Novel and conserved protein macoilin is required for diverse neuronal functions in caenorhabditis elegans

Akiko Miyara, Akane Ohta, Yoshifumi Okochi, Yuki Tsukada, Atsushi Kuhara, Ikue Mori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Neural signals are processed in nervous systems of animals responding to variable environmental stimuli. This study shows that a novel and highly conserved protein, macoilin (MACO-1), plays an essential role in diverse neural functions in Caenorhabditis elegans. maco-1 mutants showed abnormal behaviors, including defective locomotion, thermotaxis, and chemotaxis. Expression of human macoilin in the C. elegans nervous system weakly rescued the abnormal thermotactic phenotype of the maco-1 mutants, suggesting that macoilin is functionally conserved across species. Abnormal thermotaxis may have been caused by impaired locomotion of maco-1 mutants. However, calcium imaging of AFD thermosensory neurons and AIY postsynaptic interneurons of maco-1 mutants suggest that macoilin is required for appropriate responses of AFD and AIY neurons to thermal stimuli. Studies on localization of MACO-1 showed that C. elegans and human macoilins are localized mainly to the rough endoplasmic reticulum. Our results suggest that macoilin is required for various neural events, such as the regulation of neuronal activity.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1001384
JournalPLoS Genetics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2011 May
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Cancer Research


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