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How do nematodes transfer phosphorylcholine to carbohydrates?

Harnett, W. and Rzepecka, J. and Houston, K.M. (2010) How do nematodes transfer phosphorylcholine to carbohydrates? Trends in Parasitology, 26 (3). pp. 114-118. ISSN 1471-4922

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Abstract

An unusual aspect of the biology of nematodes is the attachment of phosphorylcholine (PC) to carbohydrate. The attachment appears to play an important role in nematode development and, in some parasitic species, in immunomodulation. This article considers the nature of the biosynthetic pathway of nematode PC-containing glycoconjugates and, in particular, the identity of the final component in the pathway - the enzyme that transfers PC to carbohydrate (the 'PC transferase'). We offer the opinion that the PC transferase could be a member of the fukutin family (fukutin refers to the mutated gene product that causes Fukuyama congenital muscular dystrophy), a group of enzymes with apparent phosphoryl-ligand transferase activity that are found in organisms ranging from bacteria to humans.