Publications by Year: 2012

2012
Fang-Yen, C., Gabel, C., Samuel, A.D., Bargmann, C. & Avery, L. Chapter 6 - Laser Microsurgery in Caenorhabditis elegans. Methods in Cell Biology, 107, 177-206 (2012). Publisher's VersionAbstract
Laser killing of cell nuclei has long been a powerful means of examining the roles of individual cells in C. elegans. Advances in genetics, laser technology, and imaging have further expanded the capabilities and usefulness of laser surgery. Here, we review the implementation and application of currently used methods for target edoptical disruption in C. elegans.
methods_cell_biol_2012_fang-yen.pdf
Pinan-Lucarre, B., et al. The core apoptotic executioner proteins CED-3 and CED-4 promote neuronal regeneration in Caenorhabditis elegans. PLoS Biology 10, e1001331 (2012). WebsiteAbstract
The chemotrophic factor Netrin can simultaneously instruct different neurodevelopmental programs in individual neurons in vivo. How neurons correctly interpret the Netrin signal and undergo the appropriate neurodevelopmental response is not understood. Here we identify MIG-10 isoforms as critical determinants of individual cellular responses to Netrin. We determined that distinct MIG-10 isoforms, varying only in their N-terminal motifs, can localize to specific subcellular domains and are differentially required for discrete neurodevelopmental processes in vivo. We identified MIG-10B as an isoform uniquely capable of localizing to presynaptic regions and instructing synaptic vesicle clustering in response to Netrin. MIG-10B interacts with Abl-interacting protein-1 (ABI-1)/Abi1, a component of the WAVE complex, to organize the actin cytoskeleton at presynaptic sites and instruct vesicle clustering through SNN-1/Synapsin. We identified a motif in the MIG-10B N-terminal domain that is required for its function and localization to presynaptic sites. With this motif, we engineered a dominant-negative MIG-10B construct that disrupts vesicle clustering and animal thermotaxis behavior when expressed in a single neuron in vivo. Our findings indicate that the unique N-terminal domains confer distinct MIG-10 isoforms with unique capabilities to localize to distinct subcellular compartments, organize the actin cytoskeleton at these sites, and instruct distinct Netrin-dependent neurodevelopmental programs.
plos_biol_2012_pinan-lucarre.pdf
Omura, D., Clark, D., Samuel, A.D. & Horvitz, H.R. Dopamine signaling sets and maintains a precise rate of locomotion by C. elegans. PLoS ONE 7, 6, e38649 (2012). WebsiteAbstract
Dopamine is an important neuromodulator in both vertebrates and invertebrates. We have found that reduced dopamine signaling can cause a distinct abnormality in the behavior of the nematode C. elegans, which has only eight dopaminergic neurons. Using an automated particle-tracking system for the analysis of C. elegans locomotion, we observed that individual wild-type animals made small adjustments to their speed to maintain constant rates of locomotion. By contrast, individual mutant animals defective in the synthesis of dopamine made larger adjustments to their speeds, resulting in large fluctuations in their rates of locomotion. Mutants defective in dopamine signaling also frequently exhibited both abnormally high and abnormally low average speeds. The ability to make small adjustments to speed was restored to these mutants by treatment with dopamine. These behaviors depended on the D2-like dopamine receptor DOP-3 and the G-protein subunit GOA-1. We suggest that C. elegans and other animals, including humans, might share mechanisms by which dopamine restricts motor activity levels and coordinates movement.
plos_one_2012_omura.pdf
Stavoe, A., et al. Synaptic vesicle clustering and axon arborization require distinct MIG-10/Lamellipodin isoforms downstream of Netrin. Genes and Development 26, 19, 2206-2221 (2012). WebsiteAbstract
The chemotrophic factor Netrin can simultaneously instruct different neurodevelopmental programs in individual neurons in vivo. How neurons correctly interpret the Netrin signal and undergo the appropriate neurodevelopmental response is not understood. Here we identify MIG-10 isoforms as critical determinants of individual cellular responses to Netrin. We determined that distinct MIG-10 isoforms, varying only in their N-terminal motifs, can localize to specific subcellular domains and are differentially required for discrete neurodevelopmental processes in vivo. We identified MIG-10B as an isoform uniquely capable of localizing to presynaptic regions and instructing synaptic vesicle clustering in response to Netrin. MIG-10B interacts with Abl-interacting protein-1 (ABI-1)/Abi1, a component of the WAVE complex, to organize the actin cytoskeleton at presynaptic sites and instruct vesicle clustering through SNN-1/Synapsin. We identified a motif in the MIG-10B N-terminal domain that is required for its function and localization to presynaptic sites. With this motif, we engineered a dominant-negative MIG-10B construct that disrupts vesicle clustering and animal thermotaxis behavior when expressed in a single neuron in vivo. Our findings indicate that the unique N-terminal domains confer distinct MIG-10 isoforms with unique capabilities to localize to distinct subcellular compartments, organize the actin cytoskeleton at these sites, and instruct distinct Netrin-dependent neurodevelopmental programs.
genes_dev_2012_stavoe.pdf
Wen, Q., et al. Proprioceptive Coupling within Motor Neurons Drives C. elegans Forward Locomotion. Neuron 76, 4, 750-761 (2012). Publisher's VersionAbstract
Locomotion requires coordinated motor activity throughout an animal’s body. In both vertebrates and invertebrates, chains of coupled central pattern generators (CPGs) are commonly evoked to explain local rhythmic behaviors. In C. elegans, we report that proprioception within the motor circuit is responsible for propagating and coordinating rhythmic undulatory waves from head to tail during forward movement. Proprioceptive coupling between adjacent body regions transduces rhythmic movement initiated near the head into bending waves driven along the body by a chain of reflexes. Using optogenetics and calcium imaging to manipulate and monitor motor circuit activity of moving C. elegans held in microfluidic devices, we found that the B-type cholinergic motor neurons transduce the proprioceptive signal. In C. elegans, a sensorimotor feedback loop operating within a specific type of motor neuron both drives and organizes body movement.
neuron_2012_wen.pdf neuron_2012_goulding.pdf
Gershow, M., et al. Controlling airborne cues during small animal navigation. Nature Methods 9, 3, 290-296 (2012). WebsiteAbstract
Small animals such as nematodes and insects analyze airborne chemical cues to infer the direction of favorable and noxious locations. In these animals, the study of navigational behavior evoked by airborne cues has been limited by the difficulty of precisely controlling stimuli. We present a system that can be used to deliver gaseous stimuli in defined spatial and temporal patterns to freely moving small animals. We used this apparatus, in combination with machine-vision algorithms, to assess and quantify navigational decision making of Drosophila melanogaster larvae in response to ethyl acetate (a volatile attractant) and carbon dioxide (a gaseous repellant).
nature_methods_2012_gershow.pdf