Conserved RNA-binding proteins required for dendrite morphogenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans sensory neurons.
Bottom Line: Homologs of each of these genes were previously identified as important in the Drosophila melanogaster dendritic arborization sensory neurons.Our results suggest that RNA processing, mRNA localization, mRNA stability, and translational control are all important mechanisms that contribute to dendrite morphogenesis, and we present a conserved set of RNA-binding proteins that regulate these processes in diverse animal species.Furthermore, homologs of these genes are expressed in the human brain, suggesting that these RNA-binding proteins are candidate regulators of dendrite development in humans.
Affiliation: Department of Molecular Biology, Colorado College, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80903.Show MeSH
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Mentions: To determine the expression patterns for each of the RBP genes identified in our screen, we expressed the coding sequence of GFP under the control of presumptive promoters for each RBP gene (see the section Materials and Methods). Each of the 12 RBP gene regulatory regions expressed GFP in the PVD neuron (Figure 4). Most of the genes (cgh-1, cpb-3, dcr-1, mtr-4, rsp-3, rsp-6, set-2, and sup-26) are expressed broadly throughout development (data not shown) excluding the germ line, which often silences repetitive DNA such as the extrachromosomal arrays generated by DNA microinjection in worms (Mello et al. 1991; Kelly and Fire 1998). In contrast, ddx-17, larp-5, mbl-1, and Y55F3AM.3 are expressed mostly or exclusively in neurons including the PVD (data not shown). These data demonstrate that RBP genes required for PVD dendrite development are expressed in the PVD, and our findings are consistent with a cell-autonomous function of the RBPs within the PVD neuron. However, RBP gene expression is not specifically restricted to the PVD neuron, suggesting that these RBP genes may play additional roles in other neurons and, in some cases, non-neural tissues.
Affiliation: Department of Molecular Biology, Colorado College, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80903.