Margareta Sutija

Netherlands Institute for Space Research, Utrecht, Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands

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Publications (5)12.18 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: A defining feature of tetrapod evolutionary origins is the transition from fish fins to tetrapod limbs. A major change during this transition is the appearance of the autopod (hands, feet), which comprises two distinct regions, the wrist/ankle and the digits. When the autopod first appeared in Late Devonian fossil tetrapods, it was incomplete: digits evolved before the full complement of wrist/ankle bones. Early tetrapod wrists/ankles, including those with a full complement of bones, also show a sharp pattern discontinuity between proximal elements and distal elements. This suggests the presence of a discontinuity in the proximal-distal sequence of development. Such a discontinuity occurs in living urodeles, where digits form before completion of the wrist/ankle, implying developmental independence of the digits from wrist/ankle elements. We have observed comparable independent development of pectoral fin radials in the lungfish Neoceratodus (Osteichthyes: Sarcopterygii), relative to homologues of the tetrapod limb and proximal wrist elements in the main fin axis. Moreover, in the Neoceratodus fin, expression of Hoxd13 closely matches late expression patterns observed in the tetrapod autopod. This evidence suggests that Neoceratodus fin radials and tetrapod digits may be patterned by shared mechanisms distinct from those patterning the proximal fin/limb elements, and in that sense are homologous. The presence of independently developing radials in the distal part of the pectoral (and pelvic) fin may be a general feature of the Sarcopterygii.
    Journal of Experimental Zoology Part B Molecular and Developmental Evolution 12/2007; 308(6):757-68. DOI:10.1002/jez.b.21197 · 2.31 Impact Factor
  • M Sutija · J M P Joss ·
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    ABSTRACT: In vertebrates, hormones released from the thyroid gland travel in the circulation to target tissues where they may be processed by deiodinating enzymes into more active or inactive iodothyronines. In mammals, there are three deiodinating enzymes described. Type1 (D1), which primarily occurs in the liver, converts reverse T3 into T2 for clearance. It also converts T4 into T3. This production of T3 is believed to contribute to the bulk of circulating T3 in mammals. The type2 (D2) enzyme may be found in many other tissues where it converts T4 to T3, which is then transferred to the receptors in the nucleus of the same cell, i.e. does not contribute to the circulating T3. The type3 (D3) enzyme converts T3 into T2. The expression of the genes for these three enzymes and/or the activity of the enzymes have been studied in several non-mammalian groups of vertebrates. From agnathans to birds, D2 and D3 appear to occur universally, with the possible exception of squamate reptiles (lack D2?). D1 has not been found in amphibians, lungfish or agnathans. All three enzymes are selenoproteins, in which a selenocysteine is found in the active centre. The nucleotide code for translation of a selenocysteine is UGA, which under normal circumstances is a stop codon. In order for UGA to code for selenocysteine, there must be a SECIS element in the 3'UTR of the mRNA. Any disruption of the SECIS will result in a truncated protein in the region of its active centre. It is suggested that such alternative splicing may be a mode of altering the expression of deiodinases in particular tissues to change the response of such tissues to thyroid hormones under differing circumstances such as stages of development.
    Journal of Comparative Physiology B 03/2006; 176(2):87-92. DOI:10.1007/s00360-005-0018-y · 2.62 Impact Factor
  • Zerina Johanson · Margareta Sutija · Jean Joss ·
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    ABSTRACT: Differentiation of the axial skeleton into distinct regions, once thought to be characteristic of the Tetrapoda, also occurs in the actinopterygian Danio rerio. In these taxa, the boundary between the cervical-thoracic regions correlates with Hoxc6 expression and morphological features such as position of the pectoral fin and associated nerves, and the absence of ribs. In the lungfish Neoceratodus, a member of the extant sister taxon to the Tetrapoda, the first vertebral element to chondrify is situated well posterior to the skull, developing from somites 6 and 7 (6/7) and associated with an enlarged cranial rib and nerves innervating the pectoral fin. Two vertebral elements develop later and more anteriorly, associated with somites 4/5 and 5/6. These three elements become incorporated into the occipital region of the skull during Neoceratodus ontogeny, until the cranial rib itself articulates to the rear of the skull. These features of early development indicate a regionalization of the Neoceratodus vertebral column: the cranial rib marks the boundary between the cervical and thoracic regions, the two more anterior vertebrae lacking ribs represent the cervical region, while somites 1-4 (cranial half), lacking any vertebral development, represent the occipital region. However, the cervical region of the vertebral column is effectively lost during ontogeny of Neoceratodus. A recognizable cervical region in the tetrapod vertebral column, as in zebrafish, suggests that cervical vertebrae are not incorporated into the skull but maintained as distinct elements of the column, representing an important shift in relative developmental timing and the influence of heterochrony in this region during the fish-tetrapod transition.
    Journal of Experimental Zoology Part B Molecular and Developmental Evolution 05/2005; 304(3):229-37. DOI:10.1002/jez.b.21048 · 2.31 Impact Factor
  • Margareta Sutija · Terrence J Longhurst · Jean M P Joss ·
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    ABSTRACT: This work presents characterisation of deiodinase type III (D3) mRNA as cDNA and the tissue distribution of D3 mRNA in the Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri. We have identified the full length of a approximately 1.4 kb D3 mRNA in the liver, which has a single in-frame UGA codon and a selenocysteine insertion sequence (SECIS) form 2 in the 3'-UTR. Lungfish D3 mRNA was expressed in all tested tissues (liver, lung, kidney, brain, heart, and gills) as demonstrated by Northern blot analyses. PCR conducted on genomic DNA indicated that the lungfish D3 is a single exon gene. Also, we present enzymatic characteristics of this exclusively IRD enzyme, have determined its substrate preference, DTT cofactor requirements, PTU inhibition, and kinetic properties. These results indicate that lungfish D3 has the typical enzymatic characteristics of vertebrate D3 enzymes.
    General and Comparative Endocrinology 05/2004; 136(2):152-61. DOI:10.1016/j.ygcen.2003.12.013 · 2.47 Impact Factor
  • Margareta Sutija · Terrence J Longhurst · Jean M.P. Joss ·
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    ABSTRACT: Deiodinase type II metabolises the prohormone T4 (thyroxine) into the biologically active hormone T3 (3,5,3'-triiodothyronine), at the cellular level in extrathyroidal target tissues. In juvenile lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri, a typical deiodinase type II is present in most tissues. We have identified the full length of a 1.8 kb deiodinase type II mRNA in liver, and a truncated (1.3 kb) version in brain. Both mRNAs have two in frame UGA codons, but only the liver form has a predicted SECIS structure (form 1) in its 3'-UTR. We also report the presence of additional different length transcripts of deiodinase II mRNA, i.e., 3, 4, and 8 kb, in liver, and 8 kb in kidney, heart, and gill tissues. Expression of the longer (approximately 8 kb) transcript is very low. Real-time PCR confirmed the low expression of transcripts in all tissues, suggested by the Northern blot analysis.
    General and Comparative Endocrinology 08/2003; 132(3):409-17. DOI:10.1016/S0016-6480(03)00115-1 · 2.47 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

99 Citations
12.18 Total Impact Points


  • 2007
    • Netherlands Institute for Space Research, Utrecht
      Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands
  • 2003-2006
    • Macquarie University
      • Department of Biological Sciences
      Sydney, New South Wales, Australia