Kisspeptin is an endogenous ligand that modulates gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) secretion and plays an essential role in the reproduction of mammals. In fish, two subtypes of kiss genes (kiss1 and kiss2), which encode kisspeptins, have been reported. Our previous study showed that kisspeptin 2 receptor (KissR2) is highly expressed in the vicinity of GnRH1 neurons, and that centrally administered Kiss2, but not Kiss1, significantly increased gonadotropin synthesis in chub mackerel Scomber japonicus. The results of this latter study suggested that the kisspeptin system plays an important role in chub mackerel reproduction, and that Kiss2 in particular plays a dominant role in the regulation of the central reproductive axis. In the present study, we identified the functional form of Kiss2 peptide in 16 species of Scombridae. All the species possessed kiss2, and the deduced mature peptide had 12 amino acids, all of which were very highly conserved, except for the second amino acid from the N-terminal end that was found to vary across species. However, species specificity of the second residue did not affect signal transduction in chub mackerel KissR2, bluefin tuna Thunnus orientalis KissR2, or Japanese Spanish mackerel Scomberomorus niphonius KissR2. Therefore, the importance of the Kiss2 system, shown in studies of chub mackerel reproduction, may be relevant across all species of Scombridae.
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