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Genes & Dev. 14 (16): 2003-2014

Copyright © 2000 by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

Vol. 14, No. 16, pp. 2003-2014, August 15, 2000

Multiple RGS proteins alter neural G protein signaling to allow C. elegans to rapidly change behavior when fed

Meng-Qiu Dong, Daniel Chase, Georgia A. Patikoglou, and Michael R. Koelle1

Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 06520 USA

Regulators of G protein signaling (RGS proteins) inhibit heterotrimeric G protein signaling by activating G protein GTPase activity. Many mammalian RGS proteins are expressed in the brain and can act in vitro on the neural G protein Go, but the biological purpose of this multiplicity of regulators is not clear. We have analyzed all 13 RGS genes in Caenorhabditis elegans and found that three of them influence the aspect of egg-laying behavior controlled by Go signaling. A previously studied RGS protein, EGL-10, affects egg laying under all conditions tested. The other two RGS proteins, RGS-1 and RGS-2, act as Go GTPase activators in vitro but, unlike EGL-10, they do not strongly affect egg laying when worms are allowed to feed constantly. However, rgs-1; rgs-2 double mutants fail to rapidly induce egg-laying behavior when refed after starvation. Thus EGL-10 sets baseline levels of signaling, while RGS-1 and RGS-2 appear to redundantly alter signaling to cause appropriate behavioral responses to food.

[Key Words: RGS protein; heterotrimeric G protein; neurotransmission; C. elegans]

1 Corresponding author.

GENES & DEVELOPMENT 14:2003-2014 © 2000 by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press  ISSN 0890-9369/00 $5.00

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