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Synapses display a stereotyped ultrastructural organization, commonly containing a single electron-dense presynaptic density surrounded by a cluster of synaptic vesicles. The mechanism controlling subsynaptic proportion is not understood. Loss of function in the C. elegans rpm-1 gene, a putative RING finger/E3 ubiquitin ligase, causes disorganized(More)
Axons are defined by the presence of presynaptic specializations at specific locations. We show here that loss-of-function mutations in the C. elegans gene syd-1 cause presynaptic specializations to form in the dendritic processes of GABA-expressing motor neurons during initial differentiation. At a later developmental stage, however, syd-1 is not required(More)
Peroxidasins form a highly conserved family of extracellular peroxidases of unknown cellular function. We identified the C. elegans peroxidasin PXN-2 in screens for mutants defective in embryonic morphogenesis. We find that PXN-2 is essential for specific stages of embryonic morphogenesis and muscle-epidermal attachment, and is also required(More)
Synaptic vesicle (SV) release is spatially and temporally regulated by a network of proteins that form the presynaptic active zone (AZ). The hallmark of most AZs is an electron-dense projection (DP) surrounded by SVs. Despite their importance for our understanding of triggered SV release, high-resolution analyses of DP structures are limited. Using electron(More)
Axons of adult Caenorhabditis elegans neurons undergo robust regenerative growth after laser axotomy. Here we show that axotomy of PLM sensory neurons triggers axonal calcium waves whose amplitude correlates with the extent of regeneration. Genetic elevation of Ca(2+) or cAMP accelerates formation of a growth cone from the injured axon. Elevated Ca(2+) or(More)
BACKGROUND In many animals, the epidermis is in permanent contact with the environment and represents a first line of defense against pathogens and injury. Infection of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans by the natural fungal pathogen Drechmeria coniospora induces the expression in the epidermis of antimicrobial peptide (AMP) genes such as nlp-29. Here, we(More)
Regulation of microtubule dynamics underlies many fundamental cellular mechanisms including cell division, cell motility, and transport. In neurons, microtubules play key roles in cell migration, axon outgrowth, control of axon and synapse growth, and the regulated transport of vesicles and structural components of synapses. Loss of synapse and axon(More)
The microtubule (MT) cytoskeleton of a mature axon is maintained in a stabilized steady state, yet after axonal injury it can be transformed into a dynamic structure capable of supporting axon regrowth. Using Caenorhabditis elegans mechanosensory axons and in vivo imaging, we find that, in mature axons, the growth of MTs is restricted in the steady state by(More)
The F-spondin family of extracellular matrix proteins has been implicated in axon outgrowth, fasciculation and neuronal cell migration, as well as in the differentiation and proliferation of non-neuronal cells. In screens for mutants defective in C. elegans embryonic morphogenesis, we identified SPON-1, the only C. elegans member of the spondin family.(More)
In a genetic screen for regulators of synaptic morphology, we identified the single Caenorhabditis elegans flamingo-like cadherin fmi-1. The fmi-1 mutants exhibit defective axon pathfinding, reduced synapse number, aberrant synapse size and morphology, as well as an abnormal accumulation of synaptic vesicles at nonsynaptic regions. Although FMI-1 is(More)