Structural basis for adhesion G protein-coupled receptor Gpr126 function

Katherine Leon, Rebecca L. Cunningham, Joshua A. Riback, Ezra Feldman, Jingxian Li, Tobin R. Sosnick, Minglei Zhao, Kelly R. Monk, Demet Araç

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Many drugs target the extracellular regions (ECRs) of cell-surface receptors. The large and alternatively-spliced ECRs of adhesion G protein-coupled receptors (aGPCRs) have key functions in diverse biological processes including neurodevelopment, embryogenesis, and tumorigenesis. However, their structures and mechanisms of action remain unclear, hampering drug development. The aGPCR Gpr126/Adgrg6 regulates Schwann cell myelination, ear canal formation, and heart development; and GPR126 mutations cause myelination defects in human. Here, we determine the structure of the complete zebrafish Gpr126 ECR and reveal five domains including a previously unknown domain. Strikingly, the Gpr126 ECR adopts a closed conformation that is stabilized by an alternatively spliced linker and a conserved calcium-binding site. Alternative splicing regulates ECR conformation and receptor signaling, while mutagenesis of the calcium-binding site abolishes Gpr126 function in vivo. These results demonstrate that Gpr126 ECR utilizes a multi-faceted dynamic approach to regulate receptor function and provide relevant insights for ECR-targeted drug design.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number194
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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