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Immunopharmacology Ligand target has curated data in GtoImmuPdb

Target id: 160

Nomenclature: OPN3

Family: Opsin receptors

Gene and Protein Information Click here for help
class A G protein-coupled receptor
Species TM AA Chromosomal Location Gene Symbol Gene Name Reference
Human 7 402 1q43 OPN3 opsin 3
Mouse 7 400 1 H3 Opn3 opsin 3
Rat 7 400 13q25 Opn3 opsin 3
Previous and Unofficial Names Click here for help
ECPN | Encephalopsin | Panopsin | opsin 3
Database Links Click here for help
Specialist databases
GPCRdb opn3_human (Hs), opn3_mouse (Mm)
Other databases
ChEMBL Target
Ensembl Gene
Entrez Gene
Human Protein Atlas
RefSeq Nucleotide
RefSeq Protein
Natural/Endogenous Ligands Click here for help
Comments: Probably a sensory receptor.
Immunopharmacology Comments
Primarily considered a sensory receptor, but expression in immune cells (macrophages, primary T cells and dendritic cells), altered IL-2 production by T cells with OPN3 knockout, and polymorphisms associated with asthma suggest a role in inflammation [6].
Tissue Distribution Click here for help
Species:  Human
Technique:  RT-PCR
References:  5
Major tissues in human with particularly higher expression in lung, placenta and spleen. Highly expressed in immune cells such as macrophages, bronchiolar epithelium, primary T cells and dendritic cells.
Species:  Human
Technique:  RT-PCR
References:  6
Lung bronchiolar epithelium, T cells, B cells, dendritic cells, neurons within subtantia nigra, the neural layers of retina including the ganglion cell layer, photoreceptor layer, outer and inner plexiform layers
Species:  Human
Technique:  Immunohistochemistry
References:  6
Brain, liver, retina
Species:  Human
Technique:  Northern blot
References:  2
Thalamus: VPL, posterior thalamus, dorsomedial thalamus, lateral and medial geniculate nuclei, mediodorsal nuclei; Cerebellum: Purkinje cells; Cerebral cortex: Highly expressed in frontal, perirhinal, cingulated, insular cortex. Negligible expression in parietal, temporal and occipital cortices; anteromedial preoptic area; subfornical organ.
Species:  Mouse
Technique:  in situ hybridisation
References:  1
Wild type proestrus pituitary > Wild type metestrus pituitary > Pituitary of ERα knockout mice
Species:  Mouse
Technique:  Microarray analysis, RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry
References:  3
Species:  Mouse
Technique:  RT-PCR
References:  5
Cerebellum, cortex, testes.
Species:  Mouse
Technique:  Northern blot
References:  1
LHβ-positive cells in pituitary, including those in gonadotroph
Species:  Mouse
Technique:  Double immunofluorescence
References:  3
Species:  Rat
Technique:  RT-PCR
References:  4
Tissue Distribution Comments
Expression of OPN3 occurs early in ocular development of humans and mice [5]. OPN3 expression is developmentally regulated [1]. No expression of OPN3 is found in the embryonic cerebellum and cerebral cortex. The expession levels of OPN3 in cerebellum and cortex are higher in the adult than in the neonate. Rostrocaudal gradients of OPN3 expression are observed in cortex and striatum [1]. Both rostrocaudal gradients and radial stripes of OPN3 expression are seen in cerelbellum.
Expression Datasets Click here for help

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Log average relative transcript abundance in mouse tissues measured by qPCR from Regard, J.B., Sato, I.T., and Coughlin, S.R. (2008). Anatomical profiling of G protein-coupled receptor expression. Cell, 135(3): 561-71. [PMID:18984166] [Raw data: website]

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Physiological Functions Click here for help
Regulation of GnRH-induced LH secretion
Species:  Mouse
Tissue:  Pituitary gland
References:  3
Physiological Consequences of Altering Gene Expression Click here for help
Human Jurkat T cells with OPN3 knockout show inhibition of IL-2 production in response to T-cell activation.
Species:  Human
Tissue:  Jurkat T cells
Technique:  Gene knockout
References:  6
Gene Expression and Pathophysiology Comments
Polymorphisms in the OPN3 gene have been found to be associated with asthma [6].
Biologically Significant Variants Click here for help
Type:  Single nucleotide polymorphism
Species:  Human
Amino acid change:  V183I
Global MAF (%):  2
Subpopulation MAF (%):  ASN|EUR: 8|1
Minor allele count:  T=0.024/52
Comment on frequency:  Low frequency (<10% in all tested populations)
SNP accession: 
Validation:  1000 Genomes, HapMap, Frequency
Type:  Naturally occurring SNP
Species:  Human
Amino acid change:  A167V
SNP accession: 
General Comments
OPN3 depends on ERα for its expression in the pituitary [3].


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1. Blackshaw S, Snyder SH. (1999) Encephalopsin: a novel mammalian extraretinal opsin discretely localized in the brain. J Neurosci, 19 (10): 3681-90. [PMID:10234000]

2. Halford S, Freedman MS, Bellingham J, Inglis SL, Poopalasundaram S, Soni BG, Foster RG, Hunt DM. (2001) Characterization of a novel human opsin gene with wide tissue expression and identification of embedded and flanking genes on chromosome 1q43. Genomics, 72 (2): 203-8. [PMID:11401433]

3. Kim HJ, Gieske MC, Trudgen KL, Hudgins-Spivey S, Kim BG, Krust A, Chambon P, Jeong JW, Blalock E, Ko C. (2011) Identification of estradiol/ERα-regulated genes in the mouse pituitary. J Endocrinol, 210 (3): 309-21. [PMID:21700660]

4. Nieto PS, Valdez DJ, Acosta-Rodríguez VA, Guido ME. (2011) Expression of novel opsins and intrinsic light responses in the mammalian retinal ganglion cell line RGC-5. Presence of OPN5 in the rat retina. PLoS ONE, 6 (10): e26417. [PMID:22022612]

5. Tarttelin EE, Bellingham J, Bibb LC, Foster RG, Hankins MW, Gregory-Evans K, Gregory-Evans CY, Wells DJ, Lucas RJ. (2003) Expression of opsin genes early in ocular development of humans and mice. Exp Eye Res, 76 (3): 393-6. [PMID:12573668]

6. White JH, Chiano M, Wigglesworth M, Geske R, Riley J, White N, Hall S, Zhu G, Maurio F, Savage T, Anderson W, Cordy J, Ducceschi M, GAIN investigators, Vestbo J, Pillai SG. (2008) Identification of a novel asthma susceptibility gene on chromosome 1qter and its functional evaluation. Hum Mol Genet, 17 (13): 1890-903. [PMID:18344558]

How to cite this page

Opsin receptors: OPN3. Last modified on 15/07/2019. Accessed on 02/03/2024. IUPHAR/BPS Guide to PHARMACOLOGY,