FMRFamide-like FLP-13 neuropeptides promote quiescence following heat stress in Caenorhabditis elegans

Curr Biol. 2014 Oct 20;24(20):2406-10. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2014.08.037. Epub 2014 Sep 25.


Among the most important decisions an animal makes is whether to engage in active movement and feeding behavior or to become quiescent. The molecular signaling mechanisms underlying this decision remain largely unknown. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans displays sleep-like quiescence following exposures that result in cellular stress. The neurosecretory ALA neuron is required for this stress-induced recovery quiescence, but the mechanisms by which ALA induces quiescence have been unknown. We report here that quiescence induced by heat stress requires ALA depolarization and release of FMRFamide-like neuropeptides encoded by the flp-13 gene. Optogenetic activation of ALA reduces feeding and locomotion in a FLP-13-dependent manner. Overexpression of flp-13 is sufficient to induce quiescent behavior during normally active periods. We have here identified a major biological role for FMRFamide-like neuropeptides in nematodes, and we suggest that they may function in a similar capacity in other organisms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / metabolism*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / physiology
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / metabolism*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / physiology
  • Chloride Channels / genetics
  • Chloride Channels / metabolism
  • Drosophila Proteins / genetics
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism
  • FMRFamide / analogs & derivatives*
  • FMRFamide / genetics
  • FMRFamide / metabolism
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Hot Temperature / adverse effects*
  • Locomotion / physiology
  • Stress, Physiological / physiology*


  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • Chloride Channels
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • ort protein, Drosophila
  • FMRFamide