Worm Breeder's Gazette 10(1): 135
These abstracts should not be cited in bibliographies. Material contained herein should be treated as personal communication and should be cited as such only with the consent of the author.
We have accomplished a ten year long project aimed to learn whether competition between the juvenile hormone (JH) analogue methoprene (JHA) and precocenes (P's) (chromene derivatives capable to destruct the JH producing organ (CA) in sensitive insect species tissue specifically) in C. elegans (Fodor, et. al., Gen. Comp. Endcr. 46: p. 99 (1982)) can or cannot be explained by a comparable 'anti-JH' action of P's in nematodes. Neither JH or CA like organ has been discovered in nematodes so far. There are only a few indirect data showing that insect juvenile hormones may influence certain nematodes pathogenizing insects. We adopted a 'structure/activity' approach including design, synthesis and test P analogues on nematodes in the presence and absence of JHA. If (at least part of) those analogues which capable to destruct the CA of a sensitive insect (Locusta migratoria) were also effective in nematodes and their effect could be compensated by JHA exogenously, then this hormone (analogue) should play a physiological role in the P-poisoned nematodes. If those P's could be competed by JHA, which proved effective (as 'anti-JH' compounds) in insects, but those which exerted only aspecific toxicity could not be, then it would be logical to suggest, that P's are the same kind of 'suicide compounds' for nematodes as for insects. More than 200 P derivatives were synthesized (Tim r, Hosztafi) and tested on C. elegans (Fodor) and L. migratoria (Kiss). After a detailed quantitative structure/activity relation (QSAR) analysis ( Dinya, et. al., QSAR Strat. Des. Bioact. Compd. Proc. Eur. Symp. Struct.-Act. Relat. 5th (1984) Publ. 1985) several new P analogue were designed, synthesized and tested on L. migratoria and on C. remanei var. Bangaloriensis. (We choose this nematode strain because half of its population consists of males, therefore it is easy to distinguish male adultoids from other type of retarded worms.) Altogether, 121 molecules were retested C. remanei and 17 of them was found to exert some significant biological effect. These compounds were retested again several times both in the absence and in the presence of 1 mg/ml NGM dose of JHA: altogether, more that 144,000 C. remanei embryos were counted, treated and scored afterwards. The tests on nematodes were carried out as described in our attached paper. The most characteristic data concerning precocene activity in nematodes were the following: (1) LC50: the half lethal dose (in g/ml) at which half of the embryos develops to worms (calculated by probit analysis); (2) AD50: the dose ( g/ml) at which half of the embryos develops to normal adults; (3) EC50: the dose ( g/ml) at which half of the nematodes on the plates found as 'normal' fertile adults; (4) The maximum frequency of 'adultoid mini worms' during the experiments. [See Figures 1- 2] The main conclusions are the following: About structure/activity relations: (1) All the three (P1-P3) precocene is effective in nematodes and their effects can be compensated by exogenous JHA. (2) The longer the chain of the R7 substituent the less the effect of the compounds in nematodes. (3) The 7-proparglyoxy analogues are much more effective in nematodes than any other C7 substituted compound. (compare P1 to TT51; P2 to K460; P3 to TT80; TT56 to TT58 or 3,4-diCl-P1 (inactive) to FI121.) (4) The asymmetrically disubstituted analogues are much more effective than the symmetrically disubstituted ones (compare TT80 to K460). It is true, if R7 is longer than R6. (5) Me substitution at C5 position inactivates the originally potent P's (compare TT58 to TT51) but restore the activity of originally inactive (for instance, 7-sBuO-P1) analogues (compare it to TT56). 8-MeO substitution eliminate specific P activity (compare TT51 to K464). (6) Both 8-Me and 8-MeO substitution increase toxic rather than JH compatible biological activity of P's. 8-MeO analogues are more toxic than 8-Me ones, but the consequences of the action of 8-MeO compounds in nematodes can be cured more efficiently by JHA than those concerning 8-Me compounds (compare TT100 to K475). About JHA competition experiments: JHA competed the effects of all precocenes which effected both insects and nematodes. However, the data concerning K354 and FI121 show, that there are analogues which effective only in nematodes and their effects can also be cured by exogenous JHA. Although there are aspecifically toxic analogues (like K454 or 2,3,5-triMe-7 propargO-P1) which cannot be compensated by methoprene, we cannot conclude, that our data unambiguously support the idea of existence JH-like hormones in nematodes. It seems very probable, however, that JH-like compounds can interfere with the lethal metabolism of P's.