Apr 28, 2020

Lineage-specific diversification in the usage of D-glutamate and D-aspartate in early-branching metazoans

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Leonid L. MorozA. B. Kohn


D-amino acids are unique and essential signaling molecules in neural, hormonal, and immune systems. However, the presence of D-amino acids and their recruitment in early animals is mostly unknown due to limited information about prebilaterian metazoans. Here, we performed the comparative survey of L-/D-aspartate and L-/D-glutamate in representatives of four phyla of basal Metazoa: cnidarians (Aglantha); placozoans (Trichoplax), sponges (Sycon) and ctenophores (Pleurobrachia, Mnemiopsis, Bolinopsis, and Beroe), which are descendants of ancestral animal lineages distinct from Bilateria. Specifically, we used high-performance capillary electrophoresis for microchemical assays and quantification of the enantiomers. L-glutamate and L-aspartate were abundant analytes in all species studied. However, we showed that the placozoans, cnidarians, and sponges had high micromolar concentrations of D-aspartate, whereas D-glutamate was not detectable. In contrast, we found that in ctenophores, D-glutamate was the dominant enantiomer with no or trace amounts of D-aspartate. This situation illuminates prominent lineage-specific diversifications in the recruitment of D-amino acids and suggests distinct signaling functions of these molecules earl...Continue Reading

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