An Innexin-Dependent Cell Network Establishes Left-Right Neuronal Asymmetry in C. elegans

Chiou Fen Chuang, Miri K. VanHoven, Richard D. Fetter, Vytautas Verselis, Cornelia I. Bargmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

88 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Gap junctions are widespread in immature neuronal circuits, but their functional significance is poorly understood. We show here that a transient network formed by the innexin gap-junction protein NSY-5 coordinates left-right asymmetry in the developing nervous system of Caenorhabditis elegans. nsy-5 is required for the left and right AWC olfactory neurons to establish stochastic, asymmetric patterns of gene expression during embryogenesis. nsy-5-dependent gap junctions in the embryo transiently connect the AWC cell bodies with those of numerous other neurons. Both AWCs and several other classes of nsy-5-expressing neurons participate in signaling that coordinates left-right AWC asymmetry. The right AWC can respond to nsy-5 directly, but the left AWC requires nsy-5 function in multiple cells of the network. NSY-5 forms hemichannels and intercellular gap-junction channels in Xenopus oocytes, consistent with a combination of cell-intrinsic and network functions. These results provide insight into gap-junction activity in developing circuits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)787-799
Number of pages13
JournalCell
Volume129
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - May 18 2007

Fingerprint

Gap Junctions
Neurons
Connexins
Networks (circuits)
Neurology
Gene expression
Intercellular Junctions
Caenorhabditis elegans
Xenopus
Cells
Nervous System
Oocytes
Embryonic Development
Embryonic Structures
Gene Expression

Keywords

  • CELLBIO
  • MOLNEURO

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology

Cite this

An Innexin-Dependent Cell Network Establishes Left-Right Neuronal Asymmetry in C. elegans. / Chuang, Chiou Fen; VanHoven, Miri K.; Fetter, Richard D.; Verselis, Vytautas; Bargmann, Cornelia I.

In: Cell, Vol. 129, No. 4, 18.05.2007, p. 787-799.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Chuang, Chiou Fen ; VanHoven, Miri K. ; Fetter, Richard D. ; Verselis, Vytautas ; Bargmann, Cornelia I. / An Innexin-Dependent Cell Network Establishes Left-Right Neuronal Asymmetry in C. elegans. In: Cell. 2007 ; Vol. 129, No. 4. pp. 787-799.
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