RAMP2 Influences Glucagon Receptor Pharmacology via Trafficking and Signaling

Endocrinology. 2017 Aug 1;158(8):2680-2693. doi: 10.1210/en.2016-1755.


Endogenous satiety hormones provide an attractive target for obesity drugs. Glucagon causes weight loss by reducing food intake and increasing energy expenditure. To further understand the cellular mechanisms by which glucagon and related ligands activate the glucagon receptor (GCGR), we investigated the interaction of the GCGR with receptor activity modifying protein (RAMP)2, a member of the family of receptor activity modifying proteins. We used a combination of competition binding experiments, cell surface enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, functional assays assessing the Gαs and Gαq pathways and β-arrestin recruitment, and small interfering RNA knockdown to examine the effect of RAMP2 on the GCGR. Ligands tested were glucagon; glucagonlike peptide-1 (GLP-1); oxyntomodulin; and analog G(X), a GLP-1/glucagon coagonist developed in-house. Confocal microscopy was used to assess whether RAMP2 affects the subcellular distribution of GCGR. Here we demonstrate that coexpression of RAMP2 and the GCGR results in reduced cell surface expression of the GCGR. This was confirmed by confocal microscopy, which demonstrated that RAMP2 colocalizes with the GCGR and causes significant GCGR cellular redistribution. Furthermore, the presence of RAMP2 influences signaling through the Gαs and Gαq pathways, as well as recruitment of β-arrestin. This work suggests that RAMP2 may modify the agonist activity and trafficking of the GCGR, with potential relevance to production of new peptide analogs with selective agonist activities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CHO Cells
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Cricetinae
  • Cricetulus
  • DNA
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology
  • Glucagon / metabolism*
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Transport
  • RNA Interference
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • Receptor Activity-Modifying Protein 2 / chemistry
  • Receptor Activity-Modifying Protein 2 / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Glucagon / genetics
  • Receptors, Glucagon / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction
  • beta-Arrestins / genetics
  • beta-Arrestins / metabolism


  • RAMP2 protein, human
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • Receptor Activity-Modifying Protein 2
  • Receptors, Glucagon
  • beta-Arrestins
  • DNA
  • Glucagon
  • Calcium