Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

  • News & Views
  • Published:

From eye of newt to chemical structure

Formation of the dauer diapause stage in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has been the subject of intensive study over the past few decades. Recent work has established the chemical structure of three components of the secreted dauer pheromone mixture, thereby ushering in a new era in which the functions of the pheromones can be studied in detail.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy this article

Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Figure 1: The structures of three known components of the C. elegans dauer pheromone, with possible aspects of behavior and development that they may affect.


  1. Waters, C.M. & Bassler, B.L. Annu. Rev. Cell Dev. Biol. 21, 319–346 (2005).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Dulac, C. & Torello, A.T. Nat. Rev. Neurosci. 4, 551–562 (2003).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Golden, J.W. & Riddle, D.L. J. Chem. Ecol. 10, 1265–1280 (1984).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Golden, J.W. & Riddle, D.L. Science 218, 578–580 (1982).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Butcher, R.A., Fujita, M., Schroeder, F.C. & Clardy, J. Nat. Chem. Biol. 3, 420–422 (2007).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Kawano, T. et al. Biosci. Biotechnol. Biochem. 69, 2479–2481 (2005).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Peckol, E.L., Troemel, E.R. & Bargmann, C.I. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 98, 11032–11038 (2001).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Nolan, K.M., Sarafi-Reinach, T.R., Horne, J.G., Saffer, A.M. & Sengupta, P. Genes Dev. 16, 3061–3073 (2002).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Jeong, P.Y. et al. Nature 433, 541–545 (2005).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Viney, M.E. & Franks, N.R. Naturwissenschaften 91, 123–124 (2004).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Sengupta, P., Thomas, J. From eye of newt to chemical structure. Nat Chem Biol 3, 368–369 (2007).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing