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Nat Chem Biol. 2019 May;15(5):480-488. doi: 10.1038/s41589-019-0249-y. Epub 2019 Mar 25.

Molybdenum cofactor transfer from bacteria to nematode mediates sulfite detoxification.

Author information

1
Department of Molecular Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.
2
Department of Molecular Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA. ruvkun@molbio.mgh.harvard.edu.

Abstract

The kingdoms of life share many small molecule cofactors and coenzymes. Molybdenum cofactor (Moco) is synthesized by many archaea, bacteria, and eukaryotes, and is essential for human development. The genome of Caenorhabditis elegans contains all of the Moco biosynthesis genes, and surprisingly these genes are not essential if the animals are fed a bacterial diet that synthesizes Moco. C. elegans lacking both endogenous Moco synthesis and dietary Moco from bacteria arrest development, demonstrating interkingdom Moco transfer. Our screen of Escherichia coli mutants identifies genes necessary for synthesis of bacterial Moco or transfer to C. elegans. Developmental arrest of Moco-deficient C. elegans is caused by loss of sulfite oxidase, a Moco-requiring enzyme, and is suppressed by mutations in either C. elegans cystathionine gamma-lyase or cysteine dioxygenase, blocking toxic sulfite production from cystathionine. Thus, we define the genetic pathways for an interkingdom dialogue focused on sulfur homeostasis.

PMID:
30911177
PMCID:
PMC6470025
[Available on 2019-11-01]
DOI:
10.1038/s41589-019-0249-y

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