Despite their predicted functional importance, most G protein- coupled receptors (GPCRs) in Caenorhabditis elegans have remained largely uncharacterized. Here, we focused on one GPCR, STR-33, encoded by the str-33 gene, which was discovered through a ligand-based screening procedure. To characterize STR-33 function, we performed UV-trimethylpsolaren mutagenesis and isolated an str-33-null mutant. The resulting mutant showed hypersinusoidal movement and a hyperactive egg-laying phenotype. Two types of egg laying-related mutations have been characterized: egg laying-deficient (Egl-d) and hyperactive egg laying (Egl-c). The defect responsible for the egg laying-deficient Egl-d phenotype is related to Gα q signaling, whereas that responsible for the opposite, hyperactive egg-laying Egl-c phenotype is related to Gα o signaling. We found that the hyperactive egg-laying defect of the str-33(ykp001) mutant is dependent on the G protein GOA-1/ Gα o. Endogenous acetylcholine suppressed egg laying in C. elegans via a Gα o-signaling pathway by inhibiting serotonin biosynthesis or release from the hermaphrodite-specific neuron. Consistent with this, in vivo expression of the serotonin biosynthetic enzyme, TPH-1, was up-regulated in the str-33(ykp001) mutant. Taken together, these results suggest that the GPCR, STR-33, may be one of the neurotransmitter receptors that regulates locomotion and egg laying in C. elegans.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology