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Transcriptional response of Caenorhabditis elegans when exposed to Shigella flexneri

Somasiri, Pamodha, Behm, Carolyn A., Adamski, Marcin, Wen, Jiayu, Verma, Naresh K.
Genomics 2020 v.112 no.1 pp. 774-781
Caenorhabditis elegans, Shigella flexneri, acyl coenzyme A, animal models, antioxidant activity, autophagy, beta oxidation, death, energy, enzymes, fatty acids, gene expression regulation, genes, intestines, organelles, pathogenesis, proteins, reactive oxygen species, sequence analysis, transcription (genetics)
In recent years, researchers have begun to use Caenorhabditis elegans as a potential animal model to study Shigella pathogenesis. This study aims to further develop this model using RNA-sequencing to understand which pathways/cellular characteristics are affected and potentially cause death in Shigella-exposed worms. We identified 1631 differentially expressed genes in Shigella-exposed worms (6 h exposure). A number of these genes encode proteins involved in fatty-acid β-oxidation (FAO), antioxidant defense and autophagy. The down-regulation of acyl-CoA dehydrogenases would impede FAO, reducing the overall energy to combat Shigella in the worm's intestinal tract. This is potentially coupled with the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that may not be fully quenched by antioxidant defense proteins, leading to damaged cellular organelles in the worm's intestinal cells. These cells may undergo autophagy to remove the mounting damage, but may eventually undergo cell death.