Identification of the salmon somatolactin receptor, a new member of the cytokine receptor family

Endocrinology. 2005 May;146(5):2354-61. doi: 10.1210/en.2004-1578. Epub 2005 Feb 17.


Somatolactin (SL) is a pituitary hormone of the GH/prolactin (PRL) family that so far has been found only in fish. Compared with GH and PRL, the primary structure of SL is highly conserved among divergent fish species, suggesting it has an important function and a discriminating receptor that constrains structural change. However, SL functions are poorly understood, and receptors for SL have not yet been identified. During cloning of GH receptor cDNA from salmon, we found a variant with relatively high (38-58%) sequence identity to vertebrate GH receptors and low (28-33%) identity to PRL receptors; however, the recombinant protein encoding the extracellular domain showed only weak binding of GH. Ligand binding of the recombinant extracellular domain for this receptor confirmed that the cDNA encoded a specific receptor for SL. The SL receptor (SLR) has common features of a GH receptor including FGEFS motif, six cysteine residues in the extracellular domain, a single transmembrane region, and Box 1 and 2 regions in the intracellular domain. These structural characteristics place the SLR in the cytokine receptor type I homodimeric group, which includes receptors for GH, PRL, erythropoietin, thrombopoietin, granulocyte-colony stimulating factor, and leptin. Transcripts for SLR were found in 11 tissues with highest levels in liver and fat, supporting the notion that a major function of SL is regulation of lipid metabolism. Cloning SLR cDNA opens the way for discovery of new SL functions and target tissues in fish, and perhaps novel members of this receptor family in other vertebrates.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA, Complementary / chemistry
  • DNA, Complementary / genetics
  • Escherichia coli
  • Female
  • Fish Proteins
  • Gene Expression
  • Glycoproteins*
  • Male
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oncorhynchus*
  • Phylogeny
  • Pituitary Hormones*
  • Receptors, Pituitary Hormone / analysis*
  • Receptors, Pituitary Hormone / chemistry
  • Receptors, Pituitary Hormone / genetics
  • Receptors, Prolactin / chemistry
  • Receptors, Somatotropin / chemistry
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sequence Homology
  • Tissue Distribution


  • DNA, Complementary
  • Fish Proteins
  • Glycoproteins
  • Pituitary Hormones
  • Receptors, Pituitary Hormone
  • Receptors, Prolactin
  • Receptors, Somatotropin
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • somatolactin protein, fish

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AB121047
  • GENBANK/AB121048