Molecular characterization of kiss2 and differential regulation of reproduction-related genes by sex steroids in the hypothalamus of half-smooth tongue sole (Cynoglossus semilaevis).
The Chinese sturgeon, Acipenser sinensis, is a rare and large-sized anadromous bony fish and understanding of its reproductive regulation is a precondition for controlled reproduction. In this study, two gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) precursor cDNAs, AsGnRH1 (mammalian type) and AsGnRH2 (chicken type 2), were sequenced in A. sinensis. The precursor cDNAs of the AsGnRH1 and AsGnRH2 are 381 and 649 base pairs (bp), encoding signal peptide plus precursors of 92 and 86 amino acids, respectively. Multiple sequence alignment suggests that AsGnRH1 and AsGnRH2 decapeptides are highly conserved among vertebrates. Besides, AsGnRH1 had closer evolutionary relationship with tetrapods, while AsGnRH2 was conservatively grouped with teleosts in the phylogenetic analysis. Tissue distribution analysis shows that AsGnRH2 is exclusively transcribed in the brain, whereas AsGnRH1 exhibits more extensive tissue distribution including brain, liver, spleen and gonad. Furthermore, Chinese sturgeons were subcutaneously implanted with 17β-estradiol (E2) and the effect of E2 on brain GnRH mRNA levels was evaluated by real-time PCR. A significant increase in AsGnRH1 and AsGnRH2 mRNA levels is detected in fish receiving E2 implantation compared to controls after one month (P<0.05). These results indicate that E2 exerts positive feedback effects on the transcription of the two GnRHs in immature Chinese sturgeon.