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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 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)
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)
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)
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)
The C. elegans defecation cycle is characterized by the contraction of three distinct sets of muscles every 50 s. Our data indicate that this cycle is regulated by periodic calcium release mediated by the inositol trisphosphate receptor (IP3 receptor). Mutations in the IP3 receptor slow down or eliminate the cycle, while overexpression speeds up the cycle.(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)
The priming step of synaptic vesicle exocytosis is thought to require the formation of the SNARE complex, which comprises the proteins synaptobrevin, SNAP-25 and syntaxin. In solution syntaxin adopts a default, closed configuration that is incompatible with formation of the SNARE complex. Specifically, the amino terminus of syntaxin binds the SNARE motif(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)
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)