Developmental arrest in Caenorhabditis elegans dauer larvae causes high expression of enzymes involved in thymidylate biosynthesis, similar to that found in Trichinella muscle larvae
Crude extract specific activities of thymidylate synthase, dUTPase, thymidine kinase and dihydrofolate reductase were high during the development of Caenorhabditis elegans, the dauer larva activities being similar to those previously determined in Trichinella spiralis and T. pseudospiralis muscle larvae (with the exception of thymidine kinase, not detected in Trichinella). High thymidylate synthase expression in developmentally arrested larvae, demonstrated also at the mRNA and protein levels, is in agreement with a global cell cycle arrest of dauer larvae and indicates this unusual cell cycle regulation pattern can be shared by developmentally arrested larvae of C. elegans and the two Trichnella species. Hence, the phenomenon may be characteristic for developmentally arrested larvae of different nematodes, rather than specific for the parasitic Trichinella muscle larvae. Endogenous C. elegans thymidylate synthase was purified and its molecular properties compared with those of the recombinant protein, expression of the latter in E. coli cells confirming the NCBI database sequence identity.