Genetic variations in the human g protein-coupled receptor class C, group 6, member A (GPRC6A) control cell surface expression and function

Stine Jørgensen, Christian Theil Have, Christina Rye Underwood, Lars Dan Johansen, Petrine Wellendorph, Anette Prior Gjesing, Christinna V. Jørgensen, Shi Quan, Gao Rui, Asuka Inoue, Allan Linneberg, Niels Grarup, Wang Jun, Oluf Pedersen, Torben Hansen, Hans Bräuner-Osborne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


GPRC6A is a G protein-coupled receptor activated by Lamino acids, which, based on analyses of knock-out mice, has been suggested to have physiological functions in metabolism and testicular function. The human ortholog is, however, mostly retained intracellularly in contrast to the cell surface-expressed murine and goldfish orthologs. The latter orthologs areGq-coupled and lead to intracellular accumulation of inositol phosphates and calcium release. In the present study we cloned the bonobo chimpanzee GPRC6A receptor, which is 99% identical to the human receptor, and show that it is cell surface-expressed and functional. By analyses of chimeric human/mouse and human/bonobo receptors, bonobo receptor mutants, and the single nucleotide polymorphism database at NCBI, we identify an insertion/deletion variation in the third intracellular loop responsible for the intracellular retention and lack of function of the human ortholog. Genetic analyses of the 1000 genome database and the Inter99 cohort of 6, 000 Danes establish the distribution of genotypes among ethnic groups, showing that the cell surface-expressed and functional variant is much more prevalent in the African population than in European and Asian populations and that this variant is partly linked with a stop codon early in the receptor sequence (rs6907580, amino acid position 57). In conclusion, our data solve a more than decade-old question of why the cloned human GPRC6A receptor is not cell surface-expressed and functional and provide a genetic framework to study human phenotypic traits in large genome sequencing projects linked with physiological measurement and biomarkers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1524-1534
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jan 27

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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