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Nutritional requirements for pantothenate, pantethine or coenzyme A in the free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

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Caenorhabditis elegans is a free-living nematode cultured in an axenic medium, the Caenorhabditis elegans Maintenance Medium (CeMM), which contains B-vitamins, salts, amino acids, nucleic acid substituents, growth factors and glucose as an energy source. After initial experiments established that either pantothenate or pantethine would satisfy the vitamin B5 requirement in C. elegans, reproduction in the nematodes was measured in eight equimolar concentrations of calcium pantothenate, pantethine or coenzyme A. The optimal levels for pantothenate were found to be 7.5, 30 and 120 μg ml−1. The optimal levels for pantethine and coenzyme A were found to be 35 μg ml−1 and 100 μg ml−1, respectively. Among the three compounds, coenzyme A (at 100 μg/ml) supported a significantly greater population growth and, perhaps, is a more metabolically active form. Mild toxicity was demonstrated for pantothenate at 480μg ml−1, pantethine at 560 and 140 μg ml−1, and coenzyme A was found to exhibit toxicity at 410 and 1700 μg ml−1. Based on our results, we recommend that in the future the CeMM could be supplemented with pantothenate (7.5 μg ml−1) alone.


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