A preprogalanin cDNA from the turtle pituitary and regulation of its gene expression

John Yuh Lin Yu, Chin Hon Pon, Hui Chen Ku, Chih Ting Wang, Yung Hsi Kao

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2 Scopus citations


Galanin is a hormone 29 or 30 amino acids (aa) long that is widely distributed within the body and exerts numerous biological effects in vertebrates. To fully understand its physiological roles in reptiles, we analyzed preprogalanin cDNA structure and expression in the turtle pituitary. Using the Chinese soft-shell turtle (Pelodiscus sinensis order Testudines), we obtained a 672-base pair (bp) cDNA containing a 99-bp 5′-untranslated region, a 324-bp preprogalanin coding region, and a 249-bp 3′-untranslated region. The open-reading frame encoded a 108-aa preprogalanin protein with a putative 23-aa signal sequence at the NH2 terminus. Based on the location of putative Lys-Arg dibasic cleavage sites and an amidation signal of Gly-Lys-Arg, we propose that turtle preprogalanin is processed to yield a 29-aa galanin peptide with Gly1 and Thr29 substitutions and a COOH-terminal amidation. Sequence comparison revealed that turtle preprogalanin and galanin-29 had 48-81% and 76-96% aa identities with those of other vertebrates, respectively, suggesting their conservative nature. Expression of the turtle galanin gene was detected in the pituitary, brain, hypothalamus, stomach, liver, pancreas, testes, ovaries, and intestines, but not in the adipose or muscle tissues, suggesting tissue-dependent differences. An in vitro study that used pituitary tissue culture indicated that treatment with 17β-estradiol, testosterone, or gonadotropin-releasing hormone resulted in increased galanin mRNA expression with dose- or time-dependent differences, whereas leptin and neuropeptide Y reduced galanin mRNA levels. These results suggest a hormone-dependent effect on hypophyseal galanin mRNA expression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)R1649-R1656
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2007


  • Androgen
  • Estrogen
  • Gonadotropin-releasing hormone
  • Leptin
  • Neuropeptide Y


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