Among the most important decisions an animal makes is whether to engage in active movement and feeding behavior or to become quiescent. The molecular signaling mechanisms underlying this decision remain largely unknown. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans displays sleep-like quiescence following exposures that result in cellular stress . The neurosecretory ALA neuron is required for this stress-induced recovery quiescence , but the mechanisms by which ALA induces quiescence have been unknown. We report here that quiescence induced by heat stress requires ALA depolarization and release of FMRFamide-like neuropeptides encoded by the flp-13 gene. Optogenetic activation of ALA reduces feeding and locomotion in a FLP-13-dependent manner. Overexpression of flp-13 is sufficient to induce quiescent behavior during normally active periods. We have here identified a major biological role for FMRFamide-like neuropeptides in nematodes, and we suggest that they may function in a similar capacity in other organisms.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We acknowledge Colin Smith and Julia George-Raizen for contributing to the discovery that flp-13 overexpression induces quiescence. We thank Nicholas Trojanowski, Hilary Debardeleben, Tom Janssen, and Lilliane Schoofs for helpful discussions and critiques. This work was supported by NIH T32HL07713 (M.D.N.; PI, Allan Pack), 1SC2GM105487 (C.V.B), R01NS084835 (C.F.-Y.), and R01NS064030 (D.M.R.), the Ellison Medical Foundation (C.F.-Y.), the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (C.F.-Y.), and a NARSAD Young Investigator Award (D.M.R.). Some strains were provided by the CGC, which is funded by NIH Office of Research Infrastructure Programs (P40 OD010440). The strains flp-13 ( tm2427 ) was provided by the National BioResource Project (PI, Shohei Mitani). The plasmid pLR304 was provided by Rene Garcia, and the plasmid pUAST-Ort was provided by Chi-Hon Lee.
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ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)