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Mol Reprod Dev. 2002 Sep;63(1):24-31.

Structure and expression of the follicle-stimulating hormone receptor gene in a marsupial, Macropus eugenii.

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Department of Zoology, University of Melbourne, Australia.


Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) is essential for folliculogenesis. The function of FSH is mediated through its receptor (FSHr) and modulation of the receptor is thought to be the mechanism by which the responsiveness of follicles to gonadotrophins is regulated. FSHr is alternatively spliced to produce several transcripts in all eutherian species studied. However, controversy exists over the significance of alternatively spliced transcripts. In this study, we cloned and characterised the tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii) FSHr gene and examined its expression. Comparison of gene structure and function between marsupials and eutherians enables identification of conserved features that are likely to be of functional significance. Tammar FSHr shares 94% amino acid similarity with human FSHr and is expressed in both the adult testis and ovary suggesting a similar function for this gene in both marsupials and eutherians. Tammar FSHr undergoes alternate splicing to produce four transcripts consistent with the splice variants seen in eutherians. These results strongly suggest that alternate splicing is of functional significance in the ovary since it has remained a highly conserved character of this gene for over 100 million years of divergent evolution.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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