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PLoS One. 2013;8(1):e54528. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0054528. Epub 2013 Jan 17.

Neuronal Goα and CAPS regulate behavioral and immune responses to bacterial pore-forming toxins.

Author information

1
University of California San Diego, Division of Biological Sciences, Section of cell and developmental biology, La Jolla, California, USA.

Abstract

Pore-forming toxins (PFTs) are abundant bacterial virulence factors that attack host cell plasma membranes. Host defense mechanisms against PFTs described to date all function in the host tissue that is directly attacked by the PFT. Here we characterize a rapid and fully penetrant cessation of feeding of Caenorhabditis elegans in response to PFT attack. We demonstrate via analyses of C. elegans mutants that inhibition of feeding by PFT requires the neuronal G protein Goα subunit goa-1, and that maintenance of this response requires neuronally expressed calcium activator for protein secretion (CAPS) homolog unc-31. Independently from their role in feeding cessation, we find that goa-1 and unc-31 are additionally required for immune protection against PFTs. We thus demonstrate that the behavioral and immune responses to bacterial PFT attack involve the cross-talk between the nervous system and the cells directly under attack.

PMID:
23349920
PMCID:
PMC3547950
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0054528
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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