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Development. 2018 Jul 2;145(13). pii: dev166272. doi: 10.1242/dev.166272.

Two independent sulfation processes regulate mouth-form plasticity in the nematode Pristionchus pacificus.

Author information

1
Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Department for Integrative Evolutionary Biology, Max-Planck-Ring 9, 72076 Tuebingen, Germany.
2
Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Department for Integrative Evolutionary Biology, Max-Planck-Ring 9, 72076 Tuebingen, Germany ralf.sommer@tuebingen.mpg.de.

Abstract

Sulfation of biomolecules, like phosphorylation, is one of the most fundamental and ubiquitous biochemical modifications with important functions during detoxification. This process is reversible, involving two enzyme classes: a sulfotransferase, which adds a sulfo group to a substrate; and a sulfatase that removes the sulfo group. However, unlike phosphorylation, the role of sulfation in organismal development is poorly understood. In this study, we find that two independent sulfation events regulate the development of mouth morphology in the nematode Pristionchus pacificus. This nematode has the ability to form two alternative mouth morphologies depending on environmental cues, an example of phenotypic plasticity. We found that, in addition to a previously described sulfatase, a sulfotransferase is involved in regulating the mouth-form dimorphism in P. pacificus However, it is unlikely that both of these sulfation-associated enzymes act upon the same substrates, as they are expressed in different cell types. Furthermore, animals mutant in genes encoding both enzymes show condition-dependent epistatic interactions. Thus, our study highlights the role of sulfation-associated enzymes in phenotypic plasticity of mouth structures in Pristionchus.

KEYWORDS:

Developmental plasticity; Developmental switch gene; Eud-1/sulfatase; Pristionchus pacificus; Sulfotransferases

PMID:
29967123
DOI:
10.1242/dev.166272
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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