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Curr Biol. 2016 Apr 4;26(7):862-71. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2016.01.049. Epub 2016 Mar 3.

The Conserved VPS-50 Protein Functions in Dense-Core Vesicle Maturation and Acidification and Controls Animal Behavior.

Author information

1
Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA; McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.
2
Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA; McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA; Department of Brain and Cognitive Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.
3
Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA; McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA; Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.
4
Department of Biochemistry, University of Washington, 1705 NE Pacific Street, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.
5
Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA; McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA; Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA. Electronic address: horvitz@mit.edu.

Abstract

The modification of behavior in response to experience is crucial for animals to adapt to environmental changes. Although factors such as neuropeptides and hormones are known to function in the switch between alternative behavioral states, the mechanisms by which these factors transduce, store, retrieve, and integrate environmental signals to regulate behavior are poorly understood. The rate of locomotion of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans depends on both current and past food availability. Specifically, C. elegans slows its locomotion when it encounters food, and animals in a food-deprived state slow even more than animals in a well-fed state. The slowing responses of well-fed and food-deprived animals in the presence of food represent distinct behavioral states, as they are controlled by different sets of genes, neurotransmitters, and neurons. Here we describe an evolutionarily conserved C. elegans protein, VPS-50, that is required for animals to assume the well-fed behavioral state. Both VPS-50 and its murine homolog mVPS50 are expressed in neurons, are associated with synaptic and dense-core vesicles, and control vesicle acidification and hence synaptic function, likely through regulation of the assembly of the V-ATPase complex. We propose that dense-core vesicle acidification controlled by the evolutionarily conserved protein VPS-50/mVPS50 affects behavioral state by modulating neuropeptide levels and presynaptic neuronal function in both C. elegans and mammals.

PMID:
26948874
PMCID:
PMC4821696
DOI:
10.1016/j.cub.2016.01.049
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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