Wang, Y., Zhou, L., Yao, B., Li, C.J., and Gui, J.F. (2004) Differential expression of thyroid-stimulating hormone beta subunit in gonads during sex reversal of orange-spotted and red-spotted groupers. Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology. 220(1-2):77-88.
We have cloned and characterized the full-length cDNA encoding thyroid-stimulating hormone beta-subunit (TSHbeta) from orange-spotted grouper Epinephelus coioides. It contains 913 nucleotides with an open reading frame encoding 146 amino acids with a 20 amino acid signal peptide. The grouper mature TSHbeta has 75, 70, 61, 59, 41, 42 and 40% identities to that of rainbow trout, Atlantic salmon, zebrafish, European eel, chicken, mouse and human, respectively. RT-PCR analysis indicated that the TSHbeta mRNA was expressed abundantly not only in pituitary but also in gonads. A more interesting finding is to reveal the differential TSHbeta expressions between the ovaries and the transitional gonads or testes in natural individuals of orange-spotted grouper and red-spotted grouper Epinephelus akaara, and in artificial sex reversal individuals of red-spotted grouper induced by MT feeding. In situ hybridization localization provided direct evidence that the TSHbeta was transcribed in the germ cells. In the growing oocytes, the TSHbeta transcripts were concentrated on the ooplasm periphery. In testicular tissues, the intensively expressed TSHbeta cells were found to be spermatogonia and spermatocytes in the spermatogenic cysts. This is the first report of a TSHbeta expressed in the gonads of any vertebrates in addition to the expected expression in the pituitary, and it expresses more transcripts in the gonads during sex reversal or testis than in the ovaries both in E. coioides and E. akaara. Importantly, the TSHbeta identification in germ cells allows us to further investigate the functional roles and the molecular mechanisms in gametogenesis of groupers, especially in sex reversal and in spermatogenesis.