Science Signaling Podcast: 1 May 2012

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Sci. Signal.  01 May 2012:
Vol. 5, Issue 222, pp. pc9
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2003145

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This Podcast features a conversation with an author of a Research Article published in the 1 May 2012 issue of Science Signaling. Hiroshi Suga discusses the evolution of tyrosine kinases during the transition from unicellularity to multicellularity in the animal lineage. Suga and colleagues analyzed the tyrosine kinase complement of filastereans, which are unicellular organisms that are the closest relatives to the clade that includes the multicellular animals (metazoa) and the choanoflagellates, a group of free-living unicellular and colonial eukaryotes. They found that filastereans share the same basic repertoire of cytoplasmic tyrosine kinases with metazoans and choanoflagellates, but that the receptor tyrosine kinase repertoire of each group differed, implying that this class of tyrosine kinases underwent diversification in each of the lineages. These findings imply that ancestral unicellular eukaryotes used a limited set of receptor tyrosine kinases to receive information from the environment and that these receptors were recruited for use in cell-cell communication and underwent subsequent amplification and diversification in the metazoan lineage.

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