Decoded: How goldfish make alcohol to survive without oxygen

Decoded: How goldfish make alcohol to survive without oxygen

Decoded: How goldfish make alcohol to survive without oxygen

Scientists have discovered how alcohol produces goldfish to survive the harsh winters on the frozen lake, a remarkable ability making it one of the most resistant animals in human care.

Humans and most other vertebrates die within minutes without oxygen. However, goldfish and their wild relatives, carp cruciennes, can survive for days, even months, in the oxygen-free water at the bottom of the ice-covered ponds.

Meanwhile, fish are able to convert lactic acid to produced anaerobic ethanol, which transmits through its gills into the surrounding water and prevents a dangerous accumulation of lactic acid in the body.

Scientists at the University of Oslo in Norway and the University of Liverpool in the UK found the molecular mechanism behind this highly unusual ability, unique among vertebrates and most frequently associated with yeast.

The team showed that muscles of fish and crucizen tents contain not only the usual but two sets of proteins they normally use to channel carbohydrates into their rest in a cell’s mitochondria – a key step for energy production.

Although all these proteins appear very similar to those of other species, the second set is strongly activated by the absence of oxygen and shows a mutation that allows channeling metabolic substrates for the formation of ethanol outside mitochondria.

Other genetic analyzes suggest that the two sets of proteins appeared as part of an event of complete genome duplication of a common ancestor of goldfish and cruciferous tents about eight million years ago.

“During their stay in oxygen-free water in ice-covered ponds, which can last for several months in their habitat in northern Europe, the concentration of alcohol in the carpin can reach more than 50 mg per 100 milliliters, which is Above the race cups in these countries, “said Michael Berenbrink University of Liverpool.

“However, it is still a much better situation than the filling of lactic acid, which is the end product of the metabolism of other vertebrates, including humans, when they are depleted of oxygen,” Berenbrink said.

“This research focuses on the role of duplication of the entire genome in the evolution of biological novelty and adaptation of species to earlier inhospitable environments,” said Cathrine Elisabeth Fagernes, University of Oslo lead author of the study published in the journal Scientific Reports.

“Ethanol production allows carp cruens to be the only species of fish that survive and operate these hostile environments, preventing competition and predation from escaping by other fish species with which they normally interact in better oxygenated waters,” said Fagernes.

“It is not surprising that the cousin of the carp cruque, goldfish is probably one of the strongest animals in human care,” he said.

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