DOI: 10.1101/463984Nov 6, 2018Paper

Schistosoma mansoni does not and cannot oxidize fatty acids, but these are used for biosynthetic purposes instead

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Michiel L BexkensJaap J. van Hellemond

Abstract

Adult schistosomes, parasitic flatworms that cause the tropical disease schistosomiasis, have always been considered to be homolactic fermenters and in their energy metabolism strictly dependent on carbohydrates. However, more recent studies suggested that fatty acid β-oxidation is essential for egg production by adult female Schistosoma mansoni. To address this conundrum, we performed a comprehensive study on the lipid metabolism of S. mansoni. Incubations with [14C]-labelled fatty acids demonstrated that adults, eggs and miracidia of S. mansoni did not oxidize fatty acids, as no 14CO2 production could be detected. We then re-examined the S. mansoni genome using the genes known to be involved in fatty acid oxidation in six eukaryotic model reference species. This showed that the earlier automatically annotated genes for fatty acid oxidation were in fact incorrectly annotated. In a further analysis we could not detect any genes encoding β-oxidation enzymes, which demonstrates that S. mansoni cannot use this pathway in any of its lifecycle stages. The same was true for S. japonicum. Absence of β-oxidation, however, does not imply that fatty acids from the host are not metabolized by schistosomes. Adult schistosomes can use and m...Continue Reading

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