Involvement of melanocortin receptor accessory proteins (MRAPs) in the function of melanocortin receptors

Gen Comp Endocrinol. 2013 Jul 1;188:133-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ygcen.2013.01.017. Epub 2013 Feb 11.


The melanocortin system integrates different agonists, competitive or inverse agonists, and receptors. Recent investigations have also discovered a specific system of melanocortin receptor accessory proteins (MRAPs) that are involved in the regulation of the functional expression of these receptors. MRAP1 mutations are responsible for type 2 familial glucocorticoid deficiency (FGD2), a rare autosomal disorder characterized by high plasma adrenocorticotropin hormone (ACTH) levels but severe cortisol deficiency. ACTH binds melanocortin 2 receptor (MC2R), a G protein-coupled receptor, in the adrenal gland to promote corticosteroid synthesis. In the absence of MRAP1, MC2R cannot translocate from the endoplasmic reticulum to the plasma membrane and ACTH-induced signaling is extinguished. A second MRAP protein, called MRAP2, also modulates MC2R activity. MRAPs also interact with the other melanocortin receptors, adjusting their pharmacological properties. In this paper, we briefly review the MRAP system and its interaction with melanocortin receptors.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Protein Binding
  • Receptor, Melanocortin, Type 1 / metabolism
  • Receptor, Melanocortin, Type 2 / metabolism
  • Receptors, Melanocortin / metabolism*


  • MRAP protein, human
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Receptor, Melanocortin, Type 1
  • Receptor, Melanocortin, Type 2
  • Receptors, Melanocortin
  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone