The evolution and nomenclature of GnRH-type and corazonin-type neuropeptide signaling systems.
Gen Comp Endocrinol
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Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) was first discovered in mammals on account of its effect in triggering pituitary release of gonadotropins and the importance of this discovery was recognized forty years ago in the award of the 1977 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. Investigation of the evolution of GnRH revealed that GnRH-type signaling systems occur throughout the chordates, including agnathans (e.g. lampreys) and urochordates (e.g. sea squirts). Furthermore, the discovery that adipokinetic hormone (AKH) is the ligand for a GnRH-type receptor in the arthropod Drosophila melanogaster provided evidence of the antiquity of GnRH-type signaling. However, the occurrence of other AKH-like peptides in arthropods, which include corazonin and AKH/corazonin-related peptide (ACP), has complicated efforts to reconstruct the evolutionary history of this family of related neuropeptides. Genome/transcriptome sequencing has revealed that both GnRH-type receptors and corazonin-type receptors occur in lophotrochozoan protostomes (annelids, mollusks) and in deuterostomian invertebrates (cephalochordates, hemichordates, echinoderms). Furthermore, peptides that act as ligands for GnRH-type and corazonin-type receptors have been identified in mollusks. However, what has been lacking is experimental evidence that distinct GnRH-type and corazonin-type peptide-receptor signaling pathways occur in deuterostomes. Importantly, we recently reported the identification of two neuropeptides that act as ligands for either a GnRH-type receptor or a corazonin-type receptor in an echinoderm species - the common European starfish Asterias rubens. Discovery of distinct GnRH-type and corazonin-type signaling pathways in this deuterostomian invertebrate has demonstrated for the first time that the evolutionarily origin of these paralogous systems can be traced to the common ancestor of protostomes and deuterostomes. Furthermore, lineage-specific losses of corazonin signaling (in vertebrates, urochordates and nematodes) and duplication of the GnRH signaling system in arthropods (giving rise to the AKH and ACP signaling systems) and quadruplication of the GnRH signaling system in vertebrates (followed by lineage-specific losses or duplications) accounts for the phylogenetic distribution of GnRH/corazonin-type peptide-receptor pathways in extant animals. Informed by these new insights, here we review the history of research on the evolution of GnRH/corazonin-type neuropeptide signaling. Furthermore, we propose a standardized nomenclature for GnRH/corazonin-type neuropeptides wherein peptides are either named "GnRH" or "corazonin", with the exception of the paralogous GnRH-type peptides that have arisen by gene duplication in the arthropod lineage and which are referred to as "AKH" (or red pigment concentrating hormone, "RCPH", in crustaceans) and "ACP".
AuthorsZandawala, M; Tian, S; Elphick, MR
- College Publications