Tangled Bank Seminar
Monday November 4th the Tangled Bank Seminar will be given by Pavel Stopka on "Proteomic architecture of chemical communication".
Title: Proteomic architecture of chemical communication
Associate professor in zoology
Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Prague
The transition from water to land was accompanied by remarkable adaptations for terrestrial life. These included rapid changes in olfaction, thus animals were newly able to detect volatile air-born signals rather then soluble signals from water. Gene duplication and sexual selection were presumably the major forces that mediated these changes in general phenotype. Most apparent adaptations to scents were described in rodents with mice being the model species for studying chemical communication and the scents that mice produce and release with their urine. Mouse urine is an important source of continuously produced sex-dimorphic chemical signals comprising volatile organic compounds (VOCs), short peptides, and proteins that transport selected VOCs throughout their passage to external environment (e.g. Major Urinary Proteins, MUP). Many of these molecules are involved in fundamental biological processes along the liver-kidney-bladder axis and some of them present signals accessible for olfactory recognition. In the lecture, I will attempt to demonstrate how the capacity to release and detect volatile signals might have evolved (e.g. sexual selection as a driving force) and why the same signal-presenting proteins occur in most other mucosal tissues and in different animal taxa.
I'm a biologist in the Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, Charles University in Prague. I am author of 60 peer-reviewed papers and several book chapters (e.g. Evolution of the House mouse). In my research, I focus on chemical communication and reproduction in mammals and newly also in birds. I use proteomic and metabolomic approaches to detect levels of sexual dimorphisms in proteins and volatiles that are involved in chemical communication between individuals and also between gametes (sperm-egg interactions etc.).
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