control the specialization of cells in different tissues. Now, in close collaboration with Eduard Sabidó’s team at the Proteomics Unit of the Center for Genomic Regulation and Pompeu Fabra University, the researchers analyzed Capsaspora proteins to determine how the organism can regulate its internal processes in the different stages throughout his life. The genome provides the instructions for building a cell, but the information provided by the proteome enables researchers to understand how cells actually work. “Proteomics based on mass spectrometry allows us to measure which proteins are being expressed and how they are being modified,” says Sabidó. The researchers found that from stage to stage, Capsaspora’s collection of proteins undergoes major changes, and the body uses much of the same tools as those used by multicellular animals to

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regulate these cellular processes. For example, China Email List Capsaspora activated transcription factors and a tyrosine-kinase signaling system at different stages to regulate protein formation. “These are the same mechanisms that animals use to differentiate one cell type from another, but they had not been observed before in unicellular organisms,” says Ruiz-Trillo. The presence of these protein-regulating tools in both Capsaspora and multi-cellular animals means that the single-celled ancestor of all animals likely possessed these systems – and it was more complex than scientists suspected to date. “The ancestor already had the tools that the cell needed to differentiate itself and give rise to different tissues,” explains Sabidó. “Cells that existed before animals were more or less ready to take that evolutionary leap.” “This is another example of how

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advanced technologies contribute to a multidisciplinary approach in life science research. In this case, thanks to high-quality mass spectrometry technologies, we can add one more layer to our reading of cells. Genome sequencing has already made a difference in evolutionary biology and proteomics now provides us with new keys to understand not only the information contained in the genome but also the proteins and the actions that result from it, ”concludes Sabidó. This research has had the support of the European Research Council (ERC), the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness of the Government of Spain, the Qatar National Research Fund, the European Union, the Catalan Institution of Research and Advanced Studies, and the Secretariat of Universities and Research of the Department of Economy and Knowledge of the Generalitat de Catalunya.

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