Regulation of synaptic transmission at the Caenorhabditis elegans M4 neuromuscular junction by an antagonistic relationship between two calcium channels

Mark Steciuk, Mi Cheong, Christopher Waite, Young Jai You, Leon Avery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

In wild-type Caenorhabditis elegans, the synapse from motor neuron M4 to pharyngeal terminal bulb (TB) muscles is silent, and the muscles are instead excited by gap junction connections from adjacent muscles. An eat-5 innexin mutant lacking this electrical connection has few TB contractions and is unable to grow well on certain foods. We showed previously that this defect can be overcome by activation of the M4→TB synapse. To identify genes that negatively regulate synaptic transmission, we isolated new suppressors of eat-5. To our surprise, these suppressors included null mutations in NPQR-type calcium channel subunit genes unc-2 and unc-36. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that Ca2+ entry through the NPQR-type channel inhibits synaptic transmission by activating the calcium-activated K+ channel SLO-1, thus antagonizing the EGL-19 L-type calcium channel.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2535-2543
Number of pages9
JournalG3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics
Volume4
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • BK channel
  • Behavior
  • Calcium channels
  • Feeding
  • Synaptic transmission

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Regulation of synaptic transmission at the Caenorhabditis elegans M4 neuromuscular junction by an antagonistic relationship between two calcium channels'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this