Characterization of the Caenorhabditis elegans G protein-coupled serotonin receptors

Invert Neurosci. 2006 Dec;6(4):189-205. doi: 10.1007/s10158-006-0033-z. Epub 2006 Nov 3.


Serotonin (5-HT) regulates a wide range of behaviors in Caenorhabditis elegans, including egg laying, male mating, locomotion and pharyngeal pumping. So far, four serotonin receptors have been described in the nematode C. elegans, three of which are G protein-coupled receptors (GPCR), (SER-1, SER-4 and SER-7), and one is an ion channel (MOD-1). By searching the C. elegans genome for additional 5-HT GPCR genes, we identified five further genes which encode putative 5-HT receptors, based on sequence similarities to 5-HT receptors from other species. Using loss-of-function mutants and RNAi, we performed a systematic study of the role of the eight GPCR genes in serotonin-modulated behaviors of C. elegans (F59C12.2, Y22D7AR.13, K02F2.6, C09B7.1, M03F4.3, F16D3.7, T02E9.3, C24A8.1). We also examined their expression patterns. Finally, we tested whether the most likely candidate receptors were able to modulate adenylate cyclase activity in transfected cells in a 5-HT-dependent manner. This paper is the first comprehensive study of G protein-coupled serotonin receptors of C. elegans. It provides a direct comparison of the expression patterns and functional roles for 5-HT receptors in C. elegans.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • COS Cells
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / genetics*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / metabolism
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • RNA Interference
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / genetics*
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / metabolism
  • Receptors, Serotonin / genetics*
  • Receptors, Serotonin / metabolism
  • Reproductive Behavior
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid


  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled
  • Receptors, Serotonin