Genes required for axon pathfinding and extension in the C. elegans nerve ring

Jennifer A. Zallen, Susan Kirch, Cornelia I. Bargmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Over half of the neurons in Caenorhabditis elegans send axons to the nerve ring, a large neuropil in the head of the animal. Genetic screens in animals that express the green fluorescent protein in a subset of sensory neurons identified eight new sax genes that affect the morphology of nerve ring axons. sax-3/robo mutations disrupt axon guidance in the nerve ring, while sax-5, sax-9 and unc-44 disrupt both axon guidance and axon extension. Axon extension and guidance proceed normally in sax-1, sax-2, sax-6, sax-7 and sax-8 mutants, but these animals exhibit later defects in the maintenance of nerve ring structure. The functions of existing guidance genes in nerve ring development were also examined, revealing that SAX-3/Robo acts in parallel to the VAB-1/Eph receptor and the UNC-6/netrin, UNC-40/DCC guidance systems for ventral guidance of axons in the amphid commissure, a major route of axon entry into the nerve ring. In addition, SAX-3/Robo and the VAB-1/Eph receptor both function to prevent aberrant axon crossing at the ventral midline. Together, these genes define pathways required for axon growth, guidance and maintenance during nervous system development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3679-3692
Number of pages14
JournalDevelopment
Volume126
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 1999

Fingerprint

Axons
EphA1 Receptor
Genes
Maintenance
Neuropil
Caenorhabditis elegans
Sensory Receptor Cells
Green Fluorescent Proteins
Nervous System
Head
Axon Guidance
Neurons
Mutation
Growth

Keywords

  • Axon growth
  • Caenorhabditis elegans
  • Guidance
  • SAX-3/Robo
  • UNC-40/DCC
  • UNC-6/netrin
  • VAB-1/Eph receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Cell Biology

Cite this

Zallen, J. A., Kirch, S., & Bargmann, C. I. (1999). Genes required for axon pathfinding and extension in the C. elegans nerve ring. Development, 126(16), 3679-3692.

Genes required for axon pathfinding and extension in the C. elegans nerve ring. / Zallen, Jennifer A.; Kirch, Susan; Bargmann, Cornelia I.

In: Development, Vol. 126, No. 16, 08.1999, p. 3679-3692.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Zallen, JA, Kirch, S & Bargmann, CI 1999, 'Genes required for axon pathfinding and extension in the C. elegans nerve ring', Development, vol. 126, no. 16, pp. 3679-3692.
Zallen JA, Kirch S, Bargmann CI. Genes required for axon pathfinding and extension in the C. elegans nerve ring. Development. 1999 Aug;126(16):3679-3692.
Zallen, Jennifer A. ; Kirch, Susan ; Bargmann, Cornelia I. / Genes required for axon pathfinding and extension in the C. elegans nerve ring. In: Development. 1999 ; Vol. 126, No. 16. pp. 3679-3692.
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