S-adenosylhomocysteine hydrolase-like protein 1 (AHCYL1), also known as IP3 receptor-binding protein released with IP3 (IRBIT), regulates IP3-induced Ca2+ release into the cytoplasm of cells. AHCYL1 is a critical regulator of early developmental stages in zebrafish, but little is known about the function of AHCYL1 or hormonal regulation of expression of the AHCYL1 gene in avian species. Therefore, we investigated differential expression profiles of the AHCYL1 gene in various adult organs and in oviducts from estrogen-treated chickens. Chicken AHCYL1 encodes for a protein of 540 amino acids that is highly conserved and has considerable homology to mammalian AHCYL1 proteins (>94% identity). AHCYL1 mRNA was expressed abundantly in various organs of chickens. Further, the synthetic estrogen agonist induced AHCYL1 mRNA and protein predominantly in luminal and glandular epithelial cells of the chick oviduct. In addition, estrogen activated AHCYL1 through the ERK1/2 signal transduction cascade and that activated expression of AHCYL1 regulated genes affecting oviduct development in chicks as well as calcium release in epithelial cells of the oviduct. Also, microRNAs, miR-124a, miR-1669, miR-1710 and miR-1782 influenced AHCYL1 expression in vitro via its 3′-UTR which suggests that post-transcriptional events are involved in the regulation of AHCYL1 expression in the chick oviduct. In conclusion, these results indicate that AHCYL1 is a novel estrogen-stimulated gene expressed in epithelial cells of the chicken oviduct that likely affects growth, development and calcium metabolism of the mature oviduct of hens via an estrogen-mediated ERK1/2 MAPK cell signaling pathway.
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