The G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) superfamily is the largest known receptor family in the human genome. Although the family of adhesion GPCRs comprises the second largest sub-family, their function is poorly understood. Here, we review the current knowledge about the adhesion GPCR family member GPR126. GPR126 possesses a signal peptide, a 7TM domain homologous to secretin-like GPCRs, a GPS motif and an extended N-terminus containing a CUB (Complement, Uegf, Bmp1) domain, a PTX (Pentraxin) domain, a hormone binding domain and 27 putative N-glycosylation sites. Knockdown and knockout experiments in zebrafish and mice have demonstrated that Gpr126 plays an essential role in neural, cardiac and ear development. In addition, genome-wide association studies have implicated variations at the GPR126 locus in obstructive pulmonary dysfunction, in scoliosis and as a determinant of trunk length and body height. Gpr126 appears to exert its function depending on the organ system via G protein- and/or N-terminus-dependent signaling. Here, we review the current knowledge about Gpr126, which, due to the variety of its functions and its multiple signaling modalities, provides a model adhesion GPCR to understand general functional concepts utilized by adhesion GPCRs.
Keywords: CTF; GAIN; GPR126; GPS; NTF; adhesion GPCR; ear; heart; myelination.