CNP-1 (ARRD-17), a novel substrate of calcineurin, is critical for modulation of egg-laying and locomotion in response to food and lysine sensation in Caenorhabditis elegans

J Mol Biol. 2012 Mar 30;417(3):165-78. doi: 10.1016/j.jmb.2012.01.012. Epub 2012 Jan 28.


Calcineurin is a Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein phosphatase involved in calcium signaling pathways. In Caenorhabditis elegans, the loss of calcineurin activity causes pleiotropic defects including hyperadaptation of sensory neurons, hypersensation to thermal difference and hyper-egg-laying when worms are refed after starvation. In this study, we report on arrd-17 as calcineurin-interacting protein-1 (cnp-1), which is a novel molecular target of calcineurin. CNP-1 interacts with the catalytic domain of the C. elegans calcineurin A subunit, TAX-6, in a yeast two-hybrid assay and is dephosphorylated by TAX-6 in vitro. cnp-1 is expressed in ASK, ADL, ASH and ASJ sensory neurons as TAX-6. It acts downstream of tax-6 in regulation of locomotion and egg-laying after starvation, ASH sensory neuron adaptation and lysine chemotaxis, that is known to be mediated by ASK neurons. Altogether, our biochemical and genetic evidence indicates that CNP-1 is a direct target of calcineurin and required in stimulated egg-laying and locomotion after starvation, adaptation to hyperosmolarity and attraction to lysine, which is modulated by calcineurin. We suggest that the phosphorylation status of CNP-1 plays an important role in regulation of refed stimulating behaviors after starvation and attraction to amino acid, which provides valuable nutritious information.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Arrestin / chemistry
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / physiology*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / genetics
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / metabolism*
  • Calcineurin / genetics
  • Calcineurin / metabolism*
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Food
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Locomotion / physiology*
  • Lysine
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation
  • Nervous System / growth & development
  • Oviposition / physiology*
  • Phosphorylation
  • Sensation
  • Sensory Receptor Cells
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Two-Hybrid System Techniques


  • ARRD-17 protein, C elegans
  • Arrestin
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Calcineurin
  • Lysine