Molecular Biology Reports

, Volume 39, Issue 4, pp 4647–4653 | Cite as

EST dataset of pituitary and identification of somatolactin and novel genes in Chinese sturgeon, Acipenser sinensis



Chinese sturgeon (Acipenser sinensis) is a rare and endangered species and also an important resource for the sturgeon aquaculture industry, however, a few genes have been identified in this species. We report here construction of a pituitary cDNA library from a 24 years old female Chinese sturgeon just after its spawning, and obtained 2,025 ESTs from the library. 885 unique sequences were identified, which were categorized into 12 functional groups. More than half of the unique sequences (57%) do not match with annotated sequences in the public databases. Three of these novel genes were further identified. Notably, a full-length of cDNA (1,143 bp) encoding somatolactin of 232 amino acids was identified. Phylogenetic analysis showed 97% amino acid identity with White sturgeon somatolactin. RT-PCR analysis indicated that the somatolactin mRNA was only detected in pituitary. Pituitary-specific expression of the somatolactin suggested that the protein may play important physiological functions in pituitary-endocrine system of the Chinese sturgeon.


Endocrinology ESTs Somatolactin Acipenser sinensis Pituitary 



This work was supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China and the National Key Basic Research project (2010CB126306). We appreciate the very helpful comments made by the anonymous reviewers.


  1. 1.
    Wei QW, Ke FE, Zhang J, Zhuang P, Luo J, Zhou RQ, Yang WH (1997) Biology, fisheries, and conservation of sturgeons and paddlefish, in China. Environ Biol Fish 48:241–255CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Billard R, Lecointre G (2001) Biology and conservation of sturgeon and paddlefish. Rev Fish Biol fisher 10:355–392CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Cao H, Zhou L, Zhang YZ, Wei QW, Chen XH, Gui JF (2009) Molecular characterization of Chinese sturgeon gonadotropins and cellular distribution in pituitaries of mature and immature individuals. Mol Cell Endocrinol 303:34–42PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Li CJ, Wei QW, Zhou L, Cao H, Zhang Y, Gui JF (2009) Molecular and expression characterization of two somatostatin genes in the Chinese sturgeon, Acipenser sinensis. Comp Biochem Physiol Mol Integr Physiol 154:127–134CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Ono M, Takayama Y, Rand-Weaver M, Sakata S, Yasunaga T, Noso T, Kawauchi H (1990) cDNA cloning of somatolactin, a pituitary protein related to growth hormone and prolactin. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 87:4330–4334PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Takayama Y, Ono M, Rand-Weaver M, Kawauchi H (1991) Greater conservation of somatolactin, a presumed pituitary hormone of the growth hormone/prolactin family, than of growth hormone in teleost fish. Gen Comparat Endocrinol 83(3):366–374CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Iraqi F, Gong Z, Hew CL, Crim L (1993) Isolation and characterization of somatolactin genes from two cold water marine teleosts, lumpfish (Cyclopterus lumpus) and halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus). Mol Marine Biol Biotech 2:96–103Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Astola A, Pendon C, Ortiz M, Valdivia MM (1996) Cloning and expression of somatolactin, a pituitary hormone related to growth hormone and prolactin from gilthead seabream, Sparus aurata. Gen Comparat Endocrinol 104:330–336CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    May D, Todd CM, Rand-Weaver M (1997) cDNA cloning of eel (Anguilla anguilla) somatolactin. Gene 188:63–67PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Cheng KW, Chan YH, Chen YD, Yu KL, Chan KM (1997) Sequence of a cDNA clone encoding a novel somatolactin in goldfish, Carassius auratus. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 232:282–287PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Amemiya Y, Sogabe Y, Nozaki M, Takahashi A, Kawauchi H (1999) Somatolactin in the white sturgeon and African lungfish and its evolutionary significance. Gen Comparat Endocrinol 114:181–190CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Company R, Calduch-Giner JA, Mingarro M, Perez-Sanchez J (2000) CDNA cloning and sequence of European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) somatolactin. Comp Biochem Physiol Biochem Mol Biol 127:183–192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Zhu Y, Stiller JW, Shaner MP, Baldini A, Scemama JL, Capehart AA (2004) Cloning of somatolactin alpha and beta cDNAs in zebrafish and phylogenetic analysis of two distinct somatolactin subtypes in fish. J Endocrinol 182:509–518PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Benedet S, Bjornsson BT, Taranger GL, Andersson E (2008) Cloning of somatolactin alpha, beta forms and the somatolactin receptor in Atlantic salmon: seasonal expression profile in pituitary and ovary of maturing female broodstock. Reprod Biol Endocrinol 6:42PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Uchida K, Moriyama S, Breves JP, Fox BK, Pierce AL, Borski RJ, Hirano T, Grau EG (2009) cDNA cloning and isolation of somatolactin in Mozambique tilapia and effects of seawater acclimation, confinement stress, and fasting on its pituitary expression. Gen Comparat Endocrinol 161:162–170CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Tian J, Chan KM (2010) Activation of the black seabream (Acanthopagrus schlegeli) somatolactin-alpha gene promoter by Pit-1c in the Hepa-T1 cell-line. Gen Comparat Endocrinol 166:186–199CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Xie J, Wen JJ, Chen B, Gui JF (2001) Differential gene expression in fully-grown oocytes between gynogenetic and gonochoristic crucian carps. Gene 271:109–116PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Zhou L, Yao B, Xia W, Li CJ, Wang Y, Shi YH, Gui JF (2006) EST-based identification of genes expressed in the hypothalamus of male orange-spotted grouper (Epinephelus coioides). Aquaculture 256:129–139CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Xia W, Zhou L, Yao B, Li CJ, Gui JF (2007) Differential and spermatogenic cell-specific expression of DMRT1 during sex reversal in protogynous hermaphroditic groupers. Mol Cell Endocrinol 263:156–172PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Altschul SF, Gish W, Miller W, Myers EW, Lipman DJ (1990) Basic local alignment search tool. J Mol Biol 215:403–410PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Ashburner M, Ball CA, Blake JA, Botstein D, Butler H, Cherry JM, Davis AP, Dolinski K, Dwight SS, Eppig JT, Harris MA, Hill DP, Issel-Tarver L, Kasarskis A, Lewis S, Matese JC, Richardson JE, Ringwald M, Rubin GM, Sherlock G (2000) Gene ontology: tool for the unification of biology. The gene ontology consortium. Nat Genet 25:25–29PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Iseli C, Jongeneel CV, Bucher P (1999) ESTScan: a program for detecting, evaluating, and reconstructing potential coding regions in EST sequences. In: Proceedings, international conference intelligent systems for molecular biology, pp 138–148Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Gong Z, Yan T, Liao J, Lee SE, He J, Hew CL (1997) Rapid identification and isolation of zebrafish cDNA clones. Gene 201:87–98PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Okubo K, Matsubara K (1997) Complementary DNA sequence (EST) collections and the expression information of the human genome. FEBS Lett 403:225–229PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Douglas SE, Gallant JW, Bullerwell CE, Wolff C, Munholland J et al (1999) Winter flounder expressed sequence tags: establishment of an EST database and identification of novel fish genes. Marine biotech (New York) 1:458–0464Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Ju Z, Karsi A, Kocabas A, Patterson A, Li P, Cao D, Dunham R, Liu Z (2000) Transcriptome analysis of channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus): genes and expression profile from the brain. Gene 261:373–382PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Quackenbush J, Liang F, Holt I, Pertea G, Upton J (2000) The TIGR gene indices: reconstruction and representation of expressed gene sequences. Nucl Acid Res 28:141–145CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Liu Z, Karsi A, Dunham RA (1999) Development of polymorphic EST markers suitable for genetic linkage mapping of catfish. Marine biotechnol (New York) 1:437–0447Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Liu Z, Li P, Kocabas A, Karsi A, Ju Z (2001) Microsatellite-containing genes from the channel catfish brain: evidence of trinucleotide repeat expansion in the coding region of nucleotide excision repair gene RAD23B. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 289:317–324PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    He C, Chen L, Simmons M, Li P, Kim S et al (2003) Putative SNP discovery in interspecific hybrids of catfish by comparative EST analysis. Anim Genet 34:445–448PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Poompuang S, Hallerman EM (1997) Toward detection of quantitative trait loci and marker-assisted selection in fish. Rev Fish Sci 5:253–277CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Liu ZJ, Cordes JF (2004) DNA marker technologies and their applications in aquaculture genetics. Aquaculture 238:1–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Liu JX, Gui JF (2005) Expression pattern and developmental behaviour of cellular nucleic acid-binding protein (CNBP) during folliculogenesis and oogenesis in fish. Gene 356:181–192PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Planas JV, Swanson P, Rand-Weaver M, Dickhoff WW (1992) Somatolactin stimulates in vitro gonadal steroidogenesis in coho salmon, Oncorhynchus kisutch. Gen Comparat Endocrinol 87:1–5CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Rand-Weaver M, Swanson P, Kawauchi H, Dickhoff WW (1992) Somatolactin, a novel pituitary protein: purification and plasma levels during reproductive maturation of coho salmon. J Endocrinol 133:393–403PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Rand-Weaver M, Pottinger TG, Sumpter JS (1993) Plasma somatolactin concentrations in salmonid fish are elevated by stress. J Endocrinol 138:509–515PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Kaneko T, Hirano T (1993) Role of prolactin and somatolactin in calcium regulation in fish. J Exp Biol 184:31–45Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Kaneko T, Kakizawa S, Yada T (1993) Pituitary of “cobalt” variant of the rainbow trout removed from hypothalamus lacks most of pars intermedia and neurohypophysial tissue. Gen Comparat Endocrinol 92:31–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Rand-Weaver M, Swanson P (1993) Plasma somatolactin levels in coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) during smoltification and sexual maturation. Fish Physiol Biochem 11:175–182CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Kakizawa S, Kaneko T, Hirano T (1996) Elevation of plasma somatolactin concentrations during acidosis in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). J ExpBiol 199:1043–1051Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Fukamachi S, Sugimoto M, Mitani H, Shima A (2004) Somatolactin selectively regulates proliferation and morphogenesis of neural-crest derived pigment cells in medaka. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 101:10661–10666PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Fukamachi S, Yada T, Mitani H (2005) Medaka receptors for somatolactin and growth hormone: phylogenetic paradox among fish growth hormone receptors. Genetics 171:1875–1883PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Fukamachi S, Yada T, Meyer A, Kinoshita M (2009) Effects of constitutive expression of somatolactin alpha on skin pigmentation in medaka. Gene 442:81–87PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Genetics, College of Life SciencesWuhan UniversityWuhanChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Freshwater Ecology and Biotechnology, Institute of HydrobiologyChinese Academy of SciencesWuhanChina
  3. 3.Key Laboratory of Freshwater Biodiversity Conservation and Utilization of Agriculture Ministry of China, Yangtze River Fisheries Research InstituteChinese Academy of Fishery SciencesJingzhouChina

Personalised recommendations