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Sequence analysis and expression of the P450 aromatase and estrogen receptor genes in the Xenopus ovary

, : Sequence analysis and expression of the P450 aromatase and estrogen receptor genes in the Xenopus ovary. Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 75(2-3): 101-107

Recent studies point to a key role for the estrogen synthesizing enzyme P450 aromatase (P450 arom) in ovary determination in fish, birds and reptiles. It is unclear whether estrogen synthesis is important in sex determination of Xenopus gonad. To determine whether the aromatase gene is transcribed in the gonads of Xenopus tadpoles during the sex determination, we cloned a P450 arom cDNA and examined the level of P450 arom and estrogen receptor (ER) gene expression in association with estrogen activity. cDNA clones for P450 arom were isolated from a Xenopus ovarian cDNA library. There was an open reading frame (ORF) of 1500 bp from the ATG start to TAA stop codons encoding 500 predicted amino acids. cDNAs for P450 arom have previously been cloned from various vertebrates. The homology between the Xenopus P450 aromatase and the human P450 arom was higher. The expression of the P450 arom gene was mainly limited to reproductive organs. To determine the beginning of estrogen activity in gonads of embryos, expression of the aromatase and ER gene was also examined by RQ-RT-PCR. Both Xenopus aromatase and ER mRNA was detected at stage 51 in gonads. These observations are consistent with estrogens having a key role in ovarian development in various other vertebrates.


PMID: 11226826

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