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J Mol Biol. 2012 Mar 30;417(3):165-78. doi: 10.1016/j.jmb.2012.01.012. Epub 2012 Jan 28.

CNP-1 (ARRD-17), a novel substrate of calcineurin, is critical for modulation of egg-laying and locomotion in response to food and lysine sensation in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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Department of Life Science, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, Gwangju 500-712, Korea.


Calcineurin is a Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein phosphatase involved in calcium signaling pathways. In Caenorhabditis elegans, the loss of calcineurin activity causes pleiotropic defects including hyperadaptation of sensory neurons, hypersensation to thermal difference and hyper-egg-laying when worms are refed after starvation. In this study, we report on arrd-17 as calcineurin-interacting protein-1 (cnp-1), which is a novel molecular target of calcineurin. CNP-1 interacts with the catalytic domain of the C. elegans calcineurin A subunit, TAX-6, in a yeast two-hybrid assay and is dephosphorylated by TAX-6 in vitro. cnp-1 is expressed in ASK, ADL, ASH and ASJ sensory neurons as TAX-6. It acts downstream of tax-6 in regulation of locomotion and egg-laying after starvation, ASH sensory neuron adaptation and lysine chemotaxis, that is known to be mediated by ASK neurons. Altogether, our biochemical and genetic evidence indicates that CNP-1 is a direct target of calcineurin and required in stimulated egg-laying and locomotion after starvation, adaptation to hyperosmolarity and attraction to lysine, which is modulated by calcineurin. We suggest that the phosphorylation status of CNP-1 plays an important role in regulation of refed stimulating behaviors after starvation and attraction to amino acid, which provides valuable nutritious information.

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