Owais Saifee

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Six mutants of SLO-1, a large-conductance, Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channel of C. elegans, were obtained in a genetic screen for regulators of neurotransmitter release. Mutants were isolated by their ability to suppress lethargy of an unc-64 syntaxin mutant that restricts neurotransmitter release. We measured evoked postsynaptic currents at the neuromuscular(More)
We describe the molecular cloning and characterization of the unc-64 locus of Caenorhabditis elegans. unc-64 expresses three transcripts, each encoding a molecule with 63-64% identity to human syntaxin 1A, a membrane- anchored protein involved in synaptic vesicle fusion. Interestingly, the alternative forms of syntaxin differ only in their C-terminal(More)
C. elegans aex-3 mutations cause pleiotropic behavioral defects that are suggestive of reduced synaptic transmission. aex-3 mutations also show strong genetic interactions with mutations in unc-31 and unc-64, two other genes implicated in synaptic transmission. Physiological and pharmacological studies indicate that aex-3 defects are presynaptic. In aex-3(More)
Synaptobrevins are vesicle-associated proteins implicated in neurotransmitter release by both biochemical studies and perturbation experiments that use botulinum toxins. To test these models in vivo, we have isolated and characterized the first synaptobrevin mutants in metazoans and show that neurotransmission is severely disrupted in mutant animals.(More)
The molecular mechanisms whereby volatile general anesthetics (VAs) disrupt behavior remain undefined. In Caenorhabditis elegans mutations in the gene unc-64, which encodes the presynaptic protein syntaxin 1A, produce large allele-specific differences in VA sensitivity. UNC-64 syntaxin normally functions to mediate fusion of neurotransmitter vesicles with(More)
The molecular mechanisms underlying general anesthesia are unknown. For volatile general anesthetics (VAs), indirect evidence for both lipid and protein targets has been found. However, no in vivo data have implicated clearly any particular lipid or protein in the control of sensitivity to clinical concentrations of VAs. Genetics provides one approach(More)
BACKGROUND Volatile general anesthetics inhibit neurotransmitter release by a mechanism not fully understood. Genetic evidence in Caenorhabditis elegans has shown that a major mechanism of action of volatile anesthetics acting at clinical concentrations in this animal is presynaptic inhibition of neurotransmission. To define additional components of this(More)
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