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For studying the function of specific neurons in their native circuitry, it is desired to precisely control their activity. This often requires dissection to allow accurate electrical stimulation or neurotransmitter application , and it is thus inherently difficult in live animals, especially in small model organisms. Here, we employed channelrhodopsin-2(More)
Our understanding of the cellular implementation of systems-level neural processes like action, thought and emotion has been limited by the availability of tools to interrogate specific classes of neural cells within intact, living brain tissue. Here we identify and develop an archaeal light-driven chloride pump (NpHR) from Natronomonas pharaonis for(More)
Cationic amino acid transporters play an important role in the intracellular supply of L-Arg and the generation of nitric oxide. Since the transport of L-Arg is voltage-dependent, we aimed at determining the intracellular L-Arg concentration and describing the transport of L-Arg in terms of Michaelis-Menten kinetics, taking into account membrane voltage.(More)
Optogenetic approaches using light-activated proteins like Channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) enable investigating the function of populations of neurons in live Caenorhabditis elegans (and other) animals, as ChR2 expression can be targeted to these cells using specific promoters. Sub-populations of these neurons, or even single cells, can be further addressed by(More)
Essentially any behavior in simple and complex animals depends on neuronal network function. Currently, the best-defined system to study neuronal circuits is the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, as the connectivity of its 302 neurons is exactly known. Individual neurons can be activated by photostimulation of Channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) using blue light,(More)
In the nervous system, a perfect balance of excitation and inhibition is required, for example, to enable coordinated locomotion. In Caenorhabditis elegans, cholinergic and GABAergic motor neurons (MNs) effect waves of contralateral muscle contraction and relaxation. Cholinergic MNs innervate muscle as well as GABAergic MNs, projecting to the opposite side(More)
RIC-3 belongs to a conserved family of proteins influencing nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) maturation. RIC-3 proteins are integral membrane proteins residing in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), and containing a C-terminal coiled-coil domain (CC-I). Conservation of CC-I in all RIC-3 family members indicates its importance; however, previous studies(More)
We introduce optogenetic investigation of neurotransmission (OptIoN) for time-resolved and quantitative assessment of synaptic function via behavioral and electrophysiological analyses. We photo-triggered release of acetylcholine or gamma-aminobutyric acid at Caenorhabditis elegans neuromuscular junctions using targeted expression of Chlamydomonas(More)
Channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) is widely used for rapid photodepolarization of neurons, yet, as it requires high-intensity blue light for activation, it is not suited for long-term in vivo applications, e.g. for manipulations of behavior, or photoactivation of neurons during development. We used "slow" ChR2 variants with mutations in the C128 residue, that(More)
Local recycling of synaptic vesicles (SVs) allows neurons to sustain transmitter release. Extreme activity (e.g., during seizure) may exhaust synaptic transmission and, in vitro, induces bulk endocytosis to recover SV membrane and proteins; how this occurs in animals is unknown. Following optogenetic hyperstimulation of Caenorhabditis elegans motoneurons,(More)