Molecular cloning and functional characterization of spexin in orange-spotted grouper (Epinephelus coioides)

Research paper by Shuisheng Li, Qiongyu Liu, Ling Xiao, Huapu Chen, Guangli Li, Yong Zhang, Haoran Lin

Indexed on: 18 Mar '16Published on: 02 Mar '16Published in: Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - Part B: Biochemistry & Molecular Biology


Spexin is a newly discovered neuropeptide in vertebrates. Comprehensive comparative studies are required to unveil its biological functions. In order to ascertain the neuroendocrine function of spexin in orange-spotted grouper, its full-length cDNA and genomic DNA sequences were cloned and analyzed. Sequence analyses showed that the spexin gene structure is composed of six exons and five introns, and the amino acids of mature peptide (spexin-14) in grouper are identical to that of other fish. Tissue expression analysis found that grouper spexin is highly expressed in the brain, liver and ovary. Real time-PCR analysis demonstrated that the hypothalamic expression of spexin declined gradually during the ovarian development, and was up-regulated by food deprivation. Intraperitoneal administration of spexin-14 peptides to grouper significantly elevated the mRNA levels of proopiomelanocortin (pomc) and suppressed the orexin expression in the hypothalamus, but could not change the hypothalamic expression of gonadotropin releasing hormone 1 (gnrh1). Both in vivo and in vitro administration of spexin could not significantly influence the expression of follicle-stimulating hormone β (fshβ) and luteinizing hormone β (lhβ) in the pituitary with the exception of an inhibition of gh expression. Our data suggested that the spexin has a significant role in the regulation of energy metabolism and food intake in orange-spotted grouper.