The Adhesion GPCRs: A unique family of G protein-coupled receptors with important roles in both central and peripheral tissues
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G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are a diverse superfamily of membrane-bound receptors. The second largest subgroup of GPCRs, the Adhesion GPCRs, has 33 members in humans. Phylogenetic analysis of the entire repertoire of the seven transmembrane- domain (7TM) regions of GPCRs shows that the Adhesion GPCRs form a distinct family. Adhesion GPCRs are characterised by (1) long N termini with multiple functional domains often found in other proteins such as tyrosine kinases, integrins and cadherins, (2) highly complex genomic structure with multiple introns and splice variants and (3) a 7TM region that has no clear similarities with 7TM from other GPCRs. Several Adhesion GPCRs are known to have a role in the immune system but it is becoming more evident that many have important roles in the CNS. We speculate that the overall structural construction of the Adhesion GPCRs allows them to participate in different types of cell guidance.
Keywords.GPCR EGF-7TM receptor CNS immune system N termini functional domains
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