International Union of Pharmacology. XXXV. The glucagon receptor family

Pharmacol Rev. 2003 Mar;55(1):167-94. doi: 10.1124/pr.55.1.6.


Peptide hormones within the secretin-glucagon family are expressed in endocrine cells of the pancreas and gastrointestinal epithelium and in specialized neurons in the brain, and subserve multiple biological functions, including regulation of growth, nutrient intake, and transit within the gut, and digestion, energy absorption, and energy assimilation. Glucagon, glucagon-like peptide-1, glucagon-like peptide-2, glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide, growth hormone-releasing hormone and secretin are structurally related peptides that exert their actions through unique members of a structurally related G protein-coupled receptor class 2 family. This review discusses advances in our understanding of how these peptides exert their biological activities, with a focus on the biological actions and structural features of the cognate receptors. The receptors have been named after their parent and only physiologically relevant ligand, in line with the recommendations of the International Union of Pharmacology Committee on Receptor Nomenclature and Drug Classification (NC-IUPHAR).

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • International Agencies
  • Ligands
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Protein Binding
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled
  • Receptors, Gastrointestinal Hormone / chemistry
  • Receptors, Gastrointestinal Hormone / metabolism
  • Receptors, Gastrointestinal Hormone / physiology*
  • Receptors, Glucagon / chemistry
  • Receptors, Glucagon / metabolism
  • Receptors, Glucagon / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology


  • Ligands
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled
  • Receptors, Gastrointestinal Hormone
  • Receptors, Glucagon
  • secretin receptor