The evolution and functional characterization of lined seahorse (Hippocampus erectus) CCKs involved in fasting and thermal stress response
Abstract The peptide cholecystokinin (CCK) plays an important role in the regulation of vertebrate appetite and feeding behaviour. In the present study, the full-length cDNA and genomic DNA sequences of two CCK precursors were cloned and analysed in the Syngnathidae fish, the lined seahorse ( Hippocampus erectus ). Both CCK1 and CCK2 in the seahorse consist of four exons. The sequence of the octapeptide of seahorse CCK1 (DYMGWMDF) was the same as that of the chicken and human, while the octapeptide of seahorse CCK2 (DYEGWMDF) was unique among vertebrates. According to the phylogenetic analysis, two types of CCKs were produced by teleost-specific genome duplication (TGD). Both CCK1 and CCK2 were highly expressed in the brain, while detectable amounts of CCK1 mRNA in the brood pouch and CCK2 mRNA in the intestine were also found. Both CCK1 and CCK2 mRNA levels significantly increased during the transition from endogenous to exogenous nutrition. Additionally, fasting induced a significant increase in the CCK1 mRNA expression in the brain of juvenile seahorses but had no effect on CCK2 transcript levels. In addition, the CCK1 and CCK2 mRNA levels in the seahorse brain significantly increased after a high-temperature treatment. Thus, the mRNA expression of CCK had obvious tissue specificities and this preliminary study opens new avenues for further functional studies on the endocrine regulations of CCK in the transition from endogenous to exogenous nutrition, food intake regulation and metabolism in the seahorse. Highlights We report the molecular characterization of the CCK genes in Syngnathidae, a family special in male pregnancy. Both CCK1 and CCK2 mRNA levels significantly increased during the transition from endogenous to exogenous nutrition. Fasting induced a significant increase in the CCK1 mRNA expression in the brain of juvenile seahorses. Both CCK1 and CCK2 mRNA levels in the seahorse brain significantly increased after a high-temperature treatment.
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