Evolution and expression of relaxin family genes in teleosts
LE3 .A278 2006
Master of Science
The relaxin family of genes has been well characterized in mammalian species, but little information is available on its evolution and expression in teleost fish. The purpose of this study was to determine the number and characteristics of relaxin family genes in teleost fish and to investigate their evolution and expression in various tissues. Bioinformatics analysis determined that teleosts have six relaxin family genes that were derived from two or three ancestral genes, confirming previous research (Wilkinson, et al., 2005). These genes were examined in depth in this study, and varying degrees of conservation were observed. EST database analysis demonstrated that relaxin-3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, and 3F were expressed in various tissues in teleosts, primarily in the reproductive system and in the brain. Northern blotting for relaxin-3A, 3B, and 3D showed that relaxin-3B is expressed in brain and ovary, and relaxin-3A and 3D are not expressed in any fish tissues, potentially indicating life-cycle specific expression or undetectable basal expression.
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