Environmental stress has direct but complex effects on human health. Phenotypic plasticity in response to environmental stress may result in both adaptations necessary for survival as well as pathologies detrimental to well-being. The model organism Caenorhabditis elegans enters into a stress-resistant 'dauer'stage in response to adverse environmental conditions. The dauer is a classic example of developmental and behavioral plasticity. We previously showed that the dauers undergo extensive and reversible neuronal remodeling in a set of IL2 sensory neurons and that this remodeling is dependent on the furin homolog, KPC-1. During this grant period we will: 1) Extend our investigations into the role of KPC-1 in remodeling by identifying substrates. Furthermore, we will investigate the role of KPC-1 in additional stages of phenotype plasticity in C. elegans. 2) Characterize mutants isolated from a mutagenesis screen that are defective in IL2 remodeling 3) Analyze the ultra-structural properties of the IL2 to uncover the requirements necessary for their inherent plasticity.

Public Health Relevance

Environmental stress can result in structural changes to the nervous system resulting in chronic pathologies. This grant will use the model organism C. elegans to elucidate the genetics behind neuroplasticity in response to stress.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
1R01GM111566-01
Application #
8749979
Study Section
Development - 1 Study Section (DEV1)
Program Officer
Reddy, Michael K
Project Start
2014-09-15
Project End
2019-08-31
Budget Start
2014-09-15
Budget End
2015-08-31
Support Year
1
Fiscal Year
2014
Total Cost
$273,670
Indirect Cost
$83,670
Name
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Department
Miscellaneous
Type
Schools of Earth Sciences/Natur
DUNS #
041544081
City
Champaign
State
IL
Country
United States
Zip Code
61820