Hormones and the genetic code of invertebrates and vertebrates

Reconciling the deep homology of neuromodulation with the evolution of behavior

Review Article

Current Opinion in Neurobiology, Volume 29, December 2014, Pages 39-47
Paul S Katz, Joshua L Lillvis

[MODERATOR NOTE: Does anyone on this group have access to a PDF of this entire article, which seems very pertinent to this group.  If anyone can get the PDF, if you email it as an attachment to jay.feierman84@…, I’ll make it available through private email to anyone on the group who wants it.]

Article excerpt: “The diversification of GnRH receptor/peptide signaling via duplication events (Figure 1) has allowed such neofunctionalization.”

My comment: Re: the moderator note from Jay R. Feierman.

Feierman has done everything possible to limit discussion of hormones and the genetic code in our model of GnRH-directed hormone-organized and hormone-activated behaviors, which we first detailed in our Hormones and Behavior review From Fertilization to Adult Sexual Behavior. The model of pheromone-controlled alternative splicings of pre-mRNA and cell type differentiation was subsequently extended to insects and to the life history transitions of the honeybee. My understanding of biologically-based cause and effect led to additional publications of award-winning works that link what’s known about the conserved molecular mechanisms that enable ecological variation to be manifested as ecological adaptations in morphological and behavioral phenotypes of species from microbes to man. (In 1996, we began with sexual differentiation of cell types in yeasts.)

Katz and Lillvis (2014) and authors of other articles in the Current Opinion in Neurobiology edition on neuromodulation, make it easier to connect nearly all the ecological aspects of nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled ecological adaptations to horomone-organized and hormone-activated invertebrate and vertebrate species-specific behaviors. Unfortunately, framing their reports on neuromodulation in the context of evolution short-circuits the connections they make. Those connections clearly represent how ecological variation leads to ecological adaptations manifested in morphological and behavioral phenotypes.

The manifestations of hormone-organized and hormone-activated behaviors are controlled by the metabolism of nutrients to species-specific pheromones that control the physiology of reproduction, which results in biodiversity that connects ecological, social, neurogenic, and socio-cognitive niche construction to increasing organismal complexity. The link from invertebrates to vertebrates is as clear in Katz and Lillvis (2014) as it was in Diamond, Binstock and Kohl (1996) and also in this award-winning review: Human pheromones: integrating neuroendocrinology and ethology (2001).

In the 2001 review we linked the biological basis for the development of physical attraction based on chemical signals via “ …the effect of human pheromones on hormones like GnRH…” In our conclusion we wrote: “In other mammals, the olfactory link among hormones, pheromones, and a conspecific’s hormones and behavior would readily establish that visually perceived facial attractiveness, bodily symmetry, attractive WHRs, and genetically determined HLA attractiveness, are due to the neuroendocrinological conditioning of visual responsivity to olfactory stimuli.”

Continuing to focus on visual input in birds, other non-human primates, or  humans as the driving force linked to evolution via mutations and natural selection is a way to propagate pseudoscientific nonsense at at time when ecological variation is clearly linked via the de novo creation of olfactory receptor genes to ecological adaptations via nutrient-dependent gene duplication.

“Odorant receptors in vertebrates have undergone extensive duplication, neofunctionalization, and loss, influencing lineage and species differences in behavior [80–82]. This is also true of arthropod chemosensory proteins [83–85], which are not GPCRs but illustrate the general point that there are fewer constraints on extero-receptor proteins, allowing gene duplication, neofunctionalization, and loss to play a major role in evolution of behavior.” Katz and Lillvis, 2014 (p. 44)

Concluding sentence from Human pheromones and food odors: epigenetic influences on the socioaffective nature of evolved behaviors: “Olfaction and odor receptors provide a clear evolutionary trail that can be followed from unicellular organisms to insects to humans (Keller et al., 2007; Kohl, 2007; Villarreal, 2009; Vosshall, Wong, & Axel, 2000).”

The socioaffective nature of evolved receptor-mediated behaviors is that they are manifestations of how ecological variation results in ecological adaptations manifested in combinations of different receptors with no involvement of mutations except to eliminate unnecessary or dysfunctional receptors when possible. Natural selection of beneficial nutrients is enabled by exposure to food odors that induce the de novo creation of olfactory receptor genes via nutrient-dependent changes in the microRNA/messenger RNA balance, which appear to have also facilitated the ‘conditions of life’ that Darwin insisted must be considered before considering the natural selection of variation that accompanies ecological variations that enable biodiversity.

The idea that mutations somehow enable the evolution of biodiversity via natural selection is one of the most foolish ideas ever suggested by population geneticists who knew nothing about molecular biology. The foolishe ideas continue to be propagated by the followers of population geneticists who still know nothing about the conserved molecular mechanisms of species from microbes to man that enable their cell type differentiation.

See, for comparison:

RNA editing and modifications of RNAs might have favoured the evolution of the triplet genetic code from an ennuplet code   Original Research Article

Journal of Theoretical Biology, Available online 6 June 2014, Pages 
Massimo Di Giulio, Marco Moracci, Beatrice Cobucci-Ponzano

Submitted post:

Article excerpt: “The fact that today the anticodons are modified, and in particular modified by means of amino acids in a statistically significant way (Di Giulio, 1998), would make to presume in: (i) an intimate evolutionary relationship between amino acids and anticodons for the origin of the genetic code…”
That suggests the origin of the genetic code can be found in the context of ecological variation and nutrient-dependent amino acid substitutions that  differentiate cell types in individuals of all species in which the physiology of reproduction is controlled by the metabolism of nutrients to pheromones.
See also: Alternative RNA Splicing in Evolution to help transition from ideas about mutations, natural selection, and the evolution of biodiversity to facts about how ecological variation in the supply of nutrients leads to ecological adaptations via conserved molecular mechanisms in species from microbes to man.
Article excerpt: “The fact that today the anticodons are modified, and in particular modified by means of amino acids in a statistically significant way (Di Giulio, 1998), would make to presume in: (i) an intimate evolutionary relationship between amino acids and anticodons for the origin of the genetic code…”


Feierman’s despicable behaviors are unparalleled. He edits out or blocks any current information from me that attests to the role of nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled alternative splicings of pre-RNA in ecological adaptations in attempts to ensure others do not learn about the facts we presented in our 1996 review.

In our section on molecular epigenetics we (TB) wrote:

“Yet another kind of epigenetic imprinting occurs in species as diverse as yeast, Drosophila, mice, and humans and is based upon small DNA-binding proteins called “chromo domain” proteins, e.g., polycomb. These proteins affect chromatin structure, often in telomeric regions, and thereby affect transcription and silencing of various genes (Saunders, Chue, Goebl, Craig, Clark, Powers, Eissenberg, Elgin, Rothfield, and Earnshaw, 1993; Singh, Miller, Pearce, Kothary, Burton, Paro, James, and Gaunt, 1991; Trofatter, Long, Murrell, Stotler, Gusella, and Buckler, 1995). Small intranuclear proteins also participate in generating alternative splicing techniques of pre-mRNA and, by this mechanism, contribute to sexual differentiation in at least two species, Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans (Adler and Hajduk, 1994; de Bono, Zarkower, and Hodgkin, 1995; Ge, Zuo, and Manley, 1991; Green, 1991; Parkhurst and Meneely, 1994; Wilkins, 1995; Wolfner, 1988). That similar proteins perform functions in humans suggests the possibility that some human sex differences may arise from alternative splicings of otherwise identical genes.’

Feierman and others like him do not want others to know that this information has been available to others for more than 17 years. However, it will be interesting to see how he prevents discussion of accurate information now that some of it has been included in published works in Current Opinion in Neurobiology, if he has not already prevented the start of any such discussions by blocking and editing my posts .

Author: James Kohl

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