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PLoS One. 2016 Dec 9;11(12):e0168260. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0168260. eCollection 2016.

Insights into Basal Signaling Regulation, Oligomerization, and Structural Organization of the Human G-Protein Coupled Receptor 83.

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Institute of Experimental Pediatric Endocrinology, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, 13353 Berlin, Germany.
Institut für Medizinische Physik und Biophysik, Group Protein X-ray Crystallography and Signal Transduction, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.


The murine G-protein coupled receptor 83 (mGPR83) is expressed in the hypothalamus and was previously suggested to be involved in the regulation of metabolism. The neuropeptide PEN has been recently identified as a potent GPR83 ligand. Moreover, GPR83 constitutes functionally relevant hetero-oligomers with other G-protein coupled receptors (GPCR) such as the ghrelin receptor (GHSR) or GPR171. Previous deletion studies also revealed that the long N-terminal extracellular receptor domain (eNDo) of mGPR83 may act as an intra-molecular ligand, which participates in the regulation of basal signaling activity, which is a key feature of GPCR function. Here, we investigated particular amino acids at the eNDo of human GPR83 (hGPR83) by side-directed mutagenesis to identify determinants of the internal ligand. These studies were accompanied by structure homology modeling to combine functional insights with structural information. The capacity for hetero-oligomer formation of hGPR83 with diverse family A GPCRs such as the melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) was also investigated, with a specific emphasis on the impact of the eNDo on oligomerization and basal signaling properties. Finally, we demonstrate that hGPR83 exhibits an unusual basal signaling for different effectors, which also supports signaling promiscuity. hGPR83 interacts with a variety of hypothalamic GPCRs such as the MC4R or GHSR. These interactions are not dependent on the ectodomain and most likely occur at interfaces constituted in the transmembrane regions. Moreover, several amino acids at the transition between the eNDo and transmembrane helix 1 were identified, where mutations lead also to biased basal signaling modulation.

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