Characterization of GPRA, a novel G protein-coupled receptor related to asthma

Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2005 Sep;33(3):262-70. doi: 10.1165/rcmb.2004-0405OC. Epub 2005 Jun 9.


We recently identified a novel positional asthma susceptibility gene, GPRA, which belongs to the G protein-coupled receptor family. In the present studies, we show that isoform specific activation of GPRA-A with its agonist, Neuropeptide S (NPS) resulted in significant inhibition of cell growth. GPRA has several variants due to extensive alternative splicing. We observed that only the full-length variants, GPRA-A and GPRA-B, with 7 transmembrane topology are transported into the plasma membrane, while the truncated proteins retain intracellular compartments. To clarify disease mechanism, we studied co-expression of the variants without finding any indication that truncated variants would inhibit the receptor transport into the plasma membrane. By using in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry, we detected ubiquitous expression of GPRA-B, and frequent expression of GPRA-A in the epithelia of several organs including bronchi and gastrointestinal tract. Furthermore, we observed aberrant mRNA and protein expression levels of GPRA in the asthmatic bronchi. Finally, we demonstrate that GPRA and NPS are co-expressed in bronchial epithelium. In summary, this study provides evidence that GPRA might have functional relevance in modulating asthma by increased expression levels in the relevant tissues under diseased state and by potential inhibitory effect of GPRA-A activation on cell growth.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Antibody Specificity
  • Asthma / genetics*
  • Asthma / physiopathology*
  • COS Cells
  • Cell Division / physiology
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Gene Expression / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Lung Neoplasms
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Neuropeptides / genetics
  • RNA Splicing
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / genetics*
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / immunology
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / metabolism
  • Respiratory Mucosa / cytology
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Transfection


  • NPSR1 protein, human
  • Neuropeptides
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled