250 Million Years of Bindin Evolution

Kirk S. Zigler, H. A. Lessios
2003 The Biological Bulletin  
Bindin plays a central role in sperm-egg attachment and fusion in sea urchins (echinoids). Previous studies determined the DNA sequence of bindin in two orders of the class Echinoidea, representing 10% of all echinoid species. We report sequences of mature bindin from five additional genera, representing four new orders, including the distantly related sand dollars, heart urchins, and pencil urchins. The six orders in which bindin is now known include 70% of all echinoids, and indicate that
more » ... d indicate that bindin was present in the common ancestor of all extant sea urchins more than 250 million years ago. Over this span of evolutionary time there has been (1) remarkable conservation in the core region of bindin, particularly in a stretch of 29 amino acids that has not changed at all; (2) conservation of a motif of basic amino acids at the cleavage site between preprobindin and mature bindin; (3) more than a twofold change in length of mature bindin; and (4) emergence of high variation in the sequences outside the core, including the insertion of glycine-rich repeats in the bindins of some orders, but not others.
doi:10.2307/1543440 pmid:12917217 fatcat:tzvhucpxm5g3dh2qoihr65sf5e