The chelonians occupy an important position in phylogeny representing a very early branching from the ancestral reptile stock. Hormonal polypeptides in an extract of the pancreas of the red-eared turtle were purified to homogeneity by reversed phase HPLC and their primary structures were determined. Turtle insulin is identical to chicken insulin. Turtle glucagon differs from chicken glucagon by the substitution of a serine by a threonine residue at position 16 and from mammalian glucagon by an additional substitution of an asparagine by a serine residue at position 28. Turtle pancreatic somatostatin is identical to mammalian somatostatin-14. The crocodilians are phylogenetically much closer to the birds than are the chelonians. Alligator insulin, however, contains three amino acid substitutions relative to chicken insulin. Thus, caution is required when inferring phylogenetic relationships based upon a comparison of amino acid sequences of homologous peptides.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience