Synaptogenesis is modulated by heparan sulfate in Caenorhabditis elegans

María I. Lázaro-Peña, Carlos A. Díaz-Balzac, Hannes E. Buelow, Scott W. Emmons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The nervous system regulates complex behaviors through a network of neurons interconnected by synapses. How specific synaptic connections are genetically determined is still unclear. Male mating is the most complex behavior in Caenorhabditis elegans. It is composed of sequential steps that are governed by > 3000 chemical connections. Here, we show that heparan sulfates (HS) play a role in the formation and function of the male neural network. HS, sulfated in position 3 by the HS modification enzyme HST-3.1/HS 3-O-sulfotransferase and attached to the HS proteoglycan glypicans LON-2/glypican and GPN-1/glypican, functions cell-autonomously and nonautonomously for response to hermaphrodite contact during mating. Loss of 3-O sulfation resulted in the presynaptic accumulation of RAB-3, a molecule that localizes to synaptic vesicles, and disrupted the formation of synapses in a component of the mating circuits. We also show that the neural cell adhesion protein NRX-1/neurexin promotes and the neural cell adhesion protein NLG-1/neuroligin inhibits the formation of the same set of synapses in a parallel pathway. Thus, neural cell adhesion proteins and extracellular matrix components act together in the formation of synaptic connections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-208
Number of pages14
JournalGenetics
Volume209
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2018

Fingerprint

Heparitin Sulfate
Glypicans
Caenorhabditis elegans
Synapses
Cell Adhesion
Cell-Matrix Junctions
Sulfotransferases
Heparan Sulfate Proteoglycans
Proteins
Synaptic Vesicles
Nervous System
Neurons
Enzymes

Keywords

  • C. elegans
  • Heparan sulfate
  • Neurexin
  • Neuroligin
  • Proteoglycans
  • Synapse formation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics

Cite this

Synaptogenesis is modulated by heparan sulfate in Caenorhabditis elegans. / Lázaro-Peña, María I.; Díaz-Balzac, Carlos A.; Buelow, Hannes E.; Emmons, Scott W.

In: Genetics, Vol. 209, No. 1, 01.05.2018, p. 195-208.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Lázaro-Peña, María I. ; Díaz-Balzac, Carlos A. ; Buelow, Hannes E. ; Emmons, Scott W. / Synaptogenesis is modulated by heparan sulfate in Caenorhabditis elegans. In: Genetics. 2018 ; Vol. 209, No. 1. pp. 195-208.
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