Molecular cloning of IGF-1 and IGF-1 receptor and their expression pattern in the Chilean flounder (Paralichthys adspersus)

Sebastian Escobar, Eduardo N. Fuentes, Erika Poblete, Juan A. Valdés, Diego Safian, Ariel E. Reyes, Marco Álvarez, Alfredo Molina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Insulin-like growth factor-1 and insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-1 and IGF-1R) play main roles in vertebrate growth and development. In fish, besides contributing to somatic growth, both molecules exhibit pleiotropic functions. We isolated complete cDNAs sequences encoding for both IGF-1 and IGF-1R in the Chilean flounder by using RT-PCR and rapid amplification of cDNAs ends (RACE) techniques. We analyzed gene expression in pre-metamorphic larvae and different organs of juvenile fish through whole mount in situ hybridization and RT-PCR, respectively. In addition, we studied the presence of calcified skeletal structures in pre-metamorphic larvae through the fluorescent chromophore calcein. The IGF-1 cDNA sequence displays an open reading frame of 558 nucleotides, encoding a 185 amino acid preproIGF-1. Moreover, IGF-1R contains an open reading frame spanning 4239 nucleotides, rendering a 702 amino acid subunit alpha and a 676 amino acid subunit beta. The deduced mature IGF-1 and IGF-1R exhibited high sequence identities with their corresponding orthologs in fishes, especially those domains involved in biological activity. RT-PCR showed expression of IGF-1 and IGF-1R transcripts in all studied tissues, consistent with their pleiotropic functions. Furthermore, we observed IGF-1 expression in notochord and IGF-1R expression in notochord, somites and head in larvae of 8 and 9. days post fertilization. Complementarily, we detected in larvae of 8. days post fertilization the presence of calcified skeletal structures in notochord and head. Interestingly, both mRNAs and calcified structures were found in territories such as notochord, an embryonic midline structure essential for the pattern of surrounding tissues as nervous system and mesoderm. Our results suggest that IGF-1 and its receptor play an important role in the development of the nervous system, muscle and bone-related structures during larval stages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-147
Number of pages8
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology - B Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011


  • Chilean flounder
  • IGF-1
  • IGF-1R
  • Notochord
  • Somites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology


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