Iodinated atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) binding sites were examined in the gills and ventral aorta of the adult upstream-migrating lamprey Geotria australis using tissue section autoradiography, in vitro competition analysis and affinity cross-linking, while guanylate cyclase assays were performed on gill membranes of both adult and juvenile lampreys. A partial natriuretic peptide (NP) receptor sequence was amplified using reverse transcription/polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The results indicated that there was specific NP binding to the aortic endothelium and to pillar cell regions in the axial plate and secondary lamellae. In competition studies, 50 % of NP binding was abolished by 4 nmol l-1 rat ANP, 35 nmol l-1 porcine C-type NP (CNP) and 45 nmol l-1 C-ANF (a truncated ANP). Affinity cross-linking followed by SDS-PAGE demonstrated two binding sites at 205 and 65 kDa under non-reducing conditions and at 85 and 65 kDa under reducing conditions. Guanylate cyclase assays demonstrated that, while no NP-stimulated GC activity occurred in adult lampreys, NP-stimulated enhancement of cyclic GMP accumulation was found in juveniles in fresh water and more particularly in salt water. RT-PCR amplified a 471 base pair fragment with 68 % amino acid sequence homology to the eel natriuretic peptide receptor D (NPR-D). This study suggests that NP binding sites in the adult gill and aorta are of an NPR-C/D type, whereas an additional GC-coupled site exists in juveniles.

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