The cys-loop ligand-gated ion channel gene superfamily of the nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans

Invert Neurosci. 2008 Mar;8(1):41-7. doi: 10.1007/s10158-008-0068-4. Epub 2008 Feb 21.


The nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, possesses the most extensive known superfamily of cys-loop ligand-gated ion channels (cys-loop LGICs) consisting of 102 subunit-encoding genes. Less than half of these genes have been functionally characterised which include cation-permeable channels gated by acetylcholine (ACh) and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) as well as anion-selective channels gated by ACh, GABA, glutamate and serotonin. Following the guidelines set for genetic nomenclature for C. elegans, we have designated unnamed subunits as lgc genes (ligand-gated ion channels of the cys-loop superfamily). Phylogenetic analysis shows that several of these lgc subunits form distinct groups which may represent novel cys-loop LGIC subtypes.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins / genetics*
  • Cysteine / metabolism*
  • Ion Channels / genetics*
  • Ligands
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Multigene Family / genetics*
  • Phylogeny
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid


  • Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins
  • Ion Channels
  • Ligands
  • Cysteine