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Gene Review

nsy-1  -  Neuronal Symmetry

Caenorhabditis elegans

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Disease relevance of nsy-1

  • A genetic screen for Caenorhabditis elegans mutants with enhanced susceptibility to killing by Pseudomonas aeruginosa led to the identification of two genes required for pathogen resistance: sek-1, which encodes a mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase kinase, and nsy-1, which encodes a MAP kinase kinase kinase [1].

High impact information on nsy-1

  • Based on genetic epistasis analysis, nsy-1 appears to act downstream of the CaMKII unc-43, and NSY-1 associates with UNC-43, suggesting that UNC-43/CaMKII activates the NSY-1 MAP kinase cassette [2].
  • Here we describe the isolation of a mutant, ky542, with specific defects in odour discrimination and odour chemotaxis. ky542 is an allele of nsy-1, a neuronal symmetry, or Nsy, mutant in which STR-2 is expressed in both AWC neurons [3].
  • Enhanced susceptibility to S. aureus killing was observed with loss-of-function mutations in the C. elegans genes esp-2/sek-1 and esp-8/nsy-1, which encode components of a conserved p38 MAP kinase signaling pathway involved in nematode defense against multiple pathogens [4].


  1. A conserved p38 MAP kinase pathway in Caenorhabditis elegans innate immunity. Kim, D.H., Feinbaum, R., Alloing, G., Emerson, F.E., Garsin, D.A., Inoue, H., Tanaka-Hino, M., Hisamoto, N., Matsumoto, K., Tan, M.W., Ausubel, F.M. Science (2002) [Pubmed]
  2. The CaMKII UNC-43 activates the MAPKKK NSY-1 to execute a lateral signaling decision required for asymmetric olfactory neuron fates. Sagasti, A., Hisamoto, N., Hyodo, J., Tanaka-Hino, M., Matsumoto, K., Bargmann, C.I. Cell (2001) [Pubmed]
  3. C. elegans odour discrimination requires asymmetric diversity in olfactory neurons. Wes, P.D., Bargmann, C.I. Nature (2001) [Pubmed]
  4. Caenorhabditis elegans as a model host for Staphylococcus aureus pathogenesis. Sifri, C.D., Begun, J., Ausubel, F.M., Calderwood, S.B. Infect. Immun. (2003) [Pubmed]
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