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A C-elegans stretch receptor neuron revealed by a mechanosensitive TRP channel homologue

Li, Wei and Feng, Zhaoyang and Sternberg, Paul W. and Xu, X. Z. Shawn (2006) A C-elegans stretch receptor neuron revealed by a mechanosensitive TRP channel homologue. Nature, 440 (7084). pp. 684-687. ISSN 0028-0836. PMCID PMC2865900. doi:10.1038/nature04538.

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The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is commonly used as a genetic model organism for dissecting integration of the sensory and motor systems. Despite extensive genetic and behavioural analyses that have led to the identification of many genes and neural circuits involved in regulating C. elegans locomotion behaviour, it remains unclear whether and how somatosensory feedback modulates motor output during locomotion. In particular, no stretch receptors have been identified in C. elegans, raising the issue of whether stretch-receptor-mediated proprioception is used by C. elegans to regulate its locomotion behaviour. Here we have characterized TRP-4, the C. elegans homologue of the mechanosensitive TRPN channel. We show that trp-4 mutant worms bend their body abnormally, exhibiting a body posture distinct from that of wild-type worms during locomotion, suggesting that TRP-4 is involved in stretch-receptor-mediated proprioception. We show that TRP-4 acts in a single neuron, DVA, to mediate its function in proprioception, and that the activity of DVA can be stimulated by body stretch. DVA both positively and negatively modulates locomotion, providing a unique mechanism whereby a single neuron can fine-tune motor activity. Thus, DVA represents a stretch receptor neuron that regulates sensory–motor integration during C. elegans locomotion.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle ReadCube access Information CentralArticle
Li, Wei0000-0003-2543-2558
Sternberg, Paul W.0000-0002-7699-0173
Additional Information:© 2006 Nature Publishing Group. Received 7 July 2005; Accepted 19 December 2005. We thank J. Nakai for the G-CaMP plasmid; B. Perry for help with deletion libraries; C. Cronin for assistance with data analysis; G. Schindelman, N. Moghal, C. Montell and A. Ward for comments; and G. Medina, E. Larkspur and R. Mahapatra for technical assistance. Some strains were obtained from the Caenorhabditis Genetics Center. This work was supported by the University of Michigan BSSP Scholar Program (X.Z.S.X.), the Helen Hay Whitney Foundation (X.Z.S.X), and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, of which P.W.S. is an investigator.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
University of Michigan BSSP Scholar ProgramUNSPECIFIED
Helen Hay Whitney FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)UNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:7084
PubMed Central ID:PMC2865900
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150325-111101940
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:56073
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:25 Mar 2015 19:10
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 20:54

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