In Caenorhabditis elegans, pdfr-1 encodes three receptors of the secretin receptor family. These G protein-coupled receptors are activated by three neuropeptides, pigment dispersing factors 1a, 1b and 2, which are encoded by pdf-1 and pdf-2. We isolated a PDF receptor loss-of-function allele (lst34) by means of a mutagenesis screen and show that the PDF signaling system is involved in locomotion and egg-laying. We demonstrate that the pdfr-1 mutant phenocopies the defective locomotor behavior of the pdf-1 mutant and that pdf-1 and pdf-2 behave antagonistically. All three PDF receptor splice variants are involved in the regulation of locomotor behavior. Cell specific rescue experiments show that this pdf mediated behavior is regulated by neurons rather than body wall muscles. We also show that egg-laying patterns of pdf-1 and pdf-2 mutants are affected, but not those of pdfr-1 mutants, pointing to a novel role for the PDF-system in the regulation of egg-laying.
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