Horm Metab Res 1988; 20: 430-435
DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-1010853
© Georg Thieme Verlag, Stuttgart · New York

Appalachian Spring: Variations on Ancient Gastro-Entero-Pancreatic Themes in New World Mammals

S. Seino, C. D. Blackstone, S. J. Chan, J. Whittaker, G. I. Bell, D. F. Steiner
  • University of Chicago, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and The Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Chicago, U.S.A.
The natives of Appalachia were originally English colonists who brought with them the dialects and customs of their Elizabethan ancestors, but these became highly modified during the centuries-long isolation of these peoples in the mountainous regions of the North American “New World.”
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Publication Date:
14 March 2008 (online)


Studies of guinea pig genomic and/or cDNA clones encoding the gastro-entero-pancreatic (GEP) hormones - insulin, glucagon and pancreatic polypeptide - as well as portions of the insulin receptor, are described. Multiple clustered substitutions (localized rapid mutation acceptance) altering the biological properties of both insulin and glucagon have been revealed, but this does not appear to be the case with either pancreatic polypeptide or those regions of guinea pig insulin receptor cDNAs that have been examined thus far. These findings suggest that novel selective pressures operative in the New World environment, in which these animals evolved in isolation from Old World mammalian species, have led to altered solutions to problems related to the regulation of growth and carbohydrate metabolism.