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Sample records for caenorhabditis elegans werner

  1. The Caenorhabditis elegans Werner syndrome protein functions upstream of ATR and ATM in response to DNA replication inhibition and double-strand DNA breaks.

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    Se-Jin Lee

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available WRN-1 is the Caenorhabditis elegans homolog of the human Werner syndrome protein, a RecQ helicase, mutations of which are associated with premature aging and increased genome instability. Relatively little is known as to how WRN-1 functions in DNA repair and DNA damage signaling. Here, we take advantage of the genetic and cytological approaches in C. elegans to dissect the epistatic relationship of WRN-1 in various DNA damage checkpoint pathways. We found that WRN-1 is required for CHK1 phosphorylation induced by DNA replication inhibition, but not by UV radiation. Furthermore, WRN-1 influences the RPA-1 focus formation, suggesting that WRN-1 functions in the same step or upstream of RPA-1 in the DNA replication checkpoint pathway. In response to ionizing radiation, RPA-1 focus formation and nuclear localization of ATM depend on WRN-1 and MRE-11. We conclude that C. elegans WRN-1 participates in the initial stages of checkpoint activation induced by DNA replication inhibition and ionizing radiation. These functions of WRN-1 in upstream DNA damage signaling are likely to be conserved, but might be cryptic in human systems due to functional redundancy.

  2. Intermediate Filaments in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zuela, Noam; Gruenbaum, Yosef

    2016-01-01

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

  3. Biolistic transformation of Caenorhabditis elegans

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Isik, M.; Berezikov, E.

    2013-01-01

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

  4. Toxicity testing using Caenorhabditis elegans

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

    1995-12-31

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

  5. Ritmos circadianos en Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Migliori, María Laura

    2012-01-01

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

  6. The Nucleolus of Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Li-Wei Lee

    2012-01-01

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

  7. Sensory Transduction in Caenorhabditis elegans

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

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

  8. Antimicrobial peptides in Caenorhabditis elegans

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    A Bogaerts

    2010-01-01

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

  9. Toxicity of Naphthalene on Caenorhabditis elegans

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

    2011-01-01

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

  10. Optogenetic mutagenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Noma, Kentaro; Jin, Yishi

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Acute carbon dioxide avoidance in Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Hallem, Elissa A.; Sternberg, Paul W.

    2008-01-01

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

  12. Caenorhabditis elegans response to salt

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    O.O. Umuerri (Oluwatoroti Omowayewa)

    2012-01-01

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

  13. Biosynthesis of the Caenorhabditis elegans dauer pheromone

    OpenAIRE

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

    2009-01-01

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

  14. Mainstreaming Caenorhabditis elegans in experimental evolution.

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    Gray, Jeremy C; Cutter, Asher D

    2014-03-01

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

  15. Dopamine regulates body size in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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

    2016-04-01

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

  16. Phospholipase Cepsilon regulates ovulation in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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

    2004-10-01

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

  17. Gustatory Behaviour in Caenorhabditis elegans

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    R.K. Hukema (Renate)

    2006-01-01

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

  18. Microfluidic Devices in Advanced Caenorhabditis elegans Research

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    Muniesh Muthaiyan Shanmugam

    2016-08-01

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

  19. The invertebrate Caenorhabditis elegans biosynthesizes ascorbate.

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

    2015-03-01

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

  20. Caenorhabditis elegans vulval cell fate patterning

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    Félix, Marie-Anne

    2012-08-01

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

  1. Toxicological Effects of Fullerenes on Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Schomaker, Justin; Snook, Renee; Howell, Carina

    2014-03-01

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

  2. Control of Neuronal Network in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Rahul Badhwar

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

  3. Acute carbon dioxide avoidance in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Hallem, Elissa A; Sternberg, Paul W

    2008-06-10

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

  4. Targeted genome engineering in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Chen, Xiangyang; Feng, Xuezhu; Guang, Shouhong

    2016-01-01

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

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

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    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...

  6. Caenorhabditis elegans reveals novel Pseudomonas aeruginosa virulence mechanism

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Utari, Putri Dwi; Quax, Wim J.

    2013-01-01

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

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

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    Avery Leon

    2010-06-01

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

  8. Chemotaxis of crawling and swimming Caenorhabditis Elegans

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

    2012-11-01

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

  9. Transcriptional network underlying Caenorhabditis elegans vulval development.

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

    2005-04-05

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

  10. Caenorhabditis elegans chemical biology: lessons from small molecules

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    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...

  11. Genetic screens in Caenorhabditis elegans models for neurodegenerative diseases

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

    2014-01-01

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

  12. Sensory processing by neural circuits in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Whittaker, Allyson J; Sternberg, Paul W

    2004-08-01

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

  13. Caenorhabditis elegans glia modulate neuronal activity and behavior

    OpenAIRE

    Randy F Stout; Alexei eVerkhratsky; Vladimir eParpura

    2014-01-01

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

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

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    Witting, Michael; Schmitt-Kopplin, Philippe

    2016-01-01

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

  15. Big Data in Caenorhabditis elegans: quo vadis?

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    Hutter, Harald; Moerman, Donald

    2015-11-05

    A clear definition of what constitutes "Big Data" is difficult to identify, but we find it most useful to define Big Data as a data collection that is complete. By this criterion, researchers on Caenorhabditis elegans have a long history of collecting Big Data, since the organism was selected with the idea of obtaining a complete biological description and understanding of development. The complete wiring diagram of the nervous system, the complete cell lineage, and the complete genome sequence provide a framework to phrase and test hypotheses. Given this history, it might be surprising that the number of "complete" data sets for this organism is actually rather small--not because of lack of effort, but because most types of biological experiments are not currently amenable to complete large-scale data collection. Many are also not inherently limited, so that it becomes difficult to even define completeness. At present, we only have partial data on mutated genes and their phenotypes, gene expression, and protein-protein interaction--important data for many biological questions. Big Data can point toward unexpected correlations, and these unexpected correlations can lead to novel investigations; however, Big Data cannot establish causation. As a result, there is much excitement about Big Data, but there is also a discussion on just what Big Data contributes to solving a biological problem. Because of its relative simplicity, C. elegans is an ideal test bed to explore this issue and at the same time determine what is necessary to build a multicellular organism from a single cell.

  16. Chromosome I duplications in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1990-01-01

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

  17. Biosynthesis of the Caenorhabditis elegans dauer pheromone.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-02-10

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  19. Characterisation of Caenorhabditis elegans sperm transcriptome and proteome

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Transfer characteristics of a thermosensory synapse in Caenorhabditis elegans

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

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

  1. Building a cell and anatomy ontology of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Raymond Y N; Sternberg, Paul W

    2003-01-01

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

  2. The temporal scaling of Caenorhabditis elegans ageing

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  3. Single-copy insertion of transgenes in Caenorhabditis elegans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  4. 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…

  5. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gupta, Bhagwati P; Sternberg, Paul W

    2003-01-01

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

  7. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1979-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-04-01

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

  10. Dietary Supplementation of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Caenorhabditis elegans

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 Kills Caenorhabditis elegans by Cyanide Poisoning

    OpenAIRE

    Gallagher, Larry A.; Manoil, Colin

    2001-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Caenorhabditis elegans responses to bacteria from its natural habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powers, James A

    2010-06-01

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

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-06-07

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

  17. Guidelines for monitoring autophagy in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-08-01

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

  19. Radiation-induced genomic instability in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-10-01

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

  20. Caenorhabditis elegans swimming in a saturated particulate system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jung, Sunghwan

    2010-03-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaowen Huang

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holden-Dye, Lindy; Walker, Robert J

    2014-12-16

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2007-01-01

    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...

  4. Nucleotide Excision Repair in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hannes Lans

    2011-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Intracellular Assessment of ATP Levels in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palikaras, Konstantinos; Tavernarakis, Nektarios

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ardiel, Evan L; Rankin, Catharine H

    2010-04-01

    This article reviews the literature on learning and memory in the soil-dwelling nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Paradigms include nonassociative learning, associative learning, and imprinting, as worms have been shown to habituate to mechanical and chemical stimuli, as well as learn the smells, tastes, temperatures, and oxygen levels that predict aversive chemicals or the presence or absence of food. In each case, the neural circuit underlying the behavior has been at least partially described, and forward and reverse genetics are being used to elucidate the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms. Several genes have been identified with no known role other than mediating behavior plasticity.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-19

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-13

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-19

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

  11. Dietary and microbiome factors determine longevity in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1990-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-11-29

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

  16. 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.

  17. Allyl isothiocyanate induced stress response in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saini AkalRachna K

    2011-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. Pan-neuronal imaging in roaming Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-23

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

  1. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole Shangming Hou

    2012-05-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jin-ling CAI

    2012-09-01

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

  4. Goalpha regulates volatile anesthetic action in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-06-01

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

  5. Searching WormBase for information about Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwarz, Erich M; Sternberg, Paul W

    2006-07-01

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

  6. Cell-specific proteomic analysis in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-03

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

  7. Caenorhabditis elegans is a useful model for anthelmintic discovery

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-11-23

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hou, Nicole Shangming; Taubert, Stefan

    2012-01-01

    Rapidly expanding aging populations and a concomitant increase in the prevalence of age-related diseases are global health problems today. Over the past three decades, a large body of work has led to the identification of genes and regulatory networks that affect longevity and health span, often benefiting from the tremendous power of genetics in vertebrate and invertebrate model organisms. Interestingly, many of these factors appear linked to lipids, important molecules that participate in cellular signaling, energy metabolism, and structural compartmentalization. Despite the putative link between lipids and longevity, the role of lipids in aging remains poorly understood. Emerging data from the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans suggest that lipid composition may change during aging, as several pathways that influence aging also regulate lipid metabolism enzymes; moreover, some of these enzymes apparently play key roles in the pathways that affect the rate of aging. By understanding how lipid biology is regulated during C. elegans aging, and how it impacts molecular, cellular, and organismal function, we may gain insight into novel ways to delay aging using genetic or pharmacological interventions. In the present review we discuss recent insights into the roles of lipids in C. elegans aging, including regulatory roles played by lipids themselves, the regulation of lipid metabolic enzymes, and the roles of lipid metabolism genes in the pathways that affect aging. PMID:22629250

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-11-19

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

  11. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-21

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gunnar Rätsch

    2007-02-01

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

  14. A mutational analysis of Caenorhabditis elegans in space

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2006-10-10

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

  15. A soil bioassay using the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1999-07-01

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

  16. Chaperone-interacting TPR proteins in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-08-23

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Surasri N Sahu

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Radiosensitivity Parameters For Lethal Mutagenesis In Caenorhabditis Elegans

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1994-01-01

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

  2. The epidermal growth factor system in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moghal, Nadeem; Sternberg, Paul W

    2003-03-10

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-31

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrushin, Alexey; Ferrara, Lorenzo; Blau, Axel

    2016-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myers, Edith M.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amano, Hisayuki; Maruyama, Ichiro N.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  11. Curcumin-mediated lifespan extension in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hashimoto, Yasufumi; Ookuma, Sadatsugu; Nishida, Eisuke

    2009-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-01

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

  14. Translational control in the Caenorhabditis elegans germ line.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nousch, Marco; Eckmann, Christian R

    2013-01-01

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

  15. Manganese Disturbs Metal and Protein Homeostasis in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-04-01

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

  18. Magnetosensitive neurons mediate geomagnetic orientation in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-01-01

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

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

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

    2015-01-27

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

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

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

    2002-12-01

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

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

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    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.

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

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

    2013-02-01

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

  4. Structural properties of the Caenorhabditis elegans neuronal network.

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

    2011-02-03

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

  5. Structural properties of the Caenorhabditis elegans neuronal network.

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    Lav R Varshney

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

  6. 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.

  7. Polyamine-independent Expression of Caenorhabditis elegans Antizyme.

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

    2015-07-17

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

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

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

    2013-07-01

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

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

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    Rafael P Vázquez-Manrique

    2008-03-01

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

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

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    Read Pukkila-Worley

    2011-06-01

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

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

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    Kumar, Sandeep; Dietrich, Nicholas; Kornfeld, Kerry

    2016-02-01

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

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

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    Palm Megan

    2005-01-01

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

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

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    Zetka Monique C

    2006-10-01

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

  14. 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.

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

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

    2014-12-15

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

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

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    Chris eLi

    2014-10-01

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

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

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    Zuryn, Steven; Kuang, Jujiao; Ebert, Paul

    2008-03-01

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

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

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    Sara Andux

    2008-12-01

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

  19. A metabolic signature of long life in Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Viney Jonathan M

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Many Caenorhabditis elegans mutations increase longevity and much evidence suggests that they do so at least partly via changes in metabolism. However, up until now there has been no systematic investigation of how the metabolic networks of long-lived mutants differ from those of normal worms. Metabolomic technologies, that permit the analysis of many untargeted metabolites in parallel, now make this possible. Here we use one of these, 1H nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, to investigate what makes long-lived worms metabolically distinctive. Results We examined three classes of long-lived worms: dauer larvae, adult Insulin/IGF-1 signalling (IIS-defective mutants, and a translation-defective mutant. Surprisingly, these ostensibly different long-lived worms share a common metabolic signature, dominated by shifts in carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism. In addition the dauer larvae, uniquely, had elevated levels of modified amino acids (hydroxyproline and phosphoserine. We interrogated existing gene expression data in order to integrate functional (metabolite-level changes with transcriptional changes at a pathway level. Conclusions The observed metabolic responses could be explained to a large degree by upregulation of gluconeogenesis and the glyoxylate shunt as well as changes in amino acid catabolism. These responses point to new possible mechanisms of longevity assurance in worms. The metabolic changes observed in dauer larvae can be explained by the existence of high levels of autophagy leading to recycling of cellular components. See associated minireview: http://jbiol.com/content/9/1/7

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

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

    1995-04-01

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

  1. Radiation effects on life span in Caenorhabditis elegans

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

    1988-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Buskirk, Cheryl; Sternberg, Paul W

    2007-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-10-02

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

  4. Gene expression markers for Caenorhabditis elegans vulval cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-12-01

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

  5. Sperm status regulates sexual attraction in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-08-04

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

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1988-12-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wadsworth, W.G.

    1989-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmie Puckett Robinson

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-06-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-01-01

    The goal of this laboratory exercise is to increase student understanding of the impact of nervous system function at both the organismal and cellular levels. This inquiry-based exercise is designed for an undergraduate course examining principles of cell biology. After observing the movement of "Caenorhabditis elegans" with defects in their…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  3. 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…

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sabine P Schrimpf

    2009-03-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2002-07-01

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

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-08-01

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

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-16

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-05-16

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

  14. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. H3K23me2 is a new heterochromatic mark in Caenorhabditis elegans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antoshechkin, Igor; Sternberg, Paul W

    2007-07-01

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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李菁菁; 刘良式

    2000-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-04-01

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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Marc PILON; Catarina M(O)RCK

    2005-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gawain McColl

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1986-10-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Mulvihill, Eoin

    2014-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    1999-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

    Background: The ascarosides form a family of small molecules that have been isolated from cultures of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. They are often referred to as “dauer pheromones” because most of them induce formation of long-lived and highly stress resistant dauer larvae. More recent studies have shown that ascarosides serve additional functions as social signals and mating pheromones. Thus, ascarosides have multiple functions. Until now, it has been generally assumed that ascaros...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kun Zhou

    2015-09-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  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. 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.

  20. Differential effects of resveratrol and SRT1720 on lifespan of adult Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zarse, K; Schmeisser, S; Birringer, M; Falk, E; Schmoll, D; Ristow, M

    2010-11-01

    Resveratrol and SRT1720 have been shown to act as sirtuin activators that may ameliorate type 2 diabetes and metabolic diseases in mice. Moreover, resveratrol extends lifespan in model organisms like C. elegans, N. FURZERI, and possibly D. melanogaster. The aim of the study was to test whether pharmacological concentrations of resveratrol and SRT1720 are capable of extending lifespan in a nematodal model organism for aging processes, the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans. Several hundreds of adult C. ELEGANS roundworms were maintained on agar plates and fed E. COLI strain OP50 bacteria. Resveratrol (5 micromolar, 500 nanomolar) or SRT1720 (1 micromolar, 100 nanomolar) was applied to the agar to test whether they may promote longevity by quantifying survival in the presence and absence of the respective compounds. At a dose of 5 micromolar, which is pharmacologically relevant and 20 times lower than previously published concentrations, resveratrol significantly extends C. elegans lifespan by 3.6% (mean lifespan) and 3.4% (maximum lifespan). By unexpected contrast, SRT1720, which was previously proposed to be several hundred times more active than resveratrol, did not extend lifespan at none of the concentrations tested. Thus, in the model organisms C. elegans, resveratrol is capable of promoting longevity at a concentration that pharmacologically relevant and 20 times lower than previously published doses. The sirtuin activator SRT1720 did not extend lifespan, suggesting that in C. elegans, some relevant effects of resveratrol cannot be mimicked by SRT1720.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-25

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-11-26

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

  3. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hidetoshi Komatsu

    2008-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

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

  6. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1988-01-01

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

  8. Delivery of dietary triglycerides to Caenorhabditis elegans using lipid nanoparticles: Nanoemulsion-based delivery systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colmenares, Daniel; Sun, Quancai; Shen, Peiyi; Yue, Yiren; McClements, D Julian; Park, Yeonhwa

    2016-07-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a powerful tool for studying food bioactives on specific biochemical pathways. However, many food bioactives are highly hydrophobic with extremely low water-solubilities, thereby making them difficult to study using C. elegans. The purpose of this study was to develop nanoemulsion-based systems to deliver hydrophobic molecules in a form that could be ingested by C. elegans. Optical microscopy showed that oil-in-water nanoemulsions with a range of particle diameters (40-500nm) could be ingested by C. elegans. The amount of lipid ingested depended on the size and concentration of the nanoparticles. Fatty acid analysis showed incorporation of conjugated linoleic acid and there was a significant reduction in the fat levels of C. elegans when they were incubated with nanoemulsions containing conjugated linoleic acid, which suggested that this hydrophobic lipid was successfully delivered to the nematodes. The incorporation of hydrophobic molecules into nanoemulsion based-delivery systems may therefore enable their activities to be studied using C. elegans.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yeu-Ching Shi

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ebany J. Martinez-Finley

    2011-01-01

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

  11. 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...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1997-09-01

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

  13. Caenorhabditis elegans selects distinct crawling and swimming gaits via dopamine and serotonin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vidal-Gadea, Andrés; Topper, Stephen; Young, Layla; Crisp, Ashley; Kressin, Leah; Elbel, Erin; Maples, Thomas; Brauner, Martin; Erbguth, Karen; Axelrod, Abram; Gottschalk, Alexander; Siegel, Dionicio; Pierce-Shimomura, Jonathan T

    2011-10-18

    Many animals, including humans, select alternate forms of motion (gaits) to move efficiently in different environments. However, it is unclear whether primitive animals, such as nematodes, also use this strategy. We used a multifaceted approach to study how the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans freely moves into and out of water. We demonstrate that C. elegans uses biogenic amines to switch between distinct crawling and swimming gaits. Dopamine is necessary and sufficient to initiate and maintain crawling after swimming. Serotonin is necessary and sufficient to transition from crawling to swimming and to inhibit a set of crawl-specific behaviors. Further study of locomotory switching in C. elegans and its dependence on biogenic amines may provide insight into how gait transitions are performed in other animals.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammell, Christopher M; Hannon, Gregory J

    2016-01-04

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

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niwa, Shinsuke

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

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    Heran Ma

    2016-09-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Baccoside A suppresses epileptic-like seizure/convulsion in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandey, Rakesh; Gupta, Shipra; Tandon, Sudeep; Wolkenhauer, Olaf; Vera, Julio; Gupta, Shailendra K

    2010-09-01

    The 1 mm long Caenorhabditis elegans is one of the prime research tools to study different human neurodegenerative diseases. We have considered the case in which increase in the surrounding temperature of this multicellular model leads to abnormal bursts of neuronal cells that can be linked to seizure or convulsion. The induction of such seizure/convulsion mechanism was done by gradually increasing the temperature with 1x buffer (100 mM NaCl, 50 mM MgCl(2)) in adult C. elegans. In the present experiment it is demonstrated that Baccoside A can significantly reduce the seizure/convulsion in C. elegans at higher temperatures (26-28+/-1 degrees C). Furthermore, in T-type Ca(2+) channel cca-1 mutant worms, no convulsion was recorded. Our experimental results suggest that plant molecules from Bacopa monnieri may be useful in suppressing the seizure/convulsion in worms.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xiaodong; Chamberlin, Helen M

    2004-03-01

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

  5. Cell fate determination in the Caenorhabditis elegans epidermal lineages

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Soete, G.A.J.

    2007-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. The phytochemical glaucarubinone promotes mitochondrial metabolism, reduces body fat, and extends lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zarse, K; Bossecker, A; Müller-Kuhrt, L; Siems, K; Hernandez, M A; Berendsohn, W G; Birringer, M; Ristow, M

    2011-04-01

    Naturally occurring compounds that promote energy expenditure and delay aging in model organisms may be of significant interest, since these substances potentially provide pharmaceutical approaches to tackle obesity and promote healthy lifespan in humans. We aimed to test whether pharmaceutical concentrations of glaucarubinone, a cytotoxic and antimalarial quassinoid known from different species of the plant family Simaroubaceae, are capable of affecting metabolism and/or extending lifespan in a nematodal model organism for aging processes, the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans. Adult C. elegans roundworms, maintained on agar plates, were fed with E. coli strain OP50 bacteria, and glaucarubinone was applied to the agar to test (i) whether it alters respiration rates and mitochondrial activity, (ii) whether it affects body fat content, and (iii) whether it may promote longevity by quantifying survival in the presence and absence of the compound. We have found that glaucarubinone induces oxygen consumption and reduces body fat content of C. elegans. Moreover and consistent with the concept of mitohormesis, glaucarubinone extends C. elegans lifespan when applied at a concentration of 1 or 10 nanomolar. Taken together, glaucarubinone is capable of reducing body fat and promoting longevity in C. elegans, tentatively suggesting that this compound may promote metabolic health and lifespan in mammals and possibly humans.

  9. Lactobacillus salivarius strain FDB89 induced longevity in Caenorhabditis elegans by dietary restriction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Yang; Zhao, Liang; Zheng, Xiaonan; Fu, Tianjiao; Guo, Huiyuan; Ren, Fazheng

    2013-04-01

    In this study, we utilized the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to assess potential life-expanding effect of Lactobacillus salivarius strain FDB89 (FDB89) isolated from feces of centenarians in Bama County (Guangxi, China). This study showed that feeding FDB89 extended the mean life span in C. elegans by up to 11.9% compared to that of control nematodes. The reduced reproductive capacities, pharyngeal pumping rate, growth, and increased superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity and XTT reduction capacity were also observed in FDB89 feeding worms. To probe the anti-aging mechanism further, we incorporated a food gradient feeding assay and assayed the life span of eat-2 mutant. The results demonstrated that the maximal life span of C. elegans fed on FDB89 was achieved at the concentration of 1.0 mg bacterial cells/plate, which was 10-fold greater than that of C. elegans fed on E. coli OP50 (0.1 mg bacterial cells/plate). However, feeding FDB89 could not further extend the life span of eat-2 mutant. These results indicated that FDB89 modulated the longevity of C. elegans in a dietary restriction-dependent manner and expanded the understanding of anti-aging effect of probiotics.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-22

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Allison C Billi

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Sojin; Choi, Seoyun; Ahn, Byungchan

    2016-03-01

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark G Sterken

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakashita, Tetsuya

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-12-01

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

  19. The diverse functions of germline P-granules in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voronina, Ekaterina

    2013-08-01

    P-granules are conserved cytoplasmic organelles, similar to nuage, that are present in Caenorhabditis elegans germ cells. Based on the prevailing sterility phenotype of the component mutants, P-granules have been seen as regulators of germ cell development and function. Yet, specific germline defects resulting from P-granule failure vary, depending on which component(s) are inactivated, at which stage of development, as well as on the presence of stress factors during animal culture. This review discusses the unifying themes in many P-granule functions, with the main focus on their role as organizing centers nucleating RNA regulation in the germ cell cytoplasm.

  20. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1989-09-01

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

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  4. Escherichia coli carbon source metabolism affects longevity of its predator Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brokate-Llanos, Ana María; Garzón, Andrés; Muñoz, Manuel J

    2014-01-01

    Nutrition is probably the most determinant factor affecting aging. Microorganisms of the intestinal flora lay in the interface between available nutrients and nutrients that are finally absorbed by multicellular organisms. They participate in the processing and transformation of these nutrients in a symbiotic or commensalistic relationship. In addition, they can also be pathogens. Alive Escherichia coli OP50 are usually used to culture the bacteriovorus nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Here, we report a beneficial effect of low concentration of saccharides on the longevity of C. elegans. This effect is only observed when the bacterium can metabolize the sugar, suggesting that physiological changes in the bacterium feeding on the saccharides are the cause of this beneficial effect.

  5. The impact of bacterial diet on the migration and navigation of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodger, S; Griffiths, B S; McNicol, J W; Wheatley, R W; Young, I M

    2004-10-01

    Can diet have a significant impact on the ability of organisms to sense and locate food? Focusing on the bacterial feeder Caenorhabditis elegans, we investigated what effect preconditioning on a range of bacterial substrates had on the subsequent chemotaxis process involved in the nematode locating other bacterial populations. Remarkably, we found that C. elegans, initially fed on a diet of Escherichia coli OP50, was significantly impaired in finding E. coli OP50 populations, compared to other available bacterial populations (P <0.001). We found similar results for another bacterial feeding nematode species, suggesting that a general "substrate legacy" may operate across a wide range of organisms. We discuss this important finding with respect to the variation in response exhibited within a given nematode population, and the impact nematode migration has on bacterial dispersal in the environment.

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bito, Tomohiro; Watanabe, Fumio

    2016-09-01

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

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furuhashi, Tsubasa; Sakamoto, Kazuichi

    2015-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1993-01-01

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

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

    CERN Document Server

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

    2010-01-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a well-known model organism used to investigate fundamental questions in biology. Motility assays of this small roundworm are designed to study the relationships between genes and behavior. Commonly, motility analysis is used to classify nematode movements and characterize them quantitatively. Over the past years, C. elegans' motility has been studied across a wide range of environments, including crawling on substrates, swimming in fluids, and locomoting through microfluidic substrates. However, each environment often requires customized image processing tools relying on heuristic parameter tuning. In the present study, we propose a novel Multi-Environment Model Estimation (MEME) framework for automated image segmentation that is versatile across various environments. The MEME platform is constructed around the concept of Mixture of Gaussian (MOG) models, where statistical models for both the background environment and the nematode appearance are explicitly learned and ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Erjia

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-09-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca Hunt-Newbury

    2007-09-01

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

  16. 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. PMID:27907064

  17. PUF-8, a Pumilio homolog, inhibits the proliferative fate in the Caenorhabditis elegans germline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Racher, Hilary; Hansen, Dave

    2012-10-01

    Stem cell populations are maintained by keeping a balance between self-renewal (proliferation) and differentiation of dividing stem cells. Within the Caenorhabditis elegans germline, the key regulator maintaining this balance is the canonical Notch signaling pathway, with GLP-1/Notch activity promoting the proliferative fate. We identified the Pumilio homolog, PUF-8, as an inhibitor of the proliferative fate of stem cells in the C. elegans germline. puf-8(0) strongly enhances overproliferation of glp-1(gf) mutants and partially suppresses underproliferation of a weak glp-1(lf) mutant. The germline tumor that is formed in a puf-8(0); glp-1(gf) double mutant is due to a failure of germ cells to enter meiotic prophase. puf-8 likely inhibits the proliferative fate through negatively regulating GLP-1/Notch signaling or by functioning parallel to it.

  18. Small-molecule pheromones that control dauer development in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butcher, Rebecca A; Fujita, Masaki; Schroeder, Frank C; Clardy, Jon

    2007-07-01

    In response to high population density or low food supply, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans enters an alternative larval stage, known as the dauer, that can withstand adverse conditions for prolonged periods. C. elegans senses its population density through a small-molecule signal, traditionally called the dauer pheromone, that it secretes into its surroundings. Here we show that the dauer pheromone consists of several structurally related ascarosides-derivatives of the dideoxysugar ascarylose-and that two of these ascarosides (1 and 2) are roughly two orders of magnitude more potent at inducing dauer formation than a previously reported dauer pheromone component (3) and constitute a physiologically relevant signal. The identification of dauer pheromone components 1 and 2 will facilitate the identification of target receptors and downstream signaling proteins.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shane L Rea

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available Prior studies have shown that disruption of mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC function in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans can result in life extension. Counter to these findings, many mutations that disrupt ETC function in humans are known to be pathologically life-shortening. In this study, we have undertaken the first formal investigation of the role of partial mitochondrial ETC inhibition and its contribution to the life-extension phenotype of C. elegans. We have developed a novel RNA interference (RNAi dilution strategy to incrementally reduce the expression level of five genes encoding mitochondrial proteins in C. elegans: atp-3, nuo-2, isp-1, cco-1, and frataxin (frh-1. We observed that each RNAi treatment led to marked alterations in multiple ETC components. Using this dilution technique, we observed a consistent, three-phase lifespan response to increasingly greater inhibition by RNAi: at low levels of inhibition, there was no response, then as inhibition increased, lifespan responded by monotonically lengthening. Finally, at the highest levels of RNAi inhibition, lifespan began to shorten. Indirect measurements of whole-animal oxidative stress showed no correlation with life extension. Instead, larval development, fertility, and adult size all became coordinately affected at the same point at which lifespan began to increase. We show that a specific signal, initiated during the L3/L4 larval stage of development, is sufficient for initiating mitochondrial dysfunction-dependent life extension in C. elegans. This stage of development is characterized by the last somatic cell divisions normally undertaken by C. elegans and also by massive mitochondrial DNA expansion. The coordinate effects of mitochondrial dysfunction on several cell cycle-dependent phenotypes, coupled with recent findings directly linking cell cycle progression with mitochondrial activity in C. elegans, lead us to propose that cell cycle checkpoint control

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susan K Glendinning

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Shan; Wink, Michael

    2015-09-01

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

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

    2013-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kearn, James; Dallière, Nicolas; Dillon, James

    2013-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-17

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

    To analyze the pathogenesis at both physiological and molecular level using the model organism, Caenorhabditis elegans at different developmental stages in response to Shigella spp. and its pathogen associated molecular patterns such as lipopolysaccharide. The solid plate and liquid culture-based infection assays revealed that Shigella spp. infects C. elegans and had an impact on the brood size and pharyngeal pumping rate. LPS of Shigella spp. was toxic to C. elegans. qPCR analysis revealed that host innate immune genes have been modulated upon Shigella spp. infections and its LPS challenges. Non-destructive analysis was performed to kinetically assess the alterations in LPS during interaction of Shigella spp. with C. elegans. The modulation of innate immune genes attributed the surrendering of host immune system to Shigella spp. by favoring the infection. LPS appeared to have a major role in Shigella-mediated pathogenesis and Shigella employs a tactic behavior of modifying its LPS content to escape from the recognition of host immune system.

  9. Agarose Microchambers for Long-term Calcium Imaging of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turek, Michal; Besseling, Judith; Bringmann, Henrik

    2015-06-24

    Behavior is controlled by the nervous system. Calcium imaging is a straightforward method in the transparent nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to measure the activity of neurons during various behaviors. To correlate neural activity with behavior, the animal should not be immobilized but should be able to move. Many behavioral changes occur during long time scales and require recording over many hours of behavior. This also makes it necessary to culture the worms in the presence of food. How can worms be cultured and their neural activity imaged over long time scales? Agarose Microchamber Imaging (AMI) was previously developed to culture and observe small larvae and has now been adapted to study all life stages from early L1 until the adult stage of C. elegans. AMI can be performed on various life stages of C. elegans. Long-term calcium imaging is achieved without immobilizing the animals by using short externally triggered exposures combined with an electron multiplying charge-coupled device (EMCCD) camera recording. Zooming out or scanning can scale up this method to image up to 40 worms in parallel. Thus, a method is described to image behavior and neural activity over long time scales in all life stages of C. elegans.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-19

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dierking, Katja; Yang, Wentao; Schulenburg, Hinrich

    2016-05-26

    Nematodes and arthropods likely form the taxon Ecdysozoa. Information on antimicrobial effectors from the model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans may thus shed light on the evolutionary origin of these defences in arthropods. This nematode species possesses an extensive armory of putative antimicrobial effector proteins, such as lysozymes, caenopores (or saposin-like proteins), defensin-like peptides, caenacins and neuropeptide-like proteins, in addition to the production of reactive oxygen species and autophagy. As C. elegans is a bacterivore that lives in microbe-rich environments, some of its effector peptides and proteins likely function in both digestion of bacterial food and pathogen elimination. In this review, we provide an overview of C. elegans immune effector proteins and mechanisms. We summarize the experimental evidence of their antimicrobial function and involvement in the response to pathogen infection. We further evaluate the microbe-induced expression of effector genes using WormExp, a recently established database for C. elegans gene expression analysis. We emphasize the need for further analysis at the protein level to demonstrate an antimicrobial activity of these molecules both in vitro and in vivoThis article is part of the themed issue 'Evolutionary ecology of arthropod antimicrobial peptides'.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    CERN Document Server

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michal Turek

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-19

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

  1. Heterologous expression of functional G-protein-coupled receptors in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salom, David; Cao, Pengxiu; Sun, Wenyu; Kramp, Kristopher; Jastrzebska, Beata; Jin, Hui; Feng, Zhaoyang; Palczewski, Krzysztof

    2012-02-01

    New strategies for expression, purification, functional characterization, and structural determination of membrane-spanning G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are constantly being developed because of their importance to human health. Here, we report a Caenorhabditis elegans heterologous expression system able to produce milligram amounts of functional native and engineered GPCRs. Both bovine opsin [(b)opsin] and human adenosine A(2A) subtype receptor [(h)A(2A)R] expressed in neurons or muscles of C. elegans were localized to cell membranes. Worms expressing these GPCRs manifested changes in motor behavior in response to light and ligands, respectively. With a newly devised protocol, 0.6-1 mg of purified homogenous 9-cis-retinal-bound bovine isorhodopsin [(b)isoRho] and ligand-bound (h)A(2A)R were obtained from C. elegans from one 10-L fermentation at low cost. Purified recombinant (b)isoRho exhibited its signature absorbance spectrum and activated its cognate G-protein transducin in vitro at a rate similar to native rhodopsin (Rho) obtained from bovine retina. Generally high expression levels of 11 native and mutant GPCRs demonstrated the potential of this C. elegans system to produce milligram quantities of high-quality GPCRs and possibly other membrane proteins suitable for detailed characterization.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is an important model organism for biomedical research. We previously described NeuCode stable isotope labeling by amino acids in cell culture (SILAC), a method for accurate proteome quantification with potential for multiplexing beyond the limits of traditional stable isotope labeling by amino acids in cell culture. Here we apply NeuCode SILAC to profile the proteomic and phosphoproteomic response of C. elegans to two potent members of the ascaroside family of nematode pheromones. By consuming labeled E. coli as part of their diet, C. elegans nematodes quickly and easily incorporate the NeuCode heavy lysine isotopologues by the young adult stage. Using this approach, we report, at high confidence, one of the largest proteomic and phosphoproteomic data sets to date in C. elegans: 6596 proteins at a false discovery rate ≤ 1% and 6620 phosphorylation isoforms with localization probability ≥75%. Our data reveal a post-translational signature of pheromone sensing that includes many conserved proteins implicated in longevity and response to stress. PMID:26392051

  3. Analysis of Ascarosides from Caenorhabditis elegans Using Mass Spectrometry and NMR Spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xinxing; Noguez, Jaime H.; Zhou, Yue; Butcher, Rebecca A.

    2014-01-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans secretes a family of water-soluble small molecules, known as the ascarosides, into its environment and uses these ascarosides in chemical communication. The ascarosides are derivatives of the 3,6-dideoxysugar ascarylose, modified with different fatty acid-derived side chains. C. elegans uses specific ascarosides, which are together known as the dauer pheromone, to trigger entry into the stress-resistant dauer larval stage. In addition, C. elegans uses specific ascarosides to control certain behaviors, including mating attraction, aggregation, and avoidance. Although in general the concentration of the ascarosides in the environment increases with population density, C. elegans can vary the types and amounts of ascarosides that it secretes depending on the culture conditions under which it has been grown and its developmental history. Here, we describe how to grow high-density worm cultures and the bacterial food for those cultures, as well as how to extract the culture medium to generate a crude pheromone extract. Then, we discuss how to analyze the types and amounts of ascarosides in that extract using mass spectrometry and NMR spectroscopy. PMID:24014355

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  5. Chemosensory cue conditioning with stimulants in a Caenorhabditis elegans animal model of addiction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Musselman, Heather N; Neal-Beliveau, Bethany; Nass, Richard; Engleman, Eric A

    2012-06-01

    The underlying molecular mechanisms of drug abuse and addiction behaviors are poorly understood. Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) provide a simple, whole animal model with conserved molecular pathways well suited for studying the foundations of complex diseases. Historically, chemotaxis has been a measure used to examine sensory approach and avoidance behavior in worms. Chemotaxis can be modulated by previous experience, and cue-dependent conditioned learning has been demonstrated in C. elegans, but such conditioning with drugs of abuse has not been reported. Here we show that pairing a distinctive salt cue with a drug (cocaine or methamphetamine) results in a concentration-dependent change in preference for the cue that was paired with the drug during conditioning. Further, we demonstrate that pairing of either drug with a distinctive food type can also increase preference for the drug-paired food in the absence of the drug. Dopamine-deficient mutants did not develop drug-paired, cue-conditioned responses. The findings suggest that, like vertebrates, C. elegans display a conditioned preference for environments containing cues previously associated with drugs of abuse, and this response is dependent on dopamine neurotransmission. This model provides a new and powerful method to study the genetic and molecular mechanisms that mediate drug preference.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2002-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Herman, R.K.

    1978-01-01

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

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-08-01

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

  13. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has in recent years been proven to be a powerful in vivo model for testing antimicrobial compounds. We report here that the alkaloid compound Harmane (2-methyl-β-carboline) increases the lifespan of nematodes infected with a human pathogen, the Shiga toxin...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Spatiotemporal Feedback and Network Structure Drive and Encode Caenorhabditis elegans Locomotion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kunert, James M.; Proctor, Joshua L.; Kutz, J. Nathan

    2017-01-01

    Using a computational model of the Caenorhabditis elegans connectome dynamics, we show that proprioceptive feedback is necessary for sustained dynamic responses to external input. This is consistent with the lack of biophysical evidence for a central pattern generator, and recent experimental evidence that proprioception drives locomotion. The low-dimensional functional response of the Caenorhabditis elegans network of neurons to proprioception-like feedback is optimized by input of specific spatial wavelengths which correspond to the spatial scale of real body shape dynamics. Furthermore, we find that the motor subcircuit of the network is responsible for regulating this response, in agreement with experimental expectations. To explore how the connectomic dynamics produces the observed two-mode, oscillatory limit cycle behavior from a static fixed point, we probe the fixed point’s low-dimensional structure using Dynamic Mode Decomposition. This reveals that the nonlinear network dynamics encode six clusters of dynamic modes, with timescales spanning three orders of magnitude. Two of these six dynamic mode clusters correspond to previously-discovered behavioral modes related to locomotion. These dynamic modes and their timescales are encoded by the network’s degree distribution and specific connectivity. This suggests that behavioral dynamics are partially encoded within the connectome itself, the connectivity of which facilitates proprioceptive control. PMID:28076347

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-15

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

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

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    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

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

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. 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.

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

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    Peter I Joyce

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

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

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

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    Mano, Itzhak; Straud, Sarah; Driscoll, Monica

    2007-11-23

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

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

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    Wu Yonghong

    2010-09-01

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

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

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    Vidal Marc

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. 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.

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

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    Joseph R Smith

    2011-11-01

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

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

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    Scott Severance

    2010-07-01

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

  14. Fine structure of the Caenorhabditis elegans secretory-excretory system.

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    Nelson, F K; Albert, P S; Riddle, D L

    1983-02-01

    The secretory-excretory system of C. elegans, reconstructed from serial-section electron micrographs of larvae, is composed of four cells, the nuclei of which are located on the ventral side of the pharynx and adjacent intestine. (1) The pore cell encloses the terminal one-third of the excretory duct which leads to an excretory pore at the ventral midline. (2) The duct cell surrounds the excretory duct with a lamellar membrane from the origin of the duct at the excretory sinus to the pore cell boundary. (3) A large H-shaped excretory cell extends bilateral canals anteriorly and posteriorly nearly the entire length of the worm. The excretory sinus within the cell body joins the lumena of the canals with the origin of the duct. (4) A binucleate, A-shaped gland cell extends bilateral processes anteriorly from cell bodies located just behind the pharynx. These processes are fused at the anterior tip of the cell, where the cell enters the circumpharyngeal nerve ring. The processes are also joined at the anterior edge of the excretory cell body, where the excretory cell and gland are joined to the duct cell at the origin of the duct. Secretory granules may be concentrated in the gland near this secretory-excretory junction. Although the gland cells of all growing developmental stages stain positively with paraldehyde-fuchsin, the gland of the dauer larva stage (a developmentally arrested third-stage larva) does not stain, nor do glands of starved worms of other stages. Dauer larvae uniquely lack secretory granules, and the gland cytoplasm is displaced by a labyrinth of large, transparent spaces. Exit from the dauer stage results in the return of active secretory morphology in fourth-stage larvae.

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

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

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    Ward, Jordan D

    2015-12-01

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

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

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

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    Watts, Jennifer L

    2016-02-02

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

  20. The 3-ureidopropionase of Caenorhabditis elegans, an enzyme involved in pyrimidine degradation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janowitz, Tim; Ajonina, Irene; Perbandt, Markus; Woltersdorf, Christian; Hertel, Patrick; Liebau, Eva; Gigengack, Ulrike

    2010-10-01

    Pyrimidines are important metabolites in all cells. Levels of cellular pyrimidines are controlled by multiple mechanisms, with one of these comprising the reductive degradation pathway. In the model invertebrate Caenorhabditis elegans, two of the three enzymes of reductive pyrimidine degradation have previously been characterized. The enzyme catalysing the final step of pyrimidine breakdown, 3-ureidopropionase (β-alanine synthase), had only been identified based on homology. We therefore cloned and functionally expressed the 3-ureidopropionase of C. elegans as hexahistidine fusion protein. The purified recombinant enzyme readily converted the two pyrimidine degradation products: 3-ureidopropionate and 2-methyl-3-ureidopropionate. The enzyme showed a broad pH optimum between pH 7.0 and 8.0. Activity was highest at approximately 40 °C, although the half-life of activity was only 65 s at that temperature. The enzyme showed clear Michaelis-Menten kinetics, with a K(m) of 147 ± 26 μM and a V(max) of 1.1 ± 0.1 U·mg protein(-1). The quaternary structure of the recombinant enzyme was shown to correspond to a dodecamer by 'blue native' gel electrophoresis and gel filtration. The organ specific and subcellular localization of the enzyme was determined using a translational fusion to green fluorescent protein and high expression was observed in striated muscle cells. With the characterization of the 3-ureidopropionase, the reductive pyrimidine degradation pathway in C. elegans has been functionally characterized.

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

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    Tong Young Lee

    2016-04-01

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

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

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

    2016-08-02

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

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

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    Franciny Aparecida Paiva

    2015-01-01

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

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

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

    2016-09-01

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

  5. Identification of vacuoles containing extraintestinal differentiated forms of Legionella pneumophila in colonized Caenorhabditis elegans soil nematodes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hellinga, Jacqueline R; Garduño, Rafael A; Kormish, Jay D; Tanner, Jennifer R; Khan, Deirdre; Buchko, Kristyn; Jimenez, Celine; Pinette, Mathieu M; Brassinga, Ann Karen C

    2015-08-01

    Legionella pneumophila, a causative agent of Legionnaires' disease, is a facultative intracellular parasite of freshwater protozoa. Legionella pneumophila features a unique developmental network that involves several developmental forms including the infectious cyst forms. Reservoirs of L. pneumophila include natural and man-made freshwater systems; however, recent studies have shown that isolates of L. pneumophila can also be obtained directly from garden potting soil suggesting the presence of an additional reservoir. A previous study employing the metazoan Caenorhabditis elegans, a member of the Rhabditidae family of free-living soil nematodes, demonstrated that the intestinal lumen can be colonized with L. pneumophila. While both replicative forms and differentiated forms were observed in C. elegans, these morphologically distinct forms were initially observed to be restricted to the intestinal lumen. Using live DIC imaging coupled with focused transmission electron microscopy analyses, we report here that L. pneumophila is able to invade and establish Legionella-containing vacuoles (LCVs) in the intestinal cells. In addition, LCVs containing replicative and differentiated cyst forms were observed in the pseudocoelomic cavity and gonadal tissue of nematodes colonized with L. pneumophila. Furthermore, establishment of LCVs in the gonadal tissue was Dot/Icm dependent and required the presence of the endocytic factor RME-1 to gain access to maturing oocytes. Our findings are novel as this is the first report, to our knowledge, of extraintestinal LCVs containing L. pneumophila cyst forms in C. elegans tissues, highlighting the potential of soil-dwelling nematodes as an alternate environmental reservoir for L. pneumophila.

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

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

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    Elena Zanni

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is widely used as a model system for research on aging, development, and host-pathogen interactions. Little is currently known about the mechanisms underlying the effects exerted by foodborne microbes. We took advantage of C. elegans to evaluate the impact of foodborne microbiota on well characterized physiological features of the worms. Foodborne lactic acid bacteria (LAB consortium was used to feed nematodes and its composition was evaluated by 16S rDNA analysis and strain typing before and after colonization of the nematode gut. Lactobacillus delbrueckii, L. fermentum, and Leuconostoc lactis were identified as the main species and shown to display different worm gut colonization capacities. LAB supplementation appeared to decrease nematode lifespan compared to the animals fed with the conventional Escherichia coli nutrient source or a probiotic bacterial strain. Reduced brood size was also observed in microbiota-fed nematodes. Moreover, massive accumulation of lipid droplets was revealed by BODIPY staining. Altered expression of nhr-49, pept-1, and tub-1 genes, associated with obesity phenotypes, was demonstrated by RT-qPCR. Since several pathways are evolutionarily conserved in C. elegans, our results highlight the nematode as a valuable model system to investigate the effects of a complex microbial consortium on host energy metabolism.

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

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

    2010-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  10. Establishing Caenorhabditis elegans as a model for Mycobacterium avium subspecies hominissuis infection and intestinal colonization.

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    Everman, Jamie L; Ziaie, Navid R; Bechler, Jessica; Bermudez, Luiz E

    2015-09-24

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has become a model system for studying the disease interaction between pathogens and the host. To determine whether the transparent nematode could serve as a useful model for Mycobacterium avium subspecies hominissuis (MAH) infection of the intestinal tract, worms were fed MAH and assayed for the effects of the bacterial infection on the worm. It was observed during feeding that viable MAH increases in the intestinal lumen in a time dependent manner. Ingestion of MAH was deemed non-toxic to worms as MAH-fed populations have similar survival curves to those fed E. coli strain OP50. Pulse-chase analysis using E. coli strain OP50 revealed that MAH colonize the intestinal tract, as viable MAH remain within the intestine after the assay. Visualization of intestinal MAH using histology and transmission electron microscopy demonstrates that MAH localizes to the intestinal lumen, as well as establishes direct contact with intestinal epithelium. Bacterial colonization appears to have a detrimental effect on the microvilli of the intestinal epithelial cells. The MAH ΔGPL/4B2 strain with a mutation in glycopeptidolipid production is deficient in binding to human epithelial cells (HEp-2), as well as deficient in its ability to bind to and colonize the intestinal tract of C. elegans as efficiently as wild-type MAH. These data indicate the C. elegans may serve as a useful model system for MAH pathogenesis and in determining the mechanisms used by MAH during infection and colonization of the intestinal epithelium.

  11. Lonidamine extends lifespan of adult Caenorhabditis elegans by increasing the formation of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species.

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    Schmeisser, S; Zarse, K; Ristow, M

    2011-09-01

    Compounds that delay aging in model organisms may be of significant interest to antiaging medicine, since these substances potentially provide pharmaceutical approaches to promote healthy lifespan in humans. The aim of the study was to test whether pharmaceutical concentrations of the glycolytic inhibitor lonidamine are capable of extending lifespan in a nematodal model organism for aging processes, the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans. Several hundreds of adult C. elegans roundworms were maintained on agar plates and fed E. coli strain OP50 bacteria. Lonidamine was applied to test whether it may promote longevity by quantifying survival in the presence and absence of the compound. In addition, several biochemical and metabolic assays were performed with nematodes exposed to lonidamine. Lonidamine significantly extends both median and maximum lifespan of C. elegans when applied at a concentration of 5 micromolar by 8% each. Moreover, the compound increases paraquat stress resistance, and promotes mitochondrial respiration, culminating in increased formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Extension of lifespan requires activation of pmk-1, an orthologue of p38 MAP kinase, and is abolished by co-application of an antioxidant, indicating that increased ROS formation is required for the extension of lifespan by lonidamine. Consistent with the concept of mitohormesis, lonidamine is capable of promoting longevity in a pmk-1 sensitive manner by increasing formation of ROS.

  12. Association with pathogenic bacteria affects life-history traits and population growth in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Diaz, S Anaid; Mooring, Eric Q; Rens, Elisabeth G; Restif, Olivier

    2015-04-01

    Determining the relationship between individual life-history traits and population dynamics is an essential step to understand and predict natural selection. Model organisms that can be conveniently studied experimentally at both levels are invaluable to test the rich body of theoretical literature in this area. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, despite being a well-established workhorse in genetics, has only recently received attention from ecologists and evolutionary biologists, especially with respect to its association with pathogenic bacteria. In order to start filling the gap between the two areas, we conducted a series of experiments aiming at measuring life-history traits as well as population growth of C. elegans in response to three different bacterial strains: Escherichia coli OP50, Salmonella enterica Typhimurium, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1. Whereas previous studies had established that the latter two reduced the survival of nematodes feeding on them compared to E. coli OP50, we report for the first time an enhancement in reproductive success and population growth for worms feeding on S. enterica Typhimurium. Furthermore, we used an age-specific population dynamic model, parameterized using individual life-history assays, to successfully predict the growth of populations over three generations. This study paves the way for more detailed and quantitative experimental investigation of the ecology and evolution of C. elegans and the bacteria it interacts with, which could improve our understanding of the fate of opportunistic pathogens in the environment.

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

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    Patricia Mugure Chege

    2014-05-01

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

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

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    Raphael Sznitman

    Full Text Available The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a well-known model organism used to investigate fundamental questions in biology. Motility assays of this small roundworm are designed to study the relationships between genes and behavior. Commonly, motility analysis is used to classify nematode movements and characterize them quantitatively. Over the past years, C. elegans' motility has been studied across a wide range of environments, including crawling on substrates, swimming in fluids, and locomoting through microfluidic substrates. However, each environment often requires customized image processing tools relying on heuristic parameter tuning. In the present study, we propose a novel Multi-Environment Model Estimation (MEME framework for automated image segmentation that is versatile across various environments. The MEME platform is constructed around the concept of Mixture of Gaussian (MOG models, where statistical models for both the background environment and the nematode appearance are explicitly learned and used to accurately segment a target nematode. Our method is designed to simplify the burden often imposed on users; here, only a single image which includes a nematode in its environment must be provided for model learning. In addition, our platform enables the extraction of nematode 'skeletons' for straightforward motility quantification. We test our algorithm on various locomotive environments and compare performances with an intensity-based thresholding method. Overall, MEME outperforms the threshold-based approach for the overwhelming majority of cases examined. Ultimately, MEME provides researchers with an attractive platform for C. elegans' segmentation and 'skeletonizing' across a wide range of motility assays.

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

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

    2017-01-01

    Monitoring of neuronal activity within circuits facilitates integrated responses and rapid changes in behavior. We have identified a system in Caenorhabditis elegans where neuropeptide expression is dependent on the ability of the BAG neurons to sense carbon dioxide. In C. elegans, CO2 sensing is predominantly coordinated by the BAG-expressed receptor-type guanylate cyclase GCY-9. GCY-9 binding to CO2 causes accumulation of cyclic GMP and opening of the cGMP-gated TAX-2/TAX-4 cation channels; provoking an integrated downstream cascade that enables C. elegans to avoid high CO2. Here we show that cGMP regulation by GCY-9 and the PDE-1 phosphodiesterase controls BAG expression of a FMRFamide-related neuropeptide FLP-19 reporter (flp-19::GFP). This regulation is specific for CO2-sensing function of the BAG neurons, as loss of oxygen sensing function does not affect flp-19::GFP expression. We also found that expression of flp-19::GFP is controlled in parallel to GCY-9 by the activity-dependent transcription factor CREB (CRH-1) and the cAMP-dependent protein kinase (KIN-2) signaling pathway. We therefore show that two parallel pathways regulate neuropeptide gene expression in the BAG sensory neurons: the ability to sense changes in carbon dioxide and CREB transcription factor. Such regulation may be required in particular environmental conditions to enable sophisticated behavioral decisions to be performed. PMID:28139692

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-09-08

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

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

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    Cornelia Schmitt

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is widely used as a model system for research on aging, development, and host-pathogen interactions. Little is currently known about the mechanisms underlying the effects exerted by foodborne microbes. We took advantage of C. elegans to evaluate the impact of foodborne microbiota on well characterized physiological features of the worms. Foodborne lactic acid bacteria (LAB) consortium was used to feed nematodes and its composition was evaluated by 16S rDNA analysis and strain typing before and after colonization of the nematode gut. Lactobacillus delbrueckii, L. fermentum, and Leuconostoc lactis were identified as the main species and shown to display different worm gut colonization capacities. LAB supplementation appeared to decrease nematode lifespan compared to the animals fed with the conventional Escherichia coli nutrient source or a probiotic bacterial strain. Reduced brood size was also observed in microbiota-fed nematodes. Moreover, massive accumulation of lipid droplets was revealed by BODIPY staining. Altered expression of nhr-49, pept-1, and tub-1 genes, associated with obesity phenotypes, was demonstrated by RT-qPCR. Since several pathways are evolutionarily conserved in C. elegans, our results highlight the nematode as a valuable model system to investigate the effects of a complex microbial consortium on host energy metabolism.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-14

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-07-11

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

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

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    Leehod Baruch

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

  3. Role of CYP eicosanoids in the regulation of pharyngeal pumping and food uptake in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Yiwen; Falck, John R; Rothe, Michael; Schunck, Wolf-Hagen; Menzel, Ralph

    2015-11-01

    Cytochrome P450 (CYP)-dependent eicosanoids comprise epoxy- and hydroxy-metabolites of long-chain PUFAs (LC-PUFAs). In mammals, CYP eicosanoids contribute to the regulation of cardiovascular and renal function. Caenorhabditis elegans produces a large set of CYP eicosanoids; however, their role in worm's physiology is widely unknown. Mutant strains deficient in LC-PUFA/eicosanoid biosynthesis displayed reduced pharyngeal pumping frequencies. This impairment was rescued by long-term eicosapentaenoic and/or arachidonic acid supplementation, but not with a nonmetabolizable LC-PUFA analog. Short-term treatment with 17,18-epoxyeicosatetraenoic acid (17,18-EEQ), the most abundant CYP eicosanoid in C. elegans, was as effective as long-term LC-PUFA supplementation in the mutant strains. In contrast, 20-HETE caused decreased pumping frequencies. The opposite effects of 17,18-EEQ and 20-HETE were mirrored by the actions of neurohormones. 17,18-EEQ mimicked the stimulating effect of serotonin when added to starved worms, whereas 20-HETE shared the inhibitory effect of octopamine in the presence of abundant food. In wild-type worms, serotonin increased free 17,18-EEQ levels, whereas octopamine selectively induced the synthesis of hydroxy-metabolites. These results suggest that CYP eicosanoids may serve as second messengers in the regulation of pharyngeal pumping and food uptake in C. elegans.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jiaolong; Lu, Lulu; Zhou, Lijun

    2015-12-25

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-02-13

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yanqiong Zhang

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2008-02-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    XRN2 is a conserved 5’→3’ exoribonuclease that complexes with proteins that contain XRN2-binding domains (XTBDs). In Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), the XTBD-protein PAXT-1 stabilizes XRN2 to retain its activity. XRN2 activity is also promoted by 3'(2'),5'-bisphosphate nucleotidase 1 (BPNT1) through hydrolysis of an endogenous XRN inhibitor 3’-phosphoadenosine-5'-phosphate (PAP). Here, we find through unbiased screening that loss of bpnt-1 function suppresses lethality caused by paxt-1 deletion. This unexpected finding is explained by XRN2 autoregulation, which occurs through repression of a cryptic promoter activity and destabilization of the xrn-2 transcript. De-repression appears to be triggered such that more robust XRN2 perturbation, by elimination of both PAXT-1 and BPNT1, is less detrimental to worm viability than absence of PAXT-1 alone. Indeed, we find that two distinct XRN2 repression mechanisms are alleviated at different thresholds of XRN2 inactivation. Like more than 15% of C. elegans genes, xrn-2 occurs in an operon, and we identify additional operons under its control, consistent with a broader function of XRN2 in polycistronic gene regulation. Regulation occurs through intercistronic regions that link genes in an operon, but a part of the mechanisms may allow XRN2 to operate on monocistronic genes in organisms lacking operons. PMID:27631780

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kai Lüersen

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-06-01

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

  16. Droplet microfluidics for characterizing the neurotoxin-induced responses in individual Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Weiwei; Wen, Hui; Lu, Yao; Shi, Yang; Lin, Bingcheng; Qin, Jianhua

    2010-11-07

    A droplet-based microfluidic device integrated with a novel floatage-based trap array and a tapered immobilization channel array was presented for characterizing the neurotoxin-induced multiple responses in individual Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) continuously. The established device enabled the evaluations of movement and fluorescence imaging analysis of individual C. elegans simultaneously. The utility of this device was demonstrated by the pharmacological evaluation of neurotoxin (6-hydroxydopamine, 6-OHDA) triggered mobility defects, neuron degeneration and oxidative stress in individual worms. Exposure of living worms to 6-OHDA could cause obvious mobility defects, selective degeneration of dopaminergic (DAergic) neurons, and increased oxidative stress in a dose dependent manner. These results are important towards the understanding of mechanisms leading to DAergic toxicity by neurotoxin and will be of benefit for the screening of new therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases. This device was simple, stable and easy to operate, with the potential to facilitate whole-animal assays and drug screening in a high throughput manner at single animal resolution.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-03-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Piper Reid Hunt

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1993-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander M van der Linden

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-01

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

  3. A potent dauer pheromone component in Caenorhabditis elegans that acts synergistically with other components.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butcher, Rebecca A; Ragains, Justin R; Kim, Edward; Clardy, Jon

    2008-09-23

    In the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans, the dauer pheromone is the primary cue for entry into the developmentally arrested, dauer larval stage. The dauer is specialized for survival under harsh environmental conditions and is considered "nonaging" because larvae that exit dauer have a normal life span. C. elegans constitutively secretes the dauer pheromone into its environment, enabling it to sense its population density. Several components of the dauer pheromone have been identified as derivatives of the dideoxy sugar ascarylose, but additional unidentified components of the dauer pheromone contribute to its activity. Here, we show that an ascaroside with a 3-hydroxypropionate side chain is a highly potent component of the dauer pheromone that acts synergistically with previously identified components. Furthermore, we show that the active dauer pheromone components that are produced by C. elegans vary depending on cultivation conditions. Identifying the active components of the dauer pheromone, the conditions under which they are produced, and their mechanisms of action will greatly extend our understanding of how chemosensory cues from the environment can influence such fundamental processes as development, metabolism, and aging in nematodes and in higher organisms.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Portal-Celhay Cynthia

    2012-03-01

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

  5. Application of a mathematical model to describe the effects of chlorpyrifos on Caenorhabditis elegans development.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Windy A Boyd

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is being assessed as an alternative model organism as part of an interagency effort to develop better means to test potentially toxic substances. As part of this effort, assays that use the COPAS Biosort flow sorting technology to record optical measurements (time of flight (TOF and extinction (EXT of individual nematodes under various chemical exposure conditions are being developed. A mathematical model has been created that uses Biosort data to quantitatively and qualitatively describe C. elegans growth, and link changes in growth rates to biological events. Chlorpyrifos, an organophosphate pesticide known to cause developmental delays and malformations in mammals, was used as a model toxicant to test the applicability of the growth model for in vivo toxicological testing. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: L1 larval nematodes were exposed to a range of sub-lethal chlorpyrifos concentrations (0-75 microM and measured every 12 h. In the absence of toxicant, C. elegans matured from L1s to gravid adults by 60 h. A mathematical model was used to estimate nematode size distributions at various times. Mathematical modeling of the distributions allowed the number of measured nematodes and log(EXT and log(TOF growth rates to be estimated. The model revealed three distinct growth phases. The points at which estimated growth rates changed (change points were constant across the ten chlorpyrifos concentrations. Concentration response curves with respect to several model-estimated quantities (numbers of measured nematodes, mean log(TOF and log(EXT, growth rates, and time to reach change points showed a significant decrease in C. elegans growth with increasing chlorpyrifos concentration. CONCLUSIONS: Effects of chlorpyrifos on C. elegans growth and development were mathematically modeled. Statistical tests confirmed a significant concentration effect on several model endpoints. This confirmed that chlorpyrifos

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

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    David A. Bulger

    2017-01-01

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

  7. Bacterial Respiration and Growth Rates Affect the Feeding Preferences, Brood Size and Lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Li Yu

    Full Text Available Bacteria serve as live food and nutrients for bacterial-feeding nematodes (BFNs in soils, and influence nematodes behavior and physiology through their metabolism. Five bacterial taxa (Bacillus amyloliquefaciens JX1, Variovorax sp. JX14, Bacillus megaterium JX15, Pseudomonas fluorescens Y1 and Escherichia coli OP50 and the typical BFN Caenorhabditis elegans were selected to study the effects of bacterial respiration and growth rates on the feeding preferences, brood size and lifespan of nematodes. P. fluorescens Y1 and E. coli OP50 were found to be more active, with high respiration and rapid growth, whereas B. amyloliquefaciens JX1 and B. megaterium JX15 were inactive. The nematode C. elegans preferred active P. fluorescens Y1 and E. coli OP50 obviously. Furthermore, worms that fed on these two active bacteria produced more offspring but had shorter lifespan, while inactive and less preferred bacteria had increased nematodes lifespan and decreased the brood size. Based on these results, we propose that the bacterial activity may influence the behavior and life traits of C. elegans in the following ways: (1 active bacteria reproduce rapidly and emit high levels of CO2 attracting C. elegans; (2 these active bacteria use more resources in the nematodes' gut to sustain their survival and reproduction, thereby reducing the worm's lifespan; (3 inactive bacteria may provide less food for worms than active bacteria, thus increasing nematodes lifespan but decreasing their fertility. Nematodes generally require a balance between their preferred foods and beneficial foods, only preferred food may not be beneficial for nematodes.

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

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

    2015-12-07

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

  9. Bacterial Respiration and Growth Rates Affect the Feeding Preferences, Brood Size and Lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Li; Yan, Xiaomei; Ye, Chenglong; Zhao, Haiyan; Chen, Xiaoyun; Hu, Feng; Li, Huixin

    2015-01-01

    Bacteria serve as live food and nutrients for bacterial-feeding nematodes (BFNs) in soils, and influence nematodes behavior and physiology through their metabolism. Five bacterial taxa (Bacillus amyloliquefaciens JX1, Variovorax sp. JX14, Bacillus megaterium JX15, Pseudomonas fluorescens Y1 and Escherichia coli OP50) and the typical BFN Caenorhabditis elegans were selected to study the effects of bacterial respiration and growth rates on the feeding preferences, brood size and lifespan of nematodes. P. fluorescens Y1 and E. coli OP50 were found to be more active, with high respiration and rapid growth, whereas B. amyloliquefaciens JX1 and B. megaterium JX15 were inactive. The nematode C. elegans preferred active P. fluorescens Y1 and E. coli OP50 obviously. Furthermore, worms that fed on these two active bacteria produced more offspring but had shorter lifespan, while inactive and less preferred bacteria had increased nematodes lifespan and decreased the brood size. Based on these results, we propose that the bacterial activity may influence the behavior and life traits of C. elegans in the following ways: (1) active bacteria reproduce rapidly and emit high levels of CO2 attracting C. elegans; (2) these active bacteria use more resources in the nematodes' gut to sustain their survival and reproduction, thereby reducing the worm's lifespan; (3) inactive bacteria may provide less food for worms than active bacteria, thus increasing nematodes lifespan but decreasing their fertility. Nematodes generally require a balance between their preferred foods and beneficial foods, only preferred food may not be beneficial for nematodes.

  10. Green Tea Extract Induces the Resistance of Caenorhabditis elegans against Oxidative Stress

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    Sami Abbas

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Epidemiological studies on the effects of green tea consumption (Camellia sinensis have demonstrated a reduction for the risk of age-related diseases. The investigation of the in vivo and in vitro antioxidant properties of an aqueous extract of green tea (GTE was the aim of the current study. 2,2-Diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH• and superoxide anion radical (O2•− assays were used to estimate the GTE antioxidant activity. To investigate the protective effects of GTE against oxidative stress, wild-type N2 and transgenic strains (TJ374, hsp-16.2/GFP of the model organism, Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans, were chosen. In the current study, the following catechins were identified by LC/ESI-MS: catechin, epicatechin, epicatechin gallate, gallocatechin, epigallocatechin and epigallocatechin gallate. GTE exhibited a free radical scavenging activity of DPPH• and O2•− with IC50 8.37 and 91.34 µg/mL, respectively. In the C. elegans strain (TJ374, hsp-16.2/GFP, the expression of hsp-16.2/GFP was induced by a nonlethal dose of juglone, and the fluorescence density of hsp-16.2/GFP was measured. The hsp-16.2/GFP was reduced by 68.43% in the worms pretreated with 100 µg/mL GTE. N2 worms pretreated with 100 µg/mL GTE exhibited an increased survival rate of 48.31% after a lethal dose application of juglone. The results suggest that some green tea constituents are absorbed by the worms and play a substantial role to enhance oxidative stress resistance in C. elegans.

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

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    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.

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

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    Michael E Hurwitz

    2009-04-01

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

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

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

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

    2015-09-01

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

  15. WormScan: a technique for high-throughput phenotypic analysis of Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Mark D Mathew

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: There are four main phenotypes that are assessed in whole organism studies of Caenorhabditis elegans; mortality, movement, fecundity and size. Procedures have been developed that focus on the digital analysis of some, but not all of these phenotypes and may be limited by expense and limited throughput. We have developed WormScan, an automated image acquisition system that allows quantitative analysis of each of these four phenotypes on standard NGM plates seeded with E. coli. This system is very easy to implement and has the capacity to be used in high-throughput analysis. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Our system employs a readily available consumer grade flatbed scanner. The method uses light stimulus from the scanner rather than physical stimulus to induce movement. With two sequential scans it is possible to quantify the induced phototactic response. To demonstrate the utility of the method, we measured the phenotypic response of C. elegans to phosphine gas exposure. We found that stimulation of movement by the light of the scanner was equivalent to physical stimulation for the determination of mortality. WormScan also provided a quantitative assessment of health for the survivors. Habituation from light stimulation of continuous scans was similar to habituation caused by physical stimulus. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: There are existing systems for the automated phenotypic data collection of C. elegans. The specific advantages of our method over existing systems are high-throughput assessment of a greater range of phenotypic endpoints including determination of mortality and quantification of the mobility of survivors. Our system is also inexpensive and very easy to implement. Even though we have focused on demonstrating the usefulness of WormScan in toxicology, it can be used in a wide range of additional C. elegans studies including lifespan determination, development, pathology and behavior. Moreover, we have even adapted the

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  17. A shortcut to identifying small molecule signals that regulate behavior and development in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Pungaliya, Chirag; Srinivasan, Jagan; Fox, Bennett W; Malik, Rabia U; Ludewig, Andreas H; Sternberg, Paul W; Schroeder, Frank C

    2009-05-12

    Small molecule metabolites play important roles in Caenorhabditis elegans biology, but effective approaches for identifying their chemical structures are lacking. Recent studies revealed that a family of glycosides, the ascarosides, differentially regulate C. elegans development and behavior. Low concentrations of ascarosides attract males and thus appear to be part of the C. elegans sex pheromone, whereas higher concentrations induce developmental arrest at the dauer stage, an alternative, nonaging larval stage. The ascarosides act synergistically, which presented challenges for their identification via traditional activity-guided fractionation. As a result the chemical characterization of the dauer and male attracting pheromones remained incomplete. Here, we describe the identification of several additional pheromone components by using a recently developed NMR-spectroscopic approach, differential analysis by 2D NMR spectroscopy (DANS), which simplifies linking small molecule metabolites with their biological function. DANS-based comparison of wild-type C. elegans and a signaling-deficient mutant, daf-22, enabled identification of 3 known and 4 previously undescribed ascarosides, including a compound that features a p-aminobenzoic acid subunit. Biological testing of synthetic samples of these compounds revealed additional evidence for synergy and provided insights into structure-activity relationships. Using a combination of the three most active ascarosides allowed full reconstitution of the male-attracting activity of wild-type pheromone extract. Our results highlight the efficacy of DANS as a method for identifying small-molecule metabolites and placing them within a specific genetic context. This study further supports the hypothesis that ascarosides represent a structurally diverse set of nematode signaling molecules regulating major life history traits.

  18. Pheromone sensing regulates Caenorhabditis elegans lifespan and stress resistance via the deacetylase SIR-2.1.

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    Ludewig, Andreas H; Izrayelit, Yevgeniy; Park, Donha; Malik, Rabia U; Zimmermann, Anna; Mahanti, Parag; Fox, Bennett W; Bethke, Axel; Doering, Frank; Riddle, Donald L; Schroeder, Frank C

    2013-04-02

    Lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans, Drosophila, and mice is regulated by conserved signaling networks, including the insulin/insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) signaling cascade and pathways depending on sirtuins, a family of NAD(+)-dependent deacetylases. Small molecules such as resveratrol are of great interest because they increase lifespan in many species in a sirtuin-dependent manner. However, no endogenous small molecules that regulate lifespan via sirtuins have been identified, and the mechanisms underlying sirtuin-dependent longevity are not well understood. Here, we show that in C. elegans, two endogenously produced small molecules, the dauer-inducing ascarosides ascr#2 and ascr#3, regulate lifespan and stress resistance through chemosensory pathways and the sirtuin SIR-2.1. Ascarosides extend adult lifespan and stress resistance without reducing fecundity or feeding rate, and these effects are reduced or abolished when nutrients are restricted. We found that ascaroside-mediated longevity is fully abolished by loss of SIR-2.1 and that the effect of ascr#2 requires expression of the G protein-coupled receptor DAF-37 in specific chemosensory neurons. In contrast to many other lifespan-modulating factors, ascaroside-mediated lifespan increases do not require insulin signaling via the FOXO homolog DAF-16 or the insulin/IGF-1-receptor homolog DAF-2. Our study demonstrates that C. elegans produces specific small molecules to control adult lifespan in a sirtuin-dependent manner, supporting the hypothesis that endogenous regulation of metazoan lifespan functions, in part, via sirtuins. These findings strengthen the link between chemosensory inputs and conserved mechanisms of lifespan regulation in metazoans and suggest a model for communal lifespan regulation in C. elegans.

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

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    Srinivasan, Jagan; Kaplan, Fatma; Ajredini, Ramadan; Zachariah, Cherian; Alborn, Hans T; Teal, Peter E A; Malik, Rabia U; Edison, Arthur S; Sternberg, Paul W; Schroeder, Frank C

    2008-08-28

    In many organisms, population-density sensing and sexual attraction rely on small-molecule-based signalling systems. In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, population density is monitored through specific glycosides of the dideoxysugar ascarylose (the 'ascarosides') that promote entry into an alternative larval stage, the non-feeding and highly persistent dauer stage. In addition, adult C. elegans males are attracted to hermaphrodites by a previously unidentified small-molecule signal. Here we show, by means of combinatorial activity-guided fractionation of the C. elegans metabolome, that the mating signal consists of a synergistic blend of three dauer-inducing ascarosides, which we call ascr#2, ascr#3 and ascr#4. This blend of ascarosides acts as a potent male attractant at very low concentrations, whereas at the higher concentrations required for dauer formation the compounds no longer attract males and instead deter hermaphrodites. The ascarosides ascr#2 and ascr#3 carry different, but overlapping, information, as ascr#3 is more potent as a male attractant than ascr#2, whereas ascr#2 is slightly more potent than ascr#3 in promoting dauer formation. We demonstrate that ascr#2, ascr#3 and ascr#4 are strongly synergistic, and that two types of neuron, the amphid single-ciliated sensory neuron type K (ASK) and the male-specific cephalic companion neuron (CEM), are required for male attraction by ascr#3. On the basis of these results, male attraction and dauer formation in C. elegans appear as alternative behavioural responses to a common set of signalling molecules. The ascaroside signalling system thus connects reproductive and developmental pathways and represents a unique example of structure- and concentration-dependent differential activity of signalling molecules.

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

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

    2010-09-01

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

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

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    Contreras, Elizabeth Quevedo

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

  2. Heritable transmission of stress resistance by high dietary glucose in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tauffenberger, Arnaud; Parker, J Alex

    2014-05-01

    Glucose is a major energy source and is a key regulator of metabolism but excessive dietary glucose is linked to several disorders including type 2 diabetes, obesity and cardiac dysfunction. Dietary intake greatly influences organismal survival but whether the effects of nutritional status are transmitted to the offspring is an unresolved question. Here we show that exposing Caenorhabditis elegans to high glucose concentrations in the parental generation leads to opposing negative effects on fecundity, while having protective effects against cellular stress in the descendent progeny. The transgenerational inheritance of glucose-mediated phenotypes is dependent on the insulin/IGF-like signalling pathway and components of the histone H3 lysine 4 trimethylase complex are essential for transmission of inherited phenotypes. Thus dietary over-consumption phenotypes are heritable with profound effects on the health and survival of descendants.

  3. A mutation in Caenorhabditis elegans that increases recombination frequency more than threefold.

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    Rose, A M; Baillie, D L

    1979-10-18

    In higher organisms the rate of recombination between genetic loci is presumably responsive to selective pressure. Recently, selective pressures and mutational events that influence recombination have been reviewed. Mutational sites and chromosomal rearrangements that enhance or suppress recombination frequency in specific regions are known, but general mechanisms that enhance recombination have not yet been discovered. We describe here the isolation and characterisation of a strain of the hermaphroditic nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, that has a recombination frequency at least threefold higher than that found in the wild type. In this strain, rec-1, the number of reciprocal recombination events between linked loci is increased. This is true for all pairs of linked loci studies so far. The high recombination strain behaves as if it carries a classical recessive mutation, although a second mutation exists which can alter the recessive behaviour of rec-1.

  4. 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.

  5. Microfluidic devices for analysis of spatial orientation behaviors in semi-restrained Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kathryn E McCormick

    Full Text Available This article describes the fabrication and use of microfluidic devices for investigating spatial orientation behaviors in nematode worms (Caenorhabditis elegans. Until now, spatial orientation has been studied in freely moving nematodes in which the frequency and nature of encounters with the gradient are uncontrolled experimental variables. In the new devices, the nematode is held in place by a restraint that aligns the longitudinal axis of the body with the border between two laminar fluid streams, leaving the animal's head and tail free to move. The content of the fluid streams can be manipulated to deliver step gradients in space or time. We demonstrate the utility of the device by identifying previously uncharacterized aspects of the behavioral mechanisms underlying chemotaxis, osmotic avoidance, and thermotaxis in this organism. The new devices are readily adaptable to behavioral and imaging studies involving fluid borne stimuli in a wide range of sensory modalities.

  6. Caenorhabditis elegans as a Model System for Studying Drug Induced Mitochondrial Toxicity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard de Boer

    Full Text Available Today HIV-1 infection is recognized as a chronic disease with obligatory lifelong treatment to keep viral titers below detectable levels. The continuous intake of antiretroviral drugs however, leads to severe and even life-threatening side effects, supposedly by the deleterious impact of nucleoside-analogue type compounds on the functioning of the mitochondrial DNA polymerase. For detailed investigation of the yet partially understood underlying mechanisms, the availability of a versatile model system is crucial. We therefore set out to develop the use of Caenorhabditis elegans to study drug induced mitochondrial toxicity. Using a combination of molecular-biological and functional assays, combined with a quantitative analysis of mitochondrial network morphology, we conclude that anti-retroviral drugs with similar working mechanisms can be classified into distinct groups based on their effects on mitochondrial morphology and biochemistry. Additionally we show that mitochondrial toxicity of antiretroviral drugs cannot be exclusively attributed to interference with the mitochondrial DNA polymerase.

  7. Asymmetric enrichment of PIE-1 in the Caenorhabditis elegans zygote mediated by binary counterdiffusion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniels, Brian R; Perkins, Edward M; Dobrowsky, Terrence M; Sun, Sean X; Wirtz, Denis

    2009-02-23

    To generate cellular diversity in developing organisms while simultaneously maintaining the developmental potential of the germline, germ cells must be able to preferentially endow germline daughter cells with a cytoplasmic portion containing specialized cell fate determinants not inherited by somatic cells. In Caenorhabditis elegans, germline inheritance of the protein PIE-1 is accomplished by first asymmetrically localizing the protein to the germplasm before cleavage and subsequently degrading residual levels of the protein in the somatic cytoplasm after cleavage. Despite its critical involvement in cell fate determination, the enrichment of germline determinants remains poorly understood. Here, combining live-cell fluorescence methods and kinetic modeling, we demonstrate that the enrichment process does not involve protein immobilization, intracellular compartmentalization, or localized protein degradation. Instead, our results support a heterogeneous reaction/diffusion model for PIE-1 enrichment in which the diffusion coefficient of PIE-1 is reversibly reduced in the posterior, resulting in a stable protein gradient across the zygote at steady state.

  8. Seahorse Xfe 24 Extracellular Flux Analyzer-Based Analysis of Cellular Respiration in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luz, Anthony L; Smith, Latasha L; Rooney, John P; Meyer, Joel N

    2015-11-02

    Mitochondria are critical for their role in ATP production as well as multiple nonenergetic functions, and mitochondrial dysfunction is causal in myriad human diseases. Less well appreciated is the fact that mitochondria integrate environmental and intercellular as well as intracellular signals to modulate function. Because mitochondria function in an organismal milieu, there is need for assays capable of rapidly assessing mitochondrial health in vivo. Here, using the Seahorse XF(e) 24 Extracellular Flux Analyzer and the pharmacological inhibitors dicyclohexylcarbodiimide (DCCD, ATP synthase inhibitor), carbonyl cyanide-p-trifluoromethoxyphenylhydrazone (FCCP, mitochondrial uncoupler), and sodium azide (cytochrome c oxidase inhibitor), we describe how to obtain in vivo measurements of the fundamental parameters [basal oxygen consumption rate (OCR), ATP-linked respiration, maximal OCR, spare respiratory capacity, and proton leak] of the mitochondrial respiratory chain in the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans.

  9. Lipocalin signaling controls unicellular tube development in the Caenorhabditis elegans excretory system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stone, Craig E; Hall, David H; Sundaram, Meera V

    2009-05-15

    Unicellular tubes or capillaries composed of individual cells with a hollow lumen perform important physiological functions including fluid or gas transport and exchange. These tubes are thought to build intracellular lumina by polarized trafficking of apical membrane components, but the molecular signals that promote luminal growth and luminal connectivity between cells are poorly understood. Here we show that the lipocalin LPR-1 is required for luminal connectivity between two unicellular tubes in the Caenorhabditis elegans excretory (renal) system, the excretory duct cell and pore cell. Lipocalins are a large family of secreted proteins that transport lipophilic cargos and participate in intercellular signaling. lpr-1 is required at a time of rapid luminal growth, it is expressed by the duct, pore and surrounding cells, and it can function cell non-autonomously. These results reveal a novel signaling mechanism that controls unicellular tube formation, and provide a genetic model system for dissecting lipocalin signaling pathways.

  10. Multiple mild heat-shocks decrease the Gompertz component of mortality in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Deqing; Cypser, James R; Yashin, Anatoli I; Johnson, Thomas E

    2009-09-01

    Exposure to mild heat-stress (heat-shock) can significantly increase the life expectancy of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. A single heat-shock early in life extends longevity by 20% or more and affects life-long mortality by decreasing initial mortality only; the rate of increase in subsequent mortality (Gompertz component) is unchanged. Repeated mild heat-shocks throughout life have a larger effect on life span than does a single heat-shock early in life. Here, we ask how multiple heat-shocks affect the mortality trajectory in nematodes and find increases of life expectancy of close to 50% and of maximum longevity as well. We examined mortality using large numbers of animals and found that multiple heat-shocks not only decrease initial mortality, but also slow the Gompertz rate of increase in mortality. Thus, multiple heat-shocks have anti-aging hormetic effects and represent an effective approach for modulating aging.

  11. Identification of potential anti-infectives against Staphylococcus aureus using a Caenorhabditis elegans infection model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kong, Cin; Rahman, Noorsaadah Abd; Nathan, Sheila

    2014-09-01

    The alarming increase of antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and a delay in antibiotics development point to the need for novel therapeutic approaches to combat infection. To discover novel anti-infective agents, we screened a number of synthetic compounds comprising mainly of chalcone derivatives to explore their potential in promoting the survival of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans upon infection by S. aureus. Screening of seven chalcone derivatives using both agar- and liquid-based assays revealed three positive hits that significantly prolonged the survival of S. aureus-infected nematodes. All the hits did not interfere with bacterial growth in vitro, proposing that the three compounds identified most probably act through mechanisms distinct from conventional antibiotics that target bacterial replication.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gally, Christelle; Zhang, Huimin; Labouesse, Michel

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Neuropeptidergic Signaling and Active Feeding State Inhibit Nociception in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ezcurra, Marina; Walker, Denise S; Beets, Isabel; Swoboda, Peter; Schafer, William R

    2016-03-16

    Food availability and nutritional status are important cues affecting behavioral states. Here we report that, in Caenorhabditis elegans, a cascade of dopamine and neuropeptide signaling acts to inhibit nociception in food-poor environments. In the absence of food, animals show decreased sensitivity and increased adaptation to soluble repellents sensed by the polymodal ASH nociceptors. The effects of food on adaptation are affected by dopamine and neuropeptide signaling; dopamine acts via the DOP-1 receptor to decrease adaptation on food, whereas the neuropeptide receptors NPR-1 and NPR-2 act to increase adaptation off food. NPR-1 and NPR-2 function cell autonomously in the ASH neurons to increase adaptation off food, whereas the DOP-1 receptor controls neuropeptide release from interneurons that modulate ASH activity indirectly. These results indicate that feeding state modulates nociception through the interaction of monoamine and neuropeptide signaling pathways.

  14. Radiobiological studies with the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Genetic and developmental effects of high LET radiation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nelson, G.A.; Schubert, W.W.; Marshall, T.M. (Jet Propulsion Lab., Pasadena, CA (United States))

    1992-01-01

    The biological effects of heavy charged particle (HZE) radiation are of particular interest to travellers and planners for long-duration space flights where exposure levels represents a potential health hazard. The unique feature of HZE radiation is the structured pattern of its energy deposition in targets. There are many consequences of this feature to biological endpoints when compared with effects of ionizing photons. Dose vs response and dose-rate kinetics may be modified, DNA and cellular repair systems may be altered in their abilities to cope with damage, and the qualitative features of damage may be unique for different ions. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is being used to address these and related questions associated with exposure to radiation. HZE-induced mutation, chromosome aberration, cell inactivation and altered organogenesis are discussed along with plans for radiobiological experiments in space. (author).

  15. Protein Kinase A Subunit Balance Regulates Lipid Metabolism in Caenorhabditis elegans and Mammalian Adipocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jung Hyun; Han, Ji Seul; Kong, Jinuk; Ji, Yul; Lv, Xuchao; Lee, Junho; Li, Peng; Kim, Jae Bum

    2016-09-23

    Protein kinase A (PKA) is a cyclic AMP (cAMP)-dependent protein kinase composed of catalytic and regulatory subunits and involved in various physiological phenomena, including lipid metabolism. Here we demonstrated that the stoichiometric balance between catalytic and regulatory subunits is crucial for maintaining basal PKA activity and lipid homeostasis. To uncover the potential roles of each PKA subunit, Caenorhabditis elegans was used to investigate the effects of PKA subunit deficiency. In worms, suppression of PKA via RNAi resulted in severe phenotypes, including shortened life span, decreased egg laying, reduced locomotion, and altered lipid distribution. Similarly, in mammalian adipocytes, suppression of PKA regulatory subunits RIα and RIIβ via siRNAs potently stimulated PKA activity, leading to potentiated lipolysis without increasing cAMP levels. Nevertheless, insulin exerted anti-lipolytic effects and restored lipid droplet integrity by antagonizing PKA action. Together, these data implicate the importance of subunit stoichiometry as another regulatory mechanism of PKA activity and lipid metabolism.

  16. Neuropeptidergic Signaling and Active Feeding State Inhibit Nociception in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ezcurra, Marina; Walker, Denise S.; Beets, Isabel; Swoboda, Peter

    2016-01-01

    Food availability and nutritional status are important cues affecting behavioral states. Here we report that, in Caenorhabditis elegans, a cascade of dopamine and neuropeptide signaling acts to inhibit nociception in food-poor environments. In the absence of food, animals show decreased sensitivity and increased adaptation to soluble repellents sensed by the polymodal ASH nociceptors. The effects of food on adaptation are affected by dopamine and neuropeptide signaling; dopamine acts via the DOP-1 receptor to decrease adaptation on food, whereas the neuropeptide receptors NPR-1 and NPR-2 act to increase adaptation off food. NPR-1 and NPR-2 function cell autonomously in the ASH neurons to increase adaptation off food, whereas the DOP-1 receptor controls neuropeptide release from interneurons that modulate ASH activity indirectly. These results indicate that feeding state modulates nociception through the interaction of monoamine and neuropeptide signaling pathways. PMID:26985027

  17. Differential Effects of TRPA and TRPV Channels on Behaviors of Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thies, Jennifer; Neutzler, Vanessa; O’Leary, Fidelma; Liu, He

    2016-01-01

    TRPA and TRPV ion channels are members of the transient receptor potential (TRP) cation channel superfamily, which mediates various sensory transductions. In Caenorhabditis elegans, the TRPV channels are known to affect chemosensation, while the TRPA-1 channel is associated with thermosensation and mechanosensation. We examined thermosensation, chemosensation, and osmosensation in strains lacking TRPA-1 or TRPV channels. We found that TRPV channel knockout worms exhibited similar behavioral deficits associated with thermotaxis as the TRPA-1 channel knockout, suggesting a dual role for TRPV channels. In contrast, chemosensation responses, assessed by both avoidance reversal behavior and NaCl osmosensation, were dependent on TRPV channels but seemed independent of TRPA-1 channel. Our findings suggest that, in addition to TRPA-1 channel, TRPV channels are necessary for thermotaxis and may activate, or modulate, the function of TRPA-1 channels. In contrast, TRPA-1 channels do not have a dual responsibility, as they have no functional role in odorant avoidance or osmosensation. PMID:27168724

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1997-01-01

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

  19. Receptor-type guanylate cyclase is required for carbon dioxide sensation by Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hallem, Elissa A; Spencer, W Clay; McWhirter, Rebecca D; Zeller, Georg; Henz, Stefan R; Rätsch, Gunnar; Miller, David M; Horvitz, H Robert; Sternberg, Paul W; Ringstad, Niels

    2011-01-04

    CO(2) is both a critical regulator of animal physiology and an important sensory cue for many animals for host detection, food location, and mate finding. The free-living soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans shows CO(2) avoidance behavior, which requires a pair of ciliated sensory neurons, the BAG neurons. Using in vivo calcium imaging, we show that CO(2) specifically activates the BAG neurons and that the CO(2)-sensing function of BAG neurons requires TAX-2/TAX-4 cyclic nucleotide-gated ion channels and the receptor-type guanylate cyclase GCY-9. Our results delineate a molecular pathway for CO(2) sensing and suggest that activation of a receptor-type guanylate cyclase is an evolutionarily conserved mechanism by which animals detect environmental CO(2).

  20. The cellular geometry of growth drives the amino acid economy of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swire, Jonathan; Fuchs, Silke; Bundy, Jacob G; Leroi, Armand M

    2009-08-07

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans grows largely by increases in cell size. As a consequence of this, the surface: volume ratio of its cells must decline in the course of postembryonic growth. Here we use transcriptomic and metabolomic data to show that this change in geometry can explain a variety of phenomena during growth, including: (i) changes in the relative expression levels of cytoplasmic and membrane proteins; (ii) changes in the relative usage of the twenty amino acids in expressed proteins, as estimated by changes in the transcriptome; and (iii) changes in metabolite pools of free amino acids. We expect these relations to be universal in single cells and in whole multicellular organisms that grow largely by increases in cell size, but not those that grow by cell proliferation.

  1. Cell-cycle quiescence maintains Caenorhabditis elegans germline stem cells independent of GLP-1/Notch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seidel, Hannah S; Kimble, Judith

    2015-11-09

    Many types of adult stem cells exist in a state of cell-cycle quiescence, yet it has remained unclear whether quiescence plays a role in maintaining the stem cell fate. Here we establish the adult germline of Caenorhabditis elegans as a model for facultative stem cell quiescence. We find that mitotically dividing germ cells--including germline stem cells--become quiescent in the absence of food. This quiescence is characterized by a slowing of S phase, a block to M-phase entry, and the ability to re-enter M phase rapidly in response to re-feeding. Further, we demonstrate that cell-cycle quiescence alters the genetic requirements for stem cell maintenance: The signaling pathway required for stem cell maintenance under fed conditions--GLP-1/Notch signaling--becomes dispensable under conditions of quiescence. Thus, cell-cycle quiescence can itself maintain stem cells, independent of the signaling pathway otherwise essential for such maintenance.

  2. The Caenorhabditis elegans protein SAS-5 forms large oligomeric assemblies critical for centriole formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogala, Kacper B; Dynes, Nicola J; Hatzopoulos, Georgios N; Yan, Jun; Pong, Sheng Kai; Robinson, Carol V; Deane, Charlotte M; Gönczy, Pierre; Vakonakis, Ioannis

    2015-05-29

    Centrioles are microtubule-based organelles crucial for cell division, sensing and motility. In Caenorhabditis elegans, the onset of centriole formation requires notably the proteins SAS-5 and SAS-6, which have functional equivalents across eukaryotic evolution. Whereas the molecular architecture of SAS-6 and its role in initiating centriole formation are well understood, the mechanisms by which SAS-5 and its relatives function is unclear. Here, we combine biophysical and structural analysis to uncover the architecture of SAS-5 and examine its functional implications in vivo. Our work reveals that two distinct self-associating domains are necessary to form higher-order oligomers of SAS-5: a trimeric coiled coil and a novel globular dimeric Implico domain. Disruption of either domain leads to centriole duplication failure in worm embryos, indicating that large SAS-5 assemblies are necessary for function in vivo.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-15

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans secretes ascarosides, structurally diverse derivatives of the 3,6-dideoxysugar ascarylose, and uses them in chemical communication. At high population densities, specific ascarosides, which are together known as the dauer pheromone, trigger entry into the stress-resistant dauer larval stage. In order to study the structure-activity relationships for the ascarosides, we synthesized a panel of ascarosides and tested them for dauer-inducing activity. This panel includes a number of natural ascarosides that were detected in crude pheromone extract, but as yet have no assigned function, as well as many unnatural ascaroside derivatives. Most of these ascarosides, some of which have significant structural similarity to the natural dauer pheromone components, have very little dauer-inducing activity. Our results provide a primer to ascaroside structure-activity relationships and suggest that slight modifications to ascaroside structure dramatically influence binding to the relevant G protein-coupled receptors that control dauer formation.

  4. Radiobiological studies with the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Genetic and developmental effects of high LET radiation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, G. A.; Schubert, W. W.; Marshall, T. M.

    1992-01-01

    The biological effects of heavy charged particle (HZE) radiation are of particular interest to travellers and planners for long-duration space flights where exposure levels represent a potential health hazard. The unique feature of HZE radiation is the structured pattern of its energy deposition in targets. There are many consequences of this feature to biological endpoints when compared with effects of ionizing photons. Dose vs response and dose-rate kinetics may be modified, DNA and cellular repair systems may be altered in their abilities to cope with damage, and the qualitative features of damage may be unique for different ions. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is being used to address these and related questions associated with exposure to radiation. HZE-induced mutation, chromosome aberration, cell inactivation and altered organogenesis are discussed along with plans for radiobiological experiments in space.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-01

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

  6. Lensless high-resolution on-chip optofluidic microscopes for Caenorhabditis elegans and cell imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, Xiquan; Lee, Lap Man; Heng, Xin; Zhong, Weiwei; Sternberg, Paul W; Psaltis, Demetri; Yang, Changhuei

    2008-08-05

    Low-cost and high-resolution on-chip microscopes are vital for reducing cost and improving efficiency for modern biomedicine and bioscience. Despite the needs, the conventional microscope design has proven difficult to miniaturize. Here, we report the implementation and application of two high-resolution (approximately 0.9 microm for the first and approximately 0.8 microm for the second), lensless, and fully on-chip microscopes based on the optofluidic microscopy (OFM) method. These systems abandon the conventional microscope design, which requires expensive lenses and large space to magnify images, and instead utilizes microfluidic flow to deliver specimens across array(s) of micrometer-size apertures defined on a metal-coated CMOS sensor to generate direct projection images. The first system utilizes a gravity-driven microfluidic flow for sample scanning and is suited for imaging elongate objects, such as Caenorhabditis elegans; and the second system employs an electrokinetic drive for flow control and is suited for imaging cells and other spherical/ellipsoidal objects. As a demonstration of the OFM for bioscience research, we show that the prototypes can be used to perform automated phenotype characterization of different Caenorhabditis elegans mutant strains, and to image spores and single cellular entities. The optofluidic microscope design, readily fabricable with existing semiconductor and microfluidic technologies, offers low-cost and highly compact imaging solutions. More functionalities, such as on-chip phase and fluorescence imaging, can also be readily adapted into OFM systems. We anticipate that the OFM can significantly address a range of biomedical and bioscience needs, and engender new microscope applications.

  7. CsrA and TnaB coregulate tryptophanase activity to promote exotoxin-induced killing of Caenorhabditis elegans by enteropathogenic Escherichia coli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhatt, Shantanu; Anyanful, Akwasi; Kalman, Daniel

    2011-09-01

    Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli(EPEC) requires the tnaA-encoded enzyme tryptophanase and its substrate tryptophan to synthesize diffusible exotoxins that kill the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Here, we demonstrate that the RNA-binding protein CsrA and the tryptophan permease TnaB coregulate tryptophanase activity, through mutually exclusive pathways, to stimulate toxin-mediated paralysis and killing of C. elegans.

  8. A Caenorhabditis elegans Host Model Correlates with Invasive Disease Caused by Staphylococcus aureus Recovered during an Outbreak in Neonatal Intensive Care

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaiyu Wu

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Caenorhabditis elegans has previously been used as a host model to determine the virulence of clinical methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus isolates. In the present study, methicillin-susceptible S aureus (MSSA strains associated with an outbreak in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU were investigated using the C elegans model.

  9. Ecotoxicological assessment of aquatic sediments with Caenorhabditis elegans (Nematoda) -- A method for testing liquid medium and whole-sediment samples

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Traunspurger, W.; Haitzer, M.; Hoess, S.; Beier, S. [Univ. Muenchen (Germany). Zoologisches Inst.; Ahlf, W. [TU Hamburg-Harburg, Hamburg (Germany); Steinberg, C. [Inst. fuer Gewaesseroekologie und Binnenfischerei, Berlin (Germany)

    1997-02-01

    The authors present a method using the free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to assess toxicity in liquid medium and whole-sediment setups. Test duration is 72 h; endpoints are body length, number of eggs inside worms, percentage of gravid worms, and number of offspring per worm. The effect of CdCl{sub 2} on C. elegans in liquid-phase exposures is described as an example. Results from a field study with cadmium polluted sediments from the River Elbe (Germany) suggest that nematodes may be useful organisms in assessing toxicity of sediments in the whole phase.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    that EGL-13 is sufficient to induce O2- and CO2-sensing cell fates in some cellular contexts. Thus, the same core regulatory factor, egl-13, is required and sufficient to specify the distinct fates of O2- and CO2-sensing neurons in C. elegans. These findings extend our understanding of mechanisms......Animals harbor specialized neuronal systems that are used for sensing and coordinating responses to changes in oxygen (O2) and carbon dioxide (CO2). In Caenorhabditis elegans, the O2/CO2 sensory system comprises functionally and morphologically distinct sensory neurons that mediate rapid behavioral...

  11. Bioactive Peptides from Angelica sinensis Protein Hydrolyzate Delay Senescence in Caenorhabditis elegans through Antioxidant Activities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qiangqiang Wang

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Since excessive reactive oxygen species (ROS is known to be associated with aging and age-related diseases, strategies modulating ROS level and antioxidant defense systems may contribute to the delay of senescence. Here we show that the protein hydrolyzate from Angelica sinensis was capable of increasing oxidative survival of the model animal Caenorhabditis elegans intoxicated by paraquat. The hydrolyzate was then fractionated by ultrafiltration, and the antioxidant fraction (<3 kDa was purified by gel filtration to obtain the antioxidant A. sinensis peptides (AsiPeps, which were mostly composed of peptides with <20 amino acid residues. Further studies demonstrate that AsiPeps were able to reduce the endogenous ROS level, increase the activities of the antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase and catalase, and decrease the content of the lipid peroxidation product malondialdehyde in nematodes treated with paraquat or undergoing senescence. AsiPeps were also shown to reduce age pigments accumulation and extend lifespan but did not affect the food-intake behavior of the nematodes. Taken together, our results demonstrate that A. sinensis peptides (AsiPeps are able to delay aging process in C. elegans through antioxidant activities independent of dietary restriction.

  12. Winter Aconite (Eranthis hyemalis Lectin as a cytotoxic effector in the lifecycle of Caenorhabditis elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marie-Therese McConnell

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The lectin found in the tubers of the Winter Aconite (Eranthis hyemalis plant is an N-acetyl-D-galactosamine specific Type II Ribosome Inactivating Protein (RIP; Type II RIPs have shown anti-cancer properties, and hence have potential as therapeutic agents. Here we present a modified protocol for the extraction and purification of the E. hyemalis lectin (EHL using affinity chromatography. De novo amino acid sequencing of EHL confirms its classification as a Type II Ribosome Inactivating Protein. The biocidal properties of EHL have been investigated against the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Arrested first stage larvae treated with EHL have shown some direct mortality, with surviving larvae subsequently showing a range of phenotypes including food avoidance, reduced fecundity, developmental delay and constitutive dauer larvae formation. Both inappropriate dauer larvae development and failure to locate to bacterial food source are consistent with the disruption of chemosensory function and the ablation of amphid neurons. Further investigation indicates that mutations that disrupt normal amphid formation can block the EHL-induced dauer larvae formation. In combination, these phenotypes indicate that EHL is cytotoxic and suggest a cell specific activity against the amphid neurons of C. elegans.

  13. 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.

  14. Discovery of a Natural Microsporidian Pathogen with a Broad Tissue Tropism in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Robert J Luallen

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Microbial pathogens often establish infection within particular niches of their host for replication. Determining how infection occurs preferentially in specific host tissues is a key aspect of understanding host-microbe interactions. Here, we describe the discovery of a natural microsporidian parasite of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans that displays a unique tissue tropism compared to previously described parasites of this host. We characterize the life cycle of this new species, Nematocida displodere, including pathogen entry, intracellular replication, and exit. N. displodere can invade multiple host tissues, including the epidermis, muscle, neurons, and intestine of C. elegans. Despite robust invasion of the intestine very little replication occurs there, with the majority of replication occurring in the muscle and epidermis. This feature distinguishes N. displodere from two closely related microsporidian pathogens, N. parisii and N. sp. 1, which exclusively invade and replicate in the intestine. Comparison of the N. displodere genome with N. parisii and N. sp. 1 reveals that N. displodere is the earliest diverging species of the Nematocida genus. Over 10% of the proteins encoded by the N. displodere genome belong to a single species-specific family of RING-domain containing proteins of unknown function that may be mediating interactions with the host. Altogether, this system provides a powerful whole-animal model to investigate factors responsible for pathogen growth in different tissue niches.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-03-01

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

  16. 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.

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

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    Zhendong Yang

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Araya Carlos L

    2006-06-01

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

  19. Reactive Oxygen Species and Aging in Caenorhabditis elegans: Causal or Casual Relationship?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Raamsdonk, Jeremy Michael; Hekimi, Siegfried

    2010-12-15

    The free radical theory of aging proposes a causal relationship between reactive oxygen species (ROS) and aging. While it is clear that oxidative damage increases with age, its role in the aging process is uncertain. Testing the free radical theory of aging requires experimentally manipulating ROS production or detoxification and examining the resulting effects on lifespan. In this review, we examine the relationship between ROS and aging in the genetic model organism Caenorhabditis elegans, summarizing experiments using long-lived mutants, mutants with altered mitochondrial function, mutants with decreased antioxidant defenses, worms treated with antioxidant compounds, and worms exposed to different environmental conditions. While there is frequently a negative correlation between oxidative damage and lifespan, there are many examples in which they are uncoupled. Neither is resistance to oxidative stress sufficient for a long life nor are all long-lived mutants more resistant to oxidative stress. Similarly, sensitivity to oxidative stress does not necessarily shorten lifespan and is in fact compatible with long life. Overall, the data in C. elegans indicate that oxidative damage can be dissociated from aging in experimental situations.

  20. CDC-42 Orients Cell Migration during Epithelial Intercalation in the Caenorhabditis elegans Epidermis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walck-Shannon, Elise; Lucas, Bethany; Chin-Sang, Ian; Reiner, David; Kumfer, Kraig; Cochran, Hunter; Bothfeld, William; Hardin, Jeff

    2016-11-01

    Cell intercalation is a highly directed cell rearrangement that is essential for animal morphogenesis. As such, intercalation requires orchestration of cell polarity across the plane of the tissue. CDC-42 is a Rho family GTPase with key functions in cell polarity, yet its role during epithelial intercalation has not been established because its roles early in embryogenesis have historically made it difficult to study. To circumvent these early requirements, in this paper we use tissue-specific and conditional loss-of-function approaches to identify a role for CDC-42 during intercalation of the Caenorhabditis elegans dorsal embryonic epidermis. CDC-42 activity is enriched in the medial tips of intercalating cells, which extend as cells migrate past one another. Moreover, CDC-42 is involved in both the efficient formation and orientation of cell tips during cell rearrangement. Using conditional loss-of-function we also show that the PAR complex functions in tip formation and orientation. Additionally, we find that the sole C. elegans Eph receptor, VAB-1, functions during this process in an Ephrin-independent manner. Using epistasis analysis, we find that vab-1 lies in the same genetic pathway as cdc-42 and is responsible for polarizing CDC-42 activity to the medial tip. Together, these data establish a previously uncharacterized role for polarized CDC-42, in conjunction with PAR-6, PAR-3 and an Eph receptor, during epithelial intercalation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bianchi, Javier Ignacio; Stockert, Juan Carlos; Buzzi, Lucila Ines; Buzz, Lucila Ines; Blázquez-Castro, Alfonso; Simonetta, Sergio Hernán

    2015-01-01

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

  2. DNA methylation modulates Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium virulence in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oza, Javin P; Yeh, Jimmy B; Reich, Norbert O

    2005-04-01

    Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium was previously shown to be virulent in Caenorhabditis elegans. Here we demonstrate that DNA adenine methyltransferase (DAM) modulates Salmonella virulence in the nematode, as it does in mice. After 5 days of continual exposure to bacteria, twice as many worms died when exposed to the wild-type than the dam-mutant strain of Salmonella. Similar trends in virulence were observed when worms were exposed to Salmonella strains for 5 h and transferred to the avirulent Escherichia coli OP50. While a 10-fold attenuation was observed in the absence of DAM, the dam-strain was still able to infect and persist in the host worm. Our results further support the use of C. elegans as an accessible and readily studied animal model of bacterial pathogenesis. However, our results suggest that crucial host responses differ between the murine and nematode models. Additionally, we carried out preliminary liquid culture based experiments with the long term goal of developing high throughput animal based screens of DAM inhibitors.

  3. Feeding status and serotonin rapidly and reversibly modulate a Caenorhabditis elegans chemosensory circuit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chao, Michael Y.; Komatsu, Hidetoshi; Fukuto, Hana S.; Dionne, Heather M.; Hart, Anne C.

    2004-10-01

    Serotonin (5-HT) modulates synaptic efficacy in the nervous system of vertebrates and invertebrates. In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, many behaviors are regulated by 5-HT levels, which are in turn regulated by the presence or absence of food. Here, we show that both food and 5-HT signaling modulate chemosensory avoidance response of octanol in C. elegans, and that this modulation is both rapid and reversible. Sensitivity to octanol is decreased when animals are off food or when 5-HT levels are decreased; conversely, sensitivity is increased when animals are on food or have increased 5-HT signaling. Laser microsurgery and behavioral experiments reveal that sensory input from different subsets of octanol-sensing neurons is selectively used, depending on stimulus strength, feeding status, and 5-HT levels. 5-HT directly targets at least one pair of sensory neurons, and 5-HT signaling requires the G protein GPA-11. Glutamatergic signaling is required for response to octanol, and the GLR-1 glutamate receptor plays an important role in behavioral response off food but not on food. Our results demonstrate that 5-HT modulation of neuronal activity via G protein signaling underlies behavioral plasticity by rapidly altering the functional circuitry of a chemosensory circuit.

  4. Royalactin extends lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans through epidermal growth factor signaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Detienne, Giel; De Haes, Wouter; Ernst, Ulrich R; Schoofs, Liliane; Temmerman, Liesbet

    2014-12-01

    Royalactin is a glycoprotein essential for the development of long-lived queen honeybees. Only larvae fed with royal jelly, containing royalactin, develop into queens. Royalactin plays a central role in this process by switching on the epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor signaling pathway which ultimately leads to epigenetic changes and a long-lived queen phenotype. Recently it was shown that royalactin by itself also extends lifespan in Drosophila melanogaster. Yet, the mechanism by which royalactin promotes longevity remains largely unknown. We set out to characterize the effects of royalactin on Caenorhabditis elegans lifespan, and clarify the possible involvement of EGF signaling in this process. We demonstrate that royalactin extends lifespan of this nematode and that both EGF (LIN-3) and its receptor (LET-23) are essential to this process. To our knowledge, this is the first report of royalactin-mediated lifespan extension in a non-insect species. Additionally, we show that royalactin enhances locomotion in adult nematodes, implying that royalactin also influences healthspan. Our results suggest that royalactin is an important lifespan-extending factor in royal jelly and acts by promoting EGF signaling in C. elegans. Further work will now be needed to clarify which (secondary) signaling pathways are activated by royalactin, and how this ultimately translates into an extended health- and lifespan.

  5. Characterization of the crawling activity of Caenorhabditis elegans using a Hidden Markov model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Sang-Hee; Kang, Seung-Ho

    2015-12-01

    The locomotion behavior of Caenorhabditis elegans has been studied extensively to understand the respective roles of neural control and biomechanics as well as the interaction between them. Constructing a mathematical model is helpful to understand the locomotion behavior in various surrounding conditions that are difficult to realize in experiments. In this study, we built three hidden Markov models (HMMs) for the crawling behavior of C. elegans in a controlled environment with no chemical treatment and in a formaldehyde-treated environment (0.1 and 0.5 ppm). The organism's crawling activity was recorded using a digital camcorder for 20 min at a rate of 24 frames per second. All shape patterns were quantified by branch length similarity (BLS) entropy and classified into four groups using the self-organizing map (SOM). Comparison of the simulated behavior generated by HMMs and the actual crawling behavior demonstrated that the HMM coupled with the SOM was successful in characterizing the crawling behavior. In addition, we briefly discussed the possibility of using the HMM together with BLS entropy to develop bio-monitoring systems to determine water quality.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-06-01

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

  7. Susceptibility of Caenorhabditis elegans to Burkholderia infection depends on prior diet and secreted bacterial attractants.

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    Vaughn S Cooper

    Full Text Available The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans may be killed by certain pathogenic bacteria and thus is a model organism for studying interactions between bacteria and animal hosts. However, growing nematodes on prey bacteria may influence their susceptibility to potential pathogens. A method of axenic nematode culture was developed to isolate and quantify interactions between C. elegans and potentially pathogenic strains of the Burkholderia cepacia complex. Studying these dynamics in liquid solution rather than on agar surfaces minimized nematode avoidance behavior and resolved more differences among isolates. Most isolates of B. cenocepacia, B. ambifaria and B. cepacia caused 60-80% mortality of nematodes after 7 days, whereas isolates of B. multivorans caused less mortality (<25% and supported nematode reproduction. However, some B. cenocepacia isolates recovered from chronic infections were much less virulent (5-28% mortality. As predicted, prior diet altered the outcome of interactions between nematodes and bacteria. When given the choice between Burkholderia and E. coli as prey on agar, axenically raised nematodes initially preferred most lethal Burkholderia isolates to E. coli as a food source, but this was not the case for nematodes fed E. coli, which avoided toxic Burkholderia. This food preference was associated with the cell-free supernatant and thus secreted compounds likely mediated bacterial-nematode interactions. This model, which isolates interactions between bacteria and nematodes from the effects of prior feeding, demonstrates that bacteria can influence nematode behavior and their susceptibility to pathogens.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  10. Effects of gravity on meiosis, fertilization and early embryogenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sasagawa, Y.; Saito, Y.; Shimizu, M.; Ishioka, N.; Yamashita, M.; Takahashi, H.; Higashitani, A.

    The embryonic development of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans was examined under different gravitational conditions. The first cleavage plane in the 1-cell embryo was slid to some extent by re-orientation of liquid culture vessel, but the pattern and timing of cleavages were not affected. Under 100G of hypergravity condition with swing-centrifuge, the number of eggs laid from an adult hermaphrodite decreased and their hatching rate was drastically reduced. On the other hand, the embryonic development after fertilization normally occurred and grew to adulthood at more than 100G of hypergravity. When the adult hermaphrodites cultured under 100G of hypergravity transferred to a ground condition (1G), the newly fertilized embryos normally developed and their hatching rate was fully recovered. These results indicated that the reproductive process except spermatogenesis, oogenesis and embryogenesis after fertilization is impaired under 100G of hypergravity condition, and the effect is transient. Namely, the fertilization process including meiotic divisions I and II is sensitive to hypergravity in the nematode C. elegans.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

    Structural Maintenance of Chromosomes (SMC) family proteins participate in multisubunit complexes that govern chromosome structure and dynamics. SMC-containing condensin complexes create chromosome topologies essential for mitosis/meiosis, gene expression, recombination, and repair. Many eukaryotes have two condensin complexes (I and II); C. elegans has three (I, II, and the X-chromosome specialized condensin IDC) and their regulation is poorly understood. Here we identify a novel SMC-like protein, SMCL-1, that binds to C. elegans condensin SMC subunits, and modulates condensin functions. Consistent with a possible role as a negative regulator, loss of SMCL-1 partially rescued the lethal and sterile phenotypes of a hypomorphic condensin mutant, while over-expression of SMCL-1 caused lethality, chromosome mis-segregation, and disruption of condensin IDC localization on X chromosomes. Unlike canonical SMC proteins, SMCL-1 lacks hinge and coil domains, and its ATPase domain lacks conserved amino acids required for ATP hydrolysis, leading to the speculation that it may inhibit condensin ATPase activity. SMCL-1 homologs are apparent only in the subset of Caenorhabditis species in which the condensin I and II subunit SMC-4 duplicated to create the condensin IDC- specific subunit DPY-27, suggesting that SMCL-1 helps this lineage cope with the regulatory challenges imposed by evolution of a third condensin complex. Our findings uncover a new regulator of condensins and highlight how the duplication and divergence of SMC complex components in various lineages has created new proteins with diverse functions in chromosome dynamics. PMID:28301465

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martine eTherrien

    2014-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-16

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-01

    A literal mountain of documentation generated in the past five decades showing unmistakable health hazards associated with extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMFs) exposure. However, the relation between energy mechanism and ELF-EMF exposure is poorly understood. In this study, Caenorhabditis elegans was exposed to 50 Hz ELF-EMF at intensities of 0.5, 1, 2, and 3 mT, respectively. Their metabolite variations were analyzed by GC-TOF/MS-based metabolomics. Although minimal metabolic variations and no regular pattern were observed, the contents of energy metabolism-related metabolites such as pyruvic acid, fumaric acid, and L-malic acid were elevated in all the treatments. The expressions of nineteen related genes that encode glycolytic enzymes were analyzed by using quantitative real-time PCR. Only genes encoding GAPDH were significantly upregulated (P elegans exposed to ELF-EMF have enhanced energy metabolism and restricted dietary, which might contribute to the resistance against exogenous ELF-EMF stress.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  18. UGT-29 protein expression and localization during bacterial infection in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Rui-Rui; Lee, Song-Hua; Nathan, Sheila

    2014-09-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is routinely used as an animal model to delineate complex molecular mechanisms involved in the host response to pathogen infection. Following up on an earlier study on host-pathogen interaction, we constructed a ugt-29::GFP transcriptional fusion transgenic worm strain to examine UGT-29 protein expression and localization upon bacterial infection. UGT-29 orthologs can be found in higher organisms including humans and is proposed as a member of the UDP-Glucoronosyl Transferase family of proteins which are involved in phase II detoxification of compounds detrimental to the host organism. Under uninfected conditions, UGT-29::GFP fusion protein was highly expressed in the C. elegans anterior pharynx and intestine, two major organs involved in detoxification. We further evaluated the localization of the enzyme in worms infected with the bacterial pathogen, Burkholderia pseudomallei. The infected ugt-29::GFP transgenic strain exhibited increased fluorescence in the pharynx and intestine with pronounced fluorescence also extending to body wall muscle. This transcriptional fusion GFP transgenic worm is a convenient and direct tool to provide information on UGT detoxification enzyme gene expression and could be a useful tool for a number of diverse applications.

  19. Characterization of Caenorhabditis elegans behavior in response to chemical stress by using hidden Markov model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Yeontaek; Sim, Seungwoo; Lee, Sang-Hee

    2014-06-01

    The locomotion behavior of Caenorhabditis elegans has been extensively studied to understand the relationship between the changes in the organism's neural activity and the biomechanics. However, so far, we have not yet achieved the understanding. This is because the worm complicatedly responds to the environmental factors, especially chemical stress. Constructing a mathematical model is helpful for the understanding the locomotion behavior in various surrounding conditions. In the present study, we built three hidden Markov models for the crawling behavior of C. elegans in a controlled environment with no chemical treatment and in a polluted environment by formaldehyde, toluene, and benzene (0.1 ppm and 0.5 ppm for each case). The organism's crawling activity was recorded using a digital camcorder for 20 min at a rate of 24 frames per second. All shape patterns were quantified by branch length similarity entropy and classified into five groups by using the self-organizing map. To evaluate and establish the hidden Markov models, we compared correlation coefficients between the simulated behavior (i.e. temporal pattern sequence) generated by the models and the actual crawling behavior. The comparison showed that the hidden Markov models are successful to characterize the crawling behavior. In addition, we briefly discussed the possibility of using the models together with the entropy to develop bio-monitoring systems for determining water quality.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-12-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-28

    Electrophysiological recordings have enabled identification of physiologically distinct yet behaviorally similar states of mammalian sleep. In contrast, sleep in nonmammals has generally been identified behaviorally and therefore regarded as a physiologically uniform state characterized by quiescence of feeding and locomotion, reduced responsiveness, and rapid reversibility. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans displays sleep-like quiescent behavior under two conditions: developmentally timed quiescence (DTQ) occurs during larval transitions, and stress-induced quiescence (SIQ) occurs in response to exposure to cellular stressors. Behaviorally, DTQ and SIQ appear identical. Here, we use optogenetic manipulations of neuronal and muscular activity, pharmacology, and genetic perturbations to uncover circuit and molecular mechanisms of DTQ and SIQ. We find that locomotion quiescence induced by DTQ- and SIQ-associated neuropeptides occurs via their action on the nervous system, although their neuronal target(s) and/or molecular mechanisms likely differ. Feeding quiescence during DTQ results from a loss of pharyngeal muscle excitability, whereas feeding quiescence during SIQ results from a loss of excitability in the nervous system. Together these results indicate that, as in mammals, quiescence is subserved by different mechanisms during distinct sleep-like states in C. elegans.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Discovery of a Natural Microsporidian Pathogen with a Broad Tissue Tropism in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luallen, Robert J.; Reinke, Aaron W.; Tong, Linda; Botts, Michael R.; Félix, Marie-Anne; Troemel, Emily R.

    2016-01-01

    Microbial pathogens often establish infection within particular niches of their host for replication. Determining how infection occurs preferentially in specific host tissues is a key aspect of understanding host-microbe interactions. Here, we describe the discovery of a natural microsporidian parasite of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans that displays a unique tissue tropism compared to previously described parasites of this host. We characterize the life cycle of this new species, Nematocida displodere, including pathogen entry, intracellular replication, and exit. N. displodere can invade multiple host tissues, including the epidermis, muscle, neurons, and intestine of C. elegans. Despite robust invasion of the intestine very little replication occurs there, with the majority of replication occurring in the muscle and epidermis. This feature distinguishes N. displodere from two closely related microsporidian pathogens, N. parisii and N. sp. 1, which exclusively invade and replicate in the intestine. Comparison of the N. displodere genome with N. parisii and N. sp. 1 reveals that N. displodere is the earliest diverging species of the Nematocida genus. Over 10% of the proteins encoded by the N. displodere genome belong to a single species-specific family of RING-domain containing proteins of unknown function that may be mediating interactions with the host. Altogether, this system provides a powerful whole-animal model to investigate factors responsible for pathogen growth in different tissue niches. PMID:27362540

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  8. Establishment of quality assurance procedures for aquatic toxicity testing with the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Freeman, M.N.; Marse, T.J.; Williams, P.L. [Univ. of Georgia, Athens, GA (United States). Environmental Health Science Program

    1998-12-31

    In this study initial data were generated to develop laboratory control charts for aquatic toxicity testing using the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Tests were performed using two reference toxicants: CdCl{sub 2} and CuCl{sub 2}. All tests were performed for 24 h without a food source and of 48 h with a food source in a commonly used nematode aquatic medium. Each test was replicated 6 times with each replicate having 6 wells per concentration with 10 {+-} 1 worms per well. Probit analysis was used to estimate LC{sub 50} values for each test. The data were used to construct a mean ({bar x}) laboratory control chart for each reference toxicant. The coefficient of variation (CV) for three of the four reference toxicant tests was less than 20%, which demonstrates an excellent degree of reproducibility. These CV values are well within suggested standards for determination of organism sensitivity and overall test system credibility. A standardized procedure for performing 24 h and 48 h aquatic toxicity studies with C. elegans is proposed.

  9. RIC-3 phosphorylation enables dual regulation of excitation and inhibition of Caenorhabditis elegans muscle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Safdie, Gracia; Liewald, Jana F; Kagan, Sarah; Battat, Emil; Gottschalk, Alexander; Treinin, Millet

    2016-10-01

    Brain function depends on a delicate balance between excitation and inhibition. Similarly, Caenorhabditis elegans motor system function depends on a precise balance between excitation and inhibition, as C. elegans muscles receive both inhibitory, GABAergic and excitatory, cholinergic inputs from motor neurons. Here we show that phosphorylation of the ER-resident chaperone of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, RIC-3, leads to increased muscle excitability. RIC-3 phosphorylation at Ser-164 depends on opposing functions of the phosphatase calcineurin (TAX-6), and of the casein kinase II homologue KIN-10. Effects of calcineurin down-regulation and of phosphorylated RIC-3 on muscle excitability are mediated by GABAA receptor inhibition. Thus RIC-3 phosphorylation enables effects of this chaperone on GABAA receptors in addition to nAChRs. This dual effect provides coordinated regulation of excitation and inhibition and enables fine-tuning of the excitation-inhibition balance. Moreover, regulation of inhibitory GABAA signaling by calcineurin, a calcium- and calmodulin-dependent phosphatase, enables homeostatic balancing of excitation and inhibition.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  11. A closed conformation of the Caenorhabditis elegans separase–securin complex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bachmann, Gudrun; Richards, Mark W.; Winter, Anja; Beuron, Fabienne; Morris, Edward

    2016-01-01

    The protease separase plays a key role in sister chromatid disjunction and centriole disengagement. To maintain genomic stability, separase activity is strictly regulated by binding of an inhibitory protein, securin. Despite its central role in cell division, the separase and securin complex is poorly understood at the structural level. This is partly owing to the difficulty of generating a sufficient quantity of homogeneous, stable protein. Here, we report the production of Caenorhabditis elegans separase–securin complex, and its characterization using biochemical methods and by negative staining electron microscopy. Single particle analysis generated a density map at a resolution of 21–24 Å that reveals a close, globular structure of complex connectivity harbouring two lobes. One lobe matches closely a homology model of the N-terminal HEAT repeat domain of separase, whereas the second lobe readily accommodates homology models of the separase C-terminal death and caspase-like domains. The globular structure of the C. elegans separase–securin complex contrasts with the more elongated structure previously described for the Homo sapiens complex, which could represent a different functional state of the complex, suggesting a mechanism for the regulation of separase activity through conformational change. PMID:27249343

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hediye Nese Cinar

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Cholera toxin (CT and toxin-co-regulated pili (TCP are the major virulence factors of Vibrio cholerae O1 and O139 strains that contribute to the pathogenesis of disease during devastating cholera pandemics. However, CT and TCP negative V. cholerae strains are still able to cause severe diarrheal disease in humans through mechanisms that are not well understood. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: To determine the role of other virulence factors in V. cholerae pathogenesis, we used a CT and TCP independent infection model in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and identified the hemolysin A (hlyA gene as a factor responsible for animal death and developmental delay. We demonstrated a correlation between the severity of infection in the nematode and the level of hemolytic activity in the V. cholerae biotypes. At the cellular level, V. cholerae infection induces formation of vacuoles in the intestinal cells in a hlyA dependent manner, consistent with the previous in vitro observations. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our data strongly suggest that HlyA is a virulence factor in C. elegans infection leading to lethality and developmental delay presumably through intestinal cytopathic changes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ziheng Zhuang

    Full Text Available In the present study, we used Caenorhabditis elegans assay system to investigate in vivo toxicity from clentuberol and ractopamine and the possible underlying mechanism. Both acute and prolonged exposures to clentuberol or ractopamine decreased brood size and locomotion behavior, and induced intestinal autofluorescence and reactive oxygen species (ROS production. Although acute exposure to the examined concentrations of clentuberol or ractopamine did not induce lethality, prolonged exposure to 10 µg/L of clentuberol and ractopamine reduced lifespan. At relatively high concentrations, ractopamine exhibited more severe toxicity than clentuberol on nematodes. Overexpression of sod-2 gene encoding a Mn-SOD to prevent induction of oxidative stress effectively inhibited toxicity from clentuberol or ractopamine. Besides oxidative stress, we found that clentuberol might reduce lifespan through influencing insulin/IGF signaling pathway; however, ractopamine might reduce lifespan through affecting both insulin/IGF signaling pathway and TOR signaling pathway. Ractopamine more severely decreased expression levels of daf-16, sgk-1, skn-1, and aak-2 genes than clentuberol, and increased expression levels of daf-2 and age-1 genes at the examined concentration. Therefore, the C. elegans assay system may be useful for assessing the possible toxicity from weight loss agents, and clentuberol and ractopamine may induce toxicity through different molecular mechanisms.

  15. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kara Braunreiter

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

  17. 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

    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......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...... and AgNP28. Higher toxicity of AgNP28 than AgNP1 may be explained by a combination of effects of coating, Ag-solubility and higher uptake rates due to agglomeration into mu m-size agglomerates in the exposure medium. (C) 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved....

  18. Protein kinase VRK-1 regulates cell invasion and EGL-17/FGF signaling in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klerkx, Elke P F; Alarcón, Pilar; Waters, Katherine; Reinke, Valerie; Sternberg, Paul W; Askjaer, Peter

    2009-11-01

    The vaccinia-related kinases (VRKs) are highly conserved throughout the animal kingdom and phosphorylate several chromatin proteins and transcription factors. In early Caenorhabditis elegans embryos, VRK-1 is required for proper nuclear envelope formation. In this work, we present the first investigation of the developmental role of VRKs by means of a novel C. elegans vrk-1 mutant allele. We found that VRK-1 is essential in hermaphrodites for formation of the vulva, uterus, and utse and for development and maintenance of the somatic gonad and thus the germ line. VRK-1 regulates anchor cell polarity and the timing of anchor cell invasion through the basement membranes separating vulval and somatic gonadal cells during the L3 larval stage. VRK-1 is also required for proper specification and proliferation of uterine cells and sex myoblasts. Expression of the fibroblast growth factor-like protein EGL-17 and its receptor EGL-15 is reduced in vrk-1 mutants, suggesting that VRK-1 might act at least partially through activation of FGF signaling. Expression of a translational VRK-1Colon, two colonsGFP fusion protein in the ventral nerve cord and vulva precursor cells restores vulva and uterus formation, suggesting both cell autonomous and non-autonomous roles of VRK-1.

  19. Evidence of a mate-finding cue in the hermaphrodite nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, Jasper M; Sternberg, Paul W

    2002-02-05

    When males of the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans come into association with their hermaphroditic counterparts they cease foraging behavior and begin to mate. Here we detail several assays used to demonstrate that a diffusible cue is correlated with this process. This cue is sexually dimorphic, given off only by the hermaphrodite and eliciting a response only in the male. Males are attracted to, reverse direction of movement frequently, and remain in regions of agar conditioned with hermaphrodites. From our studies we suggest a form of kinesis that works by attracting males to their mating partners from a distance and functions, once males arrive, in holding attracted males in close proximity. The hermaphrodite vulva is not required for the cue. Males from general sensory mutants osm-5 and osm-6 fail to respond to the cue, whereas male-specific mutants lov-1 and pkd-2 respond. Finally, that males from multiple isolates of C. elegans also respond similarly to this cue indicates that this cue is robust and has been maintained during recent evolution.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-01-01

    To identify novel components required for cell division processes in complex eukaryotes, we have undertaken an extensive mutational analysis in the one cell stage Caenorhabditis elegans embryo. The large size and optical properties of this cell permit observation of cell division processes with great detail in live specimens by simple differential interference contrast (DIC) microscopy. We have screened an extensive collection of maternal-effect embryonic lethal mutations on chromosome III with time-lapse DIC video microscopy. Using this assay, we have identified 48 mutations in 34 loci which are required for specific cell division processes in the one cell stage embryo. We show that mutations fall into distinct phenotypic classes which correspond, among others, to the processes of pronuclear migration, rotation of centrosomes and associated pronuclei, spindle assembly, chromosome segregation, anaphase spindle positioning, and cytokinesis. We have further analyzed pronuclear migration mutants by indirect immunofluorescence microscopy using antibodies against tubulin and ZYG-9, a centrosomal marker. This analysis revealed that two pronuclear migration loci are required for generating normal microtubule arrays and four for centrosome separation. All 34 loci have been mapped by deficiencies to distinct regions of chromosome III, thus paving the way for their rapid molecular characterization. Our work contributes to establishing the one cell stage C. elegans embryo as a powerful metazoan model system for dissecting cell division processes. PMID:10085292

  1. Single ionic channels of two Caenorhabditis elegans chemosensory neurons in native membrane.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nickell, W T; Pun, R Y K; Bargmann, C I; Kleene, S J

    2002-09-01

    The genome of Caenorhabditis elegans contains representatives of the channel families found in both vertebrate and invertebrate nervous systems. However, it lacks the ubiquitous Hodgkin-Huxley Na+ channel that is integral to long-distance signaling in other animals. Nematode neurons are presumed to communicate by electrotonic conduction and graded depolarizations. This fundamental difference in operating principle may require different channel populations to regulate transmission and transmitter release. We have sampled ionic channels from the somata of two chemosensory neurons (AWA and AWC) of C. elegans. A Ca2+-activated, outwardly rectifying channel has a conductance of 67 pS and a reversal potential indicating selectivity for K+. An inwardly rectifying channel is active at potentials more negative than -50 mV. The inward channel is notably flickery even in the absence of divalent cations; this prevented determination of its conductance and reversal potential. Both of these channels were inactive over a range of membrane potentials near the likely cell resting potential; this would account for the region of very high membrane resistance observed in whole-cell recordings. A very-large-conductance (> 100 pS), inwardly rectifying channel may account for channel-like fluctuations seen in whole-cell recordings.

  2. A novel high-throughput nematicidal assay using embryo cells and larvae of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lai, Yiling; Xiang, Meichun; Liu, Shuchun; Li, Erwei; Che, Yongsheng; Liu, Xingzhong

    2014-04-01

    Human health safety and environmental concerns have resulted in the widespread deregistration of several agronomic important nematicides. New and safer nematicides are urgently needed. However, a high-throughput bioassay for screening potential nematicides has not been established. We developed a two-step high-throughput nematicidal screening method to combine a cell-based MTS colorimetric assay with Caenorhabditis elegans embryo cells for preliminary cytotoxicity screening (step 1) followed by in vitro larval assay for nematicidal activity (step 2). Based on three conventional nematicides' test, high correlations were obtained between cell viability and larval viability and "r" values were 0.78 for Avermectin, 0.95 for Fosthiazate, and 0.65 for Formaldehyde solution. Further assays with 60 fungal secondary metabolites (extracts, fractions and pure compounds) also demonstrated the high correlation between cell viability and larval viability (r=0.60) and between the C. elegans cell viability and the juvenile viability of soybean cyst nematode Heterodera glycines (r=0.48) and pine wood nematode Bursaphelenchus xylophilus (r=0.56). Six metabolites with high cytotoxicity have performed high larval mortality with a LC50 range of 6.8-500μg/ml. These results indicate that the proposed two-step screening assay represents an efficient and labor-saving method for screening natural nematicidal products.

  3. A Caenorhabditis elegans PUF protein family with distinct RNA binding specificity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stumpf, Craig R; Kimble, Judith; Wickens, Marvin

    2008-08-01

    PUF proteins comprise a highly conserved family of sequence-specific RNA binding proteins that regulate target mRNAs via binding directly to their 3'UTRs. The Caenorhabditis elegans genome encodes several PUF proteins, which cluster into four groups based on sequence similarity; all share amino acids that interact with the RNA in the cocrystal of human Pumilio with RNA. Members of the FBF and the PUF-8/9 groups bind different but related RNA sequences. We focus here on the binding specificity of representatives of a third cluster, comprising PUF-5, -6, and -7. We performed in vivo selection experiments using the yeast three-hybrid system to identify RNA sequences that bind PUF-5 and PUF-6, and we confirmed binding to optimal sites in vitro. The consensus sequences derived from the screens are similar for PUF-5 and PUF-6 but differ from those of the FBF or PUF-8/-9 groups. Similarly, neither PUF-5 nor PUF-6 bind the recognition sites preferred by the other clusters. Mutagenesis studies confirmed the unique RNA specificity of PUF-5/-6. Using the PUF-5 consensus derived from our experiments, we searched a database of C. elegans 3'UTRs to identify potential targets of PUF-5, several of which indeed bind PUF-5. Therefore the consensus has predictive value and provides a route to finding genuine targets of these proteins.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Neuropeptides amplify and focus the monoaminergic inhibition of nociception in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hapiak, Vera; Summers, Philip; Ortega, Amanda; Law, Wen Jing; Stein, Andrew; Komuniecki, Richard

    2013-08-28

    Monoamines and neuropeptides interact to modulate most behaviors. To better understand these interactions, we have defined the roles of tyramine (TA), octopamine, and neuropeptides in the inhibition of aversive behavior in Caenorhabditis elegans. TA abolishes the serotonergic sensitization of aversive behavior mediated by the two nociceptive ASH sensory neurons and requires the expression of the adrenergic-like, Gαq-coupled, TA receptor TYRA-3 on inhibitory monoaminergic and peptidergic neurons. For example, TA inhibition requires Gαq and Gαs signaling in the peptidergic ASI sensory neurons, with an array of ASI neuropeptides activating neuropeptide receptors on additional neurons involved in locomotory decision-making. The ASI neuropeptides required for tyraminergic inhibition are distinct from those required for octopaminergic inhibition, suggesting that individual monoamines stimulate the release of different subsets of ASI neuropeptides. Together, these results demonstrate that a complex humoral mix of monoamines is focused by more local, synaptic, neuropeptide release to modulate nociception and highlight the similarities between the tyraminergic/octopaminergic inhibition of nociception in C. elegans and the noradrenergic inhibition of nociception in mammals that also involves inhibitory peptidergic signaling.

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

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    Jeevan K. Prasain

    2015-11-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. A closed conformation of the Caenorhabditis elegans separase-securin complex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bachmann, Gudrun; Richards, Mark W; Winter, Anja; Beuron, Fabienne; Morris, Edward; Bayliss, Richard

    2016-04-01

    The protease separase plays a key role in sister chromatid disjunction and centriole disengagement. To maintain genomic stability, separase activity is strictly regulated by binding of an inhibitory protein, securin. Despite its central role in cell division, the separase and securin complex is poorly understood at the structural level. This is partly owing to the difficulty of generating a sufficient quantity of homogeneous, stable protein. Here, we report the production of Caenorhabditis elegans separase-securin complex, and its characterization using biochemical methods and by negative staining electron microscopy. Single particle analysis generated a density map at a resolution of 21-24 Å that reveals a close, globular structure of complex connectivity harbouring two lobes. One lobe matches closely a homology model of the N-terminal HEAT repeat domain of separase, whereas the second lobe readily accommodates homology models of the separase C-terminal death and caspase-like domains. The globular structure of the C. elegans separase-securin complex contrasts with the more elongated structure previously described for the Homo sapiens complex, which could represent a different functional state of the complex, suggesting a mechanism for the regulation of separase activity through conformational change.

  9. Hydrodynamic property of the cytoplasm is sufficient to mediate cytoplasmic streaming in the Caenorhabditis elegans embryo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niwayama, Ritsuya; Shinohara, Kyosuke; Kimura, Akatsuki

    2011-07-19

    Cytoplasmic streaming is a type of intracellular transport widely seen in nature. Cytoplasmic streaming in Caenorhabditis elegans at the one-cell stage is bidirectional; the flow near the cortex ("cortical flow") is oriented toward the anterior, whereas the flow in the central region ("cytoplasmic flow") is oriented toward the posterior. Both cortical flow and cytoplasmic flow depend on non-muscle-myosin II (NMY-2), which primarily localizes in the cortex. The manner in which NMY-2 proteins drive cytoplasmic flow in the opposite direction from remote locations has not been fully understood. In this study, we demonstrated that the hydrodynamic properties of the cytoplasm are sufficient to mediate the forces generated by the cortical myosin to drive bidirectional streaming throughout the cytoplasm. We quantified the flow velocities of cytoplasmic streaming using particle image velocimetry (PIV) and conducted a three-dimensional hydrodynamic simulation using the moving particle semiimplicit method. Our simulation quantitatively reconstructed the quantified flow velocity distribution resolved through PIV analysis. Furthermore, our PIV analyses detected microtubule-dependent flows during the pronuclear migration stage. These flows were reproduced via hydrodynamic interactions between moving pronuclei and the cytoplasm. The agreement of flow dynamics in vivo and in simulation indicates that the hydrodynamic properties of the cytoplasm are sufficient to mediate cytoplasmic streaming in C. elegans embryos.

  10. Immunological detection of alkaline-diaminobenzidine-negative peroxisomes of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans: Purification and unique pH optima of peroxisomal catalase

    OpenAIRE

    Togo, Summanuna H.; Maebuchi, Motohiro; Yokota, Sadaki; Bun-ya, Masanori; Kawahara, Akira; Kamiryo, Tatsuyuki

    2000-01-01

    We purified catalase-2 of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and identified peroxisomes in this organism. The peroxisomes of C. elegans were not detectable by cytochemical staining using 3,3'-diaminobenzidine, a commonly used method depending on the peroxidase activity of peroxisomal catalase at pH 9 in which genuine peroxidases are inactive. The cDNA sequences of C. elegans predict two catalases very similar to each other throughout the molecule, except for the short C-terminal sequence; ca...

  11. Establishing Caenorhabditis elegans as a model for Mycobacterium avium subspecies hominissuis infection and intestinal colonization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jamie L. Everman

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has become a model system for studying the disease interaction between pathogens and the host. To determine whether the transparent nematode could serve as a useful model for Mycobacterium avium subspecies hominissuis (MAH infection of the intestinal tract, worms were fed MAH and assayed for the effects of the bacterial infection on the worm. It was observed during feeding that viable MAH increases in the intestinal lumen in a time dependent manner. Ingestion of MAH was deemed non-toxic to worms as MAH-fed populations have similar survival curves to those fed E. coli strain OP50. Pulse-chase analysis using E. coli strain OP50 revealed that MAH colonize the intestinal tract, as viable MAH remain within the intestine after the assay. Visualization of intestinal MAH using histology and transmission electron microscopy demonstrates that MAH localizes to the intestinal lumen, as well as establishes direct contact with intestinal epithelium. Bacterial colonization appears to have a detrimental effect on the microvilli of the intestinal epithelial cells. The MAH ΔGPL/4B2 strain with a mutation in glycopeptidolipid production is deficient in binding to human epithelial cells (HEp-2, as well as deficient in its ability to bind to and colonize the intestinal tract of C. elegans as efficiently as wild-type MAH. These data indicate the C. elegans may serve as a useful model system for MAH pathogenesis and in determining the mechanisms used by MAH during infection and colonization of the intestinal epithelium.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-08-01

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

  13. Intracellular organelles mediate cytoplasmic pulling force for centrosome centration in the Caenorhabditis elegans early embryo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimura, Akatsuki

    2010-01-01

    The centrosome is generally maintained at the center of the cell. In animal cells, centrosome centration is powered by the pulling force of microtubules, which is dependent on cytoplasmic dynein. However, it is unclear how dynein brings the centrosome to the cell center, i.e., which structure inside the cell functions as a substrate to anchor dynein. Here, we provide evidence that a population of dynein, which is located on intracellular organelles and is responsible for organelle transport toward the centrosome, generates the force required for centrosome centration in Caenorhabditis elegans embryos. By using the database of full-genome RNAi in C. elegans, we identified dyrb-1, a dynein light chain subunit, as a potential subunit involved in dynein anchoring for centrosome centration. DYRB-1 is required for organelle movement toward the minus end of the microtubules. The temporal correlation between centrosome centration and the net movement of organelle transport was found to be significant. Centrosome centration was impaired when Rab7 and RILP, which mediate the association between organelles and dynein in mammalian cells, were knocked down. These results indicate that minus end-directed transport of intracellular organelles along the microtubules is required for centrosome centration in C. elegans embryos. On the basis of this finding, we propose a model in which the reaction forces of organelle transport generated along microtubules act as a driving force that pulls the centrosomes toward the cell center. This is the first model, to our knowledge, providing a mechanical basis for cytoplasmic pulling force for centrosome centration. PMID:21173218

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-15

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

  15. 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.

  16. Inactivation of GABAA receptor is related to heat shock stress response in organism model Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camargo, Gabriela; Elizalde, Alejandro; Trujillo, Xochitl; Montoya-Pérez, Rocío; Mendoza-Magaña, María Luisa; Hernandez-Chavez, Abel; Hernandez, Leonardo

    2016-09-01

    The mechanisms underlying oxidative stress (OS) resistance are not completely clear. Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) is a good organism model to study OS because it displays stress responses similar to those in mammals. Among these mechanisms, the insulin/IGF-1 signaling (IIS) pathway is thought to affect GABAergic neurotransmission. The aim of this study was to determine the influence of heat shock stress (HS) on GABAergic activity in C. elegans. For this purpose, we tested the effect of exposure to picrotoxin (PTX), gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), hydrogen peroxide, and HS on the occurrence of a shrinking response (SR) after nose touch stimulus in N2 (WT) worms. Moreover, the effect of HS on the expression of UNC-49 (GABAA receptor ortholog) in the EG1653 strain and the effect of GABA and PTX exposure on HSP-16.2 expression in the TJ375 strain were analyzed. PTX 1 mM- or H2O2 0.7 mM-exposed worms displayed a SR in about 80 % of trials. GABA exposure did not cause a SR. HS prompted the occurrence of a SR as did PTX 1 mM or H2O2 0.7 mM exposure. In addition, HS increased UNC-49 expression, and PTX augmented HSP-16.2 expression. Thus, the results of the present study suggest that oxidative stress, through either H2O2 exposure or application of heat shock, inactivates the GABAergic system, which subsequently would affect the oxidative stress response, perhaps by enhancing the activity of transcription factors DAF-16 and HSF-1, both regulated by the IIS pathway and related to hsp-16.2 expression.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

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    Yan Qiao

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

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

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    Tomoko M Tabuchi

    2011-05-01

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

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

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    Jürgen Hench

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

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

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

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    Takamune T Saito

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

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

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    Gilleard, J.S.; McGhee, J D

    2001-01-01

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

  4. NER and HR pathways act sequentially to promote UV-C-induced germ cell apoptosis in Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Stergiou, L.; Eberhard, R; Doukoumetzidis, K; Hengartner, M. O.

    2010-01-01

    Ultraviolet (UV) radiation-induced DNA damage evokes a complex network of molecular responses, which culminate in DNA repair, cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. Here, we provide an in-depth characterization of the molecular pathway that mediates UV-C-induced apoptosis of meiotic germ cells in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We show that UV-C-induced DNA lesions are not directly pro-apoptotic. Rather, they must first be recognized and processed by the nucleotide excision repair (NER) pathwa...

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

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

    2008-04-01

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

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

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    Amanda R Burnham-Marusich

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

  7. Light-sensitive coupling of rhodopsin and melanopsin to Gi/o and Gq signal transduction in Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Cao, Pengxiu; Sun, Wenyu; Kramp, Kristopher; Zheng, Maohua; Salom, David; Jastrzebska, Beata; Jin, Hui; Palczewski, Krzysztof; Feng, Zhaoyang

    2012-01-01

    Activation of G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) initiates signal transduction cascades that affect many physiological responses. The worm Caenorhabditis elegans expresses >1000 of these receptors along with their cognate heterotrimeric G proteins. Here, we report properties of 9-cis-retinal regenerated bovine opsin [(b)isoRho] and human melanopsin [(h)Mo], two light-activated, heterologously expressed GPCRs in the nervous system of C. elegans with various genetically engineered alterations. Profound transient photoactivation of Gi/o signaling by (b)isoRho led to a sudden and transient loss of worm motility dependent on cyclic adenosine monophosphate, whereas transient photoactivation of Gq signaling by (h)Mo enhanced worm locomotion dependent on phospholipase Cβ. These transgenic C. elegans models provide a unique way to study the consequences of Gi/o and Gq signaling in vivo with temporal and spatial precision and, by analogy, their relationship to human neuromotor function.—Cao, P., Sun, W., Kramp, K., Zheng, M., Salom, D., Jastrzebska, B., Jin, H., Palczewski, K., Feng, Z. Light-sensitive coupling of rhodopsin and melanopsin to Gi/o and Gq signal transduction in Caenorhabditis elegans. PMID:22090313

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

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    Yoko Honda

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

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

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    Fatma Kaplan

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The ascarosides form a family of small molecules that have been isolated from cultures of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. They are often referred to as "dauer pheromones" because most of them induce formation of long-lived and highly stress resistant dauer larvae. More recent studies have shown that ascarosides serve additional functions as social signals and mating pheromones. Thus, ascarosides have multiple functions. Until now, it has been generally assumed that ascarosides are constitutively expressed during nematode development. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Cultures of C. elegans were developmentally synchronized on controlled diets. Ascarosides released into the media, as well as stored internally, were quantified by LC/MS. We found that ascaroside biosynthesis and release were strongly dependent on developmental stage and diet. The male attracting pheromone was verified to be a blend of at least four ascarosides, and peak production of the two most potent mating pheromone components, ascr#3 and asc#8 immediately preceded or coincided with the temporal window for mating. The concentration of ascr#2 increased under starvation conditions and peaked during dauer formation, strongly supporting ascr#2 as the main population density signal (dauer pheromone. After dauer formation, ascaroside production largely ceased and dauer larvae did not release any ascarosides. These findings show that both total ascaroside production and the relative proportions of individual ascarosides strongly correlate with these compounds' stage-specific biological functions. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Ascaroside expression changes with development and environmental conditions. This is consistent with multiple functions of these signaling molecules. Knowledge of such differential regulation will make it possible to associate ascaroside production to gene expression profiles (transcript, protein or enzyme activity and help to determine genetic

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

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    Kim, Younghoon; Mylonakis, Eleftherios

    2012-07-01

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

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

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

    2015-12-02

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

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

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

    2014-01-01

    DAF-16 target genes are employed as reporters of the insulin/IGF-1 like signal pathway (IIS), and this is notably true when Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) is used to study the action of anti-aging compounds on IIS activity. However, some of these genes may not be specific to DAF-16, even if their expression levels are altered when DAF-16 is activated. Celecoxib was reported to extend the lifespan of C. elegans through activation of DAF-16. Our results confirmed the function of celecoxib on aging; however, we found that the expression of ins-7, a DAF-16 target gene, was abnormally regulated by celecoxib. ins-7 plays an important role in regulating aging, and its expression is suppressed in C. elegans when DAF-16 is activated. However, we found that celecoxib upregulated the expression of ins-7 in contrast to its role in DAF-16 activation. Our subsequent analysis indicated that the expression level of ins-7 in C. elegans was negatively regulated by DAF-16 activity. Additionally, its expression was also positively regulated by DAF-16-independent mechanisms, at least following external pharmacological intervention. Our study suggests that ins-7 is not a specific target gene of DAF-16, and should not be chosen as a reporter for IIS activity. This conclusion is important in the study of INSs on aging in C. elegans, especially under the circumstance of drug intervention.

  13. Dietary restriction of Caenorhabditis elegans by axenic culture reflects nutritional requirement for constituents provided by metabolically active microbes.

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    Lenaerts, Isabelle; Walker, Glenda A; Van Hoorebeke, Luc; Gems, David; Vanfleteren, Jacques R

    2008-03-01

    In Caenorhabditis elegans, several manipulations that affect nutrition slow development, reduce fecundity, and increase life span. These are viewed as dietary restriction (DR) and include culture in semidefined, nutrient-rich liquid medium that is axenic (i.e., there is no microbial food source). Here we describe convenient ways to exert DR by culture on agar plates containing axenic medium. We used these to explore whether effects of axenic culture really reflect DR. Our results imply that major nutrient components of axenic medium, and overall caloric content, are not limiting for life span. However, adding growth-arrested Escherichia coli as an additional food source rescued the effects of axenic culture. We then sought to identify the component of E. coli that is critical for normal C. elegans nutrition using add-back experiments. Our results suggest that C. elegans has a nutritional requirement for live, metabolically active microbes or, possibly, an unidentified, heat-labile, nonsoluble component present in live microbes.

  14. Toxicity of tannins towards the free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and the brine shrimp Artemia salina.

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    Yamasaki, Toru; Sato, Masashi; Mori, Tomoaki; Mohamed, Ahmed S A; Fujii, Kyoko; Tsukioka, Junko

    2002-08-01

    Toxicities of gallo- and condensed tannins towards the free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is dependent on the tannins' molecular sizes. In the present paper we investigate the toxicity of ellagitannins to C elegans and the toxicity of ellagi-, gallo-, and condensed tannins to the brine shrimpArtemia salina. Ellagitannins 1 and 2 were isolated from Euphorbia supina and identified as tellimagrandin I and rugosin A methyl ester, respectively. An ellagitannin preparation from Cornus officinalis was chromatographically fractionated into ellagitannins A through H, having different molecular weights and specific rotations. Three of the ten ellagitannins, 2, G, and H produced significant toxicity towards C. elegans, showing the presence of an activity-structure relationship, as opposed to the results from tests of gallo- and condensed tannins. Ellagi-, gallo-, and condensed tannins also produced toxicity in A. salina.

  15. An integrated platform enabling optogenetic illumination of Caenorhabditis elegans neurons and muscular force measurement in microstructured environments.

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    Qiu, Zhichang; Tu, Long; Huang, Liang; Zhu, Taoyuanmin; Nock, Volker; Yu, Enchao; Liu, Xiao; Wang, Wenhui

    2015-01-01

    Optogenetics has been recently applied to manipulate the neural circuits of Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) to investigate its mechanosensation and locomotive behavior, which is a fundamental topic in model biology. In most neuron-related research, free C. elegans moves on an open area such as agar surface. However, this simple environment is different from the soil, in which C. elegans naturally dwells. To bridge up the gap, this paper presents integration of optogenetic illumination of C. elegans neural circuits and muscular force measurement in a structured microfluidic chip mimicking the C. elegans soil habitat. The microfluidic chip is essentially a ∼1 × 1 cm(2) elastomeric polydimethylsiloxane micro-pillar array, configured in either form of lattice (LC) or honeycomb (HC) to mimic the environment in which the worm dwells. The integrated system has four key modules for illumination pattern generation, pattern projection, automatic tracking of the worm, and force measurement. Specifically, two optical pathways co-exist in an inverted microscope, including built-in bright-field illumination for worm tracking and pattern generation, and added-in optogenetic illumination for pattern projection onto the worm body segment. The behavior of a freely moving worm in the chip under optogenetic manipulation can be recorded for off-line force measurements. Using wild-type N2 C. elegans, we demonstrated optical illumination of C. elegans neurons by projecting light onto its head/tail segment at 14 Hz refresh frequency. We also measured the force and observed three representative locomotion patterns of forward movement, reversal, and omega turn for LC and HC configurations. Being capable of stimulating or inhibiting worm neurons and simultaneously measuring the thrust force, this enabling platform would offer new insights into the correlation between neurons and locomotive behaviors of the nematode under a complex environment.

  16. Filamin and phospholipase C-ε are required for calcium signaling in the Caenorhabditis elegans spermatheca.

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    Ismar Kovacevic

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available The Caenorhabditis elegans spermatheca is a myoepithelial tube that stores sperm and undergoes cycles of stretching and constriction as oocytes enter, are fertilized, and exit into the uterus. FLN-1/filamin, a stretch-sensitive structural and signaling scaffold, and PLC-1/phospholipase C-ε, an enzyme that generates the second messenger IP3, are required for embryos to exit normally after fertilization. Using GCaMP, a genetically encoded calcium indicator, we show that entry of an oocyte into the spermatheca initiates a distinctive series of IP3-dependent calcium oscillations that propagate across the tissue via gap junctions and lead to constriction of the spermatheca. PLC-1 is required for the calcium release mechanism triggered by oocyte entry, and FLN-1 is required for timely initiation of the calcium oscillations. INX-12, a gap junction subunit, coordinates propagation of the calcium transients across the spermatheca. Gain-of-function mutations in ITR-1/IP3R, an IP3-dependent calcium channel, and loss-of-function mutations in LFE-2, a negative regulator of IP3 signaling, increase calcium release and suppress the exit defect in filamin-deficient animals. We further demonstrate that a regulatory cassette consisting of MEL-11/myosin phosphatase and NMY-1/non-muscle myosin is required for coordinated contraction of the spermatheca. In summary, this study answers long-standing questions concerning calcium signaling dynamics in the C. elegans spermatheca and suggests FLN-1 is needed in response to oocyte entry to trigger calcium release and coordinated contraction of the spermathecal tissue.

  17. Kinesin-1 Acts with Netrin and DCC to Maintain Sensory Neuron Position in Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Barsi-Rhyne, Benjamin J.; Miller, Kristine M.; Vargas, Christopher T.; Thomas, Anthony B.; Park, Joori; Bremer, Martina; Jarecki, Jessica L.; VanHoven, Miri K.

    2013-01-01

    The organization of neurons and the maintenance of that arrangement are critical to brain function. Failure of these processes in humans can lead to severe birth defects, mental retardation, and epilepsy. Several kinesins have been shown to play important roles in cell migration in vertebrate systems, but few upstream and downstream pathway members have been identified. Here, we utilize the genetic model organism Caenorhabditis elegans to elucidate the pathway by which the C. elegans Kinesin-1 Heavy Chain (KHC)/KIF5 ortholog UNC-116 functions to maintain neuronal cell body position in the PHB sensory neurons. We find that UNC-116/KHC acts in part with the cell and axon migration molecules UNC-6/Netrin and UNC-40/DCC in this process, but in parallel to SAX-3/Robo. We have also identified several potential adaptor, cargo, and regulatory proteins that may provide insight into the mechanism of UNC-116/KHC’s function in this process. These include the cargo receptor UNC-33/CRMP2, the cargo adaptor protein UNC-76/FEZ and its regulator UNC-51/ULK, the cargo molecule UNC-69/SCOCO, and the actin regulators UNC-44/Ankyrin and UNC-34/Enabled. These genes also act in cell migration and axon outgrowth; however, many proteins that function in these processes do not affect PHB position. Our findings suggest an active posterior cell migration mediated by UNC-116/KHC occurs throughout development to maintain proper PHB cell body position and define a new pathway that mediates maintenance of neuronal cell body position. PMID:23475988

  18. Mechanical Probing of the Intermediate Filament-Rich Caenorhabditis Elegans Intestine.

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    Jahnel, Oliver; Hoffmann, Bernd; Merkel, Rudolf; Bossinger, Olaf; Leube, Rudolf E

    2016-01-01

    It is commonly accepted that intermediate filaments have an important mechanical function. This function relies not only on intrinsic material properties but is also determined by dynamic interactions with other cytoskeletal filament systems, distinct cell adhesion sites, and cellular organelles which are fine-tuned by multiple signaling pathways. While aspects of these properties and processes can be studied in vitro, their full complexity can only be understood in a viable tissue context. Yet, suitable and easily accessible model systems for monitoring tissue mechanics at high precision are rare. We show that the dissected intestine of the genetic model organism Caenorhabditis elegans fulfills this requirement. The 20 intestinal cells, which are arranged in an invariant fashion, are characterized by a dense subapical mesh of intermediate filaments that are attached to the C. elegans apical junction. We present procedures to visualize details of the characteristic intermediate filament-junctional complex arrangement in living animals. We then report on methods to prepare intestines with a fully intact intermediate filament cytoskeleton and detail procedures to assess their viability. A dual micropipette assay is described to measure mechanical properties of the dissected intestine while monitoring the spatial arrangement of the intermediate filament system. Advantages of this approach are (i) the high reproducibility of measurements because of the uniform architecture of the intestine and (ii) the high degree of accessibility allowing not only mechanical manipulation of an intact tissue but also control of culture medium composition and addition of drugs as well as visualization of cell structures. With this method, examination of worms carrying mutations in the intermediate filament system, its interacting partners and its regulators will become feasible.

  19. QuantWorm: a comprehensive software package for Caenorhabditis elegans phenotypic assays.

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    Sang-Kyu Jung

    Full Text Available Phenotypic assays are crucial in genetics; however, traditional methods that rely on human observat