Microtubule depolymerization in Caenorhabditis elegans touch receptor neurons reduces gene expression through a p38 MAPK pathway

Alexander Bounoutas, John Kratz, Lesley Emtage, Charles Ma, Ken C. Nguyen, Martin Chalfie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

59 Scopus citations

Abstract

Microtubules are integral to neuronal development and function. They endow cells with polarity, shape, and structure, and their extensive surface area provides substrates for intracellular trafficking and scaffolds for signaling molecules. Consequently, microtubule polymerization dynamics affect not only structural features of the cell but also the subcellular localization of proteins that can trigger intracellular signaling events. In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, the processes of touch receptor neurons are filled with a bundle of specialized large-diameter microtubules. We find that conditions that disrupt these microtubules (loss of either the MEC-7 β-tubulin or MEC-12 α-tubulin or growth in 1 mM colchicine) cause a general reduction in touch receptor neuron (TRN) protein levels. This reduction requires a p38 MAPK pathway (DLK-1, MKK-4, and PMK-3) and the transcription factor CEBP-1. Cells may use this feedback pathway that couples microtubule state and MAPK activation to regulate cellular functions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3982-3987
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume108
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 8 2011

Keywords

  • Gene regulation
  • Kinase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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