Octopamine has been shown to play major roles in invertebrate nervous systems as a neurotransmitter, neuromodulator, and neurohormone. Tyramine is the biochemical precursor of octopamine and its neuromodulatory role is now being investigated and clarified in invertebrates, particularly in insects. Both octopamine and tyramine mediate their actions via G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and are believed to play important functions in the regulation of physiological processes in locust oviduct. Here we report the isolation, cloning, and tissue expression of a putative octopamine/tyramine receptor from the locust, Locusta migratoria. Degenerate oligonucleotides in PCR reactions were first used to obtain partial cDNA sequences and then these partial sequences were used in screens to obtain a full-length cDNA. The cloned cDNA is about 3.1 kb long and encodes a protein of 484 amino acid residues with typical characteristics of GPCRs including seven transmembrane domains and many signature residues. The amino acid sequence of the cloned cDNA displays sequence similarities with known GPCRs, particularly octopamine/tyramine receptors. Screening of the locust genomic DNA library resulted in isolation of a genomic DNA with the same size as the cDNA, indicating that the gene is intron-less. RT-PCR and Northern blot analyses revealed the expression of the receptor mRNA in brain, ventral nerve cord, oviduct, and midgut tissues. Southern blot analyses using EcoRI and HindIII restriction endonucleases recognized at least two distinct gene bands.
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