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Molecular cloning of androgen receptor and gene expression of sex steroid hormone receptors in the brain of newborn Chinese alligator (Alligator sinensis)

Zhang, Ruidong, Zhang, Ying, Wu, Mengjuan, Yan, Peng, Izaz, Ali, Wang, Renping, Zhu, Hongxing, Zhou, Yongkang, Wu, Xiaobing
Gene 2018 v.674 pp. 178-187
Alligator sinensis, amino acids, androgen receptors, cerebrum, complementary DNA, embryogenesis, genes, messenger RNA, molecular biology, molecular cloning, neonates, open reading frames, physiological response, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, reptiles, response elements, sex hormones, steroid hormones, tissues, China
Sex steroid hormones play an important role in mediating physiological responses and developmental processes through their receptors across all vertebrates. Chinese alligator (Alligator sinensis) is a critically endangered reptile species unique to China. In this study, we have cloned one of the sex steroid hormone receptor genes, androgen receptor (AR) from the brain of Chinese alligator for the first time. The full-length AR cDNA is 2717 bp in length with an open reading frame (ORF) encoding 722 amino acids. Amino acid alignment analyses indicated that the ARs exhibit highly conserved functional domains. Especially, the P-box and D-box, which are essential to ensure that receptor binding to the androgen response elements, are completely conserved in selected species. Using the quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR), the spatial expression of four receptor mRNAs in all newborn brain tissues and temporal expression of them in the cerebrum during the embryonic development in Chinese alligators were investigated. The results of qPCR showed ubiquitous expression of the four receptor mRNAs in all newborn brain tissues examined and significant changes in the expression levels of these receptor mRNAs in the embryonic development. These results suggest that sex steroid hormones might play an important role in the regulation of complex neuroendocrine activities in newborn Chinese alligator. Furthermore, these data provide an important foundation for further studies on endocrinology and molecular biology of non-mammalian sex steroid hormone receptors.