Molecular cloning and brain distribution of three types of gonadotropin-releasing hormone from mummichog Fundulus heteroclitus


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Complementary DNAs encoding gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) precursors were cloned from the mummichog Fundulus heteroclitus brain, showing that this species has three GnRH forms, i.e. medaka Oryzias latipes GnRH (mdGnRH), chicken GnRH-II (cGnRH-II) and Atlantic salmon Salmo salar GnRH (sGnRH). The F. heteroclitus prepro GnRHs have common structural architectures of vertebrate GnRHs, consisting of the signal peptide, 10 amino acids of mature peptide, GKR sequence and GnRH-associated peptide (GAP). Phylogenetic analysis of fish prepro GnRHs showed that F. heteroclitus mdGnRH is a homologue of sbGnRHs and mdGnRHs of other acanthopterygian. Quantitative real-time PCR revealed that mdGnRH was abundantly expressed in the olfactory bulb and in olfactory lobe areas and is expressed in the pituitary. The cGnRH-II was mainly expressed in the midbrain and interbrain areas, and the sGnRH was expressed not only in the olfactory bulb but also in other regions of the brain. These results suggest that the mdGnRH is involved in the stimulation of gonadotrophs in the pituitary, whereas cGnRH-II and sGnRH are involved in neurotransmission and neuromodulation.