Dean C. Semmens

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The SALMFamides are a family of neuropeptides that act as muscle relaxants in echinoderms. Analysis of genome/transcriptome sequence data from the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus (Echinoidea), the sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus (Holothuroidea), and the starfish Patiria miniata (Asteroidea) reveals that in each species there are two types of(More)
Feeding in starfish is a remarkable process in which the cardiac stomach is everted over prey and then retracted when prey tissue has been resorbed. Previous studies have revealed that SALMFamide-type neuropeptides trigger cardiac stomach relaxation and eversion in the starfish Asterias rubens. We hypothesized, therefore, that a counteracting neuropeptide(More)
Neuropeptides are evolutionarily ancient mediators of neuronal signalling in nervous systems. With recent advances in genomics/transcriptomics, an increasingly wide range of species has become accessible for molecular analysis. The deuterostomian invertebrates are of particular interest in this regard because they occupy an 'intermediate' position in animal(More)
Neuropeptides are ancient regulators of physiology and behaviour, but reconstruction of neuropeptide evolution is often difficult owing to lack of sequence conservation. Here, we report that the receptor for the neuropeptide NGFFFamide in the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus (phylum Echinodermata) is an orthologue of vertebrate neuropeptide-S (NPS)(More)
BACKGROUND Recent genomic information has revealed that neuroglobin and cytoglobin are the two principal lineages of vertebrate hemoglobins, with the latter encompassing the familiar myoglobin and α-globin/β-globin tetramer hemoglobin, and several minor groups. In contrast, very little is known about hemoglobins in echinoderms, a phylum of exclusively(More)
BACKGROUND Neuropeptides with an Amino Terminal Cu(II), Ni(II) Binding (ATCUN) motif (H2N-xxH) bind Cu(II)/Ni(II) ions. Here we report the novel discovery of a neuropeptide precursor that gives rise to a "cocktail" of peptides that bind Cu(II)/Ni(II) and form ternary complexes--the L-type SALMFamide precursor in the starfish Asterias rubens. METHODS(More)
Neuropeptides are an ancient class of neuronal signaling molecules that regulate a variety of physiological and behavioral processes in animals. The life cycle of many animals includes a larval stage(s) that precedes metamorphic transition to a reproductively active adult stage but, with the exception of Drosophila melanogaster and other insects, research(More)
Neuropeptides are evolutionarily ancient mediators of neuronal signalling that regulate a wide range of physiological processes and behaviours in animals. Neuropeptide signalling has been investigated extensively in vertebrates and protostomian invertebrates, which include the ecdysozoans Drosophila melanogaster (Phylum Arthropoda) and Caenorhabditis(More)
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