The unc-18 gene encodes a novel protein affecting the kinetics of acetylcholine metabolism in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

J Neurochem. 1992 Apr;58(4):1517-25. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-4159.1992.tb11373.x.


Genes affecting acetylcholine (ACh) levels without influencing choline acetyltransferase activity have been identified in Caenorhabditis elegans. We have examined one such gene, unc-18. We isolated a transposon-insertion allele for unc-18 and used it to clone a genomic region containing the unc-18 locus. The unc-18 location within this region was determined by rescuing the unc-18 mutant phenotype in a germ-line transformation experiment and identifying transcripts affected by four independent unc-18 mutations. A single-sized poly(A)+ RNA was synthesized from the gene. Expression of the transcript appears to be stage specific: The transcript is found in abundance at the early larval stage but in decreased amounts at the fourth larval and the adult stages. These results show that the unc-18 gene plays a role in development as well as in the kinetics of ACh metabolism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcholine / metabolism*
  • Alleles
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Caenorhabditis / metabolism*
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA / isolation & purification
  • Genes*
  • Kinetics
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation
  • Phenotype
  • Polymorphism, Restriction Fragment Length
  • Proteins / genetics*
  • Proteins / physiology
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Transformation, Genetic


  • Proteins
  • DNA
  • Acetylcholine