Hormonal imprinting in the unicellular Tetrahymena: The proto-model of epigenetics

Csaba, György (2012) Hormonal imprinting in the unicellular Tetrahymena: The proto-model of epigenetics. Acta Microbiologica et Immunologica Hungarica, 59 (3). pp. 291-310. ISSN 1217-8950

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The unicellular ciliate, Tetrahymena has a complete hormonal system. It has receptors for receiving hormones, produces, stores and secretes hormones, similar to mammalian ones and has signal transduction pathways, for transmitting the information given by the hormones. The first encounter with a hormone provokes the hormonal imprinting under the effect of which the further encounters with the same hormone induces altered (usually enhanced) reaction (hormone binding, hormone synthesis, chemoattraction, movement, growth etc.). The effect of imprinting is durable, it can be observed also after 1000 generations, or after one year in non-dividing cells. Receptors of the nuclear envelope also can be imprinted. The plasma membrane receptors provoked by imprinting are similar to the receptors of mammals. Although steroid hormones are not present in Tetrahymena, the production of them and their receptors can be induced by imprinting. The hormonal imprinting is an epigenetic process and inhibition of DNA-methylation alters the imprinting. Hormonal imprinting in Tetrahymena was likely the first epigenetic phenomenon which was justified at cellular level. It is very useful for the unicells, as it helps to avoid dangerous molecules more easily or to find useful ones and by this contributes to the permanence of the population’s life.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science / természettudomány > QR Microbiology / mikrobiológia
Depositing User: xFruzsina xPataki
Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2017 06:23
Last Modified: 06 Oct 2017 06:23

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