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Phylogenic and Evolutionary Analysis of Glutamate Receptors Based on Extant Invertebrate Genes

Keywords: Phylogenetic analysis , glutamate receptors , evolution , genes

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Abstract:

The ionotropic glutamate receptors, iGluRs, play diverse but important roles in the central nervous system. Specific iGluRs were found to be implicated in neurological pathways that modulate memory and behaviours in lower species including C. elegans. In this project, a bioinformatics approach involving protein BLAST, multiple sequence alignment and phylogenetic analyses was used to examine the evolutionary relationship between C. elegans and other invertebrate species. While most C. elegans iGluRs shared close lineages with their human counterparts, some, including iGluR subtype 5-8 did not share significant lineages with specific human orthologs. Interestingly, phylogenetic trees constructed using full-length and partial sequences specifically showed that C. elegans iGluR-8 remained on a lineage that is noticeably different than that of NMDA and non-NMDA families. Such evolutionary lineages may elucidate important information regarding neurological development in different species and may facilitate the development of therapeutic agents for the treatment of neurological disorders.

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