Navigation Links
Ion selectivity in neuronal signaling channels evolved twice in animals
Date:7/26/2012

This press release is available in German.

Excitation of neurons depends on the selected influx of certain ions, namely sodium, calcium and potassium through specific channels. Obviously, these channels were crucial for the evolution of nervous systems in animals. How such channels could have evolved their selectivity has been a puzzle until now. Yehu Moran and Ulrich Technau from the University of Vienna together with Scientists from Tel Aviv University and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (USA) have now revealed that voltage-gated sodium channels, which are responsible for neuronal signaling in the nerves of animals, evolved twice in higher and lower animals. These results were published in "Cell Reports".

The opening and closing of ion channels enable flow of ions that constitute the electrical signaling in all nervous systems. Every thought we have or every move we make is the result of the highly accurate opening and closing of numerous ion channels. Whereas the channels of most lower animals and their unicellular relatives cannot discern between sodium and calcium ions, those of higher animals are highly specific for sodium, a characteristic that is important for fast and accurate signaling in complex nervous system.

Surprising results in sea anemones and jellyfish

However, the researchers found that a group of basal animals with simple nerve nets including sea anemones and jellyfish also possess voltage-gated sodium channels, which differ from those found in higher animals, yet show the same selectivity for sodium. Since cnidarians separated from the rest of the animals more than 600 million years ago, these findings suggest that the channels of both cnidarians and higher animals originated independently twice, from ancient non-selective channels which also transmit calcium.

Since many other processes of internal cell signaling are highly dependent on calcium ions, the use of non-selective ion channels in neurons would accidently trigger various signaling systems inside the cells and will cause damage. The evolution of selectivity for sodium ions is therefore considered as an important step in the evolution of nervous systems with fast transmission. This study shows that different parts of the channel changed in a convergent manner during the evolution of cnidarians and higher animals in order to perform the same task, namely to select for sodium ions.

This demonstrates that important components for the functional nervous systems evolved twice in basal and higher animals, which suggests that more complex nervous systems that rely on such ion-selective channels could have also evolved twice independently.


'/>"/>
Contact: Ulrich Technau
ulrich.technau@univie.ac.at
43-142-775-7000
University of Vienna
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Researchers have identified a gene with a key role in neuronal survival
2. Scientists tie DNA repair to key cell signaling network
3. To drive infections, a hijacking virus mimics a cells signaling system
4. Out of the mouths of primates, facial mechanics of human speech may have evolved
5. Excessive worrying may have co-evolved with intelligence
6. Leading evolutionary scientist to discuss how genome of bacteria has evolved
7. Environmental concerns increasing infectious disease in amphibians, other animals
8. Deep sea animals stowaway on submarines and reach new territory
9. Elephant seal tracking reveals hidden lives of deep-diving animals
10. NOAA discovers way to detect low-level exposure to seafood toxin in marine animals
11. Study suggests why some animals live longer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Ion selectivity in neuronal signaling channels evolved twice in animals
(Date:3/22/2016)... PROVO and SANDY, Utah ... (NSO), which operates the highest sample volume laboratory in ... Tute Genomics and UNIConnect, leaders in clinical sequencing informatics ... the launch of a project to establish the informatics ... NSO has been contracted by the ...
(Date:3/18/2016)... 18, 2016 --> ... ICT, Manned & Unmanned Vehicles, Physical infrastructure and Perimeter Surveillance ... in the border security market and the continuing migration crisis ... Europe has led visiongain to publish this ... --> defence & security companies in the ...
(Date:3/15/2016)... ALBANY, New York , March 15, 2016 ... a new market report published by Transparency Market Research "Digital ... Growth, Trends and Forecast 2015 - 2023," the global digital ... at US$ 731.9 Mn in 2014 and is forecast to ... to 2023. Growth of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... 27, 2016 , ... Weeks after hosting a carpal tunnel syndrome workshop with ... surgeon and founder of the Fitzmaurice Hand Institute, has announced the addition of MRI ... state-of-the-art technology and only 1 of about 3 currently available in the United States. ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... ... Doctors in Italy, Japan, the UK and the US have reached some surprising ... its link to malignant mesothelioma. Surviving Mesothelioma has just posted the details of their ... , The studies analyzed for the new report included more than 3,447 cancer patients. ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... At present, the Biotech sphere is in a ... volatility is what makes this industry interesting to consider. Here ... (NASDAQ: SNTA ), CTI BioPharma Corp. (NASDAQ: ... and Heat Biologics Inc. (NASDAQ: HTBX ). Sign ... these stocks at: http://www.activewallst.com/register/ ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... New Jersey and READING, ... Indegene ( http://www.indegene.com ), a leading ... to life science, pharmaceutical and healthcare organisations and ... of innovative scientific support throughout the product lifecycle, ... with the launch of IntraScience.      ...
Breaking Biology Technology: