Avian interspecific differences in VKOR activity and inhibition: insights from amino acid sequence and mRNA expression ratio of VKORC1 and VKORC1L1
Nakayama, Shouta M.M.
Kawai, Yusuke K.
Watanabe, Kensuke P.
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Worldwide use of anticoagulant rodenticides (ARs) for rodents control has frequently led to secondary poisoning of non-target animals, especially raptors. In order to suggest some factors that may help considering the mechanism of the incidents, this study focused on the avian vitamin K 2, 3-epoxide reductase (VKOR) that is the target protein of ARs. We addressed the interspecific differences in VKOR activity and inhibition related to amino acid sequence and mRNA expression of VKORC1 and VKORC1-like1 (VKORC1L1). Poultry have been considered to be more tolerant to ARs than mammals. However, VKOR activity of owls, hawks, falcon and surprisingly, canaries, was lower and inhibited by warfarin more easily than that of chickens and turkeys. The amino acid sequence of VKORC1 and VKORC1L1 implied that the value of Ki for VKOR activity to ARs could depend on the amino acid at position 140 in the TYX warfarin-binding motif in VKORC1, and other amino acid mutations in VKORC1L1. The mRNA expression ratio of VKORC1:VKORC1L1 differed between turkey (8:1) and chicken (2:3) liver. VKORC1L1 has been reported to be resistant to warfarin compared to VKORC1. Hence, both the Ki of specific VKORC1 and VKORC1L1, and the mRNA expression ratio would cause avian interspecific difference of the VKOR inhibition. Our study also suggested the high inhibition of VKOR activities in raptors and surprisingly that in canaries as well. These factors are the most likely to contribute to the high sensitivity to ARs found in raptors