How do nematodes transfer phosphorylcholine to carbohydrates?

W. Harnett, J. Rzepecka, K.M. Houston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
132 Downloads (Pure)


An unusual aspect of the biology of nematodes is the attachment of phosphorylcholine (PC) to carbohydrate. The attachment appears to play an important role in nematode development and, in some parasitic species, in immunomodulation. This article considers the nature of the biosynthetic pathway of nematode PC-containing glycoconjugates and, in particular, the identity of the final component in the pathway - the enzyme that transfers PC to carbohydrate (the 'PC transferase'). We offer the opinion that the PC transferase could be a member of the fukutin family (fukutin refers to the mutated gene product that causes Fukuyama congenital muscular dystrophy), a group of enzymes with apparent phosphoryl-ligand transferase activity that are found in organisms ranging from bacteria to humans.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-118
Number of pages5
JournalTrends in Parasitology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010


  • nematodes
  • phosphorylcholine
  • carbohydrates


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