, Volume 73, Issue 3, pp 227–240 | Cite as

Molecular characterization and tissue expression profiles of insulin-like growth factor binding protein-1 (IGFBP-1) in Chinese alligator Alligator sinensis during the active and hibernating periods

  • Mengyun Li
  • Ting Meng
  • Fei Peng
  • Shengzhou Zhang
  • Yongkang Zhou
  • Xiaobing Wu
Original Article


The Chinese alligator Alligator sinensis (Fauvel, 1879) is an endangered species endemic to China. Up to this date, very little is known about the regulation of its growth and development. Insulin-like growth factor binding protein-1 (IGFBP-1) plays essential roles in regulating vertebrate growth and development by modulating IGFs action. In this study, we cloned the full-length cDNA of Chinese alligator IGFBP-1 (caIGFBP-1) for the first time, which has an open reading frame (ORF) of 885-bp nucleotides encoding a peptide of 294 amino acid residues. The caIGFBP-1 contains all features of IGFBP-1 peptide with the conserved cysteine-rich N- and C-terminal domains and variable central L-domain. Multiple alignment analysis showed that caIGFBP-1 shares high identity in amino acid sequence with the IGFBP-1 s of American alligator Alligator mississippiensis (Daudin, 1802) (99.32%) and birds (66.32–74.53%). Phylogenetic tree analysis of IGFBP-1 amino acid sequences indicated that alligators cluster into bird branch. The caIGFBP-1 is widely expressed in all the examined tissues, the expression level is highest in liver, higher in kidney, moderate in pancreas, stomach, small intestine, and lower in ovary, muscle, lung, heart. During the hibernating period, the expression level of caIGFBP-1 was significantly reduced in liver, kidney, stomach, pancreas and small intestine, while did not significantly change in heart, lung, ovary and muscle. The caIGFBP-1 mRNA expression changes during the active and hibernating periods, which coincides with that of Chinese alligator IGF, implicating that it might play important roles in the IGF-mediated growth and development of Chinese alligator.


Chinese alligator IGFBP-1 cDNA cloning Gene expression 



Thanks to Xuancheng Chinese alligator breeding center providing the tissues used in this study. This work was supported by Natural Science Foundation of Anhui Province (Grant No. 11040606 M75) and National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC, Grant No. 31272337).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures in this study were approved by the forestry authorities of China and the Animal Care and Welfare Committee of College of Life Sciences in Anhui Normal University.


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Copyright information

© Institute of Zoology, Slovak Academy of Sciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mengyun Li
    • 1
  • Ting Meng
    • 1
  • Fei Peng
    • 1
  • Shengzhou Zhang
    • 1
  • Yongkang Zhou
    • 2
  • Xiaobing Wu
    • 1
  1. 1.Key Laboratory for Conservation and Use of Important Biological Resources of Anhui Province, College of Life SciencesAnhui Normal UniversityWuhuChina
  2. 2.Alligator Research Center of Anhui ProvinceXuanchengChina

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