Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 30386295
Front Endocrinol (Lausanne) 2018;9:604
Kisspeptin receptors are G-Protein-Coupled Receptors that regulate GnRH synthesis and release in vertebrates. Here, we report the gene structure of two kisspeptin receptors ( and ) in pejerrey fish. Genomic analysis exposed a gene structure with 5 exons and 4 introns for and 6 exons and 5 introns for . Two alternative variants for both genes, named and , and and , were revealed by gene expression analyses of several tissues. For both receptors, these variants were originated by alternative splicing retaining intron 3 and intron 4 for and , respectively. In the case of , the intron retention introduced two stop codons leading to a putatively truncated protein whereas for , the intron retention produced a reading shift leading to a stop codon in exon 5. Modeling and structural analysis of Kissr2 and Kissr3 spliced variants revealed that truncation of the proteins may lead to non-functional proteins, as the structural elements missing are critical for receptor function. To understand the functional significance of splicing variants, the expression pattern for was characterized on fish subjected to different diets. Fasting induced an up-regulation of in the hypothalamus, a brain region implicated in control of reproduction and food intake, with no expression of . On the other hand, fasting did not elicit differential expression in testes and habenula. These results suggest that alternative splicing may play a role in regulating Kissr2 function in pejerrey.