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Animal Breeding and Genetics
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 2004;17(1): 146-152.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.2004.146    Published online January 1, 2004.
The Efficacy of Enhanced Growth by Ectopic Expression of Ghrelin and Its Variants Using Injectable Myogenic Vectors
Q. F. Xie, C. X. Wu, Q. Y. Meng, N. Li
Ghrelin is an acylated peptide recently identified as the endogenous ligand for the growth hormone (GH) secretagogues receptor 1a (GHS-R1a) and is involved in a novel system for regulating GH release. To understand the long-term effects of ghrelin, here we constructed six myogenic expression vectors containing the cDNA of swine mature ghrelin (pGEM-wt-sGhln, pGEM-wt-hGhln), ghrelin mutant of Ser3 with Trp3 (pGEM-mt-sGhln, pGEM-mt-hGhln) and truncated ghrelin derivative (pGEM-tmt-sGhln, pGEM-tmt-hGhln) encompassing the first 7 residues of ghrelin (including Ser3 substituted with Trp3) and adding a basic amino acid, Lys (K) in the C-terminus. The constructs, pGEM-wt-sGhln, pGEM-mt-sGhln and pGEM-tmt-sGhln were linked with the ghrelin leader sequence, while the pGEM-wt-hGhln, pGEM-mt-hGhln and pGEM-tmt-hGhln were linked with a leader sequence from the human growth hormone releasing hormone (hGHRH). Intramuscular injection of 200 g pGEM-wt-sGhln or pGEM-tmt-sGhln augmented growth over 3 weeks in normal rats and peaked at day 21 or 14 post-injection respectively, whose body weight gains were on average approximately 6% or 19% heavier over controls. However, other injectable vectors had no such enhanced growth effects. Our results suggested that the efficacy of the ghrelin leader sequence was more effective than that of hGHRH in our system. Moreover, the results indicated that skeletal muscle might have the ability to posttranslationally modify the in vivo expressed ghrelin. And the most strikingly, the short ghrelin analog seems to mimic the biological effects more efficiently when compared with the full-length ghrelin.
Keywords: Ghrelin; GH; Myogenic Vector; Gene Medicine; Skeletal; Rat
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