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AbstractThe kisspeptin (Kp) system is a central modulator of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis in vertebrates. Its existence outside the vertebrate lineage remains largely unknown. Here we report the identification and characterization of Kp system in the sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus. The gene encoding the Kp precursor, generates two mature neuropeptides, AjKiss1a and AjKiss1b. The Kp receptors, AjKissR1 and AjKissR2, are strongly activated by synthetic A. japonicus and vertebratedoi:10.1101/851261 fatcat:z7o4yamof5axtnnf3bydzlkv6y