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Nat Cell Biol. 2003 Aug;5(8):684-8.

Why do worms need cholesterol?

Author information

1
Max Planck Institute for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Dresden, D-01307, Germany. kurzchalia@mpi-cbg.de

Abstract

Cholesterol is a structural component of animal membranes that influences fluidity, permeability and formation of lipid microdomains. It is also a precursor to signalling molecules, including mammalian steroid hormones and insect ecdysones. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans requires too little cholesterol for it to have a major role in membrane structure. Instead, its most probable signalling functions are to control molting and induce a specialized non-feeding larval stage, although no cholesterol-derived signalling molecule has yet been identified for these or any other functions.

PMID:
12894170
DOI:
10.1038/ncb0803-684
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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