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The Doublesex/Mab-3 Domain transcription factor DMD-10 is expressed in several cell types in C. elegans, including in the nervous system. We sought to investigate whether DMD-10 is required for normal neuronal function using behavioral assays. We found that mutation of dmd-10 did not broadly affect behavior. dmd-10 mutants were normal in several behavioral assays including a body bends assay for locomotion, egg laying, chemotaxis and response to gentle touch to the body. dmd-10 mutants did have defects in nose-touch responsiveness, which requires the glutamate receptor GLR-1. However, using quantitative fluorescence microscopy to measure levels of a GLR-1::GFP fusion protein in the ventral nerve cord, we found no evidence supporting a difference in the number of GLR-1 synapses or in the amount of GLR-1 present in dmd-10 mutants. dmd-10 mutants did have decreased responsiveness to high osmolarity, which, along with nose-touch, is sensed by the polymodal sensory neuron ASH. Furthermore, mutation of dmd-10 impaired behavioral response to optogenetic activation of ASH, suggesting that dmd-10 promotes neuronal signaling in ASH downstream of sensory receptor activation. Together our results suggest that DMD-10 is important in regulating the frequency of multiple ASH-dependent behavioral responses. © 2021 Durbeck et al.


Julia Durbeck, Celine Breton, Michael Suter, Eric S Luth, Annette M McGehee. The Doublesex/Mab-3 domain transcription factor DMD-10 regulates ASH-dependent behavioral responses. PeerJ. 2021;9:e10892

PMID: 33665029

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