Present address: Institute of Zoology, University of Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld, 230, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
Hydra Peptide Project 1993–2007
Article first published online: 6 MAY 2008
© 2008 The Author. Journal compilation © 2008 Japanese Society of Developmental Biologists
Development, Growth & Differentiation
Special Issue: Special ISSUE for the 50th Volume: History and Current Highlights of Developmental Biology
Volume 50, Issue Supplement s1, pages S257–S268, June 2008
How to Cite
Fujisawa, T. (2008), Hydra Peptide Project 1993–2007. Development, Growth & Differentiation, 50: S257–S268. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-169X.2008.00997.x
- Issue published online: 6 MAY 2008
- Article first published online: 6 MAY 2008
- Received 22 November 2007; revised 17 January 2008; accepted 18 January 2008.
A systematic screening of peptide signaling molecules (<5000 da) in Hydra magnipapillata (the Hydra Peptide Project) was launched in 1993 and at least the first phase of the project ended in 2007. From the project a number of interesting suggestions and results have been obtained. First, a simple metazoan-like Hydra appears to contain a few hundred peptide signaling molecules: half of them neuropeptides and the rest epitheliopeptides that are produced by epithelial cells. Second, epitheliopeptides were identified for the first time in Hydra. Some exhibit morphogen-like activities, which accord with the notion that epithelial cells are primarily responsible for patterning in Hydra. A family of epitheliopeptides was involved in regulating neuron differentiation possibly through neuron–epithelial cell interaction. Third, many novel neuropeptides were identified. Most of them act directly on muscle cells inducing contraction or relaxation. Some were involved in cell differentiation and morphogenesis. During the course of this study, a number of important technical innovations (e.g. genetic manipulations in transgenic Hydra, high-throughput purification techniques, etc.) and expressed sequence tag (EST) and genome databases were introduced in Hydra research. They have already helped to identify and characterize novel peptides and will contribute even more to the Hydra Peptide Project in the near future.