Temporal silencing of an androgenic gland-specific insulin-like gene affecting phenotypical gender differences and spermatogenesis

Tomer Ventura, Rivka Manor, Eliahu D. Aflalo, Simy Weil, Shaul Raviv, Lilah Glazer, Amir Sagi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

171 Scopus citations

Abstract

Androgenic glands (AGs) of the freshwater prawn Macrobrachium rosenbergii were subjected to endocrine manipulation, causing them to hypertrophy. Transcripts from these glands were used in the construction of an AG cDNA subtractive library. Screening of the library revealed an AG-specific gene, termed the M. rosenbergii insulin-like AG (Mr-IAG) gene. The cDNA of this gene was then cloned and fully sequenced. The cysteine backbone of the predicted mature Mr-IAG peptide (B and A chains) showed high similarity to that of other crustacean AG-specific insulin-like peptides. In vivo silencing of the gene, by injecting the prawns with Mr-IAG double-stranded RNA, temporarily prevented the regeneration of male secondary sexual characteristics, accompanied by a lag in molt and a reduction in growth parameters, which are typically higher in males of the species. In terms of reproductive parameters, silencing of Mr-IAG led to the arrest of testicular spermatogenesis and of spermatophore development in the terminal ampullae of the sperm duct, accompanied by hypertrophy and hyperplasia of the AGs. This study constitutes the first report of the silencing of a gene expressed specifically in the AG, which caused a transient adverse effect on male phenotypical gender differences and spermatogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1278-1286
Number of pages9
JournalEndocrinology
Volume150
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2009

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