Open Access
Article
Parallel evolution of nitric oxide signaling: diversity of synthesis and memory pathways
Leonid L Moroz1,Andrea B Kohn1
1
The Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience, University of Florida, 9505 Ocean Shore Blvd, St. Augustine, FL 32080-8623, USA. moroz@whitney.ufl.edu
DOI: 10.2741/3837 Volume 16 Issue 6, pp.2008-2051
Published: 01 June 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Developmental and neuronal plasticity)
Abstract

The origin of NO signaling can be traceable back to the origin of life with the large scale of parallel evolution of NO synthases (NOSs). Inducible-like NOSs may be the most basal prototype of all NOSs and that neuronal-like NOS might have evolved several times from this prototype. Other enzymatic and non-enzymatic pathways for NO synthesis have been discovered using reduction of nitrites, an alternative source of NO. Diverse synthetic mechanisms can co-exist within the same cell providing a complex NO-oxygen microenvironment tightly coupled with cellular energetics. The dissection of multiple sources of NO formation is crucial in analysis of complex biological processes such as neuronal integration and learning mechanisms when NO can act as a volume transmitter within memory-forming circuits. In particular, the molecular analysis of learning mechanisms (most notably in insects and gastropod molluscs) opens conceptually different perspectives to understand the logic of recruiting evolutionarily conserved pathways for novel functions. Giant uniquely identified cells from Aplysia and related species precent unuque opportunities for integrative analysis of NO signaling at the single cell level.

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Leonid L Moroz, Andrea B Kohn. Parallel evolution of nitric oxide signaling: diversity of synthesis and memory pathways. Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark. 2011. 16(6); 2008-2051.