Neuroscience: Neuronal and intestinal protein kinase D isoforms mediate Na+ (salt taste)-induced learning

Ya Fu, Min Ren, Hui Feng, Lu Chen, Zeynep F. Altun, Charles S. Rubin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Ubiquitously expressed protein kinase D (PKD) isoforms are poised to disseminate signals carried by diacylglycerol (DAG). However, the in vivo regulation and functions of PKDs are poorly understood. We show that the Caenorhabditis elegans gene, dkf-2, encodes not just DKF-2A, but also a second previously unknown isoform, DKF-2B. Whereas DKF-2A is present mainly in intestine, we show that DKF-2B is found in neurons. Characterization of dkf-2 null mutants and transgenic animals expressing DKF-2B, DKF-2A, or both isoforms revealed that PKDs couple DAG signals to regulation of sodium ion (Na +)-induced learning. EGL-8 (a phospholipase Cβ4 homolog) and TPA-1 (a protein kinase Cδ homolog) are upstream regulators of DKF-2 isoforms in vivo. Thus, pathways containing EGL-8-TPA-1-DKF-2 enable learning and behavioral plasticity by receiving, transmitting, and cooperatively integrating environmental signals targeted to both neurons and intestine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)ra42
JournalScience Signaling
Issue number83
StatePublished - Aug 11 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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