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Br J Pharmacol. 2014 Mar;171(5):1129-41. doi: 10.1111/bph.12365.

The GPCR, class C, group 6, subtype A (GPRC6A) receptor: from cloning to physiological function.

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Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.


GPRC6A (GPCR, class C, group 6, subtype A) is a class C GPCR that has been cloned from human, mouse and rat. Several groups have shown that the receptor is activated by a range of basic and small aliphatic L-α-amino acids of which L-arginine, L-lysine and L-ornithine are the most potent compounds with EC50 values in the mid-micromolar range. In addition, several groups have shown that the receptor is either directly activated or positively modulated by divalent cations such as Ca(2+) albeit in concentrations above 5 mM, which is above the physiological concentration in most tissues. More recently, the peptide osteocalcin and the steroid testosterone have also been suggested to be endogenous GPRC6A agonists. The receptor is widely expressed in all three species which, along with the omnipresence of the amino acids and divalent cation ligands, suggest that the receptor could be involved in a broad range of physiological functions. So far, this has mainly been addressed by analyses of genetically modified mice where the GPRC6A receptor has been ablated. Although there has been some discrepancies among results reported from different groups, there is increasing evidence that the receptor is involved in regulation of inflammation, metabolism and endocrine functions. GPRC6A could thus be an interesting target for new drugs in these therapeutic areas.


7TM receptor; GPRC6A; amino acid sensing; divalent cation sensing; knockout mouse

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