A Quest for novel Signaling Molecules in Pleurobrachia Bachei
Girardo, David Orion
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The evolution of the nervous system is poorly understood, with broad implications in basic neuroscience and regenerative medicine. The unintuitive nervous system of the basal Ctenophores provides an insight into neuronal evolution. We developed a Zero-Click computational pipeline for secretory peptide prediction from raw genomic, transcriptomic, and proteomic sources (Girardo, 2012), in search of novel signaling pathways. This pipeline was applied to gene models produced from our Pleurobrachia bachei genome, initiated in July 2009 (Moroz, 2012), to obtain a list of 38 putative secretory peptides (Citarella, 2012). 10 of these peptides with no direct homology were selected for cloning and in situ hybridization. Many predicted products localize to neuronal structures, indicating a more complex neuropeptide signaling network than previously described in Ctenophore.