The most common protostomy models, such as Drosophila or Caenorhabditis , were not an option, as they had lost this biochemical pathway. Therefore, it was necessary to find a kind of protostomy that would have preserved the retinoic acid machinery and in which it was possible to carry out functional studies ”, Albalat specifies. A living fossil to study the retinoic acid pathway The marine worm Platynereis dumerilii—Annelid that is considered a living fossil — was a good candidate as a model in studies of evolution, development and neurobiology, since in this species everything indicates that the components of the pathway had been conserved. From the scientific databases on this organism, the scientific team was able to identify

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classify the different components of its genetic Singapore WhatsApp Number List machinery, with the ultimate goal of knowing which genes had to be studied to functionally characterize the pathway. Analyzing the expression patterns of the chosen genes – and also evaluating the morphological effects of their alteration with morpholine or treatments with exogenous retinoic acid – it has been possible for the first time to demonstrate that retinoic acid controlled cell differentiation in the P. species . dumeriliiand it facilitated the correct formation of neurons, the authors point out. ‘We think that this neurogenic role represents the ancestral role of retinoic acid in bilateral animals. Therefore, its evolutionary origin would have coincided with the appearance of several components of the

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machinery in this evolutionary lineage, such as the retinoic acid receptor (RAR) and the cytochrome Cyp26 ”, Albalat emphasizes. The new work published in the journal Science AdvancesIt is led by Mette Handberg-Thorsager (European Molecular Biology Laboratory-EMBL, Germany), Michael Schubert (Oceanological Observatory of Villefranche-sur-Mer, France), Detlev Arendt (University of Heidelberg and EMBL, Germany) and Vincent Laudet (Observatory Oceanological of Banyuls de la Marenda, France). In previous work, the Evo-Devo-Genomics research group of the UB-IRBio, led by professors Ricard Albalat and Cristian Cañestro, had also described the phenomenon of the loss of genes related to retinoic acid within the framework of

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