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Genetics. 2016 Mar;202(3):1071-83. doi: 10.1534/genetics.115.179127. Epub 2016 Jan 15.

Genetics of Lipid-Storage Management in Caenorhabditis elegans Embryos.

Author information

1
Department of Molecular Prevention, Institute of Human Nutrition and Food Science, Christian-Albrechts University of Kiel, 24118 Germany.
2
Institute of Genetics, Technical University (TU) Braunschweig, 38106 Germany.
3
Core Facility for Mass Spectrometry, Lipidomics and Metabolomics, Centre for Medical Research (ZMF), University of Graz, A-8010 Austria Omics Center Graz, A-8010 Austria.
4
Department of Molecular Prevention, Institute of Human Nutrition and Food Science, Christian-Albrechts University of Kiel, 24118 Germany sek@molprev.uni-kiel.de.

Abstract

Lipids play a pivotal role in embryogenesis as structural components of cellular membranes, as a source of energy, and as signaling molecules. On the basis of a collection of temperature-sensitive embryonic lethal mutants, a systematic database search, and a subsequent microscopic analysis of >300 interference RNA (RNAi)-treated/mutant worms, we identified a couple of evolutionary conserved genes associated with lipid storage in Caenorhabditis elegans embryos. The genes include cpl-1 (cathepsin L-like cysteine protease), ccz-1 (guanine nucleotide exchange factor subunit), and asm-3 (acid sphingomyelinase), which is closely related to the human Niemann-Pick disease-causing gene SMPD1. The respective mutant embryos accumulate enlarged droplets of neutral lipids (cpl-1) and yolk-containing lipid droplets (ccz-1) or have larger genuine lipid droplets (asm-3). The asm-3 mutant embryos additionally showed an enhanced resistance against C band ultraviolet (UV-C) light. Herein we propose that cpl-1, ccz-1, and asm-3 are genes required for the processing of lipid-containing droplets in C. elegans embryos. Owing to the high levels of conservation, the identified genes are also useful in studies of embryonic lipid storage in other organisms.

KEYWORDS:

C. elegans; embryo development; embryonic lipid droplets; essential genes; yolk

PMID:
26773047
PMCID:
PMC4788110
[Available on 2017-03-01]
DOI:
10.1534/genetics.115.179127
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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