Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New discoveries on the control of dorsoventral symmetry patterns in animal evolution

Date:
February 5, 2011
Source:
Universidad de Barcelona
Summary:
Scientists have discovered a new factor – a noggin-like gene – that plays a key role in controlling the pathway responsible for dorsoventral symmetry in animal phylogeny.

A team from the Department of Genetics at the UB's Faculty of Biology has discovered a new factor -- a noggin-like gene -- that plays a key role in controlling the pathway responsible for dorsoventral symmetry in animal phylogeny. The findings have been published in the journal Current Biology by the experts M. Dolores Molina, Ignacio Maeso, Emili Saló and Francesc Cebriŕ, from the UB's Department of Genetics and Institute of Biomedicine (IBUB), and Ana Neto and José Luis Gómez-Skarmeta, from the Andalusian Centre for Developmental Biology, operated by the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC).

Related Articles


The planarian (Schmidtea mediterranea), a bilaterally symmetrical basal invertebrate, is a common model used in studies of cell regeneration, organogenesis, dorsoventral symmetry and stem cell regulation. The article describes a newly identified noggin-like gene in planarians that antagonizes the activity of the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP), a key factor in determining the dorsoventral axis in animal species. "We have produced the first description of noggin-like genes, factors that had not been characterized until in any animal model and which have a surprising function: they promote BMP activity, in contrast to the inhibitory action of noggin genes," says Francesc Cebriŕ, who explains that, "We also show that noggin-like genes are present at all levels of the phylogenetic scale in vertebrates and invertebrates, and that they differ from noggin genes essentially due to the presence of a small amino acid insertion in the functional domain." The study also presents the first evidence of noggin-mediated inhibition of the BMP pathway in planarians.

The paper, published in Current Biology, sheds new light on the control mechanisms of three-dimensional organization models in animal phylogeny. Emili Saló, director of the UB's Developmental Biology and Genetics Research Group, explains that, "With the discovery of noggin-like genes, planarians have again shown their usefulness as a model for studying the preservation of biological mechanisms throughout the evolutionary process in animal species."

The study presents other new information that sheds greater light on one of the molecular pathways that controls dorsoventral symmetry patterns in animals. As Francesc Cebriŕ explains, "the process of dorsoventral axis regeneration in planarians is directed by a dual organizer formed by BMP and the anti-dorsalizing morphogenetic protein ADMP, the same as the process in the development of vertebrates such as frogs of the genus Xenopus." Cebriŕ highlights that, "This is the first scientific study to identify the ADMP protein in invertebrates with a function equivalent to that observed in vertebrates," explaining, "This confirms the high degree of conservation of these mechanisms in biological evolution."

The identification in planarians of this pathway shared with vertebrate species gives weight to the theory of an ancestral origin for control of the BMP/ADMP organizer. M. Dolores Molina, a doctoral student from the Department of Genetics and the study's first author, explains that, "In Xenopus and planarians, this BMP/ADMP organizer has the same biological function. However, there is an inversion of the dorsoventral axis between invertebrates and vertebrates, meaning that BMP and ADMP induce ventralization in Xenopus and dorsalization in planarians." Evidence suggests that the activation and inhibition mechanisms that control this organizer in planarians are similar to those described in Xenopus,but extensive work will be required to confirm these hypotheses.

Planarians are also a common biological model for basic research into stem cells and their potential application in regenerative medicine. Unlike the cases of other organisms, in planarians the mechanisms of morphogenesis and dorsoventral patterning remain active throughout the life span. Planarians also conserve a population of undifferentiated cells (neoblasts) that are ideal for in vivo study of the mechanisms of control and proliferation of stem cells. As Emili Saló explains, "Almost 25% of the total cell population in planarians is made up of stem cells, which are potential tumour cells, so regulation of the proliferation of these cells must be strictly controlled." Future research will focus on more detailed study of these regulation pathways to give greater insight into cell differentiation in more complex systems.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Universidad de Barcelona. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. M. Dolores Molina, Ana Neto, Ignacio Maeso, José Luis Gómez-Skarmeta, Emili Saló, Francesc Cebriŕ. Noggin and Noggin-Like Genes Control Dorsoventral Axis Regeneration in Planarians. Current Biology, 2011; DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2011.01.016

Cite This Page:

Universidad de Barcelona. "New discoveries on the control of dorsoventral symmetry patterns in animal evolution." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 February 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110205132236.htm>.
Universidad de Barcelona. (2011, February 5). New discoveries on the control of dorsoventral symmetry patterns in animal evolution. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110205132236.htm
Universidad de Barcelona. "New discoveries on the control of dorsoventral symmetry patterns in animal evolution." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110205132236.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) — In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) — Millions of monarch butterflies begin to descend onto Mexico as part of their annual migration south. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) — The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Newsy (Dec. 19, 2014) — A new study suggests a certain type of bird was able to sense a tornado outbreak that moved through the U.S. a day before it hit. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins