Characterization of two types of cytochrome P450 aromatase in the serial-sex changing gobiid fish Trimma okinawae

Yasuhisa Kobayashi, Tohru Kobayashi, Masaru Nakamura, Tomoki Sunobe, Craig E. Morrey, Norio Suzuki, Yoshitaka Nagahama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


To investigate the role of estrogen in the serial-sex changing fish Trimma okinawae, we isolated complementary DNAs encoding two distinct cytochrome P450 aromatase isoforms from adult ovary and brain (termed P450aromA and P450aromB, respectively). Sequence and phylogenic analyses showed that the goby P450arom forms belong to two separate CYP19 subfamilies. Transient expression of these cDNAs in HEK293 cells caused conversion of exogenous testosterone to estradiol-17β. RT-PCR showed that P450aromA was expressed in the brain, spleen, testis and ovary. P450aromB was expressed in the brain, liver, testis and ovary. In situ hybridization studies showed that P450aromA mRNA, but not P450aromB mRNA, was present in both ovary and testis. Positive signals were restricted to granulosa cells of vitellogenic follicles and interstitial cells of mature testis. Ovarian expression of both P450arom genes during the spawning cycle was examined by quantitative real-time RT-PCR. P450aromA transcripts increased during vitellogenesis and decreased prior to spawning. In contrast, P450aromB transcripts were barely detectable and did not correlate with ovarian development. These findings suggest that P450aromA, but not P450aromB, is involved in regulating ovarian vitellogenesis in goby.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417-425
Number of pages9
JournalZoological science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2004


  • Aromatase genes
  • Gobiid fish
  • Gonadal development and maturation
  • Sex-changing fish

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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