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Sample records for caenorhabditis elegans werner

  1. The Nucleolus of Caenorhabditis elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  2. Optogenetic mutagenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noma, Kentaro; Jin, Yishi

    2015-12-03

    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.

  3. Untwisting the Caenorhabditis elegans embryo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christensen, Ryan Patrick; Bokinsky, Alexandra; Santella, Anthony; Wu, Yicong; Marquina-Solis, Javier; Guo, Min; Kovacevic, Ismar; Kumar, Abhishek; Winter, Peter W; Tashakkori, Nicole; McCreedy, Evan; Liu, Huafeng; McAuliffe, Matthew; Mohler, William; Colón-Ramos, Daniel A; Bao, Zhirong; Shroff, Hari

    2015-01-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans possesses a simple embryonic nervous system with few enough neurons that the growth of each cell could be followed to provide a systems-level view of development. However, studies of single cell development have largely been conducted in fixed or pre-twitching live embryos, because of technical difficulties associated with embryo movement in late embryogenesis. We present open-source untwisting and annotation software (http://mipav.cit.nih.gov/plugin_jws/mipav_worm_plugin.php) that allows the investigation of neurodevelopmental events in late embryogenesis and apply it to track the 3D positions of seam cell nuclei, neurons, and neurites in multiple elongating embryos. We also provide a tutorial describing how to use the software (Supplementary file 1) and a detailed description of the untwisting algorithm (Appendix). The detailed positional information we obtained enabled us to develop a composite model showing movement of these cells and neurites in an 'average' worm embryo. The untwisting and cell tracking capabilities of our method provide a foundation on which to catalog C. elegans neurodevelopment, allowing interrogation of developmental events in previously inaccessible periods of embryogenesis. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.10070.001 PMID:26633880

  4. Untwisting the Caenorhabditis elegans embryo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christensen, Ryan Patrick; Bokinsky, Alexandra; Santella, Anthony; Wu, Yicong; Marquina-Solis, Javier; Guo, Min; Kovacevic, Ismar; Kumar, Abhishek; Winter, Peter W; Tashakkori, Nicole; McCreedy, Evan; Liu, Huafeng; McAuliffe, Matthew; Mohler, William; Colón-Ramos, Daniel A; Bao, Zhirong; Shroff, Hari

    2015-12-03

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans possesses a simple embryonic nervous system with few enough neurons that the growth of each cell could be followed to provide a systems-level view of development. However, studies of single cell development have largely been conducted in fixed or pre-twitching live embryos, because of technical difficulties associated with embryo movement in late embryogenesis. We present open-source untwisting and annotation software (http://mipav.cit.nih.gov/plugin_jws/mipav_worm_plugin.php) that allows the investigation of neurodevelopmental events in late embryogenesis and apply it to track the 3D positions of seam cell nuclei, neurons, and neurites in multiple elongating embryos. We also provide a tutorial describing how to use the software (Supplementary file 1) and a detailed description of the untwisting algorithm (Appendix). The detailed positional information we obtained enabled us to develop a composite model showing movement of these cells and neurites in an 'average' worm embryo. The untwisting and cell tracking capabilities of our method provide a foundation on which to catalog C. elegans neurodevelopment, allowing interrogation of developmental events in previously inaccessible periods of embryogenesis.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Microfluidic Devices in Advanced Caenorhabditis elegans Research

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muniesh Muthaiyan Shanmugam

    2016-08-01

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

  8. Untwisting the Caenorhabditis elegans embryo

    OpenAIRE

    Christensen, Ryan Patrick; Bokinsky, Alexandra; Santella, Anthony; Wu, Yicong; Marquina-Solis, Javier; Guo, Min; Kovacevic, Ismar; Kumar, Abhishek; Winter, Peter W; Tashakkori, Nicole; McCreedy, Evan; Liu, Huafeng; McAuliffe, Matthew; Mohler, William; Col?n-Ramos, Daniel A

    2015-01-01

    eLife digest Understanding how the brain and nervous system develops from a few cells into complex, interconnected networks is a key goal for neuroscientists. Although researchers have identified many of the genes involved in this process, how these work together to form an entire brain remains unknown. A simple worm called Caenorhabiditis elegans is commonly used to study brain development because it has only about 300 neurons, simplifying the study of its nervous system. The worms are easy ...

  9. Approaches for Studying Autophagy in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yanfang Chen

    2017-08-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Caenorhabditis elegans reveals novel Pseudomonas aeruginosa virulence mechanism

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Utari, Putri Dwi; Quax, Wim J.

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

  12. Caenorhabditis elegans intersectin: a synaptic protein regulating neurotransmission

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  13. Genetic screens in Caenorhabditis elegans models for neurodegenerative diseases

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  14. The RNAi Inheritance Machinery of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

  15. Precision Electrophile Tagging in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-16

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

  16. Caenorhabditis elegans: nature and nurture gift to nematode parasitologists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salinas, Gustavo; Risi, Gastón

    2017-12-06

    The free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is the simplest animal model organism to work with. Substantial knowledge and tools have accumulated over 50 years of C. elegans research. The use of C. elegans relating to parasitic nematodes from a basic biology standpoint or an applied perspective has increased in recent years. The wealth of information gained on the model organism, the use of the powerful approaches and technologies that have advanced C. elegans research to parasitic nematodes and the enormous success of the omics fields have contributed to bridge the divide between C. elegans and parasite nematode researchers. We review key fields, such as genomics, drug discovery and genetics, where C. elegans and nematode parasite research have convened. We advocate the use of C. elegans as a model to study helminth metabolism, a neglected area ready to advance. How emerging technologies being used in C. elegans can pave the way for parasitic nematode research is discussed.

  17. 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. © 2015 Hutter and Moerman. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). Two months after publication it is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

  18. Molecular control of memory in nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    OpenAIRE

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

    2008-01-01

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

  19. 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

    2016-02-04

    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.

  20. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, Jennifer R; Ausubel, Frederick M

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ardiel, Evan L.; Rankin, Catharine H.

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-12-09

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niwa, Shinsuke

    2017-10-18

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

  5. Pseudomonas aeruginosa PA14 pathogenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Gjorgjieva, Julijana; Biron, David; Haspel, Gal

    2014-01-01

    Animals use a nervous system for locomotion in some stage of their life cycle. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, a major animal model for almost all fields of experimental biology, has long been used for detailed studies of genetic and physiological locomotion mechanisms. Of its 959 somatic cells, 302 are neurons that are identifiable by lineage, location, morphology, and neurochemistry in every adult hermaphrodite. Of those, 75 motoneurons innervate body wall muscles that provide the thru...

  7. Chemotaxis-defective mutants of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dusenbery, D B; Sheridan, R E; Russell, R L

    1975-06-01

    The technique of countercurrent separation has been used to isolate 17 independent chemotaxis-defective mutants of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. The mutants, selected to be relatively insensitive to the normally attractive salt NaCl, show varying degrees of residual sensitivity; some are actually weakly repelled by NaCl. The mutants are due to single gene defects, are autosomal and recessive, and identify at least five complementation groups.

  8. A maternal-effect genetic incompatibility in Caenorhabditis elegans

    OpenAIRE

    Burga, Alejandro; Ben-David, Eyal; Kruglyak, Leonid

    2017-01-01

    Selfish genetic elements spread in natural populations and have an important role in genome evolution. We discovered a selfish element causing a genetic incompatibility between strains of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans . The element is made up of sup-35 , a maternal-effect toxin that kills developing embryos, and pha-1 , its zygotically expressed antidote. pha-1 has long been considered essential for pharynx development based on its mutant phenotype, but this phenotype in fact arises fro...

  9. In Vivo Inhibition of Lipid Accumulation in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-01

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

  10. A living model for obesity and aging research: Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Peiyi; Yue, Yiren; Park, Yeonhwa

    2018-03-24

    Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) is a free-living nematode that has been extensively utilized as an animal model for research involving aging and neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, etc. Compared with traditional animal models, this small nematode possesses many benefits, such as small body size, short lifespan, completely sequenced genome, and more than 65% of the genes associated with human disease. All these characteristics make this organism an ideal living system for obesity and aging studies. This review gives a brief introduction of C. elegans as an animal model, highlights some advantages of research using this model and describes methods to evaluate the effect of treatments on obesity and aging of this organism.

  11. The Caenorhabditis elegans nicotinamidase PNC-1 enhances survival.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Horst, Armando; Schavemaker, Jolanda M; Pellis-van Berkel, Wendy; Burgering, Boudewijn M T

    2007-04-01

    In yeast, increasing the copy number of the nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD)-dependent deacetylase Sir2 extends lifespan, which can be inhibited by nicotinamide (Nam), the end-product of Sir2-mediated NAD-breakdown. Furthermore, the yeast pyrazinamidase/nicotinamidase PNC-1 can extend yeast lifespan by converting Nam. In Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), increased dosage of the gene encoding SIR-2.1 also increases lifespan. Here, we report that knockdown of the C. elegans homologue of yeast PNC-1 as well as growing worms on Nam-containing medium significantly decreases adult lifespan. Accordingly, increased gene dosage of pnc-1 increases adult survival under conditions of oxidative stress. These data show for the first time the involvement of PNC-1/Nam in the survival of a multicellular organism and may also contribute to our understanding of lifespan regulation in mammals.

  12. of Caenorhabditis elegans: Adaptive and developmental regulation

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2015-04-27

    Apr 27, 2015 ... cursor for the synthesis of flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) ... an excellent animal model for performing integrated in vivo ..... amino acid sequence of C. elegans RFT-2 with human hRFT2 (RFVT3), rat rRFT2 and mice.

  13. 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.

  14. Genome wide analyses of metal responsive genes in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael eAschner

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Metals are major contaminants that influence human health. Many metals have physiologic roles, but excessive levels can be harmful. Advances in technology have made toxicogenomic analyses possible to characterize the effects of metal exposure on the entire genome. Much of what is known about cellular responses to metals has come from mammalian systems; however the use of non-mammalian species is gaining wider attention. Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans is a small round worm whose genome has been fully sequenced and its development from egg to adult is well characterized. It is an attractive model for high throughput screens due to its short lifespan, ease of genetic mutability, low cost and high homology with humans. Research performed in C. elegans has led to insights in apoptosis, gene expression and neurodegeneration, all of which can be altered by metal exposure. Additionally, by using worms one can potentially study how the mechanisms that underline differential responses to metals in nematodes and humans, allowing for identification of novel pathways and therapeutic targets. In this review, toxicogenomic studies performed in C. elegans exposed to various metals will be discussed, highlighting how this non-mammalian system can be utilized to study cellular processes and pathways induced by metals. Recent work focusing on neurodegeneration in Parkinson’s disease will be discussed as an example of the usefulness of genetic screens in C. elegans and the novel findings that can be produced.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sakiko Honjoh

    2017-12-01

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

  16. [Specification of cell destiny in early Caenorhabditis elegans embryo].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schierenberg, E

    1997-02-01

    Embryogenesis of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has been described completely on a cell-by-cell basis and found to be essentially invariant. With this knowledge in hands, micromanipulated embryos and mutants have been analyzed for cell lineage defects and the distribution of specific gene products. The results challenge the classical view of cell-autonomous development in nematodes and indicate that the early embryo of C. elegans is a highly dynamic system. A network of inductive events between neighboring cells is being revealed, which is necessary to assign different developmental programs to blastomeres. In those cases where molecules involved in these cell-cell interactions have been identified, homologies to cell surface receptors, ligands and transcription factors found in other systems have become obvious.

  17. 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).

  18. 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. Copyright © 2015 by the Genetics Society of America.

  19. Formation of longitudinal axon pathways in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutter, Harald

    2017-11-18

    The small number of neurons and the simple architecture of the Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) nervous system enables researchers to study axonal pathfinding at the level of individually identified axons. Axons in C. elegans extend predominantly along one of the two major body axes, the anterior-posterior axis and the dorso-ventral axis. This review will focus on axon navigation along the anterior-posterior axis, leading to the establishment of the longitudinal axon tracts, with a focus on the largest longitudinal axon tract, the ventral nerve cord (VNC). In the VNC, axons grow out in a stereotypic order, with early outgrowing axons (pioneers) playing an important role in guiding later outgrowing (follower) axons. Genetic screens have identified a number of genes specifically affecting the formation of longitudinal axon tracts. These genes include secreted proteins, putative receptors and adhesion molecules, as well as intracellular proteins regulating the cell's response to guidance cues. In contrast to dorso-ventral navigation, no major general guidance cues required for the establishment of longitudinal pathways have been identified so far. The limited penetrance of defects found in many mutants affecting longitudinal navigation suggests that guidance cues act redundantly in this process. The majority of the axon guidance genes identified in C. elegans are evolutionary conserved, i.e. have homologs in other animals, including vertebrates. For a number of these genes, a role in axon guidance has not been described outside C. elegans. Taken together, studies in C. elegans contribute to a fundamental understanding of the molecular basis of axonal navigation that can be extended to other animals, including vertebrates and probably humans as well. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  20. 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.

  1. Histidine protects against zinc and nickel toxicity in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John T Murphy

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Zinc is an essential trace element involved in a wide range of biological processes and human diseases. Zinc excess is deleterious, and animals require mechanisms to protect against zinc toxicity. To identify genes that modulate zinc tolerance, we performed a forward genetic screen for Caenorhabditis elegans mutants that were resistant to zinc toxicity. Here we demonstrate that mutations of the C. elegans histidine ammonia lyase (haly-1 gene promote zinc tolerance. C. elegans haly-1 encodes a protein that is homologous to vertebrate HAL, an enzyme that converts histidine to urocanic acid. haly-1 mutant animals displayed elevated levels of histidine, indicating that C. elegans HALY-1 protein is an enzyme involved in histidine catabolism. These results suggest the model that elevated histidine chelates zinc and thereby reduces zinc toxicity. Supporting this hypothesis, we demonstrated that dietary histidine promotes zinc tolerance. Nickel is another metal that binds histidine with high affinity. We demonstrated that haly-1 mutant animals are resistant to nickel toxicity and dietary histidine promotes nickel tolerance in wild-type animals. These studies identify a novel role for haly-1 and histidine in zinc metabolism and may be relevant for other animals.

  2. Identification of an estrogenic hormone receptor in Caenorhabditis elegans

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mimoto, Ai; Fujii, Madoka; Usami, Makoto; Shimamura, Maki; Hirabayashi, Naoko; Kaneko, Takako; Sasagawa, Noboru; Ishiura, Shoichi

    2007-01-01

    Changes in both behavior and gene expression occur in Caenorhabditis elegans following exposure to sex hormones such as estrogen and progesterone, and to bisphenol A (BPA), an estrogenic endocrine-disrupting compound. However, only one steroid hormone receptor has been identified. Of the 284 known nuclear hormone receptors (NHRs) in C. elegans, we selected nhr-14, nhr-69, and nhr-121 for analysis as potential estrogenic hormone receptors, because they share sequence similarity with the human estrogen receptor. First, the genes were cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli, and then the affinity of each protein for estrogen was determined using a surface plasmon resonance (SPR) biosensor. All three NHRs bound estrogen in a dose-dependent fashion. To evaluate the specificity of the binding, we performed a solution competition assay using an SPR biosensor. According to our results, only NHR-14 was able to interact with estrogen. Therefore, we next examined whether nhr-14 regulates estrogen signaling in vivo. To investigate whether these interactions actually control the response of C. elegans to hormones, we investigated the expression of vitellogenin, an estrogen responsive gene, in an nhr-14 mutant. Semi-quantitative RT-PCR showed that vitellogenin expression was significantly reduced in the mutant. This suggests that NHR-14 is a C. elegans estrogenic hormone receptor and that it controls gene expression in response to estrogen

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brent Cezairliyan

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Using Caenorhabditis elegans as a Model for Obesity Pharmacology Development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Jolene; Vasselli, Joseph R; King, Jason F; King, Michael L; We, Wenqian; Fitzpatrick, Zachary; Johnson, William D; Finley, John W; Martin, Roy J; Keenan, Michael J; Enright, Frederic M; Greenway, Frank L

    The Caenorhabditis elegans model is a rapid and inexpensive method to address pharmacologic questions. We describe the use of C. elegans to explore 2 pharmacologic questions concerning candidate antiobesity drugs and illustrate its potential usefulness in pharmacologic research: (1) to determine a ratio of betahistine-olanzapine that blocks the olanzapine-induced intestinal fat deposition (IFD) as detected by Nile red staining and (2) to identify the mechanism of action of a pharmaceutical candidate AB-101 that reduces IFD. Olanzapine (53 μg/mL) increased the IFD (12.1 ± 0.1%, P < 0.02), which was blocked by betahistine (763 μg/mL, 39.3 ± 0.01%, P < 0.05) in wild-type C. elegans (N2). AB-101 (1.0%) reduced the IFD in N2 (P < 0.05), increased the pharyngeal pumping rate (P < 0.05), and reversed the elevated IFD induced by protease inhibitors atazanavir and ritonavir (P < 0.05). AB-101 did not affect IFD in a ACS null mutant strain acs-4(ok2872) III/hT2[bli-4(e937) let-?(q782) qIs48](I;III) suggesting an involvement of the lipid oxidation pathway and an upregulation of CPT-1. Our studies suggest that C. elegans may be used as a resource in pharmacologic research. This article is intended to stimulate a greater appreciation of its value in the development of new pharmaceutical interventions.

  7. 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....... Moreover, we find that relative isoform expression levels vary significantly during development for 78% of the AS events and that this quantitative variation is highly conserved between the 2 species. Our results suggest that AS is generally tightly regulated through development and that the regulatory...

  8. Differential expression pattern of UBX family genes in Caenorhabditis elegans

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yamauchi, Seiji; Sasagawa, Yohei; Ogura, Teru; Yamanaka, Kunitoshi

    2007-01-01

    UBX (ubiquitin regulatory X)-containing proteins belong to an evolutionary conserved protein family and determine the specificity of p97/VCP/Cdc48p function by binding as its adaptors. Caenorhabditis elegans was found to possess six UBX-containing proteins, named UBXN-1 to -6. However, no general or specific function of them has been revealed. During the course of understanding not only their function but also specified function of p97, we investigated spatial and temporal expression patterns of six ubxn genes in this study. Transcript analyses showed that the expression pattern of each ubxn gene was different throughout worm's development and may show potential developmental dynamics in their function, especially ubxn-5 was expressed specifically in the spermatogenic germline, suggesting a crucial role in spermatogenesis. In addition, as ubxn-4 expression was induced by ER stress, it would function as an ERAD factor in C. elegans. In vivo expression analysis by using GFP translational fusion constructs revealed that six ubxn genes show distinct expression patterns. These results altogether demonstrate that the expression of all six ubxn genes of C. elegans is differently regulated

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yinxia; Zhao, Yunli; Huang, Xu; Lin, Xingfeng; Guo, Yuling; Wang, Daoyong; Li, Chaojun; Wang, Dayong

    2013-01-01

    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.

  11. Nicotine affects protein complex rearrangement in Caenorhabditis elegans cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sobkowiak, Robert; Zielezinski, Andrzej; Karlowski, Wojciech M; Lesicki, Andrzej

    2017-10-01

    Nicotine may affect cell function by rearranging protein complexes. We aimed to determine nicotine-induced alterations of protein complexes in Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) cells, thereby revealing links between nicotine exposure and protein complex modulation. We compared the proteomic alterations induced by low and high nicotine concentrations (0.01 mM and 1 mM) with the control (no nicotine) in vivo by using mass spectrometry (MS)-based techniques, specifically the cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) discontinuous gel electrophoresis coupled with liquid chromatography (LC)-MS/MS and spectral counting. As a result, we identified dozens of C. elegans proteins that are present exclusively or in higher abundance in either nicotine-treated or untreated worms. Based on these results, we report a possible network that captures the key protein components of nicotine-induced protein complexes and speculate how the different protein modules relate to their distinct physiological roles. Using functional annotation of detected proteins, we hypothesize that the identified complexes can modulate the energy metabolism and level of oxidative stress. These proteins can also be involved in modulation of gene expression and may be crucial in Alzheimer's disease. The findings reported in our study reveal putative intracellular interactions of many proteins with the cytoskeleton and may contribute to the understanding of the mechanisms of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) signaling and trafficking in cells.

  12. Tat-mediated protein delivery in living Caenorhabditis elegans

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Delom, Frederic; Fessart, Delphine; Caruso, Marie-Elaine; Chevet, Eric

    2007-01-01

    The Tat protein from HIV-1 fused with heterologous proteins traverses biological membranes in a transcellular process called: protein transduction. This has already been successfully exploited in various biological models, but never in the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans. TAT-eGFP or GST-eGFP proteins were fed to C. elegans worms, which resulted in the specific localization of Tat-eGFP to epithelial intestinal cells. This system represents an efficient tool for transcellular transduction in C. elegans intestinal cells. Indeed, this approach avoids the use of tedious purification steps to purify the TAT fusion proteins and allows for rapid analyses of the transduced proteins. In addition, it may represent an efficient tool to functionally analyze the mechanisms of protein transduction as well as to complement RNAi/KO in the epithelial intestinal system. To sum up, the advantage of this technology is to combine the potential of bacterial expression system and the Tat-mediated transduction technique in living worm

  13. 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.

  14. Serotonin Control of Thermotaxis Memory Behavior in Nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Yuling; Wang, Daoyong; Li, Chaojun; Wang, Dayong

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:24223727

  15. 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.

  16. An atlas of Caenorhabditis elegans chemoreceptor expression.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Berta Vidal

    2018-01-01

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

  17. Physical and functional interactions of Caenorhabditis elegans WRN-1 helicase with RPA-1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hyun, Moonjung; Park, Sojin; Kim, Eunsun; Kim, Do-Hyung; Lee, Se-Jin; Koo, Hyeon-Sook; Seo, Yeon-Soo; Ahn, Byungchan

    2012-02-21

    The Caenorhabditis elegans Werner syndrome protein, WRN-1, a member of the RecQ helicase family, has a 3'-5' DNA helicase activity. Worms with defective wrn-1 exhibit premature aging phenotypes and an increased level of genome instability. In response to DNA damage, WRN-1 participates in the initial stages of checkpoint activation in concert with C. elegans replication protein A (RPA-1). WRN-1 helicase is stimulated by RPA-1 on long DNA duplex substrates. However, the mechanism by which RPA-1 stimulates DNA unwinding and the function of the WRN-1-RPA-1 interaction are not clearly understood. We have found that WRN-1 physically interacts with two RPA-1 subunits, CeRPA73 and CeRPA32; however, full-length WRN-1 helicase activity is stimulated by only the CeRPA73 subunit, while the WRN-1(162-1056) fragment that harbors the helicase activity requires both the CeRPA73 and CeRPA32 subunits for the stimulation. We also found that the CeRPA73(1-464) fragment can stimulate WRN-1 helicase activity and that residues 335-464 of CeRPA73 are important for physical interaction with WRN-1. Because CeRPA73 and the CeRPA73(1-464) fragment are able to bind single-stranded DNA (ssDNA), the stimulation of WRN-1 helicase by RPA-1 is most likely due to the ssDNA binding activity of CeRPA73 and the direct interaction of WRN-1 and CeRPA73.

  18. Spaceflight and ageing: reflecting on Caenorhabditis elegans in space.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honda, Yoko; Honda, Shuji; Narici, Marco; Szewczyk, Nathaniel J

    2014-01-01

    The prospect of space travel continues to capture the imagination. Several competing companies are now promising flights for the general population. Previously, it was recognized that many of the physiological changes that occur with spaceflight are similar to those seen with normal ageing. This led to the notion that spaceflight can be used as a model of accelerated ageing and raised concerns about the safety of individuals engaging in space travel. Paradoxically, however, space travel has been recently shown to be beneficial to some aspects of muscle health in the tiny worm Caenorhabditis elegans. C. elegans is a commonly used laboratory animal for studying ageing. C. elegans displays age-related decline of some biological processes observed in ageing humans, and about 35% of C. elegans' genes have human homologs. Space flown worms were found to have decreased expression of a number of genes that increase lifespan when expressed at lower levels. These changes were accompanied by decreased accumulation of toxic protein aggregates in ageing worms' muscles. Thus, in addition to spaceflight producing physiological changes that are similar to accelerated ageing, it also appears to produce some changes similar to delayed ageing. Here, we put forward the hypothesis that in addition to the previously well-appreciated mechanotransduction changes, neural and endocrine signals are altered in response to spaceflight and that these may have both negative (e.g. less muscle protein) and some positive consequences (e.g. healthier muscles), at least for invertebrates, with respect to health in space. Given that changes in circulating hormones are well documented with age and in astronauts, our view is that further research into the relationship between metabolic control, ageing, and adaptation to the environment should be productive in advancing our understanding of the physiology of both spaceflight and ageing.

  19. A mutational analysis of Caenorhabditis elegans in space

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhao Yang; Lai, Kenneth; Cheung, Iris; Youds, Jillian; Tarailo, Maja; Tarailo, Sanja; Rose, Ann

    2006-01-01

    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

  20. 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.

  1. A maternal-effect selfish genetic element in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben-David, Eyal; Burga, Alejandro; Kruglyak, Leonid

    2017-06-09

    Selfish genetic elements spread in natural populations and have an important role in genome evolution. We discovered a selfish element causing embryonic lethality in crosses between wild strains of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans The element is made up of sup-35 , a maternal-effect toxin that kills developing embryos, and pha-1 , its zygotically expressed antidote. pha-1 has long been considered essential for pharynx development on the basis of its mutant phenotype, but this phenotype arises from a loss of suppression of sup-35 toxicity. Inactive copies of the sup-35/pha-1 element show high sequence divergence from active copies, and phylogenetic reconstruction suggests that they represent ancestral stages in the evolution of the element. Our results suggest that other essential genes identified by genetic screens may turn out to be components of selfish elements. Copyright © 2017, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  4. 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…

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Delayed innocent bystander cell death following hypoxia in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, C-L; Kim, E; Crowder, C M

    2014-04-01

    After hypoxia, cells may die immediately or have a protracted course, living or dying depending on an incompletely understood set of cell autonomous and nonautonomous factors. In stroke, for example, some neurons are thought to die from direct hypoxic injury by cell autonomous primary mechanisms, whereas other so called innocent bystander neurons die from factors released from the primarily injured cells. A major limitation in identifying these factors is the inability of current in vivo models to selectively target a set of cells for hypoxic injury so that the primarily injured cells and the innocent bystanders are clearly delineated. In order to develop such a model, we generated transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans strains where 2-3% of somatic cells were made selectively sensitive to hypoxia. This was accomplished by cell type-specific wild-type rescue in either pharyngeal myocytes or GABAergic neurons of a hypoxia resistance-producing translation factor mutation. Surprisingly, hypoxic targeting of these relatively small subsets of non-essential cells produced widespread innocent bystander cell injury, behavioral dysfunction and eventual organismal death. The hypoxic injury phenotypes of the myocyte or neuron sensitized strains were virtually identical. Using this model, we show that the C. elegans insulin receptor/FOXO transcription factor pathway improves survival when activated only after hypoxic injury and blocks innocent bystander death.

  8. Piceatannol extends the lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans via DAF-16.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Peiyi; Yue, Yiren; Sun, Quancai; Kasireddy, Nandita; Kim, Kee-Hong; Park, Yeonhwa

    2017-05-06

    Piceatannol is a natural stilbene with many beneficial effects, such as antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, antiatherogenic activities; however, its role on aging is not known. In this study, we used Caenorhabditis elegans as an animal model to study the effect of piceatannol on its lifespan and investigated the underlying mechanisms. The results showed that 50 and 100 µM piceatannol significantly extended the lifespan of C. elegans without altering the growth rate, worm size and progeny production. Piceatannol delayed the age-related decline of pumping rate and locomotive activity, and protected the worms from heat and oxidative stress. This study further indicated that lifespan extension and enhanced stress resistance induced by piceatannol requires DAF-16. Since DAF-16 is conserved from nematodes to mammals, our study may have important implications in utilizing piceatannol to promote healthy aging and combat age-related disease in humans. © 2016 BioFactors, 43(3):379-387, 2017. © 2017 International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tejeda-Benitez, Lesly; Olivero-Verbel, Jesus

    2016-01-01

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

  10. A Caenorhabditis elegans Mass Spectrometric Resource for Neuropeptidomics

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2013-01-01

    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. (paper)

  12. A Caenorhabditis elegans Mass Spectrometric Resource for Neuropeptidomics

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-01

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

  13. Lower Doses of Fructose Extend Lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Jolene; Gao, Chenfei; Wang, Mingming; Tran, Phuongmai; Mai, Nancy; Finley, John W; Heymsfield, Steven B; Greenway, Frank L; Li, Zhaoping; Heber, David; Burton, Jeffrey H; Johnson, William D; Laine, Roger A

    2017-05-04

    Epidemiological studies indicate that the increased consumption of sugars including sucrose and fructose in beverages correlate with the prevalence of obesity, type-2 diabetes, insulin resistance, hyperinsulinemia, hypertriglyceridemia, and hypertension in humans. A few reports suggest that fructose extends lifespan in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In Anopheles gambiae, fructose, glucose, or glucose plus fructose also extended lifespan. New results presented here suggest that fructose extends lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) wild type (N2). C. elegans were fed standard laboratory food source (E. coli OP50), maintained in liquid culture. Experimental groups received additional glucose (111 mM), fructose (55 mM, 111 mM, or 555 mM), sucrose (55 mM, 111 mM, or 555 mM), glucose (167 mM) plus fructose (167 mM) (G&F), or high fructose corn syrup (HFCS, 333 mM). In four replicate experiments, fructose dose-dependently increased mean lifespan at 55 mM or 111 m Min N2, but decreased lifespan at 555 mM (P Glucose reduced lifespan (P fructose (555 mM), glucose (111 mM), and sucrose (55 mM, 111 mM, and 555 mM). Here we report a biphasic effect of fructose increasing lifespan at lower doses and shortening lifespan at higher doses with an inverse effect on IFD. In view of reports that fructose increases lifespan in yeast, mosquitoes and now nematodes, while decreasing fat deposition (in nematodes) at lower concentrations, further research into the relationship of fructose to lifespan and fat accumulation in vertebrates and mammals is indicated.

  14. Mechanisms of Plasticity in a Caenorhabditis elegans Mechanosensory Circuit

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tahereh eBozorgmehr

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Despite having a small nervous system (302 neurons and relatively short lifespan (14-21 days, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has a substantial ability to change its behavior in response to experience. The behaviour discussed here is the tap withdrawal response, whereby the worm crawls backwards a brief distance in response to a non-localized stimulus to the side of the Petri plate within which it lives. The neural circuit that underlies this behaviour is primarily made up of 5 sensory neurons and four pairs of interneurons. In this review we describe two classes of mechanosensory plasticity: adult learning and memory and experience dependent changes during development. As worms develop through young adult and adult stages there is a shift towards deeper habituation of response probability that is likely the result of changes in sensitivity to stimulus intensity. Adult worms show short- intermediate- and long-term habituation as well as context dependent habituation. Short-term habituation requires glutamate signalling and auto-phosphorylation of voltage-dependent potassium channels and is modulated by dopamine signalling in the mechanosensory neurons. Long-term memory for habituation is mediated by down-regulation of expression of an AMPA-type glutamate receptor subunit. Intermediate memory involves an increase in release of an inhibitory neuropeptide. Depriving larval worms of mechanosensory stimulation early in development leads to fewer synaptic vesicles in the mechanosensory neurons and lower levels of an AMPA-type glutamate receptor subunit in the interneurons. Overall, the mechanosensory system of C. elegans shows a great deal of experience dependent plasticity both during development and as an adult. The simplest form of learning, habituation, is not so simple and is mediated and/or modulated by a number of different processes, some of which we are beginning to understand.

  15. Photodynamic inactivation using curcuminoids and Photogem on caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albuquerque, Yulli R.; Pratavieira, Sebastião.; Bagnato, Vanderlei S.; Inada, Natalia M.; Souza, Larissa M.; Afonso, Ana; de Souza, Clovis W. O.; Oliveira, Kleber T.; Anibal, Fernanda F.

    2018-02-01

    Resistance to various anthelmintic drugs is reported in many animals and can become a severe problem for human and animal health. In this study, Photogem® and three curcuminoids compounds (curcumin, demethoxycurcumin, bisdemethoxycurcumin) were used as photosensitizers in the photodynamic inactivation (PDI) in the helminth model Caenorhabditis elegans to investigate the ability of this procedure to worm life cycle. Initially, the presence and location of the photosensitizers in the worm's body were verified by fluorescence confocal microscopy. Curcumin was deposited in the digestive tract and Photogem® along the body of the animal in the incubation time of 12 hours with the photosensitizer. Subsequently, a PDI procedure using a LED device was performed to illuminate the worms treated with the photosensitizers. The worms were observed by optical microscopy until 48 hours after the PDI to verify the changes in motility, the presence of eggs and larvae and the number of live worms. Curcuminoids tested separately and in combination and two light doses of 30 J/m2 no changes were observed in the life cycle of the worm at concentrations of 2 mM and 1 mM. However, in treatment with Photogem® and a light dose of 100 J/m2 a reduction in motility and reproduction of the worm with 0.2 mg/mL was observed after 6 hours of exposure, in addition to the death of most worms at concentrations of 6, 4, and 2 mg/mL. We suggest, therefore, that photodynamic inactivation with Photogem® may present an anthelmintic effect against C. elegans, but there is a need for studies on helminths with parasitic activity.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Read Pukkila-Worley

    2011-06-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Cell lineages of the embryo of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deppe, U; Schierenberg, E; Cole, T; Krieg, C; Schmitt, D; Yoder, B; von Ehrenstein, G

    1978-01-01

    Embryogenesis of the free-living soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans produces a juvenile having about 550 cells at hatching. We have determined the lineages of 182 cells by tracing the divisions of individual cells in living embryos. An invariant pattern of cleavage divisions of the egg generates a set of stem cells. These stem cells are the founders of six stem cell lineages. Each lineage has its own clock--i.e., an autonomous rhythm of synchronous cell divisions. The rhythms are maintained in spite of extensive cellular rearrangement. The rate and the orientation of the cell divisions of the cell lineages are essentially invariant among individuals. Thus, the destiny of cells seems to depend primarily on their lineage history. The anterior position of the site of origin of the stem cells in the egg relates to the rate of the cell cycle clock, suggesting intracellular preprogramming of the uncleaved egg. We used a technique that allows normal embryogenesis, from the fertilized egg to hatching, outside the parent under a cover glass. Embryogenesis was followed microscopically with Nomarski interference optics and high-resolution video recording.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zuryn, Steven; Kuang, Jujiao; Ebert, Paul

    2008-03-01

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

  20. 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

  1. Gene pathways that delay Caenorhabditis elegans reproductive senescence.

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    Meng C Wang

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Reproductive senescence is a hallmark of aging. The molecular mechanisms regulating reproductive senescence and its association with the aging of somatic cells remain poorly understood. From a full genome RNA interference (RNAi screen, we identified 32 Caenorhabditis elegans gene inactivations that delay reproductive senescence and extend reproductive lifespan. We found that many of these gene inactivations interact with insulin/IGF-1 and/or TGF-β endocrine signaling pathways to regulate reproductive senescence, except nhx-2 and sgk-1 that modulate sodium reabsorption. Of these 32 gene inactivations, we also found that 19 increase reproductive lifespan through their effects on oocyte activities, 8 of them coordinate oocyte and sperm functions to extend reproductive lifespan, and 5 of them can induce sperm humoral response to promote reproductive longevity. Furthermore, we examined the effects of these reproductive aging regulators on somatic aging. We found that 5 of these gene inactivations prolong organismal lifespan, and 20 of them increase healthy life expectancy of an organism without altering total life span. These studies provide a systemic view on the genetic regulation of reproductive senescence and its intersection with organism longevity. The majority of these newly identified genes are conserved, and may provide new insights into age-associated reproductive senescence during human aging.

  2. Arbutin increases Caenorhabditis elegans longevity and stress resistance

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    Lin Zhou

    2017-12-01

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

  3. 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.

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

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    Sara Andux

    2008-12-01

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

  5. Radiation effects on life span in Caenorhabditis elegans

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1988-01-01

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

  6. Genotypic-specific variance in Caenorhabditis elegans lifetime fecundity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diaz, S Anaid; Viney, Mark

    2014-06-01

    Organisms live in heterogeneous environments, so strategies that maximze fitness in such environments will evolve. Variation in traits is important because it is the raw material on which natural selection acts during evolution. Phenotypic variation is usually thought to be due to genetic variation and/or environmentally induced effects. Therefore, genetically identical individuals in a constant environment should have invariant traits. Clearly, genetically identical individuals do differ phenotypically, usually thought to be due to stochastic processes. It is now becoming clear, especially from studies of unicellular species, that phenotypic variance among genetically identical individuals in a constant environment can be genetically controlled and that therefore, in principle, this can be subject to selection. However, there has been little investigation of these phenomena in multicellular species. Here, we have studied the mean lifetime fecundity (thus a trait likely to be relevant to reproductive success), and variance in lifetime fecundity, in recently-wild isolates of the model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We found that these genotypes differed in their variance in lifetime fecundity: some had high variance in fecundity, others very low variance. We find that this variance in lifetime fecundity was negatively related to the mean lifetime fecundity of the lines, and that the variance of the lines was positively correlated between environments. We suggest that the variance in lifetime fecundity may be a bet-hedging strategy used by this species.

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

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    Henrique Teotonio

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

  8. Caenorhabditis elegans nicotinic acetylcholine receptors are required for nociception

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Emiliano; Chatzigeorgiou, Marios; Husson, Steven J.; Steuer-Costa, Wagner; Gottschalk, Alexander; Schafer, William R.; Treinin, Millet

    2014-01-01

    Polymodal nociceptors sense and integrate information on injurious mechanical, thermal, and chemical stimuli. Chemical signals either activate nociceptors or modulate their responses to other stimuli. One chemical known to activate or modulate responses of nociceptors is acetylcholine (ACh). Across evolution nociceptors express subunits of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) family, a family of ACh-gated ion channels. The roles of ACh and nAChRs in nociceptor function are, however, poorly understood. Caenorhabditis elegans polymodal nociceptors, PVD, express nAChR subunits on their sensory arbor. Here we show that mutations reducing ACh synthesis and mutations in nAChR subunits lead to defects in PVD function and morphology. A likely cause for these defects is a reduction in cytosolic calcium measured in ACh and nAChR mutants. Indeed, overexpression of a calcium pump in PVD mimics defects in PVD function and morphology found in nAChR mutants. Our results demonstrate, for the first time, a central role for nAChRs and ACh in nociceptor function and suggest that calcium permeating via nAChRs facilitates activity of several signaling pathways within this neuron. PMID:24518198

  9. Response of Caenorhabditis elegans to wireless devices radiation exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fasseas, Michael K; Fragopoulou, Adamantia F; Manta, Areti K; Skouroliakou, Aikaterini; Vekrellis, Konstantinos; Margaritis, Lukas H; Syntichaki, Popi

    2015-03-01

    To examine the impact of electromagnetic radiation, produced by GSM (Global System for Mobile communications) mobile phones, Wi-Fi (Wireless-Fidelity) routers and wireless DECT (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications) phones, on the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We exposed synchronized populations, of different developmental stages, to these wireless devices at E-field levels below ICNIRP's (International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection) guidelines for various lengths of time. WT (wild-type) and aging- or stress-sensitive mutant worms were examined for changes in growth, fertility, lifespan, chemotaxis, short-term memory, increased ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species) production and apoptosis by using fluorescent marker genes or qRT-PCR (quantitative Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction). No statistically significant differences were found between the exposed and the sham/control animals in any of the experiments concerning lifespan, fertility, growth, memory, ROS, apoptosis or gene expression. The worm appears to be robust to this form of (pulsed) radiation, at least under the exposure conditions used.

  10. Resveratrol effects on life span and fertility of caenorhabditis elegans subject to 60Co gamma ray irradiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ye Kai; Ji Chenbo; Guo Xirong; Gu Guixiong

    2011-01-01

    Caennorhabditis elegans was used as experimental model to investigate radiation effect of resveratrol on caenorhabditis elegans irradiated by 60 Co γ ray. Treatment with resveratrol can increase average life span and spawning rate, improve the survival rate of eggs, and protect their mitochondrion function of caenorhabditis elegans exposure to 60 Co γ ray. The results indicate that resveratrol has radiation protection effects, which might be related to its action on ROS decrease and mitochondrial defend. (authors)

  11. Analysis of a Caenorhabditis elegans Twist homolog identifies conserved and divergent aspects of mesodermal patterning

    OpenAIRE

    Harfe, Brian D.; Gomes, Ana Vaz; Kenyon, Cynthia; Liu, Jun; Krause, Michael; Fire, Andrew

    1998-01-01

    Mesodermal development is a multistep process in which cells become increasingly specialized to form specific tissue types. In Drosophila and mammals, proper segregation and patterning of the mesoderm involves the bHLH factor Twist. We investigated the activity of a Twist-related factor, CeTwist, during Caenorhabditis elegans mesoderm development. Embryonic mesoderm in C. elegans derives from a number of distinct founder cells that are specified during the early lineages; in contrast, a singl...

  12. Characterization of a Francisella tularensis-Caenorhabditis elegans Pathosystem for the Evaluation of Therapeutic Compounds

    OpenAIRE

    Jayamani, Elamparithi; Tharmalingam, Nagendran; Rajamuthiah, Rajmohan; Coleman, Jeffrey J.; Kim, Wooseong; Okoli, Ikechukwu; Hernandez, Ana M.; Lee, Kiho; Nau, Gerard J.; Ausubel, Frederick M.; Mylonakis, Eleftherios

    2017-01-01

    Francisella tularensis is a highly infectious Gram-negative intracellular pathogen that causes tularemia. Because of its potential as a bioterrorism agent, there is a need for new therapeutic agents. We therefore developed a whole-animal Caenorhabditis elegans-F. tularensis pathosystem for high-throughput screening to identify and characterize potential therapeutic compounds. We found that the C. elegans p38 mitogen-activate protein (MAP) kinase cascade is involved in the immune response to F...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barr, Maureen M

    2005-02-01

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

  14. Roles of Werner syndrome protein in protection of genome integrity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rossi, Marie L; Ghosh, Avik K; Bohr, Vilhelm A

    2010-01-01

    Werner syndrome protein (WRN) is one of a family of five human RecQ helicases implicated in the maintenance of genome stability. The conserved RecQ family also includes RecQ1, Bloom syndrome protein (BLM), RecQ4, and RecQ5 in humans, as well as Sgs1 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Rqh1...... in Schizosaccharomyces pombe, and homologs in Caenorhabditis elegans, Xenopus laevis, and Drosophila melanogaster. Defects in three of the RecQ helicases, RecQ4, BLM, and WRN, cause human pathologies linked with cancer predisposition and premature aging. Mutations in the WRN gene are the causative factor of Werner...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 1 H NMR and 13 C NMR spectroscopy. This compound is the most abundant metabolite detected in 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 i ). Although metabolic activation has been associated with an alkaline pH i shift in other organisms, in vivo 31 P NMR analysis of recovering dauer larvae shows a pH i decrease from ∼7.3 to ∼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 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. 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

  17. Genetic analysis of the heparan modification network in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Townley, Robert A; Bülow, Hannes E

    2011-05-13

    Heparan sulfates (HS) are highly modified sugar polymers in multicellular organisms that function in cell adhesion and cellular responses to protein signaling. Functionally distinct, cell type-dependent HS modification patterns arise as the result of a conserved network of enzymes that catalyze deacetylations, sulfations, and epimerizations in specific positions of the sugar residues. To understand the genetic interactions of the enzymes during the HS modification process, we have measured the composition of HS purified from mutant strains of Caenorhabditis elegans. From these measurements we have developed a genetic network model of HS modification. We find the interactions to be highly recursive positive feed-forward and negative feedback loops. Our genetic analyses show that the HS C-5 epimerase hse-5, the HS 2-O-sulfotransferase hst-2, or the HS 6-O-sulfotransferase hst-6 inhibit N-sulfation. In contrast, hse-5 stimulates both 2-O- and 6-O-sulfation and, hst-2 and hst-6 inhibit 6-O- and 2-O-sulfation, respectively. The effects of hst-2 and hst-6 on N-sulfation, 6-O-sulfation, and 2-O-sulfation appear largely dependent on hse-5 function. This core of regulatory interactions is further modulated by 6-O-endosulfatase activity (sul-1). 47% of all 6-O-sulfates get removed from HS and this editing process is dependent on hst-2, thereby providing additional negative feedback between 2-O- and 6-O-sulfation. These findings suggest that the modification patterns are highly sensitive to the relative composition of the HS modification enzymes. Our comprehensive genetic analysis forms the basis of understanding the HS modification network in metazoans.

  18. Genetic Analysis of the Heparan Modification Network in Caenorhabditis elegans*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Townley, Robert A.; Bülow, Hannes E.

    2011-01-01

    Heparan sulfates (HS) are highly modified sugar polymers in multicellular organisms that function in cell adhesion and cellular responses to protein signaling. Functionally distinct, cell type-dependent HS modification patterns arise as the result of a conserved network of enzymes that catalyze deacetylations, sulfations, and epimerizations in specific positions of the sugar residues. To understand the genetic interactions of the enzymes during the HS modification process, we have measured the composition of HS purified from mutant strains of Caenorhabditis elegans. From these measurements we have developed a genetic network model of HS modification. We find the interactions to be highly recursive positive feed-forward and negative feedback loops. Our genetic analyses show that the HS C-5 epimerase hse-5, the HS 2-O-sulfotransferase hst-2, or the HS 6-O-sulfotransferase hst-6 inhibit N-sulfation. In contrast, hse-5 stimulates both 2-O- and 6-O-sulfation and, hst-2 and hst-6 inhibit 6-O- and 2-O-sulfation, respectively. The effects of hst-2 and hst-6 on N-sulfation, 6-O-sulfation, and 2-O-sulfation appear largely dependent on hse-5 function. This core of regulatory interactions is further modulated by 6-O-endosulfatase activity (sul-1). 47% of all 6-O-sulfates get removed from HS and this editing process is dependent on hst-2, thereby providing additional negative feedback between 2-O- and 6-O-sulfation. These findings suggest that the modification patterns are highly sensitive to the relative composition of the HS modification enzymes. Our comprehensive genetic analysis forms the basis of understanding the HS modification network in metazoans. PMID:21454666

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  20. 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...

  1. Genetic mapping of variation in dauer larvae development in growing populations of Caenorhabditis elegans

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Green, J.W.M.; Snoek, L.B.; Kammenga, J.E.; Harvey, S.C.

    2013-01-01

    In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, the appropriate induction of dauer larvae development within growing populations is likely to be a primary determinant of genotypic fitness. The underlying genetic architecture of natural genetic variation in dauer formation has, however, not been thoroughly

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

    Toxicity of nano-formulated silver to eukaryotes was assessed by exposing nematodes (Caenorhabditis elegans) to two types of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs): with average primary particle diameters of 1 nm (AgNP1) and 28 nm (AgNP28, PVP coated), respectively. Tests were performed with and without pr...

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2014-01-01

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

  5. Requirement of the Caenorhabditis elegans RapGEF pxf-1 and rap-1 for epithelial integrity

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pellis-van Berkel, W.; Verheijen, M. H. G.; Cuppen, E.; Asahina, Masako; de Rooij, J.; Jansen, G.; Plasterk, R. H. A.; Bos, J. L.; Zwartkruis, F. J. T.

    2005-01-01

    Roč. 16, č. 1 (2005), s. 106-116 ISSN 1059-1524 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR KJB5022303 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60220518 Keywords : Rap signaling pathway * epidermis * Caenorhabditis elegans Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 6.520, year: 2005

  6. Natural plant hormones cytokinins increase stress resistance and longevity of Caenorhabditis elegans

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kadlecová, Alena; Jirsa, Tomáš; Novák, Ondřej; Kammenga, J.; Strnad, Miroslav; Voller, J.

    2018-01-01

    Roč. 19, č. 2 (2018), s. 109-120 ISSN 1389-5729 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LO1204; GA MŠk(CZ) LO1304 Institutional support: RVO:61389030 Keywords : Aging * Caenorhabditis elegans * Cytokinin * Kinetin * Phytohormones * Topolin * Zeatin Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology OBOR OECD: Plant sciences, botany Impact factor: 3.231, year: 2016

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Caenorhabditis elegans as a Model for Toxic Effects of Nanoparticles: Lethality, Growth, and Reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maurer, Laura L; Ryde, Ian T; Yang, Xinyu; Meyer, Joel N

    2015-11-02

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is extensively utilized in toxicity studies. C. elegans offers a high degree of homology with higher organisms, and its ease of use and relatively inexpensive maintenance have made it an attractive complement to mammalian and ecotoxicological models. C. elegans provides multiple benefits, including the opportunity to perform relatively high-throughput assays on whole organisms, a wide range of genetic tools permitting investigation of mechanisms and genetic sensitivity, and transparent bodies that facilitate toxicokinetic studies. This unit describes protocols for three nanotoxicity assays in C. elegans: lethality, growth, and reproduction. This unit focuses on how to use these well-established assays with nanoparticles, which are being produced in ever-increasing volume and exhibit physicochemical properties that require alteration of standard toxicity assays. These assays permit a broad phenotypic assessment of nanotoxicity in C. elegans, and, when used in combination with genetic tools and other assays, also permit mechanistic insight. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

    Animal behavior is shaped through interplay among genes, the environment, and previous experience. As in mammals, satiety signals induce quiescence in Caenorhabditis elegans Here we report that the C. elegans transcription factor ETS-5, an ortholog of mammalian FEV/Pet1, controls satiety......-induced 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......-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....

  10. 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.)

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moon, Sunjin; Lee, Yong Woo; Kim, Woo Taek; Lee, Weontae

    2014-01-01

    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

  13. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang, Jiaolong; Lu, Lulu; Zhou, Lijun

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-12-25

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Félix Marie-Anne

    2012-06-01

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

  17. Selenite protects Caenorhabditis elegans from oxidative stress via DAF-16 and TRXR-1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Wen-Hsuan; Shi, Yeu-Ching; Chang, Chun-Han; Huang, Chi-Wei; Hsiu-Chuan Liao, Vivian

    2014-04-01

    Selenium is an essential micronutrient. In the present study, trace amount of selenite (0.01 μM) was evaluated for oxidative stress resistance and potential associated factors in Caenorhabditis elegans. Selenite-treated C. elegans showed an increased survival under oxidative stress and thermal stress compared to untreated controls. Further studies demonstrated that the significant stress resistance of selenite on C. elegans could be attributed to its in vivo free radical-scavenging ability. We also found that the oxidative and thermal stress resistance phenotypes by selenite were absent from the forkhead transcription factor daf-16 mutant worms. Moreover, selenite influenced the subcellular distribution of DAF-16 in C. elegans. Furthermore, selenite increased mRNA levels of stress-resistance-related proteins, including superoxide dismutase-3 and heat shock protein-16.2. Additionally, selenite (0.01 μM) upregulated expressions of transgenic C. elegans carrying sod-3::green fluorescent protein (GFP) and hsp-16.2::GFP, whereas this effect was abolished by feeding daf-16 RNA interference in C. elegans. Finally, unlike the wild-type N2 worms, the oxidative stress resistance phenotypes by selenite were both absent from the C. elegans selenoprotein trxr-1 mutant worms and trxr-1 mutants feeding with daf-16 RNA interference. These findings suggest that the antioxidant effects of selenite in C. elegans are mediated via DAF-16 and TRXR-1. © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  18. Evolutionary perspectives on innate immunity from the study of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Dennis H; Ausubel, Frederick M

    2005-02-01

    Genetic and functional genomic approaches have begun to define the molecular determinants of pathogen resistance in Caenorhabditis elegans. Conserved signal transduction components are required for pathogen resistance, including a Toll/IL-1 receptor domain adaptor protein that functions upstream of a conserved p38 MAP kinase pathway. We suggest that this pathway is an ancestral innate immune signaling pathway present in the common ancestor of nematodes, arthropods and vertebrates, which is likely to predate the involvement of canonical Toll signaling pathways in innate immunity. We anticipate that the study of pathogen resistance in C. elegans will continue to provide evolutionary and mechanistic insights into the signal transduction and physiology of innate immunity.

  19. 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...

  20. 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

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

  1. 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...

  2. Specific microRNAs Regulate Heat Stress Responses in Caenorhabditis elegans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Determination of cell division axes in the early embryogenesis of Caenorhabditis elegans

    OpenAIRE

    1987-01-01

    The establishment of cell division axes was examined in the early embryonic divisions of Caenorhabditis elegans. It has been shown previously that there are two different patterns of cleavage during early embryogenesis. In one set of cells, which undergo predominantly determinative divisions, the division axes are established successively in the same orientation, while division axes in the other set, which divide mainly proliferatively, have an orthogonal pattern of division. We have investig...

  4. Optical silencing of body wall muscles induces pumping inhibition in Caenorhabditis elegans

    OpenAIRE

    Takahashi, Megumi; Takagi, Shin

    2017-01-01

    Feeding, a vital behavior in animals, is modulated depending on internal and external factors. In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, the feeding organ called the pharynx ingests food by pumping driven by the pharyngeal muscles. Here we report that optical silencing of the body wall muscles, which drive the locomotory movement of worms, affects pumping. In worms expressing the Arch proton pump or the ACR2 anion channel in the body wall muscle cells, the pumping rate decreases after activatio...

  5. Exploring the envelope. Systematic alteration in the sex-determination system of the nematode caenorhabditis elegans.

    OpenAIRE

    Hodgkin, Jonathan

    2002-01-01

    The natural sexes of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans are the self-fertilizing hermaphrodite (XX) and the male (XO). The underlying genetic pathway controlling sexual phenotype has been extensively investigated. Mutations in key regulatory genes have been used to create a series of stable populations in which sex is determined not by X chromosome dosage, but in a variety of other ways, many of which mimic the diverse sex-determination systems found in different animal species. Most of thes...

  6. Feedback Control of Sex Determination by Dosage Compensation Revealed through Caenorhabditis Elegans Sdc-3 Mutations

    OpenAIRE

    DeLong, L.; Plenefisch, J. D.; Klein, R. D.; Meyer, B. J.

    1993-01-01

    In Caenorhabditis elegans, sex determination and dosage compensation are coordinately controlled through a group of genes that respond to the primary sex determination signal. Here we describe a new gene, sdc-3, that also controls these processes. In contrast to previously described genes, the sex determination and dosage compensation activities of sdc-3 are separately mutable, indicating that they function independently. Paradoxically, the sdc-3 null phenotype fails to reveal the role of sdc...

  7. Two Size-Selective Mechanisms Specifically Trap Bacteria-Sized Food Particles in Caenorhabditis elegans

    OpenAIRE

    Fang-Yen, Christopher M.; Avery, Leon; Samuel, Aravinthan DT

    2009-01-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans is a filter feeder: it draws bacteria suspended in liquid into its pharynx, traps the bacteria, and ejects the liquid. How pharyngeal pumping simultaneously transports and filters food particles has been poorly understood. Here, we use high-speed video microscopy to define the detailed workings of pharyngeal mechanics. The buccal cavity and metastomal flaps regulate the flow of dense bacterial suspensions and exclude excessively large particles from entering the pharyn...

  8. Measurement of Intracellular Ionized Calcium in a Free-living Soil Nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawaii, S; Yoshizawa, Y; Mizutani, J

    1993-01-01

    A calcium chelating fluorescence indicator, fura-2, was used to measure intracellular ionized calcium in Caenorhabditis elegans. The indicator loading process was harmless to the nematode, and completed within 2-3 h. Fura-2 was loaded mainly at its intestinal tract. The effects of DOPA on locomotion and the level of intracellular calcium were investigated and measured by using a microfluorometer. The addition of DOPA temporarily increased [Ca(2+)]i for several minutes.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1986-01-01

    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

  10. Daf-2, Daf-16 and Daf-23: Genetically Interacting Genes Controlling Dauer Formation in Caenorhabditis Elegans

    OpenAIRE

    Gottlieb, S.; Ruvkun, G.

    1994-01-01

    Under conditions of high population density and low food, Caenorhabditis elegans forms an alternative third larval stage, called the dauer stage, which is resistant to desiccation and harsh environments. Genetic analysis of some dauer constitutive (Daf-c) and dauer defective (Daf-d) mutants has revealed a complex pathway that is likely to function in particular neurons and/or responding tissues. Here we analyze the genetic interactions between three genes which comprise a branch of the dauer ...

  11. Natto (fermented soybean) extract extends the adult lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibe, Sachie; Kumada, Kaoru; Yoshida, Keiko; Otobe, Kazunori

    2013-01-01

    We investigated the effects of a water extract of natto on the aging of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. The water extract significantly prolonged the adult lifespan of the wild-type worms and rendered them resistant to oxidative and thermal stress. In addition, treatment with natto extract significantly delayed the accumulation of lipofuscin, a characteristic of aging cells. Our findings suggest that components of natto have a beneficial anti-aging effect in vivo.

  12. The Caenorhabditis elegans interneuron ALA is (also) a high-threshold mechanosensor

    OpenAIRE

    Sanders, Jarred; Nagy, Stanislav; Fetterman, Graham; Wright, Charles; Treinin, Millet; Biron, David

    2013-01-01

    Background To survive dynamic environments, it is essential for all animals to appropriately modulate their behavior in response to various stimulus intensities. For instance, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans suppresses the rate of egg-laying in response to intense mechanical stimuli, in a manner dependent on the mechanosensory neurons FLP and PVD. We have found that the unilaterally placed single interneuron ALA acted as a high-threshold mechanosensor, and that it was required for this pr...

  13. 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.

  14. 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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:26241504

  15. Cholesterol-producing transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans lives longer due to newly acquired enhanced stress resistance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, Eun-Young; Shim, Yhong-Hee; Chitwood, David J.; Hwang, Soon Baek; Lee, Junho; Paik, Young-Ki

    2005-01-01

    Because Caenorhabditis elegans lacks several components of the de novo sterol biosynthetic pathway, it requires sterol as an essential nutrient. Supplemented cholesterol undergoes extensive enzymatic modification in C. elegans to form other sterols of unknown function. 7-Dehydrocholesterol reductase (DHCR) catalyzes the reduction of the Δ 7 double bond of sterols and is suspected to be defective in C. elegans, in which the major endogenous sterol is 7-dehydrocholesterol (7DHC). We microinjected a human DHCR expression vector into C. elegans, which was then incorporated into chromosome by γ-radiation. This transgenic C. elegans was named cholegans, i.e., cholesterol-producing C. elegans, because it was able to convert 7DHC into cholesterol. We investigated the effects of changes in sterol composition on longevity and stress resistance by examining brood size, mean life span, UV resistance, and thermotolerance. Cholegans contained 80% more cholesterol than the wild-type control. The brood size of cholegans was reduced by 40% compared to the wild-type control, although the growth rate was not significantly changed. The mean life span of cholegans was increased up to 131% in sterol-deficient medium as compared to wild-type. The biochemical basis for life span extension of cholegans appears to partly result from its acquired resistance against both UV irradiation and thermal stress

  16. Both live and dead Enterococci activate Caenorhabditis elegans host defense via immune and stress pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuen, Grace J; Ausubel, Frederick M

    2018-12-31

    The innate immune response of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has been extensively studied and a variety of Toll-independent immune response pathways have been identified. Surprisingly little, however, is known about how pathogens activate the C. elegans immune response. Enterococcus faecalis and Enterococcus faecium are closely related enterococcal species that exhibit significantly different levels of virulence in C. elegans infection models. Previous work has shown that activation of the C. elegans immune response by Pseudomonas aeruginosa involves P. aeruginosa-mediated host damage. Through ultrastructural imaging, we report that infection with either E. faecalis or E. faecium causes the worm intestine to become distended with proliferating bacteria in the absence of extensive morphological changes and apparent physical damage. Genetic analysis, whole-genome transcriptional profiling, and multiplexed gene expression analysis demonstrate that both enterococcal species, whether live or dead, induce a rapid and similar transcriptional defense response dependent upon previously described immune signaling pathways. The host response to E. faecium shows a stricter dependence upon stress response signaling pathways than the response to E. faecalis. Unexpectedly, we find that E. faecium is a C. elegans pathogen and that an active wild-type host defense response is required to keep an E. faecium infection at bay. These results provide new insights into the mechanisms underlying the C. elegans immune response to pathogen infection.

  17. 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.

  18. A cathepsin L-like protease from Strongylus vulgaris: an orthologue of Caenorhabditis elegans CPL-1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ultaigh, Sinéad Nic An; Carolan, James C; Britton, Collette; Murray, Linda; Ryan, Michael F

    2009-04-01

    Cathespin L-like proteases (CPLs), characterized from a wide range of helminths, are significant in helminth biology. For example, in Caenorhabditis elegans CPL is essential for embryogenesis. Here, we report a cathepsin L-like gene from three species of strongyles that parasitize the horse, and describe the isolation of a cpl gene (Sv-cpl-1) from Strongylus vulgaris, the first such from equine strongyles. It encodes a protein of 354 amino acids with high similarity to other parasitic Strongylida (90-91%), and C.elegans CPL-1 (87%), a member of the same Clade. As S.vulgaris cpl-1 rescued the embryonic lethal phenotype of the C.elegans cpl-1 mutant, these genes may be orthologues, sharing the same function in each species. Targeting Sv-CPL-1 might enable novel control strategies by decreasing parasite development and transmission.

  19. 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

  20. A method for measuring sulfide toxicity in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Livshits, Leonid; Gross, Einav

    2017-01-01

    Cysteine catabolism by gut microbiota produces high levels of sulfide. Excessive sulfide can interfere with colon function, and therefore may be involved in the etiology and risk of relapse of ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease affecting millions of people worldwide. Therefore, it is crucial to understand how cells/animals regulate the detoxification of sulfide generated by bacterial cysteine catabolism in the gut. Here we describe a simple and cost-effective way to explore the mechanism of sulfide toxicity in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans ( C. elegans ). •A rapid cost-effective method to quantify and study sulfide tolerance in C. elegans and other free-living nematodes.•A cost effective method to measure the concentration of sulfide in the inverted plate assay.

  1. An Investigation of the Potential Antifungal Properties of CNC-2 in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zehrbach, Angelina M D; Rogers, Alexandra R; Tarr, D Ellen K

    2017-12-01

    Caenorhabditis elegans responds to infections by upregulating specific antimicrobial peptides. The caenacin-2 ( cnc-2 ) gene is consistently upregulated in C. elegans by infection with the filamentous fungus Drechmeria coniospora , but there have been no direct studies of the CNC-2 peptide's in vivo or in vitro role in defending the nematode against this pathogen. We compared infection of wild-type and cnc-2 knockout nematode strains with four potential pathogens: D. coniospora , Candida albicans , Staphylococcus aureus , and Bacillus subtilis . There was no significant difference in survival between strains for any of the pathogens or on the maintenance strain of Escherichia coli . While we were unable to demonstrate definitively that CNC-2 is integral to fungal defenses in C. elegans , we identified possible explanations for these results as well as future work that is needed to investigate CNC-2's potential as a new antifungal treatment.

  2. Strongyloides stercoralis daf-2 encodes a divergent ortholog of Caenorhabditis elegans DAF-2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Massey, Holman C; Ranjit, Najju; Stoltzfus, Jonathan D; Lok, James B

    2013-06-01

    We hypothesise that developmental arrest in infectious larvae of parasitic nematodes is regulated by signalling pathways homologous to Caenorhabditis elegans DAF (dauer formation) pathways. Alignment of Strongyloides stercoralis (Ss) DAF-2 with DAF-2 of C. elegans and homologs of other species shows that most structural motifs in these insulin-like receptors are conserved. However, the catalytic domain of Ss-DAF-2 contains two substitutions (Q1242 and Q1256), that would result in constitutive dauer formation in C. elegans or diabetes in vertebrate animals. Ss-daf-2 also shows two alternately spliced isoforms, the constitutively expressed Ss-daf-2a, and Ss-daf-2b, which is only expressed in stages leading to parasitism. Copyright © 2013 Australian Society for Parasitology Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. The worm has turned--microbial virulence modeled in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sifri, Costi D; Begun, Jakob; Ausubel, Frederick M

    2005-03-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is emerging as a facile and economical model host for the study of evolutionarily conserved mechanisms of microbial pathogenesis and innate immunity. A rapidly growing number of human and animal microbial pathogens have been shown to injure and kill nematodes. In many cases, microbial genes known to be important for full virulence in mammalian models have been shown to be similarly required for maximum pathogenicity in nematodes. C. elegans has been used in mutation-based screening systems to identify novel virulence-related microbial genes and immune-related host genes, many of which have been validated in mammalian models of disease. C. elegans-based pathogenesis systems hold the potential to simultaneously explore the molecular genetic determinants of both pathogen virulence and host defense.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

    The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a genetically tractable model organism to investigate sterol transport. In vivo imaging of the fluorescent sterol, dehydroergosterol (DHE), is challenged by C. elegans' high autofluorescence in the same spectral region as emission of DHE. We present a method....... Bleach-rate constants were determined for DHE in vivo and confirmed in model membranes. Using this method, we could detect enrichment of DHE in specific tissues like the nerve ring, the spermateca and oocytes. We confirm these results in C. elegans gut-granule-loss (glo) mutants with reduced...... homologues of Niemann-Pick C disease proteins. Our approach is generally useful for identifying fluorescent probes in the presence of high cellular autofluorescence....

  5. Control of neuropeptide expression by parallel activity-dependent pathways in caenorhabditis elegans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

    Monitoring of neuronal activity within circuits facilitates integrated responses and rapid changes in behavior. We have identified a system in Caenorhabditis elegans where neuropeptide expression is dependent on the ability of the BAG neurons to sense carbon dioxide. In C. Elegans, CO 2 sensing...... is predominantly coordinated by the BAG-expressed receptor-type guanylate cyclase GCY-9. GCY-9 binding to CO 2 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 CO 2. Here we show that c...... 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...

  6. 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

  7. 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...

  8. PKA/KIN-1 mediates innate immune responses to bacterial pathogens in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Yi; Liu, Fang; Zhao, Pei-Ji; Zou, Cheng-Gang; Zhang, Ke-Qin

    2017-11-01

    The genetically tractable organism Caenorhabditis elegans is a powerful model animal for the study of host innate immunity. Although the intestine and the epidermis of C. elegans that is in contact with pathogens are likely to function as sites for the immune function, recent studies indicate that the nervous system could control innate immunity in C. elegans. In this report, we demonstrated that protein kinase A (PKA)/KIN-1 in the neurons contributes to resistance against Salmonella enterica infection in C. elegans. Microarray analysis revealed that PKA/KIN-1 regulates the expression of a set of antimicrobial effectors in the non-neuron tissues, which are required for innate immune responses to S. enterica. Furthermore, PKA/KIN-1 regulated the expression of lysosomal genes during S. enterica infection. Our results suggest that the lysosomal signaling molecules are involved in autophagy by controlling autophagic flux, rather than formation of autophagosomes. As autophagy is crucial for host defense against S. enterica infection in a metazoan, the lysosomal pathway also acts as a downstream effector of the PKA/KIN-1 signaling for innate immunity. Our data indicate that the PKA pathway contributes to innate immunity in C. elegans by signaling from the nervous system to periphery tissues to protect the host against pathogens.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boyd, Windy A.; McBride, Sandra J.; Rice, Julie R.; Snyder, Daniel W.; Freedman, Jonathan H.

    2010-01-01

    The National Research Council has outlined the need for non-mammalian toxicological models to test the potential health effects of a large number of chemicals while also reducing the use of traditional animal models. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is an attractive alternative model because of its well-characterized and evolutionarily conserved biology, low cost, and ability to be used in high-throughput screening. A high-throughput method is described for quantifying the reproductive capacity of C. elegans exposed to chemicals for 48 h from the last larval stage (L4) to adulthood using a COPAS Biosort. Initially, the effects of exposure conditions that could influence reproduction were defined. Concentrations of DMSO vehicle ≤ 1% did not affect reproduction. Previous studies indicated that C. elegans may be influenced by exposure to low pH conditions. At pHs greater than 4.5, C. elegans reproduction was not affected; however below this pH there was a significant decrease in the number of offspring. Cadmium chloride was chosen as a model toxicant to verify that automated measurements were comparable to those of traditional observational studies. EC 50 values for cadmium for automated measurements (176-192 μM) were comparable to those previously reported for a 72-h exposure using manual counting (151 μM). The toxicity of seven test toxicants on C. elegans reproduction was highly correlative with rodent lethality suggesting that this assay may be useful in predicting the potential toxicity of chemicals in other organisms.

  11. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as a model of organophosphate-induced mammalian neurotoxicity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cole, Russell D.; Anderson, Gary L.; Williams, Phillip L.

    2004-01-01

    Fifteen organic phosphate pesticides were tested by computer tracking for their acute behavioral toxicity with the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Thirteen of these 15 chemicals are used as insecticides and are anticholesterase agents. The other two chemicals are used as herbicides. EC50 values for each chemical were compared to the corresponding LD50 acute lethality value in rats and mice. Order of toxicity was found to be significantly correlated in comparisons of C. elegans to both rats and mice. Mechanistic investigations were conducted by assaying 8 of the 15 chemicals for anticholinesterase activity in C. elegans. Significant cholinesterase inhibition was confirmed for five chemicals that had displayed high behavioral toxicity, while three chemicals of low behavioral toxicity showed no significant decrease in cholinesterase activity. Toxicity for two chemicals that do not inhibit cholinesterase in mammals was linked to pH effects. Detailed comparison of individual chemicals and metabolic issues are discussed. These results have positive implications for the use of C. elegans as a mammalian neurological model and support the use of C. elegans in early rounds of chemical toxicity screening

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Sojin; Choi, Seoyun; Ahn, Byungchan

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark G Sterken

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mário F. Neto

    2016-08-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Frøkjaer-Jensen

    2008-06-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ichiro N. Maruyama

    2017-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-13

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

  18. Immune defense mechanisms in the Caenorhabditis elegans intestinal epithelium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pukkila-Worley, Read; Ausubel, Frederick M

    2012-02-01

    Intestinal epithelial cells provide an essential line of defense for Caernohabditis elegans against ingested pathogens. Because nematodes consume microorganisms as their food source, there has presumably been selection pressure to evolve and maintain immune defense mechanisms within the intestinal epithelium. Here we review recent advances that further define the immune signaling network within these cells and suggest mechanisms used by the nematode to monitor for infection. In reviewing studies of pathogenesis that use this simple model system, we hope to illustrate some of the basic principles of epithelial immunity that may also be of relevance in higher order hosts. Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  19. Effects of Genetic Mutations and Chemical Exposures on Caenorhabditis elegans Feeding: Evaluation of a Novel, High-Throughput Screening Assay

    OpenAIRE

    Boyd, Windy A.; McBride, Sandra J.; Freedman, Jonathan H.

    2007-01-01

    Background Government agencies have defined a need to reduce, refine or replace current mammalian-based bioassays with testing methods that use alternative species. Invertebrate species, such as Caenorhabditis elegans, provide an attractive option because of their short life cycles, inexpensive maintenance, and high degree of evolutionary conservation with higher eukaryotes. The C. elegans pharynx is a favorable model for studying neuromuscular function, and the effects of chemicals on neurom...

  20. Life cycle and population growth rate of Caenorhabditis elegans studied by a new method

    OpenAIRE

    Schroeder Fabian; Muschiol Daniel; Traunspurger Walter

    2009-01-01

    Abstract Background The free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is the predominant model organism in biological research, being used by a huge number of laboratories worldwide. Many researchers have evaluated life-history traits of C. elegans in investigations covering quite different aspects such as ecotoxicology, inbreeding depression and heterosis, dietary restriction/supplement, mutations, and ageing. Such traits include juvenile growth rates, age at sexual maturity, adult body size, ...

  1. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2013-01-01

    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% LC 50 for 24 h. The capacitance change and the body volume of C. elegans as a reference were measured four times and we confirmed the correlation between them. It shows that our device can analyze the condition of C. elegans without an imaging system. (paper)

  3. Tc7, a Tc1-hitch hiking transposon in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    OpenAIRE

    Rezsohazy, R; van Luenen, H G; Durbin, R M; Plasterk, R H

    1997-01-01

    We have found a novel transposon in the genome of Caenorhabditis elegans. Tc7 is a 921 bp element, made up of two 345 bp inverted repeats separated by a unique, internal sequence. Tc7 does not contain an open reading frame. The outer 38 bp of the inverted repeat show 36 matches with the outer 38 bp of Tc1. This region of Tc1 contains the Tc1-transposase binding site. Furthermore, Tc7 is flanked by TA dinucleotides, just like Tc1, which presumably correspond to the target duplication generated...

  4. Evidence for Parallel Processing of Sensory Information Controlling Dauer Formation in Caenorhabditis Elegans

    OpenAIRE

    Thomas, J. H.; Birnby, D. A.; Vowels, J. J.

    1993-01-01

    Dauer formation in Caenorhabditis elegans is induced by chemosensation of high levels of a constitutively secreted pheromone. Seven genes defined by mutations that confer a dauer-formation constitutive phenotype (Daf-c) can be congruently divided into two groups by any of three criteria. Group 1 genes (daf-11 and daf-21) are (1) strongly synergistic with group 2 genes for their Daf-c phenotype, (2) incompletely suppressed by dauer-formation defective (Daf-d) mutations in the genes daf-3 and d...

  5. A conserved p38 MAP kinase pathway in Caenorhabditis elegans innate immunity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Dennis H; Feinbaum, Rhonda; Alloing, Geneviève; Emerson, Fred E; Garsin, Danielle A; Inoue, Hideki; Tanaka-Hino, Miho; Hisamoto, Naoki; Matsumoto, Kunihiro; Tan, Man-Wah; Ausubel, Frederick M

    2002-07-26

    A genetic screen for Caenorhabditis elegans mutants with enhanced susceptibility to killing by Pseudomonas aeruginosa led to the identification of two genes required for pathogen resistance: sek-1, which encodes a mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase kinase, and nsy-1, which encodes a MAP kinase kinase kinase. RNA interference assays and biochemical analysis established that a p38 ortholog, pmk-1, functions as the downstream MAP kinase required for pathogen defense. These data suggest that this MAP kinase signaling cassette represents an ancient feature of innate immune responses in evolutionarily diverse species.

  6. NAD+ Is a Food Component That Promotes Exit from Dauer Diapause in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mykola Mylenko

    Full Text Available 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.

  7. Two size-selective mechanisms specifically trap bacteria-sized food particles in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang-Yen, Christopher; Avery, Leon; Samuel, Aravinthan D T

    2009-11-24

    Caenorhabditis elegans is a filter feeder: it draws bacteria suspended in liquid into its pharynx, traps the bacteria, and ejects the liquid. How pharyngeal pumping simultaneously transports and filters food particles has been poorly understood. Here, we use high-speed video microscopy to define the detailed workings of pharyngeal mechanics. The buccal cavity and metastomal flaps regulate the flow of dense bacterial suspensions and exclude excessively large particles from entering the pharynx. A complex sequence of contractions and relaxations transports food particles in two successive trap stages before passage into the terminal bulb and intestine. Filtering occurs at each trap as bacteria are concentrated in the central lumen while fluids are expelled radially through three apical channels. Experiments with microspheres show that the C. elegans pharynx, in combination with the buccal cavity, is tuned to specifically catch and transport particles of a size range corresponding to most soil bacteria.

  8. 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.

  9. Molecular characterization of a novel RhoGAP, RRC-1 of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Delawary, Mina; Nakazawa, Takanobu; Tezuka, Tohru; Sawa, Mariko; Iino, Yuichi; Takenawa, Tadaomi; Yamamoto, Tadashi

    2007-01-01

    The GTPase-activating proteins for Rho family GTPases (RhoGAP) transduce diverse intracellular signals by negatively regulating Rho family GTPase-mediated pathways. In this study, we have cloned and characterized a novel RhoGAP for Rac1 and Cdc42, termed RRC-1, from Caenorhabditis elegans. RRC-1 was highly homologous to mammalian p250GAP and promoted GTP hydrolysis of Rac1 and Cdc42 in cells. The rrc-1 mRNA was expressed in all life stages. Using an RRC-1::GFP fusion protein, we found that RRC-1 was localized to the coelomocytes, excretory cell, GLR cells, and uterine-seam cell in adult worms. These data contribute toward understanding the roles of Rho family GTPases in C. elegans

  10. Quantitative Assessment of Fat Levels in Caenorhabditis elegans Using Dark Field Microscopy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anthony D. Fouad

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans is widely used as a model for studying conserved pathways for fat storage, aging, and metabolism. The most broadly used methods for imaging fat in C. elegans require fixing and staining the animal. Here, we show that dark field images acquired through an ordinary light microscope can be used to estimate fat levels in worms. We define a metric based on the amount of light scattered per area, and show that this light scattering metric is strongly correlated with worm fat levels as measured by Oil Red O (ORO staining across a wide variety of genetic backgrounds and feeding conditions. Dark field imaging requires no exogenous agents or chemical fixation, making it compatible with live worm imaging. Using our method, we track fat storage with high temporal resolution in developing larvae, and show that fat storage in the intestine increases in at least one burst during development.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-04

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

  12. The longevity effect of echinacoside in Caenorhabditis elegans mediated through daf-16.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xue; Zhang, Jiaolong; Lu, Lulu; Zhou, Lijun

    2015-01-01

    Echinacoside (ECH), a natural polyphenolic compound, has been reported to possess important pharmacological activities. However, very little is known about whether or how ECH affects longevity in vivo. We have examined the effects of ECH on the life span and stress tolerance in Caenorhabditis elegans. Our studies demonstrate that the life span of wild-type worms could be extended in the presence of ECH. Furthermore, ECH was found to increase tolerance of worms to heat shock and oxidative stress, while not exerting any influence on pharyngeal pumping rate and progeny production. Our mechanistic studies indicate that supplementation of ECH increases the transcript level of daf-16. ECH treatment also modulates the nuclear localization and transcriptional activities of daf-16, thus fine tunes the expression of daf-16 target genes to promote longevity and increases stress response in C. elegans. Overall, this work reveals the longevity effect of ECH and elucidates the underpinning mechanisms.

  13. Staphylococcus aureus virulence factors identified by using a high-throughput Caenorhabditis elegans-killing model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Begun, Jakob; Sifri, Costi D; Goldman, Samuel; Calderwood, Stephen B; Ausubel, Frederick M

    2005-02-01

    Staphylococcus aureus is an important human pathogen that is also able to kill the model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We constructed a 2,950-member Tn917 transposon insertion library in S. aureus strain NCTC 8325. Twenty-one of these insertions exhibited attenuated C. elegans killing, and of these, 12 contained insertions in different genes or chromosomal locations. Ten of these 12 insertions showed attenuated killing phenotypes when transduced into two different S. aureus strains, and 5 of the 10 mutants correspond to genes that have not been previously identified in signature-tagged mutagenesis studies. These latter five mutants were tested in a murine renal abscess model, and one mutant harboring an insertion in nagD exhibited attenuated virulence. Interestingly, Tn917 was shown to have a very strong bias for insertions near the terminus of DNA replication.

  14. Radiation sensitivity and DNA repair in Caenorhabditis elegans strains with different mean life spans

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hartman, P S; Simpson, V J; Johnson, T; Mitchell, D

    1988-06-01

    The sensitivities to three DNA damaging agents (UV and ..gamma..-radiation, methyl methanesulfonate) were measured in four recombinant inbred (RI) strains of Caenorhabditis elegans with mean life spans ranging from 13 to 30.9 days, as well as in the wild-type strains used to derive these RI's. Sensitivities at several stages in the developmental cycle were tested. There were no significant correlations between mean life span and the lethal effects of these 3 agents. Excision of two UV-radiation-induced DNA photoproducts was also measured. Long-lived strains were no more repair competent than shorter-lived strains. These data indicate that DNA repair plays at best a minor role in the aging process of C. elegans. 33 refs.; 4 figs.

  15. Developmental wiring of specific neurons is regulated by RET-1/Nogo-A in Caenorhabditis elegans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Torpe, Nanna; Nørgaard, Steffen; Høye, Anette M.

    2017-01-01

    Nogo-A is a membrane-bound protein that functions to inhibit neuronal migration, adhesion, and neurite outgrowth during development. In the mature nervous system, Nogo-A stabilizes neuronal wiring to inhibit neuronal plasticity and regeneration after injury. Here, we show that RET-1, the sole Nog...... present a previously unidentified function for RET-1 in the nervous system of C. elegans.......-A homolog in Caenorhabditis elegans, is required to control developmental wiring of a specific subset of neurons. In ret-1 deletion mutant animals, specific ventral nerve cord axons are misguided where they fail to respect the ventral midline boundary. We found that ret-1 is expressed in multiple neurons...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2016-01-01

    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. - Highlights: • The Magdalena River has high levels of some metals such as Cd, Cu, and Ni. • Most sediment extracts affected lethality, growth, and locomotion of C. elegans. • Sediment extracts induced expression changes in mtl-2, sod-4, and gst-1. • Sediment toxicity was primarily associated with Cd and Pb. • Highest toxicity was observed for samples collected in mining and industrial areas. - In Magdalena River sediments, Cd and Pb were associated with toxicity in Caenorhabditis elegans and expression of stress response genes were related to

  17. Heat-killed Lactobacillus spp. cells enhance survivals of Caenorhabditis elegans against Salmonella and Yersinia infections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, J; Choe, J; Kim, J; Oh, S; Park, S; Kim, S; Kim, Y

    2015-12-01

    This study examined the effect of feeding heat-killed Lactobacillus cells on the survival of Caenorhabditis elegans nematodes after Salmonella Typhimurium and Yersinia enterocolitica infection. The feeding of heat-killed Lactobacillus plantarum 133 (LP133) and Lactobacillus fermentum 21 (LP21) cells to nematodes was shown to significantly increase the survival rate as well as stimulate the expression of pmk-1 gene that key factor for C. elegans immunity upon infection compared with control nematodes that were only fed Escherichia coli OP50 (OP50) cells. These results suggest that heat-killed LP133 and LF21 cells exert preventive or protective effects against the Gram-negative bacteria Salm. Typhimurium and Y. enterocolitica. To better understand the mechanisms underlying the LF21-mediated and LP133-mediated protection against bacterial infection in nematodes, transcriptional profiling was performed for each experimental group. These experiments showed that genes related to energy generation and ageing, regulators of insulin/IGF-1-like signalling, DAF genes, oxidation and reduction processes, the defence response and/or the innate immune response, and neurological processes were upregulated in nematodes that had been fed heat-killed Lactobacillus cells compared with nematodes that had been fed E. coli cells. In this study, the feeding of heat-killed Lactobacillus bacteria to Caenorhabditis elegans nematodes was shown to decrease infection by Gram-negative bacteria and increase the host lifespan. C. elegans has a small, well-organized genome and is an excellent in vivo model organism; thus, these results will potentially shed light on important Lactobacillus-host interactions. © 2015 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

  18. Competition between virus-derived and endogenous small RNAs regulates gene expression in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarkies, Peter; Ashe, Alyson; Le Pen, Jérémie; McKie, Mikel A; Miska, Eric A

    2013-08-01

    Positive-strand RNA viruses encompass more than one-third of known virus genera and include many medically and agriculturally relevant human, animal, and plant pathogens. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and its natural pathogen, the positive-strand RNA virus Orsay, have recently emerged as a new animal model to understand the mechanisms and evolution of innate immune responses. In particular, the RNA interference (RNAi) pathway is required for C. elegans resistance to viral infection. Here we report the first genome-wide analyses of gene expression upon viral infection in C. elegans. Using the laboratory strain N2, we identify a novel C. elegans innate immune response specific to viral infection. A subset of these changes is driven by the RNAi response to the virus, which redirects the Argonaute protein RDE-1 from its endogenous small RNA cofactors, leading to loss of repression of endogenous RDE-1 targets. Additionally, we show that a C. elegans wild isolate, JU1580, has a distinct gene expression signature in response to viral infection. This is associated with a reduction in microRNA (miRNA) levels and an up-regulation of their target genes. Intriguingly, alterations in miRNA levels upon JU1580 infection are associated with a transformation of the antiviral transcriptional response into an antibacterial-like response. Together our data support a model whereby antiviral RNAi competes with endogenous small RNA pathways, causing widespread transcriptional changes. This provides an elegant mechanism for C. elegans to orchestrate its antiviral response, which may have significance for the relationship between small RNA pathways and immune regulation in other organisms.

  19. Angiostrongylus cantonensis daf-2 regulates dauer, longevity and stress in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Baolong; Sun, Weiwei; Shi, Xiaomeng; Huang, Liyang; Chen, Lingzi; Wang, Suhua; Yan, Lanzhu; Liang, Shaohui; Huang, Huicong

    2017-06-15

    The insulin-like signaling (IIS) pathway is considered to be significant in regulating fat metabolism, dauer formation, stress response and longevity in Caenorhabditis elegans. "Dauer hypothesis" indicates that similar IIS transduction mechanism regulates dauer development in free-living nematode C. elegans and the development of infective third-stage larvae (iL3) in parasitic nematodes, and this is bolstered by a few researches on structures and functions of the homologous genes in the IIS pathway cloned from several parasitic nematodes. In this study, we identified the insulin-like receptor encoding gene, Acan-daf-2, from the parasitic nematode Angiostrongylus cantonensis, and determined the genomic structures, transcripts and functions far more thorough in longevity, stress resistance and dauer formation. The sequence of Acan-DAF-2, consisting of 1413 amino acids, contained all of the characteristic domains of insulin-like receptors from other taxa. The expression patterns of Acan-daf-2 in the C. elegans surrogate system showed that pAcan-daf-2:gfp was only expressed in intestine, compared with the orthologue in C. elegans, Ce-daf-2 in both intestine and neurons. In addition to the similar genomic organization to Ce-daf-2, Acan-DAF-2 could also negatively regulate Ce-DAF-16A through nuclear/cytosolic translocation and partially restore the C. elegans daf-2(e1370) mutation in longevity, dauer formation and stress resistance. These findings provided further evidence of the functional conservation of DAF-2 between parasitic nematodes and the free-living nematode C. elegans, and might be significant in understanding the developmental biology of nematode parasites, particularly in the infective process and the host-specificity. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  20. 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

  1. Aging Effects of Caenorhabditis elegans Ryanodine Receptor Variants Corresponding to Human Myopathic Mutations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katie Nicoll Baines

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Delaying the decline in skeletal muscle function will be critical to better maintenance of an active lifestyle in old age. The skeletal muscle ryanodine receptor, the major intracellular membrane channel through which calcium ions pass to elicit muscle contraction, is central to calcium ion balance and is hypothesized to be a significant factor for age-related decline in muscle function. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a key model system for the study of human aging, and strains were generated with modified C. elegans ryanodine receptors corresponding to human myopathic variants linked with malignant hyperthermia and related conditions. The altered response of these strains to pharmacological agents reflected results of human diagnostic tests for individuals with these pathogenic variants. Involvement of nerve cells in the C. elegans responses may relate to rare medical symptoms concerning the central nervous system that have been associated with ryanodine receptor variants. These single amino acid modifications in C. elegans also conferred a reduction in lifespan and an accelerated decline in muscle integrity with age, supporting the significance of ryanodine receptor function for human aging.

  2. CUP-1 Is a Novel Protein Involved in Dietary Cholesterol Uptake in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valdes, Victor J.; Athie, Alejandro; Salinas, Laura S.; Navarro, Rosa E.; Vaca, Luis

    2012-01-01

    Sterols transport and distribution are essential processes in all multicellular organisms. Survival of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans depends on dietary absorption of sterols present in the environment. However the general mechanisms associated to sterol uptake in nematodes are poorly understood. In the present work we provide evidence showing that a previously uncharacterized transmembrane protein, designated Cholesterol Uptake Protein-1 (CUP-1), is involved in dietary cholesterol uptake in C. elegans. Animals lacking CUP-1 showed hypersensitivity to cholesterol limitation and were unable to uptake cholesterol. A CUP-1-GFP fusion protein colocalized with cholesterol-rich vesicles, endosomes and lysosomes as well as the plasma membrane. Additionally, by FRET imaging, a direct interaction was found between the cholesterol analog DHE and the transmembrane “cholesterol recognition/interaction amino acid consensus” (CRAC) motif present in C. elegans CUP-1. In-silico analysis identified two mammalian homologues of CUP-1. Most interestingly, CRAC motifs are conserved in mammalian CUP-1 homologous. Our results suggest a role of CUP-1 in cholesterol uptake in C. elegans and open up the possibility for the existence of a new class of proteins involved in sterol absorption in mammals. PMID:22479487

  3. Humidity sensation requires both mechanosensory and thermosensory pathways in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russell, Joshua; Vidal-Gadea, Andrés G; Makay, Alex; Lanam, Carolyn; Pierce-Shimomura, Jonathan T

    2014-06-03

    All terrestrial animals must find a proper level of moisture to ensure their health and survival. The cellular-molecular basis for sensing humidity is unknown in most animals, however. We used the model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to uncover a mechanism for sensing humidity. We found that whereas C. elegans showed no obvious preference for humidity levels under standard culture conditions, worms displayed a strong preference after pairing starvation with different humidity levels, orienting to gradients as shallow as 0.03% relative humidity per millimeter. Cell-specific ablation and rescue experiments demonstrate that orientation to humidity in C. elegans requires the obligatory combination of distinct mechanosensitive and thermosensitive pathways. The mechanosensitive pathway requires a conserved DEG/ENaC/ASIC mechanoreceptor complex in the FLP neuron pair. Because humidity levels influence the hydration of the worm's cuticle, our results suggest that FLP may convey humidity information by reporting the degree that subcuticular dendritic sensory branches of FLP neurons are stretched by hydration. The thermosensitive pathway requires cGMP-gated channels in the AFD neuron pair. Because humidity levels affect evaporative cooling, AFD may convey humidity information by reporting thermal flux. Thus, humidity sensation arises as a metamodality in C. elegans that requires the integration of parallel mechanosensory and thermosensory pathways. This hygrosensation strategy, first proposed by Thunberg more than 100 y ago, may be conserved because the underlying pathways have cellular and molecular equivalents across a wide range of species, including insects and humans.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Priscila Gubert

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bhagavathi Sundaram Sivamaruthi

    2012-06-01

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

  6. Essential oil alloaromadendrene from mixed-type Cinnamomum osmophloeum leaves prolongs the lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Chan-Wei; Li, Wen-Hsuan; Hsu, Fu-Lan; Yen, Pei-Ling; Chang, Shang-Tzen; Liao, Vivian Hsiu-Chuan

    2014-07-02

    Cinnamomum osmophloeum Kaneh. is an indigenous tree species in Taiwan. The present study investigates phytochemical characteristics, antioxidant activities, and longevity of the essential oils from the leaves of the mixed-type C. osmophloeum tree. We demonstrate that the essential oils from leaves of mixed-type C. osmophloeum exerted in vivo antioxidant activities on Caenorhabditis elegans. In addition, minor (alloaromadendrene, 5.0%) but not major chemical components from the leaves of mixed-type C. osmophloeum have a key role against juglone-induced oxidative stress in C. elegans. Additionally, alloaromadendrene not only acts protective against oxidative stress but also prolongs the lifespan of C. elegans. Moreover, mechanistic studies show that DAF-16 is required for alloaromadendrene-mediated oxidative stress resistance and longevity in C. elegans. The results in the present study indicate that the leaves of mixed-type C. osmophloeum and essential oil alloaromadendrene have the potential for use as a source for antioxidants or treatments to delay aging.

  7. Gengnianchun Extends the Lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans via the Insulin/IGF-1 Signalling Pathway

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fanhui Meng

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Gengnianchun (GNC, a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM, is believed to have beneficial effects on ageing-related diseases, such as antioxidant properties and effects against Aβ-induced toxicity. We previously found that GNC extended the lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans. However, the mechanism underlying this effect was unclear. In this study, we further explored the mechanisms of GNC using a C. elegans model. GNC significantly increased the lifespan of C. elegans and enhanced oxidative and thermal stress resistance. Moreover, chemotaxis increased after GNC treatment. RNA-seq analysis showed that GNC regulated genes associated with longevity. We also conducted lifespan assays with a series of worm mutants. The results showed that GNC significantly extended the lifespan of several mutant strains, including eat-2 (ad465, rsks-1 (ok1255, and glp-1 (e2144, suggesting that the prolongevity effect of GNC is independent of the function of these genes. However, GNC failed to extend the lifespan of daf-2 (e1370, age-1 (hx546, and daf-16 (mu86 mutant strains. Our findings suggest that GNC extends the lifespan of C. elegans via the insulin/IGF-1 signalling pathway and may be a potential antiageing agent.

  8. Persistence of Long-Term Memory in Vitrified and Revived Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vita-More, Natasha; Barranco, Daniel

    2015-10-01

    Can memory be retained after cryopreservation? Our research has attempted to answer this long-standing question by using the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans, a well-known model organism for biological research that has generated revolutionary findings but has not been tested for memory retention after cryopreservation. Our study's goal was to test C. elegans' memory recall after vitrification and reviving. Using a method of sensory imprinting in the young C. elegans, we establish that learning acquired through olfactory cues shapes the animal's behavior and the learning is retained at the adult stage after vitrification. Our research method included olfactory imprinting with the chemical benzaldehyde (C6H5CHO) for phase-sense olfactory imprinting at the L1 stage, the fast-cooling SafeSpeed method for vitrification at the L2 stage, reviving, and a chemotaxis assay for testing memory retention of learning at the adult stage. Our results in testing memory retention after cryopreservation show that the mechanisms that regulate the odorant imprinting (a form of long-term memory) in C. elegans have not been modified by the process of vitrification or by slow freezing.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

    To analyze the pathogenesis at both physiological and molecular level using the model organism, Caenorhabditis elegans at different developmental stages in response to Shigella spp. and its pathogen associated molecular patterns such as lipopolysaccharide. The solid plate and liquid culture-based infection assays revealed that Shigella spp. infects C. elegans and had an impact on the brood size and pharyngeal pumping rate. LPS of Shigella spp. was toxic to C. elegans. qPCR analysis revealed that host innate immune genes have been modulated upon Shigella spp. infections and its LPS challenges. Non-destructive analysis was performed to kinetically assess the alterations in LPS during interaction of Shigella spp. with C. elegans. The modulation of innate immune genes attributed the surrendering of host immune system to Shigella spp. by favoring the infection. LPS appeared to have a major role in Shigella-mediated pathogenesis and Shigella employs a tactic behavior of modifying its LPS content to escape from the recognition of host immune system. © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  10. Transmission electron microscope studies of the nuclear envelope in Caenorhabditis elegans embryos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Merav; Tzur, Yonatan B; Neufeld, Esther; Feinstein, Naomi; Delannoy, Michael R; Wilson, Katherine L; Gruenbaum, Yosef

    2002-01-01

    Nuclear membranes and nuclear pore complexes (NPCs) are conserved in both animals and plants. However, the lamina composition and the dimensions of NPCs vary between plants, yeast, and vertebrates. In this study, we established a protocol that preserves the structure of Caenorhabditis elegans embryonic cells for high-resolution studies with thin-section transmission electron microscopy (TEM). We show that the NPCs are bigger in C. elegans embryos than in yeast, with dimensions similar to those in higher eukaryotes. We also localized the C. elegans nuclear envelope proteins Ce-lamin and Ce-emerin by pre-embedding gold labeling immunoelectron microscopy. Both proteins are present at or near the inner nuclear membrane. A fraction of Ce-lamin, but not Ce-emerin, is present in the nuclear interior. Removing the nuclear membranes leaves both Ce-lamin and Ce-emerin associated with the chromatin. Eliminating the single lamin protein caused cell death as visualized by characteristic changes in nuclear architecture including condensation of chromatin, clustering of NPCs, membrane blebbing, and the presence of vesicles inside the nucleus. Taken together, these results show evolutionarily conserved protein localization, interactions, and functions of the C. elegans nuclear envelope.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bacik, Karol A; Schaub, Michael T; Beguerisse-Díaz, Mariano; Billeh, Yazan N; Barahona, Mauricio

    2016-08-01

    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.

  12. Investigating the role of RIO protein kinases in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tasha K Mendes

    Full Text Available RIO protein kinases (RIOKs are a relatively conserved family of enzymes implicated in cell cycle control and ribosomal RNA processing. Despite their functional importance, they remain a poorly understood group of kinases in multicellular organisms. Here, we show that the C. elegans genome contains one member of each of the three RIOK sub-families and that each of the genes coding for them has a unique tissue expression pattern. Our analysis showed that the gene encoding RIOK-1 (riok-1 was broadly and strongly expressed. Interestingly, the intestinal expression of riok-1 was dependent upon two putative binding sites for the oxidative and xenobiotic stress response transcription factor SKN-1. RNA interference (RNAi-mediated knock down of riok-1 resulted in germline defects, including defects in germ line stem cell proliferation, oocyte maturation and the production of endomitotic oocytes. Taken together, our findings indicate new functions for RIOK-1 in post mitotic tissues and in reproduction.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  14. 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.

  15. Leptotene/zygotene chromosome movement via the SUN/KASH protein bridge in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baudrimont, Antoine; Penkner, Alexandra; Woglar, Alexander; Machacek, Thomas; Wegrostek, Christina; Gloggnitzer, Jiradet; Fridkin, Alexandra; Klein, Franz; Gruenbaum, Yosef; Pasierbek, Pawel; Jantsch, Verena

    2010-11-24

    The Caenorhabditis elegans inner nuclear envelope protein matefin/SUN-1 plays a conserved, pivotal role in the process of genome haploidization. CHK-2-dependent phosphorylation of SUN-1 regulates homologous chromosome pairing and interhomolog recombination in Caenorhabditis elegans. Using time-lapse microscopy, we characterized the movement of matefin/SUN-1::GFP aggregates (the equivalent of chromosomal attachment plaques) and showed that the dynamics of matefin/SUN-1 aggregates remained unchanged throughout leptonene/zygotene, despite the progression of pairing. Movement of SUN-1 aggregates correlated with chromatin polarization. We also analyzed the requirements for the formation of movement-competent matefin/SUN-1 aggregates in the context of chromosome structure and found that chromosome axes were required to produce wild-type numbers of attachment plaques. Abrogation of synapsis led to a deceleration of SUN-1 aggregate movement. Analysis of matefin/SUN-1 in a double-strand break deficient mutant revealed that repair intermediates influenced matefin/SUN-1 aggregate dynamics. Investigation of movement in meiotic regulator mutants substantiated that proper orchestration of the meiotic program and effective repair of DNA double-strand breaks were necessary for the wild-type behavior of matefin/SUN-1 aggregates.

  16. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans survives subfreezing temperatures in an isochoric system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mikus, Hannah; Miller, Alexander [Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Nastase, Gabriel, E-mail: traznasa@gmail.com [Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Department of Building Services, Transilvania University of Brasov, Brasov, 500036 (Romania); Serban, Alexandru [Department of Building Services, Transilvania University of Brasov, Brasov, 500036 (Romania); Shapira, Michael [Department of Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Rubinsky, Boris, E-mail: rubinsky@berkeley.edu [Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States)

    2016-08-26

    This study is the first experimental evidence showing that a living multicellular organism, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, can survive subfreezing temperatures in an isochoric (constant volume) thermodynamic system, while immersed in a simple isotonic solution, without the addition of cryoprotectants. Some of the test conditions were more extreme than those found at the ice/water interface of the Antarctic subglacial Vostok lake. On earth, life takes place in an isobaric (constant pressure) environment. In isobaric systems, subfreezing temperature survival of organisms in nature and subfreezing temperature preservation of living material for biotechnology and medicine, is made possible by use of cryoprotective chemicals additives. Our theoretical thermodynamic studies suggested that in an isochoric system, living biological material could survive subfreezing temperatures, without any cryoprotective chemicals. By confirming the theoretical predictions, this paper suggests a new technology for subfreezing preservation of cells, organs and organisms of possible value for biotechnology and medicine as well as new possible mechanisms of living organism survival in nature. - Highlights: • Preservation of biological materials at, subfreezing temperatures, in an isochoric system, is demonstrated. • Experiments were performed with Caenorhabditis elegans to pressures of 65 MPa and temperatures of −6 °C. • Isochoric subfreezing temperature is a new preservation method that does not require the use of cryoprotectants.

  17. 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.

  18. Knock-out of a mitochondrial sirtuin protects neurons from degeneration in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sangaletti, Rachele; D'Amico, Massimo; Grant, Jeff; Della-Morte, David; Bianchi, Laura

    2017-08-01

    Sirtuins are NAD⁺-dependent deacetylases, lipoamidases, and ADP-ribosyltransferases that link cellular metabolism to multiple intracellular pathways that influence processes as diverse as cell survival, longevity, and cancer growth. Sirtuins influence the extent of neuronal death in stroke. However, different sirtuins appear to have opposite roles in neuronal protection. In Caenorhabditis elegans, we found that knock-out of mitochondrial sirtuin sir-2.3, homologous to mammalian SIRT4, is protective in both chemical ischemia and hyperactive channel induced necrosis. Furthermore, the protective effect of sir-2.3 knock-out is enhanced by block of glycolysis and eliminated by a null mutation in daf-16/FOXO transcription factor, supporting the involvement of the insulin/IGF pathway. However, data in Caenorhabditis elegans cell culture suggest that the effects of sir-2.3 knock-out act downstream of the DAF-2/IGF-1 receptor. Analysis of ROS in sir-2.3 knock-out reveals that ROS become elevated in this mutant under ischemic conditions in dietary deprivation (DD), but to a lesser extent than in wild type, suggesting more robust activation of a ROS scavenging system in this mutant in the absence of food. This work suggests a deleterious role of SIRT4 during ischemic processes in mammals that must be further investigated and reveals a novel pathway that can be targeted for the design of therapies aimed at protecting neurons from death in ischemic conditions.

  19. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans survives subfreezing temperatures in an isochoric system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mikus, Hannah; Miller, Alexander; Nastase, Gabriel; Serban, Alexandru; Shapira, Michael; Rubinsky, Boris

    2016-01-01

    This study is the first experimental evidence showing that a living multicellular organism, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, can survive subfreezing temperatures in an isochoric (constant volume) thermodynamic system, while immersed in a simple isotonic solution, without the addition of cryoprotectants. Some of the test conditions were more extreme than those found at the ice/water interface of the Antarctic subglacial Vostok lake. On earth, life takes place in an isobaric (constant pressure) environment. In isobaric systems, subfreezing temperature survival of organisms in nature and subfreezing temperature preservation of living material for biotechnology and medicine, is made possible by use of cryoprotective chemicals additives. Our theoretical thermodynamic studies suggested that in an isochoric system, living biological material could survive subfreezing temperatures, without any cryoprotective chemicals. By confirming the theoretical predictions, this paper suggests a new technology for subfreezing preservation of cells, organs and organisms of possible value for biotechnology and medicine as well as new possible mechanisms of living organism survival in nature. - Highlights: • Preservation of biological materials at, subfreezing temperatures, in an isochoric system, is demonstrated. • Experiments were performed with Caenorhabditis elegans to pressures of 65 MPa and temperatures of −6 °C. • Isochoric subfreezing temperature is a new preservation method that does not require the use of cryoprotectants.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engleman, Eric A; Katner, Simon N; Neal-Beliveau, Bethany S

    2016-01-01

    Drug addiction takes a massive toll on society. Novel animal models are needed to test new treatments and understand the basic mechanisms underlying addiction. Rodent models have identified the neurocircuitry involved in addictive behavior and indicate that rodents possess some of the same neurobiologic mechanisms that mediate addiction in humans. Recent studies indicate that addiction is mechanistically and phylogenetically ancient and many mechanisms that underlie human addiction are also present in invertebrates. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has conserved neurobiologic systems with powerful molecular and genetic tools and a rapid rate of development that enables cost-effective translational discovery. Emerging evidence suggests that C. elegans is an excellent model to identify molecular mechanisms that mediate drug-induced behavior and potential targets for medications development for various addictive compounds. C. elegans emit many behaviors that can be easily quantitated including some that involve interactions with the environment. Ethanol (EtOH) is the best-studied drug-of-abuse in C. elegans and at least 50 different genes/targets have been identified as mediating EtOH's effects and polymorphisms in some orthologs in humans are associated with alcohol use disorders. C. elegans has also been shown to display dopamine and cholinergic system-dependent attraction to nicotine and demonstrate preference for cues previously associated with nicotine. Cocaine and methamphetamine have been found to produce dopamine-dependent reward-like behaviors in C. elegans. These behavioral tests in combination with genetic/molecular manipulations have led to the identification of dozens of target genes/systems in C. elegans that mediate drug effects. The one target/gene identified as essential for drug-induced behavioral responses across all drugs of abuse was the cat-2 gene coding for tyrosine hydroxylase, which is consistent with the role of dopamine neurotransmission

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engleman, Eric A.; Katner, Simon N.; Neal-Beliveau, Bethany S.

    2016-01-01

    Drug addiction takes a massive toll on society. Novel animal models are needed to test new treatments and understand the basic mechanisms underlying addiction. Rodent models have identified the neurocircuitry involved in addictive behavior and indicate that rodents possess some of the same neurobiologic mechanisms that mediate addiction in humans. Recent studies indicate that addiction is mechanistically and phylogenetically ancient and many mechanisms that underlie human addiction are also present in invertebrates. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has conserved neurobiologic systems with powerful molecular and genetic tools and a rapid rate of development that enables cost-effective translational discovery. Emerging evidence suggests that C. elegans is an excellent model to identify molecular mechanisms that mediate drug-induced behavior and potential targets for medications development for various addictive compounds. C. elegans emit many behaviors that can be easily quantitated including some that involve interactions with the environment. Ethanol (EtOH) is the best-studied drug-of-abuse in C. elegans and at least 50 different genes/targets have been identified as mediating EtOH’s effects and polymorphisms in some orthologs in humans are associated with alcohol use disorders. C. elegans has also been shown to display dopamine and cholinergic system–dependent attraction to nicotine and demonstrate preference for cues previously associated with nicotine. Cocaine and methamphetamine have been found to produce dopamine-dependent reward-like behaviors in C. elegans. These behavioral tests in combination with genetic/molecular manipulations have led to the identification of dozens of target genes/systems in C. elegans that mediate drug effects. The one target/gene identified as essential for drug-induced behavioral responses across all drugs of abuse was the cat-2 gene coding for tyrosine hydroxylase, which is consistent with the role of dopamine

  2. 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

    pathway; however, intriguingly the lifespan extension resulting from Harmane was higher in p38 MAPK-deficient nematodes. This indicates that Harmane has a complex effect on the innate immune system of C. elegans. Harmane could therefore be a useful tool in the further research into C. elegans immunity....... Since the innate immunity of C. elegans has a high degree of evolutionary conservation, drugs such as Harmane could also be possible alternatives to classic antibiotics. The C. elegans model could prove to be useful for selection and development of such drugs.......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...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Shigella flexneri infection in Caenorhabditis elegans: cytopathological examination and identification of host responses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Divya T George

    Full Text Available The Gram-negative bacterium Shigella flexneri is the causative agent of shigellosis, a diarrhoeal disease also known as bacillary dysentery. S. flexneri infects the colonic and rectal epithelia of its primate host and induces a cascade of inflammatory responses that culminates in the destruction of the host intestinal lining. Molecular characterization of host-pathogen interactions in this infection has been challenging due to the host specificity of S. flexneri strains, as it strictly infects humans and non-human primates. Recent studies have shown that S. flexneri infects the soil dwelling nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, however, the interactions between S. flexneri and C. elegans at the cellular level and the cause of nematode death are unknown. Here we attempt to gain insight into the complex host-pathogen interactions between S. flexneri and C. elegans. Using transmission electron microscopy, we show that live S. flexneri cells accumulate in the nematode intestinal lumen, produce outer membrane vesicles and invade nematode intestinal cells. Using two-dimensional differential in-gel electrophoresis we identified host proteins that are differentially expressed in response to S. flexneri infection. Four of the identified genes, aco-1, cct-2, daf-19 and hsp-60, were knocked down using RNAi and ACO-1, CCT-2 and DAF-19, which were identified as up-regulated in response to S. flexneri infection, were found to be involved in the infection process. aco-1 RNAi worms were more resistant to S. flexneri infection, suggesting S. flexneri-mediated disruption of host iron homeostasis. cct-2 and daf-19 RNAi worms were more susceptible to infection, suggesting that these genes are induced as a protective mechanism by C. elegans. These observations further our understanding of the processes involved in S. flexneri infection of C. elegans, which is immensely beneficial to the routine use of this new in vivo model to study S. flexneri pathogenesis.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wu Yonghong

    2010-09-01

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

  6. Natural variation in gene expression in the early development of dauer larvae of Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Barker Gary LA

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans makes a developmental decision based on environmental conditions: larvae either arrest as dauer larva, or continue development into reproductive adults. There is natural variation among C. elegans lines in the sensitivity of this decision to environmental conditions; that is, there is variation in the phenotypic plasticity of dauer larva development. We hypothesised that these differences may be transcriptionally controlled in early stage larvae. We investigated this by microarray analysis of different C. elegans lines under different environmental conditions, specifically the presence and absence of dauer larva-inducing pheromone. Results There were substantial transcriptional differences between four C. elegans lines under the same environmental conditions. The expression of approximately 2,000 genes differed between genetically different lines, with each line showing a largely line-specific transcriptional profile. The expression of genes that are markers of larval moulting suggested that the lines may be developing at different rates. The expression of a total of 89 genes was putatively affected by dauer larva or non-dauer larva-inducing conditions. Among the upstream regions of these genes there was an over-representation of DAF-16-binding motifs. Conclusion Under the same environmental conditions genetically different lines of C. elegans had substantial transcriptional differences. This variation may be due to differences in the developmental rates of the lines. Different environmental conditions had a rather smaller effect on transcription. The preponderance of DAF-16-binding motifs upstream of these genes was consistent with these genes playing a key role in the decision between development into dauer or into non-dauer larvae. There was little overlap between the genes whose expression was affected by environmental conditions and previously identified loci involved in

  7. Role of DAF-21protein in Caenorhabditis elegans immunity against Proteus mirabilis infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    JebaMercy, Gnanasekaran; Durai, Sellegounder; Prithika, Udayakumar; Marudhupandiyan, Shanmugam; Dasauni, Pushpanjali; Kundu, Suman; Balamurugan, Krishnaswamy

    2016-08-11

    Caenorhabditis elegans is emerging as one of the handy model for proteome related studies due to its simplest system biology. The present study, deals with changes in protein expression in C. elegans infected with Proteus mirabilis. Proteins were separated using two-dimensional differential gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE) and identified using MALDI-TOF. Twelve distinctly regulated proteins identified in the infected worms, included heat shock proteins involved stress pathway (HSP-1 and HSP-6), proteins involved in immune response pathway (DAF-21), enzymes involved in normal cellular process (Eukaryotic translation Elongation Factor, actin family member, S-adenosyl homocysteine hydrolase ortholog, glutamate dehydrogenase and Vacuolar H ATPase family member) and few least characterized proteins (H28O16.1 and H08J11.2). The regulation of selected players at the transcriptional level during Proteus mirabilis infection was analyzed using qPCR. Physiological experiments revealed the ability of P. mirabilis to kill daf-21 mutant C. elegans significantly compared with the wild type. This is the first report studying proteome changes in C. elegans and exploring the involvement of MAP Kinase pathway during P. mirabilis infection. This is the first report studying proteome changes in C. elegans during P. mirabilis infection. The present study explores the role and contribution of MAP Kinase pathway and its regulator protein DAF-21 involvement in the immunity against opportunistic pathogen P. mirabilis infection. Manipulation of this DAF-21 protein in host, may pave the way for new drug development or disease control strategy during opportunistic pathogen infections. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shawn Lewenza

    2014-08-01

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

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

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    Wang N

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Ning Wang,1 Hui Wang,2 Chengchun Tang,3 Shijun Lei,1 Wanqing Shen,1 Cong Wang,1 Guobin Wang,4 Zheng Wang,1,4 Lin Wang1,5 1Research Center for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, Union Hospital, 2Department of Medical Genetics, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, 3Boron Nitride Research Center, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Hebei University of Technology, Tianjin, 4Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery, 5Department of Clinical Laboratory, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China Abstract: Boron nitride (BN nanomaterials have been increasingly explored for potential biological applications. However, their toxicity remains poorly understood. Using Caenorhabditis elegans as a whole-animal model for toxicity analysis of two representative types of BN nanomaterials – BN nanospheres (BNNSs and highly water-soluble BN nanomaterial (named BN-800-2 – we found that BNNSs overall toxicity was less than soluble BN-800-2 with irregular shapes. The concentration thresholds for BNNSs and BN-800-2 were 100 µg·mL-1 and 10 µg·mL-1, respectively. Above this concentration, both delayed growth, decreased life span, reduced progeny, retarded locomotion behavior, and changed the expression of phenotype-related genes to various extents. BNNSs and BN-800-2 increased oxidative stress levels in C. elegans by promoting reactive oxygen species production. Our results further showed that oxidative stress response and MAPK signaling-related genes, such as GAS1, SOD2, SOD3, MEK1, and PMK1, might be key factors for reactive oxygen species production and toxic responses to BNNSs and BN-800-2 exposure. Together, our results suggest that when concentrations are lower than 10 µg·mL-1, BNNSs are more biocompatible than BN-800-2 and are potentially biocompatible material. Keywords: boron nitride nanomaterials, Caenorhabditis elegans, nanotoxicology

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. © FEMS 2014. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  11. Spermatogenesis-specific features of the meiotic program in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Diane C Shakes

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available In most sexually reproducing organisms, the fundamental process of meiosis is implemented concurrently with two differentiation programs that occur at different rates and generate distinct cell types, sperm and oocytes. However, little is known about how the meiotic program is influenced by such contrasting developmental programs. Here we present a detailed timeline of late meiotic prophase during spermatogenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans using cytological and molecular landmarks to interrelate changes in chromosome dynamics with germ cell cellularization, spindle formation, and cell cycle transitions. This analysis expands our understanding C. elegans spermatogenesis, as it identifies multiple spermatogenesis-specific features of the meiotic program and provides a framework for comparative studies. Post-pachytene chromatin of spermatocytes is distinct from that of oocytes in both composition and morphology. Strikingly, C. elegans spermatogenesis includes a previously undescribed karyosome stage, a common but poorly understood feature of meiosis in many organisms. We find that karyosome formation, in which chromosomes form a constricted mass within an intact nuclear envelope, follows desynapsis, involves a global down-regulation of transcription, and may support the sequential activation of multiple kinases that prepare spermatocytes for meiotic divisions. In spermatocytes, the presence of centrioles alters both the relative timing of meiotic spindle assembly and its ultimate structure. These microtubule differences are accompanied by differences in kinetochores, which connect microtubules to chromosomes. The sperm-specific features of meiosis revealed here illuminate how the underlying molecular machinery required for meiosis is differentially regulated in each sex.

  12. Longevity and Stress Resistant Property of 6-Gingerol from Zingiber officinale Roscoe in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Eun Byeol; Kim, Jun Hyeong; An, Chang Wan; Kim, Yeong Jee; Noh, Yun Jeong; Kim, Su Jin; Kim, Ju-Eun; Shrestha, Abinash Chandra; Ham, Ha-Neul; Leem, Jae-Yoon; Jo, Hyung-Kwon; Kim, Dae-Sung; Moon, Kwang Hyun; Lee, Jeong Ho; Jeong, Kyung Ok; Kim, Dae Keun

    2018-03-14

    In order to discover lifespan-extending compounds made from natural resources, activity-guided fractionation of Zingiber officinale Roscoe (Zingiberaceae) ethanol extract was performed using the Caenorhabditis elegans ( C. elegans ) model system. The compound 6-gingerol was isolated from the most active ethyl acetate soluble fraction, and showed potent longevity-promoting activity. It also elevated the survival rate of worms against stressful environment including thermal, osmotic, and oxidative conditions. Additionally, 6-gingerol elevated the antioxidant enzyme activities of C. elegans , and showed a dose-depend reduction of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation in worms. Further studies demonstrated that the increased stress tolerance of 6-gingerol-mediated worms could result from the promotion of stress resistance proteins such as heat shock protein (HSP-16.2) and superoxide dismutase (SOD-3). The lipofuscin levels in 6-gingerol treated intestinal worms were decreased in comparison to the control group. No significant 6-gingerol-related changes, including growth, food intake, reproduction, and movement were noted. These results suggest that 6-gingerol exerted longevity-promoting activities independently of these factors and could extend the human lifespan.

  13. Tenebrio molitor Extracts Modulate the Response to Environmental Stressors and Extend Lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Won, Seong-Min; Cha, Hye-Uk; Yi, Sun Shin; Kim, Sung-Jo; Park, Sang-Kyu

    2016-09-08

    Tenebrio molitor are large insects and their larvae are consumed as food in many countries. The nutritional composition of T. molitor has been studied and contains high amounts of proteins, unsaturated fatty acids, and valuable minerals. However, the bioactivity of T. molitor has not been fully understood. We examined the effects of T. molitor extracts on resistance to oxidative stress and organism's lifespan using Caenorhabditis elegans as a model system. The response to heat shock and ultraviolet (UV) irradiation was monitored in vivo. The extracts from T. molitor showed significant effects on resistance to oxidative stress and UV irradiation and extend both mean and maximum lifespan of C. elegans. The number of progeny produced significantly increased in animals supplemented with T. molitor extracts. In addition, the expression of hsp-16.2 and sod-3 was markedly upregulated by supplementation with T. molitor extracts. These findings suggest that T. molitor extracts can increase response to stressors and extend lifespan by the induction of longevity assurance genes in C. elegans.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hulme, S Elizabeth; Whitesides, George M

    2011-05-16

    This Review discusses the potential usefulness of the worm Caenorhabditis elegans as a model organism for chemists interested in studying living systems. C. elegans, a 1 mm long roundworm, is a popular model organism in almost all areas of modern biology. The worm has several features that make it attractive for biology: it is small (1000 cells), transparent, and genetically tractable. Despite its simplicity, the worm exhibits complex phenotypes associated with multicellularity: the worm has differentiated cells and organs, it ages and has a well-defined lifespan, and it is capable of learning and remembering. This Review argues that the balance between simplicity and complexity in the worm will make it a useful tool in determining the relationship between molecular-scale phenomena and organism-level phenomena, such as aging, behavior, cognition, and disease. Following an introduction to worm biology, the Review provides examples of current research with C. elegans that is chemically relevant. It also describes tools-biological, chemical, and physical-that are available to researchers studying the worm. Copyright © 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yanqiong; Chen, Dongliang; Smith, Michael A; Zhang, Baohong; Pan, Xiaoping

    2012-01-01

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jitendra Kumar

    Full Text Available 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.

  18. Interpreting a sequenced genome: toward a cosmid transgenic library of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janke, D L; Schein, J E; Ha, T; Franz, N W; O'Neil, N J; Vatcher, G P; Stewart, H I; Kuervers, L M; Baillie, D L; Rose, A M

    1997-10-01

    We have generated a library of transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans strains that carry sequenced cosmids from the genome of the nematode. Each strain carries an extrachromosomal array containing a single cosmid, sequenced by the C. elegans Genome Sequencing Consortium, and a dominate Rol-6 marker. More than 500 transgenic strains representing 250 cosmids have been constructed. Collectively, these strains contain approximately 8 Mb of sequence data, or approximately 8% of the C. elegans genome. The transgenic strains are being used to rescue mutant phenotypes, resulting in a high-resolution map alignment of the genetic, physical, and DNA sequence maps of the nematode. We have chosen the region of chromosome III deleted by sDf127 and not covered by the duplication sDp8(III;I) as a starting point for a systematic correlation of mutant phenotypes with nucleotide sequence. In this defined region, we have identified 10 new essential genes whose mutant phenotypes range from developmental arrest at early larva, to maternal effect lethal. To date, 8 of these 10 essential genes have been rescued. In this region, these rescues represent approximately 10% of the genes predicted by GENEFINDER and considerably enhance the map alignment. Furthermore, this alignment facilitates future efforts to physically position and clone other genes in the region. [Updated information about the Transgenic Library is available via the Internet at http://darwin.mbb.sfu.ca/imbb/dbaillie/cos mid.html.

  19. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang Dayong; Wang Yang

    2008-01-01

    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

  2. A whole-mount in situ hybridization method for microRNA detection in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andachi, Yoshiki; Kohara, Yuji

    2016-07-01

    Whole-mount in situ hybridization (WISH) is an outstanding method to decipher the spatiotemporal expression patterns of microRNAs (miRNAs) and provides important clues for elucidating their functions. The first WISH method for miRNA detection was developed in zebrafish. Although this method was quickly adapted for other vertebrates and fruit flies, WISH analysis has not been successfully used to detect miRNAs in Caenorhabditis elegans Here, we show a novel WISH method for miRNA detection in C. elegans Using this method, mir-1 miRNA was detected in the body-wall muscle where the expression and roles of mir-1 miRNA have been previously elucidated. Application of the method to let-7 family miRNAs, let-7, mir-48, mir-84, and mir-241, revealed their distinct but partially overlapping expression patterns, indicating that miRNAs sharing a short common sequence were distinguishably detected. In pash-1 mutants that were depleted of mature miRNAs, signals of mir-48 miRNA were greatly reduced, suggesting that mature miRNAs were detected by the method. These results demonstrate the validity of WISH to detect mature miRNAs in C. elegans. © 2016 Andachi and Kohara; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press for the RNA Society.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wim Wätjen

    2013-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    Prowashonupana barley (PWB) is high in β-glucan with moderate content of resistant starch. PWB reduced intestinal fat deposition (IFD) in wild type Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans, N2), and in sir-2.1 or daf-16 null mutants, and sustained a surrogate marker of lifespan, pharyngeal pumping rate (PPR), in N2, sir-2.1, daf-16, or daf-16/daf-2 mutants. Hyperglycaemia (2% glucose) reversed or reduced the PWB effect on IFD in N2 or daf-16/daf-2 mutants with a sustained PPR. mRNA expression of cpt-1, cpt-2, ckr-1, and gcy-8 were dose-dependently reduced in N2 or daf-16 mutants, elevated in daf-16/daf-2 mutants with reduction in cpt-1, and unchanged in sir-2.1 mutants. mRNA expressions were increased by hyperglycaemia in N2 or daf-16/daf-2 mutants, while reduced in sir-2.1 or daf-16 mutants. The effects of PWB in the C. elegans model appeared to be primarily mediated via sir-2.1, daf-16, and daf-16/daf-2. These data suggest that PWB and β-glucans may benefit hyperglycaemia-impaired lipid metabolism. PMID:27721901

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena Zanni

    2015-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Suzuki, Michiyo; Sakashita, Tetsuya; Kikuchi, Masahiro; Ohba, Hirofumi; Hamada, Nobuyuki; Funayama, Tomoo; Fukamoto, Kana; Kobayashi, Yasuhiko; Yanase, Sumino; Higashitani, Atsushi; Tsuji, Toshio

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 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. PMID:26848697

  8. Genetic Determinants Associated With in Vivo Survival of Burkholderia cenocepacia in the Caenorhabditis elegans Model

    KAUST Repository

    Wong, Yee-Chin

    2018-05-29

    A Burkholderia cenocepacia infection usually leads to reduced survival and fatal cepacia syndrome in cystic fibrosis patients. The identification of B. cenocepacia essential genes for in vivo survival is key to designing new anti-infectives therapies. We used the Transposon-Directed Insertion Sequencing (TraDIS) approach to identify genes required for B. cenocepacia survival in the model infection host, Caenorhabditis elegans. A B. cenocepacia J2315 transposon pool of ∼500,000 mutants was used to infect C. elegans. We identified 178 genes as crucial for B. cenocepacia survival in the infected nematode. The majority of these genes code for proteins of unknown function, many of which are encoded by the genomic island BcenGI13, while other gene products are involved in nutrient acquisition, general stress responses and LPS O-antigen biosynthesis. Deletion of the glycosyltransferase gene wbxB and a histone-like nucleoid structuring (H-NS) protein-encoding gene (BCAL0154) reduced bacterial accumulation and attenuated virulence in C. elegans. Further analysis using quantitative RT-PCR indicated that BCAL0154 modulates B. cenocepacia pathogenesis via transcriptional regulation of motility-associated genes including fliC, fliG, flhD, and cheB1. This screen has successfully identified genes required for B. cenocepacia survival within the host-associated environment, many of which are potential targets for developing new antimicrobials.

  9. 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.

  10. Life span effects of Hypericum perforatum extracts on Caenorhabditis elegans under heat stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kılıçgün, Hasan; Göksen, Gülden

    2012-10-01

    The beneficial effects of antioxidants in plants are mainly extrapolated from in vitro studies or short-term dietary supplementation studies. Due to cost and duration, relatively little is known about whether dietary antioxidants are beneficial in whole animals' life span or not. To address this question, under heat stress (35°C), Hypericum perforatum was extracted with petroleum ether and the nematodes Caenorhabditis elegans exposed to three different extract concentrations (1mg/mL, 0.1mg/mL, 0.01mg/mL) of H. perforatum. We report that Hypericum perforatum extracts did not increase life span and slow aging related increase in C. elegans. Moreover, one fraction (1mg/mL) increased declines of C. elegans life span and thermotolerance. Given this mounting evidence for life span role of H. perforatum in the presence of heat stress in vivo, the question whether H. perforatum acts as a prooxidant or an antioxidant in vivo under heat stress arises.

  11. Caenorhabditis elegans as a powerful alternative model organism to promote research in genetic toxicology and biomedicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honnen, Sebastian

    2017-05-01

    In view of increased life expectancy the risk for disturbed integrity of genetic information increases. This inevitably holds the implication for higher incidence of age-related diseases leading to considerable cost increase in health care systems. To develop preventive strategies it is crucial to evaluate external and internal noxae as possible threats to our DNA. Especially the interplay of DNA damage response (DDR) and DNA repair (DR) mechanisms needs further deciphering. Moreover, there is a distinct need for alternative in vivo test systems for basic research and also risk assessment in toxicology. Especially the evaluation of combinational toxicity of environmentally present genotoxins and adverse effects of clinically used DNA damaging anticancer drugs is a major challenge for modern toxicology. This review focuses on the applicability of Caenorhabditis elegans as a model organism to unravel and tackle scientific questions related to the biological consequences of genotoxin exposure and highlights methods for studying DDR and DR. In this regard large-scale in vivo screens of mixtures of chemicals and extensive parallel sequencing are highlighted as unique advantages of C. elegans. In addition, concise information regarding evolutionary conserved molecular mechanisms of the DDR and DR as well as currently available data obtained from the use of prototypical genotoxins and preferential read-outs of genotoxin testing are discussed. The use of established protocols, which are already available in the community, is encouraged to facilitate and further improve the implementation of C. elegans as a powerful genetic model system in genetic toxicology and biomedicine.

  12. Genetic Determinants Associated With in Vivo Survival of Burkholderia cenocepacia in the Caenorhabditis elegans Model

    KAUST Repository

    Wong, Yee-Chin; Abd El Ghany, Moataz; Ghazzali, Raeece N. M.; Yap, Soon-Joo; Hoh, Chee-Choong; Pain, Arnab; Nathan, Sheila

    2018-01-01

    A Burkholderia cenocepacia infection usually leads to reduced survival and fatal cepacia syndrome in cystic fibrosis patients. The identification of B. cenocepacia essential genes for in vivo survival is key to designing new anti-infectives therapies. We used the Transposon-Directed Insertion Sequencing (TraDIS) approach to identify genes required for B. cenocepacia survival in the model infection host, Caenorhabditis elegans. A B. cenocepacia J2315 transposon pool of ∼500,000 mutants was used to infect C. elegans. We identified 178 genes as crucial for B. cenocepacia survival in the infected nematode. The majority of these genes code for proteins of unknown function, many of which are encoded by the genomic island BcenGI13, while other gene products are involved in nutrient acquisition, general stress responses and LPS O-antigen biosynthesis. Deletion of the glycosyltransferase gene wbxB and a histone-like nucleoid structuring (H-NS) protein-encoding gene (BCAL0154) reduced bacterial accumulation and attenuated virulence in C. elegans. Further analysis using quantitative RT-PCR indicated that BCAL0154 modulates B. cenocepacia pathogenesis via transcriptional regulation of motility-associated genes including fliC, fliG, flhD, and cheB1. This screen has successfully identified genes required for B. cenocepacia survival within the host-associated environment, many of which are potential targets for developing new antimicrobials.

  13. Locomotion-learning behavior relationship in Caenorhabditis elegans following γ-ray irradiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sakashita, Tetsuya; Hamada, Nobuyuki; Suzuki, Michiyo; Kobayashi, Yasuhiko; Ikeda, Daisuke D.; Yanase, Sumino; Ishii, Naoaki

    2008-01-01

    Learning impairment following ionizing radiation (IR) exposure is an important potential risk in manned space missions. We previously reported the modulatory effects of IR on salt chemotaxis learning in Caenorhabditis elegans. However, little is known about the effects of IR on the functional relationship in the nervous system. In the present study, we investigated the effects of γ-ray exposure on the relationship between locomotion and salt chemotaxis learning behavior. We found that effects of pre-learning irradiation on locomotion were significantly correlated with the salt chemotaxis learning performance, whereas locomotion was not directly related to chemotaxis to NaCl. On the other hand, locomotion was positively correlated with salt chemotaxis of animals which were irradiated during learning, and the correlation disappeared with increasing doses. These results suggest an indirect relationship between locomotion and salt chemotaxis learning in C. elegans, and that IR inhibits the innate relationship between locomotion and chemotaxis, which is related to salt chemotaxis learning conditioning of C. elegans. (author)

  14. Cyanobacterial Xenobiotics as Evaluated by a Caenorhabditis elegans Neurotoxicity Screening Test

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ju, Jingjuan; Saul, Nadine; Kochan, Cindy; Putschew, Anke; Pu, Yuepu; Yin, Lihong; Steinberg, Christian E. W.

    2014-01-01

    In fresh waters cyanobacterial blooms can produce a variety of toxins, such as microcystin variants (MCs) and anatoxin-a (ANA). ANA is a well-known neurotoxin, whereas MCs are hepatotoxic and, to a lesser degree, also neurotoxic. Neurotoxicity applies especially to invertebrates lacking livers. Current standardized neurotoxicity screening methods use rats or mice. However, in order to minimize vertebrate animal experiments as well as experimental time and effort, many investigators have proposed the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as an appropriate invertebrate model. Therefore, four known neurotoxic compounds (positive compounds: chlorpyrifos, abamectin, atropine, and acrylamide) were chosen to verify the expected impacts on autonomic (locomotion, feeding, defecation) and sensory (thermal, chemical, and mechanical sensory perception) functions in C. elegans. This study is another step towards successfully establishing C. elegans as an alternative neurotoxicity model. By using this protocol, anatoxin-a adversely affected locomotive behavior and pharyngeal pumping frequency and, most strongly, chemotactic and thermotactic behavior, whereas MC-LR impacted locomotion, pumping, and mechanical behavior, but not chemical sensory behavior. Environmental samples can also be screened in this simple and fast way for neurotoxic characteristics. The filtrate of a Microcystis aeruginosa culture, known for its hepatotoxicity, also displayed mild neurotoxicity (modulated short-term thermotaxis). These results show the suitability of this assay for environmental cyanotoxin-containing samples. PMID:24776722

  15. 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.

  16. 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

    2017-04-01

    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. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. FoxO/Daf-16 restored thrashing movement reduced by heat stress in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furuhashi, Tsubasa; Sakamoto, Kazuichi

    2014-04-01

    Many studies on thermotolerance have been done in Caenorhabditis elegans in order to extend survival under heat stress; Daf-16, a homolog of FoxO in C. elegans, was detected as the key factor in thermotolerance. However, the recovery process from heat stress damage has been seldom discussed. In this study, we analyzed the roles of FoxO/Daf-16 on the recovery from heat stress damage by monitoring thrashing movement. Heat shock reduced the movement, which was restored by culturing at 20°C. Thrashing movement was not restored in the daf-16 mutant, which suggests that Daf-16 is one of the essential factors in repairing the damage. Movement restoration was promoted in the daf-2 mutant, a homolog of insulin/IGF-1-like receptor, in a daf-16-dependent manner. In addition, heat stress decreased the expression of daf-28 and ins-7, agonists of Daf-2. Taken together, these results revealed that FoxO/Daf-16 removes heat stress damage and restores movement via inhibition of the insulin-like signaling pathway in C. elegans, suggesting that FoxO/Daf-16 plays a critical role in thermotolerance. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. CAMKII and calcineurin regulate the lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans through the FOXO transcription factor DAF-16.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tao, Li; Xie, Qi; Ding, Yue-He; Li, Shang-Tong; Peng, Shengyi; Zhang, Yan-Ping; Tan, Dan; Yuan, Zengqiang; Dong, Meng-Qiu

    2013-06-25

    The insulin-like signaling pathway maintains a relatively short wild-type lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans by phosphorylating and inactivating DAF-16, the ortholog of the FOXO transcription factors of mammalian cells. DAF-16 is phosphorylated by the AKT kinases, preventing its nuclear translocation. Calcineurin (PP2B phosphatase) also limits the lifespan of C. elegans, but the mechanism through which it does so is unknown. Herein, we show that TAX-6•CNB-1 and UNC-43, the C. elegans Calcineurin and Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent kinase type II (CAMKII) orthologs, respectively, also regulate lifespan through DAF-16. Moreover, UNC-43 regulates DAF-16 in response to various stress conditions, including starvation, heat or oxidative stress, and cooperatively contributes to lifespan regulation by insulin signaling. However, unlike insulin signaling, UNC-43 phosphorylates and activates DAF-16, thus promoting its nuclear localization. The phosphorylation of DAF-16 at S286 by UNC-43 is removed by TAX-6•CNB-1, leading to DAF-16 inactivation. Mammalian FOXO3 is also regulated by CAMKIIA and Calcineurin. DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.00518.001.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Pseudomonas aeruginosa disrupts Caenorhabditis elegans iron homeostasis, causing a hypoxic response and death.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirienko, Natalia V; Kirienko, Daniel R; Larkins-Ford, Jonah; Wählby, Carolina; Ruvkun, Gary; Ausubel, Frederick M

    2013-04-17

    The opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa causes serious human infections, but effective treatments and the mechanisms mediating pathogenesis remain elusive. Caenorhabditis elegans shares innate immune pathways with humans, making it invaluable to investigate infection. To determine how P. aeruginosa disrupts host biology, we studied how P. aeruginosa kills C. elegans in a liquid-based pathogenesis model. We found that P. aeruginosa-mediated killing does not require quorum-sensing pathways or host colonization. A chemical genetic screen revealed that iron chelators alleviate P. aeruginosa-mediated killing. Consistent with a role for iron in P. aeruginosa pathogenesis, the bacterial siderophore pyoverdin was required for virulence and was sufficient to induce a hypoxic response and death in the absence of bacteria. Loss of the C. elegans hypoxia-inducing factor HIF-1, which regulates iron homeostasis, exacerbated P. aeruginosa pathogenesis, further linking hypoxia and killing. As pyoverdin is indispensable for virulence in mice, pyoverdin-mediated hypoxia is likely to be relevant in human pathogenesis. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Host translational inhibition by Pseudomonas aeruginosa Exotoxin A Triggers an immune response in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McEwan, Deborah L; Kirienko, Natalia V; Ausubel, Frederick M

    2012-04-19

    Intestinal epithelial cells are exposed to both innocuous and pathogenic microbes, which need to be distinguished to mount an effective immune response. To understand the mechanisms underlying pathogen recognition, we investigated how Pseudomonas aeruginosa triggers intestinal innate immunity in Caenorhabditis elegans, a process independent of Toll-like pattern recognition receptors. We show that the P. aeruginosa translational inhibitor Exotoxin A (ToxA), which ribosylates elongation factor 2 (EF2), upregulates a significant subset of genes normally induced by P. aeruginosa. Moreover, immune pathways involving the ATF-7 and ZIP-2 transcription factors, which protect C. elegans from P. aeruginosa, are required for preventing ToxA-mediated lethality. ToxA-responsive genes are not induced by enzymatically inactive ToxA protein but can be upregulated independently of ToxA by disruption of host protein translation. Thus, C. elegans has a surveillance mechanism to recognize ToxA through its effect on protein translation rather than by direct recognition of either ToxA or ribosylated EF2. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

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    Takashi S Miki

    2016-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

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    Windy A Boyd

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available 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.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.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 affects C. elegans development in a concentration dependent

  7. Neurite sprouting and synapse deterioration in the aging Caenorhabditis elegans nervous system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toth, Marton Lorant; Melentijevic, Ilija; Shah, Leena; Bhatia, Aatish; Lu, Kevin; Talwar, Amish; Naji, Haaris; Ibanez-Ventoso, Carolina; Ghose, Piya; Jevince, Angela; Xue, Jian; Herndon, Laura A; Bhanot, Gyan; Rongo, Chris; Hall, David H; Driscoll, Monica

    2012-06-27

    Caenorhabditis elegans is a powerful model for analysis of the conserved mechanisms that modulate healthy aging. In the aging nematode nervous system, neuronal death and/or detectable loss of processes are not readily apparent, but because dendrite restructuring and loss of synaptic integrity are hypothesized to contribute to human brain decline and dysfunction, we combined fluorescence microscopy and electron microscopy (EM) to screen at high resolution for nervous system changes. We report two major components of morphological change in the aging C. elegans nervous system: (1) accumulation of novel outgrowths from specific neurons, and (2) physical decline in synaptic integrity. Novel outgrowth phenotypes, including branching from the main dendrite or new growth from somata, appear at a high frequency in some aging neurons, but not all. Mitochondria are often associated with age-associated branch sites. Lowered insulin signaling confers some maintenance of ALM and PLM neuron structural integrity into old age, and both DAF-16/FOXO and heat shock factor transcription factor HSF-1 exert neuroprotective functions. hsf-1 can act cell autonomously in this capacity. EM evaluation in synapse-rich regions reveals a striking decline in synaptic vesicle numbers and a diminution of presynaptic density size. Interestingly, old animals that maintain locomotory prowess exhibit less synaptic decline than same-age decrepit animals, suggesting that synaptic integrity correlates with locomotory healthspan. Our data reveal similarities between the aging C. elegans nervous system and mammalian brain, suggesting conserved neuronal responses to age. Dissection of neuronal aging mechanisms in C. elegans may thus influence the development of brain healthspan-extending therapies.

  8. Molecular time-course and the metabolic basis of entry into dauer in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Pan-Young Jeong

    Full Text Available When Caenorhabditis elegans senses dauer pheromone (daumone, signaling inadequate growth conditions, it enters the dauer state, which is capable of long-term survival. However, the molecular pathway of dauer entry in C. elegans has remained elusive. To systematically monitor changes in gene expression in dauer paths, we used a DNA microarray containing 22,625 gene probes corresponding to 22,150 unique genes from C. elegans. We employed two different paths: direct exposure to daumone (Path 1 and normal growth media plus liquid culture (Path 2. Our data reveal that entry into dauer is accomplished through the multi-step process, which appears to be compartmentalized in time and according to metabolic flux. That is, a time-course of dauer entry in Path 1 shows that dauer larvae formation begins at post-embryonic stage S4 (48 h and is complete at S6 (72 h. Our results also suggest the presence of a unique adaptive metabolic control mechanism that requires both stage-specific expression of specific genes and tight regulation of different modes of fuel metabolite utilization to sustain the energy balance in the context of prolonged survival under adverse growth conditions. It is apparent that worms entering dauer stage may rely heavily on carbohydrate-based energy reserves, whereas dauer larvae utilize fat or glyoxylate cycle-based energy sources. We created a comprehensive web-based dauer metabolic database for C. elegans (www.DauerDB.org that makes it possible to search any gene and compare its relative expression at a specific stage, or evaluate overall patterns of gene expression in both paths. This database can be accessed by the research community and could be widely applicable to other related nematodes as a molecular atlas.

  9. Divergent gene expression in the conserved dauer stage of the nematodes Pristionchus pacificus and Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Sinha Amit

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background An organism can respond to changing environmental conditions by adjusting gene regulation and by forming alternative phenotypes. In nematodes, these mechanisms are coupled because many species will form dauer larvae, a stress-resistant and non-aging developmental stage, when exposed to unfavorable environmental conditions, and execute gene expression programs that have been selected for the survival of the animal in the wild. These dauer larvae represent an environmentally induced, homologous developmental stage across many nematode species, sharing conserved morphological and physiological properties. Hence it can be expected that some core components of the associated transcriptional program would be conserved across species, while others might diverge over the course of evolution. However, transcriptional and metabolic analysis of dauer development has been largely restricted to Caenorhabditis elegans. Here, we use a transcriptomic approach to compare the dauer stage in the evolutionary model system Pristionchus pacificus with the dauer stage in C. elegans. Results We have employed Agilent microarrays, which represent 20,446 P. pacificus and 20,143 C. elegans genes to show an unexpected divergence in the expression profiles of these two nematodes in dauer and dauer exit samples. P. pacificus and C. elegans differ in the dynamics and function of genes that are differentially expressed. We find that only a small number of orthologous gene pairs show similar expression pattern in the dauers of the two species, while the non-orthologous fraction of genes is a major contributor to the active transcriptome in dauers. Interestingly, many of the genes acquired by horizontal gene transfer and orphan genes in P. pacificus, are differentially expressed suggesting that these genes are of evolutionary and functional importance. Conclusion Our data set provides a catalog for future functional investigations and indicates novel insight

  10. 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.

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

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    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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. 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. PMID:26222828

  13. Characterization of a Francisella tularensis-Caenorhabditis elegans Pathosystem for the Evaluation of Therapeutic Compounds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jayamani, Elamparithi; Tharmalingam, Nagendran; Rajamuthiah, Rajmohan; Kim, Wooseong; Okoli, Ikechukwu; Hernandez, Ana M.; Lee, Kiho; Nau, Gerard J.; Ausubel, Frederick M.

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Francisella tularensis is a highly infectious Gram-negative intracellular pathogen that causes tularemia. Because of its potential as a bioterrorism agent, there is a need for new therapeutic agents. We therefore developed a whole-animal Caenorhabditis elegans-F. tularensis pathosystem for high-throughput screening to identify and characterize potential therapeutic compounds. We found that the C. elegans p38 mitogen-activate protein (MAP) kinase cascade is involved in the immune response to F. tularensis, and we developed a robust F. tularensis-mediated C. elegans killing assay with a Z′ factor consistently of >0.5, which was then utilized to screen a library of FDA-approved compounds that included 1,760 small molecules. In addition to clinically used antibiotics, five FDA-approved drugs were also identified as potential hits, including the anti-inflammatory drug diflunisal that showed anti-F. tularensis activity in vitro. Moreover, the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) diflunisal, at 4× MIC, blocked the replication of an F. tularensis live vaccine strain (LVS) in primary human macrophages and nonphagocytic cells. Diflunisal was nontoxic to human erythrocytes and HepG2 human liver cells at concentrations of ≥32 μg/ml. Finally, diflunisal exhibited synergetic activity with the antibiotic ciprofloxacin in both a checkerboard assay and a macrophage infection assay. In conclusion, the liquid C. elegans-F. tularensis LVS assay described here allows screening for anti-F. tularensis compounds and suggests that diflunisal could potentially be repurposed for the management of tularemia. PMID:28652232

  14. A rolling circle replication mechanism produces multimeric lariats of mitochondrial DNA in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samantha C Lewis

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA encodes respiratory complex subunits essential to almost all eukaryotes; hence respiratory competence requires faithful duplication of this molecule. However, the mechanism(s of its synthesis remain hotly debated. Here we have developed Caenorhabditis elegans as a convenient animal model for the study of metazoan mtDNA synthesis. We demonstrate that C. elegans mtDNA replicates exclusively by a phage-like mechanism, in which multimeric molecules are synthesized from a circular template. In contrast to previous mammalian studies, we found that mtDNA synthesis in the C. elegans gonad produces branched-circular lariat structures with multimeric DNA tails; we were able to detect multimers up to four mtDNA genome unit lengths. Further, we did not detect elongation from a displacement-loop or analogue of 7S DNA, suggesting a clear difference from human mtDNA in regard to the site(s of replication initiation. We also identified cruciform mtDNA species that are sensitive to cleavage by the resolvase RusA; we suggest these four-way junctions may have a role in concatemer-to-monomer resolution. Overall these results indicate that mtDNA synthesis in C. elegans does not conform to any previously documented metazoan mtDNA replication mechanism, but instead are strongly suggestive of rolling circle replication, as employed by bacteriophages. As several components of the metazoan mitochondrial DNA replisome are likely phage-derived, these findings raise the possibility that the rolling circle mtDNA replication mechanism may be ancestral among metazoans.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bulger, David A; Fukushige, Tetsunari; Yun, Sijung; Semple, Robert K; Hanover, John A; Krause, Michael W

    2017-01-05

    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. Copyright © 2017 Bulger et al.

  17. Characterization of a Francisella tularensis-Caenorhabditis elegans Pathosystem for the Evaluation of Therapeutic Compounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jayamani, Elamparithi; Tharmalingam, Nagendran; Rajamuthiah, Rajmohan; Coleman, Jeffrey J; Kim, Wooseong; Okoli, Ikechukwu; Hernandez, Ana M; Lee, Kiho; Nau, Gerard J; Ausubel, Frederick M; Mylonakis, Eleftherios

    2017-09-01

    Francisella tularensis is a highly infectious Gram-negative intracellular pathogen that causes tularemia. Because of its potential as a bioterrorism agent, there is a need for new therapeutic agents. We therefore developed a whole-animal Caenorhabditis elegans - F. tularensis pathosystem for high-throughput screening to identify and characterize potential therapeutic compounds. We found that the C. elegans p38 mitogen-activate protein (MAP) kinase cascade is involved in the immune response to F. tularensis , and we developed a robust F. tularensis -mediated C. elegans killing assay with a Z' factor consistently of >0.5, which was then utilized to screen a library of FDA-approved compounds that included 1,760 small molecules. In addition to clinically used antibiotics, five FDA-approved drugs were also identified as potential hits, including the anti-inflammatory drug diflunisal that showed anti- F. tularensis activity in vitro Moreover, the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) diflunisal, at 4× MIC, blocked the replication of an F. tularensis live vaccine strain (LVS) in primary human macrophages and nonphagocytic cells. Diflunisal was nontoxic to human erythrocytes and HepG2 human liver cells at concentrations of ≥32 μg/ml. Finally, diflunisal exhibited synergetic activity with the antibiotic ciprofloxacin in both a checkerboard assay and a macrophage infection assay. In conclusion, the liquid C. elegans - F. tularensis LVS assay described here allows screening for anti- F. tularensis compounds and suggests that diflunisal could potentially be repurposed for the management of tularemia. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.

  18. Life cycle and population growth rate of Caenorhabditis elegans studied by a new method.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muschiol, Daniel; Schroeder, Fabian; Traunspurger, Walter

    2009-05-16

    The free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is the predominant model organism in biological research, being used by a huge number of laboratories worldwide. Many researchers have evaluated life-history traits of C. elegans in investigations covering quite different aspects such as ecotoxicology, inbreeding depression and heterosis, dietary restriction/supplement, mutations, and ageing. Such traits include juvenile growth rates, age at sexual maturity, adult body size, age-specific fecundity/mortality, total reproduction, mean and maximum lifespan, and intrinsic population growth rates. However, we found that in life-cycle experiments care is needed regarding protocol design. Here, we test a recently developed method that overcomes some problems associated with traditional cultivation techniques. In this fast and yet precise approach, single individuals are maintained within hanging drops of semi-fluid culture medium, allowing the simultaneous investigation of various life-history traits at any desired degree of accuracy. Here, the life cycles of wild-type C. elegans strains N2 (Bristol, UK) and MY6 (Münster, Germany) were compared at 20 degrees C with 5 x 10(9) Escherichia coli ml-1 as food source. High-resolution life tables and fecundity schedules of the two strains are presented. Though isolated 700 km and 60 years apart from each other, the two strains barely differed in life-cycle parameters. For strain N2 (n = 69), the intrinsic rate of natural increase (r m d(-1)), calculated according to the Lotka equation, was 1.375, the net reproductive rate (R 0) 291, the mean generation time (T) 90 h, and the minimum generation time (T min) 73.0 h. The corresponding values for strain MY6 (n = 72) were r m = 1.460, R0 = 289, T = 84 h, and T min = 67.3 h. Peak egg-laying rates in both strains exceeded 140 eggs d(-1). Juvenile and early adulthood mortality was negligible. Strain N2 lived, on average, for 16.7 d, while strain MY6 died 2 days earlier; however

  19. Life cycle and population growth rate of Caenorhabditis elegans studied by a new method

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schroeder Fabian

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is the predominant model organism in biological research, being used by a huge number of laboratories worldwide. Many researchers have evaluated life-history traits of C. elegans in investigations covering quite different aspects such as ecotoxicology, inbreeding depression and heterosis, dietary restriction/supplement, mutations, and ageing. Such traits include juvenile growth rates, age at sexual maturity, adult body size, age-specific fecundity/mortality, total reproduction, mean and maximum lifespan, and intrinsic population growth rates. However, we found that in life-cycle experiments care is needed regarding protocol design. Here, we test a recently developed method that overcomes some problems associated with traditional cultivation techniques. In this fast and yet precise approach, single individuals are maintained within hanging drops of semi-fluid culture medium, allowing the simultaneous investigation of various life-history traits at any desired degree of accuracy. Here, the life cycles of wild-type C. elegans strains N2 (Bristol, UK and MY6 (Münster, Germany were compared at 20°C with 5 × 109 Escherichia coli ml-1 as food source. Results High-resolution life tables and fecundity schedules of the two strains are presented. Though isolated 700 km and 60 years apart from each other, the two strains barely differed in life-cycle parameters. For strain N2 (n = 69, the intrinsic rate of natural increase (rmd-1, calculated according to the Lotka equation, was 1.375, the net reproductive rate (R0 291, the mean generation time (T 90 h, and the minimum generation time (Tmin 73.0 h. The corresponding values for strain MY6 (n = 72 were rm = 1.460, R0 = 289, T = 84 h, and Tmin = 67.3 h. Peak egg-laying rates in both strains exceeded 140 eggs d-1. Juvenile and early adulthood mortality was negligible. Strain N2 lived, on average, for 16.7 d, while strain MY6 died 2 days

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  1. 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.

  2. Caenorhabditis elegans in regenerative medicine: a simple model for a complex discipline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aitlhadj, Layla; Stürzenbaum, Stephen R

    2014-06-01

    Stem cell research is a major focus of regenerative medicine, which amalgamates diverse disciplines ranging from developmental cell biology to chemical and genetic therapy. Although embryonic stem cells have provided the foundation of stem cell therapy, they offer an in vitro study system that might not provide the best insight into mechanisms and behaviour of cells within living organisms. Caenorhabditis elegans is a well defined model organism with highly conserved cell development and signalling processes that specify cell fate. Its genetic amenability coupled with its chemical screening applicability make the nematode well suited as an in vivo system in which regenerative therapy and stem cell processes can be explored. Here, we describe some of the major advances in stem cell research from the worm's perspective. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Identification of nonviable genes affecting touch sensitivity in Caenorhabditis elegans using neuronally enhanced feeding RNA interference.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Xiaoyin; Cuadros, Margarete Diaz; Chalfie, Martin

    2015-01-09

    Caenorhabditis elegans senses gentle touch along the body via six touch receptor neurons. Although genetic screens and microarray analyses have identified several genes needed for touch sensitivity, these methods miss pleiotropic genes that are essential for the viability, movement, or fertility of the animals. We used neuronally enhanced feeding RNA interference to screen genes that cause lethality or paralysis when mutated, and we identified 61 such genes affecting touch sensitivity, including five positive controls. We confirmed 18 genes by using available alleles, and further studied one of them, tag-170, now renamed txdc-9. txdc-9 preferentially affects anterior touch response but is needed for tubulin acetylation and microtubule formation in both the anterior and posterior touch receptor neurons. Our results indicate that neuronally enhanced feeding RNA interference screens complement traditional mutageneses by identifying additional nonviable genes needed for specific neuronal functions. Copyright © 2015 Chen et al.

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

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    Arnaud Tauffenberger

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  5. Seahorse Xfe24 Extracellular Flux Analyzer-based analysis of cellular respiration in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luz, Anthony L.; Smith, Latasha L.; Rooney, John P.

    2015-01-01

    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 inter- 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 XFe24 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. PMID:26523474

  6. Radiobiological studies with the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Genetic and developmental effects of high LET radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 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)

  7. Diverse Regulation of Temperature Sensation by Trimeric G-Protein Signaling in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Tomoyo Ujisawa

    Full Text Available Temperature sensation by the nervous system is essential for life and proliferation of animals. The molecular-physiological mechanisms underlying temperature signaling have not been fully elucidated. We show here that diverse regulatory machinery underlies temperature sensation through trimeric G-protein signaling in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Molecular-genetic studies demonstrated that cold tolerance is regulated by additive functions of three Gα proteins in a temperature-sensing neuron, ASJ, which is also known to be a light-sensing neuron. Optical recording of calcium concentration in ASJ upon temperature-changes demonstrated that three Gα proteins act in different aspects of temperature signaling. Calcium concentration changes in ASJ upon temperature change were unexpectedly decreased in a mutant defective in phosphodiesterase, which is well known as a negative regulator of calcium increase. Together, these data demonstrate commonalities and differences in the molecular components concerned with light and temperature signaling in a single sensory neuron.

  8. Diverse Regulation of Temperature Sensation by Trimeric G-Protein Signaling in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ujisawa, Tomoyo; Ohta, Akane; Uda-Yagi, Misato

    2016-01-01

    Temperature sensation by the nervous system is essential for life and proliferation of animals. The molecular-physiological mechanisms underlying temperature signaling have not been fully elucidated. We show here that diverse regulatory machinery underlies temperature sensation through trimeric G-protein signaling in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Molecular-genetic studies demonstrated that cold tolerance is regulated by additive functions of three Gα proteins in a temperature-sensing neuron, ASJ, which is also known to be a light-sensing neuron. Optical recording of calcium concentration in ASJ upon temperature-changes demonstrated that three Gα proteins act in different aspects of temperature signaling. Calcium concentration changes in ASJ upon temperature change were unexpectedly decreased in a mutant defective in phosphodiesterase, which is well known as a negative regulator of calcium increase. Together, these data demonstrate commonalities and differences in the molecular components concerned with light and temperature signaling in a single sensory neuron. PMID:27788246

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark A Wilson

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

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

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    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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  13. Dopamine Signaling Regulates Fat Content through β-Oxidation in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barros, Alexandre Guimarães de Almeida; Bridi, Jessika Cristina; de Souza, Bruno Rezende; de Castro Júnior, Célio; de Lima Torres, Karen Cecília; Malard, Leandro; Jorio, Ado; de Miranda, Débora Marques; Ashrafi, Kaveh; Romano-Silva, Marco Aurélio

    2014-01-01

    The regulation of energy balance involves an intricate interplay between neural mechanisms that respond to internal and external cues of energy demand and food availability. Compelling data have implicated the neurotransmitter dopamine as an important part of body weight regulation. However, the precise mechanisms through which dopamine regulates energy homeostasis remain poorly understood. Here, we investigate mechanisms through which dopamine modulates energy storage. We showed that dopamine signaling regulates fat reservoirs in Caenorhabditis elegans. We found that the fat reducing effects of dopamine were dependent on dopaminergic receptors and a set of fat oxidation enzymes. Our findings reveal an ancient role for dopaminergic regulation of fat and suggest that dopamine signaling elicits this outcome through cascades that ultimately mobilize peripheral fat depots. PMID:24465759

  14. Genetic organization of the unc-22 IV gene and the adjacent region in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogalski, T M; Baillie, D L

    1985-01-01

    The genetic organization of the region immediately adjacent to the unc-22 IV gene in Caenorhabditis elegans has been studied. We have identified twenty essential genes in this interval of approximately 1.5-map units on Linkage Group IV. The mutations that define these genes were positioned by recombination mapping and complementation with several deficiencies. With few exceptions, the positions obtained by these two methods agreed. Eight of the twenty essential genes identified are represented by more than one allele. Three possible internal deletions of the unc-22 gene have been located by intra-genic mapping. In addition, the right end point of a deficiency or an inversion affecting the adjacent genes let-56 and unc-22 has been positioned inside the unc-22 gene.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-02-01

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

  16. Effects of chronic gamma irradiation: a multigenerational study using Caenorhabditis elegans

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buisset-Goussen, Adeline; Goussen, Benoit; Della-Vedova, Claire; Galas, Simon; Adam-Guillermin, Christelle; Lecomte-Pradines, Catherine

    2014-01-01

    The effects of chronic exposure to 137 Cs gamma radiation (dose rate ranging from 6.6 to 42.7 mGy h −1 ) on growth and reproductive ability were carried out over three generations of Caenorhabditis elegans (F0, F1, and F2). Exposure began at the egg stage for the first generation and was stopped at the end of laying of third-generation eggs (F2). At the same time, the two subsequent generations from parental exposure were returned to the control conditions (F1’ and F2’). There was no radiation-induced significant effect on growth, hatchability, and cumulative number of larvae within generations. Moreover, no significant differences were found in growth parameters (hatching length, maximal length, and a constant related to growth rate) among the generations. However, a decrease in the cumulative number of larvae across exposed generations was observed between F0 and F2 at the highest dose rate (238.8 ± 15.4 and 171.2 ± 13.1 number of larvae per individual, respectively). Besides, the F1′ generation was found to lay significantly fewer eggs than the F1 generation for tested dose rates 6.6, 8.1, 19.4, and 28.1 mGy h −1 . Our results confirmed that reproduction (here, cumulative number of larvae) is the most sensitive endpoint affected by chronic exposure to ionizing radiation. The results obtained revealed transgenerational effects from parental exposure in the second generation, and the second non-exposed generation was indeed more affected than the second exposed generation. - Highlights: • Chronic exposure to γ-radiation is studied using 3 generations of Caenorhabditis elegans. • Reproduction is the most sensitive endpoint affected by exposure to gamma radiation. • The results obtained revealed transgenerational effects from parental exposure

  17. A Caenorhabditis elegans Host Model Correlates with Invasive Disease Caused by Staphylococcus aureus Recovered during an Outbreak in Neonatal Intensive Care

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    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.

  18. Crossover distribution and frequency are regulated by him-5 in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meneely, Philip M; McGovern, Olivia L; Heinis, Frazer I; Yanowitz, Judith L

    2012-04-01

    Mutations in the him-5 gene in Caenorhabditis elegans strongly reduce the frequency of crossovers on the X chromosome, with lesser effects on the autosomes. him-5 mutants also show a change in crossover distribution on both the X and autosomes. These phenotypes are accompanied by a delayed entry into pachytene and premature desynapsis of the X chromosome. The nondisjunction, progression defects and desynapsis can be rescued by an exogenous source of double strand breaks (DSBs), indicating that the role of HIM-5 is to promote the formation of meiotic DSBs. Molecular cloning of the gene shows that the inferred HIM-5 product is a highly basic protein of 252 amino acids with no clear orthologs in other species, including other Caenorhabditis species. Although him-5 mutants are defective in segregation of the X chromosome, HIM-5 protein localizes preferentially to the autosomes. The mutant phenotypes and localization of him-5 are similar but not identical to the results seen with xnd-1, although unlike xnd-1, him-5 has no apparent effect on the acetylation of histone H2A on lysine 5 (H2AacK5). The localization of HIM-5 to the autosomes depends on the activities of both xnd-1 and him-17 allowing us to begin to establish pathways for the control of crossover distribution and frequency.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    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...

  20. Network control principles predict neuron function in the Caenorhabditis elegans connectome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Gang; Vértes, Petra E.; Towlson, Emma K.; Chew, Yee Lian; Walker, Denise S.; Schafer, William R.; Barabási, Albert-László

    2017-10-01

    Recent studies on the controllability of complex systems offer a powerful mathematical framework to systematically explore the structure-function relationship in biological, social, and technological networks. Despite theoretical advances, we lack direct experimental proof of the validity of these widely used control principles. Here we fill this gap by applying a control framework to the connectome of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, allowing us to predict the involvement of each C. elegans neuron in locomotor behaviours. We predict that control of the muscles or motor neurons requires 12 neuronal classes, which include neuronal groups previously implicated in locomotion by laser ablation, as well as one previously uncharacterized neuron, PDB. We validate this prediction experimentally, finding that the ablation of PDB leads to a significant loss of dorsoventral polarity in large body bends. Importantly, control principles also allow us to investigate the involvement of individual neurons within each neuronal class. For example, we predict that, within the class of DD motor neurons, only three (DD04, DD05, or DD06) should affect locomotion when ablated individually. This prediction is also confirmed; single cell ablations of DD04 or DD05 specifically affect posterior body movements, whereas ablations of DD02 or DD03 do not. Our predictions are robust to deletions of weak connections, missing connections, and rewired connections in the current connectome, indicating the potential applicability of this analytical framework to larger and less well-characterized connectomes.

  1. Winter Aconite (Eranthis hyemalis Lectin as a cytotoxic effector in the lifecycle of Caenorhabditis elegans

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    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.

  2. 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.

  3. Toxic Effects of Bisphenol A, Propyl Paraben, and Triclosan on Caenorhabditis elegans

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    María Cecilia García-Espiñeira

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Bisphenol A (BPA is a ubiquitous plasticizer which is absorbed by ingestion and dermal contact; propyl paraben (PPB inhibits the microbiome and extends the shelf life of many personal care products, whereas triclosan (TCS is commonly found in antiseptics, disinfectants, or additives. In this work, Caenorhabditis elegans was used as a biological model to assess the toxic effects of BPA, PPB, and TCS. The wild type strain, Bristol N2, was used in bioassays with the endpoints of lethality, growth, and reproduction; green fluorescent protein (GFP transgenic strains with the hsp-3, hsp-4, hsp-16.2, hsp-70, sod-1, sod-4, cyp-35A4, cyp-29A2, and skn-1 genes were evaluated for their mRNA expression through fluorescence measurement; and quick Oil Red O (q ORO was utilized to stain lipid deposits. Lethality was concentration-dependent, while TCS and PPB showed more toxicity than BPA. BPA augmented worm length, while PPB reduced it. All toxicants moderately increased the width and the width–length ratio. BPA and PPB promoted reproduction, in contrast to TCS, which diminished it. All toxicants affected the mRNA expression of genes related to cellular stress, control of reactive oxygen species, and nuclear receptor activation. Lipid accumulation occurred in exposed worms. In conclusion, BPA, PPB, and TCS alter the physiology of growth, lipid accumulation, and reproduction in C. elegans, most likely through oxidative stress mechanisms.

  4. Bioactive Peptides from Angelica sinensis Protein Hydrolyzate Delay Senescence in Caenorhabditis elegans through Antioxidant Activities

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    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.

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  7. Functional characterization of thioredoxin 3 (TRX-3), a Caenorhabditis elegans intestine-specific thioredoxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiménez-Hidalgo, María; Kurz, Cyril Léopold; Pedrajas, José Rafael; Naranjo-Galindo, Francisco José; González-Barrios, María; Cabello, Juan; Sáez, Alberto G; Lozano, Encarnación; Button, Emma L; Veal, Elizabeth A; Fierro-González, Juan Carlos; Swoboda, Peter; Miranda-Vizuete, Antonio

    2014-03-01

    Thioredoxins are a class of evolutionarily conserved proteins that have been demonstrated to play a key role in many cellular processes involving redox reactions. We report here the genetic and biochemical characterization of Caenorhabditis elegans TRX-3, the first metazoan thioredoxin with an intestine-specific expression pattern. By using green fluorescent protein reporters we have found that TRX-3 is expressed in both the cytoplasm and the nucleus of intestinal cells, with a prominent localization at the apical membrane. Although intestinal function, reproductive capacity, longevity, and resistance of trx-3 loss-of-function mutants to many stresses are indistinguishable from those of wild-type animals, we have observed a slight reduction in size and a minor reduction in the defecation cycle timing of trx-3 mutants. Interestingly, trx-3 is induced upon infection by Photorhabdus luminescens and Candida albicans, and TRX-3 overexpression provides a modest protection against these pathogens. Together, our data indicate that TRX-3 function in the intestine is dispensable for C. elegans development but may be important to fight specific bacterial and fungal infections. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  9. Spreading of a prion domain from cell-to-cell by vesicular transport in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Carmen I Nussbaum-Krammer

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Prion proteins can adopt self-propagating alternative conformations that account for the infectious nature of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs and the epigenetic inheritance of certain traits in yeast. Recent evidence suggests a similar propagation of misfolded proteins in the spreading of pathology of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease. Currently there is only a limited number of animal model systems available to study the mechanisms that underlie the cell-to-cell transmission of aggregation-prone proteins. Here, we have established a new metazoan model in Caenorhabditis elegans expressing the prion domain NM of the cytosolic yeast prion protein Sup35, in which aggregation and toxicity are dependent upon the length of oligopeptide repeats in the glutamine/asparagine (Q/N-rich N-terminus. NM forms multiple classes of highly toxic aggregate species and co-localizes to autophagy-related vesicles that transport the prion domain from the site of expression to adjacent tissues. This is associated with a profound cell autonomous and cell non-autonomous disruption of mitochondrial integrity, embryonic and larval arrest, developmental delay, widespread tissue defects, and loss of organismal proteostasis. Our results reveal that the Sup35 prion domain exhibits prion-like properties when expressed in the multicellular organism C. elegans and adapts to different requirements for propagation that involve the autophagy-lysosome pathway to transmit cytosolic aggregation-prone proteins between tissues.

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

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    Devon eChandler-Brown

    2015-10-01

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

  11. RAB-5 and RAB-10 cooperate to regulate neuropeptide release in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sasidharan, Nikhil; Sumakovic, Marija; Hannemann, Mandy; Hegermann, Jan; Liewald, Jana F.; Olendrowitz, Christian; Koenig, Sabine; Grant, Barth D.; Rizzoli, Silvio O.; Gottschalk, Alexander; Eimer, Stefan

    2012-01-01

    Neurons secrete neuropeptides from dense core vesicles (DCVs) to modulate neuronal activity. Little is known about how neurons manage to differentially regulate the release of synaptic vesicles (SVs) and DCVs. To analyze this, we screened all Caenorhabditis elegans Rab GTPases and Tre2/Bub2/Cdc16 (TBC) domain containing GTPase-activating proteins (GAPs) for defects in DCV release from C. elegans motoneurons. rab-5 and rab-10 mutants show severe defects in DCV secretion, whereas SV exocytosis is unaffected. We identified TBC-2 and TBC-4 as putative GAPs for RAB-5 and RAB-10, respectively. Multiple Rabs and RabGAPs are typically organized in cascades that confer directionality to membrane-trafficking processes. We show here that the formation of release-competent DCVs requires a reciprocal exclusion cascade coupling RAB-5 and RAB-10, in which each of the two Rabs recruits the other’s GAP molecule. This contributes to a separation of RAB-5 and RAB-10 domains at the Golgi–endosomal interface, which is lost when either of the two GAPs is inactivated. Taken together, our data suggest that RAB-5 and RAB-10 cooperate to locally exclude each other at an essential stage during DCV sorting. PMID:23100538

  12. 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.

  13. Analyzing the locomotory gaitprint of Caenorhabditis elegans on the basis of empirical mode decomposition.

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    Li-Chun Lin

    Full Text Available The locomotory gait analysis of the microswimmer, Caenorhabditis elegans, is a commonly adopted approach for strain recognition and examination of phenotypic defects. Gait is also a visible behavioral expression of worms under external stimuli. This study developed an adaptive data analysis method based on empirical mode decomposition (EMD to reveal the biological cues behind intricate motion. The method was used to classify the strains of worms according to their gaitprints (i.e., phenotypic traits of locomotion. First, a norm of the locomotory pattern was created from the worm of interest. The body curvature of the worm was decomposed into four intrinsic mode functions (IMFs. A radar chart showing correlations between the predefined database and measured worm was then obtained by dividing each IMF into three parts, namely, head, mid-body, and tail. A comprehensive resemblance score was estimated after k-means clustering. Simulated data that use sinusoidal waves were generated to assess the feasibility of the algorithm. Results suggested that temporal frequency is the major factor in the process. In practice, five worm strains, including wild-type N2, TJ356 (zIs356, CL2070 (dvIs70, CB0061 (dpy-5, and CL2120 (dvIs14, were investigated. The overall classification accuracy of the gaitprint analyses of all the strains reached nearly 89%. The method can also be extended to classify some motor neuron-related locomotory defects of C. elegans in the same fashion.

  14. Determining the sub-cellular localization of proteins within Caenorhabditis elegans body wall muscle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meissner, Barbara; Rogalski, Teresa; Viveiros, Ryan; Warner, Adam; Plastino, Lorena; Lorch, Adam; Granger, Laure; Segalat, Laurent; Moerman, Donald G

    2011-01-01

    Determining the sub-cellular localization of a protein within a cell is often an essential step towards understanding its function. In Caenorhabditis elegans, the relatively large size of the body wall muscle cells and the exquisite organization of their sarcomeres offer an opportunity to identify the precise position of proteins within cell substructures. Our goal in this study is to generate a comprehensive "localizome" for C. elegans body wall muscle by GFP-tagging proteins expressed in muscle and determining their location within the cell. For this project, we focused on proteins that we know are expressed in muscle and are orthologs or at least homologs of human proteins. To date we have analyzed the expression of about 227 GFP-tagged proteins that show localized expression in the body wall muscle of this nematode (e.g. dense bodies, M-lines, myofilaments, mitochondria, cell membrane, nucleus or nucleolus). For most proteins analyzed in this study no prior data on sub-cellular localization was available. In addition to discrete sub-cellular localization we observe overlapping patterns of localization including the presence of a protein in the dense body and the nucleus, or the dense body and the M-lines. In total we discern more than 14 sub-cellular localization patterns within nematode body wall muscle. The localization of this large set of proteins within a muscle cell will serve as an invaluable resource in our investigation of muscle sarcomere assembly and function.

  15. Network control principles predict neuron function in the Caenorhabditis elegans connectome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Gang; Vértes, Petra E; Towlson, Emma K; Chew, Yee Lian; Walker, Denise S; Schafer, William R; Barabási, Albert-László

    2017-10-26

    Recent studies on the controllability of complex systems offer a powerful mathematical framework to systematically explore the structure-function relationship in biological, social, and technological networks. Despite theoretical advances, we lack direct experimental proof of the validity of these widely used control principles. Here we fill this gap by applying a control framework to the connectome of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, allowing us to predict the involvement of each C. elegans neuron in locomotor behaviours. We predict that control of the muscles or motor neurons requires 12 neuronal classes, which include neuronal groups previously implicated in locomotion by laser ablation, as well as one previously uncharacterized neuron, PDB. We validate this prediction experimentally, finding that the ablation of PDB leads to a significant loss of dorsoventral polarity in large body bends. Importantly, control principles also allow us to investigate the involvement of individual neurons within each neuronal class. For example, we predict that, within the class of DD motor neurons, only three (DD04, DD05, or DD06) should affect locomotion when ablated individually. This prediction is also confirmed; single cell ablations of DD04 or DD05 specifically affect posterior body movements, whereas ablations of DD02 or DD03 do not. Our predictions are robust to deletions of weak connections, missing connections, and rewired connections in the current connectome, indicating the potential applicability of this analytical framework to larger and less well-characterized connectomes.

  16. A highly efficient nonchemical method for isolating live nematodes (Caenorhabditis elegans) from soil during toxicity assays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Shin Woong; Moon, Jongmin; An, Youn-Joo

    2015-01-01

    The success of soil toxicity tests using Caenorhabditis elegans may depend in large part on recovering the organisms from the soil. However, it can be difficult to learn the International Organization for Standardization/ASTM International recovery process that uses the colloidal silica flotation method. The present study determined that a soil-agar isolation method provides a highly efficient and less technically demanding alternative to the colloidal silica flotation method. Test soil containing C. elegans was arranged on an agar plate in a donut shape, a linear shape, or a C curve; and microbial food was placed outside the soil to encourage the nematodes to leave the soil. The effects of ventilation and the presence of food on nematode recovery were tested to determine the optimal conditions for recovery. A linear arrangement of soil on an agar plate that was sprinkled with microbial food produced nearly 83% and 90% recovery of live nematodes over a 3-h and a 24-h period, respectively, without subjecting the nematodes to chemical stress. The method was tested using copper (II) chloride dihydrate, and the resulting recovery rate was comparable to that obtained using colloidal silica flotation. The soil-agar isolation method portrayed in the present study enables live nematodes to be isolated with minimal additional physicochemical stress, making it a valuable option for use in subsequent sublethal tests where live nematodes are required. © 2014 SETAC.

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

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    Haifeng Li

    2016-01-01

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

  18. RDE-2 interacts with MUT-7 to mediate RNA interference in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tops, Bastiaan B J; Tabara, Hiroaki; Sijen, Titia; Simmer, Femke; Mello, Craig C; Plasterk, Ronald H A; Ketting, René F

    2005-01-01

    In Caenorhabditis elegans, the activity of transposable elements is repressed in the germline. One of the mechanisms involved in this repression is RNA interference (RNAi), a process in which dsRNA targets cleavage of mRNAs in a sequence-specific manner. The first gene found to be involved in RNAi and transposon silencing in C.elegans is mut-7, a gene encoding a putative exoribonuclease. Here, we show that the MUT-7 protein resides in complexes of approximately 250 kDa in the nucleus and in the cytosol. In addition, we find that upon triggering of RNAi the cytosolic MUT-7 complex increases in size. This increase is independent of the presence of target RNA, but does depend on the presence of RDE-1 and RDE-4, two proteins involved in small interfering RNA (siRNA) production. Finally, using a yeast two-hybrid screen, we identified RDE-2/MUT-8 as one of the other components of this complex. This protein is encoded by the rde-2/mut-8 locus, previously implicated in RNAi and transposon silencing. Using genetic complementation analysis, we show that the interaction between these two proteins is required for efficient RNAi in vivo. Together these data support a role for the MUT-7/RDE-2 complex downstream of siRNA formation, but upstream of siRNA mediated target RNA recognition, possibly indicating a role in the siRNA amplification step.

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

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    David Cristina

    2009-04-01

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

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

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    Araya Carlos L

    2006-06-01

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

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

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    Lucy Fang-I Chao

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  2. Cell-Nonautonomous Signaling of FOXO/DAF-16 to the Stem Cells of Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Qi, Wenjing; Huang, Xu; Neumann-Haefelin, Elke; Schulze, Ekkehard; Baumeister, Ralf

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:22916022

  3. Stereotypical Escape Behavior in Caenorhabditis elegans Allows Quantification of Effective Heat Stimulus Level.

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    Kawai Leung

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available A goal of many sensorimotor studies is to quantify the stimulus-behavioral response relation for specific organisms and specific sensory stimuli. This is especially important to do in the context of painful stimuli since most animals in these studies cannot easily communicate to us their perceived levels of such noxious stimuli. Thus progress on studies of nociception and pain-like responses in animal models depends crucially on our ability to quantitatively and objectively infer the sensed levels of these stimuli from animal behaviors. Here we develop a quantitative model to infer the perceived level of heat stimulus from the stereotyped escape response of individual nematodes Caenorhabditis elegans stimulated by an IR laser. The model provides a method for quantification of analgesic-like effects of chemical stimuli or genetic mutations in C. elegans. We test ibuprofen-treated worms and a TRPV (transient receptor potential mutant, and we show that the perception of heat stimuli for the ibuprofen treated worms is lower than the wild-type. At the same time, our model shows that the mutant changes the worm's behavior beyond affecting the thermal sensory system. Finally, we determine the stimulus level that best distinguishes the analgesic-like effects and the minimum number of worms that allow for a statistically significant identification of these effects.

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

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

    2016-08-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Pollution breaks down the genetic architecture of life history traits in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Morgan Dutilleul

    Full Text Available When pollution occurs in an environment, populations present suffer numerous negative and immediate effects on their life history traits. Their evolutionary potential to live in a highly stressful environment will depend on the selection pressure strengths and on the genetic structure, the trait heritability, and the genetic correlations between them. If expression of this structure changes in a stressful environment, it becomes necessary to quantify these changes to estimate the evolutionary potential of the population in this new environment. We studied the genetic structure for survival, fecundity, and early and late growth in isogenic lines of a Caenorhabditis elegans population subject to three different environments: a control environment, an environment polluted with uranium, and a high salt concentration environment. We found a heritability decrease in the polluted environments for fecundity and early growth, two traits that were the most heritable in the control environment. The genetic structure of the traits was particularly affected in the uranium polluted environment, probably due to generally low heritability in this environment. This could prevent selection from acting on traits despite the strong selection pressures exerted on them. Moreover, phenotypic traits were more strongly affected in the salt than in the uranium environment and the heritabilities were also lower in the latter environment. Consequently the decrease in heritability was not proportional to the population fitness reduction in the polluted environments. Our results suggest that pollution can alter the genetic structure of a C. elegans population, and thus modify its evolutionary potential.

  7. A new Caenorhabditis elegans model of human huntingtin 513 aggregation and toxicity in body wall muscles.

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    Amy L Lee

    Full Text Available Expanded polyglutamine repeats in different proteins are the known determinants of at least nine progressive neurodegenerative disorders whose symptoms include cognitive and motor impairment that worsen as patients age. One such disorder is Huntington's Disease (HD that is caused by a polyglutamine expansion in the human huntingtin protein (htt. The polyglutamine expansion destabilizes htt leading to protein misfolding, which in turn triggers neurodegeneration and the disruption of energy metabolism in muscle cells. However, the molecular mechanisms that underlie htt proteotoxicity have been somewhat elusive, and the muscle phenotypes have not been well studied. To generate tools to elucidate the basis for muscle dysfunction, we engineered Caenorhabditis elegans to express a disease-associated 513 amino acid fragment of human htt in body wall muscle cells. We show that this htt fragment aggregates in C. elegans in a polyglutamine length-dependent manner and is toxic. Toxicity manifests as motor impairment and a shortened lifespan. Compared to previous models, the data suggest that the protein context in which a polyglutamine tract is embedded alters aggregation propensity and toxicity, likely by affecting interactions with the muscle cell environment.

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

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    Kara Braunreiter

    Full Text Available Primary cilia play a role in the sensation of and response to the surrounding environment. Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans have primary cilia only on the distal tips of some dendrites. In order to better understand the relationship between receptor localization to cilia, cilia structure and cilia function, we have characterized a mutation originally identified in a forward genetic screen for mutants with defective PKD-2 ciliary localization. Through behavioral assays and examination of the structure of cilia in the cil-5 (my13 mutant animals, we have found that my13 disrupts not only receptor localization, but also some cilia-mediated sensory behaviors and cilia structural integrity. We have identified the my13 lesion and found that it is a missense mutation in bbs-7, an ortholog of human BBS-7, a gene known to affect human cilia and to be involved in Bardet-Biedl syndrome. Finally, we show that bbs-7(my13 also affects the glia cells which support the cilia.

  9. The Caenorhabditis elegans interneuron ALA is (also) a high-threshold mechanosensor.

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    Sanders, Jarred; Nagy, Stanislav; Fetterman, Graham; Wright, Charles; Treinin, Millet; Biron, David

    2013-12-17

    To survive dynamic environments, it is essential for all animals to appropriately modulate their behavior in response to various stimulus intensities. For instance, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans suppresses the rate of egg-laying in response to intense mechanical stimuli, in a manner dependent on the mechanosensory neurons FLP and PVD. We have found that the unilaterally placed single interneuron ALA acted as a high-threshold mechanosensor, and that it was required for this protective behavioral response. ALA was required for the inhibition of egg-laying in response to a strong (picking-like) mechanical stimulus, characteristic of routine handling of the animals. Moreover, ALA did not respond physiologically to less intense touch stimuli, but exhibited distinct physiological responses to anterior and posterior picking-like touch, suggesting that it could distinguish between spatially separated stimuli. These responses required neither neurotransmitter nor neuropeptide release from potential upstream neurons. In contrast, the long, bilaterally symmetric processes of ALA itself were required for producing its physiological responses; when they were severed, responses to stimuli administered between the cut and the cell body were unaffected, while responses to stimuli administered posterior to the cut were abolished. C. elegans neurons are typically classified into three major groups: sensory neurons with specialized sensory dendrites, interneurons, and motoneurons with neuromuscular junctions. Our findings suggest that ALA can autonomously sense intense touch and is thus a dual-function neuron, i.e., an interneuron as well as a novel high-threshold mechanosensor.

  10. Sequestration of polyunsaturated fatty acids in membrane phospholipids of Caenorhabditis elegans dauer larva attenuates eicosanoid biosynthesis for prolonged survival

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    Sin Man Lam

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Mechanistic basis governing the extreme longevity and developmental quiescence of dauer juvenile, a “non-ageing” developmental variant of Caenorhabditis elegans, has remained largely obscure. Using a lipidomic approach comprising multiple reaction monitoring transitions specific to distinct fatty acyl moieties, we demonstrated that in comparison to other developmental stages, the membrane phospholipids of dauer larva contain a unique enrichment of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs. Esterified PUFAs in phospholipids exhibited temporal accumulation throughout the course of dauer endurance, followed by sharp reductions prior to termination of diapause. Reductions in esterified PUFAs were accompanied by concomitant increases in unbound PUFAs, as well as their corresponding downstream oxidized derivatives (i.e. eicosanoids. Global phospholipidomics has unveiled that PUFA sequestration in membrane phospholipids denotes an essential aspect of dauer dormancy, principally via suppression of eicosanoid production; and a failure to upkeep membrane lipid homeostasis is associated with termination of dauer endurance. Keywords: Dauer larva, Phospholipids, Polyunsaturated fatty acids, Eicosanoids, Lipidomics, Caenorhabditis elegans

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

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    Pedro Reis Rodrigues

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  12. Quantitative genetic analysis of life-history traits of Caenorhabditis elegans in stressful environments

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    Shorto Alison

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Organisms live in environments that vary. For life-history traits that vary across environments, fitness will be maximised when the phenotype is appropriately matched to the environmental conditions. For the free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, we have investigated how two major life-history traits, (i the development of environmentally resistant dauer larvae and (ii reproduction, respond to environmental stress (high population density and low food availability, and how these traits vary between lines and the genetic basis of this variation. Results We found that lines of C. elegans vary in their phenotypic plasticity of dauer larva development, i.e. there is variation in the likelihood of developing into a dauer larva for the same environmental change. There was also variation in how lifetime fecundity and the rate of reproduction changed under conditions of environmental stress. These traits were related, such that lines that are highly plastic for dauer larva development also maintain a high population growth rate when stressed. We identified quantitative trait loci (QTL on two chromosomes that control the dauer larva development and population size phenotypes. The QTLs affecting the dauer larva development and population size phenotypes on chromosome II are closely linked, but are genetically separable. This chromosome II QTL controlling dauer larva development does not encompass any loci previously identified to control dauer larva development. This chromosome II region contains many predicted 7-transmembrane receptors. Such proteins are often involved in information transduction, which is clearly relevant to the control of dauer larva development. Conclusion C. elegans alters both its larval development and adult reproductive strategy in response to environmental stress. Together the phenotypic and genotypic data suggest that these two major life-history traits are co-ordinated responses to environmental stress

  13. 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.

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

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

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    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. © 2016 Authors; published by Portland Press Limited.

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

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    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. © 2015 The Authors. MicrobiologyOpen published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. A Marine Actinomycete Rescues Caenorhabditis elegans from Pseudomonas aeruginosa Infection through Restitution of Lysozyme 7

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    Siti N. Fatin

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The resistance of Pseudomonas aeruginosa to conventional antimicrobial treatment is a major scourge in healthcare. Therefore, it is crucial that novel potent anti-infectives are discovered. The aim of the present study is to screen marine actinomycetes for chemical entities capable of overcoming P. aeruginosa infection through mechanisms involving anti-virulence or host immunity activities. A total of 18 actinomycetes isolates were sampled from marine sediment of Songsong Island, Kedah, Malaysia. Upon confirming that the methanolic crude extract of these isolates do not display direct bactericidal activities, they were tested for capacity to rescue Caenorhabditis elegans infected with P. aeruginosa strain PA14. A hexane partition of the extract from one isolate, designated as Streptomyces sp. CCB-PSK207, could promote the survival of PA14 infected worms by more than 60%. Partial 16S sequence analysis on this isolate showed identity of 99.79% with Streptomyces sundarbansensis. This partition did not impair feeding behavior of C. elegans worms. Tested on PA14, the partition also did not affect bacterial growth or its ability to colonize host gut. The production of biofilm, protease, and pyocyanin in PA14 were uninterrupted, although there was an increase in elastase production. In lys-7::GFP worms, this partition was shown to induce the expression of lysozyme 7, an important innate immunity defense molecule that was repressed during PA14 infection. GC-MS analysis of the bioactive fraction of Streptomyces sp. CCB-PSK207 revealed the presence of methyl esters of branched saturated fatty acids. In conclusion, this is the first report of a marine actinomycete producing metabolites capable of rescuing C. elegans from PA14 through a lys-7 mediated activity.

  18. Lipocalins Are Required for Apical Extracellular Matrix Organization and Remodeling in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Forman-Rubinsky, Rachel; Cohen, Jennifer D; Sundaram, Meera V

    2017-10-01

    A lipid and glycoprotein-rich apical extracellular matrix (aECM) or glycocalyx lines exposed membranes in the body, and is particularly important to protect narrow tube integrity. Lipocalins ("fat cups") are small, secreted, cup-shaped proteins that bind and transport lipophilic cargo and are often found in luminal or aECM compartments such as mammalian plasma, urine, or tear film. Although some lipocalins can bind known aECM lipids and/or matrix metalloproteinases, it is not known if and how lipocalins affect aECM structure due to challenges in visualizing the aECM in most systems. Here we show that two Caenorhabditis elegans lipocalins, LPR-1 and LPR-3, have distinct functions in the precuticular glycocalyx of developing external epithelia. LPR-1 moves freely through luminal compartments, while LPR-3 stably localizes to a central layer of the membrane-anchored glycocalyx, adjacent to the transient zona pellucida domain protein LET-653 Like LET-653 and other C. elegans glycocalyx components, these lipocalins are required to maintain the patency of the narrow excretory duct tube, and also affect multiple aspects of later cuticle organization. lpr-1 mutants cannot maintain a continuous excretory duct apical domain and have misshapen cuticle ridges (alae) and abnormal patterns of cuticular surface lipid staining. lpr-3 mutants cannot maintain a passable excretory duct lumen, properly degrade the eggshell, or shed old cuticle during molting, and they lack cuticle barrier function. Based on these phenotypes, we infer that both LPR-1 and LPR-3 are required to build a properly organized aECM, while LPR-3 additionally is needed for aECM clearance and remodeling. The C. elegans glycocalyx provides a powerful system, amenable to both genetic analysis and live imaging, for investigating how lipocalins and lipids affect aECM structure. Copyright © 2017 by the Genetics Society of America.

  19. Inactivation of GABAA receptor is related to heat shock stress response in organism model Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    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.

  20. Genetic Mechanisms of Coffee Extract Protection in a Caenorhabditis elegans Model of β-Amyloid Peptide Toxicity

    OpenAIRE

    Dostal, Vishantie; Roberts, Christine M.; Link, Christopher D.

    2010-01-01

    Epidemiological studies have reported that coffee and/or caffeine consumption may reduce Alzheimer's disease (AD) risk. We found that coffee extracts can similarly protect against β-amyloid peptide (Aβ) toxicity in a transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans Alzheimer's disease model. The primary protective component(s) in this model is not caffeine, although caffeine by itself can show moderate protection. Coffee exposure did not decrease Aβ transgene expression and did not need to be present during...

  1. Nuclear receptor NHR-25 is required for cell-shape dynamics during epidermal differentiation in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Šilhánková, Marie; Jindra, Marek; Asahina, Masako

    2005-01-01

    Roč. 118, č. 1 (2005), s. 223-232 ISSN 0021-9533 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR KJB5022303; GA ČR GD524/03/H133 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60220518 Keywords : Caenorhabditis elegans * nuclear receptor * epidermal stem cells Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 6.543, year: 2005

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

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    Fatma Kaplan

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available The ascarosides form a family of small molecules that have been isolated from cultures of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. They are often referred to as "dauer pheromones" because most of them induce formation of long-lived and highly stress resistant dauer larvae. More recent studies have shown that ascarosides serve additional functions as social signals and mating pheromones. Thus, ascarosides have multiple functions. Until now, it has been generally assumed that ascarosides are constitutively expressed during nematode development.Cultures of C. elegans were developmentally synchronized on controlled diets. Ascarosides released into the media, as well as stored internally, were quantified by LC/MS. We found that ascaroside biosynthesis and release were strongly dependent on developmental stage and diet. The male attracting pheromone was verified to be a blend of at least four ascarosides, and peak production of the two most potent mating pheromone components, ascr#3 and asc#8 immediately preceded or coincided with the temporal window for mating. The concentration of ascr#2 increased under starvation conditions and peaked during dauer formation, strongly supporting ascr#2 as the main population density signal (dauer pheromone. After dauer formation, ascaroside production largely ceased and dauer larvae did not release any ascarosides. These findings show that both total ascaroside production and the relative proportions of individual ascarosides strongly correlate with these compounds' stage-specific biological functions.Ascaroside expression changes with development and environmental conditions. This is consistent with multiple functions of these signaling molecules. Knowledge of such differential regulation will make it possible to associate ascaroside production to gene expression profiles (transcript, protein or enzyme activity and help to determine genetic pathways that control ascaroside biosynthesis. In conjunction with findings

  3. Detoxification and sensing mechanisms are of similar importance for Cd resistance in Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Sarah A. Winter

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available The present study employed mass spectrometry (ICP-MS to measure the internal cadmium concentrations (Cdint in Caenorhabditis elegans to determine Cd uptake from a Cd-containing environment as well as Cd release under Cd-free conditions. To analyze the functional role of several ATP binding cassette (ABC transporters (e.g., HMT-1 and MRP-1 and phytochelatin synthase (PCS, we compared wild-type (WT and different mutant strains of C. elegans. As a pre-test on selected mutant strains, several time-resolved experiments were performed to determine the survival rate and avoidance behavior of C. elegans under Cd stress, which confirmed the already known Cd sensitivity of the deletion mutants mrp-1Δ, pcs-1Δ, and hmt-1Δ. In addition, these experiments revealed flight reactions under Cd stress to be almost completely absent in mrp-1Δ mutants. The ICP-MS studies showed Cd uptake to be significantly higher in mrp-1Δ and WT than in hmt-1Δ. As Cd is ingested with food, food refusal due to very early Cd stress and its perception was likely the reason for the reduced Cd uptake of hmt-1Δ. Cd release (detoxification was found to be maximal in mrp-1Δ, minimal in hmt-1Δ, and intermediate in WT. High mortality under Cd stress, food refusal, and minimal Cd release in the case of hmt-1Δ suggest a vital importance of the HMT-1/PCS-1 detoxification system for the survival of C. elegans under Cd stress. High mortality under Cd stress, absence of an avoidance behavior, missing food refusal, and maximal Cd release in the case of mrp-1Δ indicate that MRP-1 is less important for Cd detoxification under severe stress, but is probably important for Cd perception. Accordingly, our results suggest that the survival of WT under Cd stress (or possibly other forms of metal stress primarily depends on the function of the HMT-1/PCS-1 detoxification system and the presence of a sensing mechanism to control the uptake of Cd (or other metals, which keeps internal Cd (or metal

  4. Detoxification and sensing mechanisms are of similar importance for Cd resistance in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winter, Sarah A; Dölling, Ramona; Knopf, Burkhard; Mendelski, Martha N; Schäfers, Christoph; Paul, Rüdiger J

    2016-10-01

    The present study employed mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) to measure the internal cadmium concentrations (Cd int ) in Caenorhabditis elegans to determine Cd uptake from a Cd-containing environment as well as Cd release under Cd-free conditions. To analyze the functional role of several ATP binding cassette (ABC) transporters (e.g., HMT-1 and MRP-1) and phytochelatin synthase (PCS), we compared wild-type (WT) and different mutant strains of C. elegans . As a pre-test on selected mutant strains, several time-resolved experiments were performed to determine the survival rate and avoidance behavior of C. elegans under Cd stress, which confirmed the already known Cd sensitivity of the deletion mutants mrp-1 Δ, pcs-1 Δ, and hmt-1 Δ. In addition, these experiments revealed flight reactions under Cd stress to be almost completely absent in mrp-1 Δ mutants. The ICP-MS studies showed Cd uptake to be significantly higher in mrp-1 Δ and WT than in hmt-1 Δ. As Cd is ingested with food, food refusal due to very early Cd stress and its perception was likely the reason for the reduced Cd uptake of hmt-1 Δ. Cd release (detoxification) was found to be maximal in mrp-1 Δ, minimal in hmt-1 Δ, and intermediate in WT. High mortality under Cd stress, food refusal, and minimal Cd release in the case of hmt-1 Δ suggest a vital importance of the HMT-1/PCS-1 detoxification system for the survival of C. elegans under Cd stress. High mortality under Cd stress, absence of an avoidance behavior, missing food refusal, and maximal Cd release in the case of mrp-1 Δ indicate that MRP-1 is less important for Cd detoxification under severe stress, but is probably important for Cd perception. Accordingly, our results suggest that the survival of WT under Cd stress (or possibly other forms of metal stress) primarily depends on the function of the HMT-1/PCS-1 detoxification system and the presence of a sensing mechanism to control the uptake of Cd (or other metals), which keeps internal Cd (or

  5. Phase-dependent preference of thermosensation and chemosensation during simultaneous presentation assay in Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Shingai Ryuzo

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Multi-sensory integration is necessary for organisms to discriminate different environmental stimuli and thus determine behavior. Caenorhabditis elegans has 12 pairs of amphid sensory neurons, which are involved in generating behaviors such as thermotaxis toward cultivation temperature, and chemotaxis toward chemical stimuli. This arrangement of known sensory neurons and measurable behavioral output makes C. elegans suitable for addressing questions of multi-sensory integration in the nervous system. Previous studies have suggested that C. elegans can process different chemoattractants simultaneously. However, little is known about how these organisms can integrate information from stimuli of different modality, such as thermal and chemical stimuli. Results We studied the behavior of a population of C. elegans during simultaneous presentation of thermal and chemical stimuli. First, we examined thermotaxis within the radial temperature gradient produced by a feedback-controlled thermoregulator. Separately, we examined chemotaxis toward sodium chloride or isoamyl alcohol. Then, assays for simultaneous presentations of 15°C (colder temperature than 20°C room temperature and chemoattractant were performed with 15°C-cultivated wild-type worms. Unlike the sum of behavioral indices for each separate behavior, simultaneous presentation resulted in a biased migration to cold regions in the first 10 min of the assay, and sodium chloride-regions in the last 40 min. However, when sodium chloride was replaced with isoamyl alcohol in the simultaneous presentation, the behavioral index was very similar to the sum of separate single presentation indices. We then recorded tracks of single worms and analyzed their behavior. For behavior toward sodium chloride, frequencies of forward and backward movements in simultaneous presentation were significantly different from those in single presentation. Also, migration toward 15°C in simultaneous

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

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    Yoko Honda

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-02

    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.

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

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    Shanqing Zheng

    Full Text Available 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Context Specificity of Stress-activated Mitogen-activated Protein (MAP) Kinase Signaling: The Story as Told by Caenorhabditis elegans*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrusiak, Matthew G.; Jin, Yishi

    2016-01-01

    Stress-associated p38 and JNK mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase signaling cascades trigger specific cellular responses and are involved in multiple disease states. At the root of MAP kinase signaling complexity is the differential use of common components on a context-specific basis. The roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans was developed as a system to study genes required for development and nervous system function. The powerful genetics of C. elegans in combination with molecular and cellular dissections has led to a greater understanding of how p38 and JNK signaling affects many biological processes under normal and stress conditions. This review focuses on the studies revealing context specificity of different stress-activated MAPK components in C. elegans. PMID:26907690

  11. Role for β-catenin and HOX transcription factors in Caenorhabditis elegans and mammalian host epithelial-pathogen interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irazoqui, Javier E.; Ng, Aylwin; Xavier, Ramnik J.; Ausubel, Frederick M.

    2008-01-01

    We used the model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans infected with the human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus to identify components of epithelial immunity. Transcriptional profiling and reverse genetic analysis revealed that mutation of the C. elegans β-catenin homolog bar-1 or the downstream homeobox gene egl-5 results in a defective response and hypersensitivity to S. aureus infection. Epistasis analysis showed that bar-1 and egl-5 function in parallel to previously described C. elegans immune-response pathways. Overexpression of human homologs of egl-5 modulated NF-κB-dependent TLR2 signaling in epithelial cells. These data suggest that β-catenin and homeobox genes play an important and conserved role in innate immune defense. PMID:18981407

  12. Role for beta-catenin and HOX transcription factors in Caenorhabditis elegans and mammalian host epithelial-pathogen interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irazoqui, Javier E; Ng, Aylwin; Xavier, Ramnik J; Ausubel, Frederick M

    2008-11-11

    We used the model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans infected with the human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus to identify components of epithelial immunity. Transcriptional profiling and reverse genetic analysis revealed that mutation of the C. elegans beta-catenin homolog bar-1 or the downstream homeobox gene egl-5 results in a defective response and hypersensitivity to S. aureus infection. Epistasis analysis showed that bar-1 and egl-5 function in parallel to previously described C. elegans immune-response pathways. Overexpression of human homologs of egl-5 modulated NF-kappaB-dependent TLR2 signaling in epithelial cells. These data suggest that beta-catenin and homeobox genes play an important and conserved role in innate immune defense.

  13. Description of Caenorhabditis sinica sp. n. (Nematoda: Rhabditidae, a nematode species used in comparative biology for C. elegans.

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    Ren-E Huang

    Full Text Available We re-isolated in China a relative of the nematode model Caenorhabditis elegans that was previously referred to informally as C. sp. 5. In spite of its importance for comparative biology, C. sp. 5 has remained morphologically uncharacterized. Therefore, we now provide detailed description of morphology and anatomy, assigning the name of Caenorhabditis sinica sp. n. to this nematode that is found frequently in China. C. sinica sp. n. belongs to the Elegans group in the genus Caenorhabditis, being phylogenetically close to C. briggsae although differing in reproductive mode. The gonochoristic C. sinica sp. n. displays two significantly larger distal parts of uteri filled with sperms in the female/hermaphroditic gonad than does the androdioecious C. briggsae. The new species can be differentiated morphologically from all known Caenorhabditis species within the Elegans group by presenting a uniquely shaped, three-pointed hook structure on the male precloacal lip. The lateral field of C. sinica sp. n. is marked by three ridges that are flanked by two additional incisures, sometimes appearing as five ridges in total. This study ends the prolonged period of the 'undescribed' anonymity for C. sinica sp. n. since its discovery and use in comparative biological research. Significant and crossing-direction dependent hybrid incompatibilities in F1 and F2 crossing progeny make C. sinica sp. n. an excellent model for studies of population and speciation genetics. The abundance of nematode species lacking detailed taxonomic characterization deserves renewed attention to address the species description gap for this important yet morphologically 'difficult' group of animals.

  14. Organic carbon source in formulated sediments influences life traits and gene expression of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franzen, Julia; Menzel, Ralph; Höss, Sebastian; Claus, Evelyn; Steinberg, Christian E W

    2012-03-01

    River water quality is strongly influenced by their sediments and their associated pollutants. To assess the toxic potential of sediments, sediment toxicity tests require reliable control sediments, potentially including formulated control sediments as one major option. Although some standardization has been carried out, one critical issue still remains the quality of sediment organic matter (SOM). Organic carbon not only binds hydrophobic contaminants, but may be a source of mild toxicity, even if the SOM is essentially uncontaminated. We tested two different sources of organic carbon and the mixture of both (Sphagnum peat (P) and one commercial humic substances preparation-HuminFeed(®), HF) in terms of life trait variables and expression profiles of selected life performance and stress genes of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. In synchronous cultures, gene expression profiling was done after 6 and 48 h, respectively. The uncontaminated Sphagnum P reduced growth, but increased numbers of offspring, whereas HF did not significantly alter life trait variables. The 6 h expression profile showed most of the studied stress genes repressed, except for slight to strong induction in cyp-35B1 (all exposures), gst-38 (only mixture), and small hsp-16 genes (all exposures). After 48 h, the expression of almost all studied genes increased, particularly genes coding for antioxidative defense, multiple xenobiotic resistance, vitellogenin-like proteins, and genes regulating lifespan. Overall, even essentially uncontaminated SOM may induce several modes of action on the molecular level in C. elegans which may lead to false results if testing synthetic xenobiotics. This contribution is a plea for a strict standardization of the SOM quality in formulated sediments and to check for corresponding effects in other model sediment organisms, especially if using molecular toxicity endpoints.

  15. Muscle type-specific responses to NAD+ salvage biosynthesis promote muscle function in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vrablik, Tracy L; Wang, Wenqing; Upadhyay, Awani; Hanna-Rose, Wendy

    2011-01-15

    Salvage biosynthesis of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD(+)) from nicotinamide (NAM) lowers NAM levels and replenishes the critical molecule NAD(+) after it is hydrolyzed. This pathway is emerging as a regulator of multiple biological processes. Here we probe the contribution of the NAM-NAD(+) salvage pathway to muscle development and function using Caenorhabditis elegans. C. elegans males with mutations in the nicotinamidase pnc-1, which catalyzes the first step of this NAD(+) salvage pathway, cannot mate due to a spicule muscle defect. Multiple muscle types are impaired in the hermaphrodites, including body wall muscles, pharyngeal muscles and vulval muscles. An active NAD(+) salvage pathway is required for optimal function of each muscle cell type. However, we found surprising muscle-cell-type specificity in terms of both the timing and relative sensitivity to perturbation of NAD(+) production or NAM levels. Active NAD(+) biosynthesis during development is critical for function of the male spicule protractor muscles during adulthood, but these muscles can surprisingly do without salvage biosynthesis in adulthood under the conditions examined. The body wall muscles require ongoing NAD(+) salvage biosynthesis both during development and adulthood for maximum function. The vulval muscles do not function in the presence of elevated NAM concentrations, but NAM supplementation is only slightly deleterious to body wall muscles during development or upon acute application in adults. Thus, the pathway plays distinct roles in different tissues. As NAM-NAD(+) biosynthesis also impacts muscle differentiation in vertebrates, we propose that similar complexities may be found among vertebrate muscle cell types. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Chronic exposure to graphene-based nanomaterials induces behavioral deficits and neural damage in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ping; Xu, Tiantian; Wu, Siyu; Lei, Lili; He, Defu

    2017-10-01

    Nanomaterials of graphene and its derivatives have been widely applied in recent years, but whose impacts on the environment and health are still not well understood. In the present study, the potential adverse effects of graphite (G), graphite oxide nanoplatelets (GO) and graphene quantum dots (GQDs) on the motor nervous system were investigated using nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as the assay system. After being characterized using TEM, SEM, XPS and PLE, three nanomaterials were chronically exposed to C. elegans for 6 days. In total, 50-100 mg l -1 GO caused a significant reduction in the survival rate, but G and GDDs showed low lethality on nematodes. After chronic exposure of sub-lethal dosages, three nanomaterials were observed to distribute primarily in the pharynx and intestine; but GQDs were widespread in nematode body. Three graphene-based nanomaterials resulted in significant declines in locomotor frequency of body bending, head thrashing and pharynx pumping. In addition, mean speed, bending angle-frequency and wavelength of the crawling movement were significantly reduced after exposure. Using transgenic nematodes, we found high concentrations of graphene-based nanomaterials induced down-expression of dat-1::GFP and eat-4::GFP, but no significant changes in unc-47::GFP. This indicates that graphene-based nanomaterials can lead to damages in the dopaminergic and glutamatergic neurons. The present data suggest that chronic exposure of graphene-based nanomaterials may cause neurotoxicity risks of inducing behavioral deficits and neural damage. These findings provide useful information to understand the toxicity and safe application of graphene-based nanomaterials. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  17. Long-lived mitochondrial (Mit) mutants of Caenorhabditis elegans utilize a novel metabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butler, Jeffrey A; Ventura, Natascia; Johnson, Thomas E; Rea, Shane L

    2010-12-01

    The Caenorhabditis elegans mitochondrial (Mit) mutants have disrupted mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC) functionality, yet, surprisingly, they are long lived. We have previously proposed that Mit mutants supplement their energy needs by exploiting alternate energy production pathways normally used by wild-type animals only when exposed to hypoxic conditions. We have also proposed that longevity in the Mit mutants arises as a property of their new metabolic state. If longevity does arise as a function of metabolic state, we would expect to find a common metabolic signature among these animals. To test these predictions, we established a novel approach monitoring the C. elegans exometabolism as a surrogate marker for internal metabolic events. Using HPLC-ultraviolet-based metabolomics and multivariate analyses, we show that long-lived clk-1(qm30) and isp-1(qm150) Mit mutants have a common metabolic profile that is distinct from that of aerobically cultured wild-type animals and, unexpectedly, wild-type animals cultured under severe oxygen deprivation. Moreover, we show that 2 short-lived mitochondrial ETC mutants, mev-1(kn1) and ucr-2.3(pk732), also share a common metabolic signature that is unique. We show that removal of soluble fumarate reductase unexpectedly increases health span in several genetically defined Mit mutants, identifying at least 1 alternate energy production pathway, malate dismutation, that is operative in these animals. Our study suggests long-lived, genetically specified Mit mutants employ a novel metabolism and that life span may well arise as a function of metabolic state.

  18. Inactivity periods and postural change speed can explain atypical postural change patterns of Caenorhabditis elegans mutants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fukunaga, Tsukasa; Iwasaki, Wataru

    2017-01-19

    With rapid advances in genome sequencing and editing technologies, systematic and quantitative analysis of animal behavior is expected to be another key to facilitating data-driven behavioral genetics. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a model organism in this field. Several video-tracking systems are available for automatically recording behavioral data for the nematode, but computational methods for analyzing these data are still under development. In this study, we applied the Gaussian mixture model-based binning method to time-series postural data for 322 C. elegans strains. We revealed that the occurrence patterns of the postural states and the transition patterns among these states have a relationship as expected, and such a relationship must be taken into account to identify strains with atypical behaviors that are different from those of wild type. Based on this observation, we identified several strains that exhibit atypical transition patterns that cannot be fully explained by their occurrence patterns of postural states. Surprisingly, we found that two simple factors-overall acceleration of postural movement and elimination of inactivity periods-explained the behavioral characteristics of strains with very atypical transition patterns; therefore, computational analysis of animal behavior must be accompanied by evaluation of the effects of these simple factors. Finally, we found that the npr-1 and npr-3 mutants have similar behavioral patterns that were not predictable by sequence homology, proving that our data-driven approach can reveal the functions of genes that have not yet been characterized. We propose that elimination of inactivity periods and overall acceleration of postural change speed can explain behavioral phenotypes of strains with very atypical postural transition patterns. Our methods and results constitute guidelines for effectively finding strains that show "truly" interesting behaviors and systematically uncovering novel gene

  19. A cocoa peptide protects Caenorhabditis elegans from oxidative stress and β-amyloid peptide toxicity.

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    Patricia Martorell

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Cocoa and cocoa-based products contain different compounds with beneficial properties for human health. Polyphenols are the most frequently studied, and display antioxidant properties. Moreover, protein content is a very interesting source of antioxidant bioactive peptides, which can be used therapeutically for the prevention of age-related diseases. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: A bioactive peptide, 13L (DNYDNSAGKWWVT, was obtained from a hydrolyzed cocoa by-product by chromatography. The in vitro inhibition of prolyl endopeptidase (PEP was used as screening method to select the suitable fraction for peptide identification. Functional analysis of 13L peptide was achieved using the transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans strain CL4176 expressing the human Aβ₁₋₄₂ peptide as a pre-clinical in vivo model for Alzheimer's disease. Among the peptides isolated, peptide 13L (1 µg/mL showed the highest antioxidant activity (P≤0.001 in the wild-type strain (N2. Furthermore, 13L produced a significant delay in body paralysis in strain CL4176, especially in the 24-47 h period after Aβ₁₋₄₂ peptide induction (P≤0.0001. This observation is in accordance with the reduction of Aβ deposits in CL4176 by western blot. Finally, transcriptomic analysis in wild-type nematodes treated with 13L revealed modulation of the proteosomal and synaptic functions as the main metabolic targets of the peptide. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These findings suggest that the cocoa 13L peptide has antioxidant activity and may reduce Aβ deposition in a C. elegans model of Alzheimer's disease; and therefore has a putative therapeutic potential for prevention of age-related diseases. Further studies in murine models and humans will be essential to analyze the effectiveness of the 13L peptide in higher animals.

  20. Highly polygenic variation in environmental perception determines dauer larvae formation in growing populations of Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    James W M Green

    Full Text Available Determining how complex traits are genetically controlled is a requirement if we are to predict how they evolve and how they might respond to selection. This requires understanding how distinct, and often more simple, life history traits interact and change in response to environmental conditions. In order to begin addressing such issues, we have been analyzing the formation of the developmentally arrested dauer larvae of Caenorhabditis elegans under different conditions.We find that 18 of 22 previously identified quantitative trait loci (QTLs affecting dauer larvae formation in growing populations, assayed by determining the number of dauer larvae present at food patch exhaustion, can be recovered under various environmental conditions. We also show that food patch size affects both the ability to detect QTLs and estimates of effect size, and demonstrate that an allele of nath-10 affects dauer larvae formation in growing populations. To investigate the component traits that affect dauer larvae formation in growing populations we map, using the same introgression lines, QTLs that affect dauer larvae formation in response to defined amounts of pheromone. This identifies 36 QTLs, again demonstrating the highly polygenic nature of the genetic variation underlying dauer larvae formation.These data indicate that QTLs affecting the number of dauer larvae at food exhaustion in growing populations of C. elegans are highly reproducible, and that nearly all can be explained by variation affecting dauer larvae formation in response to defined amounts of pheromone. This suggests that most variation in dauer larvae formation in growing populations is a consequence of variation in the perception of the food and pheromone environment (i.e. chemosensory variation and in the integration of these cues.

  1. Downregulation of the Hsp90 system causes defects in muscle cells of Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Andreas M Gaiser

    Full Text Available The ATP-dependent molecular chaperone Hsp90 is required for the activation of a variety of client proteins involved in various cellular processes. Despite the abundance of known client proteins, functions of Hsp90 in the organismal context are not fully explored. In Caenorhabditis elegans, Hsp90 (DAF-21 has been implicated in the regulation of the stress-resistant dauer state, in chemosensing and in gonad formation. In a C. elegans strain carrying a DAF-21 mutation with a lower ATP turnover, we observed motility defects. Similarly, a reduction of DAF-21 levels in wild type nematodes leads to reduced motility and induction of the muscular stress response. Furthermore, aggregates of the myosin MYO-3 are visible in muscle cells, if DAF-21 is depleted, implying a role of Hsp90 in the maintenance of muscle cell functionality. Similar defects can also be observed upon knockdown of the Hsp90-cochaperone UNC-45. In life nematodes YFP-DAF-21 localizes to the I-band and the M-line of the muscular ultrastructure, but the protein is not stably attached there. The Hsp90-cofactor UNC-45-CFP contrarily can be found in all bands of the nematode muscle ultrastructure and stably associates with the UNC-54 containing A-band. Thus, despite the physical interaction between DAF-21 and UNC-45, apparently the two proteins are not always localized to the same muscular structures. While UNC-45 can stably bind to myofilaments in the muscular ultrastructure, Hsp90 (DAF-21 appears to participate in the maintenance of muscle structures as a transiently associated diffusible factor.

  2. Neurons refine the Caenorhabditis elegans body plan by directing axial patterning by Wnts.

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    Katarzyna Modzelewska

    Full Text Available Metazoans display remarkable conservation of gene families, including growth factors, yet somehow these genes are used in different ways to generate tremendous morphological diversity. While variations in the magnitude and spatio-temporal aspects of signaling by a growth factor can generate different body patterns, how these signaling variations are organized and coordinated during development is unclear. Basic body plans are organized by the end of gastrulation and are refined as limbs, organs, and nervous systems co-develop. Despite their proximity to developing tissues, neurons are primarily thought to act after development, on behavior. Here, we show that in Caenorhabditis elegans, the axonal projections of neurons regulate tissue progenitor responses to Wnts so that certain organs develop with the correct morphology at the right axial positions. We find that foreshortening of the posteriorly directed axons of the two canal-associated neurons (CANs disrupts mid-body vulval morphology, and produces ectopic vulval tissue in the posterior epidermis, in a Wnt-dependent manner. We also provide evidence that suggests that the posterior CAN axons modulate the location and strength of Wnt signaling along the anterior-posterior axis by employing a Ror family Wnt receptor to bind posteriorly derived Wnts, and hence, refine their distributions. Surprisingly, despite high levels of Ror expression in many other cells, these cells cannot substitute for the CAN axons in patterning the epidermis, nor can cells expressing a secreted Wnt inhibitor, SFRP-1. Thus, unmyelinated axon tracts are critical for patterning the C. elegans body. Our findings suggest that the evolution of neurons not only improved metazoans by increasing behavioral complexity, but also by expanding the diversity of developmental patterns generated by growth factors such as Wnts.

  3. 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.

  4. 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 observation are unsuitable for quantitative, large-scale experiments. Furthermore, there is an increasing need for comprehensive analyses of multiple phenotypes to provide multidimensional information. Here we developed an automated, high-throughput computer imaging system for quantifying multiple Caenorhabditis elegans phenotypes. Our imaging system is composed of a microscope equipped with a digital camera and a motorized stage connected to a computer running the QuantWorm software package. Currently, the software package contains one data acquisition module and four image analysis programs: WormLifespan, WormLocomotion, WormLength, and WormEgg. The data acquisition module collects images and videos. The WormLifespan software counts the number of moving worms by using two time-lapse images; the WormLocomotion software computes the velocity of moving worms; the WormLength software measures worm body size; and the WormEgg software counts the number of eggs. To evaluate the performance of our software, we compared the results of our software with manual measurements. We then demonstrated the application of the QuantWorm software in a drug assay and a genetic assay. Overall, the QuantWorm software provided accurate measurements at a high speed. Software source code, executable programs, and sample images are available at www.quantworm.org. Our software package has several advantages over current imaging systems for C. elegans. It is an all-in-one package for quantifying multiple phenotypes. The QuantWorm software is written in Java and its source code is freely available, so it does not require use of commercial software or libraries. It can be run on multiple platforms and easily customized to cope with new methods and requirements.

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

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

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    Ryuzo eShingai

    2013-03-01

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

  7. A neuronal acetylcholine receptor regulates the balance of muscle excitation and inhibition in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Maelle Jospin

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, cholinergic motor neurons stimulate muscle contraction as well as activate GABAergic motor neurons that inhibit contraction of the contralateral muscles. Here, we describe the composition of an ionotropic acetylcholine receptor that is required to maintain excitation of the cholinergic motor neurons. We identified a gain-of-function mutation that leads to spontaneous muscle convulsions. The mutation is in the pore domain of the ACR-2 acetylcholine receptor subunit and is identical to a hyperactivating mutation in the muscle receptor of patients with myasthenia gravis. Screens for suppressors of the convulsion phenotype led to the identification of other receptor subunits. Cell-specific rescue experiments indicate that these subunits function in the cholinergic motor neurons. Expression of these subunits in Xenopus oocytes demonstrates that the functional receptor is comprised of three alpha-subunits, UNC-38, UNC-63 and ACR-12, and two non-alpha-subunits, ACR-2 and ACR-3. Although this receptor exhibits a partially overlapping subunit composition with the C. elegans muscle acetylcholine receptor, it shows distinct pharmacology. Recordings from intact animals demonstrate that loss-of-function mutations in acr-2 reduce the excitability of the cholinergic motor neurons. By contrast, the acr-2(gf mutation leads to a hyperactivation of cholinergic motor neurons and an inactivation of downstream GABAergic motor neurons in a calcium dependent manner. Presumably, this imbalance between excitatory and inhibitory input into muscles leads to convulsions. These data indicate that the ACR-2 receptor is important for the coordinated excitation and inhibition of body muscles underlying sinusoidal movement.

  8. From the Cover: Harmane-Induced Selective Dopaminergic Neurotoxicity in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Sammi, Shreesh Raj; Agim, Zeynep Sena; Cannon, Jason R

    2018-02-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is a debilitating neurodegenerative disease. Although numerous exposures have been linked to PD etiology, causative factors for most cases remain largely unknown. Emerging data on the neurotoxicity of heterocyclic amines suggest that this class of compounds should be examined for relevance to PD. Here, using Caenorhabditis elegans as a model system, we tested whether harmane exposure produced selective toxicity to dopamine neurons that is potentially relevant to PD. Harmane is a known tremorigenic β-carboline (a type of heterocyclic amine) found in cooked meat, roasted coffee beans, and tobacco. Thus, this compound represents a potentially important exposure. In the nematode model, we observed dopaminergic neurons to be selectively vulnerable, showing significant loss in terms of structure and function at lower doses than other neuronal populations. In examining mechanisms of toxicity, we observed significant harmane-induced decreases in mitochondrial viability and increased reactive oxygen species levels. Blocking transport through the dopamine transporter (DAT) was not neuroprotective, suggesting that harmane is unlikely to enter the cell through DAT. However, a mitochondrial complex I activator did partially ameliorate neurodegeneration. Further, mitochondrial complex I activator treatment reduced harmane-induced dopamine depletion, measured by the 1-nonanol assay. In summary, we have shown that harmane exposure in C. elegans produces selective dopaminergic neurotoxicity that may bear relevance to PD, and that neurotoxicity may be mediated through mitochondrial mechanisms. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society of Toxicology. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  9. Selenium species-dependent toxicity, bioavailability and metabolic transformations in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Rohn, Isabelle; Marschall, Talke Anu; Kroepfl, Nina; Jensen, Kenneth Bendix; Aschner, Michael; Tuck, Simon; Kuehnelt, Doris; Schwerdtle, Tanja; Bornhorst, Julia

    2018-05-17

    The essential micronutrient selenium (Se) is required for various systemic functions, but its beneficial range is narrow and overexposure may result in adverse health effects. Additionally, the chemical form of the ingested selenium contributes crucially to its health effects. While small Se species play a major role in Se metabolism, their toxicological effects, bioavailability and metabolic transformations following elevated uptake are poorly understood. Utilizing the tractable invertebrate Caenorhabditis elegans allowed for an alternative approach to study species-specific characteristics of organic and inorganic Se forms in vivo, revealing remarkable species-dependent differences in the toxicity and bioavailability of selenite, selenomethionine (SeMet) and Se-methylselenocysteine (MeSeCys). An inverse relationship was found between toxicity and bioavailability of the Se species, with the organic species displaying a higher bioavailability than the inorganic form, yet being less toxic. Quantitative Se speciation analysis with HPLC/mass spectrometry revealed a partial metabolism of SeMet and MeSeCys. In SeMet exposed worms, identified metabolites were Se-adenosylselenomethionine (AdoSeMet) and Se-adenosylselenohomocysteine (AdoSeHcy), while worms exposed to MeSeCys produced Se-methylselenoglutathione (MeSeGSH) and γ-glutamyl-MeSeCys (γ-Glu-MeSeCys). Moreover, the possible role of the sole selenoprotein in the nematode, thioredoxin reductase-1 (TrxR-1), was studied comparing wildtype and trxr-1 deletion mutants. Although a lower basal Se level was detected in trxr-1 mutants, Se toxicity and bioavailability following acute exposure was indistinguishable from wildtype worms. Altogether, the current study demonstrates the suitability of C. elegans as a model for Se species dependent toxicity and metabolism, while further research is needed to elucidate TrxR-1 function in the nematode.

  10. Reliable Screening of Dye Phototoxicity by Using a Caenorhabditis elegans Fast Bioassay.

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    Javier Ignacio Bianchi

    Full Text Available 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.

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

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    Kevin T Jones

    2009-03-01

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

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

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    Jason P. Chan

    2017-09-01

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

  13. Combining Human Epigenetics and Sleep Studies in Caenorhabditis elegans: A Cross-Species Approach for Finding Conserved Genes Regulating Sleep.

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    Huang, Huiyan; Zhu, Yong; Eliot, Melissa N; Knopik, Valerie S; McGeary, John E; Carskadon, Mary A; Hart, Anne C

    2017-06-01

    We aimed to test a combined approach to identify conserved genes regulating sleep and to explore the association between DNA methylation and sleep length. We identified candidate genes associated with shorter versus longer sleep duration in college students based on DNA methylation using Illumina Infinium HumanMethylation450 BeadChip arrays. Orthologous genes in Caenorhabditis elegans were identified, and we examined whether their loss of function affected C. elegans sleep. For genes whose perturbation affected C. elegans sleep, we subsequently undertook a small pilot study to re-examine DNA methylation in an independent set of human participants with shorter versus longer sleep durations. Eighty-seven out of 485,577 CpG sites had significant differential methylation in young adults with shorter versus longer sleep duration, corresponding to 52 candidate genes. We identified 34 C. elegans orthologs, including NPY/flp-18 and flp-21, which are known to affect sleep. Loss of five additional genes alters developmentally timed C. elegans sleep (B4GALT6/bre-4, DOCK180/ced-5, GNB2L1/rack-1, PTPRN2/ida-1, ZFYVE28/lst-2). For one of these genes, ZFYVE28 (also known as hLst2), the pilot replication study again found decreased DNA methylation associated with shorter sleep duration at the same two CpG sites in the first intron of ZFYVE28. Using an approach that combines human epigenetics and C. elegans sleep studies, we identified five genes that play previously unidentified roles in C. elegans sleep. We suggest sleep duration in humans may be associated with differential DNA methylation at specific sites and that the conserved genes identified here likely play roles in C. elegans sleep and in other species. © Sleep Research Society 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Sleep Research Society. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail journals.permissions@oup.com.

  14. Protective effects of novel organic selenium compounds against oxidative stress in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Sílvio Terra Stefanello

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Organic selenium compounds possess numerous biological properties, including antioxidant activity. Yet, the high toxicity of some of them, such as diphenyl diselenide (DPDS, is a limiting factor in their current usage. Accordingly, we tested four novel organic selenium compounds in the non-parasite nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and compared their efficacy to DPDS. The novel organic selenium compounds are β-selenoamines 1-phenyl-3-(p-tolylselanylpropan-2-amine (C1 and 1-(2-methoxyphenylselanyl-3-phenylpropan-2-amine (C2 and analogs of DPDS 1,2-bis(2-methoxyphenyldiselenide (C3 and 1,2-bisp-tolyldiselenide (C4. Synchronized worms at the L4 larval stage were exposed for one hour in M9 buffer to these compounds. Oxidative stress conditions were induced by juglone (200 μM and heat shock (35 °C. Moreover, we evaluated C. elegans behavior, GST-4::GFP (glutathione S-transferase expression and the activity of acetylcholinesterase (AChE. All tested compounds efficiently restored viability in juglone stressed worms. However, DPDS, C2, C3 and C4 significantly decreased the defecation cycle time. Juglone-induced GST-4::GFP expression was not attenuated in worms pretreated with the novel compounds, except with C2. Finally, AChE activity was reduced by DPDS, C2, C3 and C4. To our knowledge, this is study firstly showed the effects of C1, C2, C3 and C4 selenium-derived compounds in C. elegans. Low toxic effects were noted, except for reduction in the defecation cycle, which is likely associated with AChE inhibition. The juglone-induced stress (reduced viability was fully reversed by compounds to control animal levels. C2 was also efficient in reducing the juglone-induced GST-4::GFP expression, suggesting the latter may mediate the stress induced by this compound. Future studies could be profitably directed at addressing additional molecular mechanisms that mediate the protective effects of these novel organic selenium compounds.

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

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

    2007-11-01

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

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

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    Jacqueline G. Miller

    2016-03-01

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

  17. Internal Concentration and Time Are Important Modifiers of Toxicity: The Case of Chlorpyrifos on Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Roh, Ji-Yeon; Lee, Hyun-Jeoung; Kwon, Jung-Hwan

    2016-09-06

    The internal concentration of chemicals in exposed organisms changes over time due to absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion processes since chemicals are taken up from the environment. Internal concentration and time are very important modifiers of toxicity when biomarkers are used to evaluate the potential hazards and risks of environmental pollutants. In this study, the responses of molecular biomarkers, and the fate of chemicals in the body, were comprehensively investigated to determine cause-and-effect relationships over time. Chlorpyrifos (CP) was selected as a model chemical, and Caenorhabditis elegans was exposed to CP for 4 h using the passive dosing method. Worms were then monitored in fresh medium during a 48-h recovery regime. The mRNA expression of genes related to CYP metabolism (cyp35a2 and cyp35a3) increased during the constant exposure phase. The body residue of CP decreased once it reached a peak level during the early stage of exposure, indicating that the initial uptake of CP rapidly induced biotransformation with the synthesis of new CYP metabolic proteins. The residual chlorpyrifos-oxon concentration, an acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitor, continuously increased even after the recovery regime started. These delayed toxicokinetics seem to be important for the extension of AChE inhibition for up to 9 h after the start of the recovery regime. Comprehensive investigation into the molecular initiation events and changes in the internal concentrations of chemical species provide insight into response causality within the framework of an adverse outcome pathway.

  18. Multiplexed measurement of protein diffusion in Caenorhabditis elegans embryos with SPIM-FCS

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    Struntz, Philipp; Weiss, Matthias

    2016-02-01

    Quantifying the diffusion behavior of proteins in different environments, e.g. on cellular membranes, is a key step in uncovering the vital action of protein networks in living organisms. While several established techniques for local diffusion measurements exist, the life sciences are currently in need of a multiplexed, i.e. spatially parallelized, data acquisition that allows for obtaining diffusion maps with high spatiotemporal resolution. Following this demand, the combination of camera-based single-plane illumination microscopy (SPIM) and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) has recently emerged as a promising approach. So far, SPIM-FCS has mainly been used to assess the diffusion of soluble particles and proteins in vitro and in culture cells, but due to a particularly low photobleaching and -toxicity the method is also well applicable to developmental organisms. Here, we have probed the performance of SPIM-FCS on an established developmental model organism, the small nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. In particular, we have quantified the diffusion of the peripheral membrane protein PLC1δ 1 in the embryo’s cytoplasm and on the plasma membrane. As a result, we were able to derive diffusion maps of PLC1δ 1 in both compartments in multiple individuals, showing the spatially varying diffusion coefficients across the embryo. Our data also report on the dissociation kinetics of PLC1δ 1 from the plasma membrane, hence underlining that SPIM-FCS can be used to explore key features of peripheral membrane proteins in fragile developmental model organisms.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  20. A metabolic signature for long life in the Caenorhabditis elegans Mit mutants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butler, Jeffrey A; Mishur, Robert J; Bhaskaran, Shylesh; Rea, Shane L

    2013-02-01

    Mit mutations that disrupt function of the mitochondrial electron transport chain can, inexplicably, prolong Caenorhabditis elegans lifespan. In this study we use a metabolomics approach to identify an ensemble of mitochondrial-derived α-ketoacids and α-hydroxyacids that are produced by long-lived Mit mutants but not by other long-lived mutants or by short-lived mitochondrial mutants. We show that accumulation of these compounds is dependent on concerted inhibition of three α-ketoacid dehydrogenases that share dihydrolipoamide dehydrogenase (DLD) as a common subunit, a protein previously linked in humans with increased risk of Alzheimer's disease. When the expression of DLD in wild-type animals was reduced using RNA interference we observed an unprecedented effect on lifespan - as RNAi dosage was increased lifespan was significantly shortened, but, at higher doses, it was significantly lengthened, suggesting that DLD plays a unique role in modulating length of life. Our findings provide novel insight into the origin of the Mit phenotype. © 2012 The Authors Aging Cell © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/Anatomical Society of Great Britain and Ireland.

  1. Caenorhabditis elegans Predation on Bacillus anthracis: Decontamination of Spore Contaminated Soil with Germinants and Nematodes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schelkle, Bettina; Choi, Young; Baillie, Leslie W; Richter, William; Buyuk, Fatih; Celik, Elif; Wendling, Morgan; Sahin, Mitat; Gallagher, Theresa

    2017-01-01

    Remediation of Bacillus anthracis -contaminated soil is challenging and approaches to reduce overall spore levels in environmentally contaminated soil or after intentional release of the infectious disease agent in a safe, low-cost manner are needed. B. anthracis spores are highly resistant to biocides, but once germinated they become susceptible to traditional biocides or potentially even natural predators such as nematodes in the soil environment. Here, we describe a two-step approach to reducing B. anthracis spore load in soil during laboratory trials, whereby germinants and Caenorhabditis elegans nematodes are applied concurrently. While the application of germinants reduced B. anthracis spore load by up to four logs depending on soil type, the addition of nematodes achieved a further log reduction in spore count. These laboratory based results suggest that the combined use of nematodes and germinants could represent a promising approach for the remediation of B. anthracis spore contaminated soil. Originality-Significance Statement: This study demonstrates for the first time the successful use of environmentally friendly decontamination methods to inactivate Bacillus anthracis spores in soil using natural predators of the bacterium, nematode worms.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 the organism level, our automated system analyzes hundreds of individual animals for body length, locomotion speed, and lifespan. To demonstrate the utility of our system, we applied this technology to test the toxicity of 20 nanomaterials under four concentrations. Only fullerene nanoparticles (nC60), fullerol, TiO2, and CeO2 showed little or no toxicity. Various degrees of toxicity were detected from different forms of carbon nanotubes, graphene, carbon black, Ag, and fumed SiO2 nanoparticles. Aminofullerene and UV irradiated nC60 also showed small but significant toxicity. We further investigated the effects of nanomaterial size, shape, surface chemistry, and exposure conditions on toxicity. Our data are publicly available at the open-access nanotoxicity database www.QuantWorm.org/nano. PMID:25611253

  3. Molecular strategies of the Caenorhabditis elegans dauer larva to survive extreme desiccation.

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    Cihan Erkut

    Full Text Available Massive water loss is a serious challenge for terrestrial animals, which usually has fatal consequences. However, some organisms have developed means to survive this stress by entering an ametabolic state called anhydrobiosis. The molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying this phenomenon are poorly understood. We recently showed that Caenorhabditis elegans dauer larva, an arrested stage specialized for survival in adverse conditions, is resistant to severe desiccation. However, this requires a preconditioning step at a mild desiccative environment to prepare the organism for harsher desiccation conditions. A systems approach was used to identify factors that are activated during this preconditioning. Using microarray analysis, proteomics, and bioinformatics, genes, proteins, and biochemical pathways that are upregulated during this process were identified. These pathways were validated via reverse genetics by testing the desiccation tolerances of mutants. These data show that the desiccation response is activated by hygrosensation (sensing the desiccative environment via head neurons. This leads to elimination of reactive oxygen species and xenobiotics, expression of heat shock and intrinsically disordered proteins, polyamine utilization, and induction of fatty acid desaturation pathway. Remarkably, this response is specific and involves a small number of functional pathways, which represent the generic toolkit for anhydrobiosis in plants and animals.

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

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    Tiffany K Kaul

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

  5. A Forward Genetic Screen for Molecules Involved in Pheromone-Induced Dauer Formation in Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Scott J. Neal

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Animals must constantly assess their surroundings and integrate sensory cues to make appropriate behavioral and developmental decisions. Pheromones produced by conspecific individuals provide critical information regarding environmental conditions. Ascaroside pheromone concentration and composition are instructive in the decision of Caenorhabditis elegans to either develop into a reproductive adult or enter into the stress-resistant alternate dauer developmental stage. Pheromones are sensed by a small set of sensory neurons, and integrated with additional environmental cues, to regulate neuroendocrine signaling and dauer formation. To identify molecules required for pheromone-induced dauer formation, we performed an unbiased forward genetic screen and identified phd (pheromone response-defective dauer mutants. Here, we describe new roles in dauer formation for previously identified neuronal molecules such as the WD40 domain protein QUI-1 and MACO-1 Macoilin, report new roles for nociceptive neurons in modulating pheromone-induced dauer formation, and identify tau tubulin kinases as new genes involved in dauer formation. Thus, phd mutants define loci required for the detection, transmission, or integration of pheromone signals in the regulation of dauer formation.

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

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    Marta K Labocha

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

  7. Comparison of the toxicity of fluoridation compounds in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rice, Julie R; Boyd, Windy A; Chandra, Dave; Smith, Marjolein V; Den Besten, Pamela K; Freedman, Jonathan H

    2014-01-01

    Fluorides are commonly added to drinking water in the United States to decrease the incidence of dental caries. Silicofluorides, such as sodium hexafluorosilicate (Na2 SiF6 ) and fluorosilicic acid (H2 SiF6 ), are mainly used for fluoridation, although fluoride salts such as sodium fluoride (NaF) are also used. Interestingly, only the toxicity of NaF has been examined and not that of the more often used silicofluorides. In the present study, the toxicities of NaF, Na2 SiF6 , and H2 SiF6 were compared. The toxicity of these fluorides on the growth, feeding, and reproduction in the alternative toxicological testing organism Caenorhabditis elegans was examined. Exposure to these compounds produced classic concentration-response toxicity profiles. Although the effects of the fluoride compounds varied among the 3 biological endpoints, no differences were found between the 3 compounds, relative to the fluoride ion concentration, in any of the assays. This suggests that silicofluorides have similar toxicity to NaF. © 2013 SETAC.

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

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    Jachen A Solinger

    2010-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, J.S.; Rose, A.M.

    1987-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  11. Multiple ace genes encoding acetylcholinesterases of Caenorhabditis elegans have distinct tissue expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Combes, Didier; Fedon, Yann; Toutant, Jean-Pierre; Arpagaus, Martine

    2003-08-01

    ace-1 and ace-2 genes encoding acetylcholinesterase in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans present 35% identity in coding sequences but no homology in noncoding regions (introns, 5'- and 3'-untranslated regions). A 5'-region of ace-2 was defined by rescue of ace-1;ace-2 mutants. When green fluorescent protein (GFP) expression was driven by this regulatory region, the resulting pattern was distinct from that of ace-1. This latter gene is expressed in all body-wall and vulval muscle cells (Culetto et al., 1999), whereas ace-2 is expressed almost exclusively in neurons. ace-3 and ace-4 genes are located in close proximity on chromosome II (Combes et al., 2000). These two genes were first transcribed in vivo as a bicistronic messenger and thus constitute an ace-3;ace-4 operon. However, there was a very low level of monocistronic mRNA of ace-4 (the upstream gene) in vivo, and no ACE-4 enzymatic activity was ever detected. GFP expression driven by a 5' upstream region of the ace-3;ace-4 operon was detected in several muscle cells of the pharynx (pm3, pm4, pm5 and pm7) and in the two canal associated neurons (CAN cells). A dorsal row of body-wall muscle cells was intensively labelled in larval stages but no longer detected in adults. The distinct tissue-specific expression of ace-1, ace-2 and ace-3 (coexpressed only in pm5 cells) indicates that ace genes are not redundant.

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

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    Sérgio M Pinto

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

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

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    Jean-Philippe Lavigne

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

  14. NAD+ Supplementation Attenuates Methylmercury Dopaminergic and Mitochondrial Toxicity in Caenorhabditis Elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caito, Samuel W.; Aschner, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) is a neurotoxic contaminant of our fish supply that has been linked to dopaminergic (DAergic) dysfunction that characterizes Parkinson’s disease. We have previously shown that MeHg causes both morphological and behavioral changes in the Caenorhabditis elegans DAergic neurons that are associated with oxidative stress. We were therefore interested in whether the redox sensitive cofactor nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) may be affected by MeHg and whether supplementation of NAD + may prevent MeHg-induced toxicities. Worms treated with MeHg showed depletion in cellular NAD + levels, which was prevented by NAD + supplementation prior to MeHg treatment. NAD + supplementation also prevented DAergic neurodegeneration and deficits in DAergic-dependent behavior upon MeHg exposure. In a mutant worm line that cannot synthesize NAD + from nicotinamide, MeHg lethality and DAergic behavioral deficits were more sensitive to MeHg than wildtype worms, demonstrating the importance of NAD + in MeHg toxicity. In wildtype worms, NAD + supplementation provided protection from MeHg-induced oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction. These data show the importance of NAD + levels in the response to MeHg exposure. NAD + supplementation may be beneficial for MeHg-induced toxicities and preventing cellular damage involved in Parkinson’s disease. PMID:26865665

  15. Caenorhabditis elegans battling starvation stress: low levels of ethanol prolong lifespan in L1 larvae.

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    Paola V Castro

    Full Text Available The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans arrests development at the first larval stage if food is not present upon hatching. Larvae in this stage provide an excellent model for studying stress responses during development. We found that supplementing starved larvae with ethanol markedly extends their lifespan within this L1 diapause. The effects of ethanol-induced lifespan extension can be observed when the ethanol is added to the medium at any time between 0 and 10 days after hatching. The lowest ethanol concentration that extended lifespan was 1 mM (0.005%; higher concentrations to 68 mM (0.4% did not result in increased survival. In spite of their extended survival, larvae did not progress to the L2 stage. Supplementing starved cultures with n-propanol and n-butanol also extended lifespan, but methanol and isopropanol had no measurable effect. Mass spectrometry analysis of nematode fatty acids and amino acids revealed that L1 larvae can incorporate atoms from ethanol into both types of molecules. Based on these data, we suggest that ethanol supplementation may extend the lifespan of L1 larvae by either serving as a carbon and energy source and/or by inducing a stress response.

  16. Recognition of familiar food activates feeding via an endocrine serotonin signal in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Bo-mi; Faumont, Serge; Lockery, Shawn; Avery, Leon

    2013-01-01

    Familiarity discrimination has a significant impact on the pattern of food intake across species. However, the mechanism by which the recognition memory controls feeding is unclear. Here, we show that the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans forms a memory of particular foods after experience and displays behavioral plasticity, increasing the feeding response when they subsequently recognize the familiar food. We found that recognition of familiar food activates the pair of ADF chemosensory neurons, which subsequently increase serotonin release. The released serotonin activates the feeding response mainly by acting humorally and directly activates SER-7, a type 7 serotonin receptor, in MC motor neurons in the feeding organ. Our data suggest that worms sense the taste and/or smell of novel bacteria, which overrides the stimulatory effect of familiar bacteria on feeding by suppressing the activity of ADF or its upstream neurons. Our study provides insight into the mechanism by which familiarity discrimination alters behavior. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.00329.001 PMID:23390589

  17. Uncovering buffered pleiotropy: a genome-scale screen for mel-28 genetic interactors in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandez, Anita G; Mis, Emily K; Lai, Allison; Mauro, Michael; Quental, Angela; Bock, Carly; Piano, Fabio

    2014-01-10

    mel-28 (maternal-effect-lethal-28) encodes a conserved protein required for nuclear envelope function and chromosome segregation in Caenorhabditis elegans. Because mel-28 is a strict maternal-effect lethal gene, its function is required in the early embryo but appears to be dispensable for larval development. We wanted to test the idea that mel-28 has postembryonic roles that are buffered by the contributions of other genes. To find genes that act coordinately with mel-28, we did an RNA interference-based genetic interaction screen using mel-28 and wild-type larvae. We screened 18,364 clones and identified 65 genes that cause sterility in mel-28 but not wild-type worms. Some of these genes encode components of the nuclear pore. In addition we identified genes involved in dynein and dynactin function, vesicle transport, and cell-matrix attachments. By screening mel-28 larvae we have bypassed the requirement for mel-28 in the embryo, uncovering pleiotropic functions for mel-28 later in development that are normally provided by other genes. This work contributes toward revealing the gene networks that underlie cellular processes and reveals roles for a maternal-effect lethal gene later in development.

  18. TBC-8, a putative RAB-2 GAP, regulates dense core vesicle maturation in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  19. TBC-8, a putative RAB-2 GAP, regulates dense core vesicle maturation in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mandy Hannemann

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

  20. Transaldolase inhibition impairs mitochondrial respiration and induces a starvation-like longevity response in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Christopher F Bennett

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Mitochondrial dysfunction can increase oxidative stress and extend lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans. Homeostatic mechanisms exist to cope with disruptions to mitochondrial function that promote cellular health and organismal longevity. Previously, we determined that decreased expression of the cytosolic pentose phosphate pathway (PPP enzyme transaldolase activates the mitochondrial unfolded protein response (UPRmt and extends lifespan. Here we report that transaldolase (tald-1 deficiency impairs mitochondrial function in vivo, as evidenced by altered mitochondrial morphology, decreased respiration, and increased cellular H2O2 levels. Lifespan extension from knockdown of tald-1 is associated with an oxidative stress response involving p38 and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK MAPKs and a starvation-like response regulated by the transcription factor EB (TFEB homolog HLH-30. The latter response promotes autophagy and increases expression of the flavin-containing monooxygenase 2 (fmo-2. We conclude that cytosolic redox established through the PPP is a key regulator of mitochondrial function and defines a new mechanism for mitochondrial regulation of longevity.

  1. The GATA transcription factor egl-27 delays aging by promoting stress resistance in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiao Xu

    Full Text Available Stress is a fundamental aspect of aging, as accumulated damage from a lifetime of stress can limit lifespan and protective responses to stress can extend lifespan. In this study, we identify a conserved Caenorhabditis elegans GATA transcription factor, egl-27, that is involved in several stress responses and aging. We found that overexpression of egl-27 extends the lifespan of wild-type animals. Furthermore, egl-27 is required for the pro-longevity effects from impaired insulin/IGF-1 like signaling (IIS, as reduced egl-27 activity fully suppresses the longevity of worms that are mutant for the IIS receptor, daf-2. egl-27 expression is inhibited by daf-2 and activated by pro-longevity factors daf-16/FOXO and elt-3/GATA, suggesting that egl-27 acts at the intersection of IIS and GATA pathways to extend lifespan. Consistent with its role in IIS signaling, we found that egl-27 is involved in stress response pathways. egl-27 expression is induced in the presence of multiple stresses, its targets are significantly enriched for many types of stress genes, and altering levels of egl-27 itself affects survival to heat and oxidative stress. Finally, we found that egl-27 expression increases between young and old animals, suggesting that increased levels of egl-27 in aged animals may act to promote stress resistance. These results identify egl-27 as a novel factor that links stress and aging pathways.

  2. Bayesian Inference of Forces Causing Cytoplasmic Streaming in Caenorhabditis elegans Embryos and Mouse Oocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niwayama, Ritsuya; Nagao, Hiromichi; Kitajima, Tomoya S; Hufnagel, Lars; Shinohara, Kyosuke; Higuchi, Tomoyuki; Ishikawa, Takuji; Kimura, Akatsuki

    2016-01-01

    Cellular structures are hydrodynamically interconnected, such that force generation in one location can move distal structures. One example of this phenomenon is cytoplasmic streaming, whereby active forces at the cell cortex induce streaming of the entire cytoplasm. However, it is not known how the spatial distribution and magnitude of these forces move distant objects within the cell. To address this issue, we developed a computational method that used cytoplasm hydrodynamics to infer the spatial distribution of shear stress at the cell cortex induced by active force generators from experimentally obtained flow field of cytoplasmic streaming. By applying this method, we determined the shear-stress distribution that quantitatively reproduces in vivo flow fields in Caenorhabditis elegans embryos and mouse oocytes during meiosis II. Shear stress in mouse oocytes were predicted to localize to a narrower cortical region than that with a high cortical flow velocity and corresponded with the localization of the cortical actin cap. The predicted patterns of pressure gradient in both species were consistent with species-specific cytoplasmic streaming functions. The shear-stress distribution inferred by our method can contribute to the characterization of active force generation driving biological streaming.

  3. Genome-Wide Mutational Signature of the Chemotherapeutic Agent Mitomycin C in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Tam, Annie S; Chu, Jeffrey S C; Rose, Ann M

    2015-11-12

    Cancer therapy largely depends on chemotherapeutic agents that generate DNA lesions. However, our understanding of the nature of the resulting lesions as well as the mutational profiles of these chemotherapeutic agents is limited. Among these lesions, DNA interstrand crosslinks are among the more toxic types of DNA damage. Here, we have characterized the mutational spectrum of the commonly used DNA interstrand crosslinking agent mitomycin C (MMC). Using a combination of genetic mapping, whole genome sequencing, and genomic analysis, we have identified and confirmed several genomic lesions linked to MMC-induced DNA damage in Caenorhabditis elegans. Our data indicate that MMC predominantly causes deletions, with a 5'-CpG-3' sequence context prevalent in the deleted regions of DNA. Furthermore, we identified microhomology flanking the deletion junctions, indicative of DNA repair via nonhomologous end joining. Based on these results, we propose a general repair mechanism that is likely to be involved in the biological response to this highly toxic agent. In conclusion, the systematic study we have described provides insight into potential sequence specificity of MMC with DNA. Copyright © 2016 Tam et al.

  4. Genome-Wide Mutational Signature of the Chemotherapeutic Agent Mitomycin C in Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Annie S. Tam

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Cancer therapy largely depends on chemotherapeutic agents that generate DNA lesions. However, our understanding of the nature of the resulting lesions as well as the mutational profiles of these chemotherapeutic agents is limited. Among these lesions, DNA interstrand crosslinks are among the more toxic types of DNA damage. Here, we have characterized the mutational spectrum of the commonly used DNA interstrand crosslinking agent mitomycin C (MMC. Using a combination of genetic mapping, whole genome sequencing, and genomic analysis, we have identified and confirmed several genomic lesions linked to MMC-induced DNA damage in Caenorhabditis elegans. Our data indicate that MMC predominantly causes deletions, with a 5′-CpG-3′ sequence context prevalent in the deleted regions of DNA. Furthermore, we identified microhomology flanking the deletion junctions, indicative of DNA repair via nonhomologous end joining. Based on these results, we propose a general repair mechanism that is likely to be involved in the biological response to this highly toxic agent. In conclusion, the systematic study we have described provides insight into potential sequence specificity of MMC with DNA.

  5. Disruption of insulin signalling preserves bioenergetic competence of mitochondria in ageing Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Vanfleteren Jacques R

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The gene daf-2 encodes the single insulin/insulin growth factor-1-like receptor of Caenorhabditis elegans. The reduction-of-function allele e1370 induces several metabolic alterations and doubles lifespan. Results We found that the e1370 mutation alters aerobic energy production substantially. In wild-type worms the abundance of key mitochondrial proteins declines with age, accompanied by a dramatic decrease in energy production, although the mitochondrial mass, inferred from the mitochondrial DNA copy number, remains unaltered. In contrast, the age-dependent decrease of both key mitochondrial proteins and bioenergetic competence is considerably attenuated in daf-2(e1370 adult animals. The increase in daf-2(e1370 mitochondrial competence is associated with a higher membrane potential and increased reactive oxygen species production, but with little damage to mitochondrial protein or DNA. Together these results point to a higher energetic efficiency of daf-2(e1370 animals. Conclusions We conclude that low daf-2 function alters the overall rate of ageing by a yet unidentified mechanism with an indirect protective effect on mitochondrial function.

  6. Caenorhabditis elegans ABCRNAi transporters interact genetically with rde-2 and mut-7.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sundaram, Prema; Han, Wang; Cohen, Nancy; Echalier, Benjamin; Albin, John; Timmons, Lisa

    2008-02-01

    RNA interference (RNAi) mechanisms are conserved and consist of an interrelated network of activities that not only respond to exogenous dsRNA, but also perform endogenous functions required in the fine tuning of gene expression and in maintaining genome integrity. Not surprisingly, RNAi functions have widespread influences on cellular function and organismal development. Previously, we observed a reduced capacity to mount an RNAi response in nine Caenorhabditis elegans mutants that are defective in ABC transporter genes (ABC(RNAi) mutants). Here, we report an exhaustive study of mutants, collectively defective in 49 different ABC transporter genes, that allowed for the categorization of one additional transporter into the ABC(RNAi) gene class. Genetic complementation tests reveal functions for ABC(RNAi) transporters in the mut-7/rde-2 branch of the RNAi pathway. These second-site noncomplementation interactions suggest that ABC(RNAi) proteins and MUT-7/RDE-2 function together in parallel pathways and/or as multiprotein complexes. Like mut-7 and rde-2, some ABC(RNAi) mutants display transposon silencing defects. Finally, our analyses reveal a genetic interaction network of ABC(RNAi) gene function with respect to this part of the RNAi pathway. From our results, we speculate that the coordinated activities of ABC(RNAi) transporters, through their effects on endogenous RNAi-related mechanisms, ultimately affect chromosome function and integrity.

  7. A conserved PHD finger protein and endogenous RNAi modulate insulin signaling in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Mansisidor, Andres R; Cecere, Germano; Hoersch, Sebastian; Jensen, Morten B; Kawli, Trupti; Kennedy, Lisa M; Chavez, Violeta; Tan, Man-Wah; Lieb, Jason D; Grishok, Alla

    2011-09-01

    Insulin signaling has a profound effect on longevity and the oxidative stress resistance of animals. Inhibition of insulin signaling results in the activation of DAF-16/FOXO and SKN-1/Nrf transcription factors and increased animal fitness. By studying the biological functions of the endogenous RNA interference factor RDE-4 and conserved PHD zinc finger protein ZFP-1 (AF10), which regulate overlapping sets of genes in Caenorhabditis elegans, we identified an important role for these factors in the negative modulation of transcription of the insulin/PI3 signaling-dependent kinase PDK-1. Consistently, increased expression of pdk-1 in zfp-1 and rde-4 mutants contributed to their reduced lifespan and sensitivity to oxidative stress and pathogens due to the reduction in the expression of DAF-16 and SKN-1 targets. We found that the function of ZFP-1 in modulating pdk-1 transcription was important for the extended lifespan of the age-1(hx546) reduction-of-function PI3 kinase mutant, since the lifespan of the age-1; zfp-1 double mutant strain was significantly shorter compared to age-1(hx546). We further demonstrate that overexpression of ZFP-1 caused an increased resistance to oxidative stress in a DAF-16-dependent manner. Our findings suggest that epigenetic regulation of key upstream signaling components in signal transduction pathways through chromatin and RNAi may have a large impact on the outcome of signaling and expression of numerous downstream genes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, Mei-Perng; Nathan, Sheila

    2014-09-01

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

  9. STEM Analysis of Caenorhabditis elegans muscle thick filaments: evidence for microdifferentiated substructures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muller, S. A.; Haner, M.; Ortiz, I.; Aebi, U.; Epstein, H. F.

    2001-01-01

    In the thick filaments of body muscle in Caenorhabditis elegans, myosin A and myosin B isoforms and a subpopulation of paramyosin, a homologue of myosin heavy chain rods, are organized about a tubular core. As determined by scanning transmission electron microscopy, the thick filaments show a continuous decrease in mass-per-length (MPL) from their central zones to their polar regions. This is consistent with previously reported morphological studies and suggests that both their content and structural organization are microdifferentiated as a function of position. The cores are composed of a second distinct subpopulation of paramyosin in association with the alpha, beta, and gamma-filagenins. MPL measurements suggest that cores are formed from seven subfilaments containing four strands of paramyosin molecules, rather than the two originally proposed. The periodic locations of the filagenins within different regions and the presence of a central zone where myosin A is located, implies that the cores are also microdifferentiated with respect to molecular content and structure. This differentiation may result from a novel "induced strain" assembly mechanism based upon the interaction of the filagenins, paramyosin and myosin A. The cores may then serve as "differentiated templates" for the assembly of myosin B and paramyosin in the tapering, microdifferentiated polar regions of the thick filaments.

  10. Conserved RNA-Binding Proteins Required for Dendrite Morphogenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans Sensory Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    The regulation of dendritic branching is critical for sensory reception, cell−cell communication within the nervous system, learning, memory, and behavior. Defects in dendrite morphology are associated with several neurologic disorders; thus, an understanding of the molecular mechanisms that govern dendrite morphogenesis is important. Recent investigations of dendrite morphogenesis have highlighted the importance of gene regulation at the posttranscriptional level. Because RNA-binding proteins mediate many posttranscriptional mechanisms, we decided to investigate the extent to which conserved RNA-binding proteins contribute to dendrite morphogenesis across phyla. Here we identify a core set of RNA-binding proteins that are important for dendrite morphogenesis in the PVD multidendritic sensory neuron in Caenorhabditis elegans. Homologs of each of these genes were previously identified as important in the Drosophila melanogaster dendritic arborization sensory neurons. Our results suggest that RNA processing, mRNA localization, mRNA stability, and translational control are all important mechanisms that contribute to dendrite morphogenesis, and we present a conserved set of RNA-binding proteins that regulate these processes in diverse animal species. Furthermore, homologs of these genes are expressed in the human brain, suggesting that these RNA-binding proteins are candidate regulators of dendrite development in humans. PMID:25673135

  11. Dominant negative mutations of Caenorhabditis elegans daf-7 confer a novel developmental phenotype.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crook, Matt; Grant, Warwick N

    2013-06-01

    TGF-β signaling pathways are involved in the control of development in every member of the animal kingdom. As such, TGF-β ligands are widely divergent yet retain a set of core conserved features, specifically, a pre-protein cleavage site and several conserved ligand domain residues, the disruption of which produces a dominant negative phenotype. We have extended these observations into an invertebrate system by creating a series of loss-of-function Caenorhabditis elegans daf-7 transgenes. When we tested these mutant transgenes in a daf-7/+ background, we saw a molting and excretory canal phenotype. Members of both pathways downstream of daf-4 were required for this phenotype. Our results show that the basic mechanisms of TGF-β function are conserved across the animal kingdom. A subset of our daf-7 mutations also produced an unexpected and novel phenotype. Epistasis experiments demonstrated that both daf-3/-5 and sma-4/-9 were downstream of our mutant daf-7 transgenes, which suggests not only a role for DAF-7 in the control of molting and the development of the excretory system but also that daf-7 and dbl-1 signaling may converge downstream of their shared Type II receptor, daf-4. Our approach may unveil new roles in development for other invertebrate TGF-β ligands. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. Mutations in Caenorhabditis elegans him-19 show meiotic defects that worsen with age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Lois; Machacek, Thomas; Mamnun, Yasmine M; Penkner, Alexandra; Gloggnitzer, Jiradet; Wegrostek, Christina; Konrat, Robert; Jantsch, Michael F; Loidl, Josef; Jantsch, Verena

    2010-03-15

    From a screen for meiotic Caenorhabditis elegans mutants based on high incidence of males, we identified a novel gene, him-19, with multiple functions in prophase of meiosis I. Mutant him-19(jf6) animals show a reduction in pairing of homologous chromosomes and subsequent bivalent formation. Consistently, synaptonemal complex formation is spatially restricted and possibly involves nonhomologous chromosomes. Also, foci of the recombination protein RAD-51 occur delayed or cease altogether. Ultimately, mutation of him-19 leads to chromosome missegregation and reduced offspring viability. The observed defects suggest that HIM-19 is important for both homology recognition and formation of meiotic DNA double-strand breaks. It therefore seems to be engaged in an early meiotic event, resembling in this respect the regulator kinase CHK-2. Most astonishingly, him-19(jf6) hermaphrodites display worsening of phenotypes with increasing age, whereas defects are more severe in female than in male meiosis. This finding is consistent with depletion of a him-19-dependent factor during the production of oocytes. Further characterization of him-19 could contribute to our understanding of age-dependent meiotic defects in humans.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jung, Hana; Lee, Jin A; Choi, Seoyoon; Lee, Hyunwoo; Ahn, Byungchan

    2014-01-01

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

  14. Rapid Integration of Multi-copy Transgenes Using Optogenetic Mutagenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Kentaro Noma

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Stably transmitted transgenes are indispensable for labeling cellular components and manipulating cellular functions. In Caenorhabditis elegans, transgenes are generally generated as inheritable multi-copy extrachromosomal arrays, which can be stabilized in the genome through a mutagenesis-mediated integration process. Standard methods to integrate extrachromosomal arrays primarily use protocols involving ultraviolet light plus trimethylpsoralen or gamma- or X-ray irradiation, which are laborious and time-consuming. Here, we describe a one-step integration method, following germline-mutagenesis induced by mini Singlet Oxygen Generator (miniSOG. Upon blue light treatment, miniSOG tagged to histone (Histone-miniSOG generates reactive oxygen species (ROS and induces heritable mutations, including DNA double-stranded breaks. We demonstrate that we can bypass the need to first establish extrachromosomal transgenic lines by coupling microinjection of desired plasmids with blue light illumination on Histone-miniSOG worms to obtain integrants in the F3 progeny. We consistently obtained more than one integrant from 12 injected animals in two weeks. This optogenetic approach significantly reduces the amount of time and labor for transgene integration. Moreover, it enables to generate stably expressed transgenes that cause toxicity in animal growth.

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

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

    2017-10-15

    Tea includes puer tea, black tea, green tea and many others. By using model organism Caenorhabditis elegans, the anti-aging and anti-oxidation effects of tea water extract were systemically examined in this study. We found that water extract of puer tea, black tea and green tea all increased the lifespan of worms, postponed Aβ-induced progressive paralysis in Alzheimer's disease transgenic worms, and improved the tolerance of worms to the oxidative stress induced by heavy metal Cr 6+ . Moreover, the anti-oxidation effects of tea water extract at low concentration were different among 4 kinds of brands of green tea. The underlying mechanisms were further explored using genetically manipulated-mutant worms. The anti-oxidative stress effects of green tea water extract depend on the dietary restriction and germline signaling pathways, but not the FOXO and mitochondrial respiratory chain signals. Therefore, tea water extract provides benefits of anti-aging, anti-AD and anti-oxidation. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  16. Evaluation of the antioxidant property and effects in Caenorhabditis elegans of Xiangxi flavor vinegar, a Hunan local traditional vinegar*

    Science.gov (United States)

    HUANG, Run-ting; HUANG, Qing; WU, Gen-liang; CHEN, Chun-guang; LI, Zong-jun

    2017-01-01

    Xiangxi flavor vinegar (XV) is one of Hunan Province’s traditional fermented vinegars. It is produced from herb, rice, and spring water with spontaneous liquid-state fermentation techniques. In this study, we investigated the antioxidant property of XV by analyzing its antioxidant compounds, its free radical scavenging property in vitro and in vivo, and its effects on antioxidant enzyme activity and apoptosis in Caenorhabditis elegans. The results showed that XV is rich in antioxidants. In particular, ligustrazine reached 6.431 μg/ml. The in vitro 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl free radical (DPPH•), hydroxyl radical (•OH), and superoxide anion radical (O2 •−) scavenging rates of XV were 95.85%, 97.22%, and 63.33%, respectively. The reactive oxygen species (ROS) content in XV-treated C. elegans decreased significantly (P<0.01) compared to the control group. Glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and catalase (CAT) activities were remarkably increased (P<0.01) in C. elegans after XV treatment. In addition, XV could upregulate CED-9 protein expression and downregulate CED-3 protein expression in C. elegans. These results prove that XV is rich in antioxidants and scavenges radicals in vitro efficiently. XV inhibits apoptosis in C. elegans probably by scavenging ROS and increasing the activities of its antioxidant enzymes. PMID:28378570

  17. A carbon dioxide avoidance behavior is integrated with responses to ambient oxygen and food in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Bretscher, Andrew Jonathan; Busch, Karl Emanuel; de Bono, Mario

    2008-06-10

    Homeostasis of internal carbon dioxide (CO2) and oxygen (O2) levels is fundamental to all animals. Here we examine the CO2 response of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. This species inhabits rotting material, which typically has a broad CO2 concentration range. We show that well fed C. elegans avoid CO2 levels above 0.5%. Animals can respond to both absolute CO2 concentrations and changes in CO2 levels within seconds. Responses to CO2 do not reflect avoidance of acid pH but appear to define a new sensory response. Sensation of CO2 is promoted by the cGMP-gated ion channel subunits TAX-2 and TAX-4, but other pathways are also important. Robust CO2 avoidance in well fed animals requires inhibition of the DAF-16 forkhead transcription factor by the insulin-like receptor DAF-2. Starvation, which activates DAF-16, strongly suppresses CO2 avoidance. Exposure to hypoxia (avoidance via activation of the hypoxia-inducible transcription factor HIF-1. The npr-1 215V allele of the naturally polymorphic neuropeptide receptor npr-1, besides inhibiting avoidance of high ambient O2 in feeding C. elegans, also promotes avoidance of high CO2. C. elegans integrates competing O2 and CO2 sensory inputs so that one response dominates. Food and allelic variation at NPR-1 regulate which response prevails. Our results suggest that multiple sensory inputs are coordinated by C. elegans to generate different coherent foraging strategies.

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

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    Henrik Jakobsen

    Full Text Available 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-producing Escherichia coli O157:H7 strain EDL933 and several other bacterial pathogens. This was shown to be unrelated to the weak antibiotic effect of Harmane. Using GFP-expressing E. coli EDL933, we showed that Harmane does not lower the colonization burden in the nematodes. We also found that the expression of the putative immune effector gene F35E12.5 was up-regulated in response to Harmane treatment. This indicates that Harmane stimulates the innate immune response of the nematode; thereby increasing its lifespan during bacterial infection. Expression of F35E12.5 is predominantly regulated through the p38 MAPK pathway; however, intriguingly the lifespan extension resulting from Harmane was higher in p38 MAPK-deficient nematodes. This indicates that Harmane has a complex effect on the innate immune system of C. elegans. Harmane could therefore be a useful tool in the further research into C. elegans immunity. Since the innate immunity of C. elegans has a high degree of evolutionary conservation, drugs such as Harmane could also be possible alternatives to classic antibiotics. The C. elegans model could prove to be useful for selection and development of such drugs.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakobsen, Henrik; Bojer, Martin S; Marinus, Martin G; Xu, Tao; Struve, Carsten; Krogfelt, Karen A; Løbner-Olesen, Anders

    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-producing Escherichia coli O157:H7 strain EDL933 and several other bacterial pathogens. This was shown to be unrelated to the weak antibiotic effect of Harmane. Using GFP-expressing E. coli EDL933, we showed that Harmane does not lower the colonization burden in the nematodes. We also found that the expression of the putative immune effector gene F35E12.5 was up-regulated in response to Harmane treatment. This indicates that Harmane stimulates the innate immune response of the nematode; thereby increasing its lifespan during bacterial infection. Expression of F35E12.5 is predominantly regulated through the p38 MAPK pathway; however, intriguingly the lifespan extension resulting from Harmane was higher in p38 MAPK-deficient nematodes. This indicates that Harmane has a complex effect on the innate immune system of C. elegans. Harmane could therefore be a useful tool in the further research into C. elegans immunity. Since the innate immunity of C. elegans has a high degree of evolutionary conservation, drugs such as Harmane could also be possible alternatives to classic antibiotics. The C. elegans model could prove to be useful for selection and development of such drugs.

  20. Adverse Effects of Hydroalcoholic Extracts and the Major Components in the Stems of Impatiens balsamina L. on Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Hong-Fang Jiang

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Impatiens balsamina L. (Balsaminaceae, an annual herb found throughout China, has been extensively used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM. However, our knowledge regarding the adverse effects of I. balsamina in vivo is very limited. In this present study, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans model was employed to fully assess the adverse effects of hydroalcoholic (EtOH 55% extracts of I. balsamina stems (HAEIBS in vivo. After exposure to 10 mg/mL HAEIBS, the major organism-level endpoints of C. elegans of percent survival, frequency of head thrash and body bends, and reproduction had decreased by 24%, 30%, and 25%, respectively. The lifespan of C. elegans was also greatly reduced after HAEIBS exposure compared to the controls. The active compounds in HAEIBS were separated using high speed countercurrent chromatograph (HSCCC and characterized by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR. Two compounds, lawsone and 2-methoxy-1,4-naphthoquinone (MNQ, and their adverse effects were then more thoroughly detailed in this study. It was found that lawsone is the major toxin in HAEIBS with a higher toxicity than MNQ in terms of negative impact on C. elegans mortality, locomotion, reproduction, and lifespan. Our data also suggests that the C. elegans model may be useful for assessing the possible toxicity of other Chinese medicines, plant extracts, and/or compounds.

  1. A microfluidic device with multi-valves system to enable several simultaneous exposure tests on Caenorhabditis elegans

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jung, Jaehoon; Masaru, Takeuchi; Nakajima, Masahiro; Huang, Qiang; Fukuda, Toshio

    2014-01-01

    In this paper, we report on a microfluidic device with a multi-valve system to conduct several exposure tests on Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) simultaneously. It has pneumatic valves and no-moving-parts (NMP) valves. An NMP valve is incorporated with a chamber and enables the unidirectional movement of C. elegans in the chamber; once worms are loaded into the chamber, they cannot exit, regardless of the flow direction. To demonstrate the ability of the NMP valve to handle worms, we made a microfluidic device with three chambers. Each chamber was used to expose worms to Cd and Cu solutions, and K-medium. A pair of electrodes was installed in the device and the capacitance in-between the electrode was measured. When a C. elegans passed through the electrodes, the capacitance was changed. The capacitance change was proportional to the body volume of the worm, thus the body volume change by the heavy metal exposure was measured in the device. Thirty worms were divided into three groups and exposed to each solution. We confirmed that the different solutions induced differences in the capacitance changes for each group. These results indicate that our device is a viable method for simultaneously analyzing the effect of multiple stimuli on C. elegans. (paper)

  2. The G protein-coupled receptor FSHR-1 is required for the Caenorhabditis elegans innate immune response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, Jennifer R; Kim, Dennis H; Ausubel, Frederick M

    2009-02-24

    Innate immunity is an ancient defense system used by both vertebrates and invertebrates. Previously characterized innate immune responses in plants and animals are triggered by detection of pathogens using specific receptors, which typically use a leucine-rich repeat (LRR) domain to bind molecular patterns associated with infection. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans uses defense pathways conserved with vertebrates; however, the mechanism by which C. elegans detects pathogens is unknown. We screened all LRR-containing transmembrane receptors in C. elegans and identified the G protein-coupled receptor FSHR-1 as an important component of the C. elegans immune response to Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacterial pathogens. FSHR-1 acts in the C. elegans intestine, the primary site of exposure to ingested pathogens. FSHR-1 signals in parallel to the known p38 MAPK pathway but converges to regulate the transcriptional induction of an overlapping but nonidentical set of antimicrobial effectors. FSHR-1 may act generally to boost the nematode immune response, or it may function as a pathogen receptor.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-10-01

    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 intestinal development. This article explores whether elt-4 also has a role in intestinal development. Reporter fusions to the elt-4 promoter or reporter insertions into the elt-4 coding regions show that elt-4 is indeed expressed in the intestine, beginning at the 1.5-fold stage of embryogenesis and continuing into adulthood. elt-4 reporter fusions are also expressed in nine cells of the posterior pharynx. Ectopic expression of elt-4 cDNA within the embryo does not cause detectable ectopic expression of biochemical markers of gut differentiation; furthermore, ectopic elt-4 expression neither inhibits nor enhances the ectopic marker expression caused by ectopic elt-2 expression. A deletion allele of elt-4 was isolated but no obvious phenotype could be detected, either in the gut or elsewhere; brood sizes, hatching efficiencies, and growth rates were indistinguishable from wild type. We found no evidence that elt-4 provided backup functions for elt-2. We used microarray analysis to search for genes that might be differentially expressed between L1 larvae of the elt-4 deletion strain and wild-type worms. Paired hybridizations were repeated seven times, allowing us to conclude, with some confidence, that no candidate target transcript could be identified as significantly up- or downregulated by loss of elt-4 function. In vitro binding experiments could not detect specific binding of ELT-4 protein to candidate binding sites (double-stranded oligonucleotides containing single or multiple

  4. Toxicity-based toxicokinetic/toxicodynamic assessment of bioaccumulation and nanotoxicity of zerovalent iron nanoparticles in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yang YF

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Ying-Fei Yang, Yi-Jun Lin, Chung-Min Liao Department of Bioenvironmental Systems Engineering, College of Bioresources and Agriculture, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan Abstract: Elucidating the relationships between the toxicity-based-toxicokinetic (TBTK/toxicodynamic (TD properties of engineered nanomaterials and their nanotoxicity is crucial for human health-risk analysis. Zerovalent iron (Fe0 nanoparticles (NPs are one of the most prominent NPs applied in remediating contaminated soils and groundwater. However, there are concerns that Fe0NP application contributes to long-term environmental and human health impacts. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a surrogate in vivo model that has been successfully applied to assess the potential nanotoxicity of these nanomaterials. Here we present a TBTK/TD approach to appraise bioaccumulation and nanotoxicity of Fe0NPs in C. elegans. Built on a present C. elegans bioassay with estimated TBTK/TD parameters, we found that average bioconcentration factors in C. elegans exposed to waterborne and food-borne Fe0NPs were ~50 and ~5×10–3, respectively, whereas 10% inhibition concentrations for fertility, locomotion, and development, were 1.26 (95% CI 0.19–5.2, 3.84 (0.38–42, and 6.78 (2.58–21 µg·g–1, respectively, implicating that fertility is the most sensitive endpoint in C. elegans. Our results also showed that biomagnification effects were not observed in waterborne or food-borne Fe0NP-exposed worms. We suggest that the TBTK/TD assessment for predicting NP-induced toxicity at different concentrations and conditions in C. elegans could enable rapid selection of nanomaterials that are more likely to be nontoxic in larger animals. We conclude that the use of the TBTK/TD scheme manipulating C. elegans could be used for rapid evaluation of in vivo toxicity of NPs or for drug screening in the field of nanomedicine. Keywords: zerovalent iron nanoparticles, Caenorhabditis elegans

  5. Toxicity-based toxicokinetic/toxicodynamic assessment of bioaccumulation and nanotoxicity of zerovalent iron nanoparticles in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Ying-Fei; Lin, Yi-Jun; Liao, Chung-Min

    2017-01-01

    Elucidating the relationships between the toxicity-based-toxicokinetic (TBTK)/toxicodynamic (TD) properties of engineered nanomaterials and their nanotoxicity is crucial for human health-risk analysis. Zerovalent iron (Fe 0 ) nanoparticles (NPs) are one of the most prominent NPs applied in remediating contaminated soils and groundwater. However, there are concerns that Fe 0 NP application contributes to long-term environmental and human health impacts. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a surrogate in vivo model that has been successfully applied to assess the potential nanotoxicity of these nanomaterials. Here we present a TBTK/TD approach to appraise bioaccumulation and nanotoxicity of Fe 0 NPs in C. elegans . Built on a present C. elegans bioassay with estimated TBTK/TD parameters, we found that average bioconcentration factors in C. elegans exposed to waterborne and food-borne Fe 0 NPs were ~50 and ~5×10 -3 , respectively, whereas 10% inhibition concentrations for fertility, locomotion, and development, were 1.26 (95% CI 0.19-5.2), 3.84 (0.38-42), and 6.78 (2.58-21) μg·g -1 , respectively, implicating that fertility is the most sensitive endpoint in C. elegans . Our results also showed that biomagnification effects were not observed in waterborne or food-borne Fe 0 NP-exposed worms. We suggest that the TBTK/TD assessment for predicting NP-induced toxicity at different concentrations and conditions in C. elegans could enable rapid selection of nanomaterials that are more likely to be nontoxic in larger animals. We conclude that the use of the TBTK/TD scheme manipulating C. elegans could be used for rapid evaluation of in vivo toxicity of NPs or for drug screening in the field of nanomedicine.

  6. Anthelmintic effect of Psidium guajava and Tagetes erecta on wild-type and Levamisole-resistant Caenorhabditis elegans strains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piña-Vázquez, Denia M; Mayoral-Peña, Zyanya; Gómez-Sánchez, Maricela; Salazar-Olivo, Luis A; Arellano-Carbajal, Fausto

    2017-04-18

    Psidium guajava and Tagetes erecta have been used traditionally to treat gastrointestinal parasites, but their active metabolites and mechanisms of action remain largely unknown. To evaluate the anthelmintic potential of Psidium guajava and Tagetes erecta extracts on Levamisole-sensitive and Levamisole-resistant strains of the model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Aqueous extracts of Psidium guajava (PGE) and Tagetes erecta (TEE) were assayed on locomotion and egg-laying behaviors of the wild-type (N2) and Levamisole-resistant (CB193) strains of Caenorhabditis elegans. Both extracts paralyzed wild-type and Levamisole-resistant nematodes in a dose-dependent manner. In wild-type worms, TEE 25mg/mL induced a 75% paralysis after 8h of treatment and PGE 25mg/mL induced a 100% paralysis after 4h of treatment. PGE exerted a similar paralyzing effect on N2 wild-type and CB193 Levamisole-resistant worms, while TEE only partially paralyzed CB193 worms. TEE 25mg/mL decreased N2 egg-laying by 65% with respect to the untreated control, while PGE did it by 40%. Psidium guajava leaves and Tagetes erecta flower-heads possess hydrosoluble compounds that block the motility of Caenorhabditis elegans by a mechanism different to that of the anthelmintic drug Levamisole. Effects are also observable on oviposition, which was diminished in the wild-type worms. The strong anthelmintic effects in crude extracts of these plants warrants future work to identify their active compounds and to elucidate their molecular mechanisms of action. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Natural Marine and Synthetic Xenobiotics Get on Nematode’s Nerves: Neuro-Stimulating and Neurotoxic Findings in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thora Lieke

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Marine algae release a plethora of organic halogenated compounds, many of them with unknown ecological impact if environmentally realistic concentrations are applied. One major compound is dibromoacetic acid (DBAA which was tested for neurotoxicity in the invertebrate model organism Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans. This natural compound was compared with the widespread synthetic xenobiotic tetrabromobisphenol-A (TBBP-A found in marine sediments and mussels. We found a neuro-stimulating effect for DBAA; this is contradictory to existing toxicological reports of mammals that applied comparatively high dosages. For TBBP-A, we found a hormetic concentration-effect relationship. As chemicals rarely occur isolated in the environment, a combination of both organobromines was also examined. Surprisingly, the presence of DBAA increased the toxicity of TBBP-A. Our results demonstrated that organohalogens have the potential to affect single organisms especially by altering the neurological processes, even with promoting effects on exposed organisms.

  8. Natural Marine and Synthetic Xenobiotics Get on Nematode's Nerves: Neuro-Stimulating and Neurotoxic Findings in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lieke, Thora; Steinberg, Christian E W; Ju, Jingjuan; Saul, Nadine

    2015-05-06

    Marine algae release a plethora of organic halogenated compounds, many of them with unknown ecological impact if environmentally realistic concentrations are applied. One major compound is dibromoacetic acid (DBAA) which was tested for neurotoxicity in the invertebrate model organism Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans). This natural compound was compared with the widespread synthetic xenobiotic tetrabromobisphenol-A (TBBP-A) found in marine sediments and mussels. We found a neuro-stimulating effect for DBAA; this is contradictory to existing toxicological reports of mammals that applied comparatively high dosages. For TBBP-A, we found a hormetic concentration-effect relationship. As chemicals rarely occur isolated in the environment, a combination of both organobromines was also examined. Surprisingly, the presence of DBAA increased the toxicity of TBBP-A. Our results demonstrated that organohalogens have the potential to affect single organisms especially by altering the neurological processes, even with promoting effects on exposed organisms.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-03-01

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

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

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    Ranjeet Kumar

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

  11. Lifespan decrease in a Caenorhabditis elegans mutant lacking TRX-1, a thioredoxin expressed in ASJ sensory neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miranda-Vizuete, Antonio; Fierro González, Juan Carlos; Gahmon, Gabriele; Burghoorn, Jan; Navas, Plácido; Swoboda, Peter

    2006-01-23

    Thioredoxins are a class of small proteins that play a key role in regulating many cellular redox processes. We report here the characterization of the first member of the thioredoxin family in metazoans that is mainly associated with neurons. The Caenorhabditis elegans gene B0228.5 encodes a thioredoxin (TRX-1) that is expressed in ASJ ciliated sensory neurons, and to some extent also in the posterior-most intestinal cells. TRX-1 is active at reducing protein disulfides in the presence of a heterologous thioredoxin reductase. A mutant worm strain carrying a null allele of the trx-1 gene displays a reproducible decrease in both mean and maximum lifespan when compared to wild-type. The identification and characterization of TRX-1 paves the way to use C. elegans as an in vivo model to study the role of thioredoxins in lifespan and nervous system physiology and pathology.

  12. Statins inhibit protein lipidation and induce the unfolded protein response in the non-sterol producing nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mörck, Catarina; Elmelund-Præstekær, Louise Cathrine Braun; Kurth, Caroline

    2009-01-01

    of lipid moieties for protein prenylation. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans possesses a mevalonate pathway that lacks the branch leading to cholesterol synthesis, and thus represents an ideal organism to specifically study the noncholesterol roles of the pathway. Inhibiting HMG-CoA reductase in C....... elegans using statins or RNAi leads to developmental arrest and loss of membrane association of a GFP-based prenylation reporter. The unfolded protein response (UPR) is also strongly activated, suggesting that impaired prenylation of small GTPases leads to the accumulation of unfolded proteins and ER...... and fatty acid composition were unaffected in statin-treated worms, even though they showed reduced staining with Nile red. We conclude that inhibitors of HMG-CoA reductase or of farnesyl transferases induce the UPR by inhibiting the prenylation of M57.2 substrates, resulting in developmental arrest in C...

  13. Micro-evolutionary responses and adaptive costs of Caenorhabditis elegans populations exposed to environmental stress

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dutilleul, M.

    2013-01-01

    The contemporary evolution of organisms is largely dependent on anthropogenic disturbances. In particular, pollution amplifies the intensity or the quantity of selection pressures on populations. However, these changes may have negative effects on the life, growth and reproduction of individuals, the demographics of the population, and its phenotypic and genetic characteristics over generations. Thus, micro-evolutionary changes are likely to occur in response to selection pressures. These phenomenon lead to collateral damages: adaptive costs. For example, a reduction of genetic diversity in a population entails a decrease in its potential to adapt to other stressors. Populations can be more susceptible to many environmental changes, especially with the increase of human activities. Hence in an ecological risk assessment, studying the mechanisms of action and immediate adverse effects of pollutants on organisms is no longer sufficient. It is also necessary to expand our knowledge on the evolution of populations in polluted environment. In this context, our study aims to determine the micro-evolutionary response of Caenorhabditis elegans populations exposed to environmental stressors, and to measure their costs of adaptation. Populations were experimentally exposed for 22 generations to a high concentration of uranium, sodium chloride or an alternation of both these pollutants. The analysis of phenotypic and genetic changes, observed through measures of life history traits, was accomplished using several quantitative genetics techniques. In particular, we confirmed the genetic differentiation between populations with an increase of resistance in populations exposed to different pollutions. The speed of evolutionary responses depended on the conditions of exposure and their effects on the expression of the genetic structure of traits (e.g. G matrix). Micro-evolutionary changes were linked to costs of adaptation, such as reduced fertility in stressful novel

  14. Physiological response of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans exposed to binary mixture of uranium and cadmium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Margerit, A.; Gilbin, R. [French Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety - IRSN (France); Gomez, E. [Universite Montpellier 1 (France)

    2014-07-01

    Both uranium (U) and cadmium (Cd) are natural ubiquitous substances whose occurrence may be magnified in the vicinity of some Nuclear Fuel Cycle Facility (NFCF) (e.g. uranium mining area) or intensive farming areas. Natural U is a mainly chemo-toxic radioelement, with a slight radio-toxic activity, while Cd is a fully chemo-toxic trace metal. Due to their possible co-occurrence, the study of their combined effects on ecosystems may be of interest in a risk assessment perspective. MixTox tool is a simple descriptive model commonly used to study the effects of chemical mixtures. It relies on dose response, concentration addition and response addition concepts to describe combined toxicant effects and identify possible Synergistic/Antagonistic - Constant/Dose-level/Dose ratio dependent - interactions. In the present study, toxicity of binary mixture of U and Cd was assessed on physiological parameters, maximal length and brood size, in the soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. A 49 condition fractional factorial design was used with U and Cd concentrations ranging from 0.95 to 1.3 mM and 0.006 to 0.04 mM, respectively. Dose response curves obtained for U and Cd on maximal length and brood size were consistent with published data. Using MixTox tool, the best description of these endpoints was met with the response addition concept and the dose-ratio dependent interaction model. A significant antagonism was identified when Cd toxicity is preponderant in the mixture and was confirmed with experimental observations. On the other hand, no significant interaction could be identified when U toxicity was preponderant in the mixture. Interaction between the two chemicals may occur during the exposure, the toxicokinetics and/or during the toxico-dynamic phases. Based on the results of this study, a probable hypothesis would be that U, whose toxicity is in the mM range, reduces bioaccumulation of Cd, whose toxicity is in the range of 10 μM. A bioaccumulation assay of U and Cd

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mashock, Michael J.

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Windy A Boyd

    2007-12-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Höss, Sebastian; Menzel, Ralph; Gessler, Frank; Nguyen, Hang T.; Jehle, Johannes A.; Traunspurger, Walter

    2013-01-01

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

  18. Caenorhabditis elegans as a model system for studying non-cell-autonomous mechanisms in protein-misfolding diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmen I. Nussbaum-Krammer

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Caenorhabditis elegans has a number of distinct advantages that are useful for understanding the basis for cellular and organismal dysfunction underlying age-associated diseases of protein misfolding. Although protein aggregation, a key feature of human neurodegenerative diseases, has been typically explored in vivo at the single-cell level using cells in culture, there is now increasing evidence that proteotoxicity has a non-cell-autonomous component and is communicated between cells and tissues in a multicellular organism. These discoveries have opened up new avenues for the use of C. elegans as an ideal animal model system to study non-cell-autonomous proteotoxicity, prion-like propagation of aggregation-prone proteins, and the organismal regulation of stress responses and proteostasis. This Review focuses on recent evidence that C. elegans has mechanisms to transmit certain classes of toxic proteins between tissues and a complex stress response that integrates and coordinates signals from single cells and tissues across the organism. These findings emphasize the potential of C. elegans to provide insights into non-cell-autonomous proteotoxic mechanisms underlying age-related protein-misfolding diseases.

  19. Oligomeric structure and functional characterization of Caenorhabditis elegans Innexin-6 gap junction protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oshima, Atsunori; Matsuzawa, Tomohiro; Nishikawa, Kouki; Fujiyoshi, Yoshinori

    2013-04-12

    Innexin is the molecular component of invertebrate gap junctions. Here we successfully expressed and purified Caenorhabditis elegans innexin-6 (INX-6) gap junction channels and characterized the molecular dimensions and channel permeability using electron microscopy (EM) and microinjection of fluorescent dye tracers, respectively. Negative staining and thin-section EM of isolated INX-6 gap junction membranes revealed a loosely packed hexagonal lattice and a greater cross-sectional width than that of connexin26 and connexin43 (Cx43)-GFP. In gel filtration analysis, the elution profile of purified INX-6 channels in dodecyl maltoside solution exhibited a peak at ∼400 kDa that was shifted to ∼800 kDa in octyl glucose neopentyl glycol. We also obtained the class averages of purified INX-6 channels from these peak fractions by single particle analysis. The class average from the ∼800-kDa fraction showed features of the junction form with a longitudinal height of 220 Å, a channel diameter of 110 Å in the absence of detergent micelles, and an extracellular gap space of 60 Å, whereas the class averages from the ∼400-kDa fraction showed diameters of up to 140 Å in the presence of detergent micelles. These findings indicate that the purified INX-6 channels are predominantly hemichannels in dodecyl maltoside and docked junction channels in octyl glucose neopentyl glycol. Dye transfer experiments revealed that the INX-6-GFP-His channels are permeable to 3- and 10-kDa tracers, whereas no significant amounts of these tracers passed through the Cx43-GFP channels. Based on these findings, INX-6 channels have a larger overall structure and greater permeability than connexin channels.

  20. Oligomeric Structure and Functional Characterization of Caenorhabditis elegans Innexin-6 Gap Junction Protein*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oshima, Atsunori; Matsuzawa, Tomohiro; Nishikawa, Kouki; Fujiyoshi, Yoshinori

    2013-01-01

    Innexin is the molecular component of invertebrate gap junctions. Here we successfully expressed and purified Caenorhabditis elegans innexin-6 (INX-6) gap junction channels and characterized the molecular dimensions and channel permeability using electron microscopy (EM) and microinjection of fluorescent dye tracers, respectively. Negative staining and thin-section EM of isolated INX-6 gap junction membranes revealed a loosely packed hexagonal lattice and a greater cross-sectional width than that of connexin26 and connexin43 (Cx43)-GFP. In gel filtration analysis, the elution profile of purified INX-6 channels in dodecyl maltoside solution exhibited a peak at ∼400 kDa that was shifted to ∼800 kDa in octyl glucose neopentyl glycol. We also obtained the class averages of purified INX-6 channels from these peak fractions by single particle analysis. The class average from the ∼800-kDa fraction showed features of the junction form with a longitudinal height of 220 Å, a channel diameter of 110 Å in the absence of detergent micelles, and an extracellular gap space of 60 Å, whereas the class averages from the ∼400-kDa fraction showed diameters of up to 140 Å in the presence of detergent micelles. These findings indicate that the purified INX-6 channels are predominantly hemichannels in dodecyl maltoside and docked junction channels in octyl glucose neopentyl glycol. Dye transfer experiments revealed that the INX-6-GFP-His channels are permeable to 3- and 10-kDa tracers, whereas no significant amounts of these tracers passed through the Cx43-GFP channels. Based on these findings, INX-6 channels have a larger overall structure and greater permeability than connexin channels. PMID:23460640

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liberta Nika

    2016-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-03-18

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

  4. The effectiveness of RNAi in Caenorhabditis elegans is maintained during spaceflight.

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    Timothy Etheridge

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Overcoming spaceflight-induced (pathophysiologic adaptations is a major challenge preventing long-term deep space exploration. RNA interference (RNAi has emerged as a promising therapeutic for combating diseases on Earth; however the efficacy of RNAi in space is currently unknown. METHODS: Caenorhabditis elegans were prepared in liquid media on Earth using standard techniques and treated acutely with RNAi or a vector control upon arrival in Low Earth Orbit. After culturing during 4 and 8 d spaceflight, experiments were stopped by freezing at -80°C until analysis by mRNA and microRNA array chips, microscopy and Western blot on return to Earth. Ground controls (GC on Earth were simultaneously grown under identical conditions. RESULTS: After 8 d spaceflight, mRNA expression levels of components of the RNAi machinery were not different from that in GC (e.g., Dicer, Argonaute, Piwi; P>0.05. The expression of 228 microRNAs, of the 232 analysed, were also unaffected during 4 and 8 d spaceflight (P>0.05. In spaceflight, RNAi against green fluorescent protein (gfp reduced chromosomal gfp expression in gonad tissue, which was not different from GC. RNAi against rbx-1 also induced abnormal chromosome segregation in the gonad during spaceflight as on Earth. Finally, culture in RNAi against lysosomal cathepsins prevented degradation of the muscle-specific α-actin protein in both spaceflight and GC conditions. CONCLUSIONS: Treatment with RNAi works as effectively in the space environment as on Earth within multiple tissues, suggesting RNAi may provide an effective tool for combating spaceflight-induced pathologies aboard future long-duration space missions. Furthermore, this is the first demonstration that RNAi can be utilised to block muscle protein degradation, both on Earth and in space.

  5. Identification of ABC transporters acting in vitamin B12 metabolism in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    McDonald, Megan K; Fritz, Julie-Anne; Jia, Dongxin; Scheuchner, Deborah; Snyder, Floyd F; Stanislaus, Avalyn; Curle, Jared; Li, Liang; Stabler, Sally P; Allen, Robert H; Mains, Paul E; Gravel, Roy A

    2017-12-01

    Vitamin B 12 (cobalamin, Cbl) is a micronutrient essential to human health. Cbl is not utilized as is but must go through complex subcellular and metabolic processing to generate two cofactor forms: methyl-Cbl for methionine synthase, a cytosolic enzyme; and adenosyl-Cbl for methylmalonyl-CoA mutase, a mitochondrial enzyme. Some 10-12 human genes have been identified responsible for the intracellular conversion of Cbl to cofactor forms, including genes that code for ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters acting at the lysosomal and plasma membranes. However, the gene for mitochondrial uptake is not known. We hypothesized that ABC transporters should be candidates for other uptake and efflux functions, including mitochondrial transport, and set out to screen ABC transporter mutants for blocks in Cbl utilization using the nematode roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans. Thirty-seven mutant ABC transporters were screened for the excretion of methylmalonic acid (MMA), which should result from loss of Cbl transport into the mitochondria. One mutant, wht-6, showed elevated MMA excretion and reduced [ 14 C]-propionate incorporation, pointing to a functional block in methylmalonyl-CoA mutase. In contrast, the wht-6 mutant appeared to have a normal cytosolic pathway based on analysis of cystathionine excretion, suggesting that cytosolic methionine synthase was functioning properly. Further, the MMA excretion in wht-6 could be partially reversed by including vitamin B 12 in the assay medium. The human ortholog of wht-6 is a member of the G family of ABC transporters. We propose wht-6 as a candidate for the transport of Cbl into mitochondria and suggest that a member of the corresponding ABCG family of ABC transporters has this role in humans. Our ABC transporter screen also revealed that mrp-1 and mrp-2 mutants excreted lower MMA than wild type, suggesting they were concentrating intracellular Cbl, consistent with the cellular efflux defect proposed for the mammalian MRP1 ABC

  6. Genetic dissection of memory for associative and non-associative learning in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Lau, H L; Timbers, T A; Mahmoud, R; Rankin, C H

    2013-03-01

    The distinction between non-associative and associative forms of learning has historically been based on the behavioral training paradigm. Through discovering the molecular mechanisms that mediate learning, we can develop a deeper understanding of the relationships between different forms of learning. Here, we genetically dissect short- and long-term memory for a non-associative form of learning, habituation and an associative form of learning, context conditioning for habituation, in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. In short-term chemosensory context conditioning for habituation, worms trained and tested in the presence of either a taste (sodium acetate) or smell (diacetyl) context cue show greater retention of habituation to tap stimuli when compared with animals trained and tested without a salient cue. Long-term memory for olfactory context conditioning was observed 24 h after a training procedure that does not normally induce 24 h memory. Like long-term habituation, this long-term memory was dependent on the transcription factor cyclic AMP-response element-binding protein. Worms with mutations in glr-1 [a non-N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA)-type glutamate receptor subunit] showed short-term but not long-term habituation or short- or long-term context conditioning. Worms with mutations in nmr-1 (an NMDA-receptor subunit) showed normal short- and long-term memory for habituation but did not show either short- or long-term context conditioning. Rescue of nmr-1 in the RIM interneurons rescued short- and long-term olfactory context conditioning leading to the hypothesis that these interneurons function to integrate information from chemosensory and mechanosensory systems for associative learning. © 2012 The Authors. Genes, Brain and Behavior © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd and International Behavioural and Neural Genetics Society.

  7. pix-1 controls early elongation in parallel with mel-11 and let-502 in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Martin, Emmanuel; Harel, Sharon; Nkengfac, Bernard; Hamiche, Karim; Neault, Mathieu; Jenna, Sarah

    2014-01-01

    Cell shape changes are crucial for metazoan development. During Caenorhabditis elegans embryogenesis, epidermal cell shape changes transform ovoid embryos into vermiform larvae. This process is divided into two phases: early and late elongation. Early elongation involves the contraction of filamentous actin bundles by phosphorylated non-muscle myosin in a subset of epidermal (hypodermal) cells. The genes controlling early elongation are associated with two parallel pathways. The first one involves the rho-1/RHOA-specific effector let-502/Rho-kinase and mel-11/myosin phosphatase regulatory subunit. The second pathway involves the CDC42/RAC-specific effector pak-1. Late elongation is driven by mechanotransduction in ventral and dorsal hypodermal cells in response to body-wall muscle contractions, and involves the CDC42/RAC-specific Guanine-nucleotide Exchange Factor (GEF) pix-1, the GTPase ced-10/RAC and pak-1. In this study, pix-1 is shown to control early elongation in parallel with let-502/mel-11, as previously shown for pak-1. We show that pix-1, pak-1 and let-502 control the rate of elongation, and the antero-posterior morphology of the embryos. In particular, pix-1 and pak-1 are shown to control head, but not tail width, while let-502 controls both head and tail width. This suggests that let-502 function is required throughout the antero-posterior axis of the embryo during early elongation, while pix-1/pak-1 function may be mostly required in the anterior part of the embryo. Supporting this hypothesis we show that low pix-1 expression level in the dorsal-posterior hypodermal cells is required to ensure high elongation rate during early elongation.

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

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    Katherine A. McCulloch

    2017-07-01

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

  9. Distinct roles for RDE-1 and RDE-4 during RNA interference in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Parrish, S; Fire, A

    2001-10-01

    RNA interference (RNAi) is a cellular defense mechanism that uses double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) as a sequence-specific trigger to guide the degradation of homologous single-stranded RNAs. RNAi is a multistep process involving several proteins and at least one type of RNA intermediate, a population of small 21-25 nt RNAs (called siRNAs) that are initially derived from cleavage of the dsRNA trigger. Genetic screens in Caenorhabditis elegans have identified numerous mutations that cause partial or complete loss of RNAi. In this work, we analyzed cleavage of injected dsRNA to produce the initial siRNA population in animals mutant for rde-1 and rde-4, two genes that are essential for RNAi but that are not required for organismal viability or fertility. Our results suggest distinct roles for RDE-1 and RDE-4 in the interference process. Although null mutants lacking rde-1 show no phenotypic response to dsRNA, the amount of siRNAs generated from an injected dsRNA trigger was comparable to that of wild-type. By contrast, mutations in rde-4 substantially reduced the population of siRNAs derived from an injected dsRNA trigger. Injection of chemically synthesized 24- or 25-nt siRNAs could circumvent RNAi resistance in rde-4 mutants, whereas no bypass was observed in rde-1 mutants. These results support a model in which RDE-4 is involved before or during production of siRNAs, whereas RDE-1 acts after the siRNAs have been formed.

  10. MicroRNA-directed siRNA biogenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Corrêa, Régis L; Steiner, Florian A; Berezikov, Eugene; Ketting, René F

    2010-04-08

    RNA interference (RNAi) is a post-transcriptional silencing process, triggered by double-stranded RNA (dsRNA), leading to the destabilization of homologous mRNAs. A distinction has been made between endogenous RNAi-related pathways and the exogenous RNAi pathway, the latter being essential for the experimental use of RNAi. Previous studies have shown that, in Caenorhabditis elegans, a complex containing the enzymes Dicer and the Argonaute RDE-1 process dsRNA. Dicer is responsible for cleaving dsRNA into short interfering RNAs (siRNAs) while RDE-1 acts as the siRNA acceptor. RDE-1 then guides a multi-protein complex to homologous targets to trigger mRNA destabilization. However, endogenous role(s) for RDE-1, if any, have remained unexplored. We here show that RDE-1 functions as a scavenger protein, taking up small RNA molecules from many different sources, including the microRNA (miRNA) pathway. This is in striking contrast to Argonaute proteins functioning directly in the miRNA pathway, ALG-1 and ALG-2: these proteins exclusively bind miRNAs. While playing no significant role in the biogenesis of the main pool of miRNAs, RDE-1 binds endogenous miRNAs and triggers RdRP activity on at least one perfectly matching, endogenous miRNA target. The resulting secondary siRNAs are taken up by a set of Argonaute proteins known to act as siRNA acceptors in exogenous RNAi, resulting in strong mRNA destabilization. Our results show that RDE-1 in an endogenous setting is actively screening the transcriptome using many different small RNAs, including miRNAs, as a guide, with implications for the evolution of transcripts with a potential to be recognized by Dicer.

  11. MicroRNA–Directed siRNA Biogenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corrêa, Régis L.; Steiner, Florian A.; Berezikov, Eugene; Ketting, René F.

    2010-01-01

    RNA interference (RNAi) is a post-transcriptional silencing process, triggered by double-stranded RNA (dsRNA), leading to the destabilization of homologous mRNAs. A distinction has been made between endogenous RNAi–related pathways and the exogenous RNAi pathway, the latter being essential for the experimental use of RNAi. Previous studies have shown that, in Caenorhabditis elegans, a complex containing the enzymes Dicer and the Argonaute RDE-1 process dsRNA. Dicer is responsible for cleaving dsRNA into short interfering RNAs (siRNAs) while RDE-1 acts as the siRNA acceptor. RDE-1 then guides a multi-protein complex to homologous targets to trigger mRNA destabilization. However, endogenous role(s) for RDE-1, if any, have remained unexplored. We here show that RDE-1 functions as a scavenger protein, taking up small RNA molecules from many different sources, including the microRNA (miRNA) pathway. This is in striking contrast to Argonaute proteins functioning directly in the miRNA pathway, ALG-1 and ALG-2: these proteins exclusively bind miRNAs. While playing no significant role in the biogenesis of the main pool of miRNAs, RDE-1 binds endogenous miRNAs and triggers RdRP activity on at least one perfectly matching, endogenous miRNA target. The resulting secondary siRNAs are taken up by a set of Argonaute proteins known to act as siRNA acceptors in exogenous RNAi, resulting in strong mRNA destabilization. Our results show that RDE-1 in an endogenous setting is actively screening the transcriptome using many different small RNAs, including miRNAs, as a guide, with implications for the evolution of transcripts with a potential to be recognized by Dicer. PMID:20386745

  12. Extrinsic Repair of Injured Dendrites as a Paradigm for Regeneration by Fusion in Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Oren-Suissa, Meital; Gattegno, Tamar; Kravtsov, Veronika; Podbilewicz, Benjamin

    2017-01-01

    Injury triggers regeneration of axons and dendrites. Research has identified factors required for axonal regeneration outside the CNS, but little is known about regeneration triggered by dendrotomy. Here, we study neuronal plasticity triggered by dendrotomy and determine the fate of complex PVD arbors following laser surgery of dendrites. We find that severed primary dendrites grow toward each other and reconnect via branch fusion. Simultaneously, terminal branches lose self-avoidance and grow toward each other, meeting and fusing at the tips via an AFF-1-mediated process. Ectopic branch growth is identified as a step in the regeneration process required for bypassing the lesion site. Failure of reconnection to the severed dendrites results in degeneration of the distal end of the neuron. We discover pruning of excess branches via EFF-1 that acts to recover the original wild-type arborization pattern in a late stage of the process. In contrast, AFF-1 activity during dendritic auto-fusion is derived from the lateral seam cells and not autonomously from the PVD neuron. We propose a model in which AFF-1-vesicles derived from the epidermal seam cells fuse neuronal dendrites. Thus, EFF-1 and AFF-1 fusion proteins emerge as new players in neuronal arborization and maintenance of arbor connectivity following injury in Caenorhabditis elegans. Our results demonstrate that there is a genetically determined multi-step pathway to repair broken dendrites in which EFF-1 and AFF-1 act on different steps of the pathway. EFF-1 is essential for dendritic pruning after injury and extrinsic AFF-1 mediates dendrite fusion to bypass injuries. PMID:28283540

  13. Regulation of extracellular matrix organization by BMP signaling in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Schultz, Robbie D; Bennett, Emily E; Ellis, E Ann; Gumienny, Tina L

    2014-01-01

    In mammals, Bone Morphogenetic Protein (BMP) pathway signaling is important for the growth and homeostasis of extracellular matrix, including basement membrane remodeling, scarring, and bone growth. A conserved BMP member in Caenorhabditis elegans, DBL-1, regulates body length in a dose-sensitive manner. Loss of DBL-1 pathway signaling also results in increased anesthetic sensitivity. However, the physiological basis of these pleiotropic phenotypes is largely unknown. We created a DBL-1 over-expressing strain and show that sensitivity to anesthetics is inversely related to the dose of DBL-1. Using pharmacological, genetic analyses, and a novel dye permeability assay for live, microwave-treated animals, we confirm that DBL-1 is required for the barrier function of the cuticle, a specialized extracellular matrix. We show that DBL-1 signaling is required to prevent animals from forming tail-entangled aggregates in liquid. Stripping lipids off the surface of wild-type animals recapitulates this phenotype. Finally, we find that DBL-1 signaling affects ultrastructure of the nematode cuticle in a dose-dependent manner, as surface lipid content and cuticular organization are disrupted in animals with genetically altered DBL-1 levels. We propose that the lipid layer coating the nematode cuticle normally prevents tail entanglement, and that reduction of this layer by loss of DBL-1 signaling promotes aggregation. This work provides a physiological mechanism that unites the DBL-1 signaling pathway roles of not only body size regulation and drug responsiveness, but also the novel Hoechst 33342 staining and aggregation phenotypes, through barrier function, content, and organization of the cuticle.

  14. Regulation of extracellular matrix organization by BMP signaling in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Robbie D Schultz

    Full Text Available In mammals, Bone Morphogenetic Protein (BMP pathway signaling is important for the growth and homeostasis of extracellular matrix, including basement membrane remodeling, scarring, and bone growth. A conserved BMP member in Caenorhabditis elegans, DBL-1, regulates body length in a dose-sensitive manner. Loss of DBL-1 pathway signaling also results in increased anesthetic sensitivity. However, the physiological basis of these pleiotropic phenotypes is largely unknown. We created a DBL-1 over-expressing strain and show that sensitivity to anesthetics is inversely related to the dose of DBL-1. Using pharmacological, genetic analyses, and a novel dye permeability assay for live, microwave-treated animals, we confirm that DBL-1 is required for the barrier function of the cuticle, a specialized extracellular matrix. We show that DBL-1 signaling is required to prevent animals from forming tail-entangled aggregates in liquid. Stripping lipids off the surface of wild-type animals recapitulates this phenotype. Finally, we find that DBL-1 signaling affects ultrastructure of the nematode cuticle in a dose-dependent manner, as surface lipid content and cuticular organization are disrupted in animals with genetically altered DBL-1 levels. We propose that the lipid layer coating the nematode cuticle normally prevents tail entanglement, and that reduction of this layer by loss of DBL-1 signaling promotes aggregation. This work provides a physiological mechanism that unites the DBL-1 signaling pathway roles of not only body size regulation and drug responsiveness, but also the novel Hoechst 33342 staining and aggregation phenotypes, through barrier function, content, and organization of the cuticle.

  15. A germ cell determinant reveals parallel pathways for germ line development in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Mainpal, Rana; Nance, Jeremy; Yanowitz, Judith L

    2015-10-15

    Despite the central importance of germ cells for transmission of genetic material, our understanding of the molecular programs that control primordial germ cell (PGC) specification and differentiation are limited. Here, we present findings that X chromosome NonDisjunction factor-1 (XND-1), known for its role in regulating meiotic crossover formation, is an early determinant of germ cell fates in Caenorhabditis elegans. xnd-1 mutant embryos display a novel 'one PGC' phenotype as a result of G2 cell cycle arrest of the P4 blastomere. Larvae and adults display smaller germ lines and reduced brood size consistent with a role for XND-1 in germ cell proliferation. Maternal XND-1 proteins are found in the P4 lineage and are exclusively localized to the nucleus in PGCs, Z2 and Z3. Zygotic XND-1 turns on shortly thereafter, at the ∼300-cell stage, making XND-1 the earliest zygotically expressed gene in worm PGCs. Strikingly, a subset of xnd-1 mutants lack germ cells, a phenotype shared with nos-2, a member of the conserved Nanos family of germline determinants. We generated a nos-2 null allele and show that nos-2; xnd-1 double mutants display synthetic sterility. Further removal of nos-1 leads to almost complete sterility, with the vast majority of animals without germ cells. Sterility in xnd-1 mutants is correlated with an increase in transcriptional activation-associated histone modification and aberrant expression of somatic transgenes. Together, these data strongly suggest that xnd-1 defines a new branch for PGC development that functions redundantly with nos-2 and nos-1 to promote germline fates by maintaining transcriptional quiescence and regulating germ cell proliferation. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

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

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

    2015-06-01

    Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are formed when glucose reacts nonenzymatically with proteins; these modifications are implicated in aging and pathogenesis of many age-related diseases including type II diabetes, atherosclerosis, and neurodegenerative disorders. Thus, pharmaceutical interventions that can reduce AGEs may delay age-onset diseases and extend lifespan. Using LC-MS(E), we show that rifampicin (RIF) reduces glycation of important cellular proteins in vivo and consequently increases lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans by up to 60%. RIF analog rifamycin SV (RSV) possesses similar properties, while rifaximin (RMN) lacks antiglycation activity and therefore fails to affect lifespan positively. The efficacy of RIF and RSV as potent antiglycating agents may be attributed to the presence of a p-dihydroxyl moiety that can potentially undergo spontaneous oxidation to yield highly reactive p-quinone structures, a feature absent in RMN. We also show that supplementing rifampicin late in adulthood is sufficient to increase lifespan. For its effect on longevity, rifampicin requires DAF-18 (nematode PTEN) as well as JNK-1 and activates DAF-16, the FOXO homolog. Interestingly, the drug treatment modulates transcription of a different subset of DAF-16 target genes, those not controlled by the conserved Insulin-IGF-1-like signaling pathway. RIF failed to increase the lifespan of daf-16 null mutant despite reducing glycation, showing thereby that DAF-16 may not directly affect AGE formation. Together, our data suggest that the dual ability to reduce glycation in vivo and activate prolongevity processes through DAF-16 makes RIF and RSV effective lifespan-extending interventions. © 2015 The Authors. Aging Cell published by the Anatomical Society and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. RNAi targeting Caenorhabditis elegans α-arrestins has small or no effects on lifespan [version 2; referees: 2 approved, 1 approved with reservations

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    Sangsoon Park

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Background: α-arrestins are a family of proteins that are implicated in multiple biological processes, including metabolism and receptor desensitization. Methods: Here, we sought to examine the roles of α-arrestins in the longevity of Caenorhabditis elegans through an RNA interference screen. Results: We found that knocking down each of 24 out of total 29 C. elegans α-arrestins had small or no effects on lifespan. Thus, individual C. elegans α-arrestins may have minor effects on longevity. Conclusions: This study will provide useful information for future research on the functional role of α-arrestins in aging and longevity.

  18. Lactobacillus casei stimulates phase-II detoxification system and rescues malathion-induced physiological impairments in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Kamaladevi, Arumugam; Ganguli, Abhijit; Balamurugan, Krishnaswamy

    2016-01-01

    Malathion, an organophosphorus insecticide, is renowned for its inhibitory action on acetylcholinesterase (AChE) enzyme that eventually leads to widespread disturbance in the normal physiological and behavioral activities of any organism. Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are still an underexploited and inexhaustible source of significant pharmaceutical thrust. In the present study, Caenorhabditis elegans was employed to identify and characterize the indigenous LAB isolated from different traditional food against malathion-induced toxicity. The results demonstrated that malathion at its LD50 concentration decreased various C. elegans physiological parameters such as survival, feeding, and locomotion. Among the screened isolates, L. casei exhibited an excellent protective efficacy against malathion-induced toxicity by increasing the level of AChE and thereby rescued all physiological parameters of C. elegans. In addition, short-term exposure and food choice assay divulged that L. casei could serve as a better food to protect C. elegans from noxious environment. The expression analysis unveiled that L. casei gavage upregulated the phase-II detoxification enzymes coding genes metallothioneins (mtl-1 and mtl-2) and glutathione-S-transferase (gst-8) and thereby eliminated malathion from the host system. Furthermore, the upregulation of ace-3 along with down-regulation of cyp35a in the nematodes supplemented with L. casei could be attributed to attenuate the malathion-induced physiological defects in C. elegans. Thus, the present study reports that an indigenous LAB-L. casei could serve as a promising protective agent against the harmful effects of pesticide. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

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    Nigel J O'Neil

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

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

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    Neale Harrison

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

  1. Interplay among Resistance Profiles, High-Risk Clones, and Virulence in the Caenorhabditis elegans Pseudomonas aeruginosa Infection Model.

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    Sánchez-Diener, Irina; Zamorano, Laura; López-Causapé, Carla; Cabot, Gabriel; Mulet, Xavier; Peña, Carmen; Del Campo, Rosa; Cantón, Rafael; Doménech-Sánchez, Antonio; Martínez-Martínez, Luis; Arcos, Susana C; Navas, Alfonso; Oliver, Antonio

    2017-12-01

    The increasing prevalence of nosocomial infections produced by multidrug-resistant (MDR) or extensively drug-resistant (XDR) Pseudomonas aeruginosa is frequently linked to widespread international strains designated high-risk clones. In this work, we attempted to decipher the interplay between resistance profiles, high-risk clones, and virulence, testing a large ( n = 140) collection of well-characterized P. aeruginosa isolates from different sources (bloodstream infections, nosocomial outbreaks, cystic fibrosis, and the environment) in a Caenorhabditis elegans infection model. Consistent with previous data, we documented a clear inverse correlation between antimicrobial resistance and virulence in the C. elegans model. Indeed, the lowest virulence was linked to XDR profiles, which were typically linked to defined high-risk clones. However, virulence varied broadly depending on the involved high-risk clone; it was high for sequence type 111 (ST111) and ST235 but very low for ST175. The highest virulence of ST235 could be attributed to its exoU + type III secretion system (TTSS) genotype, which was found to be linked with higher virulence in our C. elegans model. Other markers, such as motility or pigment production, were not essential for virulence in the C. elegans model but seemed to be related with the higher values of the statistical normalized data. In contrast to ST235, the ST175 high-risk clone, which is widespread in Spain and France, seems to be associated with a particularly low virulence in the C. elegans model. Moreover, the previously described G154R AmpR mutation, prevalent in ST175, was found to contribute to the reduced virulence, although it was not the only factor involved. Altogether, our results provide a major step forward for understanding the interplay between P. aeruginosa resistance profiles, high-risk clones, and virulence. Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.

  2. Environmental CO2 inhibits Caenorhabditis elegans egg-laying by modulating olfactory neurons and evokes widespread changes in neural activity

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    Fenk, Lorenz A.; de Bono, Mario

    2015-01-01

    Carbon dioxide (CO2) gradients are ubiquitous and provide animals with information about their environment, such as the potential presence of prey or predators. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans avoids elevated CO2, and previous work identified three neuron pairs called “BAG,” “AFD,” and “ASE” that respond to CO2 stimuli. Using in vivo Ca2+ imaging and behavioral analysis, we show that C. elegans can detect CO2 independently of these sensory pathways. Many of the C. elegans sensory neurons we examined, including the AWC olfactory neurons, the ASJ and ASK gustatory neurons, and the ASH and ADL nociceptors, respond to a rise in CO2 with a rise in Ca2+. In contrast, glial sheath cells harboring the sensory endings of C. elegans’ major chemosensory neurons exhibit strong and sustained decreases in Ca2+ in response to high CO2. Some of these CO2 responses appear to be cell intrinsic. Worms therefore may couple detection of CO2 to that of other cues at the earliest stages of sensory processing. We show that C. elegans persistently suppresses oviposition at high CO2. Hermaphrodite-specific neurons (HSNs), the executive neurons driving egg-laying, are tonically inhibited when CO2 is elevated. CO2 modulates the egg-laying system partly through the AWC olfactory neurons: High CO2 tonically activates AWC by a cGMP-dependent mechanism, and AWC output inhibits the HSNs. Our work shows that CO2 is a more complex sensory cue for C. elegans than previously thought, both in terms of behavior and neural circuitry. PMID:26100886

  3. Regulation of lead toxicity by heat shock protein 90 (daf-21) is affected by temperature in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Wang, Yunbiao; Xu, Songbai; Liu, Jing; Zhang, Yanhui; Guo, Tai L

    2014-06-01

    In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, stress resistance can be regulated by dauer formation (daf) genes. In the present study, regulation of heavy metal lead (Pb) toxicity by the 90-kDa heat shock proteins (Hsp90; daf-21) was investigated in both wild-type C. elegans and daf-21/Hsp90 mutants by focusing on the effects of varied temperatures below (15°C) or above (25 and 30°C) the presumptive optimum growth temperature (20°C). More acute toxicity of Pb, indicated by the 24-h median lethal concentrations (LC50), was observed in wild-type adults than in the daf-21 mutant adults at 15, 20 and 25°C; however, the daf-21 mutant adults showed more sensitivity at 30°C. Enhanced Pb sensitivity (e.g., decrease LC50) in both types of C. elegans was observed with both increased and decreased temperatures when compared to that at 20°C. Additional examined endpoints included time course of toxicity at LC50s, pharyngeal pumping, reproduction, life span, and Hsp90 expression. Collective results showed that temperatures both above and below 20°C exacerbated Pb toxicity, and that the protein level of daf-21/Hsp90 was one of the most sensitive indicators of Pb toxicity in wild-type C. elegans, while pharyngeal pumping was more Pb sensitive in daf-21 mutants. Therefore, the expression of daf-21/Hsp90 has apparent utility for the prediction and assessment of Pb-induced toxicity in nematodes. Further, the stress responses related to Hsp90 expression in C. elegans may have considerable potential as sensitive biomarkers for the monitoring of environmental Pb contamination. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. The DEAD-box protein MEL-46 is required in the germ line of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Minasaki, Ryuji; Puoti, Alessandro; Streit, Adrian

    2009-06-17

    In the hermaphrodite of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, the first germ cells differentiate as sperm. Later the germ line switches to the production of oocytes. This process requires the activity of a genetic regulatory network that includes among others the fem, fog and mog genes. The function of some of these genes is germline specific while others also act in somatic tissues. DEAD box proteins have been shown to be involved in the control of gene expression at different steps such as transcription and pre-mRNA processing. We show that the Caenorhabditis elegans gene mel-46 (maternal effect lethal) encodes a DEAD box protein that is related to the mammalian DDX20/Gemin3/DP103 genes. mel-46 is expressed throughout development and mutations in mel-46 display defects at multiple developmental stages. Here we focus on the role of mel-46 in the hermaphrodite germ line. mel-46(yt5) mutant hermaphrodites are partially penetrant sterile and fully penetrant maternal effect lethal. The germ line of mutants shows variable defects in oogenesis. Further, mel-46(yt5) suppresses the complete feminization caused by mutations in fog-2 and fem-3, two genes that are at the top and the center, respectively, of the genetic germline sex determining cascade, but not fog-1 that is at the bottom of this cascade. The C. elegans gene mel-46 encodes a DEAD box protein that is required maternally for early embryogenesis and zygotically for postembryonic development. In the germ line, it is required for proper oogenesis. Although it interacts genetically with genes of the germline sex determination machinery its primary function appears to be in oocyte differentiation rather than sex determination.

  5. The effect of tributyltin chloride on Caenorhabditis elegans germline is mediated by a conserved DNA damage checkpoint pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Zhe; Tian, Huimin; Chu, Hongran; Wu, Jianjian; Li, Yingying; Wang, Yanhai

    2014-03-21

    Tributyltin (TBT), one of the environmental pollutants, has been shown to impact the reproduction of animals. However, due to the lack of appropriate animal model, analysis of the affected molecular pathways in germ cells is lagging and has been particularly challenging. In the present study, we investigated the effects of tributyltin chloride (TBTCL) on the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans germline. We show that exposure of C. elegans to TBTCL causes significantly elevated level of sterility and embryonic lethality. TBTCL exposure results in an increased number of meiotic DNA double-strand breaks in germ cells, subsequently leading to activated DNA damage checkpoint. Exposing C. elegans to TBTCL causes dose- and time-dependent germline apoptosis. This apoptotic response was blocked in loss-of-function mutants of hus-1 (op241), mrt-2 (e2663) and p53/cep-1 (gk138), indicating that checkpoints and p53 are essential for mediating TBTCL-induced germ cell apoptosis. Moreover, TBTCL exposure can inhibit germ cell proliferation, which is also mediated by the conserved checkpoint pathway. We thereby propose that TBT exhibits its effects on the germline by inducing DNA damage and impaired maintenance of genomic integrity. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  6. Caenorhabditis elegans: A Useful Model for Studying Metabolic Disorders in Which Oxidative Stress Is a Contributing Factor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth Moreno-Arriola

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Caenorhabditis elegans is a powerful model organism that is invaluable for experimental research because it can be used to recapitulate most human diseases at either the metabolic or genomic level in vivo. This organism contains many key components related to metabolic and oxidative stress networks that could conceivably allow us to increase and integrate information to understand the causes and mechanisms of complex diseases. Oxidative stress is an etiological factor that influences numerous human diseases, including diabetes. C. elegans displays remarkably similar molecular bases and cellular pathways to those of mammals. Defects in the insulin/insulin-like growth factor-1 signaling pathway or increased ROS levels induce the conserved phase II detoxification response via the SKN-1 pathway to fight against oxidative stress. However, it is noteworthy that, aside from the detrimental effects of ROS, they have been proposed as second messengers that trigger the mitohormetic response to attenuate the adverse effects of oxidative stress. Herein, we briefly describe the importance of C. elegans as an experimental model system for studying metabolic disorders related to oxidative stress and the molecular mechanisms that underlie their pathophysiology.

  7. The Mediator complex of Caenorhabditis elegans: insights into the developmental and physiological roles of a conserved transcriptional coregulator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grants, Jennifer M; Goh, Grace Y S; Taubert, Stefan

    2015-02-27

    The Mediator multiprotein complex ('Mediator') is an important transcriptional coregulator that is evolutionarily conserved throughout eukaryotes. Although some Mediator subunits are essential for the transcription of all protein-coding genes, others influence the expression of only subsets of genes and participate selectively in cellular signaling pathways. Here, we review the current knowledge of Mediator subunit function in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, a metazoan in which established and emerging genetic technologies facilitate the study of developmental and physiological regulation in vivo. In this nematode, unbiased genetic screens have revealed critical roles for Mediator components in core developmental pathways such as epidermal growth factor (EGF) and Wnt/β-catenin signaling. More recently, important roles for C. elegans Mediator subunits have emerged in the regulation of lipid metabolism and of systemic stress responses, engaging conserved transcription factors such as nuclear hormone receptors (NHRs). We emphasize instances where similar functions for individual Mediator subunits exist in mammals, highlighting parallels between Mediator subunit action in nematode development and in human cancer biology. We also discuss a parallel between the association of the Mediator subunit MED12 with several human disorders and the role of its C. elegans ortholog mdt-12 as a regulatory hub that interacts with numerous signaling pathways. © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

  8. RNA interference and retinoblastoma-related genes are required for repression of endogenous siRNA targets in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grishok, Alla; Hoersch, Sebastian; Sharp, Phillip A

    2008-12-23

    In Caenorhabditis elegans, a vast number of endogenous short RNAs corresponding to thousands of genes have been discovered recently. This finding suggests that these short interfering RNAs (siRNAs) may contribute to regulation of many developmental and other signaling pathways in addition to silencing viruses and transposons. Here, we present a microarray analysis of gene expression in RNA interference (RNAi)-related mutants rde-4, zfp-1, and alg-1 and the retinoblastoma (Rb) mutant lin-35. We found that a component of Dicer complex RDE-4 and a chromatin-related zinc finger protein ZFP-1, not implicated in endogenous RNAi, regulate overlapping sets of genes. Notably, genes a) up-regulated in the rde-4 and zfp-1 mutants and b) up-regulated in the lin-35(Rb) mutant, but not the down-regulated genes are highly represented in the set of genes with corresponding endogenous siRNAs (endo-siRNAs). Our study suggests that endogenous siRNAs cooperate with chromatin factors, either C. elegans ortholog of acute lymphoblastic leukemia-1 (ALL-1)-fused gene from chromosome 10 (AF10), ZFP-1, or tumor suppressor Rb, to regulate overlapping sets of genes and predicts a large role for RNAi-based chromatin silencing in control of gene expression in C. elegans.

  9. Neuronal migration is regulated by endogenous RNAi and chromatin-binding factor ZFP-1/AF10 in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennedy, Lisa M; Grishok, Alla

    2014-05-01

    Endogenous short RNAs and the conserved plant homeodomain (PHD) zinc-finger protein ZFP-1/AF10 regulate overlapping sets of genes in Caenorhabditis elegans, which suggests that they control common biological pathways. We have shown recently that the RNAi factor RDE-4 and ZFP-1 negatively modulate transcription of the insulin/PI3 signaling-dependent kinase PDK-1 to promote C. elegans fitness. Moreover, we have demonstrated that the insulin/IGF-1-PI3K-signaling pathway regulates the activity of the DAF-16/FOXO transcription factor in the hypodermis to nonautonomously promote the anterior migrations of the hermaphrodite-specific neurons (HSNs) during embryogenesis of C. elegans. In this study, we implicate the PHD-containing isoform of ZFP-1 and endogenous RNAi in the regulation of HSN migration. ZFP-1 affects HSN migration in part through its negative effect on pdk-1 transcription and modulation of downstream DAF-16 activity. We also identify a novel role for ZFP-1 and RNAi pathway components, including RDE-4, in the regulation of HSN migration in parallel with DAF-16. Therefore, the coordinated activities of DAF-16, ZFP-1, and endogenous RNAi contribute to gene regulation during development to ensure proper neuronal positioning.

  10. Evaluation of the antioxidant property and effects in Caenorhabditis elegans of Xiangxi flavor vinegar, a Hunan local traditional vinegar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Run-Ting; Huang, Qing; Wu, Gen-Liang; Chen, Chun-Guang; Li, Zong-Jun

    Xiangxi flavor vinegar (XV) is one of Hunan Province's traditional fermented vinegars. It is produced from herb, rice, and spring water with spontaneous liquid-state fermentation techniques. In this study, we investigated the antioxidant property of XV by analyzing its antioxidant compounds, its free radical scavenging property in vitro and in vivo, and its effects on antioxidant enzyme activity and apoptosis in Caenorhabditis elegans. The results showed that XV is rich in antioxidants. In particular, ligustrazine reached 6.431 μg/ml. The in vitro 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl free radical (DPPH • ), hydroxyl radical ( • OH), and superoxide anion radical (O 2 •- ) scavenging rates of XV were 95.85%, 97.22%, and 63.33%, respectively. The reactive oxygen species (ROS) content in XV-treated C. elegans decreased significantly (Pantioxidants and scavenges radicals in vitro efficiently. XV inhibits apoptosis in C. elegans probably by scavenging ROS and increasing the activities of its antioxidant enzymes.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica Porcelan

    2012-01-01

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

  12. DhHP-6 extends lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans by enhancing nuclear translocation and transcriptional activity of DAF-16.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Lei; Li, Pengfei; Wang, Guan; Guan, Shuwen; Sun, Xiaoli; Wang, Liping

    2013-04-01

    Earlier studies have demonstrated that Deuterohaemin-AlaHisThrValGluLys (DhHP-6), a novel porphyrin-peptide, increases lifespan and enhances stress resistance of Caenorhabditis elegans. To explore the possible mechanisms, in this study we investigated the roles of SIR-2.1 and DAF-16 in DhHP-6's function using wild-type and various other mutant strains of C. elegans. DhHP-6's effect was dependent upon DAF-16, and it did not extend the lifespan of the loss-of-function daf-16 mutant strain (daf-16(mu86) I). DhHP-6 enhanced DAF-16 translocation from cytoplasm to nuclei; and it increased DAF-16's transcriptional activity, likely by activating the SIR-2.1/DAF-16 complex. DhHP-6's effect was also dependent upon SIR-2.1, and it did not increase the lifespan of the worms with SIR-2.1 deacetylase activity inhibited by niacin amide (SIR-2.1 inhibitor) and SIR-2.1 RNA interference (RNAi). Niacin amide and RNAi increased DAF-16's nuclear localization; but they decreased DAF-16's transcriptional activity, likely by preventing the formation of the SIR-2.1/DAF-16 complex. These results suggest that DhHP-6 extends the lifespan of C. elegans via SIR 2.1 and DAF-16, and they provide new insights into the molecular mechanisms of aging.

  13. The protein kinase MBK-1 contributes to lifespan extension in daf-2 mutant and germline-deficient Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mack, Hildegard I D; Zhang, Peichuan; Fonslow, Bryan R; Yates, John R

    2017-05-25

    In Caenorhabditis elegans , reduction of insulin/IGF-1 like signaling and loss of germline stem cells both increase lifespan by activating the conserved transcription factor DAF-16 (FOXO). While the mechanisms that regulate DAF-16 nuclear localization in response to insulin/IGF-1 like signaling are well characterized, the molecular pathways that act in parallel to regulate DAF-16 transcriptional activity, and the pathways that couple DAF-16 activity to germline status, are not fully understood at present. Here, we report that inactivation of MBK-1, the C. elegans ortholog of the human FOXO1-kinase DYRK1A substantially shortens the prolonged lifespan of daf-2 and glp-1 mutant animals while decreasing wild-type lifespan to a lesser extent. On the other hand, lifespan-reduction by mutation of the MBK-1-related kinase HPK-1 was not preferential for long-lived mutants. Interestingly, mbk-1 loss still allowed for DAF-16 nuclear accumulation but reduced expression of certain DAF-16 target genes in germline-less, but not in daf-2 mutant animals. These findings indicate that mbk-1 and daf-16 functionally interact in the germline- but not in the daf-2 pathway. Together, our data suggest mbk-1 as a novel regulator of C. elegans longevity upon both, germline ablation and DAF-2 inhibition, and provide evidence for mbk-1 regulating DAF-16 activity in germline-deficient animals.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-07

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

  15. Identification of antifungal compounds active against Candida albicans using an improved high-throughput Caenorhabditis elegans assay.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ikechukwu Okoli

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Candida albicans, the most common human pathogenic fungus, can establish a persistent lethal infection in the intestine of the microscopic nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. The C. elegans-C. albicans infection model was previously adapted to screen for antifungal compounds. Modifications to this screen have been made to facilitate a high-throughput assay including co-inoculation of nematodes with C. albicans and instrumentation allowing precise dispensing of worms into assay wells, eliminating two labor-intensive steps. This high-throughput method was utilized to screen a library of 3,228 compounds represented by 1,948 bioactive compounds and 1,280 small molecules derived via diversity-oriented synthesis. Nineteen compounds were identified that conferred an increase in C. elegans survival, including most known antifungal compounds within the chemical library. In addition to seven clinically used antifungal compounds, twelve compounds were identified which are not primarily used as antifungal agents, including three immunosuppressive drugs. This assay also allowed the assessment of the relative minimal inhibitory concentration, the effective concentration in vivo, and the toxicity of the compound in a single assay.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-06

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fierro-Gonzalez, Juan Carlos; Gonzalez-Barrios, Maria; Miranda-Vizuete, Antonio; Swoboda, Peter

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2011-03-18

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

  19. A Caenorhabditis elegans RNA polymerase II gene, ama-1 IV, and nearby essential genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogalski, T M; Riddle, D L

    1988-01-01

    The amanitin-binding subunit of RNA polymerase II in Caenorhabditis elegans is encoded by the ama-1 gene, located approximately 0.05 map unit to the right of dpy-13 IV. Using the amanitin-resistant ama-1(m118) strain as a parent, we have isolated amanitin-sensitive mutants that carry recessive-lethal ama-1 alleles. Of the six ethyl methanesulfonate-induced mutants examined, two are arrested late in embryogenesis. One of these is a large deficiency, mDf9, but the second may be a novel point mutation. The four other mutants are hypomorphs, and presumably produce altered RNA polymerase II enzymes with some residual function. Two of these mutants develop into sterile adults at 20 degrees but are arrested as larvae at 25 degrees, and two others are fertile at 20 degrees and sterile at 25 degrees. Temperature-shift experiments performed with the adult sterile mutant, ama-1(m118m238ts), have revealed a temperature-sensitive period that begins late in gonadogenesis and is centered around the initiation of egg-laying. Postembryonic development at 25 degrees is slowed by 30%. By contrast, the amanitin-resistant allele of ama-1 has very little effect on developmental rate or fertility. We have identified 15 essential genes in an interval of 4.5 map units surrounding ama-1, as well as four gamma-ray-induced deficiencies and two duplications that include the ama-1 gene. The larger duplication, mDp1, may include the entire left arm of chromosome IV, and it recombines with the normal homologue at a low frequency. The smallest deficiency, mDf10, complements all but three identified genes: let-278, dpy-13 and ama-1, which define an interval of only 0.1 map unit. The terminal phenotype of mDf10 homozygotes is developmental arrest during the first larval stage, suggesting that there is sufficient maternal RNA polymerase II to complete embryonic development.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dennis William E

    2009-04-01

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

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

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    Kelvin Yen

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

  2. The interplay between protein L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase activity and insulin-like signaling to extend lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Shilpi Khare

    Full Text Available The protein L-isoaspartyl-O-methyltransferase functions to initiate the repair of isomerized aspartyl and asparaginyl residues that spontaneously accumulate with age in a variety of organisms. Caenorhabditis elegans nematodes lacking the pcm-1 gene encoding this enzyme display a normal lifespan and phenotype under standard laboratory growth conditions. However, significant defects in development, egg laying, dauer survival, and autophagy have been observed in pcm-1 mutant nematodes when deprived of food and when exposed to oxidative stress. Interestingly, overexpression of this repair enzyme in both Drosophila and C. elegans extends adult lifespan under thermal stress. In this work, we show the involvement of the insulin/insulin-like growth factor-1 signaling (IIS pathway in PCM-1-dependent lifespan extension in C. elegans. We demonstrate that reducing the levels of the DAF-16 downstream transcriptional effector of the IIS pathway by RNA interference reduces the lifespan extension resulting from PCM-1 overexpression. Using quantitative real-time PCR analysis, we show the up-regulation of DAF-16-dependent stress response genes in the PCM-1 overexpressor animals compared to wild-type and pcm-1 mutant nematodes under mild thermal stress conditions. Additionally, similar to other long-lived C. elegans mutants in the IIS pathway, including daf-2 and age-1 mutants, PCM-1 overexpressor adult animals display increased resistance to severe thermal stress, whereas pcm-1 mutant animals survive less long under these conditions. Although we observe a higher accumulation of damaged proteins in pcm-1 mutant nematodes, the basal level of isoaspartyl residues detected in wild-type animals was not reduced by PCM-1 overexpression. Our results support a signaling role for the protein L-isoaspartyl methyltransferase in lifespan extension that involves the IIS pathway, but that may be independent of its function in overall protein repair.

  3. Activation of CuZn superoxide dismutases from Caenorhabditis elegans does not require the copper chaperone CCS.

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    Jensen, Laran T; Culotta, Valeria Cizewski

    2005-12-16

    Reactive oxygen species are produced as the direct result of aerobic metabolism and can cause damage to DNA, proteins, and lipids. A principal defense against reactive oxygen species involves the superoxide dismutases (SOD) that act to detoxify superoxide anions. Activation of CuZn-SODs in eukaryotic cells occurs post-translationally and is generally dependent on the copper chaperone for SOD1 (CCS), which inserts the catalytic copper cofactor and catalyzes the oxidation of a conserved disulfide bond that is essential for activity. In contrast to other eukaryotes, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans does not contain an obvious CCS homologue, and we have found that the C. elegans intracellular CuZn-SODs (wSOD-1 and wSOD-5) are not dependent on CCS for activation when expressed in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. CCS-independent activation of CuZn-SODs is not unique to C. elegans; however, this is the first organism identified that appears to exclusively use this alternative pathway. As was found for mammalian SOD1, wSOD-1 exhibits a requirement for reduced glutathione in CCS-independent activation. Unexpectedly, wSOD-1 was inactive even in the presence of CCS when glutathione was depleted. Our investigation of the cysteine residues that form the disulfide bond in wSOD-1 suggests that the ability of wSODs to readily form this disulfide bond may be the key to obtaining high levels of activation through the CCS-independent pathway. Overall, these studies demonstrate that the CuZn-SODs of C. elegans have uniquely evolved to acquire copper without the copper chaperone and this may reflect the lifestyle of this organism.

  4. Anti-inflammatory Lactobacillus rhamnosus CNCM I-3690 strain protects against oxidative stress and increases lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Gianfranco Grompone

    Full Text Available Numerous studies have shown that resistance to oxidative stress is crucial to stay healthy and to reduce the adverse effects of aging. Accordingly, nutritional interventions using antioxidant food-grade compounds or food products are currently an interesting option to help improve health and quality of life in the elderly. Live lactic acid bacteria (LAB administered in food, such as probiotics, may be good antioxidant candidates. Nevertheless, information about LAB-induced oxidative stress protection is scarce. To identify and characterize new potential antioxidant probiotic strains, we have developed a new functional screening method using the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as host. C. elegans were fed on different LAB strains (78 in total and nematode viability was assessed after oxidative stress (3 mM and 5 mM H(2O(2. One strain, identified as Lactobacillus rhamnosus CNCM I-3690, protected worms by increasing their viability by 30% and, also, increased average worm lifespan by 20%. Moreover, transcriptomic analysis of C. elegans fed with this strain showed that increased lifespan is correlated with differential expression of the DAF-16/insulin-like pathway, which is highly conserved in humans. This strain also had a clear anti-inflammatory profile when co-cultured with HT-29 cells, stimulated by pro-inflammatory cytokines, and co-culture systems with HT-29 cells and DC in the presence of LPS. Finally, this Lactobacillus strain reduced inflammation in a murine model of colitis. This work suggests that C. elegans is a fast, predictive and convenient screening tool to identify new potential antioxidant probiotic strains for subsequent use in humans.

  5. Anti-Inflammatory Lactobacillus rhamnosus CNCM I-3690 Strain Protects against Oxidative Stress and Increases Lifespan in Caenorhabditis elegans

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    Grompone, Gianfranco; Martorell, Patricia; Llopis, Silvia; González, Núria; Genovés, Salvador; Mulet, Ana Paula; Fernández-Calero, Tamara; Tiscornia, Inés; Bollati-Fogolín, Mariela; Chambaud, Isabelle; Foligné, Benoit; Montserrat, Agustín; Ramón, Daniel

    2012-01-01

    Numerous studies have shown that resistance to oxidative stress is crucial to stay healthy and to reduce the adverse effects of aging. Accordingly, nutritional interventions using antioxidant food-grade compounds or food products are currently an interesting option to help improve health and quality of life in the elderly. Live lactic acid bacteria (LAB) administered in food, such as probiotics, may be good antioxidant candidates. Nevertheless, information about LAB-induced oxidative stress protection is scarce. To identify and characterize new potential antioxidant probiotic strains, we have developed a new functional screening method using the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as host. C. elegans were fed on different LAB strains (78 in total) and nematode viability was assessed after oxidative stress (3 mM and 5 mM H2O2). One strain, identified as Lactobacillus rhamnosus CNCM I-3690, protected worms by increasing their viability by 30% and, also, increased average worm lifespan by 20%. Moreover, transcriptomic analysis of C. elegans fed with this strain showed that increased lifespan is correlated with differential expression of the DAF-16/insulin-like pathway, which is highly conserved in humans. This strain also had a clear anti-inflammatory profile when co-cultured with HT-29 cells, stimulated by pro-inflammatory cytokines, and co-culture systems with HT-29 cells and DC in the presence of LPS. Finally, this Lactobacillus strain reduced inflammation in a murine model of colitis. This work suggests that C. elegans is a fast, predictive and convenient screening tool to identify new potential antioxidant probiotic strains for subsequent use in humans. PMID:23300685

  6. A decline in transcript abundance for Heterodera glycines homologs of Caenorhabditis elegans uncoordinated genes accompanies its sedentary parasitic phase

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    Overall Christopher C

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Heterodera glycines (soybean cyst nematode [SCN], the major pathogen of Glycine max (soybean, undergoes muscle degradation (sarcopenia as it becomes sedentary inside the root. Many genes encoding muscular and neuromuscular components belong to the uncoordinated (unc family of genes originally identified in Caenorhabditis elegans. Previously, we reported a substantial decrease in transcript abundance for Hg-unc-87, the H. glycines homolog of unc-87 (calponin during the adult sedentary phase of SCN. These observations implied that changes in the expression of specific muscle genes occurred during sarcopenia. Results We developed a bioinformatics database that compares expressed sequence tag (est and genomic data of C. elegans and H. glycines (CeHg database. We identify H. glycines homologs of C. elegans unc genes whose protein products are involved in muscle composition and regulation. RT-PCR reveals the transcript abundance of H. glycines unc homologs at mobile and sedentary stages of its lifecycle. A prominent reduction in transcript abundance occurs in samples from sedentary nematodes for homologs of actin, unc-60B (cofilin, unc-89, unc-15 (paromyosin, unc-27 (troponin I, unc-54 (myosin, and the potassium channel unc-110 (twk-18. Less reduction is observed for the focal adhesion complex gene Hg-unc-97. Conclusion The CeHg bioinformatics database is shown to be useful in identifying homologs of genes whose protein products perform roles in specific aspects of H. glycines muscle biology. Our bioinformatics comparison of C. elegans and H. glycines genomic data and our Hg-unc-87 expression experiments demonstrate that the transcript abundance of specific H. glycines homologs of muscle gene decreases as the nematode becomes sedentary inside the root during its parasitic feeding stages.

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

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    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

    2012-05-22

    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 primary small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) and the target messenger RNA (mRNA) leads to the recruitment of RdRPs and synthesis of secondary siRNAs using the target mRNA as the template. The mechanism and genetic requirements for secondary siRNA accumulation are not well understood. From a forward genetic screen for C. elegans genes required for RNAi, we identified rde-10, and through proteomic analysis of RDE-10-interacting proteins, we identified a protein complex containing the new RNAi factor RDE-11, the known RNAi factors RSD-2 and ERGO-1, and other candidate RNAi factors. The RNAi defective genes rde-10 and rde-11 encode a novel protein and a RING-type zinc finger domain protein, respectively. Mutations in rde-10 and rde-11 genes cause dosage-sensitive RNAi deficiencies: these mutants are resistant to low dosage but sensitive to high dosage of double-stranded RNAs. We assessed the roles of rde-10, rde-11, and other dosage-sensitive RNAi-defective genes rsd-2, rsd-6, and haf-6 in both exogenous and endogenous small RNA pathways using high-throughput sequencing and qRT-PCR. These genes are required for the accumulation of secondary siRNAs in both exogenous and endogenous RNAi pathways. The RDE-10/RDE-11 complex is essential for the amplification of RNAi in C. elegans by promoting secondary siRNA accumulation. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Antiviral RNA silencing initiated in the absence of RDE-4, a double-stranded RNA binding protein, in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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    Guo, Xunyang; Zhang, Rui; Wang, Jeffrey; Lu, Rui

    2013-10-01

    Small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) processed from double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) of virus origins mediate potent antiviral defense through a process referred to as RNA interference (RNAi) or RNA silencing in diverse organisms. In the simple invertebrate Caenorhabditis elegans, the RNAi process is initiated by a single Dicer, which partners with the dsRNA binding protein RDE-4 to process dsRNA into viral siRNAs (viRNAs). Notably, in C. elegans this RNA-directed viral immunity (RDVI) also requires a number of worm-specific genes for its full antiviral potential. One such gene is rsd-2 (RNAi spreading defective 2), which was implicated in RDVI in our previous studies. In the current study, we first established an antiviral role by showing that rsd-2 null mutants permitted higher levels of viral RNA accumulation, and that this enhanced viral susceptibility was reversed by ectopic expression of RSD-2. We then examined the relationship of rsd-2 with other known components of RNAi pathways and established that rsd-2 functions in a novel pathway that is independent of rde-4 but likely requires the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase RRF-1, suggesting a critical role for RSD-2 in secondary viRNA biogenesis, likely through coordinated action with RRF-1. Together, these results suggest that RDVI in the single-Dicer organism C. elegans depends on the collective actions of both RDE-4-dependent and RDE-4-independent mechanisms to produce RNAi-inducing viRNAs. Our study reveals, for the fi