxicity of the AgNPs, and oxidative stress-related mitochondrial and DNA damage appear to be potential mechanisms of toxicity. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. 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.

  15. TBC-8, a Putative RAB-2 GAP, Regulates Dense Core Vesicle Maturation in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hannemann, Mandy; Sasidharan, Nikhil; Hegermann, Jan; Kutscher, Lena M.; Koenig, Sabine; Eimer, Stefan

    2012-01-01

    Dense core vesicles (DCVs) are thought to be generated at the late Golgi apparatus as immature DCVs, which subsequently undergo a maturation process through clathrin-mediated membrane remodeling events. This maturation process is required for efficient processing of neuropeptides within DCVs and for removal of factors that would otherwise interfere with DCV release. Previously, we have shown that the GTPase, RAB-2, and its effector, RIC-19, are involved in DCV maturation in Caenorhabditis elegans motoneurons. In rab-2 mutants, specific cargo is lost from maturing DCVs and missorted into the endosomal/lysosomal degradation route. Cargo loss could be prevented by blocking endosomal delivery. This suggests that RAB-2 is involved in retention of DCV components during the sorting process at the Golgi-endosomal interface. To understand how RAB-2 activity is regulated at the Golgi, we screened for RAB-2–specific GTPase activating proteins (GAPs). We identified a potential RAB-2 GAP, TBC-8, which is exclusively expressed in neurons and which, when depleted, shows similar DCV maturation defects as rab-2 mutants. We could demonstrate that RAB-2 binds to its putative GAP, TBC-8. Interestingly, TBC-8 also binds to the RAB-2 effector, RIC-19. This interaction appears to be conserved as TBC-8 also interacted with the human ortholog of RIC-19, ICA69. Therefore, we propose that a dynamic ON/OFF cycling of RAB-2 at the Golgi induced by the GAP/effector complex is required for proper DCV maturation. PMID:22654674

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacqueline G. Miller

    2016-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-04-04

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

  18. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salvador Peña

    Full Text Available 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hulme, S Elizabeth; Whitesides, George M

    2011-05-16

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

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    J.A. Burghoorn (Jan)

    2006-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  7. 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...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven Rogers

    2015-03-01

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

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 107, č. 2 (2014), s. 551-558 ISSN 0022-0493 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : Bacillus thuringiensis * Caenorhabditis elegans * chitinase Subject RIV: GF - Plant Pathology, Vermin, Weed, Plant Protection Impact factor: 1.506, year: 2014 http://www.bioone.org/doi/pdf/10.1603/EC13201

  14. 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…

  15. Malate and fumarate extend lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Clare B; Copes, Neil; Brito, Andres G; Canfield, John; Bradshaw, Patrick C

    2013-01-01

    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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-07

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-04

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

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

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    Ju-Ling Liu

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

  1. Genome-Wide Identification of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Virulence-Related Genes Using a Caenorhabditis elegans Infection Model

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain PA14 is an opportunistic human pathogen capable of infecting a wide range of organisms including the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We used a non-redundant transposon mutant library consisting of 5,850 clones corresponding to 75% of the total and approximately 80% of the non-essential PA14 ORFs to carry out a genome-wide screen for attenuation of PA14 virulence in C. elegans. We defined a functionally diverse 180 mutant set (representing 170 unique genes) necessary for normal levels of virulence that included both known and novel virulence factors. Seven previously uncharacterized virulence genes (ABC transporters PchH and PchI, aminopeptidase PepP, ATPase/molecular chaperone ClpA, cold shock domain protein PA0456, putative enoyl-CoA hydratase/isomerase PA0745, and putative transcriptional regulator PA14_27700) were characterized with respect to pigment production and motility and all but one of these mutants exhibited pleiotropic defects in addition to their avirulent phenotype. We examined the collection of genes required for normal levels of PA14 virulence with respect to occurrence in P. aeruginosa strain-specific genomic regions, location on putative and known genomic islands, and phylogenetic distribution across prokaryotes. Genes predominantly contributing to virulence in C. elegans showed neither a bias for strain-specific regions of the P. aeruginosa genome nor for putatively horizontally transferred genomic islands. Instead, within the collection of virulence-related PA14 genes, there was an overrepresentation of genes with a broad phylogenetic distribution that also occur with high frequency in many prokaryotic clades, suggesting that in aggregate the genes required for PA14 virulence in C. elegans are biased towards evolutionarily conserved genes. PMID:22911607

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rhonda L Feinbaum

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

  4. Caenorhabditis elegans glutamylating enzymes function redundantly in male mating

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel G. Chawla

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  5. Glucose-rich diet aggravates monocrotophos-induced dopaminergic neuronal dysfunction in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salim, Chinnu; Rajini, P S

    2017-06-01

    The present study aimed to obtain insights into the mechanism(s) by which glucose-rich diet aggravates monocrotophos (MCP)-induced dopaminergic neuronal dysfunction in Caenorhabditis elegans. In this study, we exposed three different strains of worms (wild-type N2, CB1112 (cat-2(e1112)II, tyrosine hydroxylase-deficient mutant, catecholamine absent) and the transgenic BZ555 (egls1-dat-1p::green fluorescent protein [GFP]) (in which bright GFP is tagged to the dopamine neuronal soma and processes) grown and maintained in normal nematode growth medium or 2% glucose enriched-nematode growth medium to MCP (0.75 mm) for 48 h. After the exposure, dopamine-mediated behaviors such as repulsion to nonanone, chemotaxis index and basal slowing response were determined in worms. Dopamine, 3,4-dihydroxy phenyl acetic acid and homovanillic acid content were quantified in N2 worms. The extent of neurodegeneration was visualized and quantified in dat-1::GFP worms. Basal slowing response study clearly indicated that cat-2 worms exposed to MCP and glucose were less affected compared to N2 of the same treatment. Learning and memory were affected by MCP and glucose. While MCP-treated worms showed lesser repulsion to nonanone compared to control worms, MCP-treated, glucose-fed worms showed a greater reduction in repulsion to nonanone. Further, MCP-treated, glucose-fed worms exhibited a marked reduction in dopamine content and an increase in 3,4-dihydroxy phenyl acetic acid and homovanillic acid levels compared to that in control. Dat-1::GFP showed a significant degeneration of dopaminergic neurons when exposed to glucose and MCP. Thus, our results clearly demonstrate that glucose-rich diet aggravates the dopaminergic neuronal dysfunction induced by MCP in C. elegans. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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

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    Ryuzo eShingai

    2013-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brenner, John L; Schedl, Tim

    2016-03-01

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

  8. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-07-01

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

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

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    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.

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

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

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

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    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.

  14. ATX-3, CDC-48 and UBXN-5: a new trimolecular complex in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodrigues, Ana-João; Neves-Carvalho, Andreia; Ferro, Anabela; Rokka, Anne; Corthals, Garry; Logarinho, Elsa; Maciel, Patrícia

    2009-09-04

    Ataxin-3 is the protein involved in Machado-Joseph disease, a neurodegenerative disorder caused by a polyglutamine expansion. Ataxin-3 binds ubiquitylated proteins and acts as a deubiquitylating enzyme in vitro. It was previously proposed that ataxin-3, along with the VCP/p97 protein, escorts ubiquitylated substrates for proteasomal degradation, although other players of this escort complex were not identified yet. In this work, we show that the Caenorhabditis elegans ataxin-3 protein (ATX-3) interacts with both VCP/p97 worm homologs, CDC-48.1 and CDC-48.2 and we map the interaction domains. We describe a motility defect in both ATX-3 and CDC-48.1 mutants and, in addition, we identify a new protein interactor, UBXN-5, potentially an adaptor of the CDC-48-ATX-3 escort complex. CDC-48 binds to both ATX-3 and UBXN-5 in a non-competitive manner, suggesting the formation of a trimolecular complex. Both CDC-48 and ATX-3, but not UBXN-5, were able to bind K-48 polyubiquitin chains, the standard signal for proteasomal degradation. Additionally, we describe several common interactors of ATX-3 and UBXN-5, some of which can be in vivo targets of this complex.

  15. Cell-Autonomous Gβ Signaling Defines Neuron-Specific Steady State Serotonin Synthesis in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Lu; Choi, Sunju; Xie, Yusu; Sze, Ji Ying

    2015-09-01

    Heterotrimeric G proteins regulate a vast array of cellular functions via specific intracellular effectors. Accumulating pharmacological and biochemical studies implicate Gβ subunits as signaling molecules interacting directly with a wide range of effectors to modulate downstream cellular responses, in addition to their role in regulating Gα subunit activities. However, the native biological roles of Gβ-mediated signaling pathways in vivo have been characterized only in a few cases. Here, we identified a Gβ GPB-1 signaling pathway operating in specific serotonergic neurons to the define steady state serotonin (5-HT) synthesis, through a genetic screen for 5-HT synthesis mutants in Caenorhabditis elegans. We found that signaling through cell autonomous GPB-1 to the OCR-2 TRPV channel defines the baseline expression of 5-HT synthesis enzyme tryptophan hydroxylase tph-1 in ADF chemosensory neurons. This Gβ signaling pathway is not essential for establishing the serotonergic cell fates and is mechanistically separated from stress-induced tph-1 upregulation. We identified that ADF-produced 5-HT controls specific innate rhythmic behaviors. These results revealed a Gβ-mediated signaling operating in differentiated cells to specify intrinsic functional properties, and indicate that baseline TPH expression is not a default generic serotonergic fate, but is programmed in a cell-specific manner in the mature nervous system. Cell-specific regulation of TPH expression could be a general principle for tailored steady state 5-HT synthesis in functionally distinct neurons and their regulation of innate behavior.

  16. Cell-Autonomous Gβ Signaling Defines Neuron-Specific Steady State Serotonin Synthesis in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lu Xu

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Heterotrimeric G proteins regulate a vast array of cellular functions via specific intracellular effectors. Accumulating pharmacological and biochemical studies implicate Gβ subunits as signaling molecules interacting directly with a wide range of effectors to modulate downstream cellular responses, in addition to their role in regulating Gα subunit activities. However, the native biological roles of Gβ-mediated signaling pathways in vivo have been characterized only in a few cases. Here, we identified a Gβ GPB-1 signaling pathway operating in specific serotonergic neurons to the define steady state serotonin (5-HT synthesis, through a genetic screen for 5-HT synthesis mutants in Caenorhabditis elegans. We found that signaling through cell autonomous GPB-1 to the OCR-2 TRPV channel defines the baseline expression of 5-HT synthesis enzyme tryptophan hydroxylase tph-1 in ADF chemosensory neurons. This Gβ signaling pathway is not essential for establishing the serotonergic cell fates and is mechanistically separated from stress-induced tph-1 upregulation. We identified that ADF-produced 5-HT controls specific innate rhythmic behaviors. These results revealed a Gβ-mediated signaling operating in differentiated cells to specify intrinsic functional properties, and indicate that baseline TPH expression is not a default generic serotonergic fate, but is programmed in a cell-specific manner in the mature nervous system. Cell-specific regulation of TPH expression could be a general principle for tailored steady state 5-HT synthesis in functionally distinct neurons and their regulation of innate behavior.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. The anti-aging and anti-oxidation effects of tea water extract in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Fei, Tianyi; Fei, Jian; Huang, Fang; Xie, Tianpei; Xu, Jifeng; Zhou, Yi; Yang, Ping

    2017-10-15

    Tea includes puer tea, black tea, green tea and many others. By using model organism Caenorhabditis elegans, the anti-aging and anti-oxidation effects of tea water extract were systemically examined in this study. We found that water extract of puer tea, black tea and green tea all increased the lifespan of worms, postponed Aβ-induced progressive paralysis in Alzheimer's disease transgenic worms, and improved the tolerance of worms to the oxidative stress induced by heavy metal Cr6+. Moreover, the anti-oxidation effects of tea water extract at low concentration were different among 4 kinds of brands of green tea. The underlying mechanisms were further explored using genetically manipulated-mutant worms. The anti-oxidative stress effects of green tea water extract depend on the dietary restriction and germline signaling pathways, but not the FOXO and mitochondrial respiratory chain signals. Therefore, tea water extract provides benefits of anti-aging, anti-AD and anti-oxidation. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

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    Catherine Roy-Bellavance

    2017-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-07

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

  4. RNA Targets and Specificity of Staufen, a Double-stranded RNA-binding Protein in Caenorhabditis elegans*

    Science.gov (United States)

    LeGendre, Jacqueline Baca; Campbell, Zachary T.; Kroll-Conner, Peggy; Anderson, Phil; Kimble, Judith; Wickens, Marvin

    2013-01-01

    The Staufen family consists of proteins that possess double-stranded RNA-binding domains (dsRBDs). Staufen proteins of Drosophila and mammals regulate mRNA localization, translation, and decay. We report analysis of Staufen in Caenorhabditis elegans, which we have designated STAU-1. We focus on its biochemical properties, mRNA targets, and possible role in RNAi. We show that STAU-1 is expressed as mRNA and protein at all stages of C. elegans development. The wild-type, full-length protein, purified from bacteria, binds duplex RNA with high affinity in vitro. Purified, mutant proteins lacking single dsRBDs still bind RNA efficiently, demonstrating that no single domain is required for binding to duplex RNA (although dsRBD2 could not be tested). STAU-1 mRNA targets were identified via immunoprecipitation with specific anti-STAU-1 antibodies, followed by microarray analysis (RIP-Chip). These studies define a set of 418 likely STAU-1 mRNA targets. Finally, we demonstrate that stau-1 mutants enhance exogenous RNAi and that stau-1;eri-1 double mutants exhibit sterility and synthetic germ line defects. PMID:23195953

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background Animal models are indispensable to understand the lipid metabolism and lipid metabolic diseases. Over the last decade, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has become a popular animal model for exploring the regulation of lipid metabolism, obesity, and obese-related diseases. However, the genomic and functional conservation of lipid metabolism from C. elegans to humans remains unknown. In the present study, we systematically analyzed genes involved in lipid metabolism in the C. elegans genome using comparative genomics. Results We built a database containing 471 lipid genes from the C. elegans genome, and then assigned most of lipid genes into 16 different lipid metabolic pathways that were integrated into a network. Over 70% of C. elegans lipid genes have human orthologs, with 237 of 471 C. elegans lipid genes being conserved in humans, mice, rats, and Drosophila, of which 71 genes are specifically related to human metabolic diseases. Moreover, RNA-mediated interference (RNAi) was used to disrupt the expression of 356 of 471 lipid genes with available RNAi clones. We found that 21 genes strongly affect fat storage, development, reproduction, and other visible phenotypes, 6 of which have not previously been implicated in the regulation of fat metabolism and other phenotypes. Conclusions This study provides the first systematic genomic insight into lipid metabolism in C. elegans, supporting the use of C. elegans as an increasingly prominent model in the study of metabolic diseases. PMID:23496871

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  9. Aberrant Activation of p38 MAP Kinase-Dependent Innate Immune Responses Is Toxic to Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheesman, Hilary K; Feinbaum, Rhonda L; Thekkiniath, Jose; Dowen, Robert H; Conery, Annie L; Pukkila-Worley, Read

    2016-01-27

    Inappropriate activation of innate immune responses in intestinal epithelial cells underlies the pathophysiology of inflammatory disorders of the intestine. Here we examine the physiological effects of immune hyperactivation in the intestine of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We previously identified an immunostimulatory xenobiotic that protects C. elegans from bacterial infection by inducing immune effector expression via the conserved p38 MAP kinase pathway, but was toxic to nematodes developing in the absence of pathogen. To investigate a possible connection between the toxicity and immunostimulatory properties of this xenobiotic, we conducted a forward genetic screen for C. elegans mutants that are resistant to the deleterious effects of the compound, and identified five toxicity suppressors. These strains contained hypomorphic mutations in each of the known components of the p38 MAP kinase cassette (tir-1, nsy-1, sek-1, and pmk-1), demonstrating that hyperstimulation of the p38 MAPK pathway is toxic to animals. To explore mechanisms of immune pathway regulation in C. elegans, we conducted another genetic screen for dominant activators of the p38 MAPK pathway, and identified a single allele that had a gain-of-function (gf) mutation in nsy-1, the MAP kinase kinase kinase that acts upstream of p38 MAPK pmk-1. The nsy-1(gf) allele caused hyperinduction of p38 MAPK PMK-1-dependent immune effectors, had greater levels of phosphorylated p38 MAPK, and was more resistant to killing by the bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa compared to wild-type controls. In addition, the nsy-1(gf) mutation was toxic to developing animals. Together, these data suggest that the activity of the MAPKKK NSY-1 is tightly regulated as part of a physiological mechanism to control p38 MAPK-mediated innate immune hyperactivation, and ensure cellular homeostasis in C. elegans. Copyright © 2016 Cheesman et al.

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

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    Neale Harrison

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

  11. 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. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd and International Behavioural and Neural Genetics Society.

  12. The Caenorhabditis elegans GARP complex contains the conserved Vps51 subunit and is required to maintain lysosomal morphology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, L.; Hannemann, M.; Koenig, S.; Hegermann, J.; Ailion, M.; Cho, M.-K.; Sasidharan, N.; Zweckstetter, M.; Rensing, S. A.; Eimer, S.

    2011-01-01

    In yeast the Golgi-associated retrograde protein (GARP) complex is required for tethering of endosome-derived transport vesicles to the late Golgi. It consists of four subunits—Vps51p, Vps52p, Vps53p, and Vps54p—and shares similarities with other multimeric tethering complexes, such as the conserved oligomeric Golgi (COG) and the exocyst complex. Here we report the functional characterization of the GARP complex in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Furthermore, we identified the C. elegans Vps51 subunit, which is conserved in all eukaryotes. GARP mutants are viable but show lysosomal defects. We show that GARP subunits bind specific sets of Golgi SNAREs within the yeast two-hybrid system. This suggests that the C. elegans GARP complex also facilitates tethering as well as SNARE complex assembly at the Golgi. The GARP and COG tethering complexes may have overlapping functions for retrograde endosome-to-Golgi retrieval, since loss of both complexes leads to a synthetic lethal phenotype. PMID:21613545

  13. Size- and composition-dependent toxicity of synthetic and soil-derived Fe oxide colloids for the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Höss, Sebastian; Fritzsche, Andreas; Meyer, Carolin; Bosch, Julian; Meckenstock, Rainer U; Totsche, Kai Uwe

    2015-01-06

    Colloidal iron oxides (FeOx) are increasingly released to the environment due to their use in environmental remediation and biomedical applications, potentially harming living organisms. Size and composition could affect the bioavailability and toxicity of such colloids. Therefore, we investigated the toxicity of selected FeOx with variable aggregate size and variably composed FeOx-associated organic matter (OM) toward the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Ferrihydrite colloids containing citrate were taken up by C. elegans with the food and accumulated inside their body. The toxicity of ferrihydrite, goethite, and akaganeite was dependent on aggregate size and specific surface area, with EC50 values for reproduction ranging from 4 to 29 mg Fe L(-1). Experiments with mutant strains lacking mitochondrial superoxide dismutase (sod-2) showed oxidative stress for two FeOx and Fe(3+)-ions, however, revealed that it was not the predominant mechanism of toxicity. The OM composition determined the toxicity of mixed OM-FeOx phases on C. elegans. FeOx associated with humic acids or citrate were less toxic than OM-free FeOx. In contrast, soil-derived ferrihydrite, containing proteins and polysaccharides from mobile OM, was even more toxic than OM-free Fh of similar aggregate size. Consequently, the careful choice of the type of FeOx and the type of associated OM may help in reducing the ecological risks if actively applied to the subsurface.

  14. 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

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

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    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.

  16. Neuropeptide-Driven Cross-Modal Plasticity following Sensory Loss in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Ithai Rabinowitch

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Sensory loss induces cross-modal plasticity, often resulting in altered performance in remaining sensory modalities. Whereas much is known about the macroscopic mechanisms underlying cross-modal plasticity, only scant information exists about its cellular and molecular underpinnings. We found that Caenorhabditis elegans nematodes deprived of a sense of body touch exhibit various changes in behavior, associated with other unimpaired senses. We focused on one such behavioral alteration, enhanced odor sensation, and sought to reveal the neuronal and molecular mechanisms that translate mechanosensory loss into improved olfactory acuity. To this end, we analyzed in mechanosensory mutants food-dependent locomotion patterns that are associated with olfactory responses and found changes that are consistent with enhanced olfaction. The altered locomotion could be reversed in adults by optogenetic stimulation of the touch receptor (mechanosensory neurons. Furthermore, we revealed that the enhanced odor response is related to a strengthening of inhibitory AWC→AIY synaptic transmission in the olfactory circuit. Consistently, inserting in this circuit an engineered electrical synapse that diminishes AWC inhibition of AIY counteracted the locomotion changes in touch-deficient mutants. We found that this cross-modal signaling between the mechanosensory and olfactory circuits is mediated by neuropeptides, one of which we identified as FLP-20. Our results indicate that under normal function, ongoing touch receptor neuron activation evokes FLP-20 release, suppressing synaptic communication and thus dampening odor sensation. In contrast, in the absence of mechanosensory input, FLP-20 signaling is reduced, synaptic suppression is released, and this enables enhanced olfactory acuity; these changes are long lasting and do not represent ongoing modulation, as revealed by optogenetic experiments. Our work adds to a growing literature on the roles of neuropeptides in

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

    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....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1997-07-01

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

  20. 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...

  1. The Caenorhabditis elegans WRN helicase promotes double-strand DNA break repair by mediating end resection and checkpoint activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryu, Jin-Sun; Koo, Hyeon-Sook

    2017-07-01

    The protein associated with Werner syndrome (WRN), is involved in DNA repair, checkpoint activation, and telomere maintenance. To better understand the involvement of WRN in double-strand DNA break (DSB) repair, we analyzed the combinatorial role of WRN-1, the Caenorhabditis elegans WRN helicase, in conjunction with EXO-1 and DNA-2 nucleases. We found that WRN-1 cooperates with DNA-2 to resect DSB ends in a pathway acting in parallel to EXO-1. The wrn-1 mutants show an aberrant accumulation of replication protein A (RPA) and RAD-51, and the same pattern of accumulation is also observed in checkpoint-defective strains. We conclude that WRN-1 plays a conserved role in the resection of DSB ends and mediates checkpoint signaling, thereby influencing levels of RPA and RAD-51. © 2017 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta M Gaglia

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

    Bacillus thuringiensis produces toxins that target invertebrates, including Caenorhabditis elegans. Virulence of Bacillus strains is often highly specific, such that B. thuringiensis strain DB27 is highly pathogenic to C. elegans but shows no virulence for another model nematode, Pristionchus pacificus. To uncover the underlying mechanisms of the differential responses of the two nematodes to B. thuringiensis DB27 and to reveal the C. elegans defense mechanisms against this pathogen, we condu...

  4. Lethal consequences of simulated solar radiation on the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans in the presence and absence of photosensitizers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mills, D K; Hartman, P S

    1998-12-01

    The partial destruction of the earth's protective ozone layer has raised concerns about the impact of increased UV radiation on the earth's biological systems. In this study, polychromatic light sources were employed to observe the biological responses of the soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to simulated solar UV. Using various filter combinations, action spectra were constructed that approximated those generated previously with mono-chromatic radiation. In both cases, a mutant strain (rad-3) progressively lost its hypersensitivity as shorter wave-lengths were filtered out. In addition, both wild type and radiation-sensitive (rad) mutants were irradiated with several combinations of filtered light sources in the presence and absence of two exogenous photosensitizers (ethidium bromide and bromodeoxyuridine). Treatment with either of the introduced photosensitizers increased photosensitivity to solar UV. Solar UV also induced a fluence-dependent reduction in fertility in wild-type animals. These experiments extend previous data and substantially expand our understanding of the biological responses of C. elegans to solar radiation.

  5. Caenorhabditis elegans oocyte meiotic spindle pole assembly requires microtubule severing and the calponin homology domain protein ASPM-1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connolly, Amy A; Osterberg, Valerie; Christensen, Sara; Price, Meredith; Lu, Chenggang; Chicas-Cruz, Kathy; Lockery, Shawn; Mains, Paul E; Bowerman, Bruce

    2014-04-01

    In many animals, including vertebrates, oocyte meiotic spindles are bipolar but assemble in the absence of centrosomes. Although meiotic spindle positioning in oocytes has been investigated extensively, much less is known about their assembly. In Caenorhabditis elegans, three genes previously shown to contribute to oocyte meiotic spindle assembly are the calponin homology domain protein encoded by aspm-1, the katanin family member mei-1, and the kinesin-12 family member klp-18. We isolated temperature-sensitive alleles of all three and investigated their requirements using live-cell imaging to reveal previously undocumented requirements for aspm-1 and mei-1. Our results indicate that bipolar but abnormal oocyte meiotic spindles assemble in aspm-1(-) embryos, whereas klp-18(-) and mei-1(-) mutants assemble monopolar and apolar spindles, respectively. Furthermore, two MEI-1 functions--ASPM-1 recruitment to the spindle and microtubule severing--both contribute to monopolar spindle assembly in klp-18(-) mutants. We conclude that microtubule severing and ASPM-1 both promote meiotic spindle pole assembly in C. elegans oocytes, whereas the kinesin 12 family member KLP-18 promotes spindle bipolarity.

  6. Caenorhabditis elegans oocyte meiotic spindle pole assembly requires microtubule severing and the calponin homology domain protein ASPM-1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connolly, Amy A.; Osterberg, Valerie; Christensen, Sara; Price, Meredith; Lu, Chenggang; Chicas-Cruz, Kathy; Lockery, Shawn; Mains, Paul E.; Bowerman, Bruce

    2014-01-01

    In many animals, including vertebrates, oocyte meiotic spindles are bipolar but assemble in the absence of centrosomes. Although meiotic spindle positioning in oocytes has been investigated extensively, much less is known about their assembly. In Caenorhabditis elegans, three genes previously shown to contribute to oocyte meiotic spindle assembly are the calponin homology domain protein encoded by aspm-1, the katanin family member mei-1, and the kinesin-12 family member klp-18. We isolated temperature-sensitive alleles of all three and investigated their requirements using live-cell imaging to reveal previously undocumented requirements for aspm-1 and mei-1. Our results indicate that bipolar but abnormal oocyte meiotic spindles assemble in aspm-1(-) embryos, whereas klp-18(-) and mei-1(-) mutants assemble monopolar and apolar spindles, respectively. Furthermore, two MEI-1 functions—ASPM-1 recruitment to the spindle and microtubule severing—both contribute to monopolar spindle assembly in klp-18(-) mutants. We conclude that microtubule severing and ASPM-1 both promote meiotic spindle pole assembly in C. elegans oocytes, whereas the kinesin 12 family member KLP-18 promotes spindle bipolarity. PMID:24554763

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

    A literal mountain of documentation generated in the past five decades showing unmistakable health hazards associated with extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMFs) exposure. However, the relation between energy mechanism and ELF-EMF exposure is poorly understood. In this study, Caenorhabditis elegans was exposed to 50?Hz ELF-EMF at intensities of 0.5, 1, 2, and 3?mT, respectively. Their metabolite variations were analyzed by GC-TOF/MS-based metabolomics. Although minimal meta...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    1988-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Torpe, Nanna; Pocock, Roger David John

    2014-01-01

    Neuronal wiring during development requires that the growth cones of axons and dendrites are correctly guided to their appropriate targets. As in other animals, axon growth cones in Caenorhabditis elegans integrate information in their extracellular environment via interactions among transiently ...... data suggest that DPY-18 regulates ephrin expression to direct axon guidance, a role for P4Hs that may be conserved in higher organisms....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  12. The Shift of the Intestinal Microbiome in the Innate Immunity-Deficient Mutant rde-1 Strain of C. elegans upon Orsay Virus Infection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuanyuan Guo

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The status of intestinal microbiota is a determinant of host health. However, the alteration of the gut microbiota caused by the innate immune response to virus infection is unclear. Caenorhabditis elegans and its natural virus Orsay provide an excellent model of host–virus interactions. We evaluated the intestinal microbial community complexity of the wild-type N2 and the innate immunity-deficient mutant rde-1 (ne219 strains of C. elegans upon Orsay virus infection. The gut microbiota diversity was decreased in rde-1 (ne219 mutant animals, and a large number of genes were associated with the difference between infected and uninfected rde-1 (ne219 mutant animals. Therefore, this study provides the first evaluation of the alterations caused by Orsay virus on intestinal microbiota in wildtype and innate immunity-deficient animals using C. elegans as the model species. Our findings indicate that virus infection may alters the microbiome in animals with defective immune response.

  13. 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.

  14. The Oxidative Stress Response inCaenorhabditis elegansRequires the GATA Transcription Factor ELT-3 and SKN-1/Nrf2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Queenie; D'Amora, Dayana R; MacNeil, Lesley T; Walhout, Albertha J M; Kubiseski, Terrance J

    2017-08-01

    Cellular damage caused by reactive oxygen species is believed to be a major contributor to age-associated diseases. Previously, we characterized the Caenorhabditis elegans Brap2 ortholog (BRAP-2) and found that it is required to prevent larval arrest in response to elevated levels of oxidative stress. Here, we report that C. elegans brap-2 mutants display increased expression of SKN-1-dependent, phase II detoxification enzymes that is dependent on PMK-1 (a p38 MAPK C. elegans ortholog). An RNA-interference screen was conducted using a transcription factor library to identify genes required for increased expression of the SKN-1 target gst-4 in brap-2 mutants. We identified ELT-3, a member of the GATA transcription factor family, as a positive regulator of gst-4p :: gfp expression. We found that ELT-3 interacts with SKN-1 to activate gst-4 transcription in vitro and that elt-3 is required for enhanced gst-4 expression in the brap-2(ok1492) mutant in vivo Furthermore, nematodes overexpressing SKN-1 required ELT-3 for life-span extension. Taken together, these results suggest a model where BRAP-2 acts as negative regulator of SKN-1 through inhibition of p38 MAPK activity, and that the GATA transcription factor ELT-3 is required along with SKN-1 for the phase II detoxification response in C . elegans . Copyright © 2017 by the Genetics Society of America.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-22

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

  16. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sivamaruthi, Bhagavathi Sundaram; Balamurugan, Krishnaswamy

    2014-03-01

    Studies pertaining to Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium infection by utilizing model systems failed to mimic the essential aspects of immunity induced by Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi, as the determinants of innate immunity are distinct. The present study investigated the physiological and innate immune responses of S. Typhi infected Caenorhabditis elegans and also explored the Ty21a mediated immune enhancement in C. elegans. Ty21a is a known live vaccine for typhoidal infection in human beings. Physiological responses of C. elegans infected with S. Typhi assessed by survival and behavioral assays revealed that S. Typhi caused host mortality by persistent infection. However, Ty21a exposure to C. elegans was not harmful. Ty21a pre-exposed C. elegans, exhibited significant resistance against S. Typhi infection. Elevated accumulation of S. Typhi inside the infected host was observed when compared to Ty21a exposures. Transcript analysis of candidate innate immune gene (clec-60, clec-87, lys-7, ilys-3, scl-2, cpr-2, F08G5.6, atf-7, age-1, bec-1 and daf-16) regulations in the host during S. Typhi infection have been assessed through qPCR analysis to understand the activation of immune signaling pathways during S. Typhi infections. Gene silencing approaches confirmed that clec-60 and clec-87 has a major role in the defense system of C. elegans during S. Typhi infection. In conclusion, the study revealed that preconditioning of host with Ty21a protects against subsequent S. Typhi infection.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okkema, P G

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  3. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nechipurenko, Inna V; Sengupta, Piali

    2017-01-01

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

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric A Miska

    2007-12-01

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

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prasad, Kedar N; Bondy, Stephen C

    2013-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiao-Gang Zhang

    2016-07-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-07

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

  14. 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

  15. Systematic analysis of DNA crosslink repair pathways during development and aging in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, David M; Rieckher, Matthias; Williams, Ashley B; Schumacher, Björn

    2017-09-19

    DNA interstrand crosslinks (ICLs) are generated by endogenous sources and chemotherapeutics, and pose a threat to genome stability and cell survival. Using Caenorhabditis elegans mutants, we identify DNA repair factors that protect against the genotoxicity of ICLs generated by trioxsalen/ultraviolet A (TMP/UVA) during development and aging. Mutations in nucleotide excision repair (NER) components (e.g. XPA-1 and XPF-1) imparted extreme sensitivity to TMP/UVA relative to wild-type animals, manifested as developmental arrest, defects in adult tissue morphology and functionality, and shortened lifespan. Compensatory roles for global-genome (XPC-1) and transcription-coupled (CSB-1) NER in ICL sensing were exposed. The analysis also revealed contributions of homologous recombination (BRC-1/BRCA1), the MUS-81, EXO-1, SLX-1 and FAN-1 nucleases, and the DOG-1 (FANCJ) helicase in ICL resolution, influenced by the replicative-status of the cell/tissue. No obvious or critical role in ICL repair was seen for non-homologous end-joining (cku-80) or base excision repair (nth-1, exo-3), the Fanconi-related proteins BRC-2 (BRCA2/FANCD1) and FCD-2 (FANCD2), the WRN-1 or HIM-6 (BLM) helicases, or the GEN-1 or MRT-1 (SNM1) nucleases. Our efforts uncover replication-dependent and -independent ICL repair networks, and establish nematodes as a model for investigating the repair and consequences of DNA crosslinks in metazoan development and in adult post-mitotic and proliferative germ cells. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research 2017.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-10-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Zou

    2009-10-01

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

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-03-18

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

  20. Mechanism of silver nanoparticle toxicity is dependent on dissolved silver and surface coating in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Xinyu; Gondikas, Andreas P; Marinakos, Stella M; Auffan, Melanie; Liu, Jie; Hsu-Kim, Heileen; Meyer, Joel N

    2012-01-17

    The rapidly increasing use of silver nanoparticles (Ag NPs) in consumer products and medical applications has raised ecological and human health concerns. A key question for addressing these concerns is whether Ag NP toxicity is mechanistically unique to nanoparticulate silver, or if it is a result of the release of silver ions. Furthermore, since Ag NPs are produced in a large variety of monomer sizes and coatings, and since their physicochemical behavior depends on the media composition, it is important to understand how these variables modulate toxicity. We found that a lower ionic strength medium resulted in greater toxicity (measured as growth inhibition) of all tested Ag NPs to Caenorhabditis elegans and that both dissolved silver and coating influenced Ag NP toxicity. We found a linear correlation between Ag NP toxicity and dissolved silver, but no correlation between size and toxicity. We used three independent and complementary approaches to investigate the mechanisms of toxicity of differentially coated and sized Ag NPs: pharmacological (rescue with trolox and N-acetylcysteine), genetic (analysis of metal-sensitive and oxidative stress-sensitive mutants), and physicochemical (including analysis of dissolution of Ag NPs). Oxidative dissolution was limited in our experimental conditions (maximally 15% in 24 h) yet was key to the toxicity of most Ag NPs, highlighting a critical role for dissolved silver complexed with thiols in the toxicity of all tested Ag NPs. Some Ag NPs (typically less soluble due to size or coating) also acted via oxidative stress, an effect specific to nanoparticulate silver. However, in no case studied here was the toxicity of a Ag NP greater than would be predicted by complete dissolution of the same mass of silver as silver ions.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. FGT-1 is a mammalian GLUT2-like facilitative glucose transporter in Caenorhabditis elegans whose malfunction induces fat accumulation in intestinal cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shun Kitaoka

    Full Text Available Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans is an attractive animal model for biological and biomedical research because it permits relatively easy genetic dissection of cellular pathways, including insulin/IGF-like signaling (IIS, that are conserved in mammalian cells. To explore C. elegans as a model system to study the regulation of the facilitative glucose transporter (GLUT, we have characterized the GLUT gene homologues in C. elegans: fgt-1, R09B5.11, C35A11.4, F53H8.3, F48E3.2, F13B12.2, Y61A9LA.1, K08F9.1 and Y37A1A.3. The exogenous expression of these gene products in Xenopus oocytes showed transport activity to unmetabolized glucose analogue 2-deoxy-D-glucose only in FGT-1. The FGT-1-mediated transport activity was inhibited by the specific GLUT inhibitor phloretin and exhibited a Michaelis constant (Km of 2.8 mM. Mannose, galactose, and fructose were able to inhibit FGT-1-mediated 2-deoxy-D-glucose uptake (P < 0.01, indicating that FGT-1 is also able to transport these hexose sugars. A GFP fusion protein of FGT-1 was observed only on the basolateral membrane of digestive tract epithelia in C. elegans, but not in other tissues. FGT-1::eGFP expression was observed from early embryonic stages. The knockdown or mutation of fgt-1 resulted in increased fat staining in both wild-type and daf-2 (mammalian insulin receptor homologue mutant animals. Other common phenotypes of IIS mutant animals, including dauer formation and brood size reduction, were not affected by fgt-1 knockdown in wild-type or daf-2 mutants. Our results indicated that in C. elegans, FGT-1 is mainly a mammalian GLUT2-like intestinal glucose transporter and is involved in lipid metabolism.

  4. FGT-1 is a mammalian GLUT2-like facilitative glucose transporter in Caenorhabditis elegans whose malfunction induces fat accumulation in intestinal cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kitaoka, Shun; Morielli, Anthony D; Zhao, Feng-Qi

    2013-01-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) is an attractive animal model for biological and biomedical research because it permits relatively easy genetic dissection of cellular pathways, including insulin/IGF-like signaling (IIS), that are conserved in mammalian cells. To explore C. elegans as a model system to study the regulation of the facilitative glucose transporter (GLUT), we have characterized the GLUT gene homologues in C. elegans: fgt-1, R09B5.11, C35A11.4, F53H8.3, F48E3.2, F13B12.2, Y61A9LA.1, K08F9.1 and Y37A1A.3. The exogenous expression of these gene products in Xenopus oocytes showed transport activity to unmetabolized glucose analogue 2-deoxy-D-glucose only in FGT-1. The FGT-1-mediated transport activity was inhibited by the specific GLUT inhibitor phloretin and exhibited a Michaelis constant (Km) of 2.8 mM. Mannose, galactose, and fructose were able to inhibit FGT-1-mediated 2-deoxy-D-glucose uptake (P transport these hexose sugars. A GFP fusion protein of FGT-1 was observed only on the basolateral membrane of digestive tract epithelia in C. elegans, but not in other tissues. FGT-1::eGFP expression was observed from early embryonic stages. The knockdown or mutation of fgt-1 resulted in increased fat staining in both wild-type and daf-2 (mammalian insulin receptor homologue) mutant animals. Other common phenotypes of IIS mutant animals, including dauer formation and brood size reduction, were not affected by fgt-1 knockdown in wild-type or daf-2 mutants. Our results indicated that in C. elegans, FGT-1 is mainly a mammalian GLUT2-like intestinal glucose transporter and is involved in lipid metabolism.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Multiple excitatory and inhibitory neural signals converge to fine-tune Caenorhabditis elegans feeding to food availability

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    Dallière, Nicolas; Bhatla, Nikhil; Luedtke, Zara; Ma, Dengke K.; Woolman, Jonathan; Walker, Robert J.; Holden-Dye, Lindy; O’Connor, Vincent

    2016-01-01

    How an animal matches feeding to food availability is a key question for energy homeostasis. We addressed this in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, which couples feeding to the presence of its food (bacteria) by regulating pharyngeal activity (pumping). We scored pumping in the presence of food and over an extended time course of food deprivation in wild-type and mutant worms to determine the neural substrates of adaptive behavior. Removal of food initially suppressed pumping but after 2 h this was accompanied by intermittent periods of high activity. We show pumping is fine-tuned by context-specific neural mechanisms and highlight a key role for inhibitory glutamatergic and excitatory cholinergic/peptidergic drives in the absence of food. Additionally, the synaptic protein UNC-31 [calcium-activated protein for secretion (CAPS)] acts through an inhibitory pathway not explained by previously identified contributions of UNC-31/CAPS to neuropeptide or glutamate transmission. Pumping was unaffected by laser ablation of connectivity between the pharyngeal and central nervous system indicating signals are either humoral or intrinsic to the enteric system. This framework in which control is mediated through finely tuned excitatory and inhibitory drives resonates with mammalian hypothalamic control of feeding and suggests that fundamental regulation of this basic animal behavior may be conserved through evolution from nematode to human.—Dallière, N., Bhatla, N., Luedtke, Z., Ma, D. K., Woolman, J., Walker, R. J., Holden-Dye, L., O’Connor, V. Multiple excitatory and inhibitory neural signals converge to fine-tune Caenorhabditis elegans feeding to food availability. PMID:26514165

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Malene Hansen

    2005-07-01

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

  9. HLB-1 functions as a new regulator for the organization and function of neuromuscular junctions in nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Da-Yong; Wang, Yang

    2009-04-01

    To study the role of HLB-1 in regulating the organization and function of neuromuscular junctions in nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. To evaluate the functions of HLB-1 in regulating the organization and function of neuromuscular junctions, effects of hlb-1 mutation on the synaptic structures were revealed by uncovering the expression patterns of SNB-1::GFP and UNC-49::GFP, and pharmacologic assays with aldicarb and levamisole were also used to test the synaptic functions. Further rescue and mosaic analysis confirmed HLB-1's role in regulating the organization and function of neuromuscular junctions. Loss of HLB-1 function did not result in defects in neuronal outgrowth or neuronal loss, but caused obvious defects of SNB-1::GFP and UNC-49::GFP puncta localization, suggesting the altered presynaptic and postsynaptic structures. The mutant animals exhibited severe defects in locomotion behaviors and altered responses to an inhibitor of acetylcholinesterase and a cholinergic agonist, indicating the altered presynaptic and postsynaptic functions. Rescue and mosaic analysis experiments suggested that HLB-1 regulated synaptic functions in a cell nonautonomously way. Moreover, HLB-1 expression was not required for the presynaptic active zone morphology. Genetic evidence further demonstrated that hlb-1 acted in a parallel pathway with syd-2 to regulate the synaptic functions. HLB-1 appeared as a new regulator for the organization and function of neuromuscular junctions in C. elegans.

  10. A WHEP Domain Regulates the Dynamic Structure and Activity of Caenorhabditis elegans Glycyl-tRNA Synthetase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Chih-Yao; Chien, Chin-I; Chang, Chia-Pei; Lin, Bo-Chun; Wang, Chien-Chia

    2016-08-05

    WHEP domains exist in certain eukaryotic aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases and play roles in tRNA or protein binding. We present evidence herein that cytoplasmic and mitochondrial forms of Caenorhabditis elegans glycyl-tRNA synthetase (CeGlyRS) are encoded by the same gene (CeGRS1) through alternative initiation of translation. The cytoplasmic form possessed an N-terminal WHEP domain, whereas its mitochondrial isoform possessed an extra N-terminal sequence consisting of an mitochondrial targeting signal and an appended domain. Cross-species complementation assays showed that CeGRS1 effectively rescued the cytoplasmic and mitochondrial defects of a yeast GRS1 knock-out strain. Although both forms of CeGlyRS efficiently charged the cytoplasmic tRNAs(Gly) of C. elegans, the mitochondrial form was much more efficient than its cytoplasmic counterpart in charging the mitochondrial tRNA(Gly) isoacceptor, which carries a defective TψC hairpin. Despite the WHEP domain per se lacking tRNA binding activity, deletion of this domain reduced the catalytic efficiency of the enzyme. Most interestingly, the deletion mutant possessed a higher thermal stability and a somewhat lower structural flexibility. Our study suggests a role for the WHEP domain as a regulator of the dynamic structure and activity of the enzyme. © 2016 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  11. Tyrosol, a main phenol present in extra virgin olive oil, increases lifespan and stress resistance in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cañuelo, Ana; Gilbert-López, Bienvenida; Pacheco-Liñán, Pedro; Martínez-Lara, Esther; Siles, Eva; Miranda-Vizuete, Antonio

    2012-08-01

    Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) consumption has been traditionally related to a higher longevity in the human population. EVOO effects on health are often attributed to its unique mixture of phenolic compounds with tyrosol and hydroxityrosol being the most biologically active. Although these compounds have been extensively studied in terms of their antioxidant potential and its role in different pathologies, their actual connection with longevity remains unexplored. This study utilized the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to investigate the possible effects of tyrosol in metazoan longevity. Significant lifespan extension was observed at one specific tyrosol concentration, which also induced a higher resistance to thermal and oxidative stress and delayed the appearance of a biomarker of ageing. We also report that, although tyrosol was efficiently taken up by these nematodes, it did not induce changes in development, body length or reproduction. In addition, lifespan experiments with several mutant strains revealed that components of the heat shock response (HSF-1) and the insulin pathway (DAF-2 and DAF-16) might be implicated in mediating tyrosol effects in lifespan, while caloric restriction and sirtuins do not seem to mediate its effects. Together, our results point to hormesis as a possible mechanism to explain the effects of tyrosol on longevity in C. elegans. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. ALG-5 is a miRNA-associated Argonaute required for proper developmental timing in the Caenorhabditis elegans germline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Kristen C; Svendsen, Joshua M; Tucci, Rachel M; Montgomery, Brooke E; Montgomery, Taiowa A

    2017-09-06

    Caenorhabditis elegans contains 25 Argonautes, of which, ALG-1 and ALG-2 are known to primarily interact with miRNAs. ALG-5 belongs to the AGO subfamily of Argonautes that includes ALG-1 and ALG-2, but its role in small RNA pathways is unknown. We analyzed by high-throughput sequencing the small RNAs associated with ALG-5, ALG-1 and ALG-2, as well as changes in mRNA expression in alg-5, alg-1 and alg-2 mutants. We show that ALG-5 defines a distinct branch of the miRNA pathway affecting the expression of genes involved in immunity, defense, and development. In contrast to ALG-1 and ALG-2, which associate with most miRNAs and have general roles throughout development, ALG-5 interacts with only a small subset of miRNAs and is specifically expressed in the germline where it localizes alongside the piRNA and siRNA machinery at P granules. alg-5 is required for optimal fertility and mutations in alg-5 lead to a precocious transition from spermatogenesis to oogenesis. Our results provide a near-comprehensive analysis of miRNA-Argonaute interactions in C. elegans and reveal a new role for miRNAs in the germline. © The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

  13. Caenorhabditis elegans TRPV channels function in a modality-specific pathway to regulate response to aberrant sensory signaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ezak, Meredith J; Hong, Elizabeth; Chaparro-Garcia, Angela; Ferkey, Denise M

    2010-05-01

    Olfaction and some forms of taste (including bitter) are mediated by G protein-coupled signal transduction pathways. Olfactory and gustatory ligands bind to chemosensory G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) in specialized sensory cells to activate intracellular signal transduction cascades. G protein-coupled receptor kinases (GRKs) are negative regulators of signaling that specifically phosphorylate activated GPCRs to terminate signaling. Although loss of GRK function usually results in enhanced cellular signaling, Caenorhabditis elegans lacking GRK-2 function are not hypersensitive to chemosensory stimuli. Instead, grk-2 mutant animals do not chemotax toward attractive olfactory stimuli or avoid aversive tastes and smells. We show here that loss-of-function mutations in the transient receptor potential vanilloid (TRPV) channels OSM-9 and OCR-2 selectively restore grk-2 behavioral avoidance of bitter tastants, revealing modality-specific mechanisms for TRPV channel function in the regulation of C. elegans chemosensation. Additionally, a single amino acid point mutation in OCR-2 that disrupts TRPV channel-mediated gene expression, but does not decrease channel function in chemosensory primary signal transduction, also restores grk-2 bitter taste avoidance. Thus, loss of GRK-2 function may lead to changes in gene expression, via OSM-9/OCR-2, to selectively alter the levels of signaling components that transduce or regulate bitter taste responses. Our results suggest a novel mechanism and multiple modality-specific pathways that sensory cells employ in response to aberrant signal transduction.

  14. 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.

  15. Quantification of in vivo oxidative damage in Caenorhabditis elegans during aging by endogenous F3-isoprostane measurement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Labuschagne, Christiaan F; Stigter, Edwin C A; Hendriks, Margriet M W B; Berger, Ruud; Rokach, Joshua; Korswagen, Hendrik C; Brenkman, Arjan B

    2013-04-01

    Oxidative damage is thought to be a major cause in development of pathologies and aging. However, quantification of oxidative damage is methodologically difficult. Here, we present a robust liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) approach for accurate, sensitive, and linear in vivo quantification of endogenous oxidative damage in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, based on F3-isoprostanes. F3-isoprostanes are prostaglandin-like markers of oxidative damage derived from lipid peroxidation by Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS). Oxidative damage was quantified in whole animals and in multiple cellular compartments, including mitochondria and peroxisomes. Mutants of the mitochondrial electron transport proteins mev-1 and clk-1 showed increased oxidative damage levels. Furthermore, analysis of Superoxide Dismutase (sod) and Catalase (ctl) mutants uncovered that oxidative damage levels cannot be inferred from the phenotype of resistance to pro-oxidants alone and revealed high oxidative damage in a small group of chemosensory neurons. Longitudinal analysis of aging nematodes revealed that oxidative damage increased specifically with postreproductive age. Remarkably, aging of the stress-resistant and long-lived daf-2 insulin/IGF-1 receptor mutant involved distinct daf-16-dependent phases of oxidative damage including a temporal increase at young adulthood. These observations are consistent with a hormetic response to ROS. © 2012 The Authors Aging Cell © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/Anatomical Society of Great Britain and Ireland.

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-05-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark G Sterken

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

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

    2015-09-22

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

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

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    Shaham, Shai

    2015-01-08

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

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

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    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.

  3. Regulator of G protein signaling-1 modulates paraquat-induced oxidative stress and longevity via the insulin like signaling pathway in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Mingyu; Kang, Xin; Wang, Qiang; Zhou, Chunyu; Mohan, Chandra; Peng, Ai

    2017-05-05

    Insulin or insulin like signaling (IIS) pathway is a crucial pathway in Caenorhabditis elegans associated with mediating longevity, and stress resistance. Regulators of G protein signaling (RGS) also modulate stress resistance and longevity in multiple in vitro and in vivo models. However, the mechanism underlying RGS mediating stress resistance and longevity remains largely unclear. Here we report that rgs-1, an important member of rgs family, is a novel modulator of IIS pathway in C. elegans. We found that the loss of rgs-1 dramatically promoted paraquat resistance in C. elegans. Further genetic analyses demonstrated that rgs-1 acted downstream of daf-2 and upstream of age-1, pdk-1, daf-16. Instead of affecting those IIS-associated genes in transcriptional process, loss of rgs-1 promoted DAF-16's nucleus translocation and subset genes' expression in paraquat-induced oxidative status. By this way, rgs-1 mutant worms exhibited lower ROS damage and longer survival time than wild type worms when both exposed to paraquat. Other than paraquat exposure, rgs-1 mutant also promoted lifespan and cadmium resistance relying on daf-16. As rgs is evolutionarily conserved, our findings open a new insight into rgs family and its role in paraquat-induced oxidative stress and longevity in C. elegans or even mammals. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

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    Mário F. Neto

    2016-08-01

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

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

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    Yin Changxin

    2009-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-05-20

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-13

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

  9. Gene activities that mediate increased life span of C. elegans insulin-like signaling mutants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samuelson, Andrew V; Carr, Christopher E; Ruvkun, Gary

    2007-11-15

    Genetic and RNA interference (RNAi) screens for life span regulatory genes have revealed that the daf-2 insulin-like signaling pathway plays a major role in Caenorhabditis elegans longevity. This pathway converges on the DAF-16 transcription factor and may regulate life span by controlling the expression of a large number of genes, including free-radical detoxifying genes, stress resistance genes, and pathogen resistance genes. We conducted a genome-wide RNAi screen to identify genes necessary for the extended life span of daf-2 mutants and identified approximately 200 gene inactivations that shorten daf-2 life span. Some of these gene inactivations dramatically shorten daf-2 mutant life span but less dramatically shorten daf-2; daf-16 mutant or wild-type life span. Molecular and behavioral markers for normal aging and for extended life span in low insulin/IGF1 (insulin-like growth factor 1) signaling were assayed to distinguish accelerated aging from general sickness and to examine age-related phenotypes. Detailed demographic analysis, molecular markers of aging, and insulin signaling mutant test strains were used to filter progeric gene inactivations for specific acceleration of aging. Highly represented in the genes that mediate life span extension in the daf-2 mutant are components of endocytotic trafficking of membrane proteins to lysosomes. These gene inactivations disrupt the increased expression of the DAF-16 downstream gene superoxide dismutase sod-3 in a daf-2 mutant, suggesting trafficking between the insulin-like receptor and DAF-16. The activities of these genes may normally decline during aging.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pukkila-Worley, Read; Ausubel, Frederick M

    2012-02-01

    Intestinal epithelial cells provide an essential line of defense for Caernohabditis elegans against ingested pathogens. Because nematodes consume microorganisms as their food source, there has presumably been selection pressure to evolve and maintain immune defense mechanisms within the intestinal epithelium. Here we review recent advances that further define the immune signaling network within these cells and suggest mechanisms used by the nematode to monitor for infection. In reviewing studies of pathogenesis that use this simple model system, we hope to illustrate some of the basic principles of epithelial immunity that may also be of relevance in higher order hosts. Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23794777

  13. Caenorhabditis elegans p97 controls germline-specific sex determination by controlling the TRA-1 level in a CUL-2-dependent manner.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sasagawa, Yohei; Otani, Mieko; Higashitani, Nahoko; Higashitani, Atsushi; Sato, Ken; Ogura, Teru; Yamanaka, Kunitoshi

    2009-10-15

    p97 (CDC-48 in Caenorhabditis elegans) is a ubiquitin-selective AAA (ATPases associated with diverse cellular activities) chaperone and its key function is to disassemble protein complexes. p97 functions in diverse cellular processes including endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-associated degradation, membrane fusion, and meiotic and mitotic progression. However, its cellular functions in development have not yet been clarified. Here, we present data that p97 is involved in the switch from spermatogenesis to oogenesis in the germline of the C. elegans hermaphrodite. We found that the cdc-48.1 deletion mutant produced less sperm than the wild type and thus showed a decreased brood size. The cdc-48.1 mutation suppressed the sperm-overproducing phenotypes of fbf-1 and fem-3(gf) mutants. In addition, the p97/CDC-48-UFD-1-NPL-4 complex interacted with the E3 ubiquitin ligase CUL-2 complex via NPL-4 binding to Elongin C. Furthermore, TRA-1A, which is the terminal effector of the sex determination pathway and is regulated by CUL-2-mediated proteolysis, accumulated in the cdc-48.1 mutant. Proteasome activity was also required for the brood size determination and sperm-oocyte switch. Our results demonstrate that the C. elegans p97/CDC-48-UFD-1-NPL-4 complex controls the sperm-oocyte switch by regulating CUL-2-mediated TRA-1A proteasome degradation.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

    The soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has become a popular genetic model organism used to study a broad range of complex biological processes, including development, aging, apoptosis, and DNA damage responses. Many genetic tools and tricks have been developed in C. elegans including knock down...... relatively easily be performed in a genome-wide fashion. In this chapter we give a protocol for using genome-wide RNAi screening to identify genes involved with the response to genotoxic stress...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meng Xu

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erjia Wang

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  19. Reduction in chromosome mobility accompanies nuclear organization during early embryogenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arai, Ritsuko; Sugawara, Takeshi; Sato, Yuko; Minakuchi, Yohei; Toyoda, Atsushi; Nabeshima, Kentaro; Kimura, Hiroshi; Kimura, Akatsuki

    2017-06-16

    In differentiated cells, chromosomes are packed inside the cell nucleus in an organised fashion. In contrast, little is known about how chromosomes are packed in undifferentiated cells and how nuclear organization changes during development. To assess changes in nuclear organization during the earliest stages of development, we quantified the mobility of a pair of homologous chromosomal loci in the interphase nuclei of Caenorhabditis elegans embryos. The distribution of distances between homologous loci was consistent with a random distribution up to the 8-cell stage but not at later stages. The mobility of the loci was significantly reduced from the 2-cell to the 48-cell stage. Nuclear foci corresponding to epigenetic marks as well as heterochromatin and the nucleolus also appeared around the 8-cell stage. We propose that the earliest global transformation in nuclear organization occurs at the 8-cell stage during C. elegans embryogenesis.

  20. Nanoscale imaging and characterization of Caenorhabditis elegans epicuticle using atomic force microscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fakhrullina, Gölnur; Akhatova, Farida; Kibardina, Maria; Fokin, Denis; Fakhrullin, Rawil

    2017-02-01

    Here we introduce PeakForce Tapping non-resonance atomic force microscopy for imaging and nanomechanical mapping of Caenorhabditis elegans nematodes. The animals were imaged both in air and water at nanoscale resolution. Layer-by-layer glass surface modification was employed to secure the worms for imaging in water. Microtopography of head region, annuli, furrows, lateral alae and tail region was visualized. Analysis of nanoscale surface features obtained during AFM imaging of three larval and adult hermaphrodite nematodes in natural environment allowed for numerical evaluation of annuli periodicity, furrows depth and annuli roughness. Nanomechanical mapping of surface deformation, Young modulus and adhesion confirms that the mechanical properties of the nematode cuticle are non-uniform. Overall, PeakForce Tapping AFM is a robust and simple approach applicable for nanoscale three-dimensional imaging and characterization of C. elegans nematodes. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1988-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mylenko, Mykola; Boland, Sebastian; Penkov, Sider; Sampaio, Julio L; Lombardot, Benoit; Vorkel, Daniela; Verbavatz, Jean-Marc; Kurzchalia, Teymuras V

    2016-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

    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...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ellegaard-Jensen, Lea; Alstrup Jensen, Keld; 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...

  5. OpenWorm: an open-science approach to modelling Caenorhabditis elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Balazs eSzigeti

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available OpenWorm is an international collaboration with the aim of understanding how the behaviour of Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans emerges through the underlying biophysical processes. The project has developed a modular simulation engine to create computational models of the worm. The modularity of the engine makes it possible to easily modify the model, incorporate new experimental data and test hypotheses. The modelling framework incorporates both biophysical neuronal simulations and a novel fluid-dynamics-based soft-tissue simulation for physical environment-body interactions. The project's open-science approach is aimed at overcoming the difficulties of integrative modelling within a traditional academic environment. In this article the rationale is presented for creating the OpenWorm collaboration, the tools and resources developed thus far are outlined and the unique challenges associated with the project are discussed.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

    GMP regulation by GCY-9 and the PDE-1 phosphodiesterase controls BAG expression of a FMRFamide-related neuropeptide FLP-19 reporter (flp-19::GFP). This regulation is specific for CO 2 -sensing function of the BAG neurons, as loss of oxygen sensing function does not affect flp-19::GFP expression. We also found...... that expression of flp-19::GFP is controlled in parallel to GCY-9 by the activity-dependent transcription factor CREB (CRH-1) and the cAMP-dependent protein kinase (KIN-2) signaling pathway. We therefore show that two parallel pathways regulate neuropeptide gene expression in the BAG sensory neurons: the ability......Monitoring of neuronal activity within circuits facilitates integrated responses and rapid changes in behavior. We have identified a system in Caenorhabditis elegans where neuropeptide expression is dependent on the ability of the BAG neurons to sense carbon dioxide. In C. Elegans, CO 2 sensing...

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Engineering the Caenorhabditis elegans genome with CRISPR/Cas9.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waaijers, Selma; Boxem, Mike

    2014-08-01

    The development in early 2013 of CRISPR/Cas9-based genome engineering promises to dramatically advance our ability to alter the genomes of model systems at will. A single, easily produced targeting RNA guides the Cas9 endonuclease to a specific DNA sequence where it creates a double strand break. Imprecise repair of the break can yield mutations, while homologous recombination with a repair template can be used to effect specific changes to the genome. The tremendous potential of this system led several groups to independently adapt it for use in Caenorhabditiselegans, where it was successfully used to generate mutations and to create tailored genome changes through homologous recombination. Here, we review the different approaches taken to adapt CRISPR/Cas9 for C. elegans, and provide practical guidelines for CRISPR/Cas9-based genome engineering. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Beyond Traditional Antimicrobials: A Caenorhabditis elegans Model for Discovery of Novel Anti-infectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kong, Cin; Eng, Su-Anne; Lim, Mei-Perng; Nathan, Sheila

    2016-01-01

    The spread of antibiotic resistance amongst bacterial pathogens has led to an urgent need for new antimicrobial compounds with novel modes of action that minimize the potential for drug resistance. To date, the development of new antimicrobial drugs is still lagging far behind the rising demand, partly owing to the absence of an effective screening platform. Over the last decade, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has been incorporated as a whole animal screening platform for antimicrobials. This development is taking advantage of the vast knowledge on worm physiology and how it interacts with bacterial and fungal pathogens. In addition to allowing for in vivo selection of compounds with promising anti-microbial properties, the whole animal C. elegans screening system has also permitted the discovery of novel compounds targeting infection processes that only manifest during the course of pathogen infection of the host. Another advantage of using C. elegans in the search for new antimicrobials is that the worm itself is a source of potential antimicrobial effectors which constitute part of its immune defense response to thwart infections. This has led to the evaluation of effector molecules, particularly antimicrobial proteins and peptides (APPs), as candidates for further development as therapeutic agents. In this review, we provide an overview on use of the C. elegans model for identification of novel anti-infectives. We highlight some highly potential lead compounds obtained from C. elegans-based screens, particularly those that target bacterial virulence or host defense to eradicate infections, a mechanism distinct from the action of conventional antibiotics. We also review the prospect of using C. elegans APPs as an antimicrobial strategy to treat infections. PMID:27994583

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

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Induction of germline cell cycle arrest and apoptosis by sodium arsenite in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Wang, Shunchang; Zhao, Ye; Wu, Lijun; Tang, Mingli; Su, Caixing; Hei, Tom K; Yu, Zengliang

    2007-02-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has been shown to be a model organism in studying aquatic toxicity. Although epidemiological studies have shown that arsenic is teratogenic and carcinogenic to humans, the lethality assay indicated that C. elegans is less sensitive to inorganic arsenic than any other organisms that have been tested thus far. In the present study, we used the more malleable germline of C. elegans as an in vivo system to investigate the genotoxic effects of arsenite. After animals were exposed to sodium arsenite at concentrations ranging from 1 microM to 0.5 mM, mitotic germ cells and germline apoptosis were scored after DAPI staining and acridine orange vital staining, respectively. DMSO rescue experiments were performed by exposing C. elegans to 0.01 mM arsenite in the presence of DMSO (0.1%) for 24 h, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) were semiquantified by CM-H(2)DCFDA vital staining. The results indicated that arsenic exposure reduced the brood size of C. elegans and caused mitotic cell cycle arrest and germline apoptosis, which, to some extent, exhibited a concentration- and time-dependent manner. The addition of 0.1% DMSO completely rescued arsenic-induced cell cycle arrest and partially suppressed germline apoptosis. Furthermore, treatment of animals with arsenite at a dose of 0.01 mM significantly increased ROS production in the intestine, which could be reduced by DMSO treatment. The present study also indicated that C. elegans might be used as an in vivo model system to study the mechanisms of arsenic-induced genotoxic effects.

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

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    Surasri N Sahu

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

  16. Aging Effects of Caenorhabditis elegans Ryanodine Receptor Variants Corresponding to Human Myopathic Mutations

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    Katie Nicoll Baines

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Delaying the decline in skeletal muscle function will be critical to better maintenance of an active lifestyle in old age. The skeletal muscle ryanodine receptor, the major intracellular membrane channel through which calcium ions pass to elicit muscle contraction, is central to calcium ion balance and is hypothesized to be a significant factor for age-related decline in muscle function. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a key model system for the study of human aging, and strains were generated with modified C. elegans ryanodine receptors corresponding to human myopathic variants linked with malignant hyperthermia and related conditions. The altered response of these strains to pharmacological agents reflected results of human diagnostic tests for individuals with these pathogenic variants. Involvement of nerve cells in the C. elegans responses may relate to rare medical symptoms concerning the central nervous system that have been associated with ryanodine receptor variants. These single amino acid modifications in C. elegans also conferred a reduction in lifespan and an accelerated decline in muscle integrity with age, supporting the significance of ryanodine receptor function for human aging.

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

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    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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

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

    2014-07-02

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dierking, Katja; Yang, Wentao; Schulenburg, Hinrich

    2016-05-26

    Nematodes and arthropods likely form the taxon Ecdysozoa. Information on antimicrobial effectors from the model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans may thus shed light on the evolutionary origin of these defences in arthropods. This nematode species possesses an extensive armory of putative antimicrobial effector proteins, such as lysozymes, caenopores (or saposin-like proteins), defensin-like peptides, caenacins and neuropeptide-like proteins, in addition to the production of reactive oxygen species and autophagy. As C. elegans is a bacterivore that lives in microbe-rich environments, some of its effector peptides and proteins likely function in both digestion of bacterial food and pathogen elimination. In this review, we provide an overview of C. elegans immune effector proteins and mechanisms. We summarize the experimental evidence of their antimicrobial function and involvement in the response to pathogen infection. We further evaluate the microbe-induced expression of effector genes using WormExp, a recently established database for C. elegans gene expression analysis. We emphasize the need for further analysis at the protein level to demonstrate an antimicrobial activity of these molecules both in vitro and in vivoThis article is part of the themed issue 'Evolutionary ecology of arthropod antimicrobial peptides'. © 2016 The Author(s).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-08-01

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

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

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

    2015-04-01

    To analyze the pathogenesis at both physiological and molecular level using the model organism, Caenorhabditis elegans at different developmental stages in response to Shigella spp. and its pathogen associated molecular patterns such as lipopolysaccharide. The solid plate and liquid culture-based infection assays revealed that Shigella spp. infects C. elegans and had an impact on the brood size and pharyngeal pumping rate. LPS of Shigella spp. was toxic to C. elegans. qPCR analysis revealed that host innate immune genes have been modulated upon Shigella spp. infections and its LPS challenges. Non-destructive analysis was performed to kinetically assess the alterations in LPS during interaction of Shigella spp. with C. elegans. The modulation of innate immune genes attributed the surrendering of host immune system to Shigella spp. by favoring the infection. LPS appeared to have a major role in Shigella-mediated pathogenesis and Shigella employs a tactic behavior of modifying its LPS content to escape from the recognition of host immune system. © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-03

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

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

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    Michal Turek

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

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

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    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. Functional Interplay of Two Paralogs Encoding SWI/SNF Chromatin-Remodeling Accessory Subunits During Caenorhabditis elegans Development.

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    Ertl, Iris; Porta-de-la-Riva, Montserrat; Gómez-Orte, Eva; Rubio-Peña, Karinna; Aristizábal-Corrales, David; Cornes, Eric; Fontrodona, Laura; Osteikoetxea, Xabier; Ayuso, Cristina; Askjaer, Peter; Cabello, Juan; Cerón, Julián

    2016-03-01

    SWI/SNF ATP-dependent chromatin-remodeling complexes have been related to several cellular processes such as transcription, regulation of chromosomal stability, and DNA repair. The Caenorhabditis elegans gene ham-3 (also known as swsn-2.1) and its paralog swsn-2.2 encode accessory subunits of SWI/SNF complexes. Using RNA interference (RNAi) assays and diverse alleles we investigated whether ham-3 and swsn-2.2 have different functions during C. elegans development since they encode proteins that are probably mutually exclusive in a given SWI/SNF complex. We found that ham-3 and swsn-2.2 display similar functions in vulva specification, germline development, and intestinal cell proliferation, but have distinct roles in embryonic development. Accordingly, we detected functional redundancy in some developmental processes and demonstrated by RNA sequencing of RNAi-treated L4 animals that ham-3 and swsn-2.2 regulate the expression of a common subset of genes but also have specific targets. Cell lineage analyses in the embryo revealed hyper-proliferation of intestinal cells in ham-3 null mutants whereas swsn-2.2 is required for proper cell divisions. Using a proteomic approach, we identified SWSN-2.2-interacting proteins needed for early cell divisions, such as SAO-1 and ATX-2, and also nuclear envelope proteins such as MEL-28. swsn-2.2 mutants phenocopy mel-28 loss-of-function, and we observed that SWSN-2.2 and MEL-28 colocalize in mitotic and meiotic chromosomes. Moreover, we demonstrated that SWSN-2.2 is required for correct chromosome segregation and nuclear reassembly after mitosis including recruitment of MEL-28 to the nuclear periphery. Copyright © 2016 by the Genetics Society of America.

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1994-10-01

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

  10. 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

    2016-01-01

    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

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

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    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  13. Deep SAGE analysis of the Caenorhabditis elegans transcriptome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruzanov, Peter; Riddle, Donald L

    2010-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-29

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

  15. LIN-23, an E3 Ubiquitin Ligase Component, Is Required for the Repression of CDC-25.2 Activity during Intestinal Development in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Son, Miseol; Kawasaki, Ichiro; Oh, Bong-Kyeong; Shim, Yhong-Hee

    2016-11-30

    Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) utilizes two different cell-cycle modes, binucleations during the L1 larval stage and endoreduplications at four larval moltings, for its postembryonic intestinal development. Previous genetic studies indicated that CDC-25.2 is specifically required for binucleations at the L1 larval stage and is repressed before endoreduplications. Furthermore, LIN-23, the C. elegans β-TrCP ortholog, appears to function as a repressor of CDC-25.2 to prevent excess intestinal divisions. We previously reported that intestinal hyperplasia in lin-23(e1883) mutants was effectively suppressed by the RNAi depletion of cdc-25.2. Nevertheless, LIN-23 targeting CDC-25.2 for ubiquitination as a component of E3 ubiquitin ligase has not yet been tested. In this study, LIN-23 is shown to be the major E3 ubiquitin ligase component, recognizing CDC-25.2 to repress their activities for proper transition of cell-cycle modes during the C. elegans postembryonic intestinal development. In addition, for the first time that LIN-23 physically interacts with both CDC-25.1 and CDC-25.2 and facilitates ubiquitination for timely regulation of their activities during the intestinal development.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-08-26

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

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

  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. 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…

  20. 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...

  1. The Role of the UNC-82 Protein Kinase in Organizing Myosin Filaments in Striated Muscle of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schiller, NaTasha R; Duchesneau, Christopher D; Lane, Latrisha S; Reedy, April R; Manzon, Emily R; Hoppe, Pamela E

    2017-03-01

    We study the mechanisms that guide the formation and maintenance of the highly ordered actin-myosin cytoskeleton in striated muscle. The UNC-82 kinase of Caenorhabditis elegans is orthologous to mammalian kinases ARK5/NUAK1 and SNARK/NUAK2. UNC-82 localizes to the M-line, and is required for proper organization of thick filaments, but its substrate and mechanism of action are unknown. Antibody staining of three mutants with missense mutations in the UNC-82 catalytic domain revealed muscle structure that is less disorganized than in the null unc-82(0), but contained distinctive ectopic accumulations not found in unc-82(0) These accumulations contain paramyosin and myosin B, but lack myosin A and myosin A-associated proteins, as well as proteins of the integrin-associated complex. Fluorescently tagged missense mutant protein UNC-82 E424K localized normally in wild type; however, in unc-82(0), the tagged protein was found in the ectopic accumulations, which we also show to label with recently synthesized paramyosin. Recruitment of wild-type UNC-82::GFP to aggregates of differing protein composition in five muscle-affecting mutants revealed that colocalization of UNC-82 and paramyosin does not require UNC-96, UNC-98/ZnF, UNC-89/obscurin, CSN-5, myosin A, or myosin B individually. Dosage effects in paramyosin mutants suggest that UNC-82 acts as part of a complex, in which its stoichiometric relationship with paramyosin is critical. UNC-82 dosage affects muscle organization in the absence of paramyosin, perhaps through myosin B. We present evidence that the interaction of UNC-98/ZnF with myosin A is independent of UNC-82, and that UNC-82 acts upstream of UNC-98/ZnF in a pathway that organizes paramyosin during thick filament assembly. Copyright © 2017 by the Genetics Society of America.

  2. The serotonin receptor SER-1 (5HT2ce) contributes to the regulation of locomotion in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dernovici, Serge; Starc, Tanja; Dent, Joseph A; Ribeiro, Paula

    2007-02-01

    Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine: 5HT) is an important neuroactive substance in the model roundworm, Caenorhabditis elegans. Aside from having effects in feeding and egg-laying, 5HT inhibits motility and also modulates several locomotory behaviors, notably food-induced slowing and foraging. Recent evidence showed that a serotonergic 5HT2-like receptor named SER-1 (also known as 5HT2ce) was responsible for the effect of 5HT on egg-laying. Here we confirm this observation and show that SER-1 also plays an important role in locomotion. A mutant lacking SER-1 was found to be highly resistant to exogenous 5HT in the absence of food and this resistant phenotype was rescued by reintroducing the SER-1 gene in a mutant background. Pharmacological studies showed that the same antagonists that blocked the activity of recombinant SER-1 in vitro also inhibited the effect of 5HT on motility, suggesting the same receptor was responsible for both effects. When tested for locomotory behaviors, the SER-1 mutant was found to be moderately defective in food-induced slowing. In addition, the mutant changed direction more frequently than the wildtype when searching for food, suggesting that SER-1 may play a role in navigational control during foraging. Both these effects required the presence of MOD-1, a 5HT gated chloride channel, and the results indicate that SER-1 and MOD-1 modulate these behaviors through a common pathway. On the basis of expression analysis of a ser-1::GFP translational fusion, SER-1 is prominently located in central, integrating neurons of the head ganglia (RIA and RIC) but not the body wall musculature. The evidence suggests that SER-1 controls locomotion through indirect modulation of neuromuscular circuits and has effects both on speed and direction of movement. (c) 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

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    Scott Severance

    2010-07-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steve Thomas Pannakal

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    The Gram-negative bacterium Shigella flexneri is the causative agent of shigellosis, a diarrhoeal disease also known as bacillary dysentery. S. flexneri infects the colonic and rectal epithelia of its primate host and induces a cascade of inflammatory responses that culminates in the destruction of the host intestinal lining. Molecular characterization of host-pathogen interactions in this infection has been challenging due to the host specificity of S. flexneri strains, as it strictly infects humans and non-human primates. Recent studies have shown that S. flexneri infects the soil dwelling nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, however, the interactions between S. flexneri and C. elegans at the cellular level and the cause of nematode death are unknown. Here we attempt to gain insight into the complex host-pathogen interactions between S. flexneri and C. elegans. Using transmission electron microscopy, we show that live S. flexneri cells accumulate in the nematode intestinal lumen, produce outer membrane vesicles and invade nematode intestinal cells. Using two-dimensional differential in-gel elect