Comparative Molecular Neurobiology

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It is generally accepted that all living organisms present on earth derive from one single primordial cell born several billion years ago. One important step in the evolution occurred some 1. 5 billion years ago with the transition from small procaryote cells with relatively simple internal structures such as bacteria to larger and more compleX: eucaryotic cells such as those found in higher animals and plants. Large membrane proteins which enable the cells to communicate appeared early in evolution, and it is believed that the nerve membrane receptors and ionic channels which are observed today in both invertebrate and vertebrate species derive from a common ancestor. Basically, the three identified superfamilies, 1) ionotropic receptors (i. e. receptors containing an integral ionic channel), 2) metabotropic receptors (receptors coupled to G­ proteins) and 3) voltage-dependent ionic channels (Na+, K + and Ca2+ channels) were already well differentiated when vertebrates separated from invertebrate species. The large number of subtypes which are observed in each superfamily may be of more recent evolutionary origin. To understand how this happened, the best approach was to compare the sequences and the properties of the receptors and ionic channels in species sufficiently distant in the evolutionary tree. In the present volume, many of the best specialists in the field of comparative molecular neurobiology, several of them working on vertebrate and invertebrate species, have accepted to report their most recent findings.
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Editorial Reviews

Recent studies of the receptors and ionic channels of various animal species have emphasized their common features and led to the concept of superfamilies, the three most important being the ligand-gated ion channels, the second-messenger linked receptor, and voltage-gated ion channels. After two important introductory chapters, one on the lines of metazoan evolution, the other on a new method of heterologous expression of membrane proteins, contributions are grouped in four parts, the first three on the three superfamilies, the last one on the general properties of insect neurons. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780817627850
  • Publisher: Springer-Verlag New York, LLC
  • Publication date: 12/1/1992
  • Series: Experientia Supplementa Ser. , #63
  • Pages: 433

Table of Contents

Old concepts and new approaches
The major lines of metazoan evolution: Summary of traditional evidence and lessons from ribosomal RNA sequence analysis 1
Heterologous expression of the membrane proteins that control cellular excitability 31
Ligand-gated ion channels
Molluscan ligand-gated ion-channel receptors 48
Acetylcholine receptor molecules of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans 65
Acetylcholine receptor/channel molecules of insects 81
Muscarinic acetylcholine receptors in invertebrates: Comparisons with homologous receptors from vertebrates 98
Pharmacology of the GABA receptor of insect central neurones in culture: A patch-clamp study 146
GABA Receptor molecules of insects 172
Cloning of a putative GABA[subscript A] receptor from cyclodiene-resistant Drosophila: A case study in the use of insecticide-resistant mutants to isolate neuroreceptors 210
Molecular biology of excitatory amino acid receptors: Subtypes and subunits 224
Molecular analysis of Drosophila glutamate receptors 234
Channels formed by M2 peptides of a putative glutamate receptor subunit of locust 241
Single channel properties at the synaptic site 250
Second messenger-linked receptors
Structural and functional conservation of serotonin receptors throughout evolution 266
The wide range of actions of the FMRFamide-related peptides and the biological importance of peptidergic messengers 279
Molecular studies on insect octopamine receptors 286
Bioamine receptors: Evolutionary and functional variations of a structural leitmotiv 297
Voltage-gated ion channels
Molecular basis of K[superscript +] channel inactivation gating 338
Potassium conductance and potassium channels in a primitive insect: The cockroach Periplaneta americana 352
Ionic channels in cultured Drosophila neurons 366
Receptor diversity and integrative properties of the neurons
The electrophysiological pharmacology of neurotransmitter receptors on locust neuronal somata 390
Modulation of insect neurone properties 414
Subject Index 425
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