Send to

Choose Destination
BMC Bioinformatics. 2011 Feb 15;12 Suppl 1:S3. doi: 10.1186/1471-2105-12-S1-S3.

The G protein-coupled receptors in the pufferfish Takifugu rubripes.

Author information

Department of Biochemical Engineering and Biotechnology, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, New Delhi, India.



Guanine protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) constitute a eukaryotic transmembrane protein family and function as "molecular switches" in the second messenger cascades and are found in all organisms between yeast and humans. They form the single, biggest drug-target family due to their versatility of action and their role in several physiological functions, being active players in detecting the presence of light, a variety of smells and tastes, amino acids, nucleotides, lipids, chemicals etc. in the environment of the cell. Comparative genomic studies on model organisms provide information on target receptors in humans and their function. The Japanese teleost Fugu has been identified as one of the smallest vertebrate genomes and a compact model to study the human genome, owing to the great similarity in its gene repertoire with that of human and other vertebrates. Thus the characterization of the GPCRs of Fugu would provide insights to the evolution of the vertebrate genome.


We classified the GPCRs in the Fugu genome and our analysis of its 316 membrane-bound receptors, available on the public databases as well as from literature, detected 298 GPCRs that were grouped into five main families according to the GRAFS classification system (namely, Glutamate, Rhodopsin, Adhesion, Frizzled and Secretin). We also identified 18 other GPCRs that could not be grouped under the GRAFS family and hence were classified as 'Other 7TM' receptors. On comparison of the GPCR information from the Fugu genome with those in the human and chicken genomes, we detected 96.83% (306/316) and 96.51% (305/316) orthology in GPCRs among the Fugu-human genomes and Fugu-chicken genomes, respectively.


This study reveals the position of pisces in vertebrate evolution from the GPCR perspective. Fugu can act as a reference model for the human genome for other protein families as well, going by the high orthology observed for GPCRs between Fugu and human. The evolutionary comparison of GPCR sequences between key vertebrate classes of mammals, birds and fish will help in identifying key functional residues and motifs so as to fill in the blanks in the evolution of GPCRs in vertebrates.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for BioMed Central Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center