The neuromuscular junction serves widely as a modelsynapse for both the study of synaptic development and synaptic transmission. We are now attempting to understand the molecular events that underlie these processes. One approach to the study of the neuromuscular junction is to analyse mutants of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We review the motor circuit in the worm responsible for locomotion, the development of the C. elegans neuromuscular junction, and the gene products required for the functioning of nematode synapses. This genetic approach has both identified novel components of the neuromuscular junction and has ascertained the in-vivo roles of biochemically-defined components that regulate neuromuscular transmission and development.
- Caenorhabditis elegans
- development of neuromuscular junction
- genetic analysis