Regulation of the Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor ACR-16 in C. elegans

2016-07-01T00:00:00Z (GMT) by Ashley A. Martin
Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) are present in many excitable tissues types and are found both pre and post-synaptically . Through their non-specific cationic permeability, these nAChRs have necessary excitatory roles in neurotransmission, neuromodulation, synaptic plasticity, and neuroprotection . Thus, nAChR mislocalization or functional deficits are associated with many neurological disease states. Therefore identifying the mechanisms that regulate nAChR expression and function will further inform our understanding of normal as well as pathological conditions and offer novel avenues for potential therapeutic advances. Taking advantage of the genetic tractability of the soil nematode C. elegans, a large scale forward screen was done to isolate regulators of the vertebrate α7 nAChR homologue ACR-16. From this screen three novel regulators of the ACR-16 receptor were identified: sca-1, vab-1, and f59d12.1. Further examination of these three genes promises to shed light on previously uncharacterized pathways of regulation of the ACR-16 receptor.