Urotensin II from the River Lamprey (Lampetra fluviatilis), the Sea Lamprey (Petromyzon marinus), and the Paddlefish (Polyodon spathula)

David Waugh, John Youson, Steven D. Mims, Stacia Sower, J. Michael Conlon

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33 Citations (Scopus)


Urotensin II was isolated from extracts of the whole brain of the river lamprey (Lampetra fluviatilis) and the sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus). The primary structure of the peptide from both species is the same (Asn-Asn-Phe-Ser-Asp-Cys-Phe-Trp-Lys-Tyr-Cys-Val) and this amino acid sequence is identical to that of urotensin II from the dogfish and skate. Consistent with previous morphological studies indicating that the Agnatha lack a caudal neurosecretory system, urotensin II was not detected in an extract of P. marinus spinal cord. The data suggest that the urotensin II may have functioned in the earliest vertebrates as a neurotransmitter/neuromodulator in the central nervous system rather than as a neurohormone of the caudal neurosecretory system. Urotensin II was also isolated from an extract of the spinal cord of a chondrostean fish, the paddlefish (Polyodon spathula). The primary structure of the paddlefish urotensin II (Gly-Ser-Thr-Ser-Glu-Cys-Phe-Trp-Lys-Tyr-Cys-Val) is the same as that of another chondrostean, the sturgeon (Acipenser ruthenus). The study provides further evidence for a widespread distribution of urotensin II in vertebrate species and suggests that the primary structure of the peptide is better conserverd in these phylogenetically ancient fish than in teleosts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-332
Number of pages10
JournalGeneral and Comparative Endocrinology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - Sept 1995


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