Seabream ghrelin



Title Seabream ghrelin: cDNA cloning, genomic organization and promoter studies
Author(s) C. M. Yeung, Catherine B. Chan, N. Y. Woo, C. H. Cheng
Journal The Journal of Endocrinology
Date 2006
Volume 189
Issue 2
Start page 365
End page 379
Abstract Recent studies have indicated that ghrelin stimulates growth hormone release from the pituitary via the growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHSR). We have previously isolated two GHSR subtypes from the pituitary of the black seabream Acanthopagrus schlegeli. In the present study, we have cloned and characterized ghrelin from the same fish species at both the cDNA and gene levels. The full-length seabream ghrelin cDNA, isolated from sea-bream stomach using a novel approach by exploiting a single conserved region in the coding region, was found to encode a prepropeptide of 107 amino acids, with the predicted mature ghrelin peptide consisting of 20 amino acids (GSSFLSPSQKPQNRGKSSRV). Embedded in this full-length cDNA is a putative fish orthologue of the recently reported mammalian obestatin peptide. The ghrelin gene in black seabream, obtained by genomic PCR, was found to encompass four exons and three introns, possessing the same structural organization as in tilapia and goldfish, but different from that in rainbow trout. In addition, a 2230-bp 5'-flanking region of the seabream ghrelin gene was obtained by genome walking. Sequence analysis revealed that, as in the case of the human ghrelin gene, there is neither a GC box nor a CAAT box present in the isolated 5'-flanking region. However, a number of putative transcription factor-binding sites different from the human counterpart were found in the 5'-flanking region of the seabream ghrelin gene, suggesting that different cis- and trans-acting elements are involved in controlling their gene expression. Functional activity of this 5'-flanking region was examined by cloning it into the pGL3-Basic vector upstream of the luciferase reporter gene and transfected into various cell lines. Positive promoter activity could only be recorded in the colon-derived Caco-2 cells, suggesting that the cloned 5'-flanking region represents the functional promoter of the seabream ghrelin gene, which exhibits tissue-specific promoter activity. Using reverse transcriptase PCR analysis, expression of ghrelin was detected only in the seabream stomach, but not in the other tissues examined, including the brain, gill, intestine, kidney, liver and spleen. This stomach-specific expression of ghrelin in seabream is subject to regulation, as administration of growth hormone or ipamorelin to the fish in vivo was demonstrated to enhance its expression. Reminiscent of the homologous upregulation found in the transcriptional control of the seabream GHSR gene, a similar homologous regulatory mechanism might also exist in controlling the expression of seabream ghrelin. The identification of both GHSR and ghrelin from a single fish species would facilitate our subsequent studies on the elucidation of the physiological functions of the ghrelin/GHSR system in teleost. The possible existence of obestatin in teleost opens up new research avenues on the somatotropic axis in fish.
DOI 10.1677/joe.1.06593

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