A putative cyclic nucleotide-gated channel is required for sensory development and function in C. elegans

Neuron. 1996 Oct;17(4):695-706. doi: 10.1016/s0896-6273(00)80201-9.


In vertebrate visual and olfactory systems, a cyclic nucleotide-gated channel couples receptor activation to electrical activity of the sensory neurons. The Caenorhabditis elegans tax-2 gene is required for some forms of olfaction, for chemosensation of salts, and for thermosensation. We show here that tax-2 encodes a predicted subunit of a cyclic nucleotide-gated channel that is expressed in olfactory, gustatory, and thermosensory neurons, implicating this channel in multiple sensory modalities. Some sensory neurons display axon outgrowth defects in tax-2 mutants. Thus, the channel has an unexpected role in sensory neuron development in addition to its role in sensation. Consistent with this proposed dual function, a Tax-2::GFP fusion protein is present both in sensory cilia and in sensory axons.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Axons / physiology*
  • Axons / ultrastructure
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / classification
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / physiology*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins*
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Genes, Helminth
  • Ion Channels / chemistry
  • Ion Channels / genetics
  • Ion Channels / physiology*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutagenesis
  • Neurons, Afferent / physiology*
  • Phylogeny
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Salts
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Temperature


  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • Ion Channels
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Salts
  • tax-2 protein, C elegans

Associated data

  • GENBANK/U73476