Encyclopedia of Signaling Molecules

2018 Edition
| Editors: Sangdun Choi

GALR, Galanin Receptor

  • Zhenhui LiuEmail author
  • Linfang Li
  • Min Zhang
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-67199-4_462


Historical Background

Galanin is a 29 amino acids (30 amino acids in human) long neuroendocrine peptide, originally isolated from porcine upper intestine in 1983 (Tatemoto et al. 1983). Subsequently, galanin was found to be expressed widely in brain and peripheral tissues. Galanin triggers cellular responses by binding to specific galanin receptors, and then the signals are transduced into intracellular effectors via G proteins. So far, there are three receptors (GalR1, GalR2, GalR3) were cloned (Branchek et al. 2000), and all of them are G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCR). The three receptors have substantial difference in their functional coupling and subsequent signaling activities, which contributes to the diversity of possible physiological effects of galanin. Galanin receptors can be found throughout the peripheral and central nervous systems (CNS) and the endocrine system, and they can regulate numerous physiological process...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.



This work was supported by Program for New Century Excellent Talents in University to Zhenhui Liu (No. NCET-08-0501), the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) of China (No.2008AA092603 and 2008AA09Z409) and the Scientific Research Foundation for the Returned Overseas Chinese Scholars, State Education Ministry (No. 2009–1001).


  1. Anselmi L, Stella Jr SL, Lakhter A, Hirano A, Tonini M, Sternini C. Galanin receptors in the rat gastrointestinal tract. Neuropeptides. 2005;39:349–52.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Borroto-Escuela DO, Narvaez M, Marcellino D, Parrado C, Narvaez JA, Tarakanov AO, Agnati LF, Díaz-Cabiale Z, Fuxe K. Galanin receptor-1 modulates 5-hydroxtryptamine-1A signaling via heterodimerization. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2010;393:767–72.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Branchek TA, Smith KE, Gerald C, Walker MW. Galanin receptor subtypes. Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2000;21:109–17.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Fetissov SO, Jacoby AS, Brumovsky PR, Shine J, Iismaa TP, Hokfelt T. Altered hippocampal expression of neuropeptides in seizure-prone GALR1 knockout mice. Epilepsia. 2003;44:1022–33.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Habert-Ortoli E, Amiranoff B, Loquet I, Laburthe M, Mayaux JF. Molecular cloning of a functional human galanin receptor. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1994;91:9780–3.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Howard AD, Tan C, Shiao LL, Palyha OC, McKee KK, Weinberg DH, Feighner SD, Cascieri MA, Smith RG, Van Der Ploeg LH, Sullivan KA. Molecular cloning and characterization of a new receptor for galanin. FEBS Lett. 1997;405:285–90.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Kanazawa T, Misawa K, Carey TE. Galanin receptor subtypes 1 and 2 as therapeutic targets in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Expert Opin Ther Targets. 2010;14:289–302.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Lang R, Gundlach AL, Kofler B. The galanin peptide family: receptor pharmacology, pleiotropic biological actions, and implications in health and disease. Pharmacol Ther. 2007;115:177–207.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Leibowitz SF. Regulation and effects of hypothalamic galanin: relation to dietary fat, alcohol ingestion, circulating lipids and energy homeostasis. Neuropeptides. 2005;39:327–32.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Liu Z, Xu Y, Wu L, Zhang S. Evolution of galanin receptor genes: insights from the deuterostome genomes. J Biomol Struct Dyn. 2010;28:97–106.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Lu X, Barr AM, Kinney JW, Sanna P, Conti B, Behrens MM, Bartfai T. A role for galanin in antidepressant actions with a focus on the dorsal raphe nucleus. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005;102:874–9.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Lu X, Ross B, Sanchez-Alavez M, Zorrilla EP, Bartfai T. Phenotypic analysis of GalR2 knockout mice in anxiety- and depression-related behavioral tests. Neuropeptides. 2008;42:387–97.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Mitsukawa K, Lu X, Bartfai T. Galanin, galanin receptors and drug targets. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2008;65:1796–805.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. O’Meara G, Coumis U, Ma SY, Kehr J, Mahoney S, Bacon A, Allen SJ, Holmes F, Kahl U, Wang FH, Kearns IR, Ove-Ogren S, Dawbarn D, Mufson EJ, Davies C, Dawson G, Wynick D. Galanin regulates the postnatal survival of a subset of basal forebrain cholinergic neurons. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2000;97:11569–74.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Ogren SO, Kehr J, Schött PA. Effects of ventral hippocampal galanin on spatial learning and on in vivo acetylcholine release in the rat. Neuroscience. 1996;75:1127–40.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Rustay NR, Wrenn CC, Kinney JW, Holmes A, Bailey KR, Sullivan TL, Harris AP, Long KC, Saavedra MC, Starosta G, Innerfield CE, Yang RJ, Dreiling JL, Crawley JN. Galanin impairs performance on learning and memory tasks: findings from galanin transgenic and GAL-R1 knockout mice. Neuropeptides. 2005;39:239–43.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Saar K, Mazarati AM, Mahlapuu R, Hallnemo G, Soomets U, Kilk K, Hellberg S, Pooga M, Tolf BR, Shi TS, Hökfelt T, Wasterlain C, Bartfai T, Langel U. Anticonvulsant activity of a nonpeptide galanin receptor agonist. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002;99:7136–41.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Tatemoto K, Rökaeus Å, Jornvall H, McDonald TJ, Mutt V. Galanin- a novel biologically active peptide from porcine intestine. FEBS Lett. 1983;164:124–8.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Wiesenfeld-Hallin Z, Xu XJ. Neuropeptides in neuropathic and inflammatory pain with special emphasis on cholecystokinin and galanin. Eur J Pharmacol. 2001;429:49–59.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Zorrilla EP, Brennan M, Sabino V, Lu X, Bartfai T. Galanin type 1 receptor knockout mice show altered responses to high-fat diet and glucose challenge. Physiol Behav. 2007;91:479–85.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Marine Biology, Key Laboratory of Marine Genetics and BreedingOcean University of ChinaQingdaoChina
  2. 2.Institute of Evolution and Marine BiodiversityOcean University of ChinaQingdaoChina