Generation and use of recombinant gonadotropins in fish


G Molés, K Hausken, M Carrillo, S Zanuy, B Levavi-Sivan, and A Gómez. 2020. “Generation and use of recombinant gonadotropins in fish.” Gen Comp Endocrinol, 299, Pp. 113555.


Understanding the differential roles of the pituitary gonadotropins Fsh and Lh in gonad maturation is crucial for a successful manipulation of the reproductive process in fish, and requires species-specific tools and appropriate active hormones. With the increasing availability of fish cDNAs coding for gonadotropin subunits, the production of recombinant hormones in heterologous systems has gradually substituted the approach of isolating native hormones. These recombinant hormones can be continually produced without depending on the fish as starting material and no cross-contamination with other pituitary glycoproteins is assured. Recombinant gonadotropins should be produced in eukaryotic cells, which have glycosylation capacity, but this post-translational modification varies greatly depending on the cell system, influencing hormone activity and stability. The production of recombinant gonadotropin beta-subunits to be used as antigens for antibody production has allowed the development of immunoassays for quantification of gonadotropins in some fish species. The administration in vivo of dimeric homologous recombinant gonadotropins has been used in basic studies and as a biotechnological approach to induce gametogenesis. In addition, gene-based therapies using somatic transfer of the gonadotropin genes have been tested as an alternative for hormone delivery in vivo. In summary, the use of homologous hormonal treatments can open new strategies in aquaculture to solve reproductive problems or develop out-of-season breeding programs.