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One gene “invents” hemoglobin many times



A single gene 'invented' hemoglobin several times The Platynereis dumerilii vascular system is divided into three parts. Image source: Song etc./BMC Evolutionary Biology

Thanks to the marine worm Platynereis dumerilii (a very slow evolutionary animal), scientists from CNRS, the University of Paris and Sorbonne, together with scientists from the University of St. Petersburg and the University of Rio de Janeiro, proved that hemoglobin appears independently in several species. The above is produced by a single gene transmitted to all by their last common ancestor. These findings were published on December 29, 2020, BMC Evolutionary Biology.

Blood is not unique to humans or mammals. This color comes from hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a complex protein that is specially used to transport oxygen in the circulatory system of vertebrates, but it can also be used for animals (the most famous member of the worm family is earth), molluscs (especially Are pond snails) and crustaceans (such as water fleas). Or “Daphnia”

;). It is believed that hemoglobin has appeared in such diverse species and must have been “invented” several times in the course of evolution. But recent studies have shown that all hemoglobin born “independently” actually comes from an ancestral gene.

Research at the Jacques Monod Institute (CNRS/University of Paris), Matière and Systèmes Laboratory Comprehensive Laboratory (CNRS/University of Paris), Roscoff Station Biology (CNRS/SorbonneUniversité), Saint Petersburg University (Russia) and Rio de Janeiro Personnel de Janeiro (Brazil) conducted this study on Platynereis dumerilii, a small marine worm with red blood.

It is considered a slow-evolving animal because its genetic characteristics are similar to the marine ancestors of Ubililateria of most animals. Studying these worms by comparing them with other species with red blood cells can help trace the origin of hemoglobin.

The focus of the research is on the large family to which hemoglobin belongs: globulin, a protein that exists in almost all gases such as oxygen and nitric oxide that “store”. But globulins usually work inside cells because they do not circulate in the blood like hemoglobin.

This work shows that in all species with red blood cells, there is a globulin called “cytoglobulin” composed of the same gene, which independently evolved into a gene encoding hemoglobin. This new circulating molecule made oxygen more effective in its ancestors, who became larger and more active.

Now, scientists hope to change the scale and continue this work by studying when and how specialized cells with different bilateral vasculature appear.


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More information:
Solène Song et al., “Globulin in Marine Invertebrate Platynereis dumerilii” provides a new idea for the evolution of hemoglobin in bilateral humans. BMC Evolutionary Biology (2020). DOI: 10.1186/s12862-020-01714-4

Provided by Song et al. / BMC Evolutionary Biology



Citation: A single gene “invented” hemoglobin multiple times (December 29, 2020), retrieved from https://phys.org/news/2020-12-gene-hemoglobin.html to December 29, 2020

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