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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Jan 4;108(1):254-9. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1017354108. Epub 2010 Dec 20.

Receptor-type guanylate cyclase is required for carbon dioxide sensation by Caenorhabditis elegans.

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  • 1Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Division of Biology, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA.

Abstract

CO(2) is both a critical regulator of animal physiology and an important sensory cue for many animals for host detection, food location, and mate finding. The free-living soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans shows CO(2) avoidance behavior, which requires a pair of ciliated sensory neurons, the BAG neurons. Using in vivo calcium imaging, we show that CO(2) specifically activates the BAG neurons and that the CO(2)-sensing function of BAG neurons requires TAX-2/TAX-4 cyclic nucleotide-gated ion channels and the receptor-type guanylate cyclase GCY-9. Our results delineate a molecular pathway for CO(2) sensing and suggest that activation of a receptor-type guanylate cyclase is an evolutionarily conserved mechanism by which animals detect environmental CO(2).

PMID:
21173231
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3017194
Free PMC Article
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