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PLoS One. 2014 Oct 21;9(10):e110715. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0110715. eCollection 2014.

Dissecting domain-specific evolutionary pressure profiles of transient receptor potential vanilloid subfamily members 1 to 4.

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Unitat de Biofísica, Centre d'Estudis en Biofísica, Departament de Bioquímica i de Biologia Molecular, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra, Spain.


The transient receptor potential vanilloid family includes four ion channels-TRPV1, TRPV2, TRPV3 and TRPV4-that are represented within the vertebrate subphylum and involved in several sensory and physiological processes. These channels are related to adaptation to the environment, and probably under strong evolutionary pressure. Using multiple sequence alignments as source for evolutionary, bioinformatics and statistical analysis, we have analyzed the evolutionary profiles for TRPV1, TRPV2, TRPV3 and TRPV4. The evolutionary pressure exerted over vertebrate TRPV2 sequences compared to the other channels argues for a positive selection profile for TRPV2 compared to TRPV1, TRPV3 and TRPV4. We have analyzed the selective pressure on specific protein domains, observing a common selective pressure trend for the common TRPV scaffold, consisting of the ankyrin repeat domain, the membrane proximal domain, the transmembrane domain, and the TRP domain. Through a more detailed analysis we have identified evolutionary constraints involved in the subunit contact at the transmembrane domain level. Performing evolutionary comparison, we have translated specific channel structural information such as the transmembrane topology, and the interaction between the membrane proximal domain and the TRP box. We have also identified potential common regulatory domains among all TRPV1-4 members, such as protein-protein, lipid-protein and vesicle trafficking domains.

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