Erik M. Jorgensen

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At present, transgenes in Caenorhabditis elegans are generated by injecting DNA into the germline. The DNA assembles into a semistable extrachromosomal array composed of many copies of injected DNA. These transgenes are typically overexpressed in somatic cells and silenced in the germline. We have developed a method that inserts a single copy of a transgene(More)
We describe an electrophysiological preparation of the neuromuscular junction of the nematode C. elegans, which adds to its considerable genetic and genomic resources. Mutant analysis, pharmacology and patch-clamp recording showed that the body wall muscles of wild-type animals expressed a GABA receptor and two acetylcholine receptors. The muscle GABA(More)
Synaptic transmission involves the regulated exocytosis of vesicles filled with neurotransmitter. Classical transmitters are synthesized in the cytoplasm, and so must be transported into synaptic vesicles. Although the vesicular transporters for monoamines and acetylcholine have been identified, the proteins responsible for packaging the primary inhibitory(More)
We analyzed the synaptic physiology of unc-13 mutants in the nematode C. elegans. Mutants of unc-13 had normal nervous system architecture, and the densities of synapses and postsynaptic receptors were normal at the neuromuscular junction. However, the number of synaptic vesicles at neuromuscular junctions was two- to threefold greater in unc-13 mutants(More)
Rim1 was previously identified as a Rab3 effector localized to the presynaptic active zone in vertebrates. Here we demonstrate that C. elegans unc-10 mutants lacking Rim are viable, but exhibit behavioral and physiological defects that are more severe than those of Rab3 mutants. Rim is localized to synaptic sites in C. elegans, but the ultrastructure of the(More)
gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) is the most abundant inhibitory neurotransmitter in vertebrates and invertebrates. GABA receptors are the target of anxiolytic, antiepileptic and antispasmodic drugs, as well as of commonly used insecticides. How does a specific neurotransmitter such as GABA control animal behaviour? To answer this question, we identified all(More)
Ionotropic GABA receptors generally require the products of three subunit genes. By contrast, the GABA receptor needed for locomotion in Caenorhabditis elegans requires only the unc-49 gene. We cloned unc-49 and demonstrated that it possesses an unusual overlapping gene structure. unc-49 contains a single copy of a GABA receptor N terminus, followed by(More)
gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurotransmission is widespread in vertebrate and invertebrate nervous systems. Here we use a genetic approach to identify molecules specific to GABA function. On the basis of the known in vivo roles of GABAergic neurons in controlling behaviour of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, we identified mutants defective in(More)
Rab molecules regulate vesicular trafficking in many different exocytic and endocytic transport pathways in eukaryotic cells. In neurons, rab3 has been proposed to play a crucial role in regulating synaptic vesicle release. To elucidate the role of rab3 in synaptic transmission, we isolated and characterized Caenorhabditis elegans rab-3 mutants. Similar to(More)
Regeneration of injured neurons can restore function, but most neurons regenerate poorly or not at all. The failure to regenerate in some cases is due to a lack of activation of cell-intrinsic regeneration pathways. These pathways might be targeted for the development of therapies that can restore neuron function after injury or disease. Here, we show that(More)