Nav: Home

MU neurobiologists annotate critical neuronal proteins in lamprey genome

April 15, 2019

The lamprey, an eel-like primitive vertebrate, is a popular organism for neurobiology studies because it has a relatively simple nervous system. It is of particular interest to those studying spinal cord injury (SCI) because, unlike humans, the lamprey can regenerate nerve connections and recover normal mobility within about 8 weeks following an injury to its spinal cord. With the first reference genome for the lamprey species (Petromyzon marinus) recently completed, this fish is now poised to accelerate research about how the nervous system normally functions and recovers following injury.

In a new study, a team of MU neurobiologists led by Dr. David Schulz and Dr. Andrew McClellan takes this advancement one step further by annotating the sequences of 47 ion channels across the genome. The researchers used bioinformatic tools to identify sequences from the lamprey genome that could potentially belong to ion channel families and then performed phylogenetic and gene expression analyses across nervous system tissues to confirm the identifications. The results are published in the journal Marine Genomics.

Ion channels are specialized pores in the cell membrane that move charged atoms, called ions, in and out of cells. In nerve cells, ion channels contribute substantially to transmission and processing of electrical signals. Given the critical role of ion channels in nervous system function, the authors say knowing their sequences will allow for more in-depth investigations of the nervous system to take place.

"The first step in manipulating the molecular aspects of the nervous system is to have a basic understanding of the structures that make it up. By identifying the sequences the lamprey uses to construct its ion channels, we have opened the door for directly targeting these sequences to measure their expression levels across cell types, change their abundances to see how the nervous system responds, and examine their role in recovery from SCI," said Adam Northcutt, the MU graduate student who conducted the research and is lead author of the article.
-end-
The article, titled "Genomic discovery of ion channel genes in the central nervous system of the lamprey Petromyzon marinus," is available ahead of print online at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.margen.2019.03.003.

The research was funded by a National Institutes of Health grant (NIGMS 5T32GM008396) and an NSF-REU SITE grant (DBI-1359283).

University of Missouri-Columbia

Related Genome Articles:

Deciphering the walnut genome
New research could provide a major boost to the state's growing $1.6 billion walnut industry by making it easier to breed walnut trees better equipped to combat the soil-borne pathogens that now plague many of California's 4,800 growers.
Illuminating the genome
Development of a new molecular visualisation method, RNA-guided endonuclease -- in situ labelling (RGEN-ISL) for the CRISPR/Cas9-mediated labelling of genomic sequences in nuclei and chromosomes.
A genome under influence
References form the basis of our comprehension of the world: they enable us to measure the height of our children or the efficiency of a drug.
How a virus destabilizes the genome
New insights into how Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) induces genome instability and promotes cell proliferation could lead to the development of novel antiviral therapies for KSHV-associated cancers, according to a study published Sept.
Better genome editing
Reich Group researchers develop a more efficient and precise method of in-cell genome editing.
Unlocking the genome
A team led by Prof. Stein Aerts (VIB-KU Leuven) uncovers how access to relevant DNA regions is orchestrated in epithelial cells.
Why do we need one pair of genome?
Scientists have unraveled how the cell replication process destabilizes when it has more, or less, than a pair of chromosome sets, each of which is called a genome -- a major step toward understanding chromosome instability in cancer cells.
A new genome for regeneration research
The first complete genome assembly of planarian flatworm reveals a treasure trove on the function and evolution of genes.
Decoding the Axolotl genome
The sequencing of the largest genome to date lays the foundation for novel insights into tissue regeneration.
The Down's syndrome 'super genome'
Only 20 percent of foetuses with trisomy 21 reach full term.
More Genome News and Genome Current Events

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2019.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Risk
Why do we revere risk-takers, even when their actions terrify us? Why are some better at taking risks than others? This hour, TED speakers explore the alluring, dangerous, and calculated sides of risk. Guests include professional rock climber Alex Honnold, economist Mariana Mazzucato, psychology researcher Kashfia Rahman, structural engineer and bridge designer Ian Firth, and risk intelligence expert Dylan Evans.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#541 Wayfinding
These days when we want to know where we are or how to get where we want to go, most of us will pull out a smart phone with a built-in GPS and map app. Some of us old timers might still use an old school paper map from time to time. But we didn't always used to lean so heavily on maps and technology, and in some remote places of the world some people still navigate and wayfind their way without the aid of these tools... and in some cases do better without them. This week, host Rachelle Saunders...
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dolly Parton's America: Neon Moss
Today on Radiolab, we're bringing you the fourth episode of Jad's special series, Dolly Parton's America. In this episode, Jad goes back up the mountain to visit Dolly's actual Tennessee mountain home, where she tells stories about her first trips out of the holler. Back on the mountaintop, standing under the rain by the Little Pigeon River, the trip triggers memories of Jad's first visit to his father's childhood home, and opens the gateway to dizzying stories of music and migration. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.