Sequence, genomic organization and expression of two channel catfish, Ictalurus punctatus, ghrelin receptors.
Two cDNA transcripts, namely sbGHSR-1a and sbGHSR-1b, for growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHSR), were identified from the seabream pituitary. When translated, the sbGHSR-1a encodes for a protein of 385 amino acids (aa) with seven putative transmembrane domains and the sbGHSR-1b contains 295 aa with five putative transmembrane domains. Tissue distribution studies indicated that the two receptors are mainly expressed in the central nervous system of the fish. The sbGHSR-1a transcript has the highest expression level in the pituitary. The sbGHSR-1b transcript, on the other hand, has the highest expression level in the telencephalon. Genomic Southern analysis indicated that there is a single gene for GHSR in the seabream genome. Comparison of the cDNA sequences of sbGHSR1a and sbGHSR1b with the seabream genomic sequence indicated that the presence of the two receptor transcripts is a result of alternative splicing of the single GHSR gene. The two receptor cDNAs were expressed in cultured eukaryotic cells for functional analyses. A variety of structurally diverse growth hormone secretogogues (GHS), including the peptide GHS (GHRP-6 and ghrelin), the benzolactam GHS (L692,585) and the spiropiperidine GHS (L163,255), were able to trigger an elevation of intracellular Ca(2+) ion concentration in HEK293 cells expressing sbGHSR-1a, but not in cells expressing sbGHSR-1b. Microphysiometry revealed that an increase in extracellular acidification rate (EAR) could be detected in CHO cells expressing the sbGHSR-1a receptor when stimulated with GHRP-6. On the contrary, CHO cells expressing the sbGHSR-1b receptor registered no detectable EAR changes. However, when sbGHSR-1b was co-expressed with sbGHSR-1a in HEK293 cells, the signal transduction capacity of sbGHSR-1a was attenuated. This is the first report on the identification of a GHSR-1b transcript from species other than mammals and the demonstration that receptor interaction might provide a possible explanation for the existence and biological significance of the sbGHSR-1b transcript.