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Rho is a presynaptic activator of neurotransmitter release at pre-existing synapses in C. elegans.

Mcmullan, Rachel; Hiley, Emma; Morrison, Paul and Nurrish, Stephen J. (2006). Rho is a presynaptic activator of neurotransmitter release at pre-existing synapses in C. elegans. Genes & Development, 20(1) pp. 65–76.

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Rho GTPases have important roles in neuronal development, but their function in adult neurons is less well understood. We demonstrate that presynaptic changes in Rho activity at Caenorhabditis elegans neuromuscular junctions can radically change animal behavior via modulation of two separate pathways. In one, presynaptic Rho increases acetylcholine (ACh) release by stimulating the accumulation of diacylglycerol (DAG) and the DAG-binding protein UNC-13 at sites of neurotransmitter release; this pathway requires binding of Rho to the DAG kinase DGK-1. A second DGK-1-independent mechanism is revealed by the ability of a Rho inhibitor (C3 transferase) to decrease levels of release even in the absence of DGK-1; this pathway is independent of UNC-13 accumulation at release sites. We do not detect any Rho-induced changes in neuronal morphology or synapse number; thus, Rho facilitates synaptic transmission by a novel mechanism. Surprisingly, many commonly available human RhoA constructs contain an uncharacterized mutation that severely reduces binding of RhoA to DAG kinase. Thus, a role for RhoA in controlling DAG levels is likely to have been underestimated.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2006 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press
ISSN: 1549-5477
Keywords: RhoA; animal behavior; synaptic vesicle release; DAG kinase; Munc13; C. elegans
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Life, Health and Chemical Sciences
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Item ID: 44159
Depositing User: Rachel Mcmullan
Date Deposited: 25 Aug 2015 09:01
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2018 21:24
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