375 research outputs found

    Highly efficient optogenetic cell ablation in C. elegans using membrane-targeted miniSOG.

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    The genetically encoded photosensitizer miniSOG (mini Singlet Oxygen Generator) can be used to kill cells in C. elegans. miniSOG generates the reactive oxygen species (ROS) singlet oxygen after illumination with blue light. Illumination of neurons expressing miniSOG targeted to the outer mitochondrial membrane (mito-miniSOG) causes neuronal death. To enhance miniSOG's efficiency as an ablation tool in multiple cell types we tested alternative targeting signals. We find that membrane targeted miniSOG allows highly efficient cell killing. When combined with a point mutation that increases miniSOG's ROS generation, membrane targeted miniSOG can ablate neurons in less than one tenth the time of mito-miniSOG. We extend the miniSOG ablation technique to non-neuronal tissues, revealing an essential role for the epidermis in locomotion. These improvements expand the utility and throughput of optogenetic cell ablation in C. elegans

    A Pipeline for Volume Electron Microscopy of the Caenorhabditis elegans Nervous System.

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    The "connectome," a comprehensive wiring diagram of synaptic connectivity, is achieved through volume electron microscopy (vEM) analysis of an entire nervous system and all associated non-neuronal tissues. White et al. (1986) pioneered the fully manual reconstruction of a connectome using Caenorhabditis elegans. Recent advances in vEM allow mapping new C. elegans connectomes with increased throughput, and reduced subjectivity. Current vEM studies aim to not only fill the remaining gaps in the original connectome, but also address fundamental questions including how the connectome changes during development, the nature of individuality, sexual dimorphism, and how genetic and environmental factors regulate connectivity. Here we describe our current vEM pipeline and projected improvements for the study of the C. elegans nervous system and beyond

    C. elegans Kallmann syndrome protein KAL-1 interacts with syndecan and glypican to regulate neuronal cell migrations

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    AbstractThe anosmin-1 protein family regulates cell migration, axon guidance, and branching, by mechanisms that are not well understood. We show that the C. elegans anosmin-1 ortholog KAL-1 promotes migrations of ventral neuroblasts prior to epidermal enclosure. KAL-1 does not modulate FGF signaling in neuroblast migration and acts in parallel to other neuroblast migration pathways. Defects in heparan sulfate (HS) synthesis or in specific HS modifications disrupt neuroblast migrations and affect the KAL-1 pathway. KAL-1 binds the cell surface HS proteoglycans syndecan/SDN-1 and glypican/GPN-1. This interaction is mediated via HS side chains and requires specific HS modifications. SDN-1 and GPN-1 are expressed in ventral neuroblasts and have redundant roles in KAL-1-dependent neuroblast migrations. Our findings suggest that KAL-1 interacts with multiple HSPGs to promote cell migration