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Oncogene. 2005 Mar 3;24(10):1673-82.

GPR56 is a GPCR that is overexpressed in gliomas and functions in tumor cell adhesion.

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AGY Therapeutics Inc., 270 East Grand Avenue, South San Francisco, CA 94080, USA.


GPR56 (also known as TM7XN1) is a newly discovered orphan G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) of the secretin family that has a role in the development of neural progenitor cells and has been linked to developmental malformations of the human brain. GPR56 diverges from other secretin-like family members in that it has an extremely large N-terminal extracellular region (381 amino acids) and contains a novel feature among this new subclass, consisting of four cysteine residues that define a GPCR proteolytic site (GPS motif) located just before the first transmembrane spanning domain. The rest of the amino-terminal domain contains a large number of possible N- and O-linked glycosylation sites similar to mucin-like proteins. These features suggest a role in cell-cell, or cell-matrix interactions. Here, we demonstrate upregulation of GPR56 in glioblastoma multiforme tumors using functional genomics. Immunohistochemistry studies confirmed the expression of GPR56 protein in a majority of glioblastoma/astrocytoma tumor samples with undetectable levels of expression in normal adult brain tissue. Immunofluorescence analysis of human glioma cells using anti-GPR56 antibodies demonstrate that GPR56 is expressed on the leading edge of membrane filopodia and colocalizes with alpha-actinin. Purified recombinant GPR56 extracellular domain protein inhibits glioma cell adhesion and causes abnormal cytoskeletal morphology and cell rounding. These results indicate that the extracellular domain may compete for unidentified ligand(s), and block the normal function of GPR56 in cell attachment. In reporter assays, overexpression of GPR56 activates the NF-kappaB, PAI-1 and TCF transcriptional response elements. These pathways have been implicated in cytoskeletal signaling, adhesion and tumor biology. The above results indicate that GPR56 serves as an adhesion GPCR and is involved in adhesion signaling.

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