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Phenotyping of Gprc6a KO mice has shown that this promiscuous class C G protein coupled receptor is variously involved in regulation of metabolism, inflammation and endocrine function. Such effects are described as mediated by extracellular calcium, L-amino acids, the bone-derived peptide osteocalcin (OCN) and the male hormone testosterone, introducing the concept of a bone-energy-metabolism-reproduction functional crosstalk mediated by GPRC6A. However, whilst the calcium and L-amino acid-sensing properties of GPRC6A are well established, verification of activity of osteocalcin at both human and mouse GPRC6A in vitro has proven somewhat elusive. This study characterises the in vitro pharmacology of mouse GPRC6A in response to its putative ligands in both recombinant and endogenous GPRC6A-expressing cells. Using cell signalling, and glucagon-like peptide (GLP)-1 and insulin release assays, our results confirm that basic L-amino acids act as agonists of the murine GPRC6A receptor in both recombinant cells and immortalised entero-endocrine and pancreatic β-cells. In contrast, our studies do not support a role for OCN as a direct ligand for mouse GPRC6A, suggesting that the reported in vivo effects of OCN that require GPRC6A may be indirect, rather than via direct activation of the receptor.


Patricia Rueda, Elizabeth Harley, Yao Lu, Gregory D Stewart, Stewart Fabb, Natalie Diepenhorst, Béatrice Cremers, Marie-Hélène Rouillon, Isabelle Wehrle, Anne Geant, Gwladys Lamarche, Katie Leach, William N Charman, Arthur Christopoulos, Roger J Summers, Patrick M Sexton, Christopher J Langmead. Murine GPRC6A Mediates Cellular Responses to L-Amino Acids, but Not Osteocalcin Variants. PloS one. 2016;11(1):e0146846

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PMID: 26785252

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