Lipid mediator is the collective term for prostanoids, leukotrienes, lysophospholipids, platelet-activating factor, endocannabinoids and other bioactive lipids, that are involved in various physiological functions including inflammation, immune regulation and cellular development. They act by binding to their ligand-specific G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs). Since 1990’s a number oflipid GPCRs have been cloned in humans, with a few more identified in other vertebrates. However, the conservation of these receptors has been poorly investigated in other eukaryotes. Herein we performed a phylogenetic analysis by collecting their orthologs in 13 eukaryotes with complete genomes. The analysis shows that orthologs for prostanoid receptors are likely to be conserved in the 13 eukaryotes. In contrast, those for lysophospholipid and cannabinoid receptors appear to be conserved only in vertebrates and chordates. Receptors for leukotrienes and other bioactive lipids are limited to vertebrates. These results indicate that the lipid mediators and their receptors have coevolved with the development of highly modulated physiological functions such as immune regulation and the formation of the central nervous system. Accordingly, examining the presence and role oflipid mediator GPCR orthologs in invertebrate species can provide insight into the development of fundamental biological processes across diverse taxa.
- [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
- Computational Biology/methods*
- Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled/metabolism*
- Signal Transduction