Generation and characterization of new alleles of quiver (qvr) that encodes an extracellular modulator of the Shaker potassium channel.
ABSTRACT: Our earlier genetic screen uncovered a paraquat-sensitive leg-shaking mutant quiver1 (qvr1), whose gene product interacts with the Shaker (Sh) K+ channel. We also mapped the qvr locus to EY04063 and noticed altered day-night activity patterns in these mutants. Such circadian behavioral defects were independently reported by another group, who employed the qvr1 allele we supplied them, and attributed the extreme restless phenotype of EY04063 to the qvr gene. However, their report adopted a new noncanonical gene name sleepless (sss) for qvr. In addition to qvr1 and qvrEY, our continuous effort since the early 2000s generated a number of novel recessive qvr alleles, including ethyl methanesulfonate (EMS)-induced mutations qvr2 and qvr3, and P-element excision lines qvrip6 (imprecise jumpout), qvrrv7, and qvrrv9 (revertants) derived from qvrEY. Distinct from the original intron-located qvr1 allele that generates abnormal-sized mRNAs, qvr2, and qvr3 had their lesion sites in exons 6 and 7, respectively, producing nearly normal-sized mRNA products. A set of RNA-editing sites are nearby the lesion sites of qvr3 and qvrEY on exon 7. Except for the revertants, all qvr alleles display a clear ether-induced leg-shaking phenotype just like Sh, and weakened climbing abilities to varying degrees. Unlike Sh, all shaking qvr alleles (except for qvrf01257) displayed a unique activity-dependent enhancement in excitatory junction potentials (EJPs) at larval neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) at very low stimulus frequencies, with qvrEY displaying the largest EJP and more significant NMJ overgrowth than other alleles. Our detailed characterization of a collection of qvr alleles helps to establish links between novel molecular lesions and different behavioral and physiological consequences, revealing how modifications of the qvr gene lead to a wide spectrum of phenotypes, including neuromuscular hyperexcitability, defective motor ability and activity-rest cycles.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Although sleep is conserved throughout evolution, the molecular basis of its control is still largely a mystery. We previously showed that the quiver/sleepless (qvr/sss) gene encodes a membrane-tethered protein that is required for normal sleep in Drosophila. SLEEPLESS (SSS) protein functions, at least in part, by upregulating the levels and open probability of Shaker (Sh) potassium channels to suppress neuronal excitability and enable sleep. Consistent with this proposed mechanism, loss-of-function mutations in Sh phenocopy qvr/sss-null mutants. However, sleep is more genetically modifiable in Sh than in qvr/sss mutants, suggesting that SSS may regulate additional molecules to influence sleep. RESULTS:Here we show that SSS also antagonizes nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) to reduce synaptic transmission and promote sleep. Mimicking this antagonism with the nAChR inhibitor mecamylamine or by RNAi knockdown of specific nAChR subunits is sufficient to restore sleep to qvr/sss mutants. Regulation of nAChR activity by SSS occurs posttranscriptionally, since the levels of nAChR mRNAs are unchanged in qvr/sss mutants. Regulation of nAChR activity by SSS may in fact be direct, since SSS forms a stable complex with and antagonizes nAChR function in transfected cells. Intriguingly, lynx1, a mammalian homolog of SSS, can partially restore normal sleep to qvr/sss mutants, and lynx1 can form stable complexes with Shaker-type channels and nAChRs. CONCLUSIONS:Together, our data point to an evolutionarily conserved, bifunctional role for SSS and its homologs in controlling excitability and synaptic transmission in fundamental processes of the nervous system such as sleep.
Project description:Ly6 proteins are endogenous prototoxins found in most animals. They show striking structural and functional parallels to snake ?-neurotoxins, including regulation of ion channels and cholinergic signaling. However, the structural contributions of Ly6 proteins to regulation of effector molecules is poorly understood. This question is particularly relevant to the Ly6 protein QUIVER/SLEEPLESS (QVR/SSS), which has previously been shown to suppress excitability and synaptic transmission by upregulating potassium (K) channels and downregulating nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) in wake-promoting neurons to facilitate sleep in Drosophila. Using deletion mutagenesis, co-immunoprecipitations, ion flux assays, surface labeling and confocal microscopy, we demonstrate that only loop 2 is required for many of the previously described properties of SSS in transfected cells, including interactions with K channels and nAChRs. Collectively our data suggest that QVR/SSS, and by extension perhaps other Ly6 proteins, target effector molecules using limited protein motifs. Mapping these motifs may be useful in rational design of drugs that mimic or suppress Ly6-effector interactions to modulate nervous system function.
Project description:Abstract Tethered flies allow studies of biomechanics and electrophysiology of flight control. We performed microelectrode recordings of spikes in an indirect flight muscle (the dorsal longitudinal muscle, DLMa) coupled with acoustic analysis of wing beat frequency (WBF) via microphone signals. Simultaneous electrophysiological recording of direct and indirect flight muscles has been technically challenging; however, the WBF is thought to reflect in a one-to-one relationship with spiking activity in a subset of direct flight muscles, including muscle m1b. Therefore, our approach enables systematic mutational analysis for changes in temporal features of electrical activity of motor neurons innervating subsets of direct and indirect flight muscles. Here, we report the consequences of specific ion channel disruptions on the spiking activity of myogenic DLMs (firing at ?5 Hz) and the corresponding WBF (?200 Hz). We examined mutants of the genes enconding: 1) voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels (cacophony, cac), 2) Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channels (slowpoke, slo), and 3) voltage-gated K(+) channels (Shaker, Sh) and their auxiliary subunits (Hyperkinetic, Hk and quiver, qvr). We found flight initiation in response to an air puff was severely disrupted in both cac and slo mutants. However, once initiated, slo flight was largely unaltered, whereas cac displayed disrupted DLM firing rates and WBF. Sh, Hk, and qvr mutants were able to maintain normal DLM firing rates, despite increased WBF. Notably, defects in the auxiliary subunits encoded by Hk and qvr could lead to distinct consequences, that is, disrupted DLM firing rhythmicity, not observed in Sh. Our mutant analysis of direct and indirect flight muscle activities indicates that the two motor activity patterns may be independently modified by specific ion channel mutations, and that this approach can be extended to other dipteran species and additional motor programs, such as electroconvulsive stimulation-induced seizures.
Project description:1. The effect of chronic morphine treatment (CMT) on sympathetic innervation of the mouse vas deferens and on alpha(2)-adrenoceptor mediated autoinhibition has been examined using intracellular recording of excitatory junction potentials (EJPs) and histochemistry. 2. In chronically saline treated (CST) preparations, morphine (1 microM) and the alpha(2)-adrenoceptor agonist (clonidine, 1 microM) decreased the mean amplitude of EJPs evoked with 0.03 Hz stimulation by 81+/-8% (n=16) and 92+/-6% (n=7) respectively. In CMT preparations, morphine (1 microM) and clonidine (1 microM) decreased mean EJP amplitude by 68+/-8% (n=7) and 79+/-8% (n=7) respectively. 3. When stimulating the sympathetic axons at 0.03 Hz, the mean EJP amplitude recorded from smooth muscles acutely withdrawn from CMT was four times greater than for CST smooth muscles (40.7+/-3.8 mV, n=7 compared with 9.9+/-0.3 mV, n=7). 4. Part of the increase in mean EJP amplitude following CMT was produced by a 31% increase in the density of sympathetic axons and varicosities innervating the smooth muscle. 5. Results from the present study indicate that the effectiveness of alpha(2)-adrenoceptor mediated autoinhibition is only slightly reduced in CMT preparations. Most of the cross tolerance which develops between morphine, clonidine and alpha(2)-adrenoceptor mediated autoinhibition occurs as a consequence of increased efficacy of neuromuscular transmission which is produced by an increase in the probability of transmitter release and an increase in the density of sympathetic innervation.
Project description:The cholesterol chelating agent, methyl-?-cyclodextrin (M?CD), alters synaptic function in many systems. At crayfish neuromuscular junctions, M?CD is reported to reduce excitatory junctional potentials (EJPs) by impairing impulse propagation to synaptic terminals, and to have no postsynaptic effects. We examined the degree to which physiological effects of M?CD correlate with its ability to reduce cholesterol, and used thermal acclimatization as an alternative method to modify cholesterol levels. M?CD impaired impulse propagation and decreased EJP amplitude by 40% (P<0.05) in preparations from crayfish acclimatized to 14 °C but not from those acclimatized to 21 °C. The reduction in EJP amplitude in the cold-acclimatized group was associated with a 49% reduction in quantal content (P<0.05). M?CD had no effect on input resistance in muscle fibers but decreased sensitivity to the neurotransmitter L-glutamate in both warm- and cold-acclimatized groups. This effect was less pronounced and reversible in the warm-acclimatized group (90% reduction in cold, P<0.05; 50% reduction in warm, P<0.05). M?CD reduced cholesterol in isolated nerve and muscle from cold- and warm-acclimatized groups by comparable amounts (nerve: 29% cold, 25% warm; muscle: 20% cold, 18% warm; P<0.05). This effect was reversed by cholesterol loading, but only in the warm-acclimatized group. Thus, effects of M?CD on glutamate-sensitivity correlated with its ability to reduce cholesterol, but effects on impulse propagation and resulting EJP amplitude did not. Our results indicate that M?CD can affect both presynaptic and postsynaptic properties, and that some effects of M?CD are unrelated to cholesterol chelation.
Project description:Natural compounds could be a complementary alternative to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) management. This study determined the effects of an aqueous extract of Myrciaria jaboticaba peel (EJP) (50 g L-1) on 2,4,6-trinitrobenzenesulfonic acid-induced colitis. Wistar rats were randomized into five groups: HC-healthy control, CC-colitis control, DC-drug control, SJ-short-term treatment with EJP, and LJ-long-term treatment with EJP. The EJP treatments reduced body weight loss, stool consistency score, and spleen enlargement. Gut microbiota was modulated through increased Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium counts after EJP treatment. Short-chain fatty acids were also higher in the EJP treatment groups. The antioxidant enzyme activities were greater than CC or DC controls. Myeloperoxidase activity (LJ), inducible nitric oxide synthase (LJ/SJ), and intercellular adhesion molecule (SJ) levels were lower than in the CC group. EJP decreased histological scoring, mucosal thickness, and preserved the crypts and histological structure. Therefore, EJP showed beneficial effects and could be potentially used as an adjuvant in IBD treatment.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) is advocated as a screening tool in geriatric care for predicting future disability. We aimed to identify the leg neuromuscular attributes to be targeted in rehabilitative care among older adults with poor SPPB scores.<h4>Methods</h4>Boston Rehabilitative Impairment Study of the Elderly (Boston RISE) participants (n = 430) underwent assessment of neuromuscular attributes (leg strength, leg velocity, trunk extensor endurance, knee flexion range of motion [ROM], ankle ROM, and foot sensation). Linear regression models examined association between each neuromuscular attribute and SPPB, adjusting for age, race, gender, comorbidity, body mass index, depression, cognition, and other neuromuscular attributes.<h4>Results</h4>Participants with 1 SD unit higher leg strength, leg velocity, and trunk extensor endurance had 0.52, 0.30, and 0.52 points higher SPPB total score. Participants with ankle ROM impairment and foot sensory loss had 0.43 and 0.57 lower SPPB total score compared with those without these. Leg strength and trunk extensor endurance were associated with balance; leg velocity, trunk extensor endurance, and ankle ROM were associated with gait speed; and strength, trunk extensor endurance, knee ROM, and feet sensation were associated with chair stand score. Neuromuscular attributes, along with covariates, explained 40.4% of the variance in the total SPPB score, a substantial increase over the 22.7% variance explained by covariates alone.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Neuromuscular attributes affect mobility performance in older patients as measured by the SPPB. Specific impairments are associated with poor performance in specific component scores. Assessment of the SPPB components and rehabilitation of associated impairments may help improve the functional performance among older adults.
Project description:Rest contributes a large part of animals' daily life, and animals usually rest in two ways, standing or in recumbence. Small or medium sized ungulates bed to rest in most cases, and standing rest is very rare and hardly seen. Here we described a standing rest behavior of Tibetan antelopes (Pantholops hodgsonii) living on the Tibet Plateau which has not been reported before. We named the standing rest behavior Puppet behavior, since the antelope stand still for a certain time. Of the 304 individuals observed, 48.3% (98/203) of adult and sub-adult males expressed the Puppet behavior, whereas only 6.3% (6/96) of females did, indicating an obvious sexual difference. Puppet behavior occurred more frequently at noon and in the afternoon on sunny and cloudy days, meaning that daytime and weather were both influential factors. Puppet behavior was usually accompanied with rumination and sometimes ended with leg-shaking. Our results suggest that Puppet behavior may be an adaptive form of rest, which may serve a thermoregulatory and anti-predation function, and may be simpler and safer than recumbent rest.
Project description:Changes in UBE3A expression levels in neurons can cause neurogenetic disorders ranging from Angelman syndrome (AS) (decreased levels) to autism (increased levels). Here we investigated the effects on neuronal function of varying UBE3A levels using the Drosophila neuromuscular junction as a model for both of these neurogenetic disorders. Stimulations that evoked excitatory junction potentials (EJPs) at 1 Hz intermittently failed to evoke EJPs at 15 Hz in a significantly higher proportion of Dube3a over-expressors using the pan neuronal GAL4 driver C155-GAL4 (C155-GAL4>UAS-Dube3a) relative to controls (C155>+ alone). However, in the Dube3a over-expressing larval neurons with no failures, there was no difference in EJP amplitude at the beginning of the train, or the rate of decrease in EJP amplitude over the course of the train compared to controls. In the absence of tetrodotoxin (TTX), spontaneous EJPs were observed in significantly more C155-GAL4>UAS-Dube3a larva compared to controls. In the presence of TTX, spontaneous and evoked EJPs were completely blocked and mEJP amplitude and frequency did not differ among genotypes. These data suggest that over-expression of wild type Dube3a, but not a ubiquitination defective Dube3a-C/A protein, compromises the ability of motor neuron axons to support closely spaced trains of action potentials, while at the same time increasing excitability. EJPs evoked at 15 Hz in the absence of Dube3a (Dube3a(15b) homozygous mutant larvae) decayed more rapidly over the course of 30 stimulations compared to w(1118) controls, and Dube3a(15b) larval muscles had significantly more negative resting membrane potentials (RMP). However, these results could not be recapitulated using RNAi knockdown of Dube3a in muscle or neurons alone, suggesting more global developmental defects contribute to this phenotype. These data suggest that reduced UBE3A expression levels may cause global changes that affect RMP and neurotransmitter release from motorneurons at the neuromuscular junction. Similar affects of under- and over-expression of UBE3A on membrane potential and synaptic transmission may underlie the synaptic plasticity defects observed in both AS and autism.
Project description:Nicotinic agonists increase sympathetic field-stimulus-evoked contraction of the rodent vas deferens, presumably by increasing evoked neurotransmitter release. This presumption was tested in two species.The effect of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) agonist epibatidine on neurotransmitter release in mouse and guinea pig isolated vas deferens was investigated using contraction studies and conventional intracellular recording techniques.In 12 of 14 mouse vasa deferentia, slow bath application of epibatidine (100 nM) had no significant effect on excitatory junction potential (EJP) amplitude and spontaneous EJP (SEJP) frequency. However, rapid application of epibatidine to the mouse vas deferens caused an increase in SEJP frequency (by 530%), with no effect on EJP amplitude. Despite the absence of an effect on EJPs, electrically-evoked contractions of the mouse vas deferens were significantly increased in the presence of epibatidine (by 50%). A transient contraction was reliably induced by a higher epibatidine concentration (1 microM). This contraction was significantly reduced in the presence of prazosin, tetrodotoxin, or alpha,beta-methyleneATP. Epibatidine did not induce a contraction in the presence of a combination of prazosin, alpha,beta-methyleneATP and cyclopentolate. In guinea pig vasa deferentia, bath-applied epibatidine potentiated EJP amplitude in a biphasic pattern, lasting for at least 30 minutes.The nAChR-mediated augmentation of neurogenic contraction is indeed prejunctional, but in the mouse arises from an increase in spontaneous neurotransmitter release that primes smooth muscle for subsequent contraction, while in the guinea pig there is a direct augmentation of evoked neurotransmitter (ATP) release.