Keeping the balance of cellular osmotic is an essential prerequisite for cellular life. Cellular osmotic homeostasis is determined by the accumulation and loss of inorganic ions and organic osmolytes. When an organism or tissue is exposed to the damaging effects of high osmolarity, intracellular water rapidly diffuses across cell membranes, leading to an intracellular ionic imbalance, and following protein damage by aggregation. C. elegans normally lives in the soil, where it can be exposed to constant and extreme osmotic stress conditions. Additionally, C. elegans has numerous experimental advantages. Therefore, the worm provides a powerful model system to characterize the genetic basis of animal cell osmoregulation.
The natural soil environment is full of challenges of wide and rapid change of osmolarity. Due to a high surface-to-volume ratio, low gut and cuticle water permeability, C. elegans are particularly vulnerable to osmotic stress and have the ability to survive extreme conditions. Previous studies indicated that C. elegans can readily adapt to growth media containing 21~500 mM NaCl, and there exist two independent mechanisms that depend on different stress conditions. It has been reported that GPDH-1 (a glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase) induced glycerol synthesis rapidly increases to attenuate the damaging effects of high osmolarity, which is a typical effect of hyperosmotic stress in cells. The response is mediated by GPDH-1, and its activation occurs rapidly and at relatively low levels of salt (200 mM NaCl). Another mechanism is mediated with the osmotically induced accumulation of damaged proteins, which occurs only at high salt concentrations (>500 mM NaCl) and takes approximately 1 h. The accumulation of damaged proteins is an important feature of diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Insight into the molecular mechanisms in C. elegans may help to unravel these complex phenotypes genetically and screen for potential Alzheimer's and Parkinson's therapeutics.
CD BioSciences focuses on the stress model system to help our customers to insight into the genetic and molecular mechanisms underlying osmotic stress-associated human diseases, including Alzheimer' and Parkinson' diseases. Additionally, our customers can consult with our experts to design the best solution according to your specific requirements. Please feel free to contact us if you would like to know more about C. elegans osmotic stress service.
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