Nematode and arthropod genomes provide new insights into the evolution of class 2 B1 GPCRs

PLoS One. 2014 Mar 20;9(3):e92220. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0092220. eCollection 2014.


Nematodes and arthropods are the most speciose animal groups and possess Class 2 B1 G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs). Existing models of invertebrate Class 2 B1 GPCR evolution are mainly centered on Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila melanogaster and a few other nematode and arthropod representatives. The present study reevaluates the evolution of metazoan Class 2 B1 GPCRs and orthologues by exploring the receptors in several nematode and arthropod genomes and comparing them to the human receptors. Three novel receptor phylogenetic clusters were identified and designated cluster A, cluster B and PDF-R-related cluster. Clusters A and B were identified in several nematode and arthropod genomes but were absent from D. melanogaster and Culicidae genomes, whereas the majority of the members of the PDF-R-related cluster were from nematodes. Cluster A receptors were nematode and arthropod-specific but shared a conserved gene environment with human receptor loci. Cluster B members were orthologous to human GCGR, PTHR and Secretin members with which they probably shared a common origin. PDF-R and PDF-R related clusters were present in representatives of both nematodes and arthropods. The results of comparative analysis of GPCR evolution and diversity in protostomes confirm previous notions that C. elegans and D. melanogaster genomes are not good representatives of nematode and arthropod phyla. We hypothesize that at least four ancestral Class 2 B1 genes emerged early in the metazoan radiation, which after the protostome-deuterostome split underwent distinct selective pressures that resulted in duplication and deletion events that originated the current Class 2 B1 GPCRs in nematode and arthropod genomes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Arthropods / genetics*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics
  • Conserved Sequence / genetics
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Genes, Helminth / genetics
  • Genes, Insect / genetics
  • Genetic Linkage
  • Genetic Loci
  • Genome, Helminth / genetics*
  • Genome, Insect / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Models, Genetic
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Multigene Family
  • Nematoda / genetics*
  • Phylogeny
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Receptors, CCR10 / chemistry
  • Receptors, CCR10 / genetics*
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid


  • Receptors, CCR10

Grant support

This work was supported by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) project PTDC/BIA-BCM/114395/2009, by the European Regional Development Fund through COMPETE and FCT under the project “PEst-C/MAR/LA0015/2011.” RCF is in receipt of an FCT grant (SFRH/BPD/89811/2012) and JCRC is supported by auxiliary research contract FCT Pluriannual funds attributed to CCMAR. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.