Expression of pancreatic enzyme genes during the early larval stage of Japanese eel Anguilla japonica

Tadahide Kurokawa, Tohru Suzuki, Hiromi Ohta, Hirohiko Kagawa, Hideki Tanaka, Tatsuya Unuma

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38 Citations (Scopus)


To reveal the ontogeny of pancreatic exocrine function in the early larval stage of eel, cDNAs encoding major pancreatic enzymes, trypsinogen, amylase and lipase were identified from the Japanese eel Anguilla japonica and their expression pattern in larvae was analyzed. The cloned eel trypsinogen precursor consisted of 224 amino acids and showed 82.2% identity to trypsinogen-2 of winter flounder Pleuronectes americanus. The eel amylase precursor consisted of 512 amino acids and showed 77% identity to winter flounder amylase. Eel pancreatic lipase was composed of 470 amino acids and had 58.3% of identity to human pancreatic lipase. In the eel larvae, mRNA expression of trypsinogen and amylase was first detected at 6 days post-hatching (d.p.h.), and the expression level increased between 7 and 8 d.p.h. In contrast, mRNA expression of lipase was first detected at 8 d.p.h. Eel larvae start to feed actively at 8 d.p.h. Thus, it was indicated that eel pancreas starts to synthesize digestive enzymes at 6 d.p.h. and acquires full function by the onset of exogenous feeding at 8 d.p.h.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)736-744
Number of pages9
JournalFisheries Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Aug


  • Amylase
  • Eel
  • Larvae
  • Lipase
  • Pancreatic enzymes
  • Trypsinogen
  • cDNA
  • mRNA expression


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