Looking for the bird Kiss: evolutionary scenario in sauropsids.

Abstract : BACKGROUND: The neuropeptide Kiss and its receptor KissR are key-actors in the brain control of reproduction in mammals, where they are responsible for the stimulation of the activity of GnRH neurones. Investigation in other vertebrates revealed up to 3 Kiss and 4 KissR paralogs, originating from the two rounds of whole genome duplication in early vertebrates. In contrast, the absence of Kiss and KissR has been suggested in birds, as no homologs of these genes could be found in current genomic databases. This study aims at addressing the question of the existence, from an evolutionary perspective, of the Kisspeptin system in birds. It provides the first large-scale investigation of the Kisspeptin system in the sauropsid lineage, including ophidian, chelonian, crocodilian, and avian lineages. RESULTS: Sauropsid Kiss and KissR genes were predicted from multiple genome and transcriptome databases by TBLASTN. Phylogenetic and syntenic analyses were performed to classify predicted sauropsid Kiss and KissR genes and to re-construct the evolutionary scenarios of both gene families across the sauropsid radiation.Genome search, phylogenetic and synteny analyses, demonstrated the presence of two Kiss genes (Kiss1 and Kiss2 types) and of two KissR genes (KissR1 and KissR4 types) in the sauropsid lineage. These four genes, also present in the mammalian lineage, would have been inherited from their common amniote ancestor. In contrast, synteny analyses supported that the other Kiss and KissR paralogs are missing in sauropsids as in mammals, indicating their absence in the amniote lineage. Among sauropsids, in the avian lineage, we demonstrated the existence of a Kiss2-like gene in three bird genomes. The divergence of these avian Kiss2-like sequences from those of other vertebrates, as well as their absence in the genomes of some other birds, revealed the processes of Kiss2 gene degeneration and loss in the avian lineage. CONCLUSION: These findings contribute to trace back the evolutionary history of the Kisspeptin system in amniotes and sauropsids, and provide the first molecular evidence of the existence and fate of a Kiss gene in birds.
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Jérémy Pasquier, Anne-Gaëlle Lafont, Karine Rousseau, Bruno Quérat, Philippe Chemineau, et al.. Looking for the bird Kiss: evolutionary scenario in sauropsids.. BMC Evolutionary Biology, BioMed Central, 2014, 14 (1), pp.30. ⟨10.1186/1471-2148-14-30⟩. ⟨inserm-00981323⟩

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