Bile salts of the lungfishes Lepidosiren, Neoceratodus and Protopterus and those of the coelacanth Latimeria chalumnae Smith.
ABSTRACT: 1. Bile salts of the coelacanth Latimeria chalumnae Smith (five specimens) and of the three living genera of lungfish (Dipnoi) were examined as completely as possible and compared. 2. The small 'bile acid' fractions include no more than traces of well-known C27 or C24 acids (free or conjugated) and the functioning bile salts must be regarded as alcohol sulphates. 3. Comparison of the alcohols suggest that (a) Latimeria stands biochemically outside the animal group which includes the Dipnoi, (b) Protopterus and Lepidosiren are more closely related to one another than either is to Neoceratodus, (c) all four primitive osteiychtheans have some amphibian affinities, (d) there are affinities between Latimeria and Dipnoi and ostariophysan families (especially Cyprinidae and Catostomidae) and (e) there are biochemical links between Dipnoi and lampreys.
Project description:1. G.l.c. examination of bile alcohols prepared from the sucker Catostomus commersoni Lacépède (family Catostomidae) showed that although 5alpha-cyprinol (5alpha-cholestane-3alpha,7alpha,12alpha,26,27-pentol) was a minor constituent, the principal bile alcohol was an undescribed substance, probably present in the bile as the C-26 sulphate ester, whose i.r., n.m.r. and mass spectra agreed with the structure 5alpha-cholestane-3alpha,7alpha,12alpha,24,26-pentol. 2. M(D) studies suggest that this 5alpha-chimaerol is the 24(+), 25S enantiomer and that 5beta-chimaerol (chimaerol) from Chimaera monstrosa bile also has the 24(+), 25S configuration. These findings imply that bile alcohol biosynthesis in suckers and chimaeras includes stereospecific oxidation of cholesterol at C-26. 3. C. commersoni bile acids (present in minor amounts) probably consist largely of 3alpha,7alpha,12alpha-trihydroxy-5alpha-cholan-24-oic acid (allocholic acid). 4. 5alpha-Chimaerol sulphate and 5alpha-cyprinol sulphate are probably biochemically equivalent as bile salts, and can be considered as arising by parallel evolution.
Project description:The living coelacanth Latimeria chalumnae is a relict species whose higher-level phylogenetic relationships have not been resolved clearly by traditional systematic approaches. Previous studies show that major differences in immunoglobulin gene structure and organization typify different phylogenetic lineages. To date, mammalian-, avian-, and elasmobranch-type gene organizations have been identified in representatives of these different phylads. A fourth form or organization is found in Latimeria, which possesses immunoglobulin heavy-chain variable region (VH) elements separated by approximately 190 nucleotides from diversity (D) elements. Adjacency of VH and D elements is characteristic of the elasmobranch "clustered" arrangement, although many other features of coelacanth VH gene organization and structure are more similar to those of bony fishes and tetrapods. These observations strongly support a phylogenetic hypothesis in which Latimeria occupies a sister-group relationship with teleosts and tetrapods.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Chemical senses are one of the foremost means by which organisms make sense of their environment, among them the olfactory and gustatory sense of vertebrates and arthropods. Both senses use large repertoires of receptors to achieve perception of complex chemosensory stimuli. High evolutionary dynamics of some olfactory and gustatory receptor gene families result in considerable variance of chemosensory perception between species. Interestingly, both ora/v1r genes and the closely related t2r genes constitute small and rather conserved families in teleost fish, but show rapid evolution and large species differences in tetrapods. To understand this transition, chemosensory gene repertoires of earlier diverging members of the tetrapod lineage, i.e. lobe-finned fish such as Latimeria would be of high interest. RESULTS: We report here the complete T2R repertoire of Latimeria chalumnae, using thorough data mining and extensive phylogenetic analysis. Eighty t2r genes were identified, by far the largest family reported for any species so far. The genomic neighborhood of t2r genes is enriched in repeat elements, which may have facilitated the extensive gene duplication events resulting in such a large family. Examination of non-synonymous vs. synonymous substitution rates (dN/dS) suggests pronounced positive Darwinian selection in Latimeria T2Rs, conceivably ensuring efficient neo-functionalization of newly born t2r genes. Notably, both traits, positive selection and enrichment of repeat elements in the genomic neighborhood, are absent in the twenty v1r genes of Latimeria. Sequence divergence in Latimeria T2Rs and V1Rs is high, reminescent of the corresponding teleost families. Some conserved sequence motifs of Latimeria T2Rs and V1Rs are shared with the respective teleost but not tetrapod genes, consistent with a potential role of such motifs in detection of aquatic chemosensory stimuli. CONCLUSIONS: The singularly large T2R repertoire of Latimeria may have been generated by facilitating local gene duplication via increased density of repeat elements, and efficient neofunctionalization via positive Darwinian selection.The high evolutionary dynamics of tetrapod t2r gene families precedes the emergence of tetrapods, i.e. the water-to-land transition, and thus constitutes a basal feature of the lobe-finned lineage of vertebrates.
Project description:The colonization of land by tetrapod ancestors is one of the major questions in the evolution of vertebrates. Despite intense molecular phylogenetic research on this problem during the last 15 years, there is, until now, no statistically supported answer to the question of whether coelacanths or lungfish are the closest living relatives of tetrapods. We determined DNA sequences of the nuclear-encoded recombination activating genes (Rag1 and Rag2) from all three major lungfish groups, the Australian Neoceratodis forsteri, the South American Lepidosiren paradoxa and the African lungfish Protopterus dolloi, and the Indonesian coelacanth Latimeria menadoensis. Phylogenetic analyses of both the single gene and the concatenated data sets of RAG1 and RAG2 found that the lungfishes are the closest living relatives of the land vertebrates. These results are supported by high bootstrap values, Bayesian posterior probabilities, and likelihood ratio tests.