Université PSL



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Glutamate spillover in C. elegans triggers repetitive behavior through presynaptic activation of MGL-2/mGluR5.
Laboratoire pour la biologie quantitative du développement - Katz M, Corson F, Keil W,Singhal A, Bae A, Lu Y, Liang Y, Shaham S.
Nat Commun - 10(1) 1882 - doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-09581-4. - 2019
Glutamate is a major excitatory neurotransmitter, and impaired glutamate clearance following synaptic release promotes spillover, inducing extra-synaptic signaling. The effects of glutamate spillover on animal behavior and its neural correlates are poorly understood. We developed a glutamate spillover model in Caenorhabditis elegans by inactivating the conserved glial glutamate transporter GLT-1. GLT-1 loss drives aberrant repetitive locomotory reversal behavior through uncontrolled oscillatory release of glutamate onto AVA, a major interneuron governing reversals. Repetitive glutamate release and reversal behavior require the glutamate receptor MGL-2/mGluR5, expressed in RIM and other interneurons presynaptic to AVA. mgl-2 loss blocks oscillations and repetitive behavior; while RIM activation is sufficient to induce repetitive reversals in glt-1 mutants. Repetitive AVA firing and reversals require EGL-30/Gαq, an mGluR5 effector. Our studies reveal that cyclic autocrine presynaptic activation drives repetitive reversals following glutamate spillover. That mammalian GLT1 and mGluR5 are implicated in pathological motor repetition suggests a common mechanism controlling repetitive behaviors.
HLH-2/E2A Expression Links Stochastic and Deterministic Elements of a Cell Fate Decision during C. elegans Gonadogenesis
Laboratoire pour la biologie quantitative du développement - Michelle A.Attner, WolfgangKeil, Justin M.Benavidez, IvaGreenwald
Nat Commun - 29(18) 3094-3100.e4 - https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2019.07.062 - 2019
Stochastic mechanisms diversify cell fate in organisms ranging from bacteria to humans [1, 2, 3, 4]. In the anchor cell/ventral uterine precursor cell (AC/VU) fate decision during C. elegans gonadogenesis, two “α cells,” each with equal potential to be an AC or a VU, interact via LIN-12/Notch and its ligand LAG-2/DSL [5, 6]. This LIN-12/Notch-mediated interaction engages feedback mechanisms that amplify a stochastic initial difference between the two α cells, ensuring that the cell with higher lin-12 activity becomes the VU while the other becomes the AC [7, 8, 9]. The initial difference between the α cells was originally envisaged as a random imbalance from “noise” in lin-12 expression/activity [6]. However, subsequent evidence that the relative birth order of the α cells biases their fates suggested other factors may be operating [7]. Here, we investigate the nature of the initial difference using high-throughput lineage analysis [10]; GFP-tagged endogenous LIN-12, LAG-2, and HLH-2, a conserved transcription factor that orchestrates AC/VU development [7, 11]; and tissue-specific hlh-2 null alleles. We identify two stochastic elements: relative birth order, which largely originates at the beginning of the somatic gonad lineage three generations earlier, and onset of HLH-2 expression, such that the α cell whose parent expressed HLH-2 first is biased toward the VU fate. We find that these elements are interrelated, because initiation of HLH-2 expression is linked to the birth of the parent cell. Finally, we provide a potential deterministic mechanism for the HLH-2 expression bias by showing that hlh-2 is required for LIN-12 expression in the α cells.
RAB-35 and ARF-6 GTPases Mediate Engulfment and Clearance Following Linker Cell-Type Death
Laboratoire pour la biologie quantitative du développement - Kutscher LM, Keil W, Shaham S
Dev Cell - 47(2) 222-238 - doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2018.08.015. - 2018
Clearance of dying cells is essential for development and homeostasis. Conserved genes mediate apoptotic cell removal, but whether these genes control non-apoptotic cell removal is a major open question. Linker cell-type death (LCD) is a prevalent non-apoptotic developmental cell death process with features conserved from C. elegans to vertebrates. Using microfluidics-based long-term in vivo imaging, we show that unlike apoptotic cells, the C. elegans linker cell, which dies by LCD, is competitively phagocytosed by two neighboring cells, resulting in cell splitting. Subsequent cell elimination does not require apoptotic engulfment genes. Rather, we find that RAB-35 GTPase is a key coordinator of competitive phagocytosis onset and cell degradation. RAB-35 binds CNT-1, an ARF-6 GTPase activating protein, and removes ARF-6, a degradation inhibitor, from phagosome membranes. This facilitates phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate removal from phagosome membranes, promoting phagolysosome maturation. Our studies suggest that RAB-35 and ARF-6 drive a conserved program eliminating cells dying by LCD.
Long-term high-resolution imaging of C. elegans larval development with microfluidics
Laboratoire pour la biologie quantitative du développement - Keil W, Kutscher LM, Shaham S, Siggia ED
Dev Cell - 10(1) 202-214 - doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2016.11.022 - 2017
Long-term studies of Caenorhabditis elegans larval development traditionally require tedious manual observations because larvae must move to develop, and existing immobilization techniques either perturb development or are unsuited for young larvae. Here, we present a simple microfluidic device to simultaneously follow development of ten C. elegans larvae at high spatiotemporal resolution from hatching to adulthood (∼3 days). Animals grown in microchambers are periodically immobilized by compression to allow high-quality imaging of even weak fluorescence signals. Using the device, we obtain cell-cycle statistics for C. elegans vulval development, a paradigm for organogenesis. We combine Nomarski and multichannel fluorescence microscopy to study processes such as cell-fate specification, cell death, and transdifferentiation throughout post-embryonic development. Finally, we generate time-lapse movies of complex neural arborization through automated image registration. Our technique opens the door to quantitative analysis of time-dependent phenomena governing cellular behavior during C. elegans larval development.

4 publications.