New kappa opioid receptor from zebrafish Danio rerio

Franscisco Alvar Alvarez, Ivan Rodriguez-Martin, Veronica Gonzalez-Nuñez, Ezequiel Marrón Fernández de Velasco, Rogelio Gonzalez Sarmiento, Raquel E. Rodríguez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


A cDNA that encodes a kappa opioid receptor like from zebrafish (ZFOR3) has been cloned and characterized. The encoded protein is 377 residues long and presents 70% identity with the mammalian kappa receptors, although less homology is found in the amino- and carboxyl-terminus as well as in the extracellular loops. In situ hybridization studies have revealed that ZFOR3 mRNA is highly expressed in particular brain areas that coincide with the expression of the kappa opioid receptor in other species. When ZFOR3 is stably expressed in HEK293 cells, [3H]-diprenorphine binds with high affinity (KD = 1.05 ± 0.26 nM), being this value on the same range as those reported for mammalian kappa opioid receptors. On the other hand, the selective agonist for mammalian kappa receptors U69,593 does not bind to ZFOR3. [3H]-diprenorphine binding is readily displaced by the peptidic ligand dynorphin A and by the non-endogenous compounds bremazocine, naloxone and morphine, although with different affinities. Our results demonstrate that ZFOR3 is a unique model to study the kappa opioid receptor functionality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)94-99
Number of pages6
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Sep 11 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by grants from Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia (SAF2004-05144) and Junta de Castilla y León (SA080A05).


  • In situ hybridization
  • Kappa opioid receptor
  • Opioid binding
  • Zebrafish


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