Biology of reproduction

Phylogenetic analysis of the vertebrate glycoprotein hormone family including new sequences of sturgeon (Acipenser baeri) beta subunits of the two gonadotropins and the thyroid-stimulating hormone.

PMID 10859263


The beta subunits of the two gonadotropins (GTH1 and GTH2) and of the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) of a chondrostean fish, Acipenser baeri, were cloned. These new sequences and selected representative members of beta subunits of vertebrate glycoprotein hormones, including tetrapod follicle-stimulating hormones (FSH) and luteinizing hormones (LH), allowed us to infer the phylogenetic relationships within this family. Both distance matrix and maximum parsimony methods were used on both nucleotide and amino acid sequences, with bootstrapping evaluation over 1000 replicates. The four trees obtained had highly similar topologies. In each case, three monophylogenetic lineages, TSH, GTH1-FSH, and GTH2-LH were clearly identified. The three monophylogenetic lineages were supported by 21-23 specific characters at the amino acid level, out of a total of 121 characters. The resolved topologies within each monophyletic hormone cluster were congruent with the known phylogenetic relationships between the related species. The inferred parental relationships within gonadotropins are in agreement with data concerning their biological functions. The present study demonstrates that GTH1 and GTH2 are the actinopterygian homologues of tetrapod FSH and LH, respectively.