Broad-spectrum L-amino acid sensing by class 3 G-protein-coupled receptors

Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2006 Dec;17(10):398-407. doi: 10.1016/j.tem.2006.10.012. Epub 2006 Nov 7.


The sensing of nutrients is essential to the control of growth and metabolism. Although the sensing mechanisms responsible for the detection and coordination of metabolic responses to some nutrients, most notably glucose, are well understood, the molecular basis of amino acid sensing by cells and tissues is only now emerging. In this article, we consider evidence that some members of G-protein-coupled receptor class 3 are broad-spectrum amino acid sensors that couple changes in extracellular amino acid levels to the activation of intracellular signaling pathways. In particular, we consider both the molecular basis of specific and broad-spectrum amino acid sensing by different members of class 3 and the physiological significance of broad spectrum amino acid sensing by the extracellular calcium-sensing receptor, heterodimeric taste receptors and the recently "deorphanized" receptor GPRC6A and its goldfish homolog, the 5.24 chemoreceptor.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Conformation
  • Receptors, Calcium-Sensing / metabolism
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / metabolism*
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / physiology
  • Taste / physiology


  • Amino Acids
  • GPRC6A protein, human
  • Receptors, Calcium-Sensing
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled