Adhesion G Protein-coupled Receptors pp 221-247

Part of the Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology book series (HEP, volume 234) | Cite as

Adhesion GPCRs as a Putative Class of Metabotropic Mechanosensors

Chapter

Graphical Abstract

Adhesion GPCRs as mechanosensors. Different aGPCR homologs and their cognate ligands have been described in settings, which suggest that they function in a mechanosensory capacity. For details, see text

Abstract

G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) constitute the most versatile superfamily of biosensors. This group of receptors is formed by hundreds of GPCRs, each of which is tuned to the perception of a specific set of stimuli a cell may encounter emanating from the outside world or from internal sources. Most GPCRs are receptive for chemical compounds such as peptides, proteins, lipids, nucleotides, sugars, and other organic compounds, and this capacity is utilized in several sensory organs to initiate visual, olfactory, gustatory, or endocrine signals. In contrast, GPCRs have only anecdotally been implicated in the perception of mechanical stimuli. Recent studies, however, show that the family of adhesion GPCRs (aGPCRs), which represents a large panel of over 30 homologs within the GPCR superfamily, displays molecular design and expression patterns that are compatible with receptivity toward mechanical cues (Fig. 1). Here, we review physiological and molecular principles of established mechanosensors, discuss their relevance for current research of the mechanosensory function of aGPCRs, and survey the current state of knowledge on aGPCRs as mechanosensing molecules.

Keywords

Adhesion GPCR Mechanosensor Mechanosensation 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of NeurophysiologyInstitute of Physiology, University of WürzburgWürzburgGermany
  2. 2.Department of Developmental BiologyHope Center for Neurologic Disorders, Washington University School of MedicineSt. LouisUSA

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