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  • 1 Suntory Institute for Bioorganic Research Osaka Japan
  • 2 CREST, JST Tokyo Japan
  • 3 Kyoto University Department of Zoology, Graduate School of Science Kyoto Japan
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Ci-TK and Ci-TK-R are authentic tachykinin (TK) and TK receptor isolated from a protochordate, Ciona intestinalis . In this study, we investigated a novel function of TK as an enhancer of oocyte growth. Ci-TK-R is expressed specifically in the Ciona vitellogenic oocytes. Moreover, administration of Ci-TK to the Ciona ovary resulted in upregulation of gene expression and enzymatic activity of several proteases. Moreover, maturation of the Ciona oocytes from the vitellogenic stage to the post-vitellogenic stage was induced in the presence of Ci-TK, which was completely blocked by addition of protease inhibitors.

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