Tyramine receptor (SER-2) isoforms are involved in the regulation of pharyngeal pumping and foraging behavior in Caenorhabditis elegans.
ABSTRACT Octopamine regulates essential processes in nematodes; however, little is known about the physiological role of its precursor, tyramine. In the present study, we have characterized alternatively spliced Caenorhabditis elegans tyramine receptor isoforms (SER-2 and SER-2A) that differ by 23 amino acids within the mid-region of the third intracellular loop. Membranes prepared from cells expressing either SER-2 or SER-2A bind [3H]lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) in the low nanomolar range and exhibit highest affinity for tyramine. Similarly, both isoforms exhibit nearly identical Ki values for a number of antagonists. In contrast, SER-2A exhibits a significantly lower affinity than SER-2 for other physiologically relevant biogenic amines, including octopamine. Pertussis toxin treatment reduces affinity for both tyramine and octopamine, especially for octopamine in membranes from cells expressing SER-2, suggesting that the conformation of the mid-region of the third intracellular loop is dictated by G-protein interactions and is responsible for the differential tyramine/octopamine affinities of the two isoforms. Tyramine reduces forskolin-stimulated cAMP levels in HEK293 cells expressing either isoform with nearly identical IC50 values. Tyramine, but not octopamine, also elevates Ca2+ levels in cells expressing SER-2 and to a lesser extent SER-2A. Most importantly, ser-2 null mutants (pk1357) fail to suppress head movements while reversing in response to nose-touch, suggesting a role for SER-2 in the regulation of foraging behavior, and fail to respond to tyramine in assays measuring serotonin-dependent pharyngeal pumping. These are the first reported functions for SER-2. These results suggest that C. elegans contains tyramine receptors, that individual SER-2 isoforms may differ significantly in their sensitivity to other physiologically relevant biogenic amines, such as octopamine (OA), and that tyraminergic signaling may be important in the regulation of key processes in nematodes.
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ABSTRACT: Monoamines provide chemical codes of behavioral states. However, the neural mechanisms of monoaminergic orchestration of behavior are poorly understood. Touch elicits an escape response in Caenorhabditis elegans where the animal moves backward and turns to change its direction of locomotion. We show that the tyramine receptor SER-2 acts through a Gαo pathway to inhibit neurotransmitter release from GABAergic motor neurons that synapse onto ventral body wall muscles. Extrasynaptic activation of SER-2 facilitates ventral body wall muscle contraction, contributing to the tight ventral turn that allows the animal to navigate away from a threatening stimulus. Tyramine temporally coordinates the different phases of the escape response through the synaptic activation of the fast-acting ionotropic receptor, LGC-55, and extrasynaptic activation of the slow-acting metabotropic receptor, SER-2. Our studies show, at the level of single cells, how a sensory input recruits the action of a monoamine to change neural circuit properties and orchestrate a compound motor sequence.PLoS Biology 04/2013; 11(4):e1001529. · 12.69 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Monoamines and neuropeptides interact to modulate most behaviors. To better understand these interactions, we have defined the roles of tyramine (TA), octopamine, and neuropeptides in the inhibition of aversive behavior in Caenorhabditis elegans. TA abolishes the serotonergic sensitization of aversive behavior mediated by the two nociceptive ASH sensory neurons and requires the expression of the adrenergic-like, Gαq-coupled, TA receptor TYRA-3 on inhibitory monoaminergic and peptidergic neurons. For example, TA inhibition requires Gαq and Gαs signaling in the peptidergic ASI sensory neurons, with an array of ASI neuropeptides activating neuropeptide receptors on additional neurons involved in locomotory decision-making. The ASI neuropeptides required for tyraminergic inhibition are distinct from those required for octopaminergic inhibition, suggesting that individual monoamines stimulate the release of different subsets of ASI neuropeptides. Together, these results demonstrate that a complex humoral mix of monoamines is focused by more local, synaptic, neuropeptide release to modulate nociception and highlight the similarities between the tyraminergic/octopaminergic inhibition of nociception in C. elegans and the noradrenergic inhibition of nociception in mammals that also involves inhibitory peptidergic signaling.Journal of Neuroscience 08/2013; 33(35):14107-16. · 6.91 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The olfactory response of the vinegar fly Drosophila melanogaster to food odor is modulated by starvation. Here we show that this modulation is not restricted to food odors and their detecting sensory neurons but rather increases the behavioral response to odors as different as food odors, repellents and pheromones. The increased behavioral responsiveness is paralleled by an increased physiological sensitivity of sensory neurons regardless whether they express olfactory or ionotropic receptors and regardless whether they are housed in basiconic, coeloconic, or trichoid sensilla. Silencing several genes that become up-regulated under starvation confirmed the involvement of the short neuropeptide f receptor in the starvation effect. In addition it revealed that the CCHamide-1 receptor is another important factor governing starvation-induced olfactory modifications.Scientific Reports 01/2013; 3:2765. · 5.08 Impact Factor