Kisspeptins, encoded by the Kiss1 gene, have emerged as key modulators of reproduction in mammals. In contrast to the placental mammals, some teleosts express two Kiss genes, Kiss1 and Kiss2. In the present study, full-length cDNAs of Kiss1 and Kiss2 in the chub mackerel were cloned and sequenced. Chub mackerel Kiss1 and Kiss2 cDNAs encode 105 and 123 amino acids, respectively. A comparison of the deduced amino acid sequences of chub mackerel Kiss1 and Kiss2 with those of other vertebrate species showed a high degree of conservation only in the kisspeptin-10 region (Kp-10). The Kp-10 of chub mackerel Kiss1 (YNFNSFGLRY) and Kiss2 (FNFNPFGLRF) showed variations at three amino acids. Tissue distribution analysis using quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) revealed that the Kiss1 and Kiss2 transcripts were expressed in different tissues of adult chub mackerel. In addition, their levels in the adipose tissue exhibited sexually dimorphic expression. Further, to have a basic understanding on the involvement of Kiss1 and Kiss2 in the seasonal gonadal development, their relative mRNA expression profiles in the brain, pituitary, and gonads at different gonadal stages were analyzed using qRT-PCR. Kiss1 and Kiss2 levels in the brain showed a differential expression profile between male and female fish. In males, Kiss1 and Kiss2 levels gradually decreased from the immature stage to spermiation and reached a minimal level during the post-spawning period. In contrast, Kiss1 levels in the brain of females did not vary significantly among the different gonadal stages. However, Kiss2 levels fluctuated as that of males, gradually declining from the immature stage to the post-spawning period. The pituitary Kiss1 levels did not show significant fluctuations. However, Kiss1 levels in the gonads were highly elevated during spermiation and late vitellogenesis compared to the immature and post-spawning period. These results suggest the possible involvement of two Kiss genes in the brain and Kiss1 in the gonads of chub mackerel during seasonal gonadal development.
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