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Gene Review

ace-1  -  Protein ACE-1

Caenorhabditis elegans

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Disease relevance of ace-1


High impact information on ace-1


Biological context of ace-1

  • This fragment mapped to chromosome X at a position that perfectly matched the location of ace-1 previously determined by genetic methods [1].
  • Clear homologues of ace-1 and ace-2 have now been isolated from a variety of parasitic nematodes, and the predicted proteins have very similar C-terminal amino acid sequences, implying an analogous means of anchorage to membranes [6].
  • The gene ace-1 has been mapped near the right end of the X chromosome [7].
  • ace-1 and ace-2 genes encoding acetylcholinesterase in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans present 35% identity in coding sequences but no homology in noncoding regions (introns, 5'- and 3'-untranslated regions) [8].
  • When green fluorescent protein (GFP) expression was driven by this regulatory region, the resulting pattern was distinct from that of ace-1 [8].

Anatomical context of ace-1

  • Based on the analysis of genetic mosaics, we conclude that in the absence of ace-2 and ace-3 function, the expression of ace-1(+) in muscle cells, but not in neurons, is essential for postembryonic viability [3].
  • Significant decreases were detected in both SP immunoreactivity and AChE activity on days 6 and 10 postinfection (PI) in nematode-infected guinea pig jejunum compared to uninfected controls [9].

Associations of ace-1 with chemical compounds

  • Acetylcholine (ACh) is one of an array of neurotransmitters used by invertebrates and, analogous to vertebrate nervous systems, acetylcholinesterase (AChE) regulates synaptic levels of this transmitter [10].
  • Here, we describe the isolation and characterization of a cDNA encoding a putative neuromuscular AChE from D. viviparus which contains a tryptophan amphiphilic tetramerization (WAT) domain at its C-terminus analogous to the common 'tailed' AChE form found in the neuromuscular systems of vertebrates and in the ACE-1 AChE from Caenorhabditis elegans [10].
  • As for the former enzyme, AChE C is truncated at the carboxyl terminus in comparison with the Torpedo AChE, and three of the 14 aromatic residues that line the active site gorge are substituted by nonaromatic residues, corresponding to Tyr70 (Ser), Trp279 (Asn) and Phe288 (Met) [11].
  • In the first hour after antigen challenge with 0.5 mg nematode AChE there was a very sharp rise in Ch mainly from agonist-stimulated and phospholipase mediated phosphatidylcholine (PC) breakdown [12].

Regulatory relationships of ace-1

  • A null mutation in ace-1 (allele p1000) suppresses all acetylcholinesterase activity of class A. We have identified an opal mutation TGG (W99)-->TGA (Stop) as the only alteration in the mutated gene [13].

Other interactions of ace-1


Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of ace-1

  • The pattern of ace-1 expression was established through microinjection of Green Fluorescent Protein reporter gene constructs and showed a major mesodermal expression [14].
  • Northern blot analysis indicated a progressive increase in mRNA for AChE B in parasites isolated from 6 days postinfection [15].
  • The molecular weights of the AChE from the different species, estimated by gel filtration (Sephadex S300HR), ranged between 64 and 150 kDa [16].


  1. cDNA sequence, gene structure, and in vitro expression of ace-1, the gene encoding acetylcholinesterase of class A in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Arpagaus, M., Fedon, Y., Cousin, X., Chatonnet, A., Bergé, J.B., Fournier, D., Toutant, J.P. J. Biol. Chem. (1994) [Pubmed]
  2. Muscle-specific expression of a gene affecting acetylcholinesterase in the nematode caenorhabditis elegans. Herman, R.K., Kari, C.K. Cell (1985) [Pubmed]
  3. The acetylcholinesterase genes of C. elegans: identification of a third gene (ace-3) and mosaic mapping of a synthetic lethal phenotype. Johnson, C.D., Rand, J.B., Herman, R.K., Stern, B.D., Russell, R.L. Neuron (1988) [Pubmed]
  4. Nematode acetylcholinesterases: molecular forms and their potential role in nematode behavior. Opperman, C.H., Chang, S. Parasitol. Today (Regul. Ed.) (1992) [Pubmed]
  5. Four genes encode acetylcholinesterases in the nematodes Caenorhabditis elegans and Caenorhabditis briggsae. cDNA sequences, genomic structures, mutations and in vivo expression. Combes, D., Fedon, Y., Grauso, M., Toutant, J.P., Arpagaus, M. J. Mol. Biol. (2000) [Pubmed]
  6. Nematode acetylcholinesterases are encoded by multiple genes and perform non-overlapping functions. Selkirk, M.E., Lazari, O., Hussein, A.S., Matthews, J.B. Chem. Biol. Interact. (2005) [Pubmed]
  7. An acetylcholinesterase-deficient mutant of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Johnson, C.D., Duckett, J.G., Culotti, J.G., Herman, R.K., Meneely, P.M., Russell, R.L. Genetics (1981) [Pubmed]
  8. Multiple ace genes encoding acetylcholinesterases of Caenorhabditis elegans have distinct tissue expression. Combes, D., Fedon, Y., Toutant, J.P., Arpagaus, M. Eur. J. Neurosci. (2003) [Pubmed]
  9. Altered neuropeptide content and cholinergic enzymatic activity in the inflamed guinea pig jejunum during parasitism. Palmer, J.M., Koch, T.R. Neuropeptides (1995) [Pubmed]
  10. A tryptophan amphiphilic tetramerization domain-containing acetylcholinesterase from the bovine lungworm, Dictyocaulus viviparus. Matthews, J.B., Lazari, O., Davidson, A.J., Warren, S., Selkirk, M.E. Parasitology (2006) [Pubmed]
  11. Determinants of substrate specificity of a second non-neuronal secreted acetylcholinesterase from the parasitic nematode Nippostrongylus brasiliensis. Hussein, A.S., Smith, A.M., Chacón, M.R., Selkirk, M.E. Eur. J. Biochem. (2000) [Pubmed]
  12. Origin and significance of acetylcholine and choline in plasma and serum from normal and paretic cows. Axelsson, S. Zentralblatt für Veterinärmedizin. Reihe A. (1991) [Pubmed]
  13. Characterization of a null mutation in ace-1, the gene encoding class A acetylcholinesterase in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Talesa, V., Culetto, E., Schirru, N., Bernardi, H., Fedon, Y., Toutant, J.P., Arpagaus, M. FEBS Lett. (1995) [Pubmed]
  14. Structure and promoter activity of the 5' flanking region of ace-1, the gene encoding acetylcholinesterase of class A in Caenorhabditis elegans. Culetto, E., Combes, D., Fedon, Y., Roig, A., Toutant, J.P., Arpagaus, M. J. Mol. Biol. (1999) [Pubmed]
  15. Cloning, expression, and properties of a nonneuronal secreted acetylcholinesterase from the parasitic nematode Nippostrongylus brasiliensis. Hussein, A.S., Chacón, M.R., Smith, A.M., Tosado-Acevedo, R., Selkirk, M.E. J. Biol. Chem. (1999) [Pubmed]
  16. Characterization of acetylcholinesterase secreted by the trichostrongyle nematode parasites of ruminants. Mallet, S., Huby, F., Hoste, H. Vet. Res. (1997) [Pubmed]
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