Identification of European starling GnRH-I precursor mRNA and its seasonal regulation

Takayoshi Ubuka, Penelope A. Cadigan, Ariel Wang, Jennifer Liu, George E. Bentley

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    32 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Songbirds show dynamic seasonal changes in their reproductive activities during the year. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone-I (GnRH-I) is critical for the control of reproduction in vertebrates. The molecular mechanisms controlling reproduction are not well understood in songbirds, largely because the GnRH-I precursor polypeptide gene was unknown until now. Here, we report the complete sequence and seasonal regulation of GnRH-I precursor polypeptide mRNA in a songbird, European starling (Sturnus vulgaris). The translated starling GnRH-I precursor polypeptide contained an amino acid sequence that can be processed into chicken GnRH-I peptide (pEHWSYGLQPG-NH2). However, the overall homology of GnRH-I precursor polypeptide (including a 23 amino acid signal peptide, the decapeptide hormone and Gly-Lys-Arg cleavage site followed by 55 amino acid GnRH-associated peptide sequences) between starling and chicken was only 58%. GnRH-I mRNA and GnRH-I peptide were observed to be co-localized in the preoptic area of sexually mature birds using in situ hybridization and immunocytochemistry. GnRH-I mRNA exhibited large variance in photosensitive birds, and converged to a high level in photostimulated birds. Subsequently, GnRH-I mRNA decreased to below detectability in most of the photorefractory birds. Changes were also observed in GnRH-I peptide levels, although changes in GnRH-I peptide were not as marked. Our data indicate that GnRH-I mRNA synthesis commences but is variable in photosensitive birds, stabilizes in photostimulated birds, then ceases when birds become photorefractory. Finer-scale investigation into temporal regulation of GnRH-I precursor polypeptide mRNA will provide insight into its regulation by environmental, social and physiological cues.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)301-306
    Number of pages6
    JournalGeneral and Comparative Endocrinology
    Volume162
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2009 Jul

    Fingerprint

    Starlings
    Sturnus vulgaris
    RNA Precursors
    gonadotropin-releasing hormone
    Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone
    Birds
    Peptides
    polypeptides
    birds
    Songbirds
    peptides
    songbirds
    Messenger RNA
    Sturnidae
    RNA precursors
    Reproduction
    Chickens
    chickens
    preoptic area
    Amino Acids

    Keywords

    • Avian GnRH-I
    • Reproduction
    • Seasonality

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Endocrinology

    Cite this

    Identification of European starling GnRH-I precursor mRNA and its seasonal regulation. / Ubuka, Takayoshi; Cadigan, Penelope A.; Wang, Ariel; Liu, Jennifer; Bentley, George E.

    In: General and Comparative Endocrinology, Vol. 162, No. 3, 07.2009, p. 301-306.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Ubuka, Takayoshi ; Cadigan, Penelope A. ; Wang, Ariel ; Liu, Jennifer ; Bentley, George E. / Identification of European starling GnRH-I precursor mRNA and its seasonal regulation. In: General and Comparative Endocrinology. 2009 ; Vol. 162, No. 3. pp. 301-306.
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