Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.534, 317-322, 2021
A synthetic method to assay adhesion-family G-protein coupled receptors. Determination of the G-protein coupling profile of ADGRG6(GPR126)
G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) are the largest family of membrane-spanning receptors in metazoans and mediate diverse biological processes such as chemotaxis, vision, and neurotransmission. Adhesion GPCRs represent an understudied class of GPCRs. Adhesion GPCRs (ADGRs) are activated by an intrinsic proteolytic mechanism executed by the G-protein autoproteolysis inducing domain that defines this class of GPCRs. It is hypothesized that agonist ligands modulate the proteolyzed receptor to regulate the activity of a tethered agonist peptide that is an intramolecular activator of ADGRs. The mechanism of activation of ADGRs in physiological settings is unclear and the toolbox for interrogating ADGR physiology in cellular models is limited. Therefore, we generated a novel enterokinase-activated tethered ligand system for ADGRG6(GPR126). Enterokinase addition to cells expressing a synthetic ADGRG6 protein induced potent and efficacious signal transduction through heterotrimeric G-protein coupled second messenger pathways including cyclic nucleotide production, intracellular calcium mobilization, and GPCR-pathway linked reporter gene induction. These studies support the hypothesis that ADGRG6(GPR126) is coupled to multiple heterotrimeric G-proteins: including G alpha(s), G alpha(q), and G alpha(12). This novel assay method is robust, specific, and compatible with numerous cell pharmacology approaches. We present a new tool for determination of the biological function of ADGRs and the identification of ligands that engage these receptors. (C) 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc.