Cytochrome P450 aromatase in grey mullet: cDNA and promoter isolation; brain, pituitary and ovarian expression during puberty

Josephine N. Nocillado, Abigail Elizur*, Ayelet Avitan, Frank Carrick, Berta Levavi-Sivan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


In a study towards elucidating the role of aromatases during puberty in female grey mullet, the cDNAs of the brain (muCyp19b) and ovarian (muCyp19a) aromatase were isolated by RT-PCR and their relative expression levels were determined by quantitative real-time RT-PCR. The muCyp19a ORF of 1515 bp encoded 505 predicted amino acid residues, while that of muCyp19b was 1485 bp and encoded 495 predicted amino acid residues. The expression level of muCyp19b significantly increased in the brain as puberty advanced; however, its expression level in the pituitary increased only slightly with pubertal development. In the ovary, the muCyp19a expression level markedly increased as puberty progressed. The promoter regions of the two genes were also isolated and their functionality evaluated in vitro using luciferase as the reporter gene. The muCyp19a promoter sequence (650 bp) contained a consensus TATA box and putative transcription factor binding sites, including two half EREs, an SF-1, an AhR/Arnt, a PR and two GATA-3s. The muCyp19b promoter sequence (2500 bp) showed consensus TATA and CCAAT boxes and putative transcription binding sites, namely: a PR, an ERE, a half ERE, a SP-1, two GATA-binding factor, one half GATA-1, two C/EBPs, a GRE, a NFkappaB, three STATs, a PPAR/RXR, an Ahr/Arnt and a CRE. Basal activity of serially deleted promoter constructs transiently transfected into COS-7, αT3 and TE671 cells demonstrated the enhancing and silencing roles of the putative transcription factor binding sites. Quinpirole, a dopamine agonist, significantly reduced the promoter activity of muCyp19b in TE671. The results suggest tissue-specific regulation of the muCyp19 genes and a putative alternative promoter for muCyp19b.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)65-78
Number of pages14
JournalMolecular and Cellular Endocrinology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 15 Jan 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a grant to A. Elizur from the Aquaculture Industry Development Initiative (AIDI) project, Queensland, Australia. J.N. Nocillado was supported by a post-graduate scholarship from The University of Queensland and a fellowship from the Australia-Israel Scientific Exchange Foundation. We thank Dr. David Mayer for assistance on statistical analysis, Hazra Thaggard for maintenance of fish stocks and laboratory management, and Ramit Magen for the β-galactosidase assays. We thank Prof. A. Hara, Hokkaido University, for sharing the mullet vitellogenin antibody. J. Bangcaya was involved in developing the mullet vitellogenin ELISA.


  • Dopamine
  • Estrogen
  • Mullet
  • Promoter
  • Real-time quantitative RT-PCR


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