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A role for Ras in inhibiting circular foraging behavior as revealed by a new method for time and cell-specific RNAi

Overview of attention for article published in BMC Biology, January 2015
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  • Above-average Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (64th percentile)

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A role for Ras in inhibiting circular foraging behavior as revealed by a new method for time and cell-specific RNAi
Published in
BMC Biology, January 2015
DOI 10.1186/s12915-015-0114-8
Pubmed ID

Masayuki Hamakawa, Takayuki Uozumi, Naoko Ueda, Yuichi Iino, Takaaki Hirotsu


BackgroundThe nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans, in which loss-of-function mutants and RNA interference (RNAi) models are available, is a model organism useful for analyzing effects of genes on various life phenomena, including behavior. In particular, RNAi is a powerful tool that enables time- or cell-specific knockdown via heat shock-inducible RNAi or cell-specific RNAi. However, conventional RNAi is insufficient for investigating pleiotropic genes with various sites of action and life stage-dependent functions.ResultsHere, we investigated the Ras gene for its role in exploratory behavior in C. elegans. We found that, under poor environmental conditions, mutations in the Ras-MAPK signaling pathway lead to circular locomotion instead of normal exploratory foraging. Spontaneous foraging is regulated by a neural circuit composed of three classes of neurons: IL1, OLQ, and RMD, and we found that Ras functions in this neural circuit to modulate the direction of locomotion. We further observed that Ras plays an essential role in the regulation of GLR-1 glutamate receptor localization in RMD neurons. To investigate the temporal- and cell-specific profiles of the functions of Ras, we developed a new RNAi method that enables simultaneous time- and cell-specific knockdown. In this method, one RNA strand is expressed by a cell-specific promoter and the other by a heat shock promoter, resulting in only expression of double-stranded RNA in the target cell when heat shock is induced. This technique revealed that control of GLR-1 localization in RMD neurons requires Ras at the adult stage. Further, we demonstrated the application of this method to other genes.ConclusionsWe have established a new RNAi method that performs simultaneous time- and cell-specific knockdown and have applied this to reveal temporal profiles of the Ras-MAPK pathway in the control of exploratory behavior under poor environmental conditions.

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Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 46 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Japan 1 2%
Hungary 1 2%
Unknown 44 96%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Researcher 16 35%
Student > Ph. D. Student 7 15%
Student > Master 5 11%
Student > Bachelor 4 9%
Other 4 9%
Other 6 13%
Unknown 4 9%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 22 48%
Neuroscience 7 15%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 7 15%
Medicine and Dentistry 3 7%
Immunology and Microbiology 1 2%
Other 3 7%
Unknown 3 7%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 3. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 26 January 2015.
All research outputs
of 14,224,436 outputs
Outputs from BMC Biology
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Outputs of similar age
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Outputs of similar age from BMC Biology
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Altmetric has tracked 14,224,436 research outputs across all sources so far. This one is in the 47th percentile – i.e., 47% of other outputs scored the same or lower than it.
So far Altmetric has tracked 1,239 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 18.7. This one is in the 25th percentile – i.e., 25% of its peers scored the same or lower than it.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 281,039 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 64% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 2 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has scored higher than all of them