Send to

Choose Destination
G3 (Bethesda). 2017 Sep 7;7(9):2979-2989. doi: 10.1534/g3.117.043273.

The SEK-1 p38 MAP Kinase Pathway Modulates Gq Signaling in Caenorhabditis elegans.

Author information

Department of Biochemistry, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195.
Department of Biochemistry, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195


Gq is a heterotrimeric G protein that is widely expressed in neurons and regulates neuronal activity. To identify pathways regulating neuronal Gq signaling, we performed a forward genetic screen in Caenorhabditis elegans for suppressors of activated Gq. One of the suppressors is an allele of sek-1, which encodes a mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MAPKK) in the p38 MAPK pathway. Here, we show that sek-1 mutants have a slow locomotion rate and that sek-1 acts in acetylcholine neurons to modulate both locomotion rate and Gq signaling. Furthermore, we find that sek-1 acts in mature neurons to modulate locomotion. Using genetic and behavioral approaches, we demonstrate that other components of the p38 MAPK pathway also play a positive role in modulating locomotion and Gq signaling. Finally, we find that mutants in the SEK-1 p38 MAPK pathway partially suppress an activated mutant of the sodium leak channel, NCA-1/NALCN, a downstream target of Gq signaling. Our results suggest that the SEK-1 p38 pathway may modulate the output of Gq signaling through NCA-1(unc-77).


C. elegans; Gq signaling; animal behavior; p38 MAPK pathway

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center