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Science. 2010 Jun 4;328(5983):1285-8. doi: 10.1126/science.1189095. Epub 2010 May 6.

The fusogen EFF-1 controls sculpting of mechanosensory dendrites.

Author information

1
Department of Biology, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa 32000, Israel.

Abstract

The mechanisms controlling the formation and maintenance of neuronal trees are poorly understood. We examined the dynamic development of two arborized mechanoreceptor neurons (PVDs) required for reception of strong mechanical stimuli in Caenorhabditis elegans. The PVDs elaborated dendritic trees comprising structural units we call "menorahs." We studied how the number, structure, and function of menorahs were maintained. EFF-1, an essential protein mediating cell fusion, acted autonomously in the PVDs to trim developing menorahs. eff-1 mutants displayed hyperbranched, disorganized menorahs. Overexpression of EFF-1 in the PVD reduced branching. Neuronal pruning appeared to involve EFF-1-dependent branch retraction and neurite-neurite autofusion. Thus, EFF-1 activities may act as a quality control mechanism during the sculpting of dendritic trees.

PMID:
20448153
PMCID:
PMC3057141
DOI:
10.1126/science.1189095
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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