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Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2007 Sep 30;276(1-2):10-7. Epub 2007 Jun 29.

In vitro assessment of transcriptional activation of the estrogen and androgen receptors of mosquitofish, Gambusia affinis affinis.

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  • 1Okazaki Institute for Integrative Bioscience, National Institute for Basic Biology, National Institutes of Natural Sciences, 5-1 Higashiyama, Myodaiji, Okazaki 444-8787, Japan.


Sex-steroid hormones are essential for normal reproductive activity in both sexes. Estrogens are necessary for ovarian differentiation during a critical developmental stage in many vertebrates and promote the growth and differentiation of the female reproductive system. Androgens play essential roles in the development and functioning of the vertebrate male reproductive system as well as actively supporting spermatogenesis. Importantly, recent studies suggest that androgens and estrogens have important reproductive roles in both males and females. To understand the molecular mechanisms of estrogen and androgen actions and to evaluate estrogen and androgen receptor-ligand interactions in the mosquitofish, Gambusia affinis affinis, we used degenerate primer sets and PCR techniques to isolated DNA fragments encoding estrogen receptor alpha (ERalpha; ESR1), ERbeta1 (ERbeta1) and ERbeta2 from the ovary. Full-length mosquitofish ER (mfER) cDNAs were obtained using cDNA library screening and RACE techniques. Amino acid sequences of mfERs showed over-all homology of 46% (alpha versus beta1), 43% (alpha versus beta2), and 52% (beta1 versus beta2). We applied the ERE-luciferase reporter assay system to characterize these receptors. In this transient transfection assay system using mammalian cells, the mfER proteins displayed estrogen-dependent activation of transcription. In addition to ERs, the transactivation of mosquitofish ARs (mfARs) previously isolated by our group, were examined using an androgen-responsive MMTV-luciferase assay system. Mosquitofish ARs showed androgen-dependent activation of transcription from the MMTV promoter. These data provide a basic tool allowing future studies examining the receptor-ligand interactions and endocrine disrupting mechanisms in mosquitofish and also expands our knowledge of estrogen and androgen receptor evolution.

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