Cochlioquinone A, isolated from the fungus Helminthosporium sativum, was found to have nematocidal activity. Cochlioquinone A is a competitive inhibitor of specific [3H]ivermectin binding suggesting that cochlioquinone A and ivermectin interact with the same membrane receptor.
Animals respond to signals and cues in their environment. The difference between a signal (e.g. a pheromone) and a cue (e.g. a waste product) is that the information content of a signal is subject to natural selection, whereas that of a cue is not. The model free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans forms an alternative developmental morph (the dauer larva) in response to a so-called 'dauer pheromone', produced by all worms. We suggest that the production of 'dauer pheromone' has no fitness advantage for an individual worm and therefore we propose that 'dauer pheromone' is not a signal, but a cue. Thus, it should not be called a pheromone.
Microfluidic devices offer new technical possibilities for a precise manipulation of Caenorhabditis elegans due to the comparable length scale. C. elegans is a small, free-living nematode worm that is a popular model system for genetic, genomic, and high-throughput experimental studies of animal development and neurobiology. In this paper, we demonstrate a microfluidic system in polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) for dispensing of a single C. elegans worm into a 96-well plate. It consists of two PDMS layers, a flow and a control layer. Using five microfluidic pneumatic valves in the control layer, a single worm is trapped upon optical detection with a pair of optical fibers integrated perpendicular to the constriction channel and then dispensed into a microplate well with a dispensing tip attached to a robotic handling system. Due to its simple design and facile fabrication, we expect that our microfluidic chip can be expanded to a multiplexed dispensation system of C. elegans worms for high-throughput drug screening.
A droplet-based microfluidic system integrating a droplet generator and a droplet trap array is described for encapsulating individual Caenorhabditis elegans into a parallel series of droplets, enabling characterization of the worm behavior in response to neurotoxin at single-animal resolution.
The pha-1 gene of Caenorhabditis elegans was originally heralded as a master regulator of organ differentiation. A new study suggests instead that pha-1 actually serves no role in development and instead is a component of a selfish genetic element.
A novel method to transform the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is described. DNA coprecipitated with gold particles is shot at worms by means of a helium beam. Transformed worms are either identified by a dominant visible marker or selected by a conditional lethal system.
Cellular invasion through protein matrices is a critical process during epithelial-mesenchymal transitions. A recent study of Caenorhabditis elegansvulval development reports a novel invasive mechanism in which cellscoordinate spatially restricted degradation and sliding of a basement membrane during cellular ingression and tissue formation.
A structure of residues 1-177 of the cyclophilin domain of a large divergent cyclophilin from the filarial nematode parasite Brugia malayi has been crystallised and solved in two different crystal forms. The active site has a similar structure to that of human cyclophilin A. Two of the 13 residues important in forming the human cyclophilin A/cyclosporin A complex are altered in the B. malayi cyclophilin and explain the relatively poor inhibition of peptidyl prolyl isomerase activity by cyclosporin A.
One of the pathologic hallmarks in Alzheimer's disease (AD) is extracellular senile plaques composed of amyloid- (A) fibrils. Blocking A self-assembly or disassembling A aggregates by small molecules would be potential therapeutic strategies to treat AD. In this study, we synthesized a series of rationally designed divalent compounds and examined their effects on A fibrillization. A divalent amide (2) derived from two molecules of caffeic acid with a propylenediamine linker of 5.0A in length, which is close to the distance of adjacent sheets in A fibrils, showed good potency to inhibit A(1-42) fibrillization. Furthermore, compound 2 effectively dissociated the A(1-42) preformed fibrils. The cytotoxicity induced by A(1-42) aggregates in human neuroblastoma was reduced in the presence of 2, and feeding 2 to A transgenic C.elegans rescued the paralysis phenotype. In addition, the binding and stoichiometry of 2 to A(1-40) were demonstrated by using electrospray ionization-traveling wave ion mobility-mass spectrometry, while molecular dynamic simulation was conducted to gain structural insights into the A(1-40)-2 complex.
A functional genomic approach, based on systematic data gathering, was used to characterize a family of proteins containing a tripartite motif (TRIM). A total of 37 TRIM genes/proteins were studied, 21 of which were novel. The results demonstrate that TRIM proteins share a common function: by means of homo-multimerization they identify specific cell compartments.