Inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor
Polycystic kidney disease channel
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. In eukaryotes, two sources of Ca2+ are accessed to allow rapid changes in the cytosolic levels of this second messenger: the extracellular medium and intracellular Ca2+ stores, such as the endoplasmic reticulum. One class of channel that permits Ca2+ entry is the transient receptor potential (TRP) superfamily, including the polycystic kidney disease (PKD) proteins, or polycystins. Channels that release Ca2+ from intracellular stores include the inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate/ryanodine receptor (ITPR/RyR) superfamily. Here, we characterise a family of proteins that are only encoded by oomycete genomes, that we have named PKDRR, since they share domains with both PKD and RyR channels. We provide evidence that these proteins belong to the TRP superfamily and are distinct from the ITPR/RyR superfamily in terms of their evolutionary relationships, protein domain architectures and predicted ion channel structures. We also demonstrate that a hypothetical PKDRR protein from Phytophthora infestans is produced by this organism, is located in the cell-surface membrane and forms multimeric protein complexes. Efforts to functionally characterise this protein in a heterologous expression system were unsuccessful but support a cell-surface localisation. These PKDRR proteins represent potential targets for the development of new “fungicides”, since they are of a distinctive structure that is only found in oomycetes and not in any other cellular organisms.