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The 5-hydroxytrptamine 3 (5-HT3) receptor is a member of the 'Cys-loop' family and the only pentameric ligand gated ion channel among the serotonin receptors. 5-HT3 receptors play an important role in controlling growth, development, and behaviour in animals. Several 5-HT3 receptor antagonists are used to treat diseases (e.g., irritable bowel syndrome, nausea and emesis). Humans express five different subunits (A-E) enabling a variety of heteromeric receptors to form but all contain 5HT3A subunits. However, the information available about the 5-HT3 receptor subunit occurrence among the metazoan lineages is minimal. In the present article we searched for 5-HT3 receptor subunit homologs from different phyla in Metazoa. We identified more than 1000 5-HT3 receptor subunits in Metazoa in different phyla and undertook simultaneous phylogenetic analysis of 526 5HT3A, 358 5HT3B, 239 5HT3C, 70 5HT3D, and 173 5HT3E sequences. 5-HT3 receptor subunits were present in species belonging to 11 phyla: Annelida, Arthropoda, Chordata, Cnidaria, Echinodermata, Mollusca, Nematoda, Orthonectida, Platyhelminthes, Rotifera and Tardigrada. All subunits were most often identified in Chordata phylum which was strongly represented in searches. Using multiple sequence alignment, we investigated variations in the ligand binding region of the 5HT3A subunit protein sequences in the metazoan lineage. Several critical amino acid residues important for ligand binding (common structural features) are commonly present in species from Nematoda and Platyhelminth gut parasites through to Chordata. Collectively, this better understanding of the 5-HT3 receptor evolutionary patterns raises possibilities of future pharmacological challenges facing Metazoa including effects on parasitic and other species in ecosystems that contain 5-HT3 receptor ligands. Copyright: © 2023 Rao et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Santosh T R B Rao, Ilona Turek, Helen R Irving. Phylogenetic analyses of 5-hydroxytryptamine 3 (5-HT3) receptors in Metazoa. PloS one. 2023;18(3):e0281507

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PMID: 36857360

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