The ABCs of Species Evolution
Published:30 Dec.2020    Source:Kyoto University

A transporter protein that regulates cell membrane cholesterol likely played an important role in vertebrate evolution, according to a review published by iCeMS researchers in the journal FEBS Letters.

Almost four decades of research have led scientists at Japan's Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (iCeMS) to propose that a family of transporter proteins has played an important role in species evolution. One protein in particular, called ABCA1, was likely crucial for vertebrate evolution by helping regulate when signals involved in cell proliferation, differentiation and migration enter a cell. This process was necessary for vertebrates to develop into more complex organisms with sophisticated body structures.