Genetic screen reveals link between maternal-effect sterile gene mes-1 and P. aeruginosa-Induced neurodegeneration in C. elegans [Neurobiology]

October 16th, 2015 by Wu, Q., Cao, X., Yan, D., Wang, D., Aballay, A.

Increasing evidence indicates that immune responses to microbial infections may contribute to neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we show that Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection of Caenorhabditis elegans causes a number of neural changes that are hallmarks of neurodegeneration. Using an unbiased genetic screen to identify genes involved in the control of P. aeruginosa-induced neurodegeneration, we identified mes-1, which encodes a receptor tyrosine kinase-like protein that is required for unequal cell divisions in the early embryonic germline. We showed that sterile but not fertile mes-1 animals were resistant to neurodegeneration induced by P. aeruginosa infection. Similar results were observed using animals carrying a mutation in the maternal-effect gene pgl-1, which is required for postembryonic germline development, and the germline-deficient strains glp-1 and glp-4. Additional studies indicated that the FOXO transcription factor DAF-16 is required for resistance to P. aeruginosa-induced neurodegeneration in germline-deficient strains. Thus, our results demonstrate that P. aeruginosa infection results in neurodegeneration phenotypes in C. elegans that are controlled by the germline in a cell-nonautonomous manner.
  • Posted in Journal of Biological Chemistry, Publications
  • Comments Off on Genetic screen reveals link between maternal-effect sterile gene mes-1 and P. aeruginosa-Induced neurodegeneration in C. elegans [Neurobiology]