The tubulin repertoire of C. elegans sensory neurons and its context-dependent role in process outgrowth.
AuthorLockhead, D; Schwarz, EM; O'Hagan, R; Bellotti, S; Krieg, M; Barr, MM; Dunn, AR; Sternberg, PW; Goodman, MB
Source TitleMolecular Biology of the Cell
PublisherAmerican Society for Cell Biology (ASCB)
University of Melbourne Author/sSchwarz, Erich
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsLockhead, D., Schwarz, E. M., O'Hagan, R., Bellotti, S., Krieg, M., Barr, M. M., Dunn, A. R., Sternberg, P. W. & Goodman, M. B. (2016). The tubulin repertoire of C. elegans sensory neurons and its context-dependent role in process outgrowth.. Mol Biol Cell, 27 (23), pp.3717-3728. https://doi.org/10.1091/mbc.E16-06-0473.
Access StatusAccess this item via the Open Access location
Open Access URLPublished version
Open Access at PMChttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5170555
Microtubules contribute to many cellular processes, including transport, signaling, and chromosome separation during cell division (Kapitein and Hoogenraad, 2015). They are comprised of αβ-tubulin heterodimers arranged into linear protofilaments and assembled into tubes. Eukaryotes express multiple tubulin isoforms (Gogonea et al., 1999), and there has been a longstanding debate as to whether the isoforms are redundant or perform specialized roles as part of a tubulin code (Fulton and Simpson, 1976). Here, we use the well-characterized touch receptor neurons (TRNs) of Caenorhabditis elegans to investigate this question, through genetic dissection of process outgrowth both in vivo and in vitro With single-cell RNA-seq, we compare transcription profiles for TRNs with those of two other sensory neurons, and present evidence that each sensory neuron expresses a distinct palette of tubulin genes. In the TRNs, we analyze process outgrowth and show that four tubulins (tba-1, tba-2, tbb-1, and tbb-2) function partially or fully redundantly, while two others (mec-7 and mec-12) perform specialized, context-dependent roles. Our findings support a model in which sensory neurons express overlapping subsets of tubulin genes whose functional redundancy varies between cell types and in vivo and in vitro contexts.
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