Neuropeptide Y (NPY) receptors mediate a variety of physiological responses including feeding and vasoconstriction. To investigate the evolutionary events that have generated this receptor family, we have sequenced and determined the chromosomal localizations of all five presently known mammalian NPY receptor subtype genes in the domestic pig, Sus scrofa (SSC). The orthologs of the Y1 and Y2 subtypes display high amino acid sequence identities between pig, human, and mouse (92%-94%), whereas the Y4 Y5 and y6 subtypes display lower identities (76%-87%). The lower identity of Y5 is due to high sequence divergence in the large third intracellular loop. The NPY1R, NPY2R, and NPY5R receptor genes were localized to SSC8, the NPY4R to SSC14, and NPY6R to SSC2. Our comparisons strongly suggest that the tight cluster of NPY1R, NPY2R, and NPY5R on human chromosome 4 (HSA4) represents the ancestral configuration, whereas the porcine cluster has been split by two inversions on SSC8. These 3 genes, along with adjacent genes from 14 other gene families, form a cluster on HSA4 with extensive similarities to a cluster on HSA5, where NPY6R and > 3 other paralogs reside, as well as another large cluster on HSA10 that includes NPY4R. Thus, these gene families have expanded through large-scale duplications. The sequence comparisons show that the NPY receptor triplet NPY1R-NPY2R-NPY5R existed before these large-scale duplications.
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