Ciliates of the genus Euplotes rely on the autocrine (self) and paracrine (non-self) activities of their water-borne protein pheromones to control the two fundamental phenomena of their life cycle, i.e. vegetative (mitotic) growth and sex manifested as cell union in mating pairs. We observed that cell aging determines the synthesis of increasing concentrations of pheromones that are oxidized at the level of methionine residues which are more exposed on the molecular surface. The oxidized form of the E. raikovi pheromone Er-1 was purified and its interactions with its source cells were shown no longer to be of autocrine type directed to promote cell growth, but changed to interactions of the paracrine type directed to induce cell unions in mating pairs of the selfing type (i.e. involving genetically identical cells). These pairs generate viable offspring, like pairs formed between genetically different cells. It was therefore concluded that aging cells may paradoxically gain beneficial effects from the synthesis of oxidized forms of their pheromones. By undergoing mating in response to the interactions with these forms, they can reinitiate a new life cycle and, in fact, rejuvenate.

Cell aging-induced methionine oxidation causes an autocrine toparacrine shift of the pheromone activity in the protozoan ciliate, Euplotes raikovi

ALIMENTI, Claudio;VALLESI, Adriana;LUPORINI, Pierangelo;
2012-01-01

Abstract

Ciliates of the genus Euplotes rely on the autocrine (self) and paracrine (non-self) activities of their water-borne protein pheromones to control the two fundamental phenomena of their life cycle, i.e. vegetative (mitotic) growth and sex manifested as cell union in mating pairs. We observed that cell aging determines the synthesis of increasing concentrations of pheromones that are oxidized at the level of methionine residues which are more exposed on the molecular surface. The oxidized form of the E. raikovi pheromone Er-1 was purified and its interactions with its source cells were shown no longer to be of autocrine type directed to promote cell growth, but changed to interactions of the paracrine type directed to induce cell unions in mating pairs of the selfing type (i.e. involving genetically identical cells). These pairs generate viable offspring, like pairs formed between genetically different cells. It was therefore concluded that aging cells may paradoxically gain beneficial effects from the synthesis of oxidized forms of their pheromones. By undergoing mating in response to the interactions with these forms, they can reinitiate a new life cycle and, in fact, rejuvenate.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11581/222060
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 8
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 8
social impact