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PLoS One. 2013 May 27;8(5):e65450. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0065450. Print 2013.

Molecular characterization and functional regulation of melanocortin 2 receptor (MC2R) in the sea bass. A putative role in the adaptation to stress.

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  • 1Department of Fish Physiology and Biotechnology, Instituto de Acuicultura de Torre de la Sal, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas-IATS-CSIC, Castellón, Spain.


The activation of melanocortin 2 receptor (MC2R) by ACTH mediates the signaling cascade leading to steroid synthesis in the interrenal tissue (analogous to the adrenal cortex in mammals) of fish. However, little is known about the functional regulation of this receptor in fish. In this work described, we cloned sea bass MC2R from a liver cDNA. SbMC2R requires the melanocortin 2 receptor accessory protein (MRAP) for its functional expression. Dietary cortisol but not long-term stress protocols downregulated interrenal sbMC2R expression. Data suggest the existence of a negative feedback on interrenal sbMC2R expression imposed by local or systemic glucocorticoids. This feedback could be involved in long-term stress adaptation by regulating interrenal sensitivity to ACTH. ACTH-induced MC2R activation stimulates hepatic lipolysis, suggesting that ACTH may mediate stress-induced effects upstream of cortisol release.

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