Biochemical characterization of the Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus) ovarian progestin membrane receptor

Berg, A. Hakan
Thomas, Peter
Olsson, Per-Erik
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Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology

Membrane progestin receptors are involved in oocyte maturation in teleosts. However, the maturation-inducing steroid (MIS) does not appear to be conserved among species and several progestins may fulfill this function. So far, complete biochemical characterization has only been performed on a few species. In the present study we have characterized the membrane progestin receptor in Arctic char (Salvelinus alpinus) and show that the 17,20beta-dihydroxy-4-pregnen-3-one (17,20beta-P) receptor also binds several xenobiotics, thus rendering oocyte maturation sensitive to environmental pollutants. We identified a single class of high affinity (Kd, 13.8 ± 1.1 nM), low capacity (Bmax, 1.6 ± 0.6 pmol/g ovary) binding sites by saturation and Scatchard analyses. Receptor binding displayed rapid association and dissociation kinetics typical of steroid membrane receptors, with t1/2 s of less than 1 minute. The 17,20beta-P binding also displayed tissue specificity with high, saturable, and specific 17,20beta-P binding detected in ovaries, heart and gills while no specific binding was observed in muscle, brain or liver. Changes in 17,20beta-P binding during oocyte maturation were consistent with its identity as the oocyte MIS membrane receptor. Incubation of fully-grown ovarian follicles with gonadotropin induced oocyte maturation, which was accompanied by a five-fold increase in 17,20beta-P receptor binding. In addition, competition studies with a variety of steroids revealed that receptor binding is highly specific for 17,20beta-P, the likely maturation-inducing steroid (MIS) in Arctic char. The relative-binding affinities of all the other progestogens and steroids tested were less than 5% of that of 17,20beta-P for the receptor. Several ortho, para derivatives of DDT also showed weak binding affinity for the 17,20beta-P receptor supporting the hypothesis that xenobiotics may bind steroid receptors on the oocyte's surface and might thereby interfere with oocyte growth and maturation.

A. Hakan Berg and Peter Thomas are with The University of Texas at Austin Marine Science Institute, Port Aransas, Texas, USA -- Per-Erik Olsson is witht the Örebro Life Science Center, Department of Natural Sciences, Örebro University, Sweden
Berg, A. Håkan, Peter Thomas, and Per-Erik Olsson. “Biochemical Characterization of the Arctic Char (Salvelinus Alpinus) Ovarian Progestin Membrane Receptor.” Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology 3, no. 1 (November 10, 2005): 64. doi:10.1186/1477-7827-3-64.