C. elegans Cuticle Isolation Service

The C. elegans cuticle is the animal's external skeleton and plays important roles in the maintenance of body morphology and integrity, protecting the animal from the external environment and animal's motility. The stratum corneum is an extracellular matrix (ECM) composed primarily of extensively cross-linked collagen. As an absolute proportion of cuticle, the collagens are widely studied, involving its associated genes and the process of biosynthesis. At CD BioSciences, we provide high-quality C. elegans cuticle isolation services to offer customers further insight into C. elegans ' cuticle collagen content and other related research topics.

The Structure and Composition of C. elegans Cuticle

The C. elegans cuticle is a multifunctional exoskeleton that serves as a relatively impermeable barrier between the worm and its environment, determining not only the shape of the worm, but also orienting the animal for movement. During the development of the nematode, the cuticle is synthesized five times in total, including the first time in the embryo and the other four times at the end of larval stages. The cuticle is a highly complex structured ECM, which predominantly consists of cross-linked collagens, additional insoluble proteins (cuticlins) and relevant glycoproteins and lipids. The cuticle surrounding the main body of the nematode can be divided into the dorsal and ventral regions and further exhibits a gross multilayered ultrastructure that varies in detail at different developmental stages. Besides, there are narrow lateral regions overlying the seam cells where longitudinal ridges are termed as alae, which are distinct from protein composition and ultrastructure of the cuticle.

The organization and structure of the C. elegans cuticle.Fig.1 The organization and structure of the C. elegans cuticle. (Page A P, et al., 2007)

The major component of the C. elegans cuticle is collagen, a structural protein that is ubiquitous. The C. elegans genome contains approximately 50-150 genes encoding collagen, most of which are thought to encode cuticular collagen. At present, mutants of 21 of the cuticle collagen genes have been identified, involving a number of informative body morphology defects.

Our Services

The cuticle of C. elegans not only serves as a protective barrier between the animal and its environment, but also as an exoskeleton that maintains and defines the normal shape of C. elegans. The C. elegans cuticle can be isolated largely intact and free of all cellular material through treatment with 1% sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) and sonication. At CD BioSciences, the methods we use to isolate C. elegans cuticle include, but are not limited to:

  • Alkaline Hypochlorite Treatment
  • Detergent Treatment
  • Enzymatic Digestion
  • Mechanical Disruption
  • Freezing and Thawing

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CD BioSciences is a trusted partner dedicated to advancing research by providing customized solutions and innovative products for C. elegans research to clients worldwide. All of our deliverables will undergo rigorous quality testing and be delivered on time. If you are interested in our services or have any other questions, please feel free to contact us.


  1. Johnstone I L. The cuticle of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans: a complex collagen structure[J]. Bioessays, 1994, 16(3): 171-178.
  2. Page A P, Johnstone I J. The cuticle[J]. WormBook, 2007.
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