The G-protein-coupled receptor 54 (muGPR54) cDNA was cloned from the brain of the grey mullet, and its expression level, as well as those of the gonadotropin-releasing hormones (GnRH1, GnRH2, GnRH3) and dopamine receptor D2 (drd2), in the brain, pituitary and ovary of pubertal fish (early, intermediate, advanced) were determined by real-time quantitative RT-PCR (QPCR). The muGPR54 cDNA has an open reading frame of 1140 bp with a predicted 380 amino acid peptide, containing seven putative transmembrane domains and putative N-glycosylation and protein kinase C phosphorylation sites. QPCR results showed that the early stage of puberty in grey mullet is characterized by significantly high levels of expression of GPR54, GnRH and drd2 in the brain relative to the intermediate and advanced stages, except for GnRH1 that increased at the advanced stage of puberty. In the pituitary, drd2 expression declined significantly at the advanced stage relative to levels at the intermediate stage. Ovarian expression of GPR54 significantly increased from the intermediate stage of puberty relative to the early stage while that of GnRH1 acutely increased at the advanced stage of puberty. The ovarian expression of drd2 decreased as puberty progressed, but the changes were not significant. The results suggest the possible role of GPR54 and GnRH in positively regulating pubertal development in grey mullet and the dopaminergic inhibition of reproductive function mediated by drd2.
- Brain-pituitary-gonadal axis
- Dopamine receptor