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Mol Biol Cell. 2008 Dec;19(12):5517-28. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E08-04-0416. Epub 2008 Oct 8.

Distinct isoforms of the RFX transcription factor DAF-19 regulate ciliogenesis and maintenance of synaptic activity.

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1
Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Karolinska Institute, S-14157 Huddinge, Sweden.

Abstract

Neurons form elaborate subcellular structures such as dendrites, axons, cilia, and synapses to receive signals from their environment and to transmit them to the respective target cells. In the worm Caenorhabditis elegans, lack of the RFX transcription factor DAF-19 leads to the absence of cilia normally found on 60 sensory neurons. We now describe and functionally characterize three different isoforms of DAF-19. The short isoform DAF-19C is specifically expressed in ciliated sensory neurons and sufficient to rescue all cilia-related phenotypes of daf-19 mutants. In contrast, the long isoforms DAF-19A/B function in basically all nonciliated neurons. We discovered behavioral and cellular phenotypes in daf-19 mutants that depend on the isoforms daf-19a/b. These novel synaptic maintenance phenotypes are reminiscent of synaptic decline seen in many human neurodegenerative disorders. The C. elegans daf-19 mutant worms can thus serve as a molecular model for the mechanisms of functional neuronal decline.

PMID:
18843046
PMCID:
PMC2592639
DOI:
10.1091/mbc.E08-04-0416
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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