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

er 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.


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

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