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J Pineal Res. 1996 May;20(4):198-204.

A molecular perspective of the genetic relationships of G-protein coupled melatonin receptor subtypes.

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Department of Physiology, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.


Successful cloning of melatonin receptors from various target tissues in the past few years has increased our understanding of the molecular signal transduction mechanisms of G-protein coupled melatonin receptors, of which three subtypes (MEL-1A, MEL-1B, and MEL-1C) have been reported in different vertebrates. Based upon melatonin receptor sequences available in the Genbank database, we have performed phylogenetic analyses of the nucleotide and encoded amino acid sequences of G-protein-coupled melatonin receptors, and determined the range of amino acid identities between melatonin receptors of the same and different subtypes. Besides the three well-known subtypes, a potential novel subtype of MEL-1D, as exemplified by unique separation of Xenopus X2.0 sequence (Genbank accession No. U31826) from the others in the protein phylogenetic tree, possibly exists. In addition, one of the chicken brain melatonin receptor sequences has been identified as belonging to the MEL-1B subtype. Our analyses showed that melatonin receptors of the same subtype and different subtypes are likely to share > or = 75% and < 65% amino acid identities, respectively. Phylogenetic analysis based on amino acid comparisons will be needed to determine the subtype status of any pair of melatonin receptor sequences that exhibit > or = 65% to < 75% amino acid identity. Despite the usefulness of genetic relatedness in the subtype classification of G-protein-coupled melatonin receptors, functional correlation of molecular structure may ultimately prove the most comprehensive approach in melatonin receptor classification.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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