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ABSTRACT: Galanin is a multi-functional neuropeptide that is widely distributed in the mammalian central nervous system and peripheral tissues. It exerts multiple physiological functions through interaction with 3 known G protein-coupled receptors (GPCR), namely, galanin type I, II and III (GalR1, 2 and 3) receptors, which have only been identified in mammals. In this study, we reported the cloning and characterization of chicken galanin type I receptor (GalR1) and a novel galanin receptor with considerable homology to chicken GalR1, which herein is designated as galanin type I-like receptor (GalR1-L). Chicken GalR1 and GalR1-L full-length cDNAs were cloned from chicken brain and small intestine tissue, respectively. The former encodes a protein of 357 amino acids that shares 84-86% amino acid sequence identities with its mammalian counterparts, whereas the latter encodes a 363-amino acid protein with comparatively lower identities (55-56%) to the mammalian GalR1. Using reverse transcription (RT)-PCR assays, we examined the expression of both receptors in adult chicken tissues. Both receptors were found to be widely distributed in the tissues examined, including brain, small intestine, kidney, ovary, pancreas, pituitary and spleen. Interestingly, cGalR1 expression was detected in different regions of chicken oviduct, while cGalR1-L expression was restricted to the vagina. Using a pGL3-CRE luciferase reporter system, chicken galanin peptide (1-29) was demonstrated to inhibit both basal and forskolin-stimulated luciferase activities, in dose-dependent manners, through the cAMP-mediated signaling pathway in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells expressing either cGalR1 or cGalR1-L, thus suggesting the functional couplings of both receptors to G(i) proteins. Together, the characterization of chicken GalR1 and GalR1-L provides a better understanding of the physiological roles of galanin in avian species.
General and Comparative Endocrinology 10/2010; 170(2):391-400. · 2.82 Impact Factor