Spexin and a Novel Cichlid-Specific Spexin Paralog Both Inhibit FSH and LH Through a Specific Galanin Receptor (Galr2b) in Tilapia.
ABSTRACT: Spexin (SPX) is a 14 amino acid peptide hormone that has pleiotropic functions across vertebrates, one of which is involvement in the brain-pituitary-gonad axis of fish. SPX(1) has been identified in each class of vertebrates, and a second SPX (named SPX2) has been found in some non-mammalian species. We have cloned two spexin paralogs, designated as Spx1a and Spx1b, from Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) that have varying tissue distribution patterns. Spx1b is a novel peptide only identified in cichlid fish, and is more closely related to Spx1 than Spx2 homologs as supported by phylogenetic, synteny, and functional analyses. Kisspeptin, Spx, and galanin (Gal) peptides and their corresponding kiss receptors and Gal receptors (Galrs), respectively, are evolutionarily related. Cloning of six tilapia Galrs (Galr1a, Galr1b, Galr2a, Galr2b, Galr type 1, and Galr type 2) and subsequent in vitro second-messenger reporter assays for G?s, G?q, and G?i suggests that Gal and Spx activate Galr1a/Galr2a and Galr2b, respectively. A decrease in plasma follicle stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone concentrations was observed with injections of Spx1a or Spx1b in vivo. Additionally, application of Spx1a and Spx1b to pituitary slices decreased the firing rate of LH cells, suggesting that the peptides can act directly at the level of the pituitary. These data collectively suggest an inhibitory mechanism of action against the secretion of gonadotropins for a traditional and a novel spexin paralog in cichlid species.
Project description:Spexin (SPX), a neuropeptide evolutionarily conserved from fish to mammals, is widely distributed in the brain and peripheral tissues and associated with various physiological functions. Recently SPX has been suggested to be involved in neurological mechanism of stress. The current study investigates the involvement of SPX in chronic social defeat stress, using male teleost, the Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) as an animal model due to its distinct social hierarchy of dominant and subordinate relationship. The tilapia genome has SPX1a and SPX1b but has no SPX2. In the Nile tilapia, we localized SPX1a and SPX1b in the brain using in-situ hybridization. Next, using qPCR we examined gene expression of SPX1a and SPX1b in chronically stress (socially defeated) fish. SPX1a expressing cells were localized in the semicircular torus of the midbrain region and SPX1b expressing cells in the telencephalon. Chronically stress fish showed elevated plasma cortisol levels; with an upregulation of SPX1a and SPX1b gene expression in the brain compared to non-stress (control) fish. Since social defeat is a source of stress, the upregulated SPX mRNA levels during social defeat suggests SPX as a potentially inhibitory neuropeptide capable of causing detrimental changes in behaviour and physiology.
Project description:Spexin (SPX) is a novel neuropeptide, which was first identified in the human genome using bioinformatics. Since then, orthologs of human SPX have been identified in mammalian and non-mammalian vertebrates. The mature sequence of SPX, NWTPQAMLYLKGAQ, is evolutionally conserved across vertebrate species, with some variations in teleost species where Ala at position 13 is substituted by Thr. In mammals, the gene structure of SPX comprises six exons and five introns, however, variation exists within non-mammalian species, goldfish and zebrafish having five exons while grouper has six exons. Phylogenetic and synteny analysis, reveal that SPX is grouped together with two neuropeptides, kisspeptin (KISS) and galanin (GAL) as a family of peptides with a common evolutionary ancestor. A paralog of SPX, termed SPX2 has been identified in non-mammalians but not in the mammalian genome. Ligand-receptor interaction study also shows that SPX acts as a ligand for GAL receptor 2 (2a and 2b in non-mammalian vertebrates) and 3. SPX acts as a neuromodulator with multiple central and peripheral physiological roles in the regulation of insulin release, fat metabolism, feeding behavior, and reproduction. Collectively, this review provides a comprehensive overview of the evolutionary diversity as well as molecular and physiological roles of SPX in mammalian and non-mammalian vertebrate species.
Project description:Galanin receptors (GALRs) belong to the superfamily of G-protein coupled receptors. The three GALR subtypes (GALR1, GALR2, and GALR3) are activated by their endogenous ligands: spexin (SPX) and galanin (GAL). The synthetic SPX-based GALR2-specific agonist, SG2A, plays a dual role in the regulation of appetite and depression-like behaviors. Little is known, however, about the molecular interaction between GALR2 and SG2A. Using site-directed mutagenesis and domain swapping between GALR2 and GALR3, we identified residues in GALR2 that promote interaction with SG2A and residues in GALR3 that inhibit interaction with SG2A. In particular, Phe103, Phe106, and His110 in the transmembrane helix 3 (TM3) domain; Val193, Phe194, and Ser195 in the TM5 domain; and Leu273 in the extracellular loop 3 (ECL3) domain of GALR2 provide favorable interactions with the Asn5, Ala7, Phe11, and Pro13 residues of SG2A. Our results explain how SG2A achieves selective interaction with GALR2 and inhibits interaction with GALR3. The results described here can be used broadly for in silico virtual screening of small molecules for the development of GALR subtype-specific agonists and/or antagonists.
Project description:Spexin (SPX) is a highly conserved neuropeptide that is widely expressed in mammalian brain and peripheral tissue. In teleost, SPX1 is mainly expressed in the brain and ovary, and is involved in reproduction and food intake. A second form of SPX, SPX2, was recently identified in chick, Xenopus, and zebrafish. The expression pattern and roles of SPX2 are unknown. SPX (spx1) is highly expressed in the vertebrate brain, but its distribution, circuits, and interactions with its putative receptor are unknown. Here, we observed expression of spx1 in the midbrain and hindbrain, and spx2 in the hypothalamic preoptic area using in situ RNA hybridization in zebrafish. Analysis of transgenic reporter zebrafish revealed that hindbrain SPX1 neurons are PAX2+ inhibitory interneurons and project to the spinal cord, where they interact with galanin receptor 2b (GALR2b) neurons, suggesting that hindbrain SPX1 neurons are reticulospinal neurons. spx1 mRNA and SPX1 reporter expression were observed in dorsal habenula (dHb). SPX1 neurons in the dHb project to the interpeduncular nucleus (IPN), where GALR2a and GALR2b expression was also observed, suggesting that habenula SPX1 neurons may interact with GALR2a/2b in the IPN.
Project description:Spexin (SPX) is an evolutionarily conserved neuropeptide that is expressed in the mammalian brain and peripheral tissue. Two orthologs are present in the teleost, SPX1 and SPX2. SPX1 is involved in reproduction and food intake. Recently, SPX1 neurons have been found to be located in the specific nuclei of dorsal habenula (dHb) and to project into the interpeduncular nucleus (IPN), in which galanin receptor 2a/2b (GALR2a/2b) expression was also observed. This indicates that habenula SPX1 neurons may interact with GALR2a/2b in the IPN; however, the function of SPX1 in the dHb-IPN neuronal circuit remains unknown. To determine the role of SPX1 in the dHb-IPN neural circuit, we generated transgenic zebrafish overexpressing SPX1 specifically in the dHb. We found that transgenic zebrafish overexpressing SPX1 in the dHb had anxiolytic behaviors compared with their wildtype siblings. Furthermore, quantitative PCR revealed that mRNA expression of <i>galr2a</i> and <i>galr2b</i> in the IPN and serotonin-related genes in the raphe was upregulated in the brains of transgenic zebrafish. Taken together, our data suggest that SPX1 function in the dHb-IPN neural circuits is implicated in the regulation of anxiety behaviors <i>via</i> modulation of the serotoninergic system in zebrafish.
Project description:Spexin (SPX, NPQ), a novel endogenous neuropeptide, was firstly identified by bioinformatics. Spexin gene and protein widely distributed in the central nervous system and peripheral tissues, such as the hypothalamus and digestive tract. The role of spexin in appetite regulation in mammalian is still unclear. The present study was designed to investigate the mechanism and effect of peripheral spexin on food intake in mice. During the light period, an intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of spexin (10?nmol/mouse) significantly inhibited cumulative food intake at 2, 4, and 6?h after treatment in fasted mice. During the dark period, spexin (1 and 10?nmol/mouse, i.p.) significantly suppressed cumulative food intake at 4 and 6?h after treatment in freely feeding mice. The GALR3 antagonist SNAP37889, not GALR2 antagonist, significantly antagonized the inhibitory effect on cumulative food intake (0-6?h) induced by spexin. Spexin significantly reduced the mRNA level of Npy mRNA, not Agrp, Pomc, Cart, Crh, Orexin, or Mch, in the hypothalamus. Spexin (10?nmol/mouse, i.p.) increased the number of c-Fos positive neurons in hypothalamic AHA and SCN, but not in ARC, DMN, LHA, PVN, SON, or VMH. The hypothalamic p-CaMK2 protein expression was upregulated by spexin. This study indicated that acute peripheral injection of spexin inhibited mouse food intake. The anorectic effect may be mediated by GALR3, and inhibiting neuropeptide Y (NPY) via p-CaMK2 and c-Fos in the hypothalamus.
Project description:Expression of neuropeptides and their corresponding receptors has been demonstrated in different cancer types, where they can play a role in tumor cell growth, invasion, and migration. Human galanin (GAL) is a 30-amino-acid regulatory neuropeptide which acts through three G protein-coupled receptors, GAL1-R, GAL2-R, and GAL3-R that differ in their signal transduction pathways. GAL and galanin receptors (GALRs) are expressed by different tumors, and direct involvement of GAL in tumorigenesis has been shown. Despite its strong expression in the central nervous system (CNS), the role of GAL in CNS tumors has not been extensively studied. To date, GAL peptide expression, GAL receptor binding and mRNA expression have been reported in glioma, meningioma, and pituitary adenoma. However, data on the cellular distribution of GALRs are sparse. The aim of the present study was to examine the expression of GAL and GALRs in different brain tumors by immunohistochemistry. Anterior pituitary gland (n = 7), pituitary adenoma (n = 9) and glioma of different WHO grades I-IV (n = 55) were analyzed for the expression of GAL and the three GALRs with antibodies recently extensively validated for specificity. While high focal GAL immunoreactivity was detected in up to 40% of cells in the anterior pituitary gland samples, only one pituitary adenoma showed focal GAL expression, at a low level. In the anterior pituitary, GAL1-R and GAL3-R protein expression was observed in up to 15% of cells, whereas receptor expression was not detected in pituitary adenoma. In glioma, diffuse and focal GAL staining was noticed in the majority of cases. GAL1-R was observed in eight out of nine glioma subtypes. GAL2-R immunoreactivity was not detected in glioma and pituitary adenoma, while GAL3-R expression was significantly associated to high-grade glioma (WHO grade IV). Most interestingly, expression of GAL and GALRs was observed in tumor-infiltrating immune cells, including neutrophils and glioma-associated macrophages/microglia. The presence of GALRs on tumor-associated immune cells, especially macrophages, indicates that GAL signaling contributes to homeostasis of the tumor microenvironment. Thus, our data indicate that GAL signaling in tumor-supportive myeloid cells could be a novel therapeutic target.
Project description:The novel neuropeptide spexin (SPX) was discovered to activate galanin receptor 2 (GALR2) and 3 (GALR3) but not galanin receptor 1 (GALR1). Although GALR2 is known to display a function, particularly in anxiety, depression, and appetite regulation, the further determination of its function would benefit from a more stable and selective agonist that acts only at GALR2. In the present study, we developed a GALR2-specific agonist with increased stability in serum. As galanin (GAL) showed a low affinity to GALR3, the residues in SPX were replaced with those in GAL, revealing that particular mutations such as Gln5 → Asn, Met7 → Ala, Lys11 → Phe, and Ala13 → Pro significantly decreased potencies toward GALR3 but not toward GALR2. Quadruple (Qu) mutation of these residues still retained potency to GALR2 but totally abolished the potency to both GALR3 and GALR1. The first amino acid modifications or D-Asn1 substitution significantly increased the stability when they are incubated in 100% fetal bovine serum. Intracerebroventricular administration of the mutant peptide with D-Asn1 and quadruple substitution (dN1-Qu) exhibited an anxiolytic effect in mice. Taken together, the GALR2-specific agonist with increased stability can greatly help delineation of GALR2-mediated functions and be very useful for treatments of anxiety disorder.
Project description:Spexin (SPX) is a highly conservative peptide hormone containing 14 amino acids and was discovered in 2007 by bioinformatics methods. However, nothing is yet known about its role in the metabolism of birds, including broilers. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of short-term fasting (2, 4, and 8 h) on the concentration of SPX in blood serum and the expression levels of the genes encoding this peptide (<i>SPX1</i>) and its receptors, GALR2 and GALR3, in the tissues involved in carbohydrate and lipid metabolism (muscles, adipose tissue, and liver). We also analyzed the mRNA expression of these genes in various chicken tissues. Moreover, we studied the correlation between the serum level of SPX and other metabolic parameters (insulin, glucagon, glucose, triglycerides, and cholesterol). Using RT-qPCR, we found that <i>SPX1, GALR2,</i> and <i>GALR3</i> are expressed in all investigated tissues in broiler chicken. Moreover, using a commercially available radio-immunoassay, we noted an increase of the SPX level in blood serum after 4 and 8 h of fasting compared to nonfasted animals (<i>p</i> < 0.05). This increase was positively correlated with glucagon concentration (r = 0.341; <i>p</i> < 0.05) and negatively with glucose concentration (r = -0.484; <i>p</i> < 0.01). Additionally, we discovered that in the short term, food deprivation leads to the expression regulation of <i>SPX1</i>, <i>GALR2,</i> and <i>GLAR3</i> in tissues associated with metabolism of carbohydrates and lipids. The obtained results indicate that SPX is involved in the regulation of metabolism in broiler chickens.
Project description:Spexin (SPX) is a novel peptide thought to have a role in various metabolic regulations. Given its presumed body-weight regulatory functions, we aimed to determine whether lifestyle intervention programs on weight loss and fasting glucose (FG) improvement among people with impaired glucose regulation also alter levels of circulating SPX. A total of 160 Saudi adult males and females with prediabetes were randomly selected from a larger cohort (N = 294) who underwent a 6-month lifestyle modification program to improve their glycemic status. Participants were split into two groups based on differences in glucose levels post-intervention, with the first 50% (improved group) having the most significant reduction in FG. SPX was measured at baseline and after 6 months. Changes in SPX was significant only in the improved group [baseline: median (Q1-Q3) of 164 pg/ml (136-227) vs follow-up: 176 pg/ml (146-285); p < 0.01]. When stratified by sex, the significant increase was observed only in females [159 pg/ml (127-252) vs 182.5 (152,369.1); p < 0.01]. Furthermore, SPX levels showed a significant inverse association with FG (β = -0.22, p = 0.003) even after adjustment with age and BMI, again only in females. Circulating SPX levels increase over time in people with prediabetes, particularly women who responded favorably in a 6-month lifestyle intervention program. Whether an unknown mechanism regulating the sexual disparity seen in SPX levels post-intervention exists should be further investigated using a larger sample size.