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Gen Comp Endocrinol. 2008 Jun;157(2):99-106. doi: 10.1016/j.ygcen.2008.04.001. Epub 2008 Apr 6.

Molecular cloning and characterization of chicken prostaglandin E receptor subtypes 2 and 4 (EP2 and EP4).

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School of Biological Sciences, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong, China.


Prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)) is an important chemical mediator responsible for regulation of many vital physiological processes. Four receptor subtypes have been identified to mediate its biological actions. Among these subtypes, prostaglandin E receptor subtypes 2 and 4 (EP(2) and EP(4)), both coupled to cAMP-protein kinase A (cAMP-PKA) signaling pathway, are proposed to play crucial roles under both physiological and pathological conditions. Though both receptors were extensively studied in mammals, little is known about their functionality and expression in non-mammalian species including chicken. In present study, the full-length cDNAs for chicken EP(2) and EP(4) receptors were first cloned from adult chicken ovary and testis, respectively. Chicken EP(2) is 356 amino acids in length and shows high amino acid identity to that of human (61%), mouse (63%), and rat (61%). On the other hand, the full-length cDNA of EP(4) gene encodes a precursor of 475 amino acids with a high degree of amino acid identity to that of mammals, including human (87%), mouse (86%), rat (84%), dog (85%), and cattle (83%), and a comparatively lower sequence identity to zebrafish (52%). RT-PCR assays revealed that EP(2) mRNA was expressed in all tissues examined including the oviduct, while EP(4) expression was detected only in a few tissues. Using the pGL3-CRE-luciferase reporter system, we also demonstrated that PGE(2) could induce luciferase activity in DF-1 cells expressing EP(2) and EP(4) in dose-dependent manners (EC(50): <1 nM), confirming that both receptors could be activated by PGE(2) and functionally coupled to the cAMP-PKA signaling pathway. Together, our study establishes a molecular basis to understand the physiological roles of PGE(2) in target tissues of chicken.

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