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Phylogeny, expression and enzyme activity of zebrafish cyp19 (P450 aromatase) genes.

The cyp19 encodes P450 aromatase, the enzyme catalyzing the conversion of estrogens from androgens. Estrogens affect the dimorphic, anatomical, functional and behavioral aspects of development of both males and females. In zebrafish, two cyp19 genes, cyp19a and cyp19b were found. They are expressed in ovary and brain, respectively. Expression of cyp19b can be detected by 11 days post-fertilization (dpf) by in situ hybridization in the olfactory bulbs, ventral telencephalic region and the hypothalamus of the brain in both male and female, where it is generally known to be affecting the reproductive function and sexual behavior. COS-1 clones permanently expressing the enzymes have been isolated. Both aromatase enzymes encoded by these two genes are functional in COS-1 cells and they can use androstenedione and testosterone equally efficiently. The presence of two functional cyp19 in zebrafish has its evolutionary and physiological importance.[1]


  1. Phylogeny, expression and enzyme activity of zebrafish cyp19 (P450 aromatase) genes. Tong, S.K., Chiang, E.F., Hsiao, P.H., Chung, B. J. Steroid Biochem. Mol. Biol. (2001) [Pubmed]
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