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Functional relevance of three proopiomelanocortin (POMC) genes in darkening camouflage, blind-side hypermelanosis, and appetite of Paralichthys olivaceus

, : Functional relevance of three proopiomelanocortin (POMC) genes in darkening camouflage, blind-side hypermelanosis, and appetite of Paralichthys olivaceus. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. Part B, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology 179: 44-56

To determine whether proopiomelanocortin (POMC) genes are involved in darkening color camouflage, blind-side hypermelanosis, and appetite in flatfish, we isolated and cloned three POMC genes from the pituitary of the olive flounder (Paralichthys olivaceus) and compared their amino acid (aa) structures to those of POMC genes from other animals. Next, we examined the relationship of these pituitary POMC genes to camouflage color change, blind-side hypermelanosis, and appetite by quantifying mRNA expression. Olive flounder (of)-POMC1, 2, and 3 cDNAs consisted of 648-bp, 582-bp, and 693-bp open reading frames (ORF) encoding 216 aa, 194 aa, and 231 aa residues, respectively. Structurally, the three of-POMC cDNAs consisted of seven peptides (signal peptide, N-POMC, α-MSH, CLIP, N-β-LPH, β-MSH and β-END [or END-like peptide]) that are similar to those of other fish POMC cDNAs. α-MSH encoded a protein composed of 13 aa and β-MSH encoded a protein composed of 17 aa. The three POMC genes were predominantly expressed in the pituitary gland, but they were also expressed in a variety of tissues, including brain, eye, kidney, heart, testis, and skin. of-POMC2 exhibited the highest expression, while of-POMC3 displayed the lowest expression. The relative levels of of-POMC1 and 3 mRNAs were not influenced by background color and feeding (or fasting), but the relative level of of-POMC2 mRNA significantly increased in response to a dark background and fasting. The relative levels of of-POMC1 and 2 mRNAs were significantly higher in hypermelanic fish; however, we did not determine a direct anorexigenic or orexigenic relationship for the three POMC genes. These results indicate that pituitary POMC genes are related to darkening color change and the differentiation of pigment cells, but they are not directly related to appetite.


PMID: 25242625

DOI: 10.1016/j.cbpb.2014.09.002

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