Sequence similarities between a novel putative G protein-coupled receptor and Na+/Ca2+ exchangers define a cation binding domain

Heli Nikkila, D. Randy McMillan, Brian S. Nunez, Leigh Pascoe, Kathleen M. Curnow, Perrin C. White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


cDNA clones encoding a novel putative G protein-coupled receptor have been characterized. The receptor is widely expressed in normal solid tissues. Consisting of 1967 amino acid residues, this receptor is one of the largest known and is therefore referred to as a very large G protein-coupled receptor, or VLGR1. It is most closely related to the secretin family of G protein-coupled receptors based on similarity of the sequences of its transmembrane segments. As demonstrated by cell surface labeling with a biotin derivative, the recombinant protein is expressed on the surface of transfected mammalian cells. Whereas several other recently described receptors in this family also have large extracellular domains, the large extracellular domain of VLGR1 has a unique structure. It has nine imperfectly repeated units that are rich in acidic residues and are spaced at intervals of approximately 120 amino acid residues. These repeats resemble the regulatory domains of Na+/Ca2+ exchangers as well as a component of an extracellular aggregation factor of marine sponges. Bacterial fusion proteins containing two or four repeats specifically bind 45Ca in overlay experiments; binding is competed poorly by Mg2+ but competed well by neomycin, Al3+, and Gd3+. These results define a consensus cation binding motif employed in several widely divergent types of proteins. The ligand for VLGR1, its function, and the signaling pathway(s) it employs remain to be defined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1351-1364
Number of pages14
JournalMolecular Endocrinology
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology


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