Bachelor of Science, Agricultural University Of Shandong (2006)
Doctor of Philosophy, Chinese Academy Of Sciences (2013)
Jeffrey Axelrod, Postdoctoral Faculty Sponsor
The cellular mechanisms of Planar Cell Polarity
TRIpartite Motif (TRIM) family proteins are ring finger domain-containing, multi-domain proteins implicated in many biological processes. Members of the TRIM-9/C-I subfamily of TRIM proteins, including TRIM-9, MID1 and MID2, have neuronal functions and are associated with neurological diseases. To explore whether the functions of C-I TRIM proteins are conserved in invertebrates, we analyzed Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila trim-9 mutants. C. elegans trim-9 mutants exhibit defects in the ventral guidance of hermaphrodite specific neuron (HSN) and the touch neuron AVM. Further genetic analyses indicate that TRIM-9 participates in the UNC-6-UNC-40 attraction pathway. Asymmetric distribution of UNC-40 during HSN development is normal in trim-9 mutants. However, the asymmetric localization of MIG-10, a downstream effector of UNC-40, is abolished in trim-9 mutants. These results suggest that TRIM-9 functions upstream of MIG-10 in the UNC-40 pathway. Moreover, we showed that TRIM-9 exhibits E3 ubiquitin ligase activity in vitro and this activity is important for TRIM-9 function in vivo. Additionally, we found that Drosophila trim-9 is required for the midline attraction of a group of sensory neuron axons. Over-expression of the Netrin/UNC-6 receptor Frazzled suppresses the guidance defects in trim-9 mutants. Our study reveals an evolutionarily conserved function of TRIM-9 in the UNC-40/Frazzled-mediated UNC-6/Netrin attraction pathway.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jgg.2011.12.004
View details for Web of Science ID 000287114300001
View details for PubMedID 21338947
One of the challenges to understand the organization of the nervous system has been to determine how axon guidance molecules govern axon outgrowth. Through an unbiased genetic screen, we identified a conserved Wnt pathway which is crucial for anterior-posterior (A/P) outgrowth of neurites from RME head motor neurons in Caenorhabditis elegans. The pathway is composed of the Wnt ligand CWN-2, the Frizzled receptors CFZ-2 and MIG-1, the co-receptor CAM-1/Ror, and the downstream component Dishevelled/DSH-1. Among these, CWN-2 acts as a local attractive cue for neurite outgrowth, and its activity can be partially substituted with other Wnts, suggesting that spatial distribution plays a role in the functional specificity of Wnts. As a co-receptor, CAM-1 functions cell-autonomously in neurons and, together with CFZ-2 and MIG-1, transmits the Wnt signal to downstream effectors. Yeast two-hybrid screening identified DSH-1 as a binding partner for CAM-1, indicating that CAM-1 could facilitate CWN-2/Wnt signaling by its physical association with DSH-1. Our study reveals an important role of a Wnt-Frz/Ror-Dsh pathway in regulating neurite A/P outgrowth.
View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pgen.1001056
View details for Web of Science ID 000281383800012
View details for PubMedID 20711352
Appropriate clearance of apoptotic cells (cell corpses) is an important step of programmed cell death. Although genetic and biochemical studies have identified several genes that regulate the engulfment of cell corpses, how these are degraded after being internalized in engulfing cell remains elusive. Here, we show that VPS-18, the Caenorhabditis elegans homologue of yeast Vps18p, is critical to cell corpse degradation. VPS-18 is expressed and functions in engulfing cells. Deletion of vps-18 leads to significant accumulation of cell corpses that are not degraded properly. Furthermore, vps-18 mutation causes strong defects in the biogenesis of endosomes and lysosomes, thus affecting endosomal/lysosomal protein degradation. Importantly, we demonstrate that phagosomes containing internalized cell corpses are unable to fuse with lysosomes in vps-18 mutants. Our findings thus provide direct evidence for the important role of endosomal/lysosomal degradation in proper clearance of apoptotic cells during programmed cell death.
View details for DOI 10.1091/mbc.E08-04-0441
View details for Web of Science ID 000262134800003
View details for PubMedID 18923146