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Type: Journal article
Title: Substitutions in woolly mammoth hemoglobin confer biochemical properties adaptive for cold tolerance
Author: Campbell, K.
Roberts, J.
Watson, L.
Stetefeld, J.
Sloan, A.
Signore, A.
Howatt, J.
Tame, J.
Rohland, N.
Shen, T.
Austin, J.
Hofreiter, M.
Ho, C.
Weber, R.
Cooper, A.
Citation: Nature Genetics, 2010; 42(5):536-542
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Issue Date: 2010
ISSN: 1061-4036
Statement of
Kevin L Campbell, Jason E E Roberts, Laura N Watson, Jörg Stetefeld, Angela M Sloan, Anthony V Signore, Jesse W Howatt, Jeremy R H Tame, Nadin Rohland, Tong-Jian Shen, Jeremy J Austin, Michael Hofreiter, Chien Ho, Roy E Weber & Alan Cooper
Abstract: We have genetically retrieved, resurrected and performed detailed structure-function analyses on authentic woolly mammoth hemoglobin to reveal for the first time both the evolutionary origins and the structural underpinnings of a key adaptive physiochemical trait in an extinct species. Hemoglobin binds and carries O2; however, its ability to offload O2 to respiring cells is hampered at low temperatures, as heme deoxygenation is inherently endothermic (that is, hemoglobin-O2 affinity increases as temperature decreases). We identify amino acid substitutions with large phenotypic effect on the chimeric b/d-globin subunit of mammoth hemoglobin that provide a unique solution to this problem and thereby minimize energetically costly heat loss. This biochemical specialization may have been involved in the exploitation of high-latitude environments by this African-derived elephantid lineage during the Pleistocene period. This powerful new approach to directly analyze the genetic and structural basis of physiological adaptations in an extinct species adds an important new dimension to the study of natural selection.
Keywords: Animals
Diphosphoglyceric Acids
Amino Acid Substitution
Adaptation, Physiological
Evolution, Molecular
Partial Pressure
Models, Molecular
Molecular Sequence Data
Cold Temperature
Rights: © 2010 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved
DOI: 10.1038/ng.574
Grant ID: ARC
Published version:
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest
Australian Centre for Ancient DNA publications
Earth and Environmental Sciences publications
Environment Institute Leaders publications
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