Navigation Links
Searching for the origin of muscles
Date:6/28/2012

A characteristic feature of most animals is their ability to move quickly with the help of their musculature. Animals that can move are able to flee, hunt for prey, travel long distances or conquer new habitats. The evolution of muscles was thus a fundamental step during animal evolution. While the structure and function of muscles, especially of vertebrates, have been intensively studied, the evolutionary origin of smooth and striated muscles has so far been enigmatic. Comparative genome and gene expression studies, performed by researchers Patrick Steinmetz, Johanna Kraus and Ulrich Technau in an international collaboration with researchers from Germany, France and Australia, revealed the origin muscle components in ancestral animals such as sea anemones, jellyfish or sponges.

Gene duplication

Phylogenetic comparisons showed that one of the crucial structural proteins of striated muscles of vertebrates, a "myosin" motor protein, originated by gene duplication. "As this specific myosin has so far only been found in muscle cells, we expected that its origin coincided with the evolution of muscle cells. We were very surprised to see that the 'muscle myosin' evolved probably in unicellular organisms, long before the first animals lived", explains Ulrich Technau who led the study.

Research in sponges

"In sponges, that all lack muscles, the 'muscle myosin' appears to play a role in regulating the water flow", comments Gert Wrheide (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitt Munich), whose team was investigating muscle proteins in sponges together with Michael Nickel (University of Jena) and Bernard Degnan (University of Queensland).

and jellyfish

Jellyfish occupy a special phylogenetic position to understand the evolution of muscles. They are cnidarians, an animal group that originated more than 600 million years ago, and possess striated muscles. Due to the striking similarities between striated muscles of vertebrates and jellyfish, it was so far assumed both striated muscle types share a common origin. In fact, jellyfish striated muscles also express the ancient "muscle myosin", but they lack several essential components that are characteristic for the structure and function of striated muscles of "higher animals".

This indicates that despite their striking similarities, striated muscles of jellyfish and "higher animals" have evolved independently. This study sheds light onto how seemingly complex biological structures, such as striated muscles, could have evolved independently based on very ancient components.


'/>"/>

Contact: Ulrich Technau
ulrich.technau@univie.ac.at
43-664-602-775-7000
University of Vienna
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. EU project: Searching for exotics in the shrimp nets
2. Mainz University coordinates new EU project on the origins of human settlement
3. Groundbreaking discovery of the cellular origin of cervical cancer
4. Mystery to the origin of long-lived, skin-deep immune cells uncovered
5. Virginia Tech and University of Tuscia lead team to unravel origin of devastating kiwifruit bacterium
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Searching for the origin of muscles
(Date:3/31/2016)... , March 31, 2016  Genomics firm Nabsys has ... CEO, Barrett Bready , M.D., who returned to ... the original technical leadership team, including Chief Technology Officer, ... Product Development, Steve Nurnberg and Vice President of Software ... the company. Dr. Bready served as CEO ...
(Date:3/21/2016)... Massachusetts , March 22, 2016 ... facial recognition with passcodes for superior security   ... ), a leading provider of secure digital communications services, ... their biometric technology and offer enterprise customers, particularly those ... secure facial recognition and voice authentication within a mobile ...
(Date:3/14/2016)... March 14, 2016 NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" ... commerce market, announces the airing of a new series of ... week of March 21 st .  The commercials will air ... popular Squawk on the Street show. --> NXTD ... growing mobile commerce market, announces the airing of a new ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 23, 2016 , ... ... That Will Drive Precision Farming in 2017 and Beyond. The paper outlines the ... in the precision ag industry. , “We’ve witnessed a lot of highs and ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... Palo Alto, CA (PRWEB) , ... May 23, ... ... tank and public interest organization focused on molecular nanotechnology, announced the winners for ... honor of pioneer physicist Richard Feynman, are given in two categories, one for ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... , ... May 20, 2016 , ... The recent recall ... as reported by Food Safety News on May 12, 2016(1), demonstrates the need for ... Olsen, CEO of Baltimore-based biotech firm, PathSensors, Inc. , PathSensor’s latest ...
(Date:5/19/2016)... Regen BioPharma, Inc ... announced today initiation of a preclinical development program ... cancer immunotherapeutic product leveraging its NR2F6 immunological checkpoint. ... generation of cord blood derived killer cells whose ... product in development will be a "universal donor" ...
Breaking Biology Technology: