Over years, there have been different researches to find the origin of several body fluids, including the haemoglobin. Now, a new study on haemoglobin’s existence suggests that it was originated in a single gene and transmitted to all the red blood species by their last common ancestor. The study conducted by the scientists from CNRS, Universite de Paris and Sorbonne Universite, University of Saint Petersburg and the University of Rio de Janeiro found some shocking fact about the evolution of haemoglobin.
According to the new study, haemoglobin – responsible for the formation of red blood – is derived from a single ancestral gene. The researchers find this complex “pre-blood” evolution of globins with early gene radiation in ancestral bilaterians. It was earlier presumed that haemoglobin has been ‘evolved’ several times as it appears independently in several species.
The study published in BMC Evolutionary Biology states that the research was conducted by comparing the red blood of worms with other species. The study has helped these scientists in tracing the origins of haemoglobin, an important component of blood. The study was mainly focused on the broad family of haemoglobins including globins. These globins act inside the cells and do not circulate in the blood, like haemoglobin and proteins that are present in almost all living beings and ‘store’ gases like oxygen and nitric oxide.
During the study, it was found that the red blood present is all the species are derived from the same gene that produces globin called ‘cytoglobin’. This cytoglobin independently evolves to become a haemoglobin-encoding gene as it made oxygen circulation more efficient in their ancestors, who became larger and more active.
According to the report published in the BMC, scientists have studied the marine annelid Platynereis dumerilii, a species with a slow evolving genome to unravel globin evolution in bilaterians. This Platynereis has a closed vascular system containing a large family of extracellular haemoglobin. It has a family of 19 globins, nine of which are predicted to be extracellular. The study also suggests that all haemoglobins derive from globin, or cytoglobin, are involved in intracellular O2 transit and regulation.
For those who are not aware, haemoglobin is a complex protein responsible for transportation of the oxygen found in the circulatory system of vertebrates and also in annelids (a worm family whose most famous members are earthworms), molluscs (especially pond snails) and crustaceans (such as daphnia or ‘water fleas’). Deficiency of haemoglobin in blood can reduce the oxygen-transporting efficiency of the RBCs.
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