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Identification of two isoforms of Atlantic halibut insulin-like growth factor-I receptor genes and quantitative gene expression during metamorphosis

Journal article
Authors Jon Hildahl
M Galay-Burgos
G Sweeney
Ingibjörg Einarsdottir
Björn Thrandur Björnsson
Published in Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part B: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Volume 147
Issue 3
Pages 395-401
ISSN 1096-4959
Publication year 2007
Published at Department of Zoology
Pages 395-401
Language en
Keywords Atlantic halibut, Development, Hippoglossus hippoglossus, IGF-I, IGF-R, Metamorphosis
Subject categories Biological Sciences, Animal physiology


Insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) is an important regulator of growth and development in vertebrates. Both the endocrine and paracrine actions of IGF-I are mediated through ligand-binding to a membrane-bound IGF-I receptor (IGF-IR). The characterization of this receptor and subsequent expression studies thus help elucidate the endocrine regulation of developmental processes. As other flatfish species, the Atlantic halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus) undergoes a dramatic larval metamorphosis. This process is largely under endocrine control, and data indicate that IGF-I could be a key regulator. IGF-I content increases up to late pre-metamorphosis and decreases during metamorphosis. The IGF-IR has, however, not been studied during flatfish metamorphosis. To examine IGF-IR gene expression, two IGF-IR mRNA were cloned and sequenced. These partial sequences share high identity (≥ 95%) and similarity (≥ 97%) with other fish IGF-IR and lower identity (≥ 77%) and similarity (≥ 83.5%) with Japanese flounder insulin receptors. The expression of mRNA for both IGF-IR was analyzed by quantitative real-time RT-PCR during six larval developmental stages from pre- to post-metamorphosis. IGF-IR1 and IGF-IR2 mRNA are differentially expressed during metamorphosis, but if this indicates an isoform-specific regulation of developmental processes by circulating and/or locally-secreted IGF-I is unclear. Both IGF-IR genes are down-regulated in halibut larvae experiencing arrested metamorphosis, suggesting the IGF-I system is critical for metamorphic success in halibut.

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