Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Evolution of a contraceptive for sea lamprey

25.06.2009
Findings may help rescue Great Lakes fisheries

In addition to providing fundamental insights into the early evolution of the estrogen receptor, research by a team at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine may lead to a contraceptive for female lampreys – a jawless fish considered an invasive pest species in the Great Lakes region of the United States. This could prove important to the Great Lakes region, where lampreys aggressively consume trout, salmon, sturgeon and other game fish.

"Since the introduction of sea lamprey to the Great Lakes, the fisheries have been devastated, and as a result, there is much interest in finding new methods to control the lamprey population," said Michael E. Baker, PhD, professor in UC San Diego's Department of Medicine, Division of Nephrology-Hypertension. "Our research could lead to a contraceptive for female lamprey, providing a method to control their reproduction in the Great Lakes." The researchers' findings will be published by PloS ONE on June 25.

Lampreys evolved about 450 million years ago, before the appearance of sharks. In contrast to sharks, fish and land vertebrates, lampreys have no jaw. They feed on fish by attaching themselves to the fish and sucking their body fluids. Their aggressive consumption of game fish has eliminated many natural predators of the alewife, another invasive species on the Great Lakes. This has allowed the alewife population to explode, with adverse effects on many native fish species.

As part of a program to understand the evolution of steroid hormone signaling, the UC San Diego researchers characterized the estrogen-binding site on the estrogen receptor in the sea lamprey. To accomplish this, Baker – along with David Chang, student in the UC San Diego Department of Biology, and Charlie Chandsawangbhuwana, graduate student of Bioengineering in UC San Diego's Jacobs School of Engineering – constructed a 3-D model of the structure of the lamprey estrogen receptor.

The active estrogen in lamprey is unknown, although recent research in the field suggested that lamprey estrogens contain a 15alpha-hydroxyl group, which is lacking in other types of vertebrate estrogen. The model developed by the UC San Diego research team uncovered a unique interaction between 15alpha-hydroxy-estradiol and an amino acid called methionine, found only in lamprey estrogen receptors.

"The unique aspect of this interaction suggests that there are compounds that can bind specifically to the lamprey estrogen receptor, but not to estrogen receptors in other animals," said Baker, adding that some of these compounds could interfere with estrogen action and act as contraceptives in female lamprey, providing a method to control their numbers.

Debra Kain | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ucsd.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht The irresistible fragrance of dying vinegar flies
16.08.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie

nachricht How protein islands form
15.08.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

Im Focus: Scientists improve forecast of increasing hazard on Ecuadorian volcano

Researchers from the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, the Italian Space Agency (ASI), and the Instituto Geofisico--Escuela Politecnica Nacional (IGEPN) of Ecuador, showed an increasing volcanic danger on Cotopaxi in Ecuador using a powerful technique known as Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR).

The Andes region in which Cotopaxi volcano is located is known to contain some of the world's most serious volcanic hazard. A mid- to large-size eruption has...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New thruster design increases efficiency for future spaceflight

16.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Transporting spin: A graphene and boron nitride heterostructure creates large spin signals

16.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

A new method for the 3-D printing of living tissues

16.08.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>