ABSTRACT: G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are encoded by over 800 genes in the human genome. Motivated by different scientific rationales, the two classification systems that are mainly in use, the ABC and GRAFS systems, organize GPCRs according to their pharmacological features and phylogenetic relations, respectively. Within those systems, adhesion GPCRs (aGPCRs) constitute a group of over 30 mammalian homologs, most of which are still orphans with undefined activating signals and signal transduction properties. Previous efforts have further subdivided mammalian aGPCRs into nine subfamilies to indicate phylogenetic relationships. However, this subclassification scheme has shortcomings and inconsistencies that require attention. Here, we have reassessed the phylogenetic relationships of aGPCRs from vertebrate and invertebrate species. Our findings confirm that secretin receptor-like GPCRs most probably emerged from ancestral aGPCRs. We show that reassignment of several aGPCRs to families essentially requires input from functional data. Our analyses establish the need for introducing novel aGPCR subfamilies due to aGPCR sequences from invertebrate species that are not readily assignable to any existing subfamily. We conclude that the current classification systems ought to be updated to consider an unambiguous taxonomy of a hierarchically organized classification and pharmacological properties, and to accommodate phylogenetic affiliations between aGPCR genes within mammals and across the animal kingdom.
Project description:Adhesion G protein-coupled receptors (AGPCRs) are a thirty-three-member subfamily of Class B GPCRs that control a wide array of physiological processes and are implicated in disease. AGPCRs uniquely contain large, self-proteolyzing extracellular regions that range from hundreds to thousands of residues in length. AGPCR autoproteolysis occurs within the extracellular GPCR autoproteolysis-inducing (GAIN) domain that is proximal to the N terminus of the G protein-coupling seven-transmembrane-spanning bundle. GAIN domain-mediated self-cleavage is constitutive and produces two-fragment holoreceptors that remain bound at the cell surface. It has been of recent interest to understand how AGPCRs are activated in relation to their two-fragment topologies. Dissociation of the AGPCR fragments stimulates G protein signaling through the action of the tethered-peptide agonist stalk that is occluded within the GAIN domain in the holoreceptor form. AGPCRs can also signal independently of fragment dissociation, and a few receptors possess GAIN domains incapable of self-proteolysis. This has resulted in complex theories as to how these receptors are activated in vivo, complicating pharmacological advances. Currently, there is no existing structure of an activated AGPCR to support any of the theories. Further confounding AGPCR research is that many of the receptors remain orphans and lack identified activating ligands. In this review, we provide a detailed layout of the current theorized modes of AGPCR activation with discussion of potential parallels to mechanisms used by other GPCR classes. We provide a classification means for the ligands that have been identified and discuss how these ligands may activate AGPCRs in physiological contexts.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Adhesion G protein-coupled receptors (aGPCRs) are the second largest of the five GPCR families and are essential for a wide variety of physiological processes. Zebrafish have proven to be a very effective model for studying the biological functions of aGPCRs in both developmental and adult contexts. However, aGPCR repertoires have not been defined in any fish species, nor are aGPCR expression profiles in adult tissues known. Additionally, the expression profiles of the aGPCR family have never been extensively characterized over a developmental time-course in any species. RESULTS:Here, we report that there are at least 59 aGPCRs in zebrafish that represent homologs of 24 of the 33 aGPCRs found in humans; compared to humans, zebrafish lack clear homologs of GPR110, GPR111, GPR114, GPR115, GPR116, EMR1, EMR2, EMR3, and EMR4. We find that several aGPCRs in zebrafish have multiple paralogs, in line with the teleost-specific genome duplication. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that most zebrafish aGPCRs cluster closely with their mammalian homologs, with the exception of three zebrafish-specific expansion events in Groups II, VI, and VIII. Using quantitative real-time PCR, we have defined the expression profiles of 59 zebrafish aGPCRs at 12 developmental time points and 10 adult tissues representing every major organ system. Importantly, expression profiles of zebrafish aGPCRs in adult tissues are similar to those previously reported in mouse, rat, and human, underscoring the evolutionary conservation of this family, and therefore the utility of the zebrafish for studying aGPCR biology. CONCLUSIONS:Our results support the notion that zebrafish are a potentially useful model to study the biology of aGPCRs from a functional perspective. The zebrafish aGPCR repertoire, classification, and nomenclature, together with their expression profiles during development and in adult tissues, provides a crucial foundation for elucidating aGPCR functions and pursuing aGPCRs as therapeutic targets.
Project description:The orphan receptor GPR125 (ADGRA3) belongs to subgroup III of the adhesion G protein-coupled receptor (aGPCR) family. aGPCRs, also known as class B2 GPCRs, share basic structural and functional properties with other GPCRs. Many of them couple to G proteins and activate G protein-dependent and -independent signaling pathways, but little is known about aGPCR internalization and ?-arrestin recruitment. GPR125 was originally described as a spermatogonial stem cell marker and studied for its role in Wnt signaling and cell polarity. Here, using cell-based assays and confocal microscopy, we show that GPR125 is expressed on the cell surface and undergoes constitutive endocytosis in a ?-arrestin-independent, but clathrin-dependent manner, as indicated by colocalization with transferrin receptor 1, an early endosome marker. These data support that the constitutive internalization of GPR125 contributes to its biological functions by controlling receptor surface expression and accessibility for ligands. Our study sheds light on a new property of aGPCRs, namely internalization; a property described to be important for signal propagation, signal termination, and desensitization of class A (rhodopsin-like) and B1 (VIP/secretin) GPCRs.
Project description:Members of the adhesion G protein-coupled receptor (aGPCR) family carry an agonistic sequence within their large ectodomains. Peptides derived from this region, called the Stachel sequence, can activate the respective receptor. As the conserved core region of the Stachel sequence is highly similar between aGPCRs, the agonist specificity of Stachel sequence-derived peptides was tested between family members using cell culture-based second messenger assays. Stachel peptides derived from aGPCRs of subfamily VI (GPR110/ADGRF1, GPR116/ADGRF5) and subfamily VIII (GPR64/ADGRG2, GPR126/ADGRG6) are able to activate more than one member of the respective subfamily supporting their evolutionary relationship and defining them as pharmacological receptor subtypes. Extended functional analyses of the Stachel sequences and derived peptides revealed agonist promiscuity, not only within, but also between aGPCR subfamilies. For example, the Stachel-derived peptide of GPR110 (subfamily VI) can activate GPR64 and GPR126 (both subfamily VIII). Our results indicate that key residues in the Stachel sequence are very similar between aGPCRs allowing for agonist promiscuity of several Stachel-derived peptides. Therefore, aGPCRs appear to be pharmacologically more closely related than previously thought. Our findings have direct implications for many aGPCR studies, as potential functional overlap has to be considered for in vitro and in vivo studies. However, it also offers the possibility of a broader use of more potent peptides when the original Stachel sequence is less effective.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) constitute one of the largest and most ancient superfamilies of membrane proteins. They play a central role in physiological processes affecting almost all aspects of the life cycle of an organism. Availability of the complete sets of putative members of a family from diverse species provides the basis for cross genome comparative studies. RESULTS: We have defined the repertoire of GPCR superfamily of Tetraodon complement with the availability of complete sequence of the freshwater puffer fish Tetraodon nigroviridis. Almost all 466 Tetraodon GPCRs (Tnig-GPCRs) identified had a clear human homologue. 189 putative human and Tetraodon GPCR orthologous pairs could be identified. Tetraodon GPCRs are classified into five GRAFS families, by phylogenetic analysis, concurrent with human GPCR classification. CONCLUSION: Direct comparison of GPCRs in Tetraodon and human genomes displays a high level of orthology and supports large-scale gene duplications in Tetraodon. Examples of lineage specific gene expansions were also observed in opsin and odorant receptors. The human and Tetraodon GPCR sequences are analogous in terms of GPCR subfamilies but display disproportionate numbers of receptors at the subfamily level. The teleost genome with its expanded set of GPCRs provides additional and interesting comparators to study both evolution and function of these receptors.
Project description:The enormous sizes of adhesion G protein-coupled receptors (aGPCRs) go along with complex genomic exon-intron architectures giving rise to multiple mRNA variants. There is a need for a comprehensive catalog of aGPCR variants for proper evaluation of the complex functions of aGPCRs found in structural, in vitro and animal model studies. We used an established bioinformatics pipeline to extract, quantify and visualize mRNA variants of aGPCRs from deeply sequenced transcriptomes. Data analysis showed that aGPCRs have multiple transcription start sites even within introns and that tissue-specific splicing is frequent. On average, 19 significantly expressed transcript variants are derived from a given aGPCR gene. The domain architecture of the N terminus encoded by transcript variants often differs and N termini without or with an incomplete seven-helix transmembrane anchor as well as separate seven-helix transmembrane domains are frequently derived from aGPCR genes. Experimental analyses of selected aGPCR transcript variants revealed marked functional differences. Our analysis has an impact on a rational design of aGPCR constructs for structural analyses and gene-deficient mouse lines and provides new support for independent functions of both, the large N terminus and the transmembrane domain of aGPCRs.
Project description:G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) in humans are classified into the five main families named Glutamate, Rhodopsin, Adhesion, Frizzled and Secretin according to the GRAFS classification. Previous results show that these mammalian GRAFS families are well represented in the Metazoan lineages, but they have not been shown to be present in Fungi. Here, we systematically mined 79 fungal genomes and provide the first evidence that four of the five main mammalian families of GPCRs, namely Rhodopsin, Adhesion, Glutamate and Frizzled, are present in Fungi and found 142 novel sequences between them. Significantly, we provide strong evidence that the Rhodopsin family emerged from the cAMP receptor family in an event close to the split of Opisthokonts and not in Placozoa, as earlier assumed. The Rhodopsin family then expanded greatly in Metazoans while the cAMP receptor family is found in 3 invertebrate species and lost in the vertebrates. We estimate that the Adhesion and Frizzled families evolved before the split of Unikonts from a common ancestor of all major eukaryotic lineages. Also, the study highlights that the fungal Adhesion receptors do not have N-terminal domains whereas the fungal Glutamate receptors have a broad repertoire of mammalian-like N-terminal domains. Further, mining of the close unicellular relatives of the Metazoan lineage, Salpingoeca rosetta and Capsaspora owczarzaki, obtained a rich group of both the Adhesion and Glutamate families, which in particular provided insight to the early emergence of the N-terminal domains of the Adhesion family. We identified 619 Fungi specific GPCRs across 79 genomes and revealed that Blastocladiomycota and Chytridiomycota phylum have Metazoan-like GPCRs rather than the GPCRs specific for Fungi. Overall, this study provides the first evidence of the presence of four of the five main GRAFS families in Fungi and clarifies the early evolutionary history of the GPCR superfamily.
Project description:BACKGROUND: G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) play a central role in eukaryotic signal transduction. However, the GPCR component of this signalling system, at the early origins of metazoans is not fully understood. Here we aim to identify and classify GPCRs in Amphimedon queenslandica (sponge), a member of an earliest diverging metazoan lineage (Porifera). Furthermore, phylogenetic comparisons of sponge GPCRs with eumetazoan and bilaterian GPCRs will be essential to our understanding of the GPCR system at the roots of metazoan evolution. RESULTS: We present a curated list of 220 GPCRs in the sponge genome after excluding incomplete sequences and false positives from our initial dataset of 282 predicted GPCR sequences obtained using Pfam search. Phylogenetic analysis reveals that the sponge genome contains members belonging to four of the five major GRAFS families including Glutamate (33), Rhodopsin (126), Adhesion (40) and Frizzled (3). Interestingly, the sponge Rhodopsin family sequences lack orthologous relationships with those found in eumetazoan and bilaterian lineages, since they clustered separately to form sponge specific groups in the phylogenetic analysis. This suggests that sponge Rhodopsins diverged considerably from that found in other basal metazoans. A few sponge Adhesions clustered basal to Adhesion subfamilies commonly found in most vertebrates, suggesting some Adhesion subfamilies may have diverged prior to the emergence of Bilateria. Furthermore, at least eight of the sponge Adhesion members have a hormone binding motif (HRM domain) in their N-termini, although hormones have yet to be identified in sponges. We also phylogenetically clarified that sponge has homologs of metabotropic glutamate (mGluRs) and GABA receptors. CONCLUSION: Our phylogenetic comparisons of sponge GPCRs with other metazoan genomes suggest that sponge contains a significantly diversified set of GPCRs. This is evident at the family/subfamily level comparisons for most GPCR families, in particular for the Rhodopsin family of GPCRs. In summary, this study provides a framework to perform future experimental and comparative studies to further verify and understand the roles of GPCRs that predates the divergence of bilaterian and eumetazoan lineages.
Project description:The unusual adhesion G-protein-coupled receptors (aGPCRs) contain large extracellular N-terminal domains, which resemble cell-adhesion receptors, and C-terminal heptahelical domains, which may couple to G-proteins. These receptors are cleaved post-translationally between these domains into two fragments (NTF and CTF). Using the aGPCR latrophilin 1, we previously demonstrated that the fragments behave as independent cell-surface proteins. Upon binding the agonist, alpha-latrotoxin (LTX), latrophilin fragments reassemble and induce intracellular signaling. Our observations raised important questions: is the aGPCR signaling mediated by reassembled fragments or by any non-cleaved receptors? Also, can the fragments originating from distinct aGPCRs form hybrid complexes? To answer these questions, we created two types of chimerical constructs. One contained the CTF of latrophilin joined to the NTF of another aGPCR, EMR2; the resulting protein did not bind LTX but, similar to latrophilin, could couple to G-proteins. In another construct, the NTF of latrophilin was fused with the C terminus of neurexin; this chimera bound LTX but could not signal via G-proteins. Both constructs were efficiently cleaved in cells. When the two constructs were co-expressed, their fragments could cross-interact, as shown by immunoprecipitation. Furthermore, LTX(N4C) induced intracellular Ca2+ signaling only in cells expressing both constructs but not each individual construct. Finally, we demonstrated that fragments of unrelated aGPCRs can be cross-immunoprecipitated from live tissues. Thus, (i) aGPCR fragments behave as independent proteins, (ii) the complementary fragments from distinct aGPCRs can cross-interact, and (iii) these cross-complexes are functionally active. This unusual cross-assembly of aGPCR fragments could couple cell-surface interactions to multiple signaling pathways.
Project description:The large class of adhesion G protein-coupled receptors (aGPCRs) bind extracellular matrix or neighboring cell-surface ligands to regulate organ and tissue development through an unknown activation mechanism. We examined aGPCR activation using two prototypical aGPCRs, GPR56 and GPR110. Active dissociation of the noncovalently bound GPR56 or GPR110 extracellular domains (ECDs) from the respective seven-transmembrane (7TM) domains relieved an inhibitory influence and permitted both receptors to activate defined G protein subtypes. After ECD displacement, the newly revealed short N-terminal stalk regions of the 7TM domains were found to be essential for G protein activation. Synthetic peptides comprising these stalks potently activated GPR56 or GPR110 in vitro or in cells, demonstrating that the stalks comprise a tethered agonist that was encrypted within the ECD. Establishment of an aGPCR activation mechanism provides a rational platform for the development of aGPCR synthetic modulators that could find clinical utility toward aGPCR-directed disease.