Otopetrin (OTOP) family is a group of multi-transmembrane domain proteins. Due to their role in the formation of otoconia and otoliths ("oto" means ear and "petros" means stone) in the inner ear, they are named as otopetrin. The member OTOP1 contains 12 transmembrane domains clustered into three conserved “Otopetrin Domains” (OD-1 to OD-III). Initially, studies revealed that OTOPs are the calcium transport proteins that regulate calcium homeostasis and influx of calcium in response to extracellular ATP. While following studies showed that OTOPs can be also regarded as the proton-selective ion channels. OTOP family as a regulator of biosynthesis of otoconia is involved in the normal processing of information regarding spatial orientation and acceleration. However, the mechanism of mediation otoconia formation by OTOP family is not clear. But it was reported that OTOP1 may regulate the calcium concentrations of the sensory epithelium and/or the globular substance vesicles secreted from the epithelium.
Here shows part of OTOP family in humans including OTOP1, OTOP2, and OTOP3, encoded by OTOP1, OTOP2, and OTOP3 genes. OTOPs in vertebrate possess the conserved genes and protein structures. Moreover, OTOP2 and OTOP3 regulate the calcium concentrations in a similar manner to OTOP2, suggesting a possible functional overlap between OTOPs.
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