Normandy University, Caen, France; University of Caen Normandie, Unity Biology of Organisms and Aquatic Ecosystems (BOREA), MNHN, Sorbonne University, UCN, CNRS, IRD, Esplanade de la Paix, 14032 Caen, France. Electronic address: [Email]
Insulin Related Peptides (IRPs) belong to the insulin superfamily and possess a typical structure with two chains, B and A, linked by disulphide bonds. As the sequence conservation is usually low between members, IRPs are classified according to the number and position of their disulphide bonds. In molluscan species, the first IRPs identified, named Molluscan Insulin-related Peptides (MIPs), exhibit four disulphide bonds. The genomic and transcriptomic data screening in the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas (Mollusc, Bivalvia) allowed us to identify six IRP sequences belonging to three structural groups. Cg-MIP1 to 4 have the typical structure of MIPs with four disulphide bonds. Cg-ILP has three disulphide bonds like vertebrate Insulin-Like Peptides (ILPs). The last one, Cg-MILP7 has a significant homology with Drosophila ILP7 (DILP7) associated with two additional cysteines allowing the formation of a fourth disulphide bond. The phylogenetic analysis points out that ILPs may be the most ancestral form. Moreover, it appears that ILP7 orthologs are probably anterior to lophotrochozoa and ecdysozoa segregation. In order to investigate the diversity of physiological functions of the oyster IRPs, we combine in silico expression data, qPCR measurements and in situ hybridization. The Cg-ilp transcript, mainly detected in the digestive gland and in the gonadal area, is potentially involved in the control of digestion and gametogenesis. The expression of Cg-mip4 is mainly associated with the larval development. The Cg-mip transcript shared by the Cg-MIP1, 2 and 3, is mainly expressed in visceral ganglia but its expression was also observed in the gonads of mature males. This pattern suggested the key roles of IRPs in the control of sexual reproduction in molluscan species.