GPR37 Receptors and Megalencephalic Leukoencephalopathy with Subcortical Cysts

Int J Mol Sci. 2022 May 16;23(10):5528. doi: 10.3390/ijms23105528.


Megalencephalic leukoencephalopathy with subcortical cysts (MLC) is a rare type of vacuolating leukodystrophy (white matter disorder), which is mainly caused by defects in MLC1 or glial cell adhesion molecule (GlialCAM) proteins. In addition, autoantibodies to GlialCAM are involved in the pathology of multiple sclerosis. MLC1 and GLIALCAM genes encode for membrane proteins of unknown function, which has been linked to the regulation of different ion channels and transporters, such as the chloride channel VRAC (volume regulated anion channel), ClC-2 (chloride channel 2), and connexin 43 or the Na+/K+-ATPase pump. However, the mechanisms by which MLC proteins regulate these ion channels and transporters, as well as the exact function of MLC proteins remain obscure. It has been suggested that MLC proteins might regulate signalling pathways, but the mechanisms involved are, at present, unknown. With the aim of answering these questions, we have recently described the brain GlialCAM interactome. Within the identified proteins, we could validate the interaction with several G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), including the orphan GPRC5B and the proposed prosaposin receptors GPR37L1 and GPR37. In this review, we summarize new aspects of the pathophysiology of MLC disease and key aspects of the interaction between GPR37 receptors and MLC proteins.

Keywords: GPR37; GPR37L1; GPRC5B; GlialCAM; MLC1; glia; ion; megalencephalic leukoencephalopathy with subcortical cysts; water homeostasis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Astrocytes / metabolism
  • Chloride Channels / metabolism
  • Cysts
  • Hereditary Central Nervous System Demyelinating Diseases* / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Megalencephaly*
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Nervous System Malformations*
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / genetics
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / metabolism


  • Chloride Channels
  • GPR37L1 protein, human
  • GPRC5B protein, human
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled

Supplementary concepts

  • Megalencephalic leukoencephalopathy with subcortical cysts