The evolution of vertebrate opioid receptors

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The proteins that mediate the analgesic and other effects of opioid drugs and endogenous opioid peptides are known as opioid receptors. Opioid receptors consist of a family of four closely-related proteins belonging to the large superfamily of G-protein coupled receptors. The three types of opioid receptors shown unequivocally to mediate analgesia in animal models are the mu (MOR), delta (DOR), and kappa (KOR) opioid receptor proteins. The role of the fourth member of the opioid receptor family, the nociceptin or orphanin FQ receptor (ORL), is not as clear as hyperalgesia, analgesia, and no effect was reported after administration of ORL agonists. There are now cDNA sequences for all four types of opioid receptors that are expressed in the brain of six species from three different classes of vertebrates. This review presents a comparative analysis of vertebrate opioid receptors using bioinformatics and data from recent human genome studies. Results indicate that opioid receptors arose by gene duplication, that there is a vector of opioid receptor divergence, and that MOR shows evidence of rapid evolution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1247-1269
Number of pages23
JournalFrontiers in Bioscience
Volume14
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2009

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Opioid Receptors
Vertebrates
Analgesia
Genes
kappa Opioid Receptor
Proteins
Gene Duplication
Opioid Peptides
Hyperalgesia
Human Genome
G-Protein-Coupled Receptors
Computational Biology
Bioinformatics
Opioid Analgesics
Analgesics
Animal Models
Complementary DNA
Brain
Animals
Pharmaceutical Preparations

Keywords

  • Analgesia
  • Bioinformatics
  • Evolution
  • Opioid receptor
  • Review

Cite this

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The evolution of vertebrate opioid receptors. / Stevens, Craig.

In: Frontiers in Bioscience, Vol. 14, No. 4, 01.01.2009, p. 1247-1269.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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