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J Biol Chem. 2013 Apr 19;288(16):10967-72. doi: 10.1074/jbc.C113.453704. Epub 2013 Mar 15.

Identification of GPR99 protein as a potential third cysteinyl leukotriene receptor with a preference for leukotriene E4 ligand.

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Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and the Division of Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


The cysteinyl leukotrienes (cys-LTs), leukotriene C4 (LTC4), a conjugation product of glutathione and eicosatetraenoic acid, and its metabolites, LTD4 and LTE4, are lipid mediators of smooth muscle constriction and inflammation in asthma. LTD4 is the most potent ligand for the type 1 cys-LT receptor (CysLT1R), and LTC4 and LTD4 have similar lesser potency for CysLT2R, whereas LTE4 has little potency for either receptor. Cysltr1/Cysltr2(-/-) mice, lacking the two defined receptors, exhibited a comparable dose-dependent vascular leak to intradermal injection of LTC4 or LTD4 and an augmented response to LTE4 as compared with WT mice. As LTE4 retains a cysteine residue and might provide recognition via a dicarboxylic acid structure, we screened cDNAs within the P2Y nucleotide receptor family containing CysLTRs and dicarboxylic acid receptors with trans-activator reporter gene assays. GPR99, previously described as an oxoglutarate receptor (Oxgr1), showed both a functional and a binding response to LTE4 in these transfectants. We generated Gpr99(-/-) and Gpr99/Cysltr1/Cysltr2(-/-) mice for comparison with WT and Cysltr1/Cysltr2(-/-) mice. Strikingly, GPR99 deficiency in the Cysltr1/Cysltr2(-/-) mice virtually eliminated the vascular leak in response to the cys-LT ligands, indicating GPR99 as a potential CysLT3R active in the Cysltr1/Cysltr2(-/-) mice. Importantly, the Gpr99(-/-) mice showed a dose-dependent loss of LTE4-mediated vascular permeability, but not to LTC4 or LTD4, revealing a preference of GPR99 for LTE4 even when CysLT1R is present. As LTE4 is the predominant cys-LT species in inflamed tissues, GPR99 may provide a new therapeutic target.

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