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J Biol Chem. 2003 Nov 7;278(45):44400-4. Epub 2003 Aug 12.

MrgX2 is a high potency cortistatin receptor expressed in dorsal root ganglion.

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  • 1Department of Target Genomics, Pfizer Global Research and Development, Sandwich, Kent, CT13 N9J, United Kingdom.


MrgX2 is a recently identified orphan G-protein-coupled receptor whose ligand and physiological function were unknown. Here we describe cortistatin, a neuropeptide for which no specific receptor has been identified previously, as a high potency ligand at MrgX2. Cortistatin has several biological functions including roles in sleep regulation, locomotor activity, and cortical function. Using a "reverse pharmacology" approach, we have identified a number of additional cyclic peptide agonists for MrgX2, determined their rank order of potency, and demonstrated that this receptor has a pharmacological profile distinct from the other characterized members of the Mrg (Mas-related genes) family. In MrgX2-expressing cells, cortistatin-stimulated increases in intracellular Ca2+ but had no effect on basal or forskolin-stimulated cAMP levels, suggesting that this receptor is Gq-coupled. Immunohistochemical and quantitative PCR studies show MrgX2 to have a limited expression profile, both peripheral and within the central nervous system, with highest levels in dorsal root ganglion.

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