Receptor activity-modifying proteins (RAMPs) are a family of three single span transmembrane proteins in humans that interact with many GPCRs and can modulate their function. RAMPs were discovered as key components of the calcitonin gene-related peptide and adrenomedullin receptors. They are required for transport of this class B GPCR, calcitonin receptor-like receptor (CLR), to the cell surface and determine its peptide ligand binding preferences. Soon thereafter RAMPs were shown to modulate the binding of calcitonin and amylin peptides to the related calcitonin receptor (CTR) and in the years since an ever-growing number of RAMP-interacting receptors have been identified including most if not all of the 15 class B GPCRs and several GPCRs from other families. Studies of CLR, CTR, and a handful of other GPCRs revealed that RAMPs are able to modulate various aspects of receptor function including trafficking, ligand binding, and signaling. Here, we review RAMP interactions and functions with an emphasis on class B receptors for which our understanding is most advanced. A key focus is to discuss recent evidence that RAMPs serve as endogenous allosteric modulators of CLR and CTR. We discuss structural studies of RAMP-CLR complexes and CTR and biochemical and pharmacological studies that collectively have significantly expanded our understanding of the mechanistic basis for RAMP modulation of these class B GPCRs. Last, we consider the implications of these findings for drug development targeting RAMP-CLR/CTR complexes.
Keywords: Allostery; Class B GPCR; Dynamics; Peptide hormone; RAMP.
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