A Genome-Scale Database and Reconstruction of Caenorhabditis elegans Metabolism

Cell Syst. 2016 May 25;2(5):312-22. doi: 10.1016/j.cels.2016.04.017. Epub 2016 May 19.


We present a genome-scale model of Caenorhabditis elegans metabolism along with the public database ElegCyc (http://elegcyc.bioinf.uni-jena.de:1100), which represents a reference for metabolic pathways in the worm and allows for the visualization as well as analysis of omics datasets. Our model reflects the metabolic peculiarities of C. elegans that make it distinct from other higher eukaryotes and mammals, including mice and humans. We experimentally verify one of these peculiarities by showing that the lifespan-extending effect of L-tryptophan supplementation is dose dependent (hormetic). Finally, we show the utility of our model for analyzing omics datasets through predicting changes in amino acid concentrations after genetic perturbations and analyzing metabolic changes during normal aging as well as during two distinct, reactive oxygen species (ROS)-related lifespan-extending treatments. Our analyses reveal a notable similarity in metabolic adaptation between distinct lifespan-extending interventions and point to key pathways affecting lifespan in nematodes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • Caenorhabditis elegans*
  • Databases, Genetic*
  • Genome
  • Hormesis
  • Humans
  • Longevity
  • Mice
  • Reactive Oxygen Species


  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • Reactive Oxygen Species