Onuma, T.A., and Duan, C. (2012) Duplicated Kiss1 receptor genes in zebrafish: distinct gene expression patterns, different ligand selectivity, and a novel nuclear isoform with transactivating activity. FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. 26(7):2941-2950.
The kisspeptin (Kiss1) and Kiss1 receptor (Kiss1r) pathway plays a central role in the neuroendocrine control of reproduction.
In contrast to humans and mammals that have a single Kiss1 gene and a single Kiss1r gene, multiple Kiss ligand and receptor
genes are found in nonmammalian vertebrates. Their functional relationship, however, is poorly understood. Here, we report
that the duplicated zebrafish kiss1r genes have evolved a distinct gene expression pattern, different ligand selectivity, and novel nuclear isoforms. While a
single kiss1ra mRNA was detected exclusively in the brain, 5 kiss1rb transcripts were found in many peripheral tissues. Functional assays showed that kiss1ra encodes a receptor activated by both Kiss1 and Kiss2, while kiss1rb encodes a receptor that has a preference for Kiss1. The four alternatively spliced kiss1rb mRNAs encoded 4 truncated isoforms, denoted kiss1rb-derived protein (KRBDP)1–4. When their subcellular localization was examined, KRBDP3 and KRBDP4 were found in the nucleus
in cultured mammalian cells and in zebrafish embryos. One-hybrid transcription activation assays revealed that KRBDP3, but
not KRBDP4, possesses ligand-independent transactivation activity. These findings highlight how the duplication of Kiss1r
genes may facilitate their adaptation of specialized functions. The discovery of a nuclear Kiss1r isoform raises the possibility
of novel function of Kiss1r in the nucleus.