Cholinergic transmission in C. elegans: Functions, diversity, and maturation of ACh-activated ion channels

Millet Treinin*, Yishi Jin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

Acetylcholine is an abundant neurotransmitter in all animals. Effects of acetylcholine are excitatory, inhibitory, or modulatory depending on the receptor and cell type. Research using the nematode C. elegans has made ground-breaking contributions to the mechanistic understanding of cholinergic transmission. Powerful genetic screens for behavioral mutants or for responses to pharmacological reagents identified the core cellular machinery for synaptic transmission. Pharmacological reagents that perturb acetylcholine-mediated processes led to the discovery and also uncovered the composition and regulators of acetylcholine-activated channels and receptors. From a combination of electrophysiological and molecular cellular studies, we have gained a profound understanding of cholinergic signaling at the levels of synapses, neural circuits, and animal behaviors. This review will begin with a historical overview, then cover in-depth current knowledge on acetylcholine-activated ionotropic receptors, mechanisms regulating their functional expression and their functions in regulating locomotion. (Figure presented.).

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1274-1291
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Volume158
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank all current and previous members of our labs for their contribution to the work summarized in this review. We appreciate the discovery research from our colleagues in . community, and the genomic, genetics, and informatic consortia for support, E. M. Jorgensen for personal communication on UNC‐74, and S. Blazie, D. Byrd, J. Zhou and E. J. Jin for comments. The research in Jin's lab is supported by NIH grants (R01 NS 093588 and R37 NS 035546). Research in the Treinin lab on DEG‐3/DES‐2 and on RIC‐3 was funded by several Israel Science Foundation and US‐Israel Binational Science Foundation grants. Figures were re‐drawn by Marco Bazelmans in BioRender ( https://biorender.com/ ) on the basis of a draft provided by the authors. C elegans

Funding Information:
We thank all current and previous members of our labs for their contribution to the work summarized in this review. We appreciate the discovery research from our colleagues in C. elegans community, and the genomic, genetics, and informatic consortia for support, E. M. Jorgensen for personal communication on UNC-74, and S. Blazie, D. Byrd, J. Zhou and E. J. Jin for comments. The research in Jin's lab is supported by NIH grants (R01 NS 093588 and R37 NS 035546). Research in the Treinin lab on DEG-3/DES-2 and on RIC-3 was funded by several Israel Science Foundation and US-Israel Binational Science Foundation grants. Figures were re-drawn by Marco Bazelmans in BioRender (https://biorender.com/) on the basis of a draft provided by the authors.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 International Society for Neurochemistry

Keywords

  • ACR genes
  • RIC-3
  • acetylcholine
  • aldicarb
  • cys-loop receptors
  • excitation and inhibition balance
  • levamisole
  • locomotion
  • motor neurons
  • nAChRs
  • synapse

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