Neuronal membrane glycoprotein (nmgp-1) gene deficiency affects chemosensation-related behaviors, dauer exit and egg-laying in Caenorhabditis elegans.
Fernandez, E. M., Cutraro, Y. B., Adams, J., Monteleone, M. C., Hughes, K. J., Frasch, A. C., Vidal-Gadea, A. G. and Brocco, M. A.
nstituto de Investigaciones Biotecnologicas, Universidad Nacional de San Martin (UNSAM), Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Cientificas y Tecnicas (CONICET) San Martin, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
School of Biological Sciences, Illinois State University, Normal, Illinois, USA.
The nervous system monitors the environment to maintain homeostasis, which can be affected by stressful conditions. Using mammalian models of chronic stress, we previously observed altered brain levels of GPM6A, a protein involved in neuronal morphology. However, GPM6A's role in systemic stress responses remains unresolved. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans expresses a GPM6A ortholog, the neuronal membrane glycoprotein 1 (NMGP-1). Because of the shared features between nematode and mammalian nervous systems and the vast genetic tools available in C. elegans, we used the worm to elucidate the role of GPM6A in the stress response. We first identified nmgp-1 expression in different amphid and phasmid neurons. To understand the nmgp-1 role, we characterized the behavior of nmgp-1(RNAi) animals and two nmgp-1 mutant alleles. Compared to control animals, mutant and RNAi-treated worms exhibited increased recovery time from the stress-resistant dauer stage, altered SDS chemosensation and reduced egg-laying rate resulting in egg retention (bag-of-worms phenotype). Silencing of nmgp-1 expression induced morphological abnormalities in the ASJ sensory neurons, partly responsible for dauer exit. These results indicate that nmgp-1 is required for neuronal morphology and for behaviors associated with chemosensation. Finally, we propose nmgp-1 mutants as a tool to screen drugs for human nervous system pathologies.
Journal of Neurochemistry Journal of Neurochemistry 160(2): 234-255 (2022)