Dopamine signaling modulates voluntary movement and reward-driven behaviors by acting through G protein-coupled receptors in striatal neurons, and defects in dopamine signaling underlie Parkinson's disease and drug addiction. Despite the importance of understanding how dopamine modifies the activity of striatal neurons to control basal ganglia output, the molecular mechanisms that control dopamine signaling remain largely unclear. Dopamine signaling also controls locomotion behavior in Caenorhabditis elegans. To better understand how dopamine acts in the brain we performed a large-scale dsRNA interference screen in C. elegans for genes required for endogenous dopamine signaling and identified six genes (eat-16, rsbp-1, unc-43, flp-1, grk-1, and cat-1) required for dopamine-mediated behavior. We then used a combination of mutant analysis and cell-specific transgenic rescue experiments to investigate the functional interaction between the proteins encoded by two of these genes, eat-16 and rsbp-1, within single cell types and to examine their role in the modulation of dopamine receptor signaling. We found that EAT-16 and RSBP-1 act together to modulate dopamine signaling and that while they are coexpressed with both D1-like and D2-like dopamine receptors, they do not modulate D2 receptor signaling. Instead, EAT-16 and RSBP-1 act together to selectively inhibit D1 dopamine receptor signaling in cholinergic motor neurons to modulate locomotion behavior. © 2012 Wani et al.
Wani, K. A., Catanese, M., Normantowicz, R., Herd, M., Maher, K. N., & Chase, D. L. (2012). D1 dopamine receptor signaling is modulated by the R7 RGS protein EAT-16 and the R7 binding protein RSBP-1 in Caenoerhabditis elegans motor neurons. PLoS ONE, 7(5). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0037831