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Pflugers Arch. 2015 Jan;467(1):39-48. doi: 10.1007/s00424-014-1574-3. Epub 2014 Jul 23.

Mechanosensory molecules and circuits in C. elegans.

Author information

1
Cell Biology Division, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Francis Crick Avenue, Cambridge, CB2 0QH, UK, wschafer@mrc-lmb.cam.ac.uk.

Abstract

Mechanosensory neurons, whose activity is controlled by mechanical force, underlie the senses of touch, hearing, and proprioception, yet despite their importance, the molecular basis of mechanotransduction is poorly understood. Genetic studies in Caenorhabditis elegans have provided a useful approach for identifying potential components of mechanotransduction complexes that might be conserved in more complex organisms. This review describes the mechanosensory systems of C. elegans, including the sensory neurons and circuitry involved in body touch, nose touch, and proprioception. In addition, the roles of genes encoding known and potential mechanosensory receptors, including members of the broadly conserved transient receptor potential (TRP) and degerin/epithelial Na(+) channel (DEG/ENaC) channel families, are discussed.

PMID:
25053538
PMCID:
PMC4281349
DOI:
10.1007/s00424-014-1574-3
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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