Identification of the pathway of Rhodoquinone biosynthesis in C. elegans [article]

Samantha Del Borrello, Margot Lautens, Kathleen Dolan, June H Tan, Mark Spensley, Amy Caudy, Andrew Fraser
2019 bioRxiv   pre-print
Parasitic helminths infect over a billion humans. To survive in the low oxygen environment of their hosts, these parasites use unusual anaerobic metabolism. This requires Rhodoquinone (RQ), an electron carrier that is made by very few animal species - crucially it is not present in any parasitic hosts. RQ synthesis is thus an ideal target for anthelmintics but little is known about how RQ is made and no drugs are known to block RQ synthesis. C. elegans makes RQ and can use RQ-dependent
more » ... -dependent metabolic pathways - here, we use C. elegans genetics to identify the pathway for RQ synthesis and show that C. elegans requires RQ for survival in hypoxic conditions. Finally, we establish a robust assay for drugs that block RQ-dependent metabolism. This study identifies for the first time how RQ is made in any animal and establishes a novel assay that can drive the development of a new class of anthelmintic drugs.
doi:10.1101/627737 fatcat:32ogteahpncylktpiznwbsh5aa