Volume 45 Issue 1
Jan.  2024
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Article Contents
Shun Wang, Peng Zhang, Fan Fei, Tianyang Tong, Xiujuan Zhou, Yajie Zhou, Jing Zhang, Mengke Wei, Yanqi Zhang, Lei Zhang, Yulong Huang, Lin Zhang, Xin Zhang, Tiantian Cai, Can Xie. Unexpected divergence in magnetoreceptor MagR from robin and pigeon linked to two sequence variations. Zoological Research, 2024, 45(1): 69-78. doi: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2023.138
Citation: Shun Wang, Peng Zhang, Fan Fei, Tianyang Tong, Xiujuan Zhou, Yajie Zhou, Jing Zhang, Mengke Wei, Yanqi Zhang, Lei Zhang, Yulong Huang, Lin Zhang, Xin Zhang, Tiantian Cai, Can Xie. Unexpected divergence in magnetoreceptor MagR from robin and pigeon linked to two sequence variations. Zoological Research, 2024, 45(1): 69-78. doi: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2023.138

Unexpected divergence in magnetoreceptor MagR from robin and pigeon linked to two sequence variations

doi: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2023.138
Supplementary data to this article can be found online.
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
C.X. and T.C. conceived the idea and designed the study. S.W. carried out protein purification, site-directed mutagenesis, UV-vis measurements, ferrozine assay, CD spectroscopy, and EPR experiments. S.W. and C.X. performed data analysis. P.Z., F.F., Y.H., and L.Z. helped with SQUID measurement and data analysis. F.F. helped with size-exclusion chromatography data analysis. P.Z. and T.T. helped with EPR experiments. T.T., Y.Z., and X.Z. contributed to the ferrozine assay data analysis. Y.Z. and T.T. helped with CD measurements. J.Z., X.Z., M.W., and Y.Z. provided valuable suggestions on data analysis. S.W and C.X. wrote the paper. T.C. and C.X. revised the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final version of the manuscript.
Funds:  This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31640001 and T2350005 to C.X., U21A20148 to X.Z. and C.X.), Ministry of Science and Technology of China (2021ZD0140300 to C.X.), and Presidential Foundation of Hefei Institutes of Physical Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences (Y96XC11131, E26CCG27, and E26CCD15 to C.X., E36CWGBR24B and E36CZG14132 to T.C.)
More Information
  • Corresponding author: E-mail: ttcai@hmfl.ac.cncanxie@hmfl.ac.cn
  • Received Date: 2023-10-11
  • Accepted Date: 2023-11-28
  • Published Online: 2023-11-30
  • Publish Date: 2024-01-18
  • Birds exhibit extraordinary mobility and remarkable navigational skills, obtaining guidance cues from the Earth’s magnetic field for orientation and long-distance movement. Bird species also show tremendous diversity in navigation strategies, with considerable differences even within the same taxa and among individuals from the same population. The highly conserved iron and iron-sulfur cluster binding magnetoreceptor (MagR) protein is suggested to enable animals, including birds, to detect the geomagnetic field and navigate accordingly. Notably, MagR is also implicated in other functions, such as electron transfer and biogenesis of iron-sulfur clusters, raising the question of whether variability exists in its biochemical and biophysical features among species, particularly birds. In the current study, we conducted a comparative analysis of MagR from two different bird species, including the migratory European robin and the homing pigeon. Sequence alignment revealed an extremely high degree of similarity between the MagRs of these species, with only three sequence variations. Nevertheless, two of these variations underpinned significant differences in metal binding capacity, oligomeric state, and magnetic properties. These findings offer compelling evidence for the marked differences in MagR between the two avian species, potentially explaining how a highly conserved protein can mediate such diverse functions.
  • Supplementary data to this article can be found online.
    The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
    C.X. and T.C. conceived the idea and designed the study. S.W. carried out protein purification, site-directed mutagenesis, UV-vis measurements, ferrozine assay, CD spectroscopy, and EPR experiments. S.W. and C.X. performed data analysis. P.Z., F.F., Y.H., and L.Z. helped with SQUID measurement and data analysis. F.F. helped with size-exclusion chromatography data analysis. P.Z. and T.T. helped with EPR experiments. T.T., Y.Z., and X.Z. contributed to the ferrozine assay data analysis. Y.Z. and T.T. helped with CD measurements. J.Z., X.Z., M.W., and Y.Z. provided valuable suggestions on data analysis. S.W and C.X. wrote the paper. T.C. and C.X. revised the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final version of the manuscript.
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