In 1977 the neuropeptide FMRFamide was isolated from the clam, Macrocallista nimbosa. Since then several
hundred FMRFamide-related peptides (FaRPs) have been isolated from invertebrate animals. Precursors to the FaRPs
likely arose in the cnidarians. With the transition to a bilateral body plan FaRPs became a fixture in the invertebrate phyla.
They have come to play a critical role as neurotransmitters, neuromodulators, and neurohormones. FaRPs regulate a variety
of body functions including, feeding, digestion, circulation, reproduction, movement. The evolution of the molecular
form and function of these omnipresent peptides will be considered.
Keywords: FMRFamide, FaRPs, cnidaria, platyhelminthes, nematoda, annelida, mollusca, arthropoda.
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