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Dopamine receptor DOP-1 engages a sleep pathway to modulate swimming in C. elegans

By Ye Xu, Lin Zhang, Yan Liu, Irini Topalidou, Cera Hassinan, Michael Ailion, Zhenqiang Zhao, Tan Wang, Zhibin Chen, Jihong Bai

Posted 18 Feb 2021
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.02.17.431715

Animals require robust yet flexible programs to support locomotion. While it is clear that a variety of processes must be engaged to ensure rhythmic actions, the exact mechanisms remain largely unknown. Here we report a novel pathway that connects the D1-like dopamine receptor DOP-1 with a sleep mechanism to modulate swimming in C. elegans. We show that DOP-1 plays a negative role in sustaining swimming behavior. By contrast, a pathway through the D2 like dopamine receptor DOP-3 negatively regulates the initiation of swimming, but its impact fades quickly over a few minutes. We find that DOP-1 and the GPCR kinase GRK-2 function in the sleep interneuron RIS, where DOP-1 modulates the secretion of a sleep neuropeptide FLP-11. Our genetic studies further show that DOP-1 and FLP-11 act in the same pathway to modulate swimming. Together, these results delineate a functional connection between a dopamine receptor and a sleep program to regulate swimming in C. elegans. The temporal transition between DOP-3 and DOP-1 pathways highlights the dynamic nature of neuromodulation for rhythmic movements that persist over time.

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