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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

1
Department of Biochemistry, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195.
2
Department of Biochemistry, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195 mailion@uw.edu.

Abstract

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).

KEYWORDS:

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

PMID:
28696924
PMCID:
PMC5592925
DOI:
10.1534/g3.117.043273
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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