Author(s): Wang Y, Ge W
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Abstract Activin is a dimeric protein consisting of two similar but distinct beta-subunits, betaA and betaB. In our previous studies, both activin A (betaAbetaA) and activin B (betaBbetaB) have been demonstrated to stimulate oocyte maturation and promote oocyte maturational competence in the zebrafish. Follistatin, a specific activin-binding protein, can block both activin- and gonadotropin-induced final oocyte maturation in vitro, suggesting that activin is likely a downstream mediator of gonadotropin actions in the zebrafish ovary. In the present study, a full-length cDNA encoding zebrafish ovarian activin betaA was cloned and sequenced. The precursor of zebrafish activin betaA consists of 395 amino acids and its mature region exhibits about 78\% homology with that of mammals. Using an in vitro primary culture of the ovarian follicle cells and semiquantitative RT-PCR assays, we examined the regulation of activin betaA and betaB expression by human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and its intracellular signal transduction mechanisms. hCG (15 IU/ml) increased the mRNA level of activin betaA-subunit; however, it significantly down-regulated the steady-state expression level of activin betaB in a time- and dose-dependent manner. The differential regulation of the two beta-subunits by hCG could be mimicked by 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine, forskolin, and dibutyryl-cAMP, suggesting involvement of the intracellular cAMP pathway. Interestingly, H89 (a specific inhibitor of protein kinase A, PKA) could effectively block hCG- and forskolin-stimulated activin betaA expression at 10 micro M, but it was unable to reverse the inhibitory effects of hCG and forskolin on betaB expression. This suggests that the hCG-stimulated activin betaA expression is dependent on the activation of the cAMP-PKA pathway, whereas the inhibitory effect of hCG on activin betaB expression is likely mediated by PKA-independent pathway(s).
This article was published in Endocrinology
and referenced in Journal of Aquaculture Research & Development