Effect of chimeric relaxin-like gonad-stimulating peptides on oocyte maturation and ovulation in the starfish Asterias rubens and Aphelasterias japonica.


Department of Biochemistry, Showa University School of Medicine, Hatanodai 8-5-1, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo 142-8555, Japan; Center for Advanced Biomedical Sciences, Waseda University, 2-2, Wakamatsu-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-8480, Japan. Electronic address: [Email]


A relaxin-like gonad-stimulating peptide (RGP), comprising two peptide chains (A- and B-chains) linked by two interchain bonds and one intrachain disulfide bond, acts as a gonadotropin in starfish. RGP orthologs have been identified in several starfish species, including Patiria pectinifera (PpeRGP), Asterias rubens (AruRGP) and Aphelasterias japonica (AjaRGP). To analyze species-specificity, this study examined the effects on oocyte maturation and ovulation in ovaries of A. rubens and A. japonica of nine RGP derivatives comprising different combinations of A- and B-chains from the three species. All nine RGP derivatives induced spawning in A. rubens and A. japonica ovaries. However, AruRGP, AjaRGP and their chimeric derivatives were more potent than peptides containing the A- or B-chain of PpeRGP. Three-dimensional models of the structures of the RGP derivatives revealed that residues in the B-chains, such as AspB6, MetB10 and PheB13 in PpeRGP and GluB7, MetB11, and TyrB14 in AruRGP and AjaRGP, respectively, are likely to be involved in receptor binding. Conversely, it is likely that ArgA18 in the A-chain of AruRGP and AjaRGP impairs binding of these peptides to the PpeRGP receptor in P. pectinifera. In conclusion, this study provides new insights into the structural basis of RGP bioactivity and RGP receptor activation in starfish.


Chimeric derivatives,Gonadotropin,Receptor,Relaxin-like gonad-stimulating peptide,Species-specificity,Starfish,

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