Juvenile female Litomosoides sigmodontis secrete a protein (Juv-p120) highly modified with dimethylethanolamine (DMAE). In an attempt to establish the source of this decoration worms were pulsed with [3H]-choline and [3H]-ethanolamine and the radio-isotope labelled products analysed. Both isotope labels were successfully taken up by the worms, as demonstrated by labelling of phospholipids with [3H]-choline, being predominantly incorporated into phosphatidylcholine and [3H]-ethanolamine into phosphatidylethanolamine. Isotope labelling of phosphatidylethanolamine was particularly striking with the worms taking up ~30 times as much labelled ethanolamine as choline. It was possible to detect faint labelling of Juv-p120 with [3H]-ethanolamine after prolonged exposure periods but, unlike the situation with the phospholipids, it was much more readily labelled with [3H]-choline. When pulsing with [3H]-ethanolamine it was also possible to detect isotope-labelled phosphatidylcholine, which may ultimately account for the low levels of labelling of Juv-p120. Overall our results raise the previously unconsidered but intriguing possibility that in L. sigmodontis, choline may be the precursor of DMAE.
- filarial nematode
Houston, K. M., Babayan, S. A., Allen, J. E., & Harnett, W. (2009). Does Litomosoides sigmodontis synthesize dimethylethanolamine from choline? Parasitology, 135(1), 55-61. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0031182007003642