DBL-1/TGF-β signaling in C. elegans: trafficking and responses

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Introduction: Transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) comprises a conserved family of secreted cell signaling proteins responsible for regulating numerous cellular processes. In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, one TGF-β is DBL-1. Secretion of TGF-β from sending cells is a process that is not well understood for any TGF-β. It is also unclear how TGF-β signaling plays a role in organismal responses to various external factors. Methods: First, we characterized DBL-1 trafficking and responses. Second, we determined how the nematode surface barrier is affected by DBL-1 signaling. Third, we analyzed toxicity of three nanocarrier and two potential anti-cancer compounds to C. elegans. Results & Conclusions: We discovered UNC-108 and CAV-1 are involved in trafficking DBL-1. Next, we identified changes in surface barrier, which can be exploited for anthelmintic therapy. Lastly, we established the lack of toxicity of five compounds to C. elegans, which supports their further testing in higher organisms.

C. elegans, dbl-1, TGF-β, trafficking, unc-108, cav-1, colocalization, behavioral assay