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PLoS One. 2009 May 29;4(5):e5741. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0005741.

Evolution of thermal response properties in a cold-activated TRP channel.

Author information

1
Department of Physiology, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California, United States of America.

Abstract

Animals sense changes in ambient temperature irrespective of whether core body temperature is internally maintained (homeotherms) or subject to environmental variation (poikilotherms). Here we show that a cold-sensitive ion channel, TRPM8, displays dramatically different thermal activation ranges in frogs versus mammals or birds, consistent with variations in these species' cutaneous and core body temperatures. Thus, somatosensory receptors are not static through evolution, but show functional diversity reflecting the characteristics of an organism's ecological niche.

PMID:
19492038
PMCID:
PMC2683941
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0005741
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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