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Melatonin receptors (MTNRs) play important roles in regulation of circadian rhythms and seasonal reproduction. However, their origin and evolution in vertebrates have not been investigated. Here, we performed a comprehensive examination by comparative genome mining of MTNRs in vertebrates. We successfully extracted 164 putative encoding sequences for MTNRs (including 57 mtnr1a, 59 mtnr1b and 48 mtnr1c) from 45 high-quality representative genomes. Interestingly, the putative expansions of mtnr1a and mtnr1b in zebrafish were also identified in other Cyprinifomes, but not in other orders of teleost. Using phylogenetic interference, we observed this expansion to be clustered into a primitive position of the Actinopterygii, which may be resulted from teleost-specific genome duplication. The C-terminal extension of MTNR1C, predicted to be proteoglycan 4 (PRG4), originated after the speciation of Monotremata or Marsupialia. Our present genomics survey provides novel insights into the evolution of MTNRs in vertebrates and updates our understanding of these proteins. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Yanping Li, Yunyun Lv, Chao Bian, Xinxin You, Qiong Shi. Molecular evolution of melatonin receptor genes (mtnr) in vertebrates and its shedding light on mtnr1c. Gene. 2021 Feb 15;769:145256

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PMID: 33164759

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