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Nat Commun 2019 Aug 22;101:3779. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-11560-8.
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Evolutionary modification of AGS protein contributes to formation of micromeres in sea urchins.

Poon J , Fries A , Wessel GM , Yajima M .

Evolution is proposed to result, in part, from acquisition of new developmental programs. One such example is the appearance of the micromeres in a sea urchin that form by an asymmetric cell division at the 4th embryonic cleavage and function as a major signaling center in the embryo. Micromeres are not present in other echinoderms and thus are  considered as a derived feature, yet its acquisition mechanism is unknown. Here, we report that the polarity factor AGS and its associated proteins are responsible for micromere formation. Evolutionary modifications of AGS protein seem to have provided the cortical recruitment and binding of AGS to the vegetal cortex, contributing to formation of micromeres in the sea urchins. Indeed, introduction of sea urchin AGS into the sea star embryo induces asymmetric cell divisions, suggesting that the molecular evolution of AGS protein is key in the transition of echinoderms to micromere formation and the current developmental style of sea urchins not seen in other echinoderms.

PubMed ID: 31439829
PMC ID: PMC6706577
Article link: Nat Commun
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Echinodermata
Genes referenced: ddx4 dnah3 gpsm1 irak1bp1 LOC100887844 LOC105441782 LOC115919910 plk1 pole srpl tpr
Antibodies: LOC578650 Ab1 LOC578650 Ab2 LOC578650 Ab3 dctn1 Ab1 dnai1 Ab2 gnai1 Ab2 gpsm1 Ab1 plk1 Ab1 plk1 Ab2 tubb1 Ab9
Morpholinos: LOC578650 MO1 LOC584189 MO1 gnai1 MO1 gpsm1 MO1 plk1 MO1

Article Images: [+] show captions
References [+] :
Ando, An optical marker based on the UV-induced green-to-red photoconversion of a fluorescent protein. 2002, Pubmed