Author(s): Bidwell CA, Carlson DM
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Abstract Sturgeon are an ancient family (Acipenseridae) of fishes that lie close to the divergence of fish that eventually evolved into terrestrial animals and those that evolved into modern teleost species. Therefore, white sturgeon vitellogenin sequences fill a gap in the current understanding of the functional domains of this protein family. Vitellogenin cDNA was sequenced and used to investigate gene expression in white sturgeon, Acipenser transmontanus. Estrogen-induced vitellogenin mRNA was detected in the livers of both males and females and was also detected in undifferentiated gonads of estrogen-treated fish. Low levels of vitellogenin mRNA were also detected in the testis of both control and estrogen-treated males. The cDNA encoded a 186-kDa protein that was missing only six to seven of the amino-terminal amino acids. Comparisons to silver lamprey, Xenopus, and chicken vitellogenin sequences indicate that the overall structure of the yolk protein domains were highly conserved. There was considerable homology in three regions of the lipovitellin I domain. These conserved sequences are likely to be involved in vitellogenin receptor binding. The phosvitin domain of white sturgeon vitellogenin contained fewer and shorter serine repeats as predicted from yolk protein phosphate content of fish compared to Xenopus and chicken. However, the vitellogenin of white sturgeon had a lower serine content as compared with silver lamprey, indicating that an increased serine content is not strictly a function of evolutionary age.
This article was published in J Mol Evol
and referenced in Journal of Aquaculture Research & Development