Cloning and spatiotemporal expression of the follicle-stimulating hormone beta subunit complementary DNA in the African catfish (Clarias gariepinus)

H F Vischer, A.C. Teves, J C M Ackermans, W van Dijk, Rüdiger W Schulz, J. Bogerd

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The gene and cDNA encoding a putative follicle-stimulating hormone beta subunit (cfFSHbeta) from African catfish (Clarias gariepinus) were cloned. Similar to other FSHbeta genes, the cfFSHbeta gene consisted of three exons interrupted by two introns. The cfFSHbeta cDNA coded for a mature protein of 115 amino acids. The 12 cysteines that are required for the typical tertiary folding of glycoprotein hormone beta subunits were positionally conserved in cfFSHbeta. The cfFSHbeta mRNA expression was exclusively detected in the pituitary and was detectable before pubertal development was initiated. The cfFSHbeta transcript levels increased in particular during early stages of puberty and reached constantly high levels after the first appearance of spermatids in the testis. The cfFSHbeta mRNA-positive cells were localized in the proximal pars distalis. Castration of mature males caused elevated cfFSHbeta mRNA levels that were decreased by steroid replacement. Previous work indicated that the African catfish is an interesting model to study the regulation of gonadal functions because cfLH is able to activate both the catfish luteinizing hormone receptor (cfLH-R) and follicle-stimulating hormone receptor (cfFSH-R). Because cfFSH purification has failed so far, ongoing studies are directed toward the production of recombinant cfFSH. After all, the developmental and hormonal regulation of cfFSHbeta transcript levels opens the possibility for physiologically relevant actions of the putative cfFSH, next to the presumptive bifunctionally acting cfLH.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1324-32
Number of pages9
JournalBiology of Reproduction
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2003


  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Catfishes
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone, beta Subunit
  • Male
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Orchiectomy
  • Pituitary Gland
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Sexual Maturation
  • Time Factors
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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