Within the past few years, the phylogenetic tree is discussed controversially regarding the position of the different bilaterian groups. There are two varying views of evolution: the classical one based on morphological structures where the annelids and arthropods are combined in the group of Articulata, and a new hypothesis based on molecular data sets, which divides the protostomian groups in Ecdysozoa (e.g. arthropods, and nematodes) and Lophotrochozoa (e.g. annelids, molluscs, and platyhelminthes). The Na +/K+-ATPase is a highly conserved protein and fulfils a very important role in physiology and maintaining the homeostasis of cells and can be found in almost all eukaryotic animals. Due to its similar molecular structure throughout the animal kingdom the Na+/K+-ATPase is an excellent marker for phylogenetic studies. Here we report the molecular cloning, sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of Na+/K +-ATPase complementary deoxyribonucleic acid (cDNA) of the medical leech Hirudo medicinalis. The cloned cDNA codes for a polypeptide of 1022 amino acids and possesses a predicted molecular mass of 113.33 kDa. Phylogenetic analysis of the complete Na+/K+-ATPase α-subunit of H. medicinalis and sequence data from other Na+/K+-ATPases supports the previously developed 'Ecdysozoa concept' with high posterior probabilities. A common clade comprising annelids and platyhelminthes can be defined, whereas nematodes are in a basal position at the arthropod stem line.
|Journal||Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research|
|Number of pages||4|
|Publication status||Published - 11.2005|