Cloning and mRNA expression of guanylin, uroguanylin, and guanylyl cyclase C in the Spinifex hopping mouse, Notomys alexis

Gen Comp Endocrinol. 2003 Jun 1;132(1):171-9. doi: 10.1016/s0016-6480(03)00082-0.


Guanylin and uroguanylin are peptides that activate guanylyl cyclase C (GC-C) receptors in the intestine and kidney, which causes an increase in the excretion of salt and water. The Spinifex hopping mouse, Notomys alexis, is a desert rodent that can survive for extended periods without free access to water and it was hypothesised that to conserve water, the expression of guanylin, uroguanylin, and GC-C would be down-regulated to reduce the excretion of water in urine and faeces. Accordingly, this study examined the expression of guanylin, uroguanylin, and GC-C mRNA in Notomys under normal (access to water) and water-deprived conditions. Initially, guanylin and uroguanylin cDNAs encoding the full open reading frame were cloned and sequenced. A PCR analysis showed guanylin and uroguanylin mRNA expression in the small intestine, caecum, proximal and distal colon, heart, and kidney. In addition, a partial GC-C cDNA was obtained and GC-C mRNA expression was demonstrated in the proximal and distal colon, but not the kidney. Subsequently, a semi-quantitative PCR method showed that water deprivation in Notomys caused a significant increase in guanylin and uroguanylin mRNA expression in the distal colon, and in guanylin and GC-C mRNA expression in the proximal colon. No significant difference in guanylin and uroguanylin mRNA expression was observed in the kidney. The results of this study indicate that there is, in fact, an up-regulation of the colonic guanylin system in Notomys after 7 days of water deprivation.

MeSH terms

  • Adenylyl Cyclases / genetics*
  • Amino Acid Sequence / genetics
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence / genetics
  • Cloning, Molecular*
  • DNA, Complementary / genetics
  • Gastrointestinal Hormones / genetics*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism
  • Isoenzymes / genetics
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Muridae / genetics
  • Muridae / metabolism*
  • Myocardium / metabolism
  • Natriuretic Peptides
  • Peptides / genetics*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism*
  • Water Deprivation / physiology


  • DNA, Complementary
  • Gastrointestinal Hormones
  • Isoenzymes
  • Natriuretic Peptides
  • Peptides
  • RNA, Messenger
  • guanylin
  • uroguanylin
  • Adenylyl Cyclases