Invertebrate Neuroscience

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 93–105

Amphioxus expresses both vertebrate-type and invertebrate-type dopamine D1 receptors

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10158-010-0111-0

Cite this article as:
Burman, C. & Evans, P.D. Invert Neurosci (2010) 10: 93. doi:10.1007/s10158-010-0111-0


The cephalochordate amphioxus (Branchiostoma floridae) has recently been placed as the most basal of all the chordates, which makes it an ideal organism for studying the molecular basis of the evolutionary transition from invertebrates to vertebrates. The biogenic amine, dopamine regulates many aspects of motor control in both vertebrates and invertebrates, and in both cases, its receptors can be divided into two main groups (D1 and D2) based on sequence similarity, ligand affinity and effector coupling. A bioinformatic study shows that amphioxus has at least three dopamine D1-like receptor sequences. We have recently characterized one of these receptors, AmphiD1/β, which was found to have high levels of sequence similarity to both vertebrate D1 receptors and to β-adrenergic receptors, but functionally appeared to be a vertebrate-type dopamine D1 receptor. Here, we report on the cloning of two further dopamine D1 receptors (AmphiAmR1 and AmphiAmR2) from adult amphioxus cDNA libraries and their pharmacological characterisation subsequent to their expression in cell lines. AmphiAmR1 shows closer structural similarities to vertebrate D1-like receptors but shows some pharmacological similarities to invertebrate “DOP1” dopamine D1-like receptors. In contrast, AmphiAmR2 shows closer structural and pharmacological similarities to invertebrate “INDR”-like dopamine D1-like receptors.


Amphioxus Cyclic AMP Dopamine D1-like receptors Expression in Chinese hamster ovary cells G-protein-coupled receptors 







Chinese hamster ovary


Extracellular signal-related kinase


Green fluorescent protein


G-protein-coupled receptor


Human embryonic kidney cells


Mitogen-activated protein kinase


Open reading frame

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Inositide LaboratoryThe Babraham InstituteCambridgeUK

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