Bhattacharya, P., Yan, Y.L., Postlethwait, J., and Rubin, D. (2011) Evolution of the vertebrate pth2 (tip39) gene family and the regulation of PTH type 2 receptor (pth2r) and its endogenous ligand pth2 by hedgehog signaling in zebrafish development. The Journal of endocrinology. 211(2):187-200.
In mammals, parathyroid hormone (PTH), secreted by parathyroid glands, increases calcium levels in the blood from reservoirs
in bone. While mammals have two PTH receptor genes, PTH1R and PTH2R, zebrafish has three, pth1r, pth2r and pth3r. PTH can activate all three zebrafish Pthrs while PTH2 (alias tuberoinfundibular peptide 39, TIP39) preferentially activates
zebrafish and mammalian PTH2Rs. We know little about the roles of the PTH2/PTH2R system in the development of any animal.
To determine the roles of PTH2 and PTH2R during vertebrate development, we evaluated their expression patterns in developing
zebrafish, observed their phylogenetic and conserved synteny relationships with humans, and described the genomic organization
of pth2, pth2r, and pth2r splice variants. Expression studies showed that pth2 is expressed in cells adjacent to the ventral part of the posterior tuberculum in the diencephalon, whereas pth2r is robustly expressed throughout the CNS. Otic vesicles express both pth2 and pth2r, but heart expresses only pth2. Analysis of mutants showed that Hedgehog (Hh) signaling regulates the expression of pth2 transcripts more than that of nearby gnrh2-expressing cells. Genomic analysis showed that a lizard, chicken, and zebra finch lack a PTH2 gene, which is associated with an inversion breakpoint. Likewise, chickens lack PTH2R, while humans lack PTH3R, a case of
reciprocally missing ohnologs (paralogs derived from a genome duplication). The considerable evolutionary conservation in
genomic structure, synteny relationships, and expression of zebrafish pth2 and pth2r provides a foundation for exploring the endocrine roles of this system in developing vertebrate embryos.