Orphan GPR61, GPR62 and GPR135 receptors and the melatonin MT 2 receptor reciprocally modulate their signaling functions

Sci Rep. 2017 Aug 21;7(1):8990. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-08996-7.


Understanding the function of orphan G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), whose cognate ligand is unknown, is of major importance as GPCRs are privileged drug targets for many diseases. Recent phylogenetic studies classified three orphan receptors, GPR61, GPR62 and GPR135 among the melatonin receptor subfamily, but their capacity to bind melatonin and their biochemical functions are not well characterized yet. We show here that GPR61, GPR62 and GPR135 do not bind [3H]-melatonin nor 2-[125I]iodomelatonin and do not respond to melatonin in several signaling assays. In contrast, the three receptors show extensive spontaneous ligand-independent activities on the cAMP, inositol phosphate and ß-arrestin pathways with distinct pathway-specific profiles. Spontaneous ß-arrestin recruitment internalizes all three GPRs in the endosomal compartment. Co-expression of the melatonin binding MT2 receptor with GPR61, GPR62 or GPR135 has several consequences such as (i) the formation of receptor heteromers, (ii) the inhibition of melatonin-induced ß-arrestin2 recruitment to MT2 and (iii) the decrease of elevated cAMP levels upon melatonin stimulation in cells expressing spontaneously active GPR61 and GPR62. Collectively, these data show that GPR61, GPR62 and GPR135 are unable to bind melatonin, but show a reciprocal regulatory interaction with MT2 receptors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cyclic AMP / metabolism
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Inositol Phosphates / metabolism
  • Melatonin / metabolism*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism*
  • Receptor, Melatonin, MT2 / metabolism*
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction*
  • beta-Arrestins / metabolism


  • GPR135 protein, human
  • GPR61 protein, human
  • GPR62 protein, human
  • Inositol Phosphates
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Receptor, Melatonin, MT2
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled
  • beta-Arrestins
  • Cyclic AMP
  • Melatonin