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Rong Chen, Lijie Zhang, Jianxun Qi, Nianzhi Zhang, Ling Zhang, Shugang Yao, Yanan Wu, Bo Jiang, Zhenbao Wang, Hongyu Yuan, Qiujin Zhang, Chun Xia
The emergence of adaptive immunity in jawed vertebrates depended on the appearance of variable immune receptors, BCRs and TCRs, which exhibit variable-J-constant (VJ -C)-type Ig superfamily folds. Hitherto, however, the structures of IgV-J-IgC-type molecules had never been characterized in invertebrates, leaving the origin of BCR/TCR-type molecules unknown. Using x-ray crystallography, the structure of a VJ -C2 molecule, named AmpIgVJ -C2, was determined in amphioxus ( Branchiostoma floridae ). The first domain shows typical V folding, including the hydrophobic core, CDR analogs, and eight conserved residues...
March 7, 2018: Journal of Immunology: Official Journal of the American Association of Immunologists
Qi-Lin Zhang, Qian-Hua Zhu, Ming-Zhong Liang, Feng Wang, Jun Guo, Xian-Yu Deng, Jun-Yuan Chen, Yu-Jun Wang, Lian-Bing Lin
Amphioxus, a basal chordate, is widely considered to be an existing proxy of the invertebrate ancestor of vertebrates, and it exhibits susceptibility to various pathogen infections and pathogenic mimic challenges. Here, in order to understand more clearly its antibacterial mechanisms, we analyzed the ribosomal RNA (rRNA)-depleted transcriptome of Chinese amphioxus (Branchiostoma belcheri) infected with Vibrio parahaemolyticus (V. p.) via next-generation deep sequencing technology (RNA-seq). We identified a total of 3214 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) by comparing V...
March 3, 2018: Fish & Shellfish Immunology
Daichi G Suzuki, Sten Grillner
Lampreys, which represent the oldest group of living vertebrates (cyclostomes), show unique eye development. The lamprey larva has only eyespot-like immature eyes beneath a non-transparent skin, whereas after metamorphosis, the adult has well-developed image-forming camera eyes. To establish a functional visual system, well-organised visual centres as well as motor components (e.g. trunk muscles for locomotion) and interactions between them are needed. Here we review the available knowledge concerning the structure, function and development of the different parts of the lamprey visual system...
February 28, 2018: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Takayuki Onai
One of the definitive characteristics of chordates (cephalochordates, vertebrates) is the somites, which are a series of paraxial mesodermal blocks exhibiting segmentation. The presence of somites in the basal chordate amphioxus and in vertebrates, but not in tunicates (the sister group of vertebrates), suggests that the tunicates lost the somites secondarily. Somites are patterned from anterior to posterior during embryogenesis. How such a segmental pattern evolved from deuterostome ancestors is mysterious...
February 27, 2018: Theory in Biosciences, Theorie in Den Biowissenschaften
Thurston Lacalli
The axonal projection from the retina to the optic tectum maps visual information isomorphically from one to the other and serves as a model for the development of sensory maps more generally in the vertebrate brain. How or why this connection evolved is not known, nor why the midbrain is so important to the processing of visual information. Amphioxus is potentially informative here because its eye homolog, the frontal eye, also has a neural connection to a region of the brain now known to be homologous with the caudal diencephalon and midbrain...
2018: EvoDevo
Elisabeth Zieger, Simona Candiani, Greta Garbarino, Jenifer C Croce, Michael Schubert
The original version of this article unfortunately contained a mistake. The Fig. 7 sub-panel "f" was missing in the figure of the online first proofs of this article. The corrected Fig. 7 is hereby given below.
February 10, 2018: Molecular Neurobiology
Qi-Lin Zhang, Bin Xu, Xiu-Qiang Wang, Ming-Long Yuan, Jun-Yuan Chen
Amphioxus is used to investigate the origin and evolution of vertebrates. To better understand the characteristics of genome evolution from cephalochordates to Osteichthyes, we conducted a genome-wide pairwise comparison of protein-coding genes within amphioxus (a comparable group) and parallel analyses within Osteichthyes (two comparable groups). A batch of fast-evolving genes in each comparable group was identified. Of these genes, the most fast-evolving genes (top 20) were scrutinized, most of which were involved in immune system...
January 2, 2018: Oncotarget
Chrysoula N Pantzartzi, Jiri Pergner, Zbynek Kozmik
Transposable elements (TEs) are able to jump to new locations (transposition) in the genome, usually after replication. They constitute the so-called selfish or junk DNA and take over large proportions of some genomes. Due to their ability to move around they can change the DNA landscape of genomes and are therefore a rich source of innovation in genes and gene regulation. Surge of sequence data in the past years has significantly facilitated large scale comparative studies. Cephalochordates have been regarded as a useful proxy to ancestral chordate condition partially due to the comparatively slow evolutionary rate at morphological and genomic level...
February 6, 2018: Scientific Reports
Shigeru Kuratani, Rie Kusakabe, Tatsuya Hirasawa
The migration and distribution patterns of neural crest (NC) cells reflect the distinct embryonic environments of the head and trunk: cephalic NC cells migrate predominantly along the dorsolateral pathway to populate the craniofacial and pharyngeal regions, whereas trunk crest cells migrate along the ventrolateral pathways to form the dorsal root ganglia. These two patterns thus reflect the branchiomeric and somitomeric architecture, respectively, of the vertebrate body plan. The so-called vagal NC occupies a postotic, intermediate level between the head and trunk NC...
February 2, 2018: Developmental Biology
Elisabeth Zieger, Greta Garbarino, Nicolas S M Robert, Jr-Kai Yu, Jenifer C Croce, Simona Candiani, Michael Schubert
The retinoic acid (RA) signaling pathway regulates axial patterning and neurogenesis in the developing central nervous system (CNS) of chordates, but little is known about its roles during peripheral nervous system (PNS) formation and about how these roles might have evolved. This study assesses the requirement of RA signaling for establishing a functional PNS in the cephalochordate amphioxus, the best available stand-in for the ancestral chordate condition. Pharmacological manipulation of RA signaling levels during embryogenesis reduces the ability of amphioxus larvae to respond to sensory stimulation and alters the number and distribution of ectodermal sensory neurons (ESNs) in a stage- and context-dependent manner...
January 31, 2018: Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences: CMLS
Edward R Ballister, Jessica Rodgers, Franck Martial, Robert J Lucas
BACKGROUND: Animal opsins are light-sensitive G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) that enable optogenetic control over the major heterotrimeric G-protein signaling pathways in animal cells. As such, opsins have potential applications in both biomedical research and therapy. Selecting the opsin with the best balance of activity and selectivity for a given application requires knowing their ability to couple to a full range of relevant Gα subunits. We present the GsX assay, a set of tools based on chimeric Gs subunits that transduce coupling of opsins to diverse G proteins into increases in cAMP levels,  measured with a real-time reporter in living cells...
January 16, 2018: BMC Biology
Vladimir M Subbotin
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) disseminates systemically, but metastases occur in distant organs in only a few patients, whereas HCC routinely metastasizes to liver and its vessels. HCC cells disseminate via hepatic veins, but portal veins are affected by metastasis more frequently than are hepatic veins, and correlates with poor prognosis. In this review, I suggest that privileged HCC portal metastasis occurs because of high levels of pancreatic family hormones and growth factors (PHGFs) in the portal blood...
January 9, 2018: Drug Discovery Today
Qi-Lin Zhang, Zheng-Qing Xie, Ming-Zhong Liang, Bang Luo, Xiu-Qiang Wang, Jun-Yuan Chen
The gene expression associated with immune response to bacteria/bacterial mimic has been extensively analyzed in amphioxus, but remains largely unknown about how gene are involved in the immune response to viral invasion at expression level. Here, we analyze the rRNA-depleted transcriptomes of Branchiostoma belcheri using strand-specific RNA-seq in response to the viral mimic, poly (I:C) (pIC). A total of 5,317 differentially expressed genes were detected at treatment group by comparing with control. The gene with the most significant expression changes (top 15) after pIC challenge and 7 immune-related categories involving 58 differently expressed genes were scrutinized...
December 12, 2017: Oncotarget
Myles G Garstang, David E K Ferrier
Retrogenes are formed when an mRNA is reverse-transcribed and reinserted into the genome in a location unrelated to the original locus. If this retrocopy inserts into a transcriptionally favourable locus and is able to carry out its original function, it can, in rare cases, lead to retrogene replacement. This involves the original, often multi-exonic, parental copy being lost whilst the newer single-exon retrogene copy 'replaces' the role of the ancestral parent gene. One example of this is amphioxus SYCP1, a gene that encodes a protein used in synaptonemal complex formation during meiosis and which offers the opportunity to examine how a retrogene evolves after the retrogene replacement event...
January 2, 2018: Development Genes and Evolution
Vladimir Soukup, Zbynek Kozmik
Establishment of asymmetry along the left-right (LR) body axis in vertebrates requires interplay between Nodal and Bmp signaling pathways. In the basal chordate amphioxus, the left-sided activity of the Nodal signaling has been attributed to the asymmetric morphogenesis of paraxial structures and pharyngeal organs, however the role of Bmp signaling in LR asymmetry establishment has not been addressed to date. Here, we show that Bmp signaling is necessary for the development of LR asymmetric morphogenesis of amphioxus larvae through regulation of Nodal signaling...
February 1, 2018: Developmental Biology
Ruihua Wang, Shengfeng Huang, Xianan Fu, Guangrui Huang, Xinyu Yan, Zirui Yue, Shangwu Chen, Yingqiu Li, Anlong Xu
In vertebrates, PIAS genes encode versatile cellular regulators, with functions extremely complex and redundant. Here we try to understand their functions from an evolutionary perspective. we evaluate the sequences, expression and molecular functions of amphioxus PIAS genes and compare them with their vertebrate counterparts. Phylogenetic analysis suggests a single PIAS gene in ancestral chordates, which has been duplicated into four families (PIAS1-4) in vertebrates by 2R-WGD but remained single in a basal chordate (amphioxus)...
December 6, 2017: Scientific Reports
Ivan Cuoghi, Clara Lazzaretti, Mauro Mandrioli, Lucrezia Mola, Aurora Pederzoli
The aim of present work is to analyse the distribution of carbonic anhydrase II (CAII), cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator (CFTR), vacuolar-type H+ -ATPase (V-H+ -ATPase), Na+ /K+ ATPase, Na+ /H+ exchanger (NHE) and SLC26A6 (solute carrier family 26, member 6), also known as pendrin protein, in the lancelet Branchiostoma floridae in order to go in depth in the evolution of osmoregulation and pH regulation in Chordates. In view of their phylogenetic position, lancelets may indeed provide a critical point of reference for studies on osmoregulation evolution in Chordates...
January 2018: Acta Histochemica
Matija Brozovic, Christelle Dantec, Justine Dardaillon, Delphine Dauga, Emmanuel Faure, Mathieu Gineste, Alexandra Louis, Magali Naville, Kazuhiro R Nitta, Jacques Piette, Wendy Reeves, Céline Scornavacca, Paul Simion, Renaud Vincentelli, Maelle Bellec, Sameh Ben Aicha, Marie Fagotto, Marion Guéroult-Bellone, Maximilian Haeussler, Edwin Jacox, Elijah K Lowe, Mickael Mendez, Alexis Roberge, Alberto Stolfi, Rui Yokomori, C Titus Brown, Christian Cambillau, Lionel Christiaen, Frédéric Delsuc, Emmanuel Douzery, Rémi Dumollard, Takehiro Kusakabe, Kenta Nakai, Hiroki Nishida, Yutaka Satou, Billie Swalla, Michael Veeman, Jean-Nicolas Volff, Patrick Lemaire
ANISEED ( is the main model organism database for tunicates, the sister-group of vertebrates. This release gives access to annotated genomes, gene expression patterns, and anatomical descriptions for nine ascidian species. It provides increased integration with external molecular and taxonomy databases, better support for epigenomics datasets, in particular RNA-seq, ChIP-seq and SELEX-seq, and features novel interactive interfaces for existing and novel datatypes. In particular, the cross-species navigation and comparison is enhanced through a novel taxonomy section describing each represented species and through the implementation of interactive phylogenetic gene trees for 60% of tunicate genes...
November 15, 2017: Nucleic Acids Research
Guangwei Hu, Guang Li, Hui Wang, Yiquan Wang
Correct patterning of left-right asymmetry is an important process during the embryonic development of bilaterians. It is known that Hh signaling plays a role in LR asymmetry development of mouse, chicken and sea urchin embryos by regulating Nodal expression. In this study, we reported a novel regulating way of Hh gene in the LR asymmetry development of amphioxus embryos. Our results revealed that Hh-/- embryos abolished Cerburs (Cer) transcription and led to bilaterally symmetric expression of Nodal, Lefty and Pitx As a consequence, Hh-/- mutants duplicated its left-side structures and lost right-side characters displaying an abnormal bilaterally symmetric body plan...
November 9, 2017: Development
Yuka Sekigami, Takuya Kobayashi, Ai Omi, Koki Nishitsuji, Tetsuro Ikuta, Asao Fujiyama, Noriyuki Satoh, Hidetoshi Saiga
BACKGROUND: Hox gene clusters with at least 13 paralog group (PG) members are common in vertebrate genomes and in that of amphioxus. Ascidians, which belong to the subphylum Tunicata (Urochordata), are phylogenetically positioned between vertebrates and amphioxus, and traditionally divided into two groups: the Pleurogona and the Enterogona. An enterogonan ascidian, Ciona intestinalis (Ci), possesses nine Hox genes localized on two chromosomes; thus, the Hox gene cluster is disintegrated...
2017: Zoological Letters
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