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Int Rev Cytol. 2003;230:189-261.

G protein-coupled receptors in invertebrates: a state of the art.

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Laboratory of Developmental Physiology, Genomics, and Proteomics, K.U. Leuven, B-3000 Leuven, Belgium.


G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) constitute one of the largest and most ancient superfamilies of membrane-spanning proteins. We focus on neuropeptide GPCRs, in particular on those of invertebrates. In general, such receptors mediate the responses of signaling molecules that constitute the highest hierarchical position in the regulation of physiological processes. Until recently, only a few of these receptors were identified in invertebrates. However, the availability of a plethora of genomic information has boosted the discovery of novel members in several invertebrate species, such as Drosophila, in which 18 neuropeptide GPCRs have been characterized. The finalization of genomic projects in other invertebrates will lead to a similar expansion of GPCR understanding. Many new insights regarding neuropeptide regulation have followed from the discovery of their cognate receptors. Furthermore, information on GPCR signaling is still fragmentary and the elucidation of these pathways in model insects such as Drosophila will lead to further insights in other species, including mammals. In this review we present the current status of what is known about invertebrate GPCRs, discuss some novel perceptions that follow from the identified members, and, finally, present some future prospects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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