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Gen Comp Endocrinol November 1, 2022; 328 114107.
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Characterization and localization of relaxin-like gonad-stimulating peptide in the crown-of-thorns starfish, Acanthaster cf. solaris.

Mita M , Osugi T , Kawada T , Satake H , Katayama H , Kitamura T , Miura T , Miura C .

In starfish, a relaxin-like gonad-stimulating peptide (RGP) is the gonadotropin responsible for final gamete maturation. RGP comprises two different peptides, A- and B-chains with two interchain and one intrachain disulfide bonds. The existence of two isomers of RGP in the crown-of-thorns starfish, Acanthaster planci, has been reported previously, but it was recently shown that A. planci represents a species complex with four different species. Here we elucidated the authentic sequence of the Pacific species, Acanthaster cf. solaris, RGP (Aso-RGP). The Aso-RGP precursor encoded by a 354 base pair open reading frame was composed of 117 amino acids (aa). The amino acid identity of Aso-RGP to Patiria pectinifera RGP (Ppe-RGP) and Asterias amurensis RGP (Aam-RGP) was 74% and 60%, respectively. Synthetic Aso-RGP induced spawning of ovarian fragments from A. cf. solaris. Ppe-RGP and Aam-RGP also induced spawning by A. cf. solaris ovaries. In contrast, Ppe-RGP and Aso-RGP induced spawning by P. pectinifera ovaries, but Aam-RGP was inactive. Notably, anti-Ppe-RGP antibodies recognized Aso-RGP as well as Ppe-RGP. Localization of Aso-RGP was observed immunohistochemically using anti-Ppe-RGP antibodies, showing that Aso-RGP was mainly present in the radial nerve cords of A. cf. solaris. Aso-RGP was distributed not only in the epithelium of the ectoneural region but also in the neuropile of the ectoneural region. These results suggest that Aso-RGP is synthesized in the epithelium of the ectoneural region, then transferred to fibers in the neuropile of the ectoneural region in radial nerve cords.

PubMed ID: 35973586
Article link: Gen Comp Endocrinol