Identification of the reptilian prolactin and its receptor cDNAs in the leopard gecko, Eublepharis macularius

Gene. 2005 Feb 14;346:267-76. doi: 10.1016/j.gene.2004.11.016.


In spite of their physiological significance, there is no available information about the nucleotide sequences of prolactin (PRL) and its receptor in reptilian species. In order to fill this gap, PRL and its receptor cDNAs were identified in a reptilian species, the leopard gecko Eublepharis macularius. The deduced leopard gecko PRL polypeptide showed high identities with the corresponding polypeptides of other reptiles. The leopard gecko PRL receptor (PRLR) was estimated to have tandem repeated regions in its extracellular domain, which had been originally found in avian PRLR. Molecular phylogenetic analysis suggests that these tandem repeated regions were generated by the duplication of the extracellular region in the latest common ancestor among reptiles and birds. In addition, tissue distributions of PRL and PRLR in the leopard gecko were examined by the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). PRLR mRNA was detected in all tissues examined and highly expressed in the whole brain, pituitary, intestine, kidney, ovary, oviduct and testis. Whereas, PRL mRNA was expressed in the whole brain, pituitary, ovary and testis. The co-expressions of PRL and its receptor in some extrapituitary organs suggest that PRL acts as an autocrine/paracrine factor in such organs of the leopard gecko.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Complementary / genetics*
  • Lizards / genetics*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phylogeny
  • Prolactin / genetics*
  • Receptors, Prolactin / genetics*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid


  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Receptors, Prolactin
  • Prolactin

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AB182276
  • GENBANK/AB182277