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AliasesOPN3, ECPN, PPP1R116, opsin 3
External IDsOMIM: 606695 MGI: 1338022 HomoloGene: 40707 GeneCards: OPN3
Gene location (Human)
Chromosome 1 (human)
Chr.Chromosome 1 (human)[1]
Chromosome 1 (human)
Genomic location for OPN3
Genomic location for OPN3
Band1q43Start241,590,102 bp[1]
End241,677,376 bp[1]
RNA expression pattern
PBB GE OPN3 219032 x at fs.png
More reference expression data
RefSeq (mRNA)



RefSeq (protein)



Location (UCSC)Chr 1: 241.59 – 241.68 MbChr 1: 175.66 – 175.69 Mb
PubMed search[3][4]
View/Edit HumanView/Edit Mouse

Opsin-3 also known as encephalopsin or panopsin[5] is a protein that, in humans, is encoded by the OPN3 gene.[6][7][8] Alternative splicing of this gene results in multiple transcript variants encoding different protein isoforms.[9]


Opsins are members of the G protein-coupled receptor superfamily. In addition to the visual opsins, mammals possess several photoreceptive non-visual opsins that are expressed in tissues outside the eye. The opsin-3 gene is strongly expressed in brain and testis and weakly expressed in liver, placenta, heart, lung, skeletal muscle, kidney, and pancreas. The gene is expressed in the skin[9] and may also be expressed in the retina. The protein has the canonical features of a photoreceptive opsin protein,[8] however in human skin, OPN3 is not photoreceptive and acts as a negative regulator of melanogenesis.[10]


  1. ^ a b c GRCh38: Ensembl release 89: ENSG00000054277 - Ensembl, May 2017
  2. ^ a b c GRCm38: Ensembl release 89: ENSMUSG00000026525 - Ensembl, May 2017
  3. ^ "Human PubMed Reference:". National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine.
  4. ^ "Mouse PubMed Reference:". National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine.
  5. ^ Koyanagi M, Takada E, Nagata T, Tsukamoto H, Terakita A (Mar 2013). "Homologs of vertebrate Opn3 potentially serve as a light sensor in nonphotoreceptive tissue". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 110 (13): 4998–5003. doi:10.1073/pnas.1219416110. PMC 3612648. PMID 23479626.
  6. ^ Blackshaw S, Snyder SH (May 1999). "Encephalopsin: a novel mammalian extraretinal opsin discretely localized in the brain". The Journal of Neuroscience. 19 (10): 3681–90. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.19-10-03681.1999. PMC 6782724. PMID 10234000.
  7. ^ Halford S, Freedman MS, Bellingham J, Inglis SL, Poopalasundaram S, Soni BG, Foster RG, Hunt DM (Mar 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. doi:10.1006/geno.2001.6469. PMID 11401433.
  8. ^ a b "Entrez Gene: OPN3 opsin 3 (encephalopsin, panopsin)".
  9. ^ a b Haltaufderhyde K, Ozdeslik RN, Wicks NL, Najera JA, Oancea E (January 2015). "Opsin expression in human epidermal skin". Photochemistry and Photobiology. 91 (1): 117–23. doi:10.1111/php.12354. PMC 4303996. PMID 25267311.
  10. ^ Olinski, Lin, Oancea, Lauren E, Erica M, Elena (January 2020). "Illuminating insights into opsin 3 function in the skin". Advances in Biological Regulation. 75. doi:10.1016/j.jbior.2019.100668. PMID 31653550. Retrieved 26 May 2020.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)

Further reading[edit]

This article incorporates text from the United States National Library of Medicine, which is in the public domain.