Identification and immunoregulatory function of neuromedin U (Nmu) in the Japanese pufferfishTakifugu rubripes

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In this study, immunoregulatory function of neuromedin U (Nmu) in the teleost fish Fugu (Takifugu rubripes) was characterized. Three splicing variants of nmu mRNA encoding preproNMUs consisting of 164 (Nmu1), 139 (Nmu2), and 129 (Nmu3) amino acid residues were found in Fugu.The biologically active C-terminal region of Fugu Nmu showed high homology among fish and other vertebrate NMUs. The genomic organization of Fugu nmu differed from those of zebrafish and mammals. However, in phylogenetic analysis, Fugu Nmu formed a cluster with NMUs of other vertebrates, in addition to neuromedin S. The splicing variants of mRNA were identified in various tissues. Nmu-21 and Nmu-9 were purified as endogenous peptides from Fugu intestine. The synthetic Nmu-21 peptide activated phagocytic cells, and elevated the expression of cytokine mRNA in peripheral blood leukocytes.

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