Caenorhabditis elegans utilizes dauer pheromone biosynthesis to dispose of toxic peroxisomal fatty acids for cellular homoeostasis

Hyoe Jin Joo, Yong Hyeon Yim, Pan Young Jeong, You Xun Jin, Jeong Eui Lee, Heekyeong Kim, Seul Ki Jeong, David J. Chitwood, Young Ki Paik

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Caenorhabditis elegans excretes a dauer pheromone or daumone composed of ascarylose and a fatty acid side chain, the perception of which enables worms to enter the dauer state for longterm survival in an adverse environment. During the course of elucidation of the daumone biosynthetic pathway in which DHS-28 and DAF-22 are involved in peroxisomal β-oxidation of VLCFAs (very long-chain fatty acids), we sought to investigate the physiological consequences of a deficiency in daumone biosynthesis in C. elegans. Our results revealed that two mutants, dhs-28(tm2581) and daf-22(ok693), lacked daumones and thus were dauer defective; this coincided with massive accumulation of fatty acyl-CoAs (up to 100-fold) inside worm bodies compared with levels in wild-type N2 worms. Furthermore, the deficiency in daumone biosynthesis and the massive accumulation of fatty acids and their acyl-CoAs caused severe developmental defects with reduced life spans (up to 30%), suggesting that daumone biosynthesis is be an essential part of C. elegans homoeostasis, affecting survival and maintenance of optimal physiological conditions by metabolizing some of the toxic non-permissible peroxisomal VLCFAs from the worm body in the form of readily excretable daumones.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-71
Number of pages11
JournalBiochemical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Aug 15


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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