Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: August 4, 2010
Publication Date: September 19, 2010
Citation: Chitwood, D.J., Paik, Y-K., 2010. Roles of steroids in nematodes [abstract]. Proceedings, 30th International Symposium of the European Society of Nematologists. p. 59.
The inability of nematodes to biosynthesize steroids de novo and the resulting dependence of parasitic nematodes upon their hosts have enhanced the importance of elucidating the metabolism of sterols and the hormonal and other functions of steroids in nematodes. Biochemical research has revealed that several nematode species partially degrade or dealkylate the side chains of plant sterols to produce sterols more typically associated with animals. The discovery of inhibitors of the nematode sterol dealkylation pathway, such as 25-azacoprostane, has revealed the critical importance of steroids in nematode growth, reproduction and development. Proteomic analysis of azacoprostane-treated Caenorhabditis elegans has revealed several proteins that may be responsible for these effects. Additionally, some nematode species such as Caenorhabditis elegans introduce a methyl group at the C-4 position of the sterol nucleus via a process unknown elsewhere in nature. Recent molecular approaches have indicated that methylation of the steroid nucleus by this C. elegans 4-methyltransferase is critically involved in dauer formation.