Liu, Y., Li, S., Huang, X., Lu, D., Liu, X., Ko, W.H., Zhang, Y., Cheng, C.H., and Lin, H. (2013) Identification and characterization of a motilin-like peptide and its receptor in teleost. General and comparative endocrinology. 186:85-93.
Although putative motilin receptor sequences have been reported in teleost, there is no proof for the existence of the motilin gene in teleost. In this study, we have identified a motilin-like gene in the genome of several fish species and cloned its cDNA sequence from zebrafish. The zebrafish motilin-like precursor shares very low amino acid (aa) identities with the previously reported motilin precursors. Processing of the zebrafish motilin-like precursor may generate a 17-aa C-terminal amidated mature peptide, the motilin-like peptide (motilin-LP). A putative zebrafish motilin receptor (MLNR) was also identified in zebrafish. In cultured eukaryotic cells transfected with the zebrafish MLNR, zebrafish motilin-LP could enhance both CRE-driven and SRE-driven promoter activities. Tissue distribution studies indicated that the zebrafish motilin-like gene is mainly expressed in the intestine and liver while the zebrafish MLNR gene is highly expressed in brain regions, suggesting that motilin-LP behaves like other gut hormones to regulate brain functions. These data suggest that the presence of a unique motilin/MNLR system in teleost.