Melatonin receptors are for the birds: Molecular analysis of two receptor subtypes differentially expressed in chick brain

Laboratory of Developmental Chronobiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston 02114, USA.
Neuron (Impact Factor: 15.98). 12/1995; 15(5):1003-15. DOI: 10.1016/0896-6273(95)90090-X
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Two receptors (CKA and CKB) of the G protein-coupled melatonin receptor family were cloned from chick brain. CKA encodes a protein that is 80% identical at the amino acid level to the human Mel1a melatonin receptor and is thus designated the chick Mel1a melatonin receptor. CKB encodes a protein that is 80% identical to the Xenopus melatonin receptor and defines a new receptor subtype, the Mel1c melatonin receptor, which is distinct from the Mel1a and Mel1b melatonin receptor subtypes. A melatonin receptor family consisting of three subtypes is supported by PCR cloning of distinct melatonin receptor fragments from Xenopus and zebrafish. Expression of CKA and CKB results in similar ligand binding and functional characteristics. The widespread distribution of CKA and CKB mRNA in brain provides a molecular substrate for the profound actions of melatonin in birds.

1 Follower
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Avian behavior and physiology are temporally regulated by a complex circadian clock on both a daily and an annual basis. The circadian secretion of the hormone melatonin is a critical component of the regulation of circadian/daily processes in passerine birds, but there is little evidence that the gland regulates annual changes in primary reproductive function. Here it is shown that locomotor rhythms of house sparrows, Passer domesticus, which are made arrhythmic by either pinealectomy or maintenance in constant light, can be synchronized by daily administration of melatonin of different durations to simulate the melatonin profiles indicative of long and short photoperiods. Pinealectomized male sparrows maintained in constant darkness were entrained by both melatonin regimens. In both cases, testes were regressed and the song control nuclei were small. Intact male house sparrows maintained in constant light were also entrained to both melatonin regimens. However, sparrows that received a long duration melatonin cycle exhibited small song control nuclei, while sparrows that received short duration melatonin or no melatonin at all exhibited large song control nuclei. The data indicate that seasonal changes in melatonin duration contribute to the regulation of song control nuclei.
    Journal of Biological Rhythms 03/2008; 23(1):49-58. DOI:10.1177/0748730407311110 · 3.32 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The golden rabbitfish, Siganus guttatus, is a reef fish exhibiting a restricted lunar-related rhythm in behavior and reproduction. Here, to understand the circadian rhythm of this lunar-synchronized spawner, a melatonin receptor subtype-Mel(1c)-was cloned. The full-length Mel(1c) melatonin receptor cDNA comprised 1747 bp with a single open reading frame (1062 bp) that encodes a 353-amino acid protein, which included 7 presumed transmembrane domains. Real-time PCR revealed high Mel(1c) mRNA expression in the retina and brain but not in the peripheral tissues. When the fish were reared under light/dark (LD 12:12) conditions, Mel(1c) mRNA in the retina and brain was expressed with daily variations and increased during nighttime. Similar variations were noted under constant conditions, suggesting that Mel(1c) mRNA expression is regulated by the circadian clock system. Daily variations of Mel(1c) mRNA expression with a peak at zeitgeber time (ZT) 12 were observed in the cultured pineal gland under LD 12:12. Exposure of the cultured pineal gland to light at ZT17 resulted in a decrease in Mel(1c) mRNA expression. When light was obstructed at ZT5, the opposite effect was obtained. These results suggest that light exerts certain effects on Mel(1c) mRNA expression directly or indirectly through melatonin actions.
    Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - Part A Molecular & Integrative Physiology 06/2007; 147(1):103-11. DOI:10.1016/j.cbpa.2006.11.027 · 2.37 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The golden rabbitfish Siganus guttatus is a reef fish with a restricted lunar-synchronized spawning rhythmicity and releases gametes simultaneously around the first quarter moon period during the spawning season. In order to understand the molecular aspects of the "circa" rhythms in this species, the full-length melatonin receptor (MT1) cDNA was cloned, and its diurnal/circadian regulation was examined. The full-length MT1 cDNA (1257 bp) contained an open reading frame that encodes a protein of 350 amino acids; this protein is highly homologous to MT1 of nonmammalian species. A high expression of MT1 mRNA with a day-night difference was observed in the whole brain, retina, liver, and kidney. When diurnal variations in MT1 mRNA expression in the retina and whole brain were examined using real-time quantitative RT-PCR, an increase in the mRNA expression was observed during nighttime in both tissues under conditions of light/dark, constant darkness, and constant light. This suggests that MT1 mRNA expression is under circadian regulation. The expression of MT1 mRNA in the cultured pineal gland also showed diurnal variations with high expression levels during nighttime; this suggests that the increased expression level observed in the whole brain is partially of pineal origin. Alternation of light conditions in the pineal gland cultures resulted in the changes in melatonin release into the culture medium as well as MT1 mRNA expression in the pineal gland. The present results suggest that melatonin and its receptors play an important role in the exertion of daily and circadian variations in the neural tissues.
    General and Comparative Endocrinology 02/2007; 150(2):253-62. DOI:10.1016/j.ygcen.2006.08.011 · 2.67 Impact Factor