The invertebrate microtubule-associated protein PTL-1 functions in mechanosensation and development in Caenorhabditis elegans
- 291 Downloads
PTL-1, a microtubule-associated protein of the structural MAP2/tau family, is the sole member of this gene family in Caenorhabditis elegans. Sequence analysis of available invertebrate genomes revealed a number of single, putative tau-like genes with high similarity to ptl-1. The ptl-1 gene is expressed in a number of cells, most notably mechanosensory neurons. We examined the role of ptl-1 in C. elegans in adult neurons as well as during development. A ptl-1 knockout strain of worms exhibited an egg-hatching defect, as well as a reduced sensitivity to touch stimuli. In addition, the knockout allele ptl-1(ok621) acts as a dominant enhancer of several temperature-sensitive alleles of mec-7 and mec-12, which code the isoforms of β-tubulin and α-tubulin that together form the unusual 15 protofilament microtubules involved in touch sensation. These results demonstrate for the first time a functional role for this microtubule-associated protein in nematodes and suggest that PTL-1 is involved in mechanosensation as well as some aspect of embryogenesis.
KeywordsMicrotubule-associated protein Tau Caenorhabditis elegans Tubulin Neuron
This work was supported by internal grant awards from the Dean of the Faculty Research Fund, the Abbey Fund and an NIH-AREA award 1R15NS057808-01(to K.M.R.-S.).
We would like to thank Cristian Opazo, Richard Wing, Amory Meltzer, Tasnim Rahman and Charlene Scotland for helpful assistance and Jerry Calvin for assistance with the confocal microscope. We would also like to thank Martin Chalfie for helpful discussions. This paper is dedicated to the memory of Michele Buddle (1962–2004).
- Altun ZF, Hall DH WormAtlas (2002–2006) http://www.wormatlas.org/ Cited 5 May 2008
- Buddle M, Eberhardt E, Ciminello LH, Levin T, Wing R, DiPasquale K, Raley-Susman KM (2003) Microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP2) associates with the NMDA receptor and is spatially redistributed within rat hippocampal neurons after oxygen–glucose deprivation. Brain Res 978:38–50PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Harris TW, Chen N, Cunningham F, Tello-Ruiz M, Antoshechkin I, Bastiani C, Bieri T, Blasiar D, Bradnam K, Chan J, Chen C, Chen WJ, Davis P, Kenny E, Kishore R, Lawson D, Lee R, Muller H, Nakamura C, Ozersky P, Petcherski A, Rogers A, Sabo A, Schwarz EM, Van Auken K, Wang Q, Durbin R, Spieth J, Sternberg PW, Stein LD (2004) WormBase: a multi-species resource for nematode biology and genomics. Nucleic Acids Res 32:D411–D417PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Riddle DL, Blumenthal T, Meyer BJ, Priess JR (1997) C. elegans II. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, Cold Spring Harbor, NYGoogle Scholar
- von Bergen M, Barghorn S, Li L, Marx A, Biernat J, Mandelkow EM, Mandelkow E (2001) Mutations of tau protein in fronto-temporal dementia promote aggregation of paired helical filaments by enhancing local β-structure. J Biol Chem 276:48165–48174Google Scholar