Divergence of duplicate POMC genes in gilthead sea bream Sparus auratus

Gen Comp Endocrinol. 2011 Sep 15;173(3):396-404. doi: 10.1016/j.ygcen.2010.12.001. Epub 2010 Dec 11.


Proopiomelanocorticotrophin (POMC) in vertebrates is produced in the pituitary gland and undergoes post-translational processing to give rise to a range of biologically active peptides. Teleosts possess 2-3 different POMC transcripts which have been proposed to have originated from a whole or partial genome duplication. In the present study 2 transcripts of gilthead sea bream POMC (sbPOMC-α1 and α2) were cloned and characterised. sbPOMC-α1 is expressed principally in the melanotroph cells of the pars intermedia (PI) and sbPOMC-α2 is expressed in the corticotroph cells of the rostral pars distalis and probably also in the PI. The 2 sbPOMC transcripts have a differential tissue distribution in extra-pituitary sites. An appraisal of POMC evolution indicates sbPOMCs belong to one of the two main clades that exist in teleosts and that overall a non conservative process of gene loss occurred in this infraclass.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Fish Proteins / genetics*
  • Fish Proteins / metabolism
  • Gene Duplication*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phylogeny
  • Pituitary Gland / metabolism
  • Pro-Opiomelanocortin / genetics*
  • Pro-Opiomelanocortin / metabolism
  • Sea Bream / genetics*
  • Sea Bream / metabolism
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Analysis, Protein


  • Fish Proteins
  • Pro-Opiomelanocortin