Metabolism of a Glycosaminoglycan during Metamorphosis in the Japanese Conger eel, Conger myriaster

Nanae Fresh Water Laboratory, Field Science Center of Northern Biosphere, Hokkaido University, Nanae, 041-1105 Hokkaido, Japan.
Research Letters in Biochemistry 08/2009; 2009:251731. DOI: 10.1155/2009/251731
Source: PubMed


Hyaluronan (HA) is a linear polysaccharide of high molecular weight that exists as a component of the extracellular matrix. The larvae (leptocephali) of the Japanese conger eel (Anguilliformes: Conger myriaster) have high levels of hyaluronan (HA) which is thought to help control body water content. We isolated glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) from Japanese conger eel leptocephali and measured the changes in tissue HA content during metamorphosis. HA content decreased during metamorphosis. In contrast, neutral sugar content increased during metamorphosis. We hypothesize that the leptocephali utilize a metabolic pathway that converts HA to glucose during metamorphosis. Glucose may then be metabolized to glycogen and stored in the juvenile life-history stage.

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    • "Anguilliform and Elopiform leptocephali produce GAGs; most of which are HAs [12]. In the Japanese conger eel (Conger myriaster), about 50% of its dry body weight is HA, which degrades with body water content during metamorphosis [13]. It is notable that in bonefish (Albula sp.) leptocephali some metabolic energy is provided by GAGs during metamorphosis [14]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Hyaluronans (HAs) are glycosaminoglycans produced in the bodies of Anguilliform and Elopiform leptocephali, and play a role in metabolic energy. In mammals, HA synthesis-promoting substances (HASPS) up-regulate the expression of HA synthase (HAS) and increase the amount of HA in the body. In this study, Japanese eel leptocephali were fed a HASPS containing diet. We analyzed HAS1s and HAS2 expression, HA content, and their influence on growth. HASPS extracted from Grifola frondosa promoted HAS1s and HAS2 mRNA and HA content. Other than mammals, these results are first reported in vertebrate. Moreover, HASPS extracted from G. frondosa promoted leptocephalus growth. The relationship between growth and HA in the leptocephali is not yet clear. However, based on our results we hypothesize that HA is involved in the storage of energy, which is metabolized to sugars when needed for metabolic energy.
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    ABSTRACT: We studied the profiles of thyroid hormone receptors (TRs) in Japanese eels (Anguilla japonica) during development from hatched larvae to juveniles. Two TRαs (TRαA and TRαB) and one TRβ (TRβA) cDNA clones were generated by RACE. The TRαA, TRαB and TRβA cDNAs encoded 416, 407 and 397 amino acid proteins with much higher homologies to the Japanese conger eel (Conger myriaster) TRs than to other fish TRs. In a transiently transfected Japanese eel cell line, Hepa-E1, the TRs showed thyroid hormone (TH)-dependent activation of transcription from the TH-responsive promoter. Four TR cDNA clones, including TRβB reported in a previous study, were analyzed by real-time RT-PCR. The TR mRNA levels in hatched larvae were determined. The two TRβ mRNAs were present at low levels but there was a peak in the TRαs during the larval stage before metamorphosis. During metamorphosis, the two TRαs both exhibited peaks and expression of the two TRβs was higher than during the early growth stage. This expression pattern is similar to that of the Japanese conger eel. It is possible that thyroid hormones control the early development of Japanese eels and Japanese conger eels through TRs. This is the first analysis of the expression sequence of TRs during early larval stages of Anguilliformes.
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