Comparative study of the P2X gene family in animals and plants

Purinergic Signal. 2016 Jun;12(2):269-81. doi: 10.1007/s11302-016-9501-z. Epub 2016 Feb 13.


P2X receptors are ligand-gated ion channels that can bind with the adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and have diverse functional roles in neuropathic pain, inflammation, special sense, and so on. In this study, 180 putative P2X genes, including 176 members in 32 animal species and 4 members in 3 species of lower plants, were identified. These genes were divided into 13 groups, including 7 groups in vertebrates and 6 groups in invertebrates and lower plants, through phylogenetic analysis. Their gene organization and motif composition are conserved in most predicted P2X members, while group-specific features were also found. Moreover, synteny relationships of the putative P2X genes in vertebrates are conserved while simultaneously experiencing a series of gene insertion, inversion, and transposition. Recombination signals were detected in almost all of the vertebrates and invertebrates, suggesting that intragenic recombination may play a significant role in the evolution of P2X genes. Selection analysis also identified some positively selected sites that acted on the evolution of most of the predicted P2X proteins. The phenomenon of alternative splicing occurred commonly in the putative P2X genes of vertebrates. This article explored in depth the evolutional relationship among different subtypes of P2X genes in animal and plants and might serve as a solid foundation for deciphering their functions in further studies.

Keywords: Alternative splicing; Evolution; P2X; Phylogenetic analysis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Phylogeny
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Receptors, Purinergic P2X / genetics*


  • Plant Proteins
  • Receptors, Purinergic P2X