Noonin, C., Watthanasurorot, A., Winberg, S., and Söderhäll, I. (2013) Circadian regulation of melanization and prokineticin homologues is conserved in the brain of freshwater crayfish and zebrafish. Developmental and comparative immunology. 40(2):218-26.
Circadian clock is important to living organisms to adjust to the external environment. This clock has been extensively studied in mammals, and prokineticin 2 (Prok2) acts as one of the messenger between the central nervous system and peripheral tissues. In this study, expression profiles of Prok1 and Prok2 were investigated in a non-mammalian vertebrate brain, zebrafish, and the expression was compared to the Prok homologues, astakines (Ast1 and Ast2) in crayfish. These transcripts exhibited circadian oscillation in the brain, and Ast1 had similar pattern to Prok2. In addition, the expression of tyrosinase, an enzyme which expression is regulated by E-box elements like in Prok2, was also examined in zebrafish brain and was compared with the expression of prophenoloxidase (proPO), the melanization enzyme, in crayfish brain. Interestingly, the expressions of both Tyr and proPO displayed circadian rhythm in a similar pattern to Prok2 and Ast1, respectively. Therefore, this study shows that circadian oscillation of prokineticin homologues and enzymes involved in melanization are conserved.