Discovery of novel representatives of bilaterian neuropeptide families and reconstruction of neuropeptide precursor evolution in ophiuroid echinoderms [article]

Meet Zandawala, Ismail Moghul, Luis Alfonso Yanez Guerra, Jerome Delroisse, Nikara Abylkassimova, Andrew F. Hugall, Timothy D. O'Hara, Maurice R. Elphick
2017 bioRxiv   pre-print
Neuropeptides are a diverse class of intercellular signaling molecules that mediate neuronal regulation of many physiological and behavioural processes. Recent advances in genome/transcriptome sequencing are enabling identification of neuropeptide precursor proteins in species from a growing variety of animal taxa, providing new insights into the evolution of neuropeptide signaling. Here detailed analysis of transcriptome sequence data from three brittle star species, Ophionotus victoriae,
more » ... ura filiformis and Ophiopsila aranea, has enabled the first comprehensive identification of neuropeptide precursors in the class Ophiuroidea of the phylum Echinodermata. Representatives of over thirty bilaterian neuropeptide precursor families were identified, some of which occur as paralogs. Furthermore, homologs of endothelin/CCHamide, eclosion hormone, neuropeptide-F/Y and nucleobinin/nesfatin were discovered here in a deuterostome/echinoderm for the first time. The majority of ophiuroid neuropeptide precursors contain a single copy of a neuropeptide, but several precursors comprise multiple copies of identical or non-identical, but structurally-related, neuropeptides. Here we performed an unprecedented investigation of the evolution of neuropeptide copy-number over a period of ~270 million years by analysing sequence data from over fifty ophiuroid species, with reference to a robust phylogeny. Our analysis indicates that the composition of neuropeptide cocktails is functionally important, but with plasticity over long evolutionary time scales.
doi:10.1101/129783 fatcat:pdsyeen5y5cfzflntnwo2i5h6q