Regulation of neuronal oxygen responses in C. Elegans is mediated through interactions between globin 5 and the H-NOX domains of soluble guanylate cyclases

Zohar Abergel, Arijit Kumar Chatterjee, Binyamin Zuckerman, Einav Gross*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Soluble guanylate cyclases (sGCs) are gas-binding proteins that control diverse physiological processes such as vasodilation, platelet aggregation, and synaptic plasticity. In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, a complex of sGCs, GCY-35 and GCY-36, functions in oxygen (O2) sensing. Previous studies suggested that the neuroglobin GLB-5 genetically interacts with GCY-35, and that the inhibitory effect of GLB-5 on GCY-35 function is necessary for fast recovery from prolonged hypoxia. In this study, we identified mutations in gcy-35 and gcy-36 that impact fast recovery and other phenotypes associated with GLB-5, without undermining sGC activity. These mutations, heb1 and heb3, change conserved amino acid residues in the regulatory H-NOX domains of GCY-35 and GCY-36, respectively, and appear to suppress GLB-5 activity by different mechanisms. Moreover, we observed that short exposure to 35% O2 desensitized the neurons responsible for ambient O2 sensing and that this phenomenon does not occur in heb1 animals. These observations may implicate sGCs in neuronal desensitization mechanisms far beyond the specific case of O2 sensing in nematodes. The conservation of functionally important regions of sGCs is supported by examining site-directed mutants of GCY-35, which suggested that similar regions in the H-NOX domains ofO2 and NO-sensing sGCs are important for heme/gas interactions. Overall, our studies provide novel insights into sGC activity and regulation, and implicate similar structural determinants in the control of both O2 and NO sensors.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)963-978
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Volume36
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 20 Jan 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 the authors.

Keywords

  • Caenorhabditis elegans
  • Globin
  • H-NOX
  • Hypoxia
  • Oxygen-sensing
  • Soluble guanylate cyclase

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