Navigation Links
Evolution of a contraceptive for sea lamprey
Date:6/24/2009

In addition to providing fundamental insights into the early evolution of the estrogen receptor, research by a team at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine may lead to a contraceptive for female lampreys a jawless fish considered an invasive pest species in the Great Lakes region of the United States. This could prove important to the Great Lakes region, where lampreys aggressively consume trout, salmon, sturgeon and other game fish.

"Since the introduction of sea lamprey to the Great Lakes, the fisheries have been devastated, and as a result, there is much interest in finding new methods to control the lamprey population," said Michael E. Baker, PhD, professor in UC San Diego's Department of Medicine, Division of Nephrology-Hypertension. "Our research could lead to a contraceptive for female lamprey, providing a method to control their reproduction in the Great Lakes." The researchers' findings will be published by PloS ONE on June 25.

Lampreys evolved about 450 million years ago, before the appearance of sharks. In contrast to sharks, fish and land vertebrates, lampreys have no jaw. They feed on fish by attaching themselves to the fish and sucking their body fluids. Their aggressive consumption of game fish has eliminated many natural predators of the alewife, another invasive species on the Great Lakes. This has allowed the alewife population to explode, with adverse effects on many native fish species.

As part of a program to understand the evolution of steroid hormone signaling, the UC San Diego researchers characterized the estrogen-binding site on the estrogen receptor in the sea lamprey. To accomplish this, Baker along with David Chang, student in the UC San Diego Department of Biology, and Charlie Chandsawangbhuwana, graduate student of Bioengineering in UC San Diego's Jacobs School of Engineering constructed a 3-D model of the structure of the lamprey estrogen receptor.

The active estrogen in lamprey is unknown, although recent research in the field suggested that lamprey estrogens contain a 15alpha-hydroxyl group, which is lacking in other types of vertebrate estrogen. The model developed by the UC San Diego research team uncovered a unique interaction between 15alpha-hydroxy-estradiol and an amino acid called methionine, found only in lamprey estrogen receptors.

"The unique aspect of this interaction suggests that there are compounds that can bind specifically to the lamprey estrogen receptor, but not to estrogen receptors in other animals," said Baker, adding that some of these compounds could interfere with estrogen action and act as contraceptives in female lamprey, providing a method to control their numbers.


'/>"/>

Contact: Debra Kain
ddkain@ucsd.edu
619-543-6163
University of California - San Diego
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. DNA template could explain evolutionary shifts
2. Domestication of Capsicum annuum chile pepper provides insights into crop origin and evolution
3. 7th annual [BC]2 Basel Computational Biology Conference Molecular Evolution June 18-19, 2009
4. Beaked, bird-like dinosaur tells story of finger evolution
5. The Vision Revolution: Eyes are the source of human superpowers
6. Gene evolution process discovered
7. Newly discovered snow roots are evolutionary phenomenon
8. Work of Field Museum scientist addresses question of chance in evolution
9. MU study finds connection between evolution, classroom learning
10. Biologists devise unifying framework to explain evolutionary puzzles
11. Biologists consider unifying framework to explain evolutionary puzzles
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/30/2017)... 30, 2017  On April 6-7, 2017, Sequencing.com will ... hackathon at Microsoft,s headquarters in ... focus on developing health and wellness apps that provide ... the Genome is the first hackathon for personal ... largest companies in the genomics, tech and health industries ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... March 29, 2017  higi, the health IT company ... North America , today announced a Series ... acquisition of EveryMove. The new investment and acquisition accelerates ... tools to transform population health activities through the collection ... higi collects and secures data today on ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... , March 24, 2017 The Controller General ... Controller Mr. Abdulla Algeen have received the prestigious international IAIR ... Continue Reading ... ... picture) and Deputy Controller Abdulla Algeen (small picture on the right) have ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... May 23, 2017 , ... ... month its 20th anniversary, marking the occasion with a strong presence at Bio-IT ... Welcome Reception and further extends an invitation to all attendees to view ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... May 23, 2017 , ... Kathy Goin is joining ... Operations. She brings years of expertise in establishing and leading clinical operations at ... a licensed occupational therapist, through a variety of leadership roles in Clinical Operations, ...
(Date:5/22/2017)... ... May 22, 2017 , ... ... leaders of the Maryland Biohealth community in developing and issuing recommendations to grow ... U.S. BioHealth Innovation Hub by 2023. , The recommendations are ...
(Date:5/19/2017)... ... May 19, 2017 , ... ... Program. Academic researchers with technologies ripe for commercialization, and who are affiliated ... Delaware, are encouraged to submit proposals. QED, now in its tenth round, is ...
Breaking Biology Technology: