Marivin, E., Yano, A., Guérin, A., Nguyen, T.V., Fostier, A., Bobe, J., Guiguen, Y. (2014) Sex hormone-binding globulin characterization and gonadal gene expression during sex differentiation in the rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss. Molecular reproduction and development. 81(8):757-65.
Sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) binds androgens and estrogens in the blood of many vertebrates, including teleost fish. In mammals, SHBG is synthetized in the liver and secreted into the blood. With the exception of salmonids, in which the gene has been duplicated, shbga also exhibits a hepatic expression in fish, although the recently discovered shbgb gene exhibits a predominantly ovarian expression. The present work aimed at gaining new insight into shbgb gene structure and expression during gonadal sex differentiation, a steroid-sensitive process, and Shbgb protein structure and binding characteristics; specifically, rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) shbgb was analyzed. shbgb structure was analyzed in silico while expression was characterized during gonadal sex differentiation using all-male and all-female populations. We observed that shbgb gene and cognate-protein structures are similar to homologs previously described in zebrafish and mammals. The shbgb gene is predominantly expressed in differentiating female gonads, with increased expression around the end of ovarian differentiation. In the ovary, shbgb mRNA was detected in a subset of somatic cells surrounding the ovarian lamellae. Furthermore, Shbgb binds steroids with a higher selectivity than Shbga, exhibiting a higher affinity for estradiol compared to Shbga. In conclusion, Shbgb binding characteristics are clearly different from those of Shbga. Shbgb is expressed in the differentiating ovary during a period when the synthesis and action of testosterone and estradiol must be tightly regulated. This strongly suggests that Shbgb participates in the regulation of steroid metabolism and/or mediation that is needed during early gonadal development in rainbow trout.