The family B1 GPCR: structural aspects and interaction with accessory proteins

Curr Drug Targets. 2012 Jan;13(1):103-15. doi: 10.2174/138945012798868434.


G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) play a crucial role in physiology and pathophysiology in humans. Beside the large family A (rhodopsin-like receptors) and family C GPCR (metabotropic glutamate receptors), the small family B1 GPCR (secretin-like receptors) includes important receptors such as vasoactive intestinal peptide receptors (VPAC), pituitary adenylyl cyclase activating peptide receptor (PAC1R), secretin receptor (SECR), growth hormone releasing factor receptor (GRFR), glucagon receptor (GCGR), glucagon like-peptide 1 and 2 receptors (GLPR), gastric inhibitory peptide receptor (GIPR), parathyroid hormone receptors (PTHR), calcitonin receptors (CTR) and corticotropin-releasing factor receptors (CRFR). They represent very promising targets for the development of drugs having therapeutical impact on many diseases such as chronic inflammation, neurodegeneration, diabetes, stress and osteoporosis. Over the past decade, structure-function relationship studies have demonstrated that the N-terminal ectodomain (N-ted) of family B1 receptors plays a pivotal role in natural ligand recognition. Structural analysis of some family B1 GPCR N-teds revealed the existence of a Sushi domain fold consisting of two antiparallel β sheets stabilized by three disulfide bonds and a salt bridge. The family B1 GPCRs promote cellular responses through a signaling pathway including predominantly the Gsadenylyl cyclase-cAMP pathway activation. Family B1 GPCRs also interact with a few accessory proteins which play a role in cell signaling, receptor expression and/or pharmacological profiles of receptors. These accessory proteins may represent new targets for the design of new drugs. Here, we review the current knowledge regarding: i) the structure of family B1 GPCR binding domain for natural ligands and ii) the interaction of family B1 GPCRs with accessory proteins.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Protein Binding / physiology
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / chemistry*
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Gastrointestinal Hormone / chemistry*
  • Receptors, Gastrointestinal Hormone / metabolism*
  • Secretin / chemistry*
  • Secretin / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • X-Ray Diffraction


  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled
  • Receptors, Gastrointestinal Hormone
  • secretin receptor
  • Secretin