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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Ovarian cysteine proteinases in the teleost Fundulus heteroclitus: molecular cloning and gene expression during vitellogenesis and oocyte maturation.

The cysteine proteinases cathepsins B and L are members of the multigene family of lysosomal proteases that have been implicated in the processing of yolk proteins (YPs) in teleost oocytes. However, the full identification of the type of cathepsins expressed in fish ovarian follicles and embryos, as well as their regulatory mechanisms and specific function(s), are not yet elucidated. In this study, cDNAs encoding cathepsins B, L, F, K, S, Z, C, and H have been isolated from the teleost Fundulus heteroclitus, and the analysis of their deduced amino acid sequences revealed highly similar structural features to vertebrate orthologs, and confirmed in this species the existence of cathepsin L-like, cathepsin B-like, and cathepsin F-like subfamilies of cysteine proteinases. While all identified cathepsins were expressed in ovarian follicles, the corresponding mRNAs showed different temporal expression patterns. Thus, similar mRNA levels of cathepsins L, F, S, B, C, and Z were found throughout the oocyte growth or vitellogenesis period, whereas those for cathepsin H and K appeared to decrease as vitellogenesis advanced. During oocyte maturation, a transient accumulation of cathepsins L, S, H, and F mRNAs, approximately a 3-, 1.5-, 1.6-, and 6-fold increase, respectively, was detected in ovarian follicles within the 20-25 hr after hormone stimulation, coincident with the maximum proteolysis of the oocyte major YPs. The specific temporal pattern of expression of these genes may indicate a potential role of cathepsin L-like and cathepsin F proteases in the YP processing events occurring during fish oocyte maturation and/or early embryogenesis.[1]


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