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Sea lamprey genome mapped with help from scientists at OU
Date:2/28/2013

stion has been the timing of these duplications in vertebrate history. Results from this project suggest that two rounds of duplication predated the divergence of the ancestral lamprey from modern jawed vertebrates. This result is important for understanding how vertebrate genomes have evolved, and in particular, for understanding if the organization of the genome is common to all vertebrates.

"Most vertebrates contain an insulating layer of cells that surround nerve cells. Cells that wrap around a nerve fiber, or axon, are enriched in a protein known as myelin. The insulating properties of myelin allow signals to be conducted rapidly along the nerve fiber, and the loss of myelin results in numerous neurodegenerative diseases in humans."

McCauley adds that lampreys lack these "wrapped" neurons, suggesting the insulated neurons are specific to jawed vertebrates. "Somewhat surprisingly, the sea lamprey genome contains multiple proteins involved in the synthesis of myelin, including its basic protein. This important finding suggests the origin of myelin predated the divergence of lampreys from the lineage leading to jawed vertebrates, but the role of these proteins in lampreys is not known. Other important findings shed light on evolution of the vertebrate adaptive immune system, and the evolution of paired appendages, such as fins in fish and fore-limbs and hind-limbs in tetrapod vertebrates such as humans and animals."


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Contact: Angela Startz
astartz@ou.edu
405-325-6664
University of Oklahoma
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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